Welcome to the Week 6 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2019 season. This past week admittedly lent few injuries to react to compared to recent weeks, so consider this edition top-heavy and laced with streaming and stash-worthy scraps after the clear-cut priorities. Fortunately, even the worst options (read: Dolphins and Redskins) are in a position to help without John Brown, Allen Robinson, T.Y. Hilton, Marlon Mack, Darren Waller, and Josh Jacobs (among others) available on Sunday.
As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended adds are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list contains in-depth notes on players who are worthy of roster spots if possible, and deep cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.
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This week’s Drop List is more about standing your ground as opposed to cutting bait. Jimmy Garoppolo almost qualified with finishes as fantasy’s QB25 > QB6 > QB29 > QB15 through four games, but this week’s high-paced matchup against the Rams makes him a Top 12 starter in what should be one of Week 6’s highest-scoring affairs. Los Angeles has also been pummeled by Jameis Winston (29.3 fantasy points) and Russell Wilson (29.9) the past two games after unsurprisingly quieting an injured Cam Newton, interim Teddy Bridgewater, and stumbling Baker Mayfield to start the year. Depending on your roster size, it’s not the worst idea to shed Daniel Jones prior to his impossible short turnaround against the Patriots for one of the listed streaming options (see below). Same goes for Wayne Gallman (concussion, out) since Saquon Barkley’s (ankle, out) eyeing a Week 7 return. Jacoby Brissett can be dropped if only because the Colts hit their bye this week. Miles Sanders nearly made the cut, but Darren Sproles’ (quad) extended absence now keeps the rookie at the forefront of passing game usage among Philadelphia’s backfield. Robby Anderson (64%) was legitimately the only receiver I spotted over the 50% qualifying barrier who would even be considered ‘droppable’ this week, but Sam Darnold’s pending return at the very least keeps the 26-year-old wideout as an unplayable bench stash.
Overall Top 5
For those simply looking to roster the best player available regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus the actual positions. These are listed in the precise order I’d prioritize waiver claims in Week 6. Edmonds would take over the lead spot if we get confirmation mid-week that David Johnson’s (back) trending towards sitting.
Handcuff Top 5
For those refusing to stand pat and itching for an end-of-roster stash, the above list was carefully assembled to highlight league-winners in the event the player ahead of them misses any time. Presumed snaps, carries, targets, and the play-calling each are tied to have been factored in. This list could adjust weekly based on current situations.
Michael Gallup rostered in 67 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.
DK Metcalf rostered in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 add if available.
1. Auden Tate
2. Diontae Johnson
3. Darius Slayton
4. Byron Pringle
5. Jamison Crowder
6. Preston Williams
7. DeVante Parker
Dallas Cowboys rostered in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available (and Luke Falk starts).
1. Carolina Panthers
2. Kansas City Chiefs
1. Kirk Cousins, Vikings – Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 8% FAAB Bid)
Only one week after (finally) showing competency in connecting on 81.4 percent of his passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns, Cousins is gifted another plus matchup against Philadelphia’s No. 23 pass defense DVOA that was buzz-sawed by Case Keenum (27.2 fantasy points), Matt Ryan (19.1), Matthew Stafford (12.1), and Aaron Rodgers (25.4) before retiring Luke Falk behind the Jets’ washed o-line in Week 5. Minnesota’s pass-pro is out-matched here, but note Cousins’ 75 percent adjusted completion rate (which excludes drops) despite being under duress at a top-three mark (43.7%) this season. He’ll have his chances (indoors nonetheless) and should be able to capitalize seeing as how 5-of-6 touchdowns Philly’s allowed through the air this year have occurred on the sidelines, where both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have primarily lined up through five games.
2. Gardner Minshew, Jaguars – Rostered in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues (7%)
Minshew has yet to finish outside the Top 16 at his position, recording at least 16 fantasy points in all five outings. As a fearless gunslinger whose 3.8 rushing opportunities per game keep his floor relatively high, it makes zero sense as to why he’s still so universally available. He’s more of a weekly 12-team starter than streaming option, and Week 6’s matchup at home against the Saints is no exception. Plug him in with confidence.
3. Andy Dalton, Bengals — Rostered in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues (5%)
You know something’s awry when an undrafted rookie comes off the bench and marches down the field with ease. The fact is Baltimore’s defense continues garnering too much respect despite having been diced for three Top 15 finishes by Kyler Murray (QB13), Patrick Mahomes (QB3) and Baker Mayfield (QB15) before Mason Rudolph and “Devlin Hodges” combined for 199 yards and one score in an overtime win last week. It’s Dalton’s turn to take advantage in what should be negative game script throughout.
1. Chase Edmonds, Cardinals – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 15% FAAB Bid)
Edmonds logged season-highs in carries (8) and targets (4) against the Bengals, but he’s Week 6’s most important waiver pickup if only because David Johnson (back) flew home early with back tightness that was “so uncomfortable he couldn’t sit at his locker” postgame. It’s easy to label any backup runner as a top option if the player ahead of him sits (see Wayne Gallman), but the role of Arizona’s starting running back is the golden ticket that’s recorded the second-most targets (25) behind Austin Ekeler (28) in the last three weeks. Edmonds’ value depends entirely on Johnson’s status, but it’s best to bid aggressively with the idea you’re rostering a Top 10 option for Week 6.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues
2. Rex Burkhead, Patriots – Rostered in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues (10%)
If anything, Burkhead will probably be dropped in your standard 12-team league given his recent injury woes. But all signs point to him returning and playing the same 10-touch role on 35 percent of New England’s snaps as he did behind Sony Michel and James White in the team’s first two contests. Rookie Damien Harris (healthy scratched in Week 5) is clearly a non-factor, stamping this backfield as a three-way timeshare whenever Burkhead’s past his nagging foot injury.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues
3. Adrian Peterson, Redskins – Rostered in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues (3%)
The fact Peterson’s even ranked shows you the straws we’re grasping in Week 6. Interim coach Bill Callahan is already on record of wanting to #EstablishIt, and this Sunday makes for the perfect (and only) time to do so against Miami’s historically awful defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points per game (34) to opposing running backs. It’s no secret the Redskins have been just awful at that plan, averaging 3.2 YPC on first-down rushes, but Peterson at the very least will have goal-to-go reps all to himself. Don’t break the bank even if looking for a one-week sub over Frank Gore/David Montgomery/Marlon Mack/Josh Jacobs.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues
Watch List: Sunday marked the first time all of Kansas City's backs were available since Week 1 and Darrel Williams failed to record a single touch on 14 snaps behind Damien Williams (35) and LeSean McCoy (14). Damien conspicuously handled 100 percent of Kansas City’s carries, but that doesn’t teach us much since they only ran the ball nine times against the Colts. If your roster can withstand it, I’d hold Darrel one more week to see how this situation shakes out. He obviously only needs one of Damien or McCoy to lose out or miss time to hit value…Raheem Mostert mixed in for 24 snaps behind Matt Breida (26) and Tevin Coleman (26) Monday night, but 5 of his 7 carries occurred in the fourth quarter. This is unexpectedly going to be a two-man show in competitive games moving forward…Gus Edwards has frequently been a gnat on 27.9 percent of Baltimore’s snaps to date, but two-score game script (-11) at home over the Bengals could result in a few additional touches…Ito Smith sprinkled in well before the Falcons trailed by two scores, inevitably logging season-highs in snap rate (47.3%) and targets (6). The Falcons aren’t providing any holes up the middle — hence their No. 25 Adjusted Line Yards (3.57) ranking at Football Outsiders — but Smith qualifies as a deep roster stash if his passing game usage ultimately continues.
Deep Leagues: You’ll see other sites suggesting to pick up Jon Hilliman now that both Saquon Barkley (ankle) and Wayne Gallman (concussion) have been ruled out, but it’s just not worth the FAAB unless you’re desperate. Not only should Barkley be back for Week 7, New York’s expected to call up Austin Walter from their practice squad prior to kick-off Thursday…We got a taste of what Reggie Bonnafon (5/80/1) could do if Christian McCaffrey ever gets hurt (knock on wood) on 27 touches per game in his race for MVP honors. Treat him as a handcuff accordingly.