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It took five weeks but the vultures are finally starting to come out. We saw it in Detroit, where talented rookie Kerryon Johnson turned 12 carries into 70 yards while LeGarrette Blount turned 12 carries into 22 yards yet cashed in twice on short touchdown scores. Despite the return of Devonta Freeman in Atlanta, it wasn't he or Tevin Coleman, but Ito Smith entering the end zone as part of his three-carry, five-yard day. Don't forget statuesque quarterbacks like Tom Brady and C.J. Beathard stealing short touchdown runs from their running backs as well. Only seven running backs that were started in at least 20% of fantasy leagues reached the end zone, driving home the fact that it's harder than ever to find a good running back, especially off waivers. That doesn't mean we'll stop trying, though. Last week's inactive could always be next week's vulture, after all.

In this weekly waiver wire series, we provide a comprehensive list of fantasy-viable players that are owned in approximately 35% or fewer fantasy leagues, so that you can make an educated decision about who to add to your squad that might actually be available.

Let’s look around the league at the players worth adding or bidding on as we move on to Week 6 of the 2018 NFL season. Be sure to also check out our other waiver wire articles, including FAAB auction bidding recommendations, for even more in-depth analysis an all positions heading into Week 6.

Editor's Note: Try our exclusive Premium Lineup Tools for free! Our proprietary Matchup Rating projections, Lineup Optimizer, DFS value picks, waiver wire rankings and more. Sign Up Now!

 

Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns - 37% owned

Mayfield's Week 5 wasn't too bad considering he faced the Ravens and their tough defense that ranked third-best against the QB. He went for 342 yards, only one turnover, and somehow managed to lead the team to victory in another overtime. A home game against the Chargers should prove to be far more high-scoring. Mayfield could air it out early and often, giving him more upside than most low-owned quarterbacks. If you need to replace Matthew Stafford or Drew Brees, make Mayfield your first choice if Winston isn't available.

Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears - 23% owned

He isn't tossing six touchdowns again so get that thought of your head. He does enter this week with some promise as a QB streamer due his role in a creative offense that is trending upward. The Dolphins just held Andy Dalton to 248 yards and one touchdown and are holding QBs to a 6/10 TD/INT rate on the season, so a road matchup with the Fins isn't the easiest task. He's still a more desirable pick than Dak Prescott vs the Jaguars or Eli Manning vs the Eagles.

Case Keenum, Denver Broncos - 20% owned

Possibly the most schizophrenic team on both sides of the ball this season, the Broncos were obliterated by...the Jets? Yes, my stat sheet tells me the Jets blew out the Broncos in Week 5, which led to great garbage time numbers for Keenum. In comeback mode nearly all game long, Keenum threw the ball 51 times and collected 377 yards with two touchdowns. It was his first time throwing a touchdown since Week 1, however, so between two big games and three disappointing ones, it's anyone's guess as to what will happen when the Broncos face the unstoppable Rams. There's a good chance the Broncos will be passing frequently again but there's still plenty of risk here.

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 18% owned

He's got his starting job back, a week off to prepare, and a defense in tatters on the schedule. All signs point to a huge comeback game by Infamous Jameis. The Falcons were already one of the worst defenses in the league before giving up 381 yards and 34 points (one Pittsburgh TD came on a fumble recovery) in Week 5. Like most Falcons games the rest of this season, it promises to be another shootout in the Mercedes-Benz dome. Winston should be scooped up by fantasy owners needing a bye week replacement or who stream the position based on matchup.

Others to consider: C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers (4% owned)

 

Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Corey Clement / Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles - 26% owned / 4% owned

Jay Ajayi left this week's contest briefly with a knee injury (insert sarcastic comment here) but was seemingly OK after the game. On Monday he was suddenly diagnosed with a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Wendell Smallwood will now see far more action than anyone expected. Smallwood responded by 71 total yards and a touchdown on six touches in Week 5 and looks to be a priority add, especially for Ajayi owners. Clement is a priority add as well, and has been practicing this week, but may carry some injury risk. With Corey Clement an "active" inactive and Darren Sproles still out of action, but certain to be questionable next week, Smallwood could see upward of 20 touches this week. The Eagles have a short week to prepare for the Giants on Thursday night, which may work in Smallwood's favor in that respect. Both are worthy adds in all leagues.

Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks - 19% owned

Maybe this committee thing isn't so bad after all. Both Davis and Chris Carson saw action in Week 5, with Davis getting outcarried (19-12) and outgained (112-68) by Carson. Still, it was Davis who found the end zone and also saw one more passing target. If the Hawks can suddenly run the ball like they have been, Davis could retain flex value even if both are healthy. A matchup at Oakland next week works in his favor as well.

Alfred Blue, Houston Texans - 14% owned

Blue saw the start on Sunday night in place of an injured Lamar Miller and totaled 119 yards. His rushing average wasn't too encouraging though, at just over two yards a pop (20 carries, 46 yards). There isn't a ton of upside here even if Miller sits again next week, as D'Onta Foreman is bound to return soon to eradicate Blue's workload but for the time being Blue warrants some consideration since starting RBs are hard to find these days. A home game against Buffalo is the main reason to consider Blue if, and only if, Miller doesn't play.

LeGarrette Blount, Detroit Lions - 12% owned

As mentioned a couple weeks ago, Blount will continue to hold value in standard leagues because of his remarkable talent of convincing coaches to give him the ball repeatedly in the red zone. He was less than efficient with 22 yards on 12 rush attempts, lowering his season average under 2.5 yards per carry. It doesn't matter - he'll still be given ample opportunities to score. The Lions are on bye in Week 6 so don't feel compelled to add him this week as anything more than a bench stash in deep standard leagues.

Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins - 10% owned

Adam Gase is a liar! In the preseason, he made it seem as if Kenyan Drake would be a featured back while the veteran Gore was brought in for depth. Somehow, this is slowly becoming Gore's backfield. His rush attempts have gone up for three straight weeks and he's made the most of them. Gore took 12 handoffs and racked up 63 yards in Week 5. He's averaging a decent 4.3 yards per carry, compared to 3.9 for Drake whose carries have stayed in the single digits the past three weeks. The ceiling is limited for Gore but he shouldn't be forgotten about in standard leagues when the heavy bye weeks roll around soon.

Jamaal Charles, Jacksonville Jaguars - 0% owned

Corey Grant's season-ending Lisfranc injury and Leonard Fournette's continued absence necessitated a move to bolster RB depth. Not satisfied with the prospect of Brandon Wilds as their RB2, the Jags signed Charles on Tuesday afternoon to a one-year deal that may last approximately as long as Fournette's injury. Charles ran for 296 yards on 69 carries in Denver last year but was out of the rotation by Week 13 and saw no carries over the last four weeks. He finished with a 4.3 Y/A average, the lowest of his career, not counting 2016 when he took just 12 rush attempts before tearing his ACL for a second time. He is unlikely to see more than a handful of touches this week, so only the deepest of leagues should see his ownership level rise.

Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers - o% owned

When does a running back with one rush attempt on the season hold fantasy value? When he's a 240 lb fullback with 16 catches and more receiving yards than David Johnson. Juszczyk racked up 75 yards on six receptions in Week 5 and could benefit from Matt Breida's perpetual ability to get injured. There just aren't that many healthy bodies in the San Fran backfield and Alfred Morris isn't taking a screen pass to the house any time soon. The Niners will be passing way more than they'd like at Green Bay next week so Juszczyk has some PPR appeal.

Others to consider: Jordan Wilkins, Indianapolis Colts (18% owned); Chris Ivory, Buffalo Bills (12% owned); Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (5% owned); Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons (2% owned)

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 38% owned

His ownership is just a bit above the one-third mark but Godwin is still widely available as the Bucs come off a bye week. With no running game to speak of, a gunslinger still at QB, and a high-scoring offense on the other side, Godwin should see plenty of action. We still don't know what his rapport with Winston will be, but he should remain an important cog in this offense and could be used in lieu of Kenny Golladay this week.

Keke Coutee, Houston Texans - 33% owned

After his breakout debut in Week 4, the question was whether Coutee would remain involved enough in the offense with DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V also on the field. We have our answer. Coutee was targeted seven times on Sunday Night Football, far more than Fuller's three. Coutee also scored the only touchdown for the Texans and caught six passes for 51 yards. It appears he has Deshaun Watson's trust already, which makes him a must-add for PPR owners.

Robby Anderson, New York Jets - 33% owned

BOUT TIME!!! - Anderson owners, probably. Anderson was quiet for four games, posting eight catches for 108 yards. He surpassed that total in Week 5, exploding for 123 yards and two touchdowns. These days may not become commonplace but it's encouraging to see the Darnold-Anderson connection coming to fruition just as Quincy Enunwa caught none of his five targets. Anderson will rely on the deep ball to make his day, making him a boom-bust play weekly. A home game against the Colts in Week 6 is promising enough to keep him in the flex conversation.

Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons - 32% owned

Julio Jones owners, you might want to skip this section. Sanu scored his second touchdown of the season and led all Atlanta wide receivers with 73 yards in Week 5. He is on pace to have his best season as a Falcon and stands as a firm WR3 in 12+ team leagues. The Falcons are at home against one of the worst defenses in the league next week, so feel comfortable rolling out Sanu against the Bucs and their banged-up secondary.

Rishard Matthews, Free Agent - 12% owned

Matthews is still without a team but has worked out with Cleveland and Arizona, according to reports. He could soon find himself a new home and bring some value to deep PPR leagues. The Browns seem like an ideal match after Rashard Higgins left the last game with a knee injury and Antonio Callaway is seeing his snaps reduced after some inconsistency early in his rookie year.

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals - 9% owned

Despite recommending him here for two straight weeks, Kirk's ownership dropped by three points heading into Week 5. It should surely rise after he took a 75-yard reception to the house, finishing with 85 yards after gaining 90 in Week 3. Kirk's speed makes him a constant threat with the ball and a player worth flexing if you're looking for a potential splash play on an already strong team.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers - 9% owned

Out of Green Bay's trio of rookie receivers, Valdes-Scantling was the one to see the most action in the absence of Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison. Not only did he score his first NFL touchdown in the third quarter of Week 5, he nearly had another but saw it called back by a penalty. MVS saw 10 targets in his first start, catching seven for 68 yards. While Allison should return next week, Valdes-Scantling showed enough to earn playing time going forward. We know how valuable the WR3 in this offense can be. A home game on MNF against the 49ers is a great spot to take a chance on a rising receiver.

Ryan Grant / Chester Rogers, Indianapolis Colts - 5% owned

If TY Hilton and Jack Doyle continue to miss time, Grant and Rogers will both benefit. The Colts clearly aren't afraid to let Andrew Luck loose, exhibited by his 62 and 59 pass attempts the last two weeks. Luck has a league-high 245 pass attempts after five weeks of action. Neither Grant or Rogers have put together huge games yet, but the opportunity is there. Rogers secured eight of 11 targets for 86 yards versus the Patriots while Grant caught six passes for 58 yards. Each has 24 receptions on the season with an almost even target share of 13% for Rogers and 12% for Grant. While Grant is perceived as more of a possession receiver, he has more Air Yards (267) than Rogers (195) and has the lone touchdown between the two. Prefer Grant slightly if you want to roll with one of these receivers against the Jets in Week 6.

Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams - 1% owned

If you're a receiver on the Rams that might get playing time, you've got value. Both Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp left the game against Seattle with suspected concussions. Reynolds was immediately thrust into action, catching two balls for 39 yards and taking a carry for 10 yards. Worst case scenario for the Rams is that both those players are out for Week 6, which puts Reynolds into the starting lineup and gives him a huge leg up on other WR streaming options. If both suit up, Reynolds can be ignored. If it's Kupp that plays but not Cooks, we'd feel less confident about Reynolds and his target share but the Broncos secondary was just shredded by the Jets, so he could still be a possibility in deeper leagues.

Others worth consideration: Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns (22% owned); Taylor Gabriel, Chicago Bears (18% owned); Donte Moncrief, Jacksonville Jaguars (13% owned); Willie Snead, Baltimore Ravens (6% owned); Martavis Bryant, Oakland Raiders (4% owned)

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 29% owned

If Brate is available in your league's waiver wire, don't wait to add him, even if you have a reliable tight end. O.J. Howard will miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained MCL so Brate will inherit all the tight end targets and red zone looks. You may also be aware that Winston prefers Brate, whereas Ryan Fitzpatrick seemed to have some sort of personal grudge with him to the point that he only targeted Brate 10 times over the first four games. With Winston at QB, Brate scored 14 TD the last two seasons combined. He is in a great spot this week to bring value to a highly-depleted position.

C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals - 26% owned

As predicted, it was Uzomah, not Tyler Kroft who was the primary pass-catching tight end with Tyler Eifert gone for the year. Of course, that only resulted in two catches for 43 yards but it wasn't a high-volume day for the Bengals pass offense in general. Uzomah won't be started in most leagues unless you're desperate for a bye-week replacement and neither of this week's teams fit that bill. Still, Uzomah could bring some interest in a home matchup with the Steelers, who were just gashed by Austin Hooper for nine receptions and 77 yards, making them the worst against TEs this season. He could be a valuable sleeper or a nice tournament play.

Geoff Swaim, Dallas Cowboys - 13% owned

Swaim leading the Cowboys in receiving with 55 yards says far more about the state of the WR corps than anything else. There isn't much upside in this offense at all, outside of Ezekiel Elliott, but Swaim has claimed the starting tight end job and is catching 73% of his targets.

Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens - 8% owned

The rookie made his NFL debut against Cleveland, catching one pass for seven yards. The other tight ends, Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle, were utilized as well. This will be one of those rare TEBC (tight end by committee) situations where it might take an injury or hot-hand situation for one to emerge. Hurst could be worked into the offense more each game but remains a speculative stash for now.

Others worth consideration: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (8% owned); Nick Vannett, Seattle Seahawks (3% owned)

 

Defenses - Waiver Wire Options

Seattle Seahawks - 22% owned

The Seahawks didn't do much to inspire confidence without Earl Thomas, allowing 33 points in Week 5. That's not too bad considering they went up against the Rams, though. They'll face the wildly inconsistent Raiders in Week 6. Although it's a road matchup for a mediocre defense, Derek Carr has thrown eight interceptions on the year and should be good for at least one turnover.

Dallas Cowboys - 16% owned

Holding the Texans to 16 points in regulation is a good sign that the Boys can hold their own without star linebacker Sean Lee. Dallas hasn't allowed more than 24 points in a game this season and has been a solid defensive unit, even if the fantasy numbers haven't been there. While they just recorded their first interception of the season, Blake Bortles, fresh off a four-pick game, is coming to town.

Indianapolis Colts - 3% owned

You don't want to go here if possible and probably won't need to since the Lions and Saints shouldn't be your starting defense anyway. If you're looking for a deep tournament play or just hate the matchup for your regular defense, the Colts will be facing the Jets in Week 6.

More Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!