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Week 6 already? How the time flies when you’re
having fun playing fantasy football. As we look ahead to the week 6 waiver wire pickups, I will list the must add players that should be owned in all formats, and then a few sleepers to keep an eye on that can be looked at in deeper leagues.
All % owned numbers come from Yahoo fantasy football leagues
Harry Douglas – Atlanta Falcons (6% owned)
A late-comer to the must add list, Harry Douglas is now primed to make a big leap from fantasy obscurity to WR3 status. With the news that Julio Jones is expected to miss the remainder of the season, and Roddy White continuing to deal with a high ankle sprain, Douglas will find himself thrust into the WR1/2 role for Atlanta. In the Falcons uptempo offense, they will continue to throw the ball, and even when White returns, Harry will see his share of targets on a weekly basis. If you are still hanging onto a struggling WR like Lance Moore or Ryan Broyles, Harry is the pickup for you! Note – Douglas is on bye for week 6, but you need to make the pickup this week before he starts turning in big games.
Marcel Reece – Oakland Raiders (7% owned)
Rashad Jennings suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of the late game on Sunday night (against SD) and was unable to return for the second half. Darren McFadden is already doubtful for the week ahead, meaning we should see a resurgence in Marcel Reece‘s value – remember this is the same back who filled in for McFadden last season, and during a 3 week stretch ran the ball 47 times for 225 yards (4.78 YPC) while adding an additional 15 receptions for 175 yards. That was on a team with no Terrelle Pryor to help keep defenses honest. In week 5, Reece saw 7 carries for 32 yards, and added an additional 3 receptions for 25 yards. He is currently averaging 5.2 YPC on the season (9 carries for 47 yards), and against a tough KC defense should be considered a flex play in all leagues. If you need RB help/depth, this could be the one week plug n’ play you have been looking for.
Zac Stacy – St. Louis Rams (18% owned)
Jeff Fisher confirmed on Monday that Stacy would remain his “starter” for the foreseeable future (which in his world might be a week). Stacy ran the ball 14 times for 78 yards, and the fantasy football world is all aflutter with the newest feature back in the NFL. Yes, Stacy is a must add, but lets be clear on something, Daryl Richardson still ran the ball 13 times. If that isn’t a committee I don’t know what is! The Rams were facing the lowly Jaguars, so they were able to hang their hat on the run game, and, as you would expect, Stacy averaged a solid 5.6 YPC. If you have a high waiver priority, and are interested in bamboozling your league mates, I would make this one of my top waiver wire pickups, who I would then try to turn around and sell. Get some value off this guy off the wire, and I think you are making a solid move. Fisher is quickly becoming synonymous with Shanahan in my world, and I don’t trust any of the RB’s in St. Louis to emerge as fantasy standouts.
Willis McGahee – Cleveland Browns (47% owned)
Adding new meaning to the word workhorse, Willis McGahee carried the ball 26 times (71 yards) for the Browns in week 5, and with the injury to Brian Hoyer, it looks like Willis will continue to see a heavy workload going forward. The 71 yards obviously aren’t great, but all backs that handle 20+ carries per week must be owned in fantasy football, and McGahee certainly fits that mold. He will be a weekly flex option in 10 and 12 team leagues, and we should see him owned in 85% or more of leagues after waivers open for week 6.
Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints (49% owned)Heading into week 5 against the Bears, Thomas had 29 carries for just 101 yards (including a 1 yard rushing performance in week 4), and he was actually more useful in the passing game accounting for 111 yards over that same time frame (19 receptions). TD’s on the season? Nada, zilch, 0. Until week 5 of course..where he caught 2 TD passes to go with 9 receptions for 55 yards. The thing that makes him a must add? The 19 carries (for a paltry 36 yards). With Mark Ingram on the trading block in New Orleans, it looks like coach Sean Payton is putting his trust in Thomas. Both Khiry Robinson and Darren Sproles will obviously see their touches, but Thomas is slowly asserting himself as the feature back in this offense, and did I mention that any player who sees 20+ touches should be added?
Sleepers/ Players to keep an eye on
Rueben Randle – New York Giants (37% owned)
Another 2 TD performance in week 5 came from the Giants slot receiver Rueben Randle. There will be plenty of fantasy owners looking to jump on this bandwagon heading towards week 6, but looking at the game stats, Randle’s performance came at the expense of Victor Cruz. Cruz didn’t find the end zone, and was limited to just 5 receptions for 48 yards, while Randle caught 6 passes for 96 yards and 2 TD’s. If you play in deep leagues where you are desperate for WR help, you can make a speculative pickup, but Randle still plays third fiddle behind Nicks and Cruz for the Giants offense.
Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles (2% owned)
In a 2 QB format? Upgrade Foles to must add status. Michael Vick was seen grabbing his hamstring in week 5 against the Giants, and it was Nick Foles who came in late in the 2nd quarter to lead the Eagles to victory. Keep an eye on the injury report leading up to the opening of waivers, if Vick is expected to miss a few weeks with the hammy injury, Foles will be a high upside QB2 in the Eagles uptempo offense.LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots (41% owned)With Mr. Ridley a late scratch leading up to week 5, and Brandon Bolden hurting, it was Blount who received the lions share of the carries against the Bengals. Cincy has a solid front 7, and they contained Blount to the tune of 12 carries for 51 yards (and 1 fumble lost). Ridley had a thigh bruise, so his status for week 6 is up in the air, and the Patriots would be smart to turn to Bolden (who is also hurting), so Blount is a stash at best right now as we wait to see what happens with the Pats injury report this week.Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants (5% owned)Coming into week 5, Jacobs had 11 carries for 11 yards and a TD. Yep, that is a whopping 1 yard per carry, and yet when David Wilson went down to a nasty looking neck injury in week 5, it was up to Jacobs to carry the load for the Giants. This obviously isn’t a guy that you will count on to get you 100 yards per week, but as long as Wilson is out, the only RB’s left on the roster are Jacobs and rookie Michael Cox. Initial reports have Wilson’s neck injury labeled as “not serious”, so there may be nothing to see here, but if David misses week 6, Jacobs may be considered a low end flex play.UPDATE – The Giants re-signed Da’Rel Scott on Monday (10/7). Expect Scott to see about the same amount of snaps as Jacobs, with Brandon handling the majority of the goal line work. Both players are big gambles on a short week, that probably shouldn’t be added unless you are desperate.Austin Pettis – St. Louis Rams (10% owned)Nothing to see here folks, Pettis simply caught 4 passes for 49 yards and 2 TD’s for the Rams in their week 5 win over the Jaguars, but the wide receiver situation remains the same here for fantasy owners. Pettis, Givens, and Tavon Austin will all catch their share of passes and TD’s this season, but there is no consistency from any of them, and they should all be viewed as waiver wire fodder at this point (yes, even Tavon). Jeff Fisher just loves to use all of the tools at his disposal, which is fantasy owner’s kryptonite.Terrance Williams – Dallas Cowboys (16% owned)Williams could actually end up being a pretty decent week 6 waiver week pickup. In week 5’s action against the Broncos, Williams hauled in all 4 targets for 151 yards and a TD (On an 82 yard bomb from Romo). With Miles Austin hurting, it will basically be Williams battling with Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley for playing time, and Terrance should see the majority of snaps. So why will Williams be a name to consider? A looming matchup with the Washington Resdkins in week 6 and their weak secondary. Obviously the majority of attention will once again be focused on Dez Bryant, and Williams should have a solid chance at 5-6 receptions, 70-90 yards, and a TD (assuming Romo continues to play well). If you have a WR on bye, or injured, Williams could be a solid WR3 fill in for the week ahead.Ronnie Brown – San Diego Chargers (1% owned)With Ryan Mathews going down to concussion, and Danny Woodhead not running away with the starting RB job, it could be Ronnie Brown seeing the early down work for the Chargers in week 6. Woodhead projects as more of a third down/ change of pace back who wouldn’t be able to handle a full workload, so while everyone else is trying to swing a deal for Danny, you can run over to the waiver wire and scoop up Ronnie. He will be no better than a flex option, but you can never have enough starting RB’s on your roster/bench.Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers (4% owned)Make that two solid weeks in a row for the young WR. As Eddie Royal continues to falter (as expected..) it is Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen who will be emerging as the top threats in the Chargers passing game. Week 4, Allen caught 5 balls for 80 yards, Week 5 he caught 6 passes for 115 yards and a TD. If he continues to grow exponentially… well, we know that won’t happen, but the Chargers are a team that will be playing from behind quite often this year, and with the issues at RB, Allen could become a legitimate threat in the passing game. While he isn’t a must add yet, you can be sure that Keenan will be grabbed in deeper 12 team formats as a WR4/ Flex play option for week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts