Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Our favorite players are broken down in Top Targets and the best secondary options are in our Going Deeper sections. We’ll also list any players at the top of each position who are above the 50% threshold — or are household names — and are still widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.
Be sure to check out our weekly Waiver Wire podcast for more analysis. We’ll also have Streaming articles every Tuesday that focuses on the top quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses for the upcoming week(s).
Note: The initial Waiver Wire article writeup will be posted every Monday evening, followed by in-depth updates Tuesday, and continued additions/updates Wednesday.
Teams on Bye in Week 6
New Orleans Saints
New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers
Hansen’s Top-15 Options
Note: For these rankings, John Hansen leans on players who are available in at least 40% of Yahoo leagues and who also saw a favorable development for their fantasy values last week. Some players are better long-term picks up, and some are better for just this week or the short term.
Kadarius Toney (NYG, 3%) — I’m not the best follow on Twitter, but if I tweet something like this about a player, and then three days later before his next game, I tweet something else like this, you should go get that player.
Darrel Williams (KC, 11%) — Andy Reid trusts him, especially near the goal line, so a viable RB2 while CEH is gone, assuming they don’t trade for Marlon Mack.
Devontae Booker (NYG, 5%) — He’s a JAG, but he can certainly produce with volume, and their options other than Booker while Saquon is out are limited.
Daniel Jones (NYG, 41%) — Guys like Teddy Bridegewater and Carson Wentz are viable, but a dime a dozen. Jones actually has huge upside if he and receivers are healthy/can get healthy (although Wentz is looking better these days).
Rondale Moore (Ari, 40%) — I always lean to youth, sexiness, options with upside, etc. You know, like Kadarius Toney last week.
Hunter Henry (NE, 45%) — I was incorrect on Jonnu Smith this year, but I have also always loved Henry, and he’s been damn good.
Dan Arnold (Jax, 4%) — I think we have something here in Arnold and Trevor Lawrence.
Alex Collins (Sea, 39%) — He’s a little annoying because he’s good, yet not very productive, but he’s the guy to use if Chris Carson is out.
Khalil Herbert (Chi, 19%) — I wrote last week how the Bears really liked him, and he was a way bigger factor than anyone expected in Week 5. He’s good and should be owned at least for depth and immediate help.
Rhamondre Stevenson (NE, 7%) — I really don’t think Damien Harris can handle a full-time role. Dude is always hurt, and now he’s fumbling regularly.
Marlon Mack (Ind, 9%) — He did look good in Week 5, so a trade may be coming down. I’m hoping it’s Baltimore.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Det, 3%) — My preseason prediction was that he’d lead the Lions WRs in catches this season, and he leads the Lions receivers in catches and is just getting started.
Taylor Heinicke (Was, 16%) — Injuries at receiver hurts and he could lose the job, but some good matchups are upcoming.
Mo Alie-Cox (Ind, 1%) — I cannot escape my vibe that MOC will be a thing this year, but they do spread the ball around.
Ricky Seals-Jones (Was, 2%) — Solid immediate potential the next 2-3 weeks.
Sam Darnold (Car, 60%), Derek Carr (LV, 63%), Trevor Lawrence (Jax, 50%) Baker Mayfield (Cle, 63%), Matt Ryan (Atl, 54%)
None of note.
Taylor Heinicke (Was, 16%) — He’s got a ton of moxie, and good things tend to happen when he extends plays with his legs, which he does a lot, and Heinicke will be the starter in Washington through at least the early part of November. He posted his first dud in Week 5 after throwing for multiple scores and 21+ FP in his first three starts of the season, but a bad game was expected against the Saints. He completed 20/41 passes for just 248 scoreless yards (6.0 YPA) and two INTs and he added 5/40 rushing. Heinicke doesn’t run just to run, and when he moves, he keeps his eyes downfield, something Terry McLaurin obviously loves. He is clearly moving up in the world into the mid-QB2 conversation (KC, @GB,@Den, bye), but his receiving corps is thin with Logan Thomas (hamstring, IR) out and Curtis Samuel (groin, day-to-day) unable to get healthy. At least his schedule looks good, with three of his next four opponents giving up 20+ FPG so far (KC, GB, TB, plus Den). Ryan Fitzpatrick is reportedly on track to return for Week 7, but TFT may just roll with Heinicke.
Teddy Bridgewater (Den, 18%) — Teddy returned to the lineup quicker than expected after suffering a concussion in their Week 4 loss to the Ravens, and he posted 19.6 FP while cashing points against the Steelers. He completed 24/38 passes for 288 yards (7.6 YPA), two touchdowns, and one INT and he added an 11-yard rush in their Week 5 loss. Denver’s defense has looked more vulnerable the last two weeks, which could force Teddy to throw it a little more with competitive matchups (LV, @Cle, Was, @Dal) coming up over the next month. He should also get his boy Jerry Jeudy (high ankle, IR) by the end of the month to give him a little more help. The Raiders are vulnerable and Cle, Was, and Dal give up 22.9, 28.6, and 23.4 FPG so far, respectively.
Daniel Jones (NYG, 41%) — Jones has started to turn a corner in his third season with 22+ FP in three of his first four starts, but his progress was halted by a nasty collision at the goal line against the Cowboys in Week 5. Jones suffered a concussion on the play as he tried to score a rushing touchdown in the second quarter. He gave way to Mike Glennon, who would get the start for him if he’s unable to play in Week 6 against the Rams. He’s built some trust since he’s showing some signs of development in his third season but, for the second straight season, the Giants are having major trouble keeping their skill players on the field at the same time. Jones is still a volatile mid-QB2 option despite his improved play, and he has some tougher matchups looming over the next four weeks (LAR, Car, @KC, LV) if he’s able to return to action in short order. Jones is trending toward playing Week 6 and rookie phenom Kadarius Toney avoided a suspension for throwing a punch and has otherwise proven to be uncoverable and unstoppable. Toney worked in practice this week so he’s set to play Week 6 along with Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayon (no Kenny Golladay, though). UPDATED: 10/13
Jameis Winston (NO, 34%) — Winston had fallen below 14 FP in his last three games after throwing five TD passes in the season opener against the Packers, but he exploded again for 27.8 FP in Week 5. He attempted a season-high 30 passes, producing 279 yards (9.3 YPA), four TDs, and one INT against the Football Team in Week 5. New Orleans has been operating a low-volume passing attack so Winston is going to have to connect on some downfield passes to produce for fantasy as he did in Week 5. He’s going to be a boom-or-bust low-end QB2 when he returns out of their Week 6 bye. But if he can get Michael Thomas and/or Tre’Quan Smith back soon, he does have some very tasty matchups upcoming (@Sea, TB, Atlanta, @Ten).
Carson Wentz (Ind, 12%) — We had Wentz fairly high up on this list before his Week 5 game and wrote that “he doesn't have much fantasy appeal as he plays through two different ankle injuries,” which was proven wrong in Week 5. But we also gave him credit for hanging tough in what has turned out to be a shaky situation in Indy, given all their OL injuries. Wentz is now sitting as the QB12 the last two weeks (4, 5) after he completed 25/35 for 402/2 in Week 5 (after going 24/34 for 228 yards and 2 TDs in Week 4). Wentz is still a lower-end QB2 in the upcoming weeks, since his supporting case isn’t great and he has just 12 rushing yards the last three weeks. But he does click well with Michael Pittman and Indy otherwise has a large and diverse group of (decent) weapons in the passing game to produce decent numbers. Mo Allie-Cox may be coming on, and TY Hilton is still a possibility in a few weeks. What helps is a really nice schedule after Week 5: Hou, @SF, Ten, NYJ, @Jax. UPDATED: 10/12
Tua Tagovailoa (Mia, 15%) — Jacoby Brissett has had an uninspiring run as the team’s starting quarterback in Weeks 3-6 with Tua on the injured reserve with broken ribs. Tua returned to practice this week and he should make his return in Week 6 against the Jaguars in London. He should be viewed as a low-end QB2 as soon as he returns to the lineup, but he’ll be without at least Will Fuller (hand, IR) and possibly DeVante Parker (hamstring). At least he has a very friendly schedule in Weeks 6-9 (@Jax, Atl, @Buf, Hou) to potentially make some fantasy noise for this struggling offense. He does still have some weapons in Mike Gesicki and rookie WR Jaylen Waddle and at some point soon (2-3 weeks) he may have his full complement of weapons. UPDATED: 10/13
Geno Smith (Sea, 1%) — Russell Wilson’s quarterback-best 149 consecutive starts will end this week after he needed surgery to repair a torn tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand. He’s expected to miss at least the next three games (@Pit, NO, Jax) with his earliest possible return coming in Week 10 against the Packers after their bye week. Geno is the next man up for the Seahawks, and the nation found out on Thursday Night Football that Geno is indeed still in the NFL. He played well in a tough spot against the Rams, completing 10/17 passes for 131 yards, one touchdown, and one INT, and he added 3/23 rushing in the final quarter. Before Week 5, Smith had attempted just five passes since he arrived in Seattle back in 2019, but he moved the ball well through the air in a small sample size against Los Angeles. Geno also averaged 20.7 rushing yards per game with seven scores in 29 starts when he first broke into the league with the Jets in 2013-14. He’ll be in the low-end QB2 mix for as long as he’s in the lineup, which will be at least three games, if not longer.
Justin Fields (Chi, 37%) — The Bears are sticking with Fields as their starter moving forward and hopefully some fantasy production will soon follow. He finished with under 10 FP and 20 or fewer passing attempts for the third straight week as a starter in their 11-point victory over the Raiders in Week 5. He completed 12/20 passes for 111 yards (5.6 YPA) and one TD and he added another ugly rushing line with 3/4. Fields is a limited passer at this stage of his career and he’s not going to cut it for fantasy if the Bears aren’t going to design more run plays for him moving forward — he has just 9/25 rushing in his two starts. Fields is more of a bench stash than a usable fantasy option at this stage (GB, @TB, SF, @Pit).
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 8%) and Trey Lance (SF, 47%) — The 49ers are heading into their bye in Week 6 and Jimmy G (calf) will most likely be their starting quarterback when they return to action (bye, Ind, @Chi, Ari). The 49ers weren’t planning on starting Lance anytime soon, and he unlikely changed their minds in their loss to the Cardinals in Week 5. He completed 15/29 passes for 192 yards and one INT and he added 16/89 rushing for 15.6 FP. Lance should be viewed as a potential top-12 option when he starts going forward because of his rushing upside, but he’s likely back to being a bench stash. Jimmy G scored between 15.8-19.6 FP in each of his three full games so he’ll return to being an unspectacular QB2 option in Superflex/two-QB formats.
Ben Roethlisberger (Pit, 23%) — Big Ben has yet to reach 18+ FP in each of his first five games, but he at least had his best performance of the season in their victory over the Broncos in Week 5. He completed 15/25 passes for 253 yards (10.1 YPA) and two touchdowns for a season-high 17.0 FP against Denver. Roethlisberger’s receiving corps and Pittsburgh’s overall passing volume will elevate him in some matchups in the weeks ahead (Sea, bye, @Cle, Chi), but Big Ben is looking like a low-end QB2 unless he becomes more efficient as a downfield passer. He’ll likely need a time machine to accomplish that so he has the potential to post some real stinkers if he doesn’t get passing volume in a given week. The balance they showed in Week 5 helped, and Big Ben and the offense looked better. UPDATED: 10/13
Jared Goff (Det, 13%) — Goff now owns an 0-12 record without Sean McVay as his head coach, and he’s failed to reach 20+ FP in three straight games after doing it twice to open the season. Goff fell below double-digit FP for the second time in three weeks by completing 21/35 passes for 203 yards and one INT in a heartbreaking loss to the Vikings in Week 5. After a promising start to the season, Goff has come back to earth and he can only be considered as a desperation option in Superflex/two-QB formats in the upcoming weeks (Cin, @LAR, Phi, bye). Quintez Cephus suffered a broken collarbone and could be out for the season, but at least rookie Amon Ra St. Brown looks poised to enjoy a mini-breakout right now.
Mac Jones (NE, 18%) — Jones was regressing early in the season after a promising opening performance with his YPA average slipping in each of the first three weeks (7.2>6.2>5.3), but he’s rebounded with his YPA climbing the last weeks (6.9<7.7). Jones led the Patriots back from a 13-point deficit to the Texans in Week 5, completing 23/30 passes for 231 yards, one TD, and one INT. Jones doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of rushing production, and he has a relatively difficult schedule over the next month (Dal, NYJ, @LAC, @Car) so he’s still a low-end QB2 for now.
Zach Wilson (NYJ, 9%) — Wilson’s career is off to a rough start with just four TDs and nine INTs in the first five games. He’s thrown an INT in every game and he’s failed to reach double-digit FP in three of his first five starts after completing 19/32 passes for 192 scoreless yards against the Falcons in Week 5. Wilson isn’t getting much help from his offensive line with LT Mekhi Becton (knee) out of the lineup, and the Jets have a non-existent rushing attack. Wilson doesn’t have the easiest slate coming up (bye, @NE, Cin, @IND), and the Jets need to find something to hang their hat on as an offense coming out of their Week 6 bye. Wilson’s current state of play makes him just a low-end option in Superflex/two-QB leagues.
Davis Mills (Hou, 1%) — Houston’s rookie quarterback went from looking like he didn’t belong in the league in Week 4 against the Bills to torching Bill Belichick’s defense for 312/3 passing in a loss in Week 5. Mills will likely get at least another start or two (@Ind, @Ari) after HC David Culley said Tyrod Taylor (hamstring, IR) was still a couple of weeks away from returning before their Week 5 showdown with the Patriots. Mills still can’t be trusted as anything more than a desperation play in Superflex/two-QB leagues, but he could earn the starting job going forward if he can keep improving after a rough start to his career in Weeks 3-4.
Sony Michel (LAR, 51%), Michael Carter (NYJ, 54%), J.D. McKissic (Was, 45%)
Darrel Williams (KC, 11%) — Clyde Edwards-Helaire had steadied the ship after a rocky start to the season, but he suffered a pretty serious knee sprain that has landed him on IR, so he’s out at least three games (and likely 1-2 more). It’s clear that Williams is a favorite of Andy Reid so he’ll be the lead back over Jerick McKinnon. After Edwards-Helaire gave up 75% of the snaps by playing only 25% of them, Williams led the way with 43% of the snaps with 5 carries for 27 yards and 5 targets with 3/18 receiving. McKinnon did play 31% of the snaps but had just one carry for 2 yards and 2 catches on 2 targets for 12. Williams should get at least 10-12 opportunities a game, and he probably has a better than 50% chance of scoring each week given his activity near the goal the last 1-2 seasons. One thing that could disrupt Williams is KC’s apparent interest in Indy’s Marlon Mack, who may have been showcased again in Week 5, and he looked good with 5/47 rushing, including an explosive 22-yard run. Even if they traded for Mack this week, though, Williams should be the guy these next couple of weeks. UPDATED: 10/13
Devontae Booker (NYG, 5%) — Saquon Barkley suffered a gruesome-looking injury after rolling his ankle after stepping on someone’s foot at the conclusion of a play in Week 5. He luckily suffered a low-ankle injury instead of the dreaded high-ankle variety, which will give him a chance to play again in the near future. Booker saw the vast majority of work after Barkley left the game, posting 16/42/1 rushing and 3/16/1 receiving on for targets against the Cowboys — Elijah Penny had one carry and Gary Brightwell didn’t get a touch. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday night that Barkley is likely to miss Week 6 against the Rams, but there’s hope that he may miss just one game. However, one of our resident doctors, Mark Addicks, is definitely leaning toward multiple weeks in terms of a guesstimate. A trip to IR isn’t out of the question, but we’ll see when we get more information. Based on his usage in Week 5, Booker should see a significant workload as an RB2 for as long as Barkley is out of the lineup. Booker is more dependent on volume than you’d like to see, but they have little else in this backfield.
Khalil Herbert (Chi, 19%) — David Montgomery (knee, IR) is likely to sit out the next four weeks (GB, @TB, SF, @Pit) through their Week 10 bye, and the Bears deployed a near-even split between the rookie and Damien Williams in their first game without Montgomery in Week 6. Herbert actually finished with more snaps (34 to 31), carries (18 to 16), and rushing yards (75 to 64) against the Raiders. Williams saw the only passing game work (2/20 on targets) and the lone touchdown from four yards out. Herbert, a sixth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, impressed the coaches this summer with his reliability and his burst, and they’re rewarding him with a big role next to Williams while Montgomery is out of the lineup. Herbert looked good and could be considered as a flex option with byes starting this week, and he’s one injury away from dominating work in this backfield over the next month.
Alex Collins (Sea, 39%) — Chris Carson sat out Week 5 after he suffered a “flare-up” of a long-term neck condition. He had played on 45% of the snaps or less in both Weeks 3-4 with Collins working his way into the mix. Collins took over the backfield with a 71% snap share with Carson out of the lineup, and he finished with a solid 15/47 rushing and 2/25 receiving on three targets in their loss to the Rams — DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer combined for 8/57 scrimmage behind him. Our Edwin Porras wrote that Carson is likely dealing with an arthritic condition, which means this issue likely isn’t going away any time soon and it could flare up again later this season. Collins is going to stay in the mix moving forward and Carson could miss time or leave mid-game at any point. Collins is a player who should be rostered and he’ll be in the mid-RB2 mix any time that Carson misses a game. Carson was expected to practice late in the week leading up to Week 6, so Collins may not offer much support this week. But Carson’s neck issue could linger. UPDATED: 10/13
Rhamondre Stevenson (NE, 7%) — The Patriots elevated the rookie RB to the active lineup in Week 5 for the first time since the season opener so it looks like he’s back out of Bill Belichick’s doghouse for now. Starting RB Damien Harris was in and out of the lineup with a chest/rib injury in the second half against the Texans, and Stevenson stepped in as the primary runner and posted 11/23 rushing. Harris also lost another fumble, this time at the goal line, which could open up more opportunities for Stevenson. Harris’ injury will need to be monitored this week and Stevenson would be the early-down runner if he misses time. Harris on Monday was considered day-to-day, but he’s been something of a nightmare this year and his injury woes, which date back to last year. Stevenson’s a player to stash anyway just in case his role begins to grow in the upcoming weeks since they’re currently stuck giving Brandon Bolden significant snaps as their passing back.
Kenneth Gainwell (Phi, 42%) — Gainwell is the second back to own in Philly behind Miles Sanders, and he’s carved out some standalone value based on his usage as the team’s hurry-up/passing back. Gainwell saw heavy work in Week 4 with the Eagles playing in a negative gamescript, but he cooled off with just 1/8 receiving on three targets and 2/16 rushing against the Panthers in Week 5 with just 24% of the snaps. Boston Scott has been completely invisible in this backfield, and Nick Sirianni doesn’t seem particularly interested in featuring Sanders, who was drafted by the previous coaching staff. Gainwell was between 31-39% of the snaps in Weeks 1-4, and there’s still some room for his role to grow. For now, Gainwell can be considered as a flex/RB3 option in games that could feature pass-heavy scripts.
Marlon Mack (Ind, 9%) — Mack and the Colts continue to be on the verge of parting ways after they mutually agreed to seek a trade, so he’s worth a speculative add just in case he would land on an RB-needy team. The Colts tried to showcase him in Week 4 after they made him a healthy scratch the week before, and he finished with 10/22 rushing (2.2 YPC) and 1/1 receiving on two targets. However, Mack may have been showcased again in Week 5, and he looked good with 5/47 rushing, including an explosive 22-yard run. Mack’s showing may increase the likelihood that a RB-needy team brings him in via a trade, so he’s worth a bench stash in deep leagues. If the Ravens don’t place a call after Week 5 they may not view him as a good fit for their scheme because they could certainly use him. UPDATED: 10/12
Brandon Bolden (NE, 9%) — Bolden has taken over as the team’s passing back with James White (hip, IR) done for the season, and he has 4+ catches in each of his first two games in that role. He’s managed just 82 scrimmage yards in those contests, so he’s more of a desperation option in deeper PPR formats just in case he keeps his role as the team’s passing back still. He did play a decent 38% of the snaps in Week 5.
David Johnson (Hou, 29%) — The Texans’ backfield is, in general, a fantasy wasteland with Johnson, Mark Ingram, and Phillip Lindsay competing for snaps and limited fantasy production. Johnson actually saw some decent usage in their Week 5 loss to the Patriots, playing 53% of the snaps and posting 5/46 receiving on six targets and 2/5 rushing. It didn’t hurt that Rex Burkhead (hip) sat out in Week 5, but DJ might see more work going forward since he helped out their rookie quarterback. If they’re throwing a ball to a back in Houston, it’s almost certainly going to be Johnson, and Ingram and Lindsey combined for 0 targets in Week 5. He’s also not a bad player to stash just in case he’s traded to a much better situation before the NFL trade deadline on Nov. 2.
Samaje Perine (Cin, 28%) — Joe Mixon suffered a low-grade ankle sprain in Week 4 but, somewhat surprisingly, he played in committee with Perine in Week 5. Perine was far more effective, posting 11/59 rushing and 4/24/1 receiving on five targets compared to 10/33/1 rushing and 1/2 receiving on one target for Mixon. Perine played a healthy 61% of the snaps with Mixon at only 28%. Perine was added to the Covid-19 list on Monday (10/11), so his status is in doubt. He should be held for now just in case Mixon isn’t out of the woods with his ankle injury as we’ve seen Dalvin Cook struggle to stay in the lineup recently with his ankle injury. Perine’s role will dwindle over the next couple of weeks as long as Mixon doesn’t have a setback, but keep in mind Mixon missed 10 games with a “foot” issue last year so this is a situation to keep monitoring. Perine was placed on the Covid list this week, and Mixon was back practicing, so Perine is mainly just a stash-and-hope option in deeper leagues. UPDATED: 10/13
Jeff Wilson (SF, 13%) — HC Kyle Shanahan said on Sept. 20 that Wilson’s return will likely be earlier than expected, and he could even return as early as Week 7, which would have him missing only five games (they have a bye Week 6). He could easily have value by the end of October if you can stash him on your bench or in an IR spot for the next two weeks. It seems likely that he would play over Trey Sermon when Wilson’s ready.
Giovani Bernard (TB, 16%) — Gio went from having a limited role in Tampa’s passing attack in the first two weeks (4/28 receiving) to posting 11/65/2 receiving and 4/21 rushing in his last two games in Weeks 3 and 5 — he sat out Week 4 with a knee injury. Ronald Jones hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with his performance early in the season, so there’s a chance Bernard sees a bigger role playing behind Leonard Fournette going forward.
Jaret Patterson (Was, 2%) — Patterson, a UDFA out of Buffalo, would take over as the team’s lead runner if Antonio Gibson is forced to miss time at any point with J.D. McKissic working in passing situations. It came out before Week 5 that Gibson is playing through a stress fracture in his shin so Patterson should be considered as a bench stash just in case the injury becomes too much for Gibson to play through or if the team decides to shut him down at some point with their season heading south.
Best Handcuff Stashes
Peyton Barber (LV, 6%) — With Josh Jacobs back in action in Week 4, Barber, for now, falls back as only a handcuff. He came up big for the Raiders in Week 3 with 23/111/1 rushing (4.8 YPC) in a victory over the Dolphins and even caught three passes for 31 yards. Jacob is an injury waiting to happen, and they already hate The Drake in this backfield.
Carlos Hyde (Jax, 9%) — Hyde is the distant second to James Robinson in Jacksonville’s backfield after Travis Etienne’s season-ending foot injury in August. Hyde isn’t a usable fantasy piece but he could creep into the low-end RB2 picture if anything happens to Robinson.
Anthony McFarland (Pit, 0%) — It would likely be a committee in Pittsburgh if Najee Harris missed time with Benny Snell, Kalen Ballage, and McFarland. Ballage may have the most upside, but McFarland was actually drafted by the Steelers last year, and they were planning on him having a role. He’s got great speed and some receiving chops. He can come off IR at any time now.
Henry Ruggs (LV, 58%), Emmanuel Sanders (Buf, 61%), AJ Green (Ari, 54%), Jarvis Landry (Cle, 63%), Sterling Shepard (NYG, 53%), Christian Kirk (Ari, 50%)
Kadarius Toney (NYG, 3%) — The cat has officially been let out of the bag. The first-round pick gave us a taste of his potential in Week 4 with 6/78 receiving on nine targets before he erupted for 10/189 receiving on 13 targets against the Cowboys in Week 5. It helped that the Giants played in an extremely pass-heavy script and that Kenny Golladay (knee) and Saquon Barkley (ankle) left early with injuries, but he did most of his damage with backup Mike Glennon in the game for Daniel Jones (concussion). Toney did his damage by creating plenty of separation as a route runner and by eating up yards after the catch with his quickness. He also had some lowlights with an accidental head butt of someone on the Giants’ sideline before he was ejected for throwing a punch at a Cowboys defender — luckily, he will avoid a suspension. Toney has been a handful for the Giants’ organization since they drafted him, but the Giants should feel compelled to get the talented Toney involved on an every-week basis moving forward, if healthy. Unfortunately, Toney also picked up an ankle injury, but he worked early in the week, so his Week 6 status should not be in doubt. Toney has the looks of a potential league-winning player off the waiver wire if the Giants can get him 8-10 opportunities per game moving forward. It would be egregious if they didn’t. UPDATED: 10/13
Hunter Renfrow (LV,45%) — Las Vegas’ passing game funnels through Darren Waller, but Henry Ruggs and Renfrow are getting opportunities as secondary options. Bryan Edwards is fourth among this group in targets, and as much as we know they like him, Derek Carr isn’t looking for him much. Renfrow has 5+ catches, 45+ receiving yards, and 10+ FP in each of Las Vegas’ first five games, and he’s even scored twice in the early going. Renfrow doesn’t have the fantasy ceiling that Ruggs has, but he has an excellent floor as a WR3 in PPR formats.
Rondale Moore (Ari, 40%) — HC Kliff Kingsbury decided to use Moore in Week 5 after he had a combined 5/29 receiving on five targets in Weeks 3-4. He popped for 5/59 receiving on six targets and he added 3/38 rushing against the 49ers on 48% of the snaps, and Rondale just missed out on a 27-yard touchdown by getting marked down just shy of the goal line. Moore is still stuck in a part-time role as the team’s #4 WR, but emerging TE Maxx Williams went down with a nasty knee injury in Week 5, His injury could force the Cardinals to play in even more four-WR sets moving forward, which means Moore could have a more sustainable weekly role to potentially tamp down his fantasy volatility. Moore owns PFF’s highest receiving grade (80.5) and yards per route run average (3.11) among rookie wide receivers through the first five weeks.
Darnell Mooney (Chi, 44%) — Mooney’s ownership plummeted after Justin Fields’ disastrous debut in Week 3, but the second-year WR showed his upside playing with the rookie quarterback in Week 4, and that is in line with our information from the preseason that Fields and Mooney were making great progress together. Mooney had three different catches of 20+ yards on his way to 5/125 receiving on seven targets in Chicago’s victory over the Lions. Unfortunately, he’s going to be a bit volatile with Fields at quarterback as we saw in Week 5, as he managed just 3/35 receiving on five targets (24% share) with the Bears attempting just 21 passes for 119 yards against the Raiders in Week 5. We loved Mooney this summer because we thought Fields’ downfield accuracy would unlock him, and it took only two starts from Fields to see that plain as day, but the Bears’ offense is going to need more passing volume for Mooney to reach his full fantasy potential.
Michael Gallup (Dal, 46%) — Gallup is eligible to come off the IR off of the calf injury he suffered in Week 1. He was given a 3-5 week timeline for his injury so he could be ready to play as early as this week against the Giants. Amari Cooper is playing through hamstring and rib injuries so Gallup could step right back into a prominent role as soon as he’s activated. Gallup is a WR4 once he returns to the lineup and he has WR3 potential playing in Dallas’ potent passing attack, so scoop him up if he’s been dropped.
Tim Patrick (Den, 31%) — Patrick was a popular player to drop after his 3/39 receiving performance against the Ravens in Week 4, but he got back to scoring 12+ FP in Week 5 for the fourth time in five games. With the Broncos chasing points late against the Steelers, Patrick finished with 7/89 receiving on nine targets (24% share), and he was out there for 95% of the snaps. Patrick will continue to be a solid but unsexy WR4 option for as long as Jerry Jeudy (high ankle, IR) is out of the lineup.
DeVante Parker (Mia, 42%) and Preston Williams (Mia, 0%) — Parker has been solid but unspectacular through the first three weeks of the season with 4+ catches and 40+ yards in each game. He finally busted through with a big game in Week 4 with Will Fuller leaving early with a hand injury, posting 4/77/1 receiving on nine targets (30% share) with 90% of the snaps. He picked up a hamstring injury in practice before Week 5, and he ended up sitting out in an exploitable matchup against the Buccaneers. He will be an unsexy WR4 moving forward, but his prospects will improve once Tua Tagovailoa returns, which could be as early as this week. If Parker is unable to play again this week against the Jaguars, Preston Williams could be considered as a desperation play after posting 3/60 receiving on five targets as Williams’ replacement in Week 5, with a healthy 74% of the snaps.
Marquez Callaway (NO, 30%) — Callaway exploded for 4/85/2 receiving on a season-high eight targets (27%) against Washington in Week 5, thanks in large part to his 49-yard touchdown on a Hail Mary pass before halftime. Michael Thomas (ankle, PUP) is eligible to return to the lineup starting in Week 8 against the Buccaneers so the already volatile Callaway is going to struggle for consistent targets coming out of their Week 6 bye. Then again, he may benefit at times from Thomas being on the field, so he has a chance.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Det, 3%) — Good luck picking which Lions WR to use for fantasy but the best bet is now he rookie St. Brown, who has 6+ catches in consecutive games, and also Tyrell Williams, who was the team’s #1 perimeter WR before landing on the injured reserve. Jared Goff has started to feed St. Brown in the last two weeks with 16 combined targets for 13/135 receiving and he was at 69% of the snaps in Week 5. Tyrell is eligible to come off the injured reserve this week after suffering a nasty concussion in Week 1, and he could vault back to the top of the depth chart, especially with Quintez Cephus likely season-ending suffering a shoulder injury in Week 5. But Tyreell can’t be counted on at all. T.J. Hockenson has cooled off in recent weeks so there’s some room for production for these WRs.
Randall Cobb (GB, 16%) — Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring, IR) will be out of the lineup through at least Week 6, meaning Cobb and Allen Lazard will have bigger roles for at least one more week (@Chi). With Davante Adams hogging all the work with 16 targets, Cobb managed just 2/30 receiving on three targets and Lazard posted just 1/8 receiving on two targets against the Bengals in Week 5, playing a so-so 55% of the snaps. Cobb has fallen below six FP in four of his five games this season, but there are some good signs. Per @itszachariahj on Twitter, Cobb is second on the team in receiving yards, tied for second in TDs, and of players with at least 10 targets, his 14.3 YPC is the highest. He’s also converted 6-of-8 third-downs, and had a chance to score in Week 5. The arrow seems to be pointing up for Cobb still.
Jamison Crowder (NYJ, 39%) — Crowder saw his first action of the season in Week 4 after missing the first three games of the season with a groin injury, and he instantly stepped into a significant role as Zach Wilson’s security blanket in the middle of the field. He finished behind only Corey Davis in targets (6, 19% share) in Week 5 with a solid 61% of the snaps, but it translated into just 4/24 receiving against the Falcons with Wilson struggling to move the ball through the air. It’s tough to get too excited about Crowder since Wilson is having growing pains and since Crowder struggles to string together multiple healthy weeks in a row. This receiving corps is also crowded with Davis, Elijah Moore, and Keelan Cole each in the mix. Crowder is clearly going to be active in the underneath areas of the field for his struggling rookie quarterback, but he’s not a must-hold through his Week 6 bye.
Rashod Bateman (Bal, 25%) — Bateman returned to practice from the injured reserve list after having core-muscle surgery in mid-August, but the Ravens weren’t quite ready to activate him in Week 4 or in Week 5. He’ll likely make his NFL debut this week, though, especially with Sammy Watkins banged up. The first-round pick is more of a bench stash since he’ll slot into the #3 receiver spot, at best, in a limited passing attack behind established ballers Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown, and he’ll be battling it out with Watkins and others for weekly targets, so there’s not a lot of upside. However, there is still solid potential, since they are morphing into a passing team. UPDATED: 10/12
Van Jefferson (LAR,11%) and DeSean Jackson (LAR, 6%) — HC Sean McVay finally unleashed D-Jax in Week 3 against the Buccaneers, as he went for 3/120/1 receiving on five targets. Jefferson is running ahead of Jackson in three-WR sets, and he bounced back with a team-best 6/90/1 receiving on six targets (15%). In Week 5, Jefferson struggled with just a 16-yard on four targets and he ceded playing time to D-Jax in the second half, who made the pivotal play in the game with a 68-yard catch on a downfield throw. Jefferson held just a 23-to-15 advantage in routes in Week 5, which is the tightest split of the season. It may have been a one-off decision by Sean McVay to give the offense a spark or D-Jax’s opportunities could be growing. Either way, Jefferson and D-Jax are going to be volatile secondary options in this passing attack with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods hogging targets.
Josh Gordon (KC, 4%) — He made his Chiefs debut in Week 5, but played only nine snaps and came away with 1 catch for 11 yards on one target. It’s clear the Chiefs are underwhelmed with their wideouts other than Tyreek, but Mecole Hardman did at least have a strong showing in Week 5. Still, on the chance that he rises here and pops, Gordon is worth a back-of-the-roster stash as long as you can afford it.
Zach Pascal (Ind, 23%) — He’s yet to hit 50+ receiving yards in a game this season, but he’s at least seen 5+ targets in every game, including Week 5. He’s shown a strong rapport with Carson Wentz, so he’ll be active every week, especially down by the goal line. On the downside, they do continue to spread the ball around in the passing game and Parris Campbell did show signs of life last week with 5/56 on 6 targets.
Jared Cook (LAC, 61%)
Hunter Henry (NE, 45%) — Jonnu Smith was supposed to be the man in the Patriots’ passing attack, and it’s not like he hasn’t been a factor, but Henry has jumped to the top in this tight-end room. Henry led New England’s passing attack in their Week 5 victory over the Texans, posting 6/75/1 receiving on eight targets (27% share) compared to Jonnu’s 2/27 receiving on two targets. They both played 62% of the snaps. Jonnu should remain a big factor, especially with James White out for the season, but Henry should be added in most formats at this point with his FP rising the last three weeks (8.6<13.2<19.5).
Dan Arnold (Jax, 4%) — Jacksonville had a major need at TE and they wanted a weapon for their rookie quarterback in the middle of the field so they swung a deal for Arnold before Week 4. HC Urban Meyer gave his seal of approval when he said he “loves” Arnold before Week 5, and he went out and led the Jaguars in targets (8, 24% share, 73% of the snaps), catches (6), and yards (64) in their loss to the Titans. Arnold, a former college WR and hurdler, can line up all over the formation and he can produce at all levels of the field. His role should only continue to grow in this receiver-needy offense after D.J. Chark went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Week 4. He could develop into a high-end TE2 option if you’re looking for help at an ever-thinning fantasy position. Trevor Lawrence has targeted a TE on 20% of his throws so far, and that’s mostly without Arnold as an option, since debuted with them in Week 4.
Zach Ertz (Phi, 38%) — No one wants to use a TE on a team with two active targets at the position, but this is a TE-centric offense in Philly and Ertz is a factor. Ertz was heating up with 27.3 FP in Weeks 3-4 before finishing with just a seven-yard catch against the Panthers in Week 5 despite seeing six targets (19% share, 60% of the snaps). Ertz still has a chance to make a decent impact any given week, and he could emerge as an active goal-line target for Jalen Hurts — he had a touchdown nullified by penalty in Week 4. Ertz is a mid-range TE1 in Week 6 since Dallas Goedert can’t be removed from the Covid list in time for Thursday night’s game. UPDATED: 10/13
Ricky Seals-Jones (Was, 2%) — RSJ is an every-down player with Logan Thomas (hamstring, IR) expected to be out of the lineup for at least the next three games through their Week 9 bye. He finished with a solid 5/41 receiving on eight targets (20% share) with a couple of end-zone targets in Washington’s loss to the Saints in Week 5. He also had a 44-yard reception negated by an offensive penalty so he was close to having a huge game in Week 5. RSJ has the chance to stay active for anyone looking for TE help and it doesn’t hurt that Curtis Samuel simply can’t get over his groin injury.
Mo Alie-Cox (Ind, 1%) — Alie-Cox is a player to monitor after he saw an increased role in Week 4 with Jack Doyle moving to the bench (MAC had 69% of the snaps, Doyle only 30%). He finished second on the team in targets with five (16% share) and he finished with 3/42/2 receiving with two red-zone scores against the Dolphins. In Week 5, Cox didn’t do anything special with only 4 targets, but he did turn them into 3/50, so he’s still interesting. He will be TD-dependent, but Wentz should be looking for him often in the money area. UPDATED: 10/12
Evan Engram (NYG, 31%) — Engram returned to the lineup off of his calf injury in Week 3 and he’s looked extremely sluggish since he’s come back. He had his best game in Week 5 against the Cowboys but he still failed to reach double-digit FP by catching all four of his targets for 55 yards. Engram theoretically has the skill set to turn it around moving forward, but it’s fair to wonder if all of the injuries at the start of his career have started to slow him down. He’ll be an uninspiring, mid-TE2 moving forward until we see some of his old explosiveness come back (if it does at all). The one thing working in his favor is that New York’s skill players are dropping like flies, but he’s yet to show us much of a fantasy ceiling through three weeks.
Gerald Everett (Sea, 39%) — Everett has been dropped and forgotten after missing the last two weeks on the COVID list, but he should be ready to play against the Steelers in Week 6. Everett had his best game of the season (5/54 receiving) before missing the last two games, and he’s played on a healthy 77% of the snaps when in the lineup. Unfortunately, he’ll be playing with Geno Smith for at least the next three weeks, but Geno did target fellow TE Will Dissly three times (18% share) when he came into the game in Week 5.
David Njoku (Cle, 3%) — Njoku had just 7/111 receiving without a touchdown through the first four weeks of the season before going nuclear against the Chargers with 7/149/1 receiving in Week 5. The Browns have been heavily rotating Njoku, Austin Hooper, and Harrison Bryant all season, so this will likely be an outlier performance in a game that turned into a shootout. Still, the Browns aren’t exactly loaded with receiving talent and Njoku has the potential to be a playmaker, so feel free to pick him up this week and stash him to see if Kevin Stefanski decides to expand his role in their passing attack.
Anthony Firkser (Ten, 7%) — At some point, someone has to step up in this Titans passing game, and Firkser is a decent option. His snaps are oddly down to the 50% level, but he does have 9 targets in Weeks 4-5 with 6/56 total. That’s not much, but he could heat up a little going forward and TDs.
Tyler Bass (Buf, 97%) - Bass is most likely unavailable in most leagues. Still, he has a great matchup on Monday night against Tennessee. Buffalo is coming off a huge road win in Kansas City. The offense could have a let down and stall more often than naught. This could lead to two or three field goal opportunities for Bass, who has converted on 11 of 12 field goals (two from the bonus range).
Brandon McManus (Den, 41%) - McManus is at home against a Raiders team that is trending in the wrong direction. McManus has converted on all eleven field goal attempts this year with four of them coming from the 40-49 yard bonus range. McManus has multiple field goal converted games in two of his last three outings. This game should make it three out of his last four.
Zane Gonzalez (Car, 1%) - Gonzalez has only hit 6 of 8 field goal attempts. Yet, both of his misses have come from 50 yards or more and half of his converted field goals are from the bonus range. Carolina has a good matchup at home against the Vikings and Gonzalez could be in line for two field goals with one from the bonus range.
Panthers (Car, 59%) — Carolina’s D has been a top-10 unit each week except Week Four when they faced the juggernaut Cowboys offense. They have 16 sacks and 4 INTs so far, signs that their complex and versatile scheme is working well. Removing the Dallas game, the Panthers allow an average of 12.75 points against, and their upcoming schedule is good: Min, @NYG, @Atl, NE. They could also get stud CB Stephon Gilmore off the PUP list after this week.
Colts (Ind, 44%) — This is being written before their MNF matchup with the Ravens, but the Colts defense is 8th in scoring through the first four weeks. And that’s with a banged-up unit that’s starting to get healthy again. Rookie standout pass rusher Kwity Paye should be back in the next week or so, joining Xavier Rhodes, Darius Leonard, and DeForest Buckner on a unit that has 8 sacks, 3 INTs, and 5 fumble recoveries through their first four games. Indy has elite playmakers on each level of their defense and after their tough matchup with Baltimore their schedule gets a lot easier, including four of five games at home: Hou, @SF, Ten, NYJ, and Jax.
Dolphins (Mia, 15%) — This Miami unit hasn’t been nearly as good as it was last season. After being lights out a year ago, they’ve fallen to around the league average. Still, they’re a talented group that will be helped a ton if their offense can ever get them the lead again. That might happen in this next stretch. After games against the Bills, Raiders, and Buccaneers (combined record of 11-4), the Dolphins now face the Jaguars, Falcons, and Texans (combined record of 3-12) with another date with the Bills sandwiched in there. Those three teams are all top-5 in FPA to DSTs.