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Waiver Wire: Week 6

by Adam Levitan
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

This is undoubtedly one of the biggest weeks on the Waiver Wire we’ll see all season. There are three running backs available in a majority of Yahoo leagues I’d burn a No. 1 priority on – Branden Oliver, Andre Williams and Ronnie Hillman.

So what’s worth more to you? A guy like Andre Williams, who is a great bet to beast for two weeks before fading back into a bench role? Or a question mark like Hillman, who isn’t a natural feature back but could get 10-14 touches per game in an explosive offense the rest of the season? What about Oliver, who has a monster Week 6 opportunity and is passing up Donald Brown with ease.

For reference sake on the injuries in front of these guys, here’s what I’m guessing: Rashad Jennings (knee) and Montee Ball (groin) both get back Week 9. Ryan Mathews (knee) makes his return Week 8 and Donald Brown (concussion) gets cleared for Week 7.

On to the Week 6 assets. Here is how I would rank the players available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues right now. Notes and recommendations on each player will follow.

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Editor’s Note: Rotoworld’s partner Fanduel is hosting a $400,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 6’s games. It’s only $10 to join and first prize is $35,000. Starts Sunday, October 12th at 1pm ET. Here’s the link.

1. Brian Hoyer
2. Carson Palmer
3. Ryan Tannehill
4. Teddy Bridgewater
5. Mike Glennon

Running backs
1. Branden Oliver
2. Andre Williams
3. Ronnie Hillman
4. C.J. Anderson
5. Benny Cunningham
6. Bobby Rainey
7. Storm Johnson
8. George Winn
* Mark Ingram is owned in 59 percent of Yahoo leagues. If available, he’d be my No. 1 RB add.
* Knowshon Moreno is owned in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues. If available, he’d be my No. 4 RB add.

Wide receivers
1. Justin Hunter
2. Odell Beckham
3. James Jones
4. Davante Adams
5. Andre Holmes
6. Andrew Hawkins
7. Louis Murphy

Tight ends
1. Owen Daniels
2. Dwayne Allen
3. Tim Wright
4. Eric Ebron
* Jordan Reed is owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. If available, he’d be my No. 1 add at tight end.

Defense/Special Teams
1. Ravens
2. Titans
3. Colts

1. Matt Prater/Jay Feely/Connor Barth
2. Josh Brown
3. Brandon McManus
4. Chandler Catanzaro

1. Brian Hoyer, Browns – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
Brian Hoyer has proven he can effectively move the football for the Browns. In six full games over the last two seasons, Hoyer is 137-of-224 (61.1 percent) for 1,598 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. That’s an average of 266.3 passing yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game, numbers fantasy owners can certainly live with on a week-to-week basis. The best part of adding Hoyer as a fill-in is his upcoming schedule: PIT, JAX, OAK, TB.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

2. Carson Palmer, Cardinals – Owned in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
It sounds like Carson Palmer finally had a breakthrough with the nerve issue in his throwing shoulder, at least giving himself a chance to suit up for Sunday’s tasty home matchup against the Redskins. He’ll be a risk in case of sapped arm strength, but he still has three really strong options (Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Ellington) in a Bruce Arians passer-friendly scheme. In his one game this season, Palmer hit the Chargers for 304 passing yards, 2 TDs and no INTs.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

3. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins – Owned in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
The last time we saw Ryan Tannehill, he was in London throwing for 278 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a blowout of the Raiders. Despite all the turmoil around his play, he’s on pace for 3,608 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions along with 212 more yards on the ground. This week’s matchup against the Packers is not ideal as they are much stronger against the pass than the run, but then Tannehill gets to face Chicago and Jacksonville. He’ll be a decent streamer in those Week 7 and 8 spots.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

4. Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings – Owned in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues
Let’s not overreact and think we can get Week 4 Teddy Bridgewater every week. He was facing the Falcons’ inept defense at home, leading to 317 yards with a rushing score. But Bridgewater does have a far more pro-ready team around him than Blake Bortles, including a major YAC weapon in Cordarrelle Patterson (should the Vikings choose to use him). Bridgewater’s matchup this week (vs. DET) isn’t great, but he’ll be in play as a QB2 in Weeks 7-9 (at BUF, at TB, vs. WAS).
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

5. Mike Glennon, Bucs – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
Glennon is picking up right where he left off last season. In two starts this year, he’s thrown for 551 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He’d be higher on this list if not for the upcoming schedule: Ravens and then a bye. But if you need a streamer in Weeks 8-12, Glennon will certainly be in play – especially if he gets Mike Evans (groin) back. The Bucs face MIN, CLE, ATL, WAS and CHI during that span.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Zach Mettenberger, Blake Bortles, Joe Flacco, Austin Davis, Robert Griffin III, Michael Vick – Mettenberger’s big arm would look really nice with Justin Hunter. … I was wrong about Bortles in a very nice spot against the Steelers last week. His weapons and offensive line aren’t doing any favors either. I still prefer him as the Dynasty hold over Bridgewater though. … Flacco is a fine Week 6 streamer at Tampa Bay. … Austin Davis has been great against DAL and PHL, but the upcoming schedule is absurdly tough: SF, SEA, at KC, at SF, at ARZ, DEN, at SD. … There are reports RG3 (knee) could be back Week 8. I still think Kirk Cousins will hold the job. … For now, Rex Ryan says he’s going back to Geno Smith despite turning to Vick for the second half Sunday. RUNNING BACKS
1. Branden Oliver, RB, Chargers
Branden Oliver is not a fluke. As a senior at the University at Buffalo last year, he earned first-team All-MAC honors by rushing 310 times for 1,535 yards with 15 touchdowns. He didn’t get drafted thanks in part to a 5-foot-8 frame, but earned his spot on the Chargers by outplaying more heralded sixth-rounder Marion Grice in the preseason (35-161-1). So it wasn’t a huge surprise that Oliver went nuts after Donald Brown’s concussion Sunday, tearing up a very good Jets run D for 19-114-1 and looking like another former SD No. 43 with 4-68-1 through the air. If I needed a back to win me Week 6, Oliver would be certainly be the add as he’ll get a ton of touches against the Raiders. Ryan Mathews (knee) is expected to miss another 1-2 weeks, Danny Woodhead (ankle) is on IR and Brown (concussion) has been passed up even if he can get cleared. As for long-term outlook, I think there’s enough room for Oliver to remain on the flex radar even when Mathews and Brown get healthy. He won’t get a ton of early-down work, but can certainly do Danny Woodhead things (6-9 carries, 2-4 catches per game). Oliver’s ability to put his head down and move the pile on inside runs separates him from strict passing backs.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Andre Williams, RB, Giants
Rashad Jennings sprained his left MCL with 9:30 left in the third quarter of Sunday’s win over the Falcons. The Giants executed 37 plays after that and rookie Andre Williams was in on 31 of them. He ran the ball 18 times and caught two passes during that span, inviting contact and truck-sticking defenders at the end of runs. Yes, the volume was skewed by the fact the Giants were grinding out a lead for the fourth quarter. But it was very encouraging that Williams played on some third downs, participated 13 times in the Giants’ up-tempo/hurry-up scheme and showed nice receiving ability on those catches. Jennings’ injury isn’t overly serious, but he is expected to sit out through the Week 8 bye. That would give Williams, last year’s Doak Walker winner at Boston College, two monster opportunities against the bad defenses of the Eagles and Cowboys. It’s safe to expect 15-17 carries, 1-2 catches and any goal-line work during that span, making him a borderline RB1 and savvy Fanduel play. Backup Peyton Hillis will serve as a pass-pro specialist only. I don’t think Williams will eat into Jennings at all after that Week 8 bye, making him more of a short-term option.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos
The Broncos have shown a reluctance to use Ronnie Hillman as a workhorse back before – and with good reason. In the past, he’s ran with little power (3.87 career YPC heading into last week) and gotten overwhelmed as a blocker. But coaches and teammates raved about Hillman’s improvements this offseason and he appears to have gained some serious stock. After Montee Ball (groin) went down with 11:30 left in the third quarter Sunday, the Broncos ran 37 more plays. Hillman was in on 24 of them, compared to eight snaps for Juwan Thompson and five empty sets. Hillman displayed far quicker feet than Ball has shown all year, rapidly getting through creases in the middle on his way to 15-64-0. He was very decisive and had no flubs in pass protection. The touchdown he lost to Thompson was a little fluky, as Hillman was just taking a break after four straight snaps. Make no mistake – Hillman was playing on most third downs and served as the clock-killer late.

Expect Hillman to start and operate as the lead part of a committee for as long as Ball is out (reportedly 2-3 weeks). C.J. Anderson, who was likely inactive in Week 5 because he doesn’t play special teams, and Thompson will compete for backup reps. The reason Hillman is a must-add is not because of his immediate role (Williams and Oliver are better bets for Weeks 6 and 7) and schedule (it’s very tough). It’s because I think he could hold a large portion of this high-ceiling job even when Ball gets back. Let’s be honest – Ball was 3.12 YPC on the season with one touchdown and got yelled at by Peyton Manning on Sunday. I’d say he’s less about 50/50 to retain the gig. So Hillman could see 10-14 touches weekly for the most explosively dominant offense in the league.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

4. C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos
The Broncos showed their faith in C.J. Anderson way back at 2013 final cuts, when they kept the UDFA despite a knee sprain sustained in mid-August. He ended up finishing the year ahead of Ronnie Hillman. At 5’8/225, he brings a bowling ball kind of element that the shiftier Hillman can’t. It certainly wasn’t ideal that Anderson was a healthy scratch in Week 5, but that was likely because he doesn’t play on special teams and Juwan Thompson excels there. Now that Ball is out for 2-3 weeks, Anderson will almost definitely be active and I think he’ll play ahead of Thompson as the primary complement to Hillman. The size of that complementary role will depend on performance, errors and game flow. Anderson is at least worth a bench spot to see what develops.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

5. Benny Cunningham, Rams – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Zac Stacy didn’t play again after losing a second-half fumble against the Eagles Sunday. It turns out that he wasn’t being punished, but instead is nursing a calf injury. The Rams do expect him to suit up in Week 6. We’ll see. Regardless, Cunningham should be owned as a guy playing just slightly behind a starter that is now hurt. He’s averaging a solid 9.0 touches per game this season with Stacy at 100 percent.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

6. Bobby Rainey, Bucs – Owned 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Bucs continue to profess their commitment to Doug Martin both publicly and privately. I’m not sure why. Martin has been a liability in pass protection and came into Week 5 averaging just 3.37 YPC in his previous eight games. Then he went out against the Saints and rushed for 45 yards on 15 carries. If Martin doesn’t pick up his play, Rainey’s role should only grow.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

7. Storm Johnson, Jaguars – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
Here is Toby Gerhart’s snap count by week: 48, 35, 30, 20 and then just 10 against the Steelers Sunday. Now he’s nursing a sprained foot and the coaches are calling Storm Johnson “very impressive” after he rushed four times for 27 yards. We know that Gerhart isn’t the answer and Denard Robinson may be getting passed up now as well. Johnson, a seventh-round rookie, showed plus vision, feet and aggression during his career at UCF. The Florida Times Union says the major “read between the lines” from Monday’s press conference was the Jags “moving to” Johnson.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

8. George Winn, Lions – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
It’s at least possible that George Winn will be the Lions’ feature back against the Vikings in Week 6. Reggie Bush left Week 5 early with an ankle injury, Joique Bell is coming off a concussion and Theo Riddick (hamstring) is in doubt. Even if Bell does return as tentatively expected, Winn could see 8-10 touches in a complementary role.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Darrin Reaves, Alfred Blue, Antone Smith, Joseph Randle, Peyton Hillis – Reaves will be a low-upside feature back once again Sunday if Jonathan Stewart (knee) can’t return. … How will Arian Foster’s hamstring feel on a short week? Blue is waiting in the wings. … Antone Smith has earned way more work than he’s getting. Will the coaches agree? … DeMarco is on pace for 416 carries. Randle is the non-PPR handcuff, Dunbar is the PPR play. The Cowboys claim they’ll scale back Murray’s workload over the next few weeks. … Hillis is the complement to Andre Williams for the next two weeks. WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Justin Hunter, Titans – Owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
Sharp owners that were grinding the Rotoworld News Page on Saturday saw Adam Caplan’s report that Justin Hunter would be getting a promotion soon. That came to fruition against the Browns, as Hunter started at “X” over Nate Washington and played on 68-of-70 snaps. Kendall Wright played 57 snaps and Washington got 48. So even though Hunter ended up with just five targets, this bump in usage is huge. A player with this kind of talent is going to make plays when on the field this much, making Hunter a solid WR3 with upside against the Jags Sunday. Hopefully, preseason stud  and big-armed Zach Mettenberger will draw the start over Charlie Whitehurst.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

2. Odell Beckham, Giants – Owned 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
Odell Beckham missed virtually the entire offseason program, training camp and first four weeks of the season due to recurring hamstring woes. That made his Week 5 debut even more impressive than the box score showed. Beckham stepped back in with a 4-41-1 line on 38-of-71 snaps, also drawing a deep PI call and getting overthrown while wide open behind the secondary by Eli Manning. On Monday, coach Tom Coughlin confirmed the No. 12 overall pick’s role will grow in dream upcoming matchups against the Eagles and Cowboys. Brian Quick, our No. 1 add at wideout last week, just lit up the Eagles and Beckham is a good bet to do the same as a fine WR3. The Giants run three-wide as a base set.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. James Jones, Raiders – Owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
We know what we’re getting out of James Jones. He’s the most consistent receiver on a team that projects to be trailing a ton, one that is averaging 7.0 targets per game and has a history of red-zone chops. Derek Carr (knee, ankle) seems to be nearing health, which gives Jones the nod over Andre Holmes. Matt McGloin and Holmes had a thing going on.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

4. Davante Adams, Packers – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Jarrett Boykin’s groin injury, which has already sidelined him for two games, is expected to keep him a while longer. That’s led to 76.1 percent of the snaps for Davante Adams over the last two weeks, but a meager 3-29-1 line on seven targets. But if you give me Adams’ talent, this snap count and Aaron Rodgers, I’ll roll the dice on him every time as a WR4 type.
Recommendation: Should be owned 12-team leagues

5. Andre Holmes, Raiders – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
I’ll keep this short as I’ve talked a ton about Andre Holmes already. Bang it here for more in last week’s Waiver Wired. Basically, Holmes is a 6-foot-4 size/speed monster capable of making incredibly difficult catches. With Denarius Moore seemingly in the doghouse and Vincent Brown an empty jersey, Holmes’ opportunity is real and spectacular.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

6. Andrew Hawkins, Browns – Owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
Box-score watchers will see Andrew Hawkins’ 3-27-0 line from Week 5 and assume he fell out of the gameplan with Jordan Cameron back. But in reality, nothing changed with Hawkins. He still saw nine targets, giving him a hefty 42 through just four games. With tasty matchups against the Steelers, Jags, Raiders and Bucs on deck, Hawkins will remain a PPR WR3.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team PPR leagues

7. Louis Murphy, Bucs – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
Before Sunday’s game against the Bucs, Mike Glennon discussed his affinity for Louis Murphy. “Every preseason game, it seemed like he was the only guy I was throwing to,” Glennon said. Then Murphy went 3-35-1 on seven targets against the Saints. He’ll start again with Mike Evans (groin) week to week, but he’ll be more WR4 than WR3. The Ravens’ pass defense is not a unit I typically like to mess with.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Jordan Matthews, Brian Tyms, Marvin Jones – Robinson’s superior talent to Hurns is shining through now. … Hurns’ drops buried him on Sunday. … At some point, Matthews needs to usurp Riley Cooper on the outside. But there’s no sign it’ll happen anytime soon. … Kenbrell Thompkins is gone, Brandon LaFell isn’t good and Aaron Dobson may or may not be in the doghouse. Watch Tyms, the preseason stud. … Marvin Jones can’t get his foot right and Mohamed Sanu continues to play really well. TIGHT ENDS
1. Owen Daniels, Ravens – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
Owen Daniels’ promotion since Dennis Pitta’s season-ending injury has gone slightly better than expected. In two games as the starter, Daniels he’s seen 13 targets compared to 17 for Steve Smith and 11 for Torrey Smith. OD has turned that into 9-113-0. Given upcoming matchups with the Bucs and Falcons, the veteran expert in Gary Kubiak’s system will have a decent shot to get on the scoreboard in the next two weeks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

2. Dwayne Allen, Colts – Owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
Players that are supremely touchdown-dependent are not the kind of players I typically like to carry. But when they just keep getting opportunity after opportunity in the red zone, it changes things. Dwayne Allen has now turned four of his 15 catches into touchdowns this season, scoring in four of five games. For those owners that like to look far ahead, Allen gets one of the dream matchups for a tight end in Week 16: at Dallas.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team TD-heavy leagues

3. Tim Wright, Patriots – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
Through Tim Wright’s first four games as a Patriot, he played on 50-of-280 snaps (17.8 percent) and saw a total of four targets. In Sunday night’s blowout of the Bengals, he went for 5-85-1 on five targets, but played on just 19-of-87 snaps (21.8 percent). In other words, Wright remained a package player – he just gained effectiveness. It’s clear this converted wideout can help the Patriots by doing Aaron Hernandez things, but don’t expect consistent TE1 production until his on-field role grows. Wright will be a boom-or-bust streamer against the Bills in Week 6. We’ll be watching closely to see if coach Bill Belichick believes Wright has earned more snaps.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

4. Eric Ebron, Lions – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
How will the Lions compensate without Calvin Johnson (ankle)? Most likely, they’ll pepper Golden Tate with an avalanche of targets while trying to get Corey Fuller/Jeremy Ross involved some. But another option is to unleash Eric Ebron as a pass-catcher, especially if passing back Reggie Bush (ankle) and Joseph Fauria (ankle) can’t go. Ebron had a touchdown in Week 4 and then had another touchdown overturned in Week 5. He has more than enough talent to be a TE2 with upside against the Vikings.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch ListJared Cook, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Luke Willson, Josh Hill, Clay Harbor – If you need four catches, 40 yards and a whole bunch of frustration, Cook is your man. … ASJ is playing a ton. The early drops killed him against the Saints. I’m not giving up on him as an upside TE2. … Willson will be a desperation play in Week 6 because he faces Dallas. … Hill has more upside than Ben Watson if Jimmy Graham (shoulder) can’t play after the bye. … Harbor remains a candidate for volume from Blake Bortles.

1. Ravens – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Ravens were understandably dropped by a lot of people ahead of a Week 5 game at Indy. They ended up holding up well, forcing Andrew Luck into two interceptions, recovering two fumbles, picking up one sack and giving up just 20 points. Now they get a much softer spot: at Tampa Bay. Although Mike Glennon is clearly superior to Josh McCown, this offense can’t run the ball and will struggle to throw against Jimmy Smith and friends.

2. Titans – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
I love Blake Bortles, but he’s going to make a ton of mistakes. It’s understandable as he’s a rookie with a bad offensive line throwing to three rookie wideouts and Clay Harbor at tight end. In 10 NFL quarters, Bortles has thrown six interceptions and taken five sacks. The Titans, playing at home, should be licking their chops.

3. Colts – Owned in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues
It’s a difficult spot for the Colts as they come off a rugged home win over the Ravens and now have to go to Houston for the Thursday night game. But the fact that it’s the Thursday night game gives some streamer appeal. These games are often messy and we can’t be sure Arian Foster (hamstring) will even be 100 percent. We could do worse than going after Ryan Fitzpatrick weekly – he’s averaging just 211.2 passing yards per game with five TDs and six INTs in five outings.

1. Matt Prater/Jay Feely/Connor Barth, Lions
The Lions have already gone through Nate Freese and Alex Henery this season. Now they know it’s time to turn to a more reliable vet. Whoever emerges from a Tuesday tryout will be a strong add as a kicker for an explosive offense that plays in a dome. Ideally, Prater will win the gig as he was the big leg and proved himself as fantasy’s No. 2 kicker last year.

2. Josh Brown, Giants – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
We had Josh Brown as a top-three streamer last week and it worked out as he went 3-of-3 on field goals against the Falcons. That included a make from 49 yards out and one from 50. Now Brown carries confidence into a similarly good matchup with the Eagles, a team that yields a ton of possessions to opponents thanks to their up-tempo style.

3. Brandon McManus, Broncos – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
The win-now Broncos surprisingly let go of veteran Matt Prater, the league’s best kicker last season. It shows a ton of confidence in Temple UDFA Brandon McManus, who is 5-of-6 on field goals through four games. Note that he’ll always be a better option when kicking in the Mile High air. This week, the Broncos are at the Jets.

4. Chandler Catanzaro, Cardinals – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
An undrafted rookie out of Clemson, Chandler Catanzaro is quietly having a perfect season. He’s 11-of-11 on field goals through four games and has made at least two each time out. He’s a good bet for more chances against the Redskins at home on Sunday. Just make sure that either Carson Palmer (shoulder) or Drew Stanton (concussion) starts. Logan Thomas could really bog down this offense.

Adam Levitan
Adam Levitan is in his seventh season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.