The best players to help inject some points to your fantasy squad and dominate your league this week.
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The Best Fantasy Football Waiver Pickups
Welcome to the post-Week 6 installment of the Waiver Wire weekly series for the 2016 fantasy football season. We wager most of you didn’t hurt too badly with BYEs, as only Minnesota and Tampa Bay were off.
More likely, you got burned by the “active” Arian Foster or Pittsburgh-falling-on-its-face against Miami. Speaking of, many of you may be hunting for a new QB with Ben Roethlisberger scheduled to undergo surgery on his torn meniscus on Monday. Spoiler alert: Landry Jones is not a recommendation pickup vs. New England in Week 7. Week 7 sees Carolina and Dallas taking a breather, and while those are two fantasy-relevant teams, that still leaves lots of goodness available for action.
Let’s check in on players that are owned in roughly 40% of Fleaflicker leagues or less, so that you can make an educated decision about who to add to your squad. We'll look at the RB, WR, QB, TE, and DEF positions. You can also check out our weekly rankings and analysis columns, to assist with any lineup decisions heading into Week 7.
And we were impressed by his 13-42-1 line against Tennessee in Week 5, sheesh. He entered Miami’s Week 6 matchup against the Steelers with already rather-low odds of a breakout, which were further dampened by the news that Arian Foster would be active. Ajayi out-snapped Foster 47 to 11, and had 26 touches compared to Foster’s five. The end result? 204 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns and a three-yard reception. Another week of improved health for Foster will likely mean a more evenly-distributed backfield approach in Week 7 against a solid Buffalo defense. But there's not doubt that Ajayi is the top running back pickup for Week 7, if he's still available on your waiver wire.
With opposing defenses needing to heavily key on the likes of Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett downfield, it leaves James White able to operate rather freely out of the backfield. His seven rushes for 19 yards is nothing special, but you’re adding and starting him for the receiving prowess. His eight catches on nine targets for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns is just beautiful, and illustrates how he’s even a decent standard-league play (though obviously his worth in PPR leagues shoots way up). Keep an eye on Dion Lewis’ practice status and health, but White likely has a couple more weeks (@PIT, @BUF) of being the pass-catching RB for New England before their Week 9 BYE.
This upcoming week marks the point in time where Lewis is allowed to start practicing with the team again, per PUP list protocol. His being able to practice logistically doesn’t mean that he’s physically capable of doing so, but it does mean that the buzz is going to be stirring. If you have a rather deep bench and Lewis sitting out there, well it doesn’t hurt to get a piece of this potent Patriots offense. My money would be on his being worked in after New England’s Week 9 bye—a tough home matchup against Seattle.
Week 6 was pretty weird all around for the Broncos, but Booker turned his five carries into 46 yards while catching both of his targets for seven yards on Thursday night against the Chargers. The rookie clearly runs well with the rock in his hands, but he still needs to clean up his pass-blocking skills and all-around awareness before he has any chance of superseding C.J. Anderson on the depth chart. That being said, I doubt most are banking on that, and at this point are just hoping for a rather even timeshare, which could very well go down soon. Perhaps next Monday against the Texans?
He isn’t flashy in any way. In fact, his name usually elicits groans. But the bulldozing Viking is coming off of a BYE and will get to face an Eagles’ defense that just gave up 231 rushing yards to Washington. With Jerick McKinnon not exactly jumping off the page, Asiata is a fine, albeit vanilla, pickup.
Just like Asiata, Rodgers is coming off of a BYE and his ownership level dipped a bit as a result of that (and also the presumed return of Doug Martin). While Rodgers rattled off over 100 yards as Tampa’s workhorse against the Panthers in a gritty Week 5 win, he’ll now likely slide into the secondary role/workload vacated by the IR’d Charles Sims. That has a place in any sort of PPR format, especially seeing as how the Bucs square off against a 49ers defense that just allowed four rushing TDs. One of which was to...
The fantasy football universe held its collective breath on Sunday afternoon when LeSean McCoy went down grabbing his knee. Of course, he ended up being fine and finished Week 6 with three touchdowns as he continues to roll over the NFL. But Gillislee had a nice 44-yard TD himself, and it served as a stark reminder that Mikey G. would be the handcuff to own here in a run-heavy offense.
This may be extremely short-lived with Dwayne Washington and Theo Riddick both likely to mix back in soon, but at least for one day Zenner ran with passion. He totaled 58 yards on 14 carries, and even caught his two targets for 19 yards against the Rams on Sunday. That may have been enough to earn some totes moving forward, even when everyone returns with a clean bill of health. His odds of being a great fantasy asset aren’t strong, but it’d be disingenuous to skip over him with Washington’s soft run defense on deck for Week 7.
Here we were thinking that Meredith’s 12-target total from Week 5 was the high point of his season. Well, he upped the ante to 15 targets in Week 6, catching 11 of those for 113 yards. While he didn’t find paydirt this time around, he has made it abundantly clear that he is a big part of this offense as he steps right into the injured Kevin White’s flanker role. As long as Brian Hoyer remains under center, Meredith should be a good bet for at least eight targets a week. Chicago draws a road date on Thursday night against a beat-up Packers secondary next, so fire up Mr. Meredith.
Clam Crowder only saw four targets in Washington’s Week 6 matchup against the Eagles, despite them missing Jordan Reed (concussion) in their pass-catching corps. But this was still an improvement over the three targets in each of the previous two weeks. Luckily for his owners, Crowder turned those four targets into three catches for 52 yards and a TD. He also mixed in a rush for -9 yards. Reed has several career concussions under his belt, and his recovery timeline is up in the air as a result. But should he return for Week 7 against Detroit, then Crowder’s value plummets.
LaFell has scored three times in the last two weeks. While his Week 5 line of 8-68-2 was much more impressive than his 2-13-1 line from Week 6, this is still a positive trend that he’s getting some red-zone looks from Andy Dalton. The eventual return of Tyler Eifert will likely syphon some of these, but a Week 7 matchup against the Browns is tough to pass up.
Britt was long overdue for a trip to the end zone, so he went there twice in Week 6 just to be sure. His 7-136-2 line came on eight targets and involved a highlight-reel one-handed catch. He has topped 65 yards in five of the Rams six games this season, and will go up against a Giants secondary that is operating at less than 100% in Week 7—in the next installment of the London games. Set those alarm clocks!
Woods has now totaled 30 targets across Buffalo’s last four games, with this most recent matchup against the 49ers yielding his first TD of the season. He’ll get his looks, even if his ceiling isn’t nearly as high as most other teams’ number one wide receivers. A great matchup against the Dolphins waits for him in Week 7, although the following two weeks are vs. NE and @SEA before Buffalo’s Week 10 bye. Don’t invest too much hope.
Wright missed the first three weeks of the season, and only played on 28% of Tennessee’s snaps in both Weeks 4 and 5. Week 6 saw him catch eight-of-nine targets, which easily led the team (no one else caught more than three balls). With preseason darling Tajae Sharpe proving ineffective, Wright could step back into the spotlight again for Tennessee as Mariota’s chain-mover—just don’t expect 100+ yard efforts on the regular. Wright and company take on the Colts next, a matchup that shouldn’t frighten anyone.
Montgomery was the clear beneficiary of the running-back woes that are plaguing the Packers right now, as he regularly lined up in the backfield and caught many balls out of the flat on Sunday against the Cowboys. He saw 12 targets in all, catching 10 of them for 98 yards. Following our rule of thumb from last week with Meredith’s 12 targets, anyone who sees that amount of love from an offense gets written about. He caught six balls for 52 yards as a running back, and totaled 46 yards on four catches when lined up as receiver. Davante Adams had to leave the game early with a head injury, which only improves his chances of fantasy relevance in a Week 7 matchup with a blah Bears defense. Monitor the situation, but Montgomery has a lot trending his way here.
Bradford and the Vikings will be fresh off of their BYE to take on an Eagles defense that has been good, but was just torched by Kirk Cousins and Washington in Week 6. Some injuries to their DB corps certainly did not help their defensive effectiveness, so keep an eye on Philly’s injury report heading into this Week 7 tilt. It’s not a bad look to start Bradford here if you need a Week 7 quarterback, before him and the Vikings get to pick on the Bears defense in Week 8.
He’s not the best real-life QB, but his fantasy prospects in Week 7 are not as bad as they looked a few weeks ago. Usually a trip to Lambeau Field on a short week would scream “NO”, but the Packers are pretty beat up right now and just got trampled by a stout Dallas unit in Green Bay. Hoyer has topped 300 yards in each of his four starts this season, and has Alshon Jeffery, Cameron Meredith, Zach Miller, and Jordan Howard all rolling along nicely. Hoyer could be serviceable if you’re missing Big Ben, Cam Newton, or Dak Prescott for the week. Just hope that he doesn’t miss Alshon for six again.
Kaep may not have dazzled with his arm, completing only 13 of his 29 attempts for 187 yards and a TD, but luckily his legs added 66 more yards on eight carries. Most of his aerial value came on a 53-yard TD to Torrey Smith that he really under-threw, but luckily Smith adjusted and took it to the house. This came after he had overthrown Smith on a would-be TD as well, for the record. He draws a Tampa Bay defense in Week 7 that is readily defined as a “funnel” defense, one that tries to take away the run and force offenses to beat them in the air. Hopefully the challenge is accepted and well met.
It would appear that Keenum is really enjoying establishing some rapport with wide receiver Kenny Britt, alongside increased usage for stud Todd Gurley in the passing game (and even some Brian Quick and Lance Kendricks sprinkled in). While this is likely more about the Lions defense than Keenum and the Rams, it’s still noteworthy as they now head to England to take on a Giants defense that is rather vulnerable through the air (18th in pass DVOA entering Week 6).
Green is eligible to return from the PUP list for Week 7 against the Patriots, and that’s just what he’ll do. Of course, that’s if the decision was solely up to him, which it isn’t. Pittsburgh is paying the guy a lot of money and likely would love to see what they’ve got here, and they’ll want to give backup QB Landry Jones all the help he can get. But this is still speculation until he’s formally activated. Regardless, the chances are very good that Green is on the field for the majority of snaps when Pittsburgh comes out of their BYE for a Week 9 battle with the Ravens.
It’s always important to keep tabs on those players coming off a BYE, as Tampa Bay is all set to tangle with a 49ers team that just got railroaded by the Bills in Week 6. Brate is the Bucs’ only pass-catching TE left, which yielded 18 targets in the first two games without ASJ in town. Brate’s Week 5 was rather quiet, but that’s more about Tampa Bay playing extremely conservative against the Panthers. Look for them to loosen back up against San Francisco and get Brate involved here.
Long story short, Dwayne Allen left Indy’s Sunday night tilt against the Texans in the first quarter with an ankle injury. Doyle ended up catching all four of his targets for 53 yards and a TD, his first score since Week 1’s two-TD effort. This bodes well for him heading into a Week 7 matchup against the Titans. Given Andrew Luck’s affinity for targeting his tight ends, Doyle makes for a nice speculative grab.
This is obviously highly contingent on Jordan Reed’s health, but Davis caught two of his four Week 6 targets for 50 yards and a snappy TD over the middle. He easily outworked fellow TE Niles Paul by lining up for 65 plays compared to Paul’s 19, so he’s clearly the lean here and it’s really not close. Vernon can still get it done if given the chance.
It is far too tempting to come up with a fedora-related nickname here, but we’ll have to settle for just saying that C.J. has established some fine chemistry with Brock Osweiler. He has now tallied 20 targets to the tune of 14 catches, 194 yards and 2 TDs over the past three weeks. While a Week 7 date with Denver isn’t ideal, Hunter Henry did just post a 6-83-1 line again them. Deep-league desperados could do much worse.
The Jets are not playing well, and the Ravens are the next defense that gets to feast on a turnover-heavy NYJ team. We’ll have to adjust accordingly after Fitzy faces off with the Cardinals on Monday night - but you’re betting against a QB that has already thrown 10 interceptions in the first five games (nine interceptions in the last three), and has only topped 275 yards once. The Ravens generated three turnovers against the Giants in Week 6, despite missing some key players like Elvis Dumervil and C.J. Mosley, so this is a nice little waiver wire scoop.
The Bucs crawled into their Week 6 BYE with a myriad of injuries that had basically sidelined their entire defensive line. Hopefully they will be fresh and mostly back in action coming out of their BYE. The most important factor will be perennial Pro-Bowler Gerald McCoy, when they travel to San Francisco to face off against the 49ers in Week 7. While Colin Kaepernick’s scrambling abilities can make life difficult, he still only threw for an uninspiring 187 yards in his season debut. Do you trust Lavonte David to track down Kaep on the outside? I do.