Fantasy Football: Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 6
A lot of times, the waiver wire pickups game in fantasy football comes down to a matter of who has the quickest reaction to an out-of-nowhere number by a player. Overreaction can sometimes be good. It worked for at least a week for Will Dissly owners.
Over the last couple of weeks, there have been a number of players who churned out performances that beg for our knee-jerk reactions, such as Tre’Quan Smith, Taylor Gabriel, and a few others on our list of top players to pick up ahead of Week 6. Read on for more about them below.
10. Tre’Quan Smith — New Orleans Saints WR (1.0% owned in ESPN)
Smith became a trivia contest answer in Week 5 when he caught Drew Brees’ record-breaking touchdown pass in the win over the Washington Redskins that made the quarterback the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards. It was Smith’s breakout game, too, as he finished the contest with a team-high 111 receiving yards and two touchdowns on only three receptions. The rookie saw a season high in snaps with 44 in the Redskins game because Ted Ginn Jr. was out with a knee injury, but even if the veteran becomes available, Smith might have shown enough to receive ample looks from Brees.
9. Chester Rogers — Indianapolis Colts WR (7.4% owned in ESPN)
Mr. Rogers has become the latest friendly neighborhood target for quarterback Andrew Luck. In the Week 5 loss to the New England Patriots, Rogers led all Colts wide receivers with 66 receiving yards on eight catches and 11 targets. That’s the second game in a row in which Rogers had 11 targets. Back in Week 4’s overtime defeat at the hands of the Houston Texans, Rogers posted an 8-11-85 line. He has yet to record a touchdown this season, but his red zone appeal will remain tasty so long as T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle are out. It’s unclear what the statuses of Hilton and Doyle are ahead of Week 6’s date with the New York Jets, so it makes sense to make room and grab Rogers now off waivers.
8. Wendell Smallwood — Philadelphia Eagles RB (7.7% owned in ESPN)
With Jay Ajayi out for the rest of the year with a torn ACL, Smallwood and Corey Clement are set to see significant upticks in their snaps and touches out of the backfield. Clement, however, skipped Week 5 with a quad ailment. Though Clement practiced with the team on Tuesday, it’s Smallwood who has the inside track for the starting gig, considering he’s the only Eagles running back who has played in each of the team’s last five games. Plus, he has been fairly productive of late, which further strengthens his case as a must-add fantasy player. In last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Smallwood rushed three times for 27 yards and caught three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Smallwood’s role in Philly’s passing attack also makes him an attractive PPR commodity.
7. Christian Kirk — Arizona Cardinals WR (11.4% owned in ESPN)
Don’t be afraid to scour fantasy talents on an Arizona offense that currently ranks 31st in the league with a paltry 13.0 points per game average. For one, rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk is starting to look like a diamond in the rough. Kirk played a key role in the Cardinals getting their first win of the season last week when the rookie caught three of four targets and converted them into 85 receiving yards and a touchdown. That TD score came on a 75-yard grab from fellow rookie Josh Rosen’s heave, showing Kirk’s big-play potential. Kirk leads the Cardinals in receptions (19) and receiving yards (234) and should carve out a bigger role in the team’s offense once the Cardinals realize the Texas A&M product deserves to see more snaps than Chad Williams.
6. Mike Davis — Seattle Seahawks RB (14.5% owned in ESPN)
Prior to the season, the running back battle narrative for the Seahawks was between rookie Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson. Some weeks later, Penny’s fantasy stock has fallen off a cliff, while Davis has successfully made his way out of irrelevancy thanks to back-to-back strong performances. Over the last two Seattle games, Davis has racked up 169 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries. Carson remains as the leader in snaps among Seahawks running backs, but don’t sleep on the fact that Davis paces the team in red zone rushing attempts (7) and red zone rushing scores (3). If Carson goes down with an injury, it’s Davis – not Penny – who will assume the starting gig.
5. Taylor Gabriel — Chicago Bears WR (14.6% owned in ESPN)
Mitchell Trubisky grabbed the headlines for his explosion back in Week 4. That was in no small part due to Gabriel, who incredibly caught all seven passes and finished the win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 104 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Bears just had a bye, so his fantastic performance in the Bucs game could be lost on some fantasy owners with short memories. Gabriel is starting to become a trusted downfield target for Trubisky, who has targeted the fifth-year speedster an average of 8.0 times over the last three games.
4. Ronald Jones — Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB (18.2% owned in ESPN)
Consider this a plea for Peyton Barber owners to scoop rookie running back Ronald Jones up from the waiver wires. Although Jones has yet to have a standout performance in his NFL rookie year, the first-rounder got more rushing attempts than Barber, 10-7, in Week 4’s loss to the Bears. Jones didn’t do much with those carries, as he finished with just 29 rushing yards, but it’s his potential to become the Bucs’ starting running back for the rest of the year that makes him an intriguing waiver wire pickup. After all, Barber hasn’t really run away with the starting gig, as he is only averaging 3.0 yards per carry through the first five weeks of the season.
3. Keke Coutee — Houston Texans WR (19.2% owned in ESPN)
Keke wants you to show him some love just like Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has targeted the rookie a total of 22 times in the last two games. Coutee made his NFL debut in Week 4 and immediately created havoc downfield by catching 11 of 15 targets for 109 receiving yards in a win over the Indianapolis Colts. While Coutee benefited from Will Fuller’s first-half exit because of a hamstring injury, he remained a big part of the Texans’ Week 5 win over the Dallas Cowboys even with Fuller back, getting seven looks and catching six for 51 receiving yards and a touchdown. Fuller was targeted just three times against Dallas, which was probably a sign that there’s a new WR2 in the Texans’ passing game in the form of Coutee.
2. Robby Anderson — New York Jets WR (41.9% owned in ESPN)
Anderson finally showed signs of life in Week 5 after a sluggish start to the season. He ended his fantasy dormancy by erupting for 123 receiving yards and two touchdowns on just three catches in a win against the Broncos. Anderson had a breakout campaign a year ago when he finished with 941 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, but took off to a slow and disappointing start in 2018, perhaps due to the Jets’ change of quarterback from veteran Josh McCown to rookie gunslinger Sam Darnold. However, Sunday’s win over Denver could be a sign of better things to come in terms of Anderson’s on-field rapport with Darnold.
1. Alfred Morris — San Francisco 49ers RB (49.7% owned in ESPN)
The Niners’ backfield is the sole playground of Morris — for the meantime. With Matt Breida likely out for at least a week because of a nasty ankle injury, Morris is now the go-to guy for the 49ers’ rushing attack. In last week’s loss to Arizona, Morris got 18 carries and finished with 61 rushing yards while adding 30 receiving yards on three catches. Morris got a nice bump in touches after Breida exited the game in the first quarter and will likely be the trend so long as Breida is sidelined.