It is that time already. Time for the first round of bye weeks. We will only see 14 games this week with Tennessee, Houston, Detroit and Las Vegas all sitting this one out. So, how do those four teams resting affect your roster? Imagine having lost Eli Mitchell or Javonte Williams only to have Derrick Henry, Dameon Pierce, D’Andre Swift/Jamaal Williams, and Josh Jacobs on a bye. Mix in the Rashad Penny season-long injury and the uncertainty of Jonathan Taylor and the Monday night disappearance of Clyde Edwards-Helaire and you have the recipe for a rough fantasy Week 6.
Seriously, if you subscribe to zero RB as your plan (and I do not BTW) you could have had 3-5 of those names as your RB stable. If so, that means you snuck by with Henry leading the way in Week 5, but now you will need to adjust just to start a healthy squad. What that means for you is the names below, especially at RB, is you need to take what you can get at this point.
I will caveat all the names below by admitting none are season-saving, season-changing players. Most are stop-gap at best, but with all of the injuries and the looming bye weeks, you just need warm bodies.
NOTE: Rostered percentages and scoring system are based on Yahoo! PPR league scoring.
Waiver Add of the Week: RB – Kenneth Walker, III (SEA, 46% rostered). Best available RB and it is not close. Penny’s injury opens the door for Walker and he has an opportunity to kick it down and own the carries in the Seattle backfield. He must be owned in all formats based on his starting status and the Seahawks’ offense that appears to be able to score a lot of points. If you have the first waiver claim, Walker is the name. If you have a FAAB to consider, I recommend using at least 33% of your remaining budget. Seattle may not have a favorable schedule for rushing, but they have no other options unless you consider D.J. Dallas an option (I do not for what its worth). You need a starting RB. You need carries. Volume is king. Walker will get volume!
QB: Geno Smith (SEA, 36% rostered) – He is still available so if you have Jared Goff or Derek Carr, you need to seriously consider Geno for Week 6. The Cardinals’ defense is not good and Seattle just lost Penny to injury so there will probably be more throwing than running in this offense. Let Geno Cook on your roster for Week 6!
QB: Kenny Pickett (PIT, 16% rostered) – Just like the real estate mantra is ‘location, location, location’, the QB mantra is ‘volume, volume, volume’! In relief of Trubisky two weeks ago, Pickett’s numbers were skewed with the three interceptions. Go back and watch the film and you will notice none were truly his fault. Sure, he threw a pick last week against Buffalo, but he was set up for failure by halftime as the Bills were trouncing the Steelers early and often. Pickett is completing 68% of his passes and has three healthy, solid WR. If Freiermuth is back and Najee can ever get going, the Steelers’ offense is fantasy worthy. Consider stacking Pickett with Pickens if you took my advice and added the WR leading up to Week 5.
QB Honorable Mentions – Matt Ryan (IND, 30%), Daniel Jones (NYG, 22%), Zach Wilson (NYJ, 14%)
RB: Tyler Allgeier (ATL; 56% rostered); Caleb Huntley (ATL; 14% rostered) – I recommended both of the Falcons RBs last week and will continue to beat the drum. You took my advice, and both increased in ownership and are still widely available in most formats. As I stated earlier, these guys are nothing more than emergency adds. If you are stuck, you need someone that is playing football and these two guys are getting reps and producing some positive points. Do not be prideful here, just add one of these guys and hope you survive the week to fight again in Week 7.
RB: RB – Eno Benjamin (ARI, 12% rostered). No backup/handcuff RB looked better on Sunday than Benjamin. And, let’s be honest, Benjamin was not a world-beater, but he did perform well against a stout Eagles defense. The key is Benjamin took advantage of the James Conner (ribs) and Darrel Williams (knee) injuries and found the end zone. I am not a fan of the Cardinals’ run game but am happy to plug and play Benjamin against the Seattle defense that has proven unable to stop any player at this point. Bye week and injuries, as discussed above, mean you need to look week-by-week to create your Frankenroster.
RB Honorable Mentions – Mike Boone (DEN, 35%), Latavius Murray (DEN, 19%), Gus Edwards (BAL, 14%)
WR: Alec Pierce (IND; 9% owned) – Inexplicably, Pierce is still only 9% owned after two straight 80-yard performances. He is a must-own in all formats and will continue to get better. He is a freakish athlete and will see the single coverage while Michael Pittman Jr. sees the double-team or shadow coverage. Pierce does have a tough match-up in Week 6 versus Jacksonville followed by two fantastic games at Tennessee and home to Washington. Buy him now!
WR: Insert First Name Here Jones (JAX; 26% and 5% rostered) – The Jags schedule is about to get soft and now is the time to roster both Zay Jones and Marvin Jones. Sure, Christian Kirk is the true WR1, but the other two WR need to be rostered as the Jags are going to win through the air vice on the ground. We need to use our eyes and realize early season James Robinson may be a mirage and Travis Etienne may just be overhyped.
WR Honorable Mentions – Rondale Moore (ARI, 18%), Khalil Shakir (BUF, 2%), Darius Slayton (NYG, 0%)
TE: Hayden Hurst (CIN; 31% rostered) – If you saw what I saw on Sunday night, then you are considering adding Hurst at least until the Bengals figure out the running game and the offensive line improves. If nothing else, Hurst is a one-week fill-in for your T.J. Hockenson.
TE Honorable Mentions – Evan Engram (JAX, 24%), Will Dissly (SEA, 18%), Cade Otton (TB, 2%)
To not sound like a broken record, I must repeat myself here. Injuries happen to all fantasy teams. You knew this coming into the season and hopefully, you planned and have solid depth. You knew the bye weeks were coming and hopefully, you survived the rash of NFL injuries and are still in the mix in your league. Do not panic! Use the wire to your advantage where it makes sense. For the future consider making trades for players that have already had their bye week to maximize games played for your roster.
Check us out on the Razzball YouTube channel every Tuesday evening for both waiver wire and trade target discussion.
Best of luck heading into Week 6 and may injuries leave you alone!