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Waiver Wired
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Waiver Wired: Week 6

by Raymond Summerlin
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to the sixth edition of Waiver Wired for the 2015 season. As is always the case, this column will be your guide to the best players available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues. Some of those players will be plug-and-play options who can help this week while others will be stashes who may become useful in the future.

Each profiled player comes with a recommendation of what size league they should be owned. This does not mean they cannot be owned in shallower leagues, but they are not must-adds in the smaller formats. Also, a watch list will follow every position group. These are players who could be useful in deeper formats, but they are not yet must own players in shallower leagues. Finally, the deep cuts section highlights running backs and wide receivers who are owned in less than five percent of Yahoo leagues. Now that the explanation is out of the way, let’s move on to the action.

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The Drop List
QB: Matthew Stafford, Teddy Bridgewater
C.J. Spiller, Darren Sproles, Joique Bell
Davante Adams, Torrey Smith, Marques Colston, Roddy White
Owen Daniels, Kyle Rudolph

1. Blake Bortles
2. Jay Cutler
3. Josh McCown
4. Derek Carr

Running backs
1. Charcandrick West
2. Duke Johnson
3. Knile Davis
4. Darren McFadden
5. Matt Jones
6. Dan Herron
7. Zach Zenner

Wide receivers
1. Willie Snead
2. Marvin Jones
3. Marquess Wilson
4. Brandon LaFell
5. Kamar Aiken
6. Dorial Green-Beckham
7. DeVante Parker

Tight ends
1. Gary Barnidge
2. Richard Rodgers
3. Eric Ebron

Defense/Special Teams
1. Minnesota Vikings
2. Miami Dolphins
3. Cincinnati Bengals *Edit - Bengals No. 1 DST pickup with Tyrod Taylor (knee) expected to miss Week 6. 
Looking Ahead: Pittsburgh Steelers

1. Nick Novak
2. Robbie Gould
3. Graham Gano
Looking Ahead: Chandler Catanzaro

1. Blake Bortles, Jaguars – Owned in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
It may be hard to accept, but Blake Bortles is currently the ninth-highest per-game scorer among quarterbacks. Like I discussed last week, Bortles is finding success by pushing the ball downfield to Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, who have combined for 14 plays of 20 or more yards already this season. Add in the 20-30 yards Bortles picks up with his legs every week, and we have a fantasy starter. I expect him to play through the shoulder injury which bothered him last week. He will be a QB1 this week against Houston, and he needs to be owned in all leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

2. Jay Cutler, Bears – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
What Jay Cutler has done as a fantasy quarterback the last two weeks has been extremely underrated. He has scored 18.2 and 19.6 points without Alshon Jeffery for two games and Eddie Royal for one. I am finished making predictions on when Jeffery will return, but Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte are always weapons and Marquess Wilson has played well the last two weeks. In what is a great matchup with the Lions, Cutler will once again be a low-end QB1 streamer.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

3. Josh McCown, Browns – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
Josh McCown would be higher on this list, but he gets Denver and St. Louis the next two weeks. McCown is not going to be usable in those games, but he has proven his fantasy worth over the last three weeks. The Browns have attempted a pass on 72 percent of their offensive plays the last three games, and McCown has averaged 47 attempts over that span. The volume should come down, but the Browns’ defense is bad enough that he should be required to throw 35-plus times most games. That will make him a low-end QB1 streaming option in good matchups.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.  

4. Derek Carr, Raiders – Owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
Derek Carr predictably struggled against the Broncos and is headed into the bye, but he should have several solid games following the break. Carr gets the Chargers’ banged-up secondary Week 7, the Steelers Week 9 and the Lions Week 11. Carr should be a low-end starter in all of those matchups, and he will be usable against the Vikings Week 10 as well. Carr has fallen back to earth a bit since his early season explosion, but he still needs to owned in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

Watch List: Matt Cassel is expected to be the Cowboys’ starter when the team emerges from the bye Week 7. If Dallas’ assertions that Dez Bryant will return after the break are correct, Cassel will have some streaming upside against the Giants. … The entire offense fell apart after Jamaal Charles was injured against Chicago. Alex Smith cannot be used until we see the offense succeed without Charles. … Brian Hoyer is taking over an offense which has attempted the most passes in the league so far this season. … Ryan Fitzpatrick has averaged over 16 fantasy points a game. He is a reliable QB2.

1. Charcandrick West, Chiefs – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
There is still some debate about who the lead back will be with Jamaal Charles (torn ACL) done for the year, but my expectation is it will be Charcandrick West. West had already supplanted Knile Davis as the backup before the injury, and coach Andy Reid reportedly likes that West’s skill set allows the Chiefs to run the offense in a similar way as to when Charles is available. West should get the first crack, and he has the athleticism and has shown enough in limited work to suggest he will be a solid RB2. West is worth spending 60-plus percent of remaining FAAB dollars.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

2. Duke Johnson, Browns – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
Duke Johnson will remain on this list until he jumps over 50 percent. Johnson played a lot more snaps than Isaiah Crowell for the second week in a row, and he is a better fit than Crowell for the pass-heavy attack the Browns have adopted. Johnson has at least seven targets the last three games, and he is a good bet for 15 touches each week. That makes him a solid FLEX option even if he does not completely separate from Crowell. He needs to be owned.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

3. Knile Davis, Chiefs – Owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
Charcandrick West should take over the lead job in Kansas City, but Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reported there are people in the Chiefs’ organization who believe Knile Davis is a better fit as the lead back. Even if he does not take the top job outright, Davis should have a change-of-pace role and could take over short-yardage duties. He is worth a speculative add in all leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

4. Darren McFadden, Cowboys – Owned in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
The rumors saying Darren McFadden would take over the passing-back duties in the wake of Lance Dunbar’s season-ending knee injury were proven founded. McFadden caught 9-of-10 targets for 62 yards Week 5 against the Patriots. All three represented team highs for the Cowboys. Joseph Randle appears to have the lead-back role locked down, but McFadden will siphon 5-10 carries a game and should handle most of the passing-down work. That makes him a solid FLEX option during the bye weeks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

5. Matt Jones, Redskins – Owned in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues
The roller coaster known as the Redskins’ backfield took another twist on Sunday. After Alfred Morris dominated proceedings Week 4, Matt Jones out-touched and out-snapped the veteran against the Falcons. The duo has basically traded the lead job the last four weeks, with neither being particularly effective. With Chris Thompson locked in as the third-down back, there is not enough consistent value for Morris and Jones to be trusted options every week. Jones needs to be added, but he is not worth starting this week against the Jets even if he is able to play through his sprained toe.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

6. Dan Herron, Bills – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
Dan Herron only played 13-of-55 snaps against the Titans, but he saw more carries than Anthony Dixon less than a week after joining the team. If Karlos Williams (concussion) and LeSean McCoy (hamstring) are forced to miss Week 6, Herron would be the favorite to lead the backfield in touches.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

7. Zach Zenner, Lions – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
Zach Zenner played 31 snaps filling in for a benched Ameer Abdullah in the Lions’ blowout loss to the Cardinals. Abdullah should remain the lead back moving forward, but it is abundantly clear the coaching staff has a lot of faith in Zenner. With Joique Bell (ankle) injured and not effective, Abdullah fumbling everything in sight and Theo Riddick nothing more than a passing specialist, Zenner could carve out a role on the sinking ship. He is worth a speculative add in deep leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

Watch List: Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) looks much more likely to play this week than last, but it is still not guaranteed. Thomas Rawls should be held until Lynch is certain to play. … Coach John Harbaugh said Justin Forsett (ankle) has a good chance to play this week, but Buck Allen or Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot) are worth consideration on the wire. … With the offense failing, Theo Riddick has become a consistent contributor underneath. He is a must-own back in PPR. … David Johnson converted both his red-zone carries for touchdowns, but he had just one other touch in a game the Cardinals dominated. … Shane Vereen had a big game against the 49ers, but his role is not consistent enough to warrant consideration in standard leagues. … Christine Michael again played just one snap. It does not appear to be happening for him. … Bilal Powell was playing 50 percent of the offensive snaps before getting injured Week 4. … Bishop Sankey and Antonio Andrews both played behind Dexter McCluster against the Bills. It is a useless trio for fantasy. … Charles Sims seems to make a big play in the passing game very week.

Deep Cuts: Chris Thompson came back to earth Week 5, but he still should be owned in PPR formats. … Roy Helu again took over for a benched/injured Latavius Murray in the second half. … Khiry Robinson continues to be a safe bet for 7-10 touches each week. … Jonathan Stewart has yet to prove effective this season and has an injury record a mile long. Cameron Artis-Payne appears to be his handcuff. … T.J. Yeldon should be fine following a groin strain, but Toby Gerhart would be basically the only healthy back left if Yeldon is forced to miss time. Denard Robinson is still likely a couple weeks away with a sprained knee. … Jeremy Langford is the clear handcuff to Matt Forte with Jacquizz Rodgers headed to injured reserve.

1. Willie Snead, Saints – Owned in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues
All aboard the Willie Snead hype train. The undrafted sophomore out of Ball State had six catches for 141 yards against the Eagles and now has at least six targets in every game since Week 2. Snead also played more snaps against Philly than Marques Colston, who is going to miss at least a few weeks with what is believed to be a separated shoulder. Snead is clearly the No. 2 option in the passing game behind Brandin Cooks, and at this point the duo could be considered as 1A and 1B. Snead is a good bet for seven targets each week, and he should be started as a high-end WR3 Thursday night against the Falcons.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

2. Marvin Jones, Bengals – Owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
Marvin Jones managed five catches for 61 yards against the Seahawks and saw eight targets for the second time in three weeks. More importantly, Jones played more than 80 percent of the offensive snaps for the fourth week in a row. Jones will be hit or miss all season, but he is the third or fourth passing option in one of the best offenses in the league. He remains a WR3 with big weekly upside.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

3. Marquess Wilson, Bears – Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Alshon Jeffery out and Eddie Royal hurting and then out, Marquess Wilson has stepped up in a big way over the last two weeks. Wilson made a huge third-down catch to keep the game-winning drive alive against the Raiders two weeks ago, and he caught a 22-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and set up the game-winner by drawing a pass interference penalty in the Bears’ Week 5 comeback win over the Chiefs. With Jeffery perhaps suffering another setback with his injured hamstring in practice last week, Wilson could find himself in the starting role for a while longer. This is a speculative, upside add, but it is one which could pay off handsomely with Chicago headed to Detroit this weekend.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

4. Brandon LaFell, Patriots – Owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues
Brandon LaFell (foot) is reportedly “on schedule” to return Week 7 off the PUP list. Considering Aaron Dobson was a healthy scratch Week 5 against the Cowboys and the Patriots played Keshawn Martin 50 snaps, LaFell should be returning to a starting job. LaFell finished last season as a top-20 per-game scorer at the wide receiver position and had the 26th-most targets in the league. He is unlikely to be quite as involved this season, but LaFell should be an immediate WR3 with WR2 upside when he returns.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

5. Kamar Aiken, Ravens – Owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
Kamar Aiken was clearly the Ravens No. 1 receiver with Steve Smith (back) sidelined Week 5. Aiken played 64-of-70 snaps against the Browns and was targeted a team-high nine times, three more than any other pass-catcher. Aiken only managed to haul in four of the passes, but he did get loose for a 48-yard gain in the first quarter. Aiken is a replacement-level talent, but he would be in the WR3 conversation against San Francisco if Smith is forced to miss another game.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

6. Dorial Green-Beckham, Titans – Owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
Dorial Green-Beckham played 19 snaps and was not officially targeted Week 5 against the Bills though he did draw an important pass interference call on a third down in the second half. The 19 snaps were DGB’s most of the season, but it was a disappointing outing for a player the Titans were expected to integrate into the offense over the bye week. Green-Beckham still has the most natural talent of all the Titans’ outside receivers, and he should establish himself in the offense eventually. I just have a less optimistic view of when that eventually will be.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

7. DeVante Parker, Dolphins – Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
DeVante Parker only played 23 snaps Week 4 against the Jets, and his only extensive action of the season came in garbage time of the Dolphins’ Week 3 blowout loss to the Bills. He was a first-round pick, however, and Miami heads into Week 6 with a remade coaching staff sure to shake things up. One of the easiest shakeups would be to bench the ineffective Greg Jennings for Parker on the outside. No one really knows what the new coaching staff will do, but Parker is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues until the situation shakes out.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

Watch List: Josh Huff ended up playing 42 snaps against the Saints after Nelson Agholor left with an ankle injury. Agholor said he plans to play this week, but Huff will be worth a look in deeper formats if Agholor sits. … Jamison Crowder is averaging 8.6 targets a game over the last three. With DeSean Jackson on the way back, Crowder’s role is sure to shrink, but he could still be useful in deeper PPR formats. … Tavon Austin has four offensive touchdowns in five games. He scored seven offensive touchdowns in 28 games before this season. … Tyler Lockett played more than 30 snaps for the second week in a row and saw a team-high five targets. Like with Doug Baldwin, though, the Seattle passing game is not voluminous enough to make Lockett a standard league option. … Ted Ginn is clearly the No. 1 receiver in Carolina, and that means something. Perhaps Devin Funchess can get more involved coming out of the bye week. … Michael Floyd is seeing more snaps, but it is not translating into fantasy points. … Ty Montgomery has missed just three offensive snaps the last two weeks, but he has just 74 receiving yards over that span. 31 of those yards came on one touchdown play last week. … Mohamed Sanu is clearly behind Marvin Jones in the pecking order, but he has been getting enough run to be useful in deeper formats.

Deep Cuts: Justin Hunter tied for the team-lead with six targets including some high-leverage looks in the fourth quarter. We have seen this show before, but he is worth a look in deep leagues. … Dwayne Harris ended up playing the most snaps of any Giants receiver against the 49ers. He has 14 targets total the last two games. … Chris Givens had just two targets in his Ravens’ debut, but he could be the answer to Baltimore’s deep threat woes. … Charles Johnson did not practice Monday, meaning Stefon Diggs could be in line for another start. … Jaelen Strong caught two touchdowns in his first NFL action, but those were his only two targets. Keith Mumphery will remain the better play if Cecil Shorts (shoulder) and Nate Washington (hamstring) cannot go. … It is tough to trust any receiver in St. Louis, but Stedman Bailey’s offensive role has been steadily growing. ... Devin Smith has played the majority of the snaps since returning from injury.

1. Gary Barnidge, Browns – Owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues
The time to doubt Gary Barnidge has passed. Barnidge has at least six receptions in each of the last three games and has scored a touchdown in all three contests. He is a big part of a passing attack that is suddenly one of the most voluminous in the league with Josh McCown under center. Even in a tough matchup against the Broncos, Barnidge is a low-end TE1. He needs to be owned everywhere.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

2. Richard Rodgers, Packers – Owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
Richard Rodgers may not have had his most productive day, but he was more involved in the offense than at any other time this season against the Rams. Rodgers played on 92.4 percent of the offensive snaps, which was a season high, and saw eight targets, also a season high. Rodgers has been a near-every-down player since Andrew Quarless (MCL) went down, and he has 14 targets total over the last two games. He will be worth streaming consideration this week against the Chargers.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

3. Eric Ebron, Lions – Owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
Originally given a three-week timetable for his injured knee, reports surfaced last week Ebron may only end up missing one game. Even with Brandon Pettigrew back, Ebron would be a good bet for 5-7 targets if he is able to suit up against the Bears. In a week without many good options on the wire, Ebron is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

Watch List: Ladarius Green had five targets against the Steelers even with Antonio Gates off suspension. Stevie Johnson’s return from injury could take some work away from Green, but he should remain involved. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) could be back after the Bucs’ Week 6 bye. It is still unclear how big a role ASJ will have with Mike Evans back healthy. … Derek Carrier saw a disappointing three targets against the Falcons. He saved his day with a touchdown, but I expected him to be more involved. … Crockett Gillmore could be out another week with a calf injury, but Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle have done nothing with him sidelined. He will step back into a starting role. … Jacob Tamme had more than 75 yards receiving for his second time in as many healthy games. … Larry Donnell is playing a lot of snaps, but he is still just a touchdown-or-bust option.


1. Minnesota Vikings – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Vikings have a good matchup against Kansas City coming off their bye week. Minnesota has been up and down this season, but they have the personnel to get pressure against a Chiefs’ offensive line who gave up seven sacks to Green Bay and five to Cincinnati so far this season. With Jamaal Charles not in the lineup, the Vikings should be able to shut down Alex Smith at home. They are a great streaming option this week.

2. Miami Dolphins – Owned in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Dolphins DST has had a terrible start to the season, but it was not for a lack of talent. The situation with Joe Philbin and Kevin Coyle was toxic, and it almost certainly affected Miami’s defensive play. As well as the coaching change, this shapes up as a good matchup for the Dolphins. The Titans have no idea who their running back is, and Marcus Mariota has struggled as a downfield passer so far in his career. Miami should be able to get pressure and force some turnovers in a bounce-back game this week.

3. Cincinnati Bengals – Owned in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Bills’ offense has looked stuck in neutral without LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Sammy Watkins (calf) in the starting lineup. Tyrod Taylor has just 2 touchdown passes in the last two weeks and has taken six sacks waiting for the Bills’ receivers to separate. Watkins could return this week, but he is unlikely to be 100 percent even if he plays. The Bengals can get to the quarterback, and I expect them to pressure Taylor all day long, especially if Karlos Williams (concussion) cannot return and bring some respectability to the running game. *Edit - With Tyrod Taylor now expected to miss Week 6 with a sprained knee, the Bengals are clearly the No. 1 DST pickup. 

Looking Ahead: The Steelers have a surprisingly good pass rush this season and get the aforementioned struggling Chiefs’ offensive line Week 7.

1. Nick Novak, Texans – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Jaguars have had at least three field goals against in every game this season and have given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing kickers. Nick Novak converted both his field goal attempts last week against the Colts, and he is a great bet to see multiple attempts again this week.

2. Robbie Gould, Bears – Owned in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues
Robbie Gould has attempted at least two field goals in every game this season not played in Seattle, and he gets to play inside at Ford Field this week. It is a great situation for a streamer.

3. Graham Gano, Panthers – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
Graham Gano has quietly attempted at least two field goals in every game this season and has scored at least six points in every contest. He is averaging the sixth-most points among kickers per game. I would like it better if he were not playing in Seattle, but the Panthers have been good enough between the 20s and bad enough in the red zone to give me confidence they can get into field goal range even against the Seahawks.

Looking Ahead: Chandler Catanzaro has been money all season, and next week he gets the Ravens at home. Baltimore has the second-most field goal attempts against so far this season after giving up the ninth-most field goals a season ago. 

Raymond Summerlin
Raymond Summerlin is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter at @RMSummerlin.