Deeper Sleepers for Standard Leagues (Week 6)

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Another week, another spate of injuries. This week was headlined (at least from a fantasy perspective) by Odell Beckham Jr., who looks to be out for the rest of the season. After five weeks, two consensus round one picks--Beckham and David Johnson--have gone down to serious injuries. The Giants will replace Beckham with...hmm, I don't actually know since they had three other wide receivers injured in the Chargers game. Things look bleak for the Giants, who should probably just go ahead and tank the rest of the way.

J.J. Watt was injured too, which hurts the Texans D/ST going forward and also hurts the hearts of everyone in and around Houston. I've heard both NBC and my local NPR station call Watt a folk hero this week, which normally would ring as one of those hollow platitudes said about great players. But Watt's efforts during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey have made him a hero in the Houston-area. To see him go on IR for the second consecutive season brings up a question that Texans fans don't want to hear--are the days of J.J. Watt as a dominant force in the NFL over? To bring this back to fantasy football, which I guess I have to do even though I would rather just keep being very sad about Watt, it brings up questions about what to do with the Texans D/ST. I think they're still very playable next week against the Browns, but with the loss of Watt and linebacker Whitney Mercilus it's probably time to start thinking them as just a streaming option.

Let's look at deeper waiver wire targets and sleepers for Week 6, players whose ownership is currently under 20% and are likely available in many of your leagues. Note: All ownership percentages are for Yahoo leagues.

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Deeper Waiver Wire Targets for Week 6

Note: I'm not going to blurb players who I've already mentioned in previous weeks, but I will note that the following players from last week are still under 20% owned and still worth a look: Mitchell Trubisky (Note: this article is being written before Monday Night Football and published after it, so there is a chance I am very wrong still. If you're confused tomorrow about Trubisky, shoot me a tweet to hear my updated thoughts) and Elijah McGuire are still on my radar.

Before I get started, I just want to say this: it looks like every week some 49ers wide receiver not named Pierre Garcon is going to get 10+ targets. I'm done putting that player on this list because it's clear that it's almost all about game flow at this point. There isn't week-to-week consistency.

 

QUARTERBACKS

Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts - 12% owned

Andrew Luck is apparently out until November and Brissett has finally developed some chemistry with T.Y. Hilton. He also gives you some rushing upside. Brissett has a match-up next week with the Titans, too, who have struggled defensively this season. Brissett might be the only quarterback left who's under 20% owned and can give you consistent play.

Brian Hoyer, San Francisco 49ers - 9% owned

We've officially reached the point in the season where everyone whose strategy was just pick a quarterback late and then grab someone who breaks out off waivers early has found their quarterback, whether that be Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, or Jared Goff. If you're still streaming quarterbacks as we head into Week 6, you might be in trouble. Hoyer has struggled in three of his five games, but he's put up 22 and 27 points in the other two. I'm not sure if on the road against Washington is the best match-up, but he provides you with decent upside if you really need him.

Kevin Hogan, Cleveland Browns - 0% owned

DeShone Kizer finally got benched. Kevin Hogan threw a pair of touchdowns. They face a Texans defense that just lost two of its best players, though that might still not be enough to make me trust Hogan. But if you are betting that Houston's defense continues to look like they did against Kansas City, then Hogan is an interesting pick-up (assuming Kizer is actually benched. It's the Browns, so who knows.)

 

RUNNING BACKS

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts - 8% owned

Mack missed the past two games, but his return for the Colts in Week 5 was loud--91 yards and a touchdown on only nine carries. Mack is the explosive runner that a late stage Frank Gore just can't be, but one has to wonder if he'll see much of an increase in workload and if he'll hold up fine if he does. Still, he looks like a player who could continue to bust off huge plays.

Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers - 7% owned

There's really nothing about Breida that jumps off the page, but he carried the ball ten times against the Colts and the coaches said afterwards that it had nothing to do with Carlos Hyde being injured, but with the team riding the hot hand. With the 49ers already essentially out of the playoff hunt, it wouldn't be a shock to see the team start to move on from Carlos Hyde. Don't forget--they were questions in the offseason about how committed they were to him.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams - 2% owned

I GET IT. You've heard for a few years now that Tavon Austin is primed to break out and you pick him up and nothing happens. It's probably going to go that way again, but it's worth noting that the Rams are using him more and more as a running back. Austin rushed for a touchdown in Week 5 and had a season-high five targets. If his usage continues to trend upwards, he could be a sleeper worth having.

Ricardo Louis, Cleveland Browns - 1% owned

Number of targets over the past three weeks: six, nine, eight. Louis is nothing special, but Kevin Hogan has shown that he can get the ball into the hands of his team's players more consistently than DeShone Kizer has, so Louis is a decent FLEX play against Houston on volume alone. Josh Gordon (probably) isn't walking through that door, but Louis seems the most likely receiver to benefit from the fact that Cleveland doesn't have any other good wide receivers.

 

TIGHT END

Ed Dickson, Carolina Panthers - 6% owned

Some guarantees about Dickson: 1) he won't catch all his targets every week, 2) he won't have another game with as many yards as he did this week, and 3) he is still worth an add because the Panthers and Cam Newton have historically loved their tight ends and Dickson is their starting tight end. Dickson has surprisingly emerged as a downfield target for the Panthers. His hands look solid. He's got a pretty easy schedule coming up. Now is a good time to grab him.

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers - 1% owned

The wide receiver market is good enough that one can ignore all the myriad of mediocre options in San Francisco. The tight end market? Mark me down as cautiously optimistic about Kittle, who was targeted nine times, resulting in seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Nick O'Leary, Buffalo Bills - 0% owned

Charles Clay is going to miss some time. If you need a replacement, you could do worse than O'Leary, who is likely to see similar volume, though much less likely to put up similar production. The Bills like to throw to their tight end, though, so don't be afraid to give O'Leary a chance.

 

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