After a wild week of football action, the Week 6 waiver wire in fantasy football is chock full of compelling names to consider.
A handful of wide receivers had huge performances this week. One backup quarterback could be a very popular addition. Several running backs could see their roles increase this week. Why, it’s enough to get a fantasy nut all giddy just thinking about it.
Let’s break down this week’s most intriguing waiver options.
Note: All stats, ownership percentages and points-against averages via ESPN standard-scoring leagues.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Surprisingly, Justin Blackmon is owned in just 20 percent of leagues. While it’s easy to understand why owners wouldn’t want to roster him while he served a suspension to start the season, surely he should have been added in more leagues before this weekend.
Those who didn’t bring him aboard missed out on five catches for 136 yards and a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams. He’s more talented than Cecil Shorts and was targeted nine times, just one less than his receiving counterpart.
With Chad Henne returning as the starter due to Blaine Gabbert’s injury, Blackmon’s stock will probably actually rise. He should be owned in all formats and considered, at worst, a flex candidate across the board.
Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders
Terrelle Pryor is owned in just 32.5 percent of ESPN leagues, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. In the four games he’s played, he’s scored 18 or more fantasy points three times. He’s a threat with his legs, having rushed for a total of 229 yards.
And, most importantly, he’s remaining patient in the pocket, keeping his eyes downfield, extending plays and making smart and accurate throws when he’s forced to move outside the tackles. He’s protecting the ball, with just two interceptions on the season, and the Oakland Raiders look much more dangerous on offense when he’s in the game.
I’m firmly planted on the Pryor bandwagon. He’s a definite QB2 at this point and is worth a spot start in certain matchups. If he’s available, go out and get him.
Willis McGahee, RB, Cleveland Browns
Willis McGahee isn’t a sexy waiver addition, but he’s the clear starter in the Cleveland Browns’ backfield and rushed 26 times for 72 yards and a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills.
He’s owned in just 22.2 percent of ESPN leagues, so owners needing a bye-week running back should give McGahee a look. Seeing as the Browns stuck with him near the goal line against Buffalo, McGahee should be able to notch a few touchdowns even if his yardage totals continue to be modest.
Go out and get him.
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy didn’t exactly light up fantasy scoreboards during his first start on Sunday, rushing 14 times for 78 yards. But he did look good in the role, bringing a physicality between the tackles to a St. Louis Rams running attack that has been terrible this season.
Per Nick Wagoner of ESPN, “The Rams were 30th in the league in yards after contact going into Sunday’s game with an average of 1.15 yards after contact per rush.”
But Stacy ran tough and looked much better than Daryl Richardson, who rushed 13 times for just 48 yards. You probably don’t want to be in a position where you are starting Stacy just yet, but he’s definitely worth adding and looks like the running back you’ll want to own from the Rams.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
After making four catches for 151 yards and a touchdown against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Terrance Williams landed firmly in the fantasy spotlight. But can he stay there?
As long as Miles Austin remains out with a hamstring injury, Williams will remain the Dallas Cowboys’ No. 2 wide receiver behind Dez Bryant. That may not have value every week, but with Washington on the schedule this Sunday—27 points allowed to opposing wide receivers per week—it matters in the short-term.
If Austin can’t play, Williams is worthy of flex consideration. Regardless, he’s a nice stash grab on the waiver wire this week.
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
I’ve already gone into more depth with my thoughts on Allen, which you check out here. I’ll provide the abridged version below.
Essentially, Allen is the San Diego wide receiver I would want to own moving forward, but Vincent Brown has been targeted more (31 targets to 19), and Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead seem to be Philip Rivers’ favorite targets.
Still, I love Allen as a stash grab. He’s been brilliant in the past two weeks, with 11 catches for 195 yards and a score, so he should be on your radar. However, until he solidifies himself as the top receiver over Brown, I’m not convinced he’s a player you should be starting.
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
For Michael Vick owners, Nick Foles is a must-add this week. For everyone else, a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ pass defense—12.5 fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks per week—is worth ignoring.
At the moment, it looks as though Vick will not only miss the Week 6 game, but could also miss a Week 7 date against the Dallas Cowboys as well. As backups go, Foles is pretty solid—he was excellent in relief duty on Sunday, finishing 16-of-25 for 197 yards and two touchdowns (15 fantasy points) in a little over a half of play.
He may be worth a stash for that Week 7 contest against a porous Dallas pass defense, but only Vick owners should be scrambling to add him this week.
Garrett Graham, TE, Houston Texans
Even playing second fiddle at tight end to Owen Daniels this year, Garrett Graham has managed to catch 15 passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns, scoring eight or more fantasy points in three of five weeks.
But with the possibility that Daniels could miss a few weeks to injury, Graham’s stock will seriously rise for fantasy owners. From John McClain of the Houston Chronicle:
The Texans are worried that TE Owen Daniels’ fibula injury could be serious enough to cause him to miss a few weeks.
In Daniel’s stead, Graham becomes a low-end TE1 in 12- and 14-team leagues and a worthy addition as a high-end TE2 in 10-team leagues.
Austin Pettis, WR, St. Louis Rams
Tavon Austin? Nah. Chris Givens? Not so much. Austin Pettis?
Believe it or not, he’s the wide receiver on the St. Louis Rams that has been the most productive for fantasy owners. Who saw that one coming?
Pettis is second on the Rams in receptions (22), second in receiving yards (222), second in targets (36), first in receiving touchdowns (four) and first in fantasy points (43). Austin continues to see a ton of targets but hasn’t done much with his chances. Givens was a darling of fantasy pundits this summer (this one included), but has yet to score a touchdown.
There are higher-upside receivers to add on the wire this week, but if you miss out on the top options, Pettis is worth a look. Simply put, he continues to produce for the Rams, unlike his higher-profile teammates.
Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
I’m not a big fan of Rueben Randle as a waiver addition, mostly because the Philadelphia Eagles have made a lot of secondary options in the passing game look like the second coming of Jerry Rice this season.
- Week 1: Leonard Hankerson registered 20 fantasy points against Philly.
- Week 2: Eddie Royal put up 27.
- Week 3, Donnie Avery scored 14.
- Week 4: Just about every receiving option on the Denver Broncos had a big fantasy week.
Yes, his six receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns were impressive. But more than likely, his performance was also an outlier. Randle will be a popular waiver addition this week, but there are better options for fantasy owners.
Marcel Reece, RB, Oakland Raiders
Here’s what we know—Darren McFadden didn’t play in Week 6, and Rashad Jennings didn’t play in the second half after suffering a hamstring injury. In their stead, Reece rushed seven times for 32 yards in the second half.
It’s pretty simple, folks—if neither McFadden nor Jennings can go this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, Reece is worth adding. The Chiefs have been tough against the run this year—allowing just 12 fantasy points a game to opposing running backs—but for owners hurting at the position, Reece is a logical addition.
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Let’s compare Andre Ellington to Rashard Mendenhall in the Arizona Cardinals backfield this weekend.
- Andre Ellington: 30 snaps, seven rushes for 52 yards, four receptions for 31 yards, eight fantasy points.
- Rashard Mendenhall: 30 snaps, 17 rushes for 43 yards and a touchdown, two receptions for seven yards, 10 fantasy points.
Can you say timeshare?
Mendenhall is going to receive more carries and, more importantly than that, he’ll continue to get the goal-line work. But Ellington is the more compelling talent and does a lot more with his opportunities, though his role probably won’t expand beyond what it is now.
From Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports:
Arians mentioned Ellington role will be about 30-32 snaps per game, doesn’t have the body type to take on more throughout a 16 game season.
— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) October 7, 2013
Still, if that means a straight split with Mendenhall, don’t be surprised when Ellington becomes the better fantasy commodity. He’s worth a stash add.
Ted Ginn, WR, Carolina Panthers
I’ve banged the Ted Ginn drum before, and I’m going to bang it again this week.
Did you know that Ginn has 33 fantasy points in his past three games? That he has the most fantasy points of any Carolina Panthers receiver? That his average depth of reception via Pro Football Focus (subscription required) is 21.9, tops in the NFL, meaning he’s Cam Newton‘s favorite deep threat?
Sure, Ginn’s production may not be sustainable, seeing as he has just 18 targets on the year, fourth on the Panthers. But as long as he continues to produce, he’s worth rostering, especially in deeper leagues.
Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints
Pierre Thomas has dangled the carrot in front of fantasy owners before, only to pull it away as naive owners everywhere start him in their lineups and forget about the fluid and unpredictable usage in the New Orleans Saints’ backfield.
Yes, his nine rushes for 36 yards, nine receptions for 55 yards and two touchdowns and 20 fantasy points this Sunday will make him a tempting addition on waivers this week. But remember, folks, in the Saints backfield you never quite know who will perform from week to week.
Last season, Thomas had just five games with seven or more fantasy points. His breakout in Week 5 was his first performance with more than five fantasy points this season. Yes, he has a bit of extra value if Mark Ingram remains out to injury, but he’s not a player I would trust to produce.
Kris Durham, WR, Detroit Lions
With Calvin Johnson out to injury, Kris Durham was the most productive wide receiver for the Detroit Lions against the Green Bay Packers, catching three passes for 30 yards (on a team-high eight targets) and one touchdown.
He was certainly better than a player much more widely owned, Ryan Broyles (owned in 49.4 percent of ESPN leagues), who had two catches for 27 yards on his only two targets of the game.
While his targets will decrease once Megatron returns, Durham looks as though he’ll be the No. 2 wide receiver in a high-volume passing attack, giving him some fantasy potential. There are obviously better players out there to add this week, but if you miss out on the top pass-catchers, you could do worse than Durham.
Hit me up on Twitter—I’ll answer your fantasy lineup questions, make ill-fated NFL predictions and tweet knee-slapping jokes. Well, the first two things, at least.
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