Waiver Wire Watch: Week 6
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to announce that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 6. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater* ($5)
Vikings fans will be thrilled to see Bridgewater back in the lineup after watching Christian Ponder bumble his way through a blowout loss to the Packers. Reports suggested that Bridgewater might have been able to play in Week 5 if it had been a Sunday game instead of a Thursday game, but the team didn’t want to send out its prized rookie on a sprained ankle with just three days’ rest. Bridgewater threw for 317 yards against the Falcons in his first career start, and while Minnesota’s Week 6 opponent, Detroit, isn’t a defensive softy like Atlanta, the Lions are more vulnerable in the secondary than the numbers would suggest. Games against the Bills, Buccaneers and Redskins follow, and Teddy figures to be playable in any of those matchups.
Next up: Lions, Bills, Buccaneers
Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon* ($4)
After leading the Buccaneers to a win in Pittsburgh in Week 4, Glennon almost engineered a second consecutive road upset, but the Buccaneers came up just short in New Orleans, falling 37-31 in overtime. The lanky blond QB has thrown for 551 yards and four TDs in his two starts, and it’s fairly clear at this point that he’s a better option for the Bucs than Josh McCown. You could do much worse for a waiver-wire quarterback than this guy.
Next up: Ravens, BYE, Vikings
Ravens QB Joe Flacco* ($3)
Just when Flacco ownership had climbed to 47% in Yahoo leagues on the momentum of a strong start to the season, he crashed back to earth with a poor performance in the Ravens’ 20-13 loss to the Colts. Flacco completed 22-of-38 passes for 235 yards against Indy with no TDs and an interception. Although he’s a below-average fantasy quarterback, Flacco is still worth consideration this week and next if you have a starting QB going on bye. This week he’ll take on a Buccaneers defense that just gave up 371 passing yards to Drew Brees and the Saints, and next week Flacco will face an Atlanta defense that can make a strong case for being the NFL’s worst.
Next up: Buccaneers, Falcons, Bengals
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill* ($2)
If head coach Joe Philbin was trying to light a fire under Tannehill by refusing to identify him as Miami’s starting quarterback in the run-up to the Dolphins’ Week 5 Game against the Raiders in London, perhaps we should tip our caps to the Dolphins’ embattled head coach for that little motivational ploy, since Tannehill turned in his best game of the year, completing 74.2% of his passes for 278 yards and two TDs in a 38-14 win. But given the timing of the non-endorsement – in a week when the Dolphins were playing overseas – it seemed strange and ham-handed, much like Philbin’s tenure in Miami overall. Tannehill isn’t an especially accurate passer, and he’s thrown only 42 touchdown passes in 36 career starts, but you probably won’t feel terrible about having Tannehill in your lineup if you play in a league of 12 or more teams and your regular starter is on bye.
Next up: Packers, Bears, Jaguars
Chiefs QB Alex Smith* ($2)
Smith completed 54.8% of his passes and threw for 175 yards against the 49ers on Sunday, but he did manage to throw two TD passes, giving him eight TD passes in his last three games. Smith has had a fairly difficult schedule thus far, but he has a decent stretch of schedule once he comes out of a Week 6 bye, with the Chargers, Rams and Jets next on the docket. Smith won’t be in demand this week since he’s going on bye, so you can get him on the cheap.
Next up: BYE, Chargers, Rams
Bills QB Kyle Orton ($2)
Making just his second start since 2011, Orton looked rusty against the Lions early on but settled in and led the Bills to a 17-14 come-from-behind victory. Even without his trademark neck-beard, Orton managed to complete 30-of-43 passes for 308 yards, with one TD and one INT. The veteran QB is a matchup play at best, but he has a couple of pretty good matchups in the weeks ahead, with the Vikings coming up in Week 7 and the Jets on the schedule in Week 8.
Next up: Patriots, Vikings, Jets
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles* ($1)
The positives are that Bortles runs well, and that he’ll constantly be thrust into pass-heavy situations since the Jaguars won’t hold many leads. The negatives are that he’s green as a cucumber and has a lousy supporting cast. Those negatives are pretty oppressively negative, aren’t they? So was Bortles’ stat line against the Steelers in Week 5: 22-for-36, 191 yards, zero TDs, two INTs. You can probably do better than this unless you’re in a deep league where the waiver wire gets picked over like a pumpkin patch in October.
Next up: Titans, Browns, Dolphins
Rams QB Austin Davis ($1)
Making the most of a game script that demanded a heavy dose of the passing game, Davis threw for 375 yards and three TDs last weekend as the Rams nearly overcame a big deficit in a 34-28 loss to the Eagles. Davis has thrown for 702 yards and six TDs in his last two games, although the fact that he put up those numbers against the porous Philadelphia and Dallas pass defenses warrants an asterisk. The schedule is about to get tougher, so don’t get too cute here.
Next up: 49ers, Seahawks, Chiefs
Browns QB Brian Hoyer ($1)
Admittedly, I figured Johnny Football would be quarterbacking the Browns by now. But Hoyer has managed to stay healthy and play competently. He’s thrown for more than 200 yards in every start, with 292 yards in last weekend’s wild comeback win over the Titans and 290 a week earlier in a loss to Baltimore. After throwing one TD pass in each of his first three games, Hoyer uncorked three against the Titans on Sunday. A paucity of pass-catching weapons precludes me from recommending Hoyer, but if you’re a Drew Brees owner who’s just looking to get by cheaply while Brees is on bye, Hoyer might be worth a buck. Owners who are looking for a Week 7 bye replacement could do worse than Hoyer’s matchup against the Jaguars.
Next up: Steelers, Jaguars, Raiders