Waiver Wire Watch: Week 6
Editor's Note: We're happy to have Brandon Niles on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He'll work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile the weekly list of pickups and generate recommended prices for FAAB leagues.
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 (FAAB). 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.
Mariota looks great some games and looks like a young QB still trying to figure it out in others. He was stellar against Miami on Sunday. He had only 163 passing yards, but threw three touchdown passes, didn’t turn the ball over, and added 60 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Mariota is a nice upside QB2 in all leagues, and he’s an excellent streaming option the next two weeks against the Browns and the Colts.
Hoyer had another great game on Sunday, putting up 397 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a loss to the Colts. The Bears have said they may stick with Hoyer even when Cutler is healthy, which is a good sign for fantasy owners who grabbed Hoyer off waivers for the Colts matchup. He should be in line for a couple more decent games against the Jaguars and Packers assuming Cutler doesn’t get the job back, but a Week 8 matchup against the Vikings is looming.
Smith and the Chiefs struggled against the Steelers prior to last week’s bye. He finished with 287 yards and a pair of garbage time touchdown passes to go with an interception. He’s got a nice matchup against a Raiders team that should force the Chiefs to throw the ball. Smith is a streamable option in good matchups and if you’ve got injury or bye-week issues for Week 6, he’s not a bad player to pick up as a short-term fill-in. Upcoming games against the Saints and Colts give him more than just one week of value.
Flacco had only 210 yards and a touchdown against Washington on Sunday, a disappointing output for a pretty good matchup. Still, he plays both New York teams the next two weeks and should remain a solid QB2 or streaming option for at least the short term. After the Week 8 bye, he has matchups with Pittsburgh and Cleveland before facing Dallas and Cincinnati. He remains a decent, albeit unspectacular, streaming option.
Bradford had an efficient day against Houston on Sunday, putting up 271 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a big Vikings victory. Bradford is leaning on a great defense to get win after win so far this year and Minnesota is still undefeated as a result. Bradford has a bye this week then a tough matchup against the Eagles in Week 7, limiting his value. However, he’s proven his ability as a QB2 in most leagues and isn’t a bad backup option if you don’t need him until later. Weeks 8-10 against the Bears, Lions and Redskins could be a good time to stream Bradford.
It was a rough start for the rookie Lynch on Sunday against the Falcons He was sacked six times and only had 223 yards, a touchdown and a pick in a Denver loss. Siemian’s job is not in jeopardy, so say the coaches, but if he’s still out next week, Lynch could be streamable against the Chargers who have serious injury issues on their defense and got torched by Oakland on Sunday. Check the health status of Siemian, but whoever starts could be worth streaming. Siemian is still the better long-term option right now.
Osweiler struggled against the Vikings on Sunday as expected, ending up with only 184 yards and a garbage time touchdown to go with an interception. The Texans were outmatched and struggled offensively the entire game. Osweiler will be happy to face a Colts defense in Week 6 that gave up nearly 400 yards to Brian Hoyer on Sunday, and Osweiler has deep-league streaming value because of it.
Tannehill seems to be getting worse every week. He put up only 191 yards and a pair of interceptions against the Titans on Sunday and now has the Dolphins in a 1-4 hole going into a matchup against the Steelers. Tannehill has some streaming value against Pittsburgh this week in deeper leagues because Miami will likely be playing from behind the whole game and the Steelers have issues in the secondary. He’s definitely not a long term option right now though.
With Blaine Gabbert struggling, there are rumors that the 49ers might try Kaepernick as the starter again. Kaepernick’s dual threat ability combined with Chip Kelly’s offense might result in some great fantasy numbers, so he’s definitely worth adding if you have the roster space. If Gabbert remains the starter, I’m still adding Kaepernick, as a matchup against the Bills this week combined with Gabbert’s struggles makes me hesitant to bank on Blaine, even as a streaming option.
Next up: @ Bills, Bucs, Bye
I still don’t like Keenum, and he threw a pair of picks against the Bills on Sunday. However, he put up 271 yards and has matchups against the Lions and the Giants the next two weeks. He has low-end streaming value as a result.
Stanton had only 124 yards against the 49ers on Thursday night, but he threw two touchdowns and has a very nice matchup against the Jets this week. If Carson Palmer misses another game, Stanton could be worth a gamble as a streaming option, since the Jets just gave up 380 yards and four touchdowns to the Steelers.
I’m not buying: I’m not interested in Cody Kessler, even if he’s healthy. I’m also not interested in Charlie Whitehurst, even if Kessler isn’t healthy. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t throw a pick against the Steelers, but only had 255 yards and a touchdown in a game where the Jets got blown out. Against the Cardinals this week, I don’t have high hopes.