NFL Waiver Wire: Week 6 Deep Dive

NFL Waiver Wire: Week 6 Deep Dive

This article is part of our NFL Waiver Wire series.

Writing one of the weekly waiver wire articles gives some interesting insight as to the flow of the NFL season. In the early weeks, this column was dominated by wide receivers as we tried to take advantage of some ambiguous groups. Since that started to stabilize, we've begun to see significant turnover at running back. That position – for the time being – offers the better options on which to speculate.

Quarterbacks

Justin Fields vs. Commanders (27 percent ESPN)

Fields still lacks the passing volume we'd want to see to comfortably start a fantasy quarterback. But there are a few signs of hope. First is that Fields has attempted over 20 passes in each of his last two games, something he didn't do in each of the Bears' first three contests. He's also been fairly efficient with that opportunity, averaging 8.9 yards per attempt. Fields has also started to use his legs more with over 45 rushing yards in each of his last three appearances.   

Zach Wilson at Packers (16 percent ESPN) 

Wilson was pushed into full-game manager mode in Week 5 as the Dolphins were forced to play their third-string quarterback for the entire game. The schedule doesn't get much better as the Jets face the Packers, Broncos, Patriots and Bills prior to their bye week, but Wilson could have to lead some comeback efforts surrounded by a skilled group of pass catchers.

Matt Ryan vs. Jaguars (14 percent ESPN)

Ryan hasn't looked great as the Colts' starting

Writing one of the weekly waiver wire articles gives some interesting insight as to the flow of the NFL season. In the early weeks, this column was dominated by wide receivers as we tried to take advantage of some ambiguous groups. Since that started to stabilize, we've begun to see significant turnover at running back. That position – for the time being – offers the better options on which to speculate.

Quarterbacks

Justin Fields vs. Commanders (27 percent ESPN)

Fields still lacks the passing volume we'd want to see to comfortably start a fantasy quarterback. But there are a few signs of hope. First is that Fields has attempted over 20 passes in each of his last two games, something he didn't do in each of the Bears' first three contests. He's also been fairly efficient with that opportunity, averaging 8.9 yards per attempt. Fields has also started to use his legs more with over 45 rushing yards in each of his last three appearances.   

Zach Wilson at Packers (16 percent ESPN) 

Wilson was pushed into full-game manager mode in Week 5 as the Dolphins were forced to play their third-string quarterback for the entire game. The schedule doesn't get much better as the Jets face the Packers, Broncos, Patriots and Bills prior to their bye week, but Wilson could have to lead some comeback efforts surrounded by a skilled group of pass catchers.

Matt Ryan vs. Jaguars (14 percent ESPN)

Ryan hasn't looked great as the Colts' starting signal caller, but it's also easy to overreact to his latest performance because it was an island game. Prior to that, he posted at least 15 fantasy points in standard scoring formats in three of four outings. That's not spectacular, but that's a usable threshold as bye weeks begin.

Kenny Pickett vs. Buccaneers (10 percent ESPN)

The stat sheet hasn't been particularly kind to Pickett through his first game-and-a-half as the Steelers' starter, but the club has shown they aren't afraid to let him take to the air. Pittsburgh is likely to be playing from behind a lot this season, which should benefit Pickett and his skilled receiving corps from a fantasy perspective.

Mac Jones at Browns (nine percent ESPN) 

Jones is practicing in limited fashion as he attempts to return from a high ankle sprain. He's attempted at least 30 passes in every game this season to provide some floor.

P.J. Walker at Rams (one percent ESPN)

To be as transparent as possible, I don't expect Walker to be very successful in his stint as Carolina's starter, but it's worth noting for 2QB or Superflex leagues.

Running Backs

Rachaad White at Steelers (24 percent ESPN)

White is likely rostered in most competitive or deeper leagues, but has received an increased role of late with eight touches in each of his last two games. Leonard Fournette is the lead back, but we could continue to see White cut into his role as the season progresses.   

Eno Benjamin at Seahawks (22 percent ESPN) 
Keaontay Ingram at Seahawks (zero percent ESPN)

Benjamin is another player likely no longer on many waiver wires, but this is really just a note to pay attention to Arizona's backfield throughout the week. James Conner didn't practice Wednesday due to a rib issue, Jonathan Ward was placed on injured reserve, and Darrel Williams was deemed unlikely to play this weekend. Benjamin should operate as the lead back, but Ingram is also worth speculating on. Arizona added Corey Clement and Ty'Son Williams to the practice squad, so those are other names to monitor.

Isiah Pacheco vs. Bills (15 percent ESPN)
Jerick McKinnon vs. Bills (13 percent ESPN)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has had a narrow range of opportunity recording between seven and nine carries in four of five games. The rest of the work is split between Pacheco and McKinnon. Admittedly, it's hard to predict which of the two will be the 1B to Edwards-Helaire, but McKinnon produced a strong effort against the Raiders on Monday and appears to have upper hand for now.

Caleb Huntley vs. 49ers (eight percent ESPN)
Avery Williams vs. 49ers (zero percent ESPN)

Speaking of frustrating backfields, it's time to shift to the Falcons. Tyler Allgeier led the backfield with 13 carries and looks to be getting the first crack at the lead job until Cordarrelle Patterson or Damien Williams can return. Huntley saw eight carries and picked up 34 yards against the Buccaneers, the majority of which came on a 22-yard run. Williams only got three carries, but found the end zone. This is probably more trouble than it's worth given the state of the Atlanta offense.

Jaylen Warren vs. Buccaneers (five percent ESPN)

Warren has seemingly impressed the Pittsburgh coaching staff. He's not only the clear handcuff to Najee Harris, but also has a role on third down and that could further expand.

Deon Jackson vs. Jaguars (three percent ESPN)

Indianapolis is another team to watch updates. Jonathan Taylor didn't practice Wednesday and Nyheim Hines was in a non-contact jersey. Phillip Lindsay is the more household name, but Jackson held a slight advantage over him in both rushes and receptions.

Myles Gaskin vs. Vikings (zero percent ESPN) 

Raheem Mostert took over the backfield in Miami, but it appears Gaskin may have overtaken Chase Edmonds for the change-of-pace role. Given Mostert's injury history, it's worth stashing his handcuff. 

Wide Receivers

Wan'Dale Robinson vs. Ravens (six percent ESPN)
Darius Slayton vs. Ravens (zero percent ESPN)

The Giants offense is devoid of talent at the skill positions except for Saquon Barkley. With Kadarius Toney looking unlikely to play yet again and Kenny Golladay's status up in the air, there could be a lot of targets up for grabs. Slayton took advantage in Week 5 against the Packers while Robinson could return to take on his first significant run as a pro on Sunday.

Khalil Shakir at Chiefs (one percent ESPN)

Isaiah McKenzie is back, so Shakir is a stash rather than a plug-and-play option. However, he's attached to one of the league's best QBs and offenses and delivered 75 yards and a score in expanded opportunity last week. Injuries are starting to mount and bye weeks make stashes more difficult, but Shakir could pay dividends down the stretch.

Ben Skowronek vs. Panthers (one percent ESPN)

We've highlighted the poor state of the Rams' receiving corps and overall offense in this space. Allen Robinson has yet to find a rhythm and that has opened the door for Skowronek, who picked up eight targets in Week 5.

Tyquan Thornton at Browns (one percent ESPN)

Thornton slipped through the cracks last week as a player returning from IR. He only ran 14 routes, but that was good enough for second among New England's receiver corps. However, he earned a 21.4 percent target per route run share and could emerge as a weapon along with Jakobi Meyers.

Dyami Brown at Bears (one percent ESPN)

Brown blew through the Titans' defense for a couple big catches in Week 5. He saw only four targets, but could be a deep threat again with Jahan Dotson already ruled out.

Tight Ends

Evan Engram at Colts (22 percent ESPN)

Engram isn't exciting, but he's hauled in at least four catches in three of five games. For those with T.J. Hockenson or Darren Waller – both on their bye week – Engram is a reasonable fill-in option.

Daniel Bellinger vs. Ravens (one percent ESPN)

We broke down the lack of skill-position players in New York earlier in the article, and Bellinger has been another beneficiary. His role as a receiver slipped in the London game against the Packers, but he converted a goal-line carry into a touchdown as the Giants continue to prioritize getting him involved.

John Bates at Bears (zero percent ESPN)

Logan Thomas and Jahan Dotson are both out, so targets are available in Washington. Bates isn't exciting, but he could contribute six points in PPR leagues.

Greg Dulcich at Chargers (zero percent ESPN)

Dulcich has battled a hamstring injury for most of his rookie campaign, starting with training camp. As of Wednesday night, he was still on injured reserve, but his practice window had been opened. The Broncos appear to have soured on Albert Okwuegbunam, so Dulcich could make an impact at some point in 2022 - though I wouldn't expect immediate production.

Adam Trautman vs. Bengals (zero percent ESPN)

The Saints' receiving corps remains beat up, so Trautman could get some targets in Week 6. Watch the injury report as he could be an afterthought in the offense if Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry all suit up.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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