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Waiver Wired

Waiver Wire: Week 6

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

Welcome to the 6th edition of Waiver Wired for the 2017 season. Big injuries keep coming hard and fast, with Odell Beckham suffering a season-ending ankle injury in a game the Giants lost Brandon Marshall to another season-ending ankle injury and Sterling Shepard to a less serious ankle issue. DeVante Parker exited on Sunday with an ankle injury of his own, Travis Kelce suffered a concussion, Charles Clay suffered a multi-week knee injury, and Bilal Powell came down with a calf issue. That is all without mentioning the season-ending injury to J.J. Watt. Unlike last week, however, these injuries do not create any clear fantasy value, making for a relatively thin week on the wire.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-owns, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worthy of a roster spot if possible, and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

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The Drop List
QB: Eli Manning
RB:
Jacquizz Rodgers, Jamaal Williams
WR:
Odell Beckham, Donte Moncrief
TE:
Charles Clay

I have learned too many lessons about burying Eli early, but he has to travel to Denver this week, face the Seahawks the next week, and then is on bye. With no healthy receivers, he is unlikely to be usable the next three weeks, making him a drop candidate. Rodgers could be stashed for those interested in handcuffs, but he played just 13 snaps in Doug Martin’s first game back, and that total is likely to decrease. Williams played just two snaps behind Aaron Jones against the Cowboys. I am holding Moncrief where possible, but Andrew Luck’s return keeps being pushed back while Moncrief continues to lose snaps to Kamar Aiken. Clay will hopefully return this year and be useful, but spending a bench spot on a tight end likely to miss a month does not make much sense.

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Quarterbacks
1. Jacoby Brissett
2. Case Keenum
3. Brian Hoyer

Running Backs
Aaron Jones owned in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 add if available.
1. Jerick McKinnon
2. Adrian Peterson
3. Elijah McGuire
4. Matt Breida
5. Marlon Mack
6. Alex Collins
7. D’Onta Foreman
8. Wayne Gallman
9. Orleans Darkwa

Wide Receivers
1. John Brown
2. Cooper Kupp
3. JuJu Smith-Schuster
4. Ricardo Louis
5. Nelson Agholor
6. Mike Wallace
7. Marquise Goodwin
8. Roger Lewis

Tight Ends
1. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
2. Austin Hooper
3. Jack Doyle
4. Ed Dickson
5. Tyler Higbee
6. Ryan Griffin

Defense/Special Teams
1. Atlanta Falcons
2. Washington Redskins
3. Tennessee Titans
Looking Ahead: Los Angeles Rams

Kickers
1. Dustin Hopkins
2. Brandon McManus
3. Ryan Succop
Looking Ahead: Wil Lutz

QUARTERBACKS
1. Jacoby Brissett, Colts – Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues

I shied away from Brissett last week because the 49ers are better on defense than people think, and Brissett had failed to top 10 points in two of three starts. Despite not throwing for a touchdown, Brissett topped that total against San Francisco, and he had his best day as a passer. In a very ugly week for streamers, he is an option on Monday night in a great matchup against the Titans.

2. Case Keenum, Vikings – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Keenum has not done anything special since shredding Tampa Bay, and Sam Bradford could still conceivably start this week, although he did not look anywhere near healthy on Monday night. All of that said, Keenum has a good matchup at home against the Packers, making him worth a look in a bad week.

3. Brian Hoyer, 49ers – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
Hoyer has two 300-yard, two-touchdown performances in his last three games – along with a rushing score in one – but he has accounted for zero touchdowns in his other three contests. His performance against the Colts was also far from convincing until the final quarter, and Washington has been solid against the pass this year, although they will be without Josh Norman. This is more of a dart throw, but it may be necessary in a tough week.

Watch List: It would be great if Sam Bradford were healthy enough to be on this list in a good matchup against the Packers, but he did not look anywhere close to ready on Monday night…Josh McCown is in a similar spot as Hoyer in that it is a good matchup in a game which could force him to throw, but the Patriots may have figured something out last week, and McCown’s upside looks like 200 yards and a couple touchdowns…Jared Goff came back to earth a bit against the Seahawks, and the road does not get any easier with a trip to Jacksonville on deck…The Giants’ defense has not been as good as we thought it would be, but Trevor Siemian has reverted to his low-end QB2 self since his four-touchdown day in Week 2…Jay Cutler is matchup proof in that he is not worth playing regardless of the matchup…Mitchell Trubisky did not put up the numbers to enter the streaming conversation in his first start, and he has a road date with the Ravens up next.

~RUNNING BACKS
1. Jerick McKinnon, Vikings – Owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
It appears I swung and missed on Latavius Murray. People will get way too excited about a long touchdown in which McKinnon did not have to do much except run fast, which is obviously something he is quite capable of doing, but his snap share and touch total are the real story. Murray dominated the snaps early, as he did after Dalvin Cook’s injury last week, but McKinnon took more and more work as the game went along. After Murray handled the first five carries, McKinnon out-touched him 22-to-9 the rest of the way and simply looked much better. I remain slightly skeptical considering the Vikings tried really hard to bury McKinnon on the depth chart this offseason, but he absolutely needs to be added in all leagues and looks like the Vikings back to own moving forward.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Adrian Peterson, Cardinals -- Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Saints shook up the NFL landscape on Tuesday morning by trading Peterson to the Cardinals. A bad fit in the offense with better players around him, Peterson was never going to get chances in New Orleans, so this trade at least affords him the opportunity for touches in a rushing attack which better fits his skill set. That said, that skill set appears to be diminished, and Arizona's offensive line has struggled this year. It is possible Peterson is no better than Chris Johnson, who has 114 scoreless yards on the ground the last four games, and the Cardinals are likely to remain a pass-heavy attack. Still, the opportunity makes Peterson worth a flier in all leagues, although McKinnon is a better option and McGuire is a better add for teams looking for a spot starter. 
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Elijah McGuire, Jets – Owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Bilal Powell looking likely to sit and Matt Forte seemingly not close to a return, McGuire is reportedly in line for a “heavy workload” in a great matchup against the Patriots, especially since his ability as a receiver means he will not be game-scripted out of the offense. McGuire is a great option for teams looking for a spot starter.  
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

4. Matt Breida, 49ers – Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
After Breida rushed for 49 yards on 10 carries against the Colts, coach Kyle Shanahan has decided the team will use a hot hand approach in the backfield. The game plan worked on Sunday as the rookie out-played Hyde in Indianapolis, but Hyde is clearly a better player and the better option if he is healthy. He does not appear to be fully healthy right now, however, raising the possibility Breida is able to take over the job. That still seems like a long-shot, and it is unlikely Breida gets into a position where we feel comfortable putting him in a fantasy lineup without Hyde missing a game. Still, he is worth a speculative add in all formats.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

5. Marlon Mack, Colts – Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
Mack is clearly the most explosive option in Indy’s backfield and will likely continue to create big plays if he gets a chance, which coach Chuck Pagano advocated for on Monday, but 18 of his 25 attempts so far this season have gone for three or fewer yards with negative runs on nine attempts. He will need to prove more consistent to steal enough work from Frank Gore to get in the fantasy picture, and even then it is highly unlikely he steals the lead job without an injury, making him no more than a bench stash.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

6. Alex Collins, Ravens – Owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Terrance West likely to miss some time, Collins looks set for a defined role in the backfield, but he still appears to be well behind Buck Allen in the pecking order on an offense which is not going to score a lot of points. That is not an exciting outlook, but the workload does make him worth a look in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

7. D’Onta Foreman, Texans – Owned in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
After taking a massive backseat to Lamar Miller against the Chiefs, Foreman appears to be in a similar position as Breida and Mack except the starter in Houston is both healthy and playing well. Unless that changes, Foreman is just a bench stash.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

8. Wayne Gallman, Giants – Owned in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues
9. Orleans Darkwa, Giants – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Darkwa, Gallman, and even Shane Vereen splitting touches, it is tough to get excited about any Giants back, especially with the Broncos and Seahawks up before the bye. New York may have to lean more heavily on the running game with all their receivers hurt, however, and both Gallman and Darkwa performed well against an admittedly poor Chargers run defense. Gallman looks like the better bet because Darkwa appears to be dealing with an injury, but both are worth a look in deep leagues. The same is true of Vereen in PPR formats as he could have a bigger passing-game role with the receivers banged up.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Dion Lewis has had a couple good games in a row and could be worth a look in deeper leagues, but Rex Burkhead is expected back this week, which will almost certainly cut into Lewis' already limited snap share and render both almost useless in fantasy…Theo Riddick has averaged five touches over the last three games…Matt Forte would be worth a look if he is able to return this week, but he does not seem particularly close and was not setting the world on fire even as the lead back before the injury…As we should have expected, Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, and J.D. McKissic formed a value-sapping committee against the Rams, and things will not get any better with C.J. Prosise likely to return after the bye. Rawls still looks like the best bet after he seemed to take on a larger share late in the game, but it will be at least two weeks before we can feel comfortable with him in a lineup…Gio Bernard has 15 touches total the last three games and is on bye this week…Jamaal Charles is still a bench stash if possible in deeper leagues, but it remains possible the Broncos view him as just a 10-touch player…Alfred Morris appears to be the handcuff for Ezekiel Elliott owners worried about a possible suspension…Jalen Richard saw nine carries against the Ravens, but it does not seem like DeAndre Washington’s injury is a long-term concern.

Deep Cuts: Corey Clement does not appear to be anything special, but he will continue to get work regardless of Wendell Smallwood’s health as the Eagles seem committed to a three-person committee. Kenjon Barner’s role is tied to Smallwood, but it is not likely Smallwood is back on a short week…Mike Tolbert continues to get touches behind LeSean McCoyChris Ivory has topped 40 yards on the ground in back-to-back games…Zach Zenner converted a goal-line carry against the Panthers…Charles Sims set a season-high in touches against the Patriots even with Doug Martin back in the fold…With Branden Oliver hurt, Austin Ekeler is Melvin Gordon’s handcuff.

~WIDE RECEIVERS
1. John Brown, Cardinals – Owned in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues
I was worried Arizona would limit Brown’s snaps like they did to keep him healthy late last season, but he played 80 percent and saw another seven targets including a touchdown against the Eagles. Health is always going to be a concern, but he is worth putting in lineups as long as he is on the field, especially with Arizona dropping all pretense of a running game. He needs to be owned in every league.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Cooper Kupp, Rams – Owned in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Sammy Watkins scuffling and Robert Woods up and down, Kupp may be emerging as the Rams’ No. 1 receiver. He has turned 15 targets into 104 yards and a score the last two weeks, and he should have come down with another touchdown against the Seahawks. More importantly, he has a red-zone target in every game this season including three inside the 10, which is 50 percent of Jared Goff’s attempts from inside the 10 this season. That usage is not surprising considering Kupp caught 73 touchdowns in college and coach Sean McVay has a history of using slot receivers in the red zone. Kupp is still more of a FLEX play in shallower leagues, but the upside is there in a passing game performing better than expected.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Smith-Schuster continues to make the most of his opportunities – he has seven catches for 105 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets the last two games – and has played more snaps than Martavis Bryant three games in a row. With Bryant struggling, it would not be surprising if the rookie’s role continues to grow. He is worth a stash-and-see even in shallower leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Ricardo Louis, Browns – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is possible Kenny Britt returns as the No. 1 receiver, but it seems like the Browns are happy to let him sit on the inactive list with an “injury.” A fourth-round pick last year, Louis has been Cleveland’s best receiver the last two weeks, hauling in 10-of-17 targets for 135 yards. Considering the Browns will have to throw – they are third in the league with 197 attempts – Louis will have value if he keeps the No. 1 job.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

5. Nelson Agholor, Eagles – Owned in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
Agholor had a great 72-yard touchdown against the Cardinals and now has three scores in five games, but he has not seen more than five targets since Week 1. He is worth adding with Carson Wentz playing well to see if he gets more work, but right now he is more of a bench stash than starting option in shallow leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

6. Mike Wallace, Ravens – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
I continue to be happy to fade the Ravens’ passing game, but Wallace is tough to ignore with nine catches for 188 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks. That said, his big game against the Raiders came on just three targets, and Joe Flacco has not thrown for more than 240 yards this season. At best, Wallace is going to be a WR3 during the bye weeks, but that is worth something.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

7. Marquise Goodwin, 49ers – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
It may end up being just a fluke, but Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson, who filled in for Goodwin when he exited Week 4 with a concussion, have combined for 26 targets the last two weeks. Unlike Robinson, Goodwin actually took advantage of his opportunities, and the 49ers have a reasonably favorable schedule with the Josh Norman-less Redskins, Cowboys, and Eagles in the next three weeks. Goodwin will be just a dart throw this week, but he could develop into more.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

8. Roger Lewis, Giants – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
I feel obligated to put Lewis on this list because he and the newly signed duo of Travis Rudolph and Tavarres King may be the only healthy receivers on the roster this weekend. That said, it will be almost impossible to trust Lewis in Denver this week or at home against the Seahawks next week, and it is possible Sterling Shepard will be able to play in both games. At best, Lewis will be a desperation FLEX type the next two weeks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Marqise Lee appears to be the No. 1 receiver in Jacksonville, but that is unlikely to return consistent fantasy value in a low-volume passing attack helmed by Blake BortlesJaron Brown surprisingly saw his snap share cut against the Eagles after it looked like John Brown was stealing snaps exclusively from J.J. Nelson last week. Arizona has a couple good matchups upcoming, but it will tough to trust either Jaron or Nelson with John healthy…Cole Beasley scored twice against the Packers but failed to top 35 yards just like in every other game this season. This has the look of an outlier for a guy who had not found the end zone since Week 11 of last season and had one red-zone target entering Sunday…It is certainly possible Jermaine Kearse or Robby Anderson has a big game in a good spot against the Patriots, but picking the right one will be difficult. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the best bet in the passing game…Ted Ginn was not a consistent fantasy option early in the season, and now Willie Snead is likely back…Torrey Smith got his long touchdown against the Cardinals, but it remains unlikely he returns consistent fantasy value…Mike Williams is finally expected to make his debut this week, but it is difficult to see a big early role after he missed basically the entire offseason and the first five games. He is a fine stash in deep leagues, though…Eric Decker has yet to surpass 50 yards in a game this season and has not found the end zone…It does not seem like DeVante Parker is going to miss any time, and it is not like Jay Cutler is playing well enough to get excited about Kenny Stills…With Mohamed Sanu out, perhaps Taylor Gabriel or Justin Hardy can return some value, but Austin Hooper is the better bet for a target bump…Adam Humphries remains interesting in PPR formats, but he will be matchup dependent in standard…Josh Doctson remains at best a bench stash...Kendall Wright had a decent game on Monday night and is worth a look in PPR leagues, but I want to see more from Trubisky before investing in any pass catchers.

Deep Cuts: A running back at this point, Tavon Austin has 12 rushes for 75 yards and a touchdown the last two weeks. If that continues, he could carve out some deep-league value…Brice Butler has played better than Terrance Williams this year, and it is possible the Cowboys decide to get him some more snaps over the bye…Kamar Aiken has been playing more snaps than Donte Moncrief and has 12 targets in his last two games. That probably will not matter much with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, but it could result in value once Andrew Luck returns…With Chris Conley out for the season, Demarcus Robinson should take over as at worst the No. 3 receiver…It may not matter because the Jaguars’ passing game is so low-volume, but Dede Westbrook is on track to return when first eligible Week 9…Bruce Ellington is clearly the No. 3 receiver in Houston, but it has not resulted in many fantasy points so far.

~TIGHT ENDS
1. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets – Owned in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues
Seferian-Jenkins is not quite in the weekly start conversation because of the offense – he only managed 29 yards on six catches against the Browns and has yet to top 50 yards in three games – but he will continue to be an option in good matchups. Even with the defense playing better, the Patriots still gave up a 5/68/1 line to Cameron Brate last week. In a game which could force the Jets to throw more than usual, ASJ is a good option.

2. Austin Hooper, Falcons – Owned in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu sidelined, Hooper finally got some targets before the bye, hauling in 5-of-7 looks for 50 yards. Jones should be back against the Dolphins, but Sanu, who is a bigger threat to Hooper’s target share, is likely to sit. In a plus matchup, Hooper should be a good option if he gets the targets.

3. Jack Doyle, Colts – Owned in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues
Assuming Doyle returns from his concussion this week, he will be in a good spot against the Titans with Jacoby Brissett coming off his best passing performance of the year. Doyle has averaged seven targets in his last three games.

4. Ed Dickson, Panthers – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
Dickson cannot be left off this list after averaging almost 30 yards on eight catches the last two weeks, but the Eagles have been pretty good against tight ends traditionally and this season aside from Travis Kelce. This seems like a classic let-down situation, but his recent production makes it worth a shot.

5. Tyler Higbee, Rams – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
Higbee is a bit of a dart throw, but he is a talented pass catcher who has 14 targets in the last two games and gets a pretty good matchup against a Jaguars defense which can funnel targets to tight ends. He is probably not an option in 10-team leagues with several streaming possibilities available, but he is worth a look in deeper formats.

6. Ryan Griffin, Texans – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
Attacking Cleveland should be the idea every week for tight-end streamers, but Houston presents a difficult situation after Stephen Anderson caught two passes for 63 yards Week 5. Griffin played 36 more snaps, but he only ran five more routes. Griffin is the better bet, but it would not be surprising if he disappoints.

Watch List: George Kittle exploded on the final drive of regulation with five catches and a game-tying touchdown to post easily his best day as a pro, and he has a good matchup with Washington this week. Playing him is a leap of faith, however, after he failed to top 35 yards each of the first four games…A.J. Derby is in a similar situation as Kittle. Following a disappointing start to the season, Derby had himself a breakout game before the bye. Again, playing him even in a good matchup requires a leap of faith, but it may end up being the right call…It is impossible to trust Ben Watson right now outside of deep PPR leagues…The targets were nice and the tipped-pass touchdown was even better for Zach Miller, but Trubisky did not show enough Monday night to invest in the passing game…Antonio Gates has another good matchup, but he has still yet to top 30 yards this season…Jesse James is in a similar spot as Gates minus the good matchup…Coby Fleener has six catches his last three games, and Willie Snead should be back…David Njoku has three touchdowns in the last four games, but Week 5 was his first with more than 30 yards (48) and he has yet to catch more than three passes while splitting time with Seth DeValve.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

1. Atlanta Falcons – Owned in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
Even with injuries along the defensive front, the Falcons have gotten consistent pressure early in the season, and Vic Beasley could return this week. That pressure should result in turnovers at some point, and at home against the Dolphins is a good place to start.

2. Washington Redskins – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
Washington’s defense has exceeded expectations so far this year, and their 12 sacks were tied for third in the league heading into the bye. They should be able to keep it going at home against the 49ers.

3. Tennessee Titans – Owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
This is obviously assuming Andrew Luck does not play. The Colts have allowed at least three sacks in every game this season along with four DST touchdowns.

Looking Ahead:
The Rams have not been great at limiting points, but they do have 15 sacks and have forced nine turnovers. With Arizona unable to block anyone, they should be a good option next week.

KICKERS
1. Dustin Hopkins, Redskins – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
Hopkins registered eight attempts in the three games prior to the bye, and he is at home to face a 49ers squad which has seen multiple attempts in every game this season and eight total the last two weeks.  

2. Brandon McManus, Broncos – Owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues
After a slow start, McManus attempted seven kicks in the two games before the bye, and he has a good matchup at home against the Giants, who have faced the third-most kicks this season. 

3. Ryan Succop, Titans – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
Even with two tough games in a row, Succop remains among the lead leaders in attempts and fantasy points, and there is a chance Marcus Mariota will return this week. He should get back on the right track in a great matchup at home against the Colts.

Looking Ahead: Wil Lutz is an option this week against the Lions, but he will be an even better option in what should be a shootout against the Packers in Week 7. 

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