As always, the NFL season is flying by and with five weeks in the books, we have a solid idea of which teams are and are not any good. From a fantasy perspective though, there are some individual players who still have questions around them regarding roles and/or offensive direction, and that is where the Waiver Wire Report helps you out. Take a look below for our favorite Week 6 bargains.
NOTE: All ‘Percent Rostered’ stats are based off ESPN.com fantasy leagues
As always, there are still plenty of quarterbacks out there who can contribute as a spot starter or bye week fill-in. This week, I selected only quarterbacks who are available in more than 50% of leagues.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Det:
Percent Rostered: 44.2%
Stats thru Week 5: 1,122 yds, 9 TD, 2 INT
Stafford has been flying under the radar all year, but has been a top 10 quarterback in terms of points per game, and is a great option if your QB is on a bye. Stafford is averaging more than two touchdowns a game, nearly 300 yards a game, and is available in more than half fantasy leagues.
Gardner Minshew II, QB, Jax:
Percent Rostered: 18.7%
Stats thru Week 5: 1,279 yds, 9 TD, 1 INT
If the moustache alone isn’t enough for you to find a roster spot for this guy, his numbers should. Minshew (and his mighty moustache) is putting up 255+ ypg and has a 9-1 touchdown to interception ratio. While fumbles (3) were an issue last week, over the last three weeks, Minshew has six touchdowns, zero interceptions and 791 yards. Not bad for a guy still available in 80+% of leagues.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, NO:
Percent Rostered: 10.2%
Stats thru Week 5: 849 yds, 6 TD, 2 INT
It took Bridgewater a few weeks to get comfortable, but it seems like he is there. His yards have increased each week and he is coming off an impressive 314 yard, four touchdown, one interception outing in Week 5. His stay in the starting line up may not be for much longer, but he is a perfect bye week fill-in until Drew Brees is back.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cin:
Percent Rostered: 18.8%
Stats thru Week 5: 1,412 yds, 7 TD, 4 INT
I will get flak for this one, but I will keep pushing Dalton as a viable quarterback on your fantasy team. He may not illicit much excitement in fantasy football (or real football for that matter), but he is 8th in passing ypg and plays for a team that is pass first by design and by situation (usually losing). If you need a fill-in quarterback for a bye week, you could do much worse than Dalton.
From here on out – barring a big injury – the running back waiver wire options are going to be slim pickings. That being said, there are some backs out there with potential. This week, I selected only running backs who are available in more than 35% of leagues.
Chris Thompson, RB, Was:
Percent Rostered: 62.5%
Stats thru Week 5: 20 carries, 67 yds, 0 TDs, 25 rec, 268 yds, 1 TD
Look, if you aren’t in a PPR league, Thompson serves minimal value. If, however, you are in a PPR league, Thompson has put up double-digits days in each week he didn’t play the Patriots and should be a Flex starter on most teams. Despite his lack of involvement in the running game, Thompson is one of the best, and most utilized receiving backs in the league. Thompson trails only Christian McCaffrey, Le’Veon Bell and Alvin Kamara in receptions for running backs and only McCaffrey and Austin Ekler in targets for running backs. To put his receiving numbers in context, he has more receiving yards than Stefon Diggs, Kenny Golladay, T.Y. Hilton and Marques Valdes-Scantling, among others.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Hou:
Percent Rostered: 61.4%
Stats thru Week 5: 73 carries, 310 yds, 2 TD; 5 rec, 8 yds (18 targets)
Hyde ranks 14th in the NFL in yards. He has more yards than: Aaron Jones, Todd Gurley, David Johnson, Joe Mixon, Austin Ekler, Le’Veon Bell and James Conner, yet is available in nearly four out of every 10 leagues. Heck, despite clearly being Houston’s lead back – has 73 carries to Duke Johnson’s 32 – Johnson is still owned in more leagues (64.2%) than Hyde. After five weeks, I think it is safe to buy into Hyde having enough value to be on your roster and be a RB2 or Flex option.
Ronald Jones II, RB, TB:
Percent Rostered: 60.9%
Stats thru Week 5: 59 carries, 269 yds, 1 TD; 5 rec, 92 yds, 1 TD (9 targets)
Jones has one less rushing yard than Todd Gurley, and like Hyde, has more rushing yards than a lot of bigger names (David Johnson, Joe Mixon, Austin Ekler, Le’Veon Bell, James Conner), yet, like Hyde, is still available in four out of every 10 leagues. While he still splits carries with Peyton Barber, over the past two weeks, Jones has 28 carries to Barbers 17. He also leads in ypc (4.6 vs 3.5) and receiving yards (92-25).
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cin:
Percent Rostered: 24.7%
Stats thru Week 5: 19 carries, 45 yds, 0 TD; 12 rec, 88 yds,
Bernard’s value is certainly not based off what he has done or his role in the Bengals offense thus far, but based off what I believe will be an expanding role over the next few weeks. With all the injuries the Bengals still have at the wide receiver position – A.J. Green still out, John Ross down for another seven weeks – Bernard’s role should be expanding over the next few weeks. As a result, I am betting on buying Bernard low here. Pick him up and sit him this week, but you may be thanking me in a week or two.
There are a number of wide receivers on the waiver wire who I like both from a production and potential standpoint. This week, I selected only wide receivers who are available in more than 35% of leagues.
DeVante Parker, WR, Mia:
Percent Rostered: 6.6%
Stats thru Week 5: 10 rec, 201 yds, 1 TD (17 targets)
Parker and Josh Rosen seem to be generating some chemistry. Over the last two games, Parker has seven receptions and 126 yards on 10 targets. The Dolphins have played four games this year, and in the three not against the Patriots, Parker is averaging 3+ rec, 65+ yds, 20+ ypc, yet is available in nearly 95% of leagues.
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jax:
Percent Rostered: 62.6%
Stats thru Week 5: 23 rec, 321 yds, 1 TD (37 targets)
Prior to the season, it was Westbrook who was the hot name in the Jaguars receiving corps, but he has been overshadowed and out owned by fellow Jags rookie, D.J. Chark. That being said, Westbrook is still a valuable player to have on your roster. In PPR leagues, he has put up double-digit days in four of the Jags five games, and his yards have increased in three straight weeks. In fact, Westbrook has had 5+ receptions and 6+ targets each of the last three weeks.
Jamison Crowder, WR, NYJ:
Percent Rostered: 62.5%
Stats thru Week 5: 22 rec, 0 yds, 0 TD (31 targets)
You can sum up Crowder’s value like this: with Sam Darnold, he has value; without Darnold, he has no value. In Week 1, with Darnold, he had 14 receptions and 99 yards on 17 targets. In the three games without Darnold, he has a total of eight receptions and 75 yards on 14 targets. The good news, his lack of productivity has made him available in a lot of leagues and from the sounds of it, Darnold should be back soon. That being the case, pick him up now.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, NO:
Percent Rostered: 10.5%
Stats thru Week 5: 14 rec, 223 yds, 1 TD (19 targets)
Like Crowderr, Ginn’s value disappeared when his starting quarterback went down. Unlike Crowder, Ginn has a viable backup in Teddy Bridgewater who is starting to hit his stride. As a result, Ginn’s value should be climbing. In three of the Saints five games, Ginn has seen 5+ targets, and his yards have increased four straight weeks.
When looking for tight ends on the waiver wire, you are looking deep on some rosters, and what you consider a ‘viable’ roster fill-in has to be tempered. This week, I selected only tight ends who are available in more than 75% of leagues.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Cin:
Percent Rostered: 23.8%
Stats thru Week 5: 13 rec, 95 yds, 1 TD (20 targets)
Like Bernard above, I believe Eifert’s role is about to increase in the Bengals offense. For the first time in a while, Eifert is healthy through four weeks and with the other injuries on the team, he should see a bigger portion of the game plan coming his way. Eifert has had five targets in three of the Bengals five games and four targets in four of the five games. Eifert is still a redzone favorite of Andy Dalton and he just missed a touchdown in each of the last two weeks – one on an uncharacteristic drop and one on a poorly thrown ball. One other thing to consider, there has been rumors of Eifert being a trade target. If Eifert were to be traded to a team like the Patriots or Saints, his value could jump quickly.
Jack Doyle, TE, Ind:
Percent Rostered: 22.5%
Stats thru Week 5: 14 rec, 128 yds, 1 TD (20 targets)
The Colts use both Doyle and Eric Ebron about the same, and despite having nearly identical numbers, Doyle is owned in less than half as many leagues as Ebron. Over the last three weeks, Doyle has 15 targets, 11 rec, 87 yds, and one TD. Not bad for a tight end still available in nearly 80% of fantasy leagues.
Noah Fant, TE, Den:
Percent Rostered: 10.8%
Stats thru Week 5: 12 rec, 136 yds, 1 TD (16 targets)
2019 has been a disappointing year for both Joe Flacco and the Broncos, but Flacco seems to be improving and we know he loves going to his tight ends, so I expect Fant’s production and value to start climbing with Flacco. In four of the Broncos five games, Fant has seen three or more targets.
Gerald Everett, TE, LAR:
Percent Rostered: 3.4%
Stats thru Week 5: 18 rec, 223 yds, 1 TD (26 targets)
Given the weapons the Rams have on offense – including two tight ends – it is hard to rely on Everett, but if you need a spot starter for a bye week or an injury, Everett is a decent option. Over the last two games, he has 19 targets, 12 rec, 180 yards 1 TD.