2021 Fantasy Football: Top Week 6 Waiver Wire Options
It was a wild Week 5 of NFL action. There were some great finishes, some devastating injuries and some under-the-radar sneaky performances. There aren’t many must-have waiver wire additions, however, there are at least a few players who should have interesting opportunities in the near future due to injuries. Devontae Booker taking over in New York for Saquon Barkley is definitely a situation to monitor. Geno Smith taking over for Russell Wilson is another situation that could affect several players on the fantasy football landscape. Let’s take a look at the top players to add from the waiver wire at each of the core four positions.
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
There aren’t a ton of great quarterbacks to add off the waiver wire. However, Geno Smith could provide value over the next few weeks while Russell Wilson is working his way back from a hand injury. Wilson suffered the injury in Seattle’s Week 5 loss to the Rams. Wilson will miss at least the next month of action, which means Geno Smith will get the opportunity to turn around the 2021 season for Seattle.
Considering the Seahawks have one of the greatest tandems in the NFL in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, Smith could fare better than he ever did in the past. This is the most talent he has ever had surrounding him, plus Chris Carson is expected to return in Week 6. Smith has been with Seattle since 2013 and knows the offensive system incredibly well. Anyone who lost Wilson in Week 5 should really consider Smith for the middle part of the season.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lawrence and the Jags have started the 2021 season 0-5, however, Lawrence does seem to be incrementally improving. He completed 23-of-33 passes for 273 yards to go with a touchdown and an interception on Sunday. Lawrence also used his legs to score an additional touchdown.
The Jaguars' play calling has centered around Lawrence, who has 21 carries over the last three weeks, and constant negative game scripts under Urban Meyer give him a high passing floor. Lawrence has a streamable Week 6 matchup against a Dolphins secondary that's coming off a five touchdown game to Tom Brady. If you don’t have someone better, Lawrence could have a strong outing against Miami.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team
Washington will face an angry 2-3 Chiefs team in Week 6. Although the Chiefs aren’t even .500 in 2021, they are still a powerhouse in the AFC conference and Patrick Mahomes will make sure this is a very high-scoring affair. So long as Terry McLaurin is on the field, Taylor Heinicke will make plenty of pass attempts downfield. Look for a bounce-back performance from Heinicke after he failed to throw a single touchdown against the Saints in Week 5. However, Heinicke did rush five times for 40 yards. He’s absolutely capable of using his legs to accumulate points.
Devontae Booker, New York Giants
Saquon Barkley suffered an unfortunate ankle injury in the first quarter against the Cowboys when a Cowboys defensive player stepped under his foot as Barkley started to brace himself from contact. It appeared to be a high ankle sprain if he didn’t suffer a break. Booker looks to be the next man up, while Gary Brightwell should see a bump in playing time. New York plays the Rams and Panthers over the next two weeks. Booker did score a second half touchdown in Barkley’s relief. He should get all the goal-line work and will be on the field for short-yardage situations as well.
Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots
After Damien Harris left Sunday’s game against the Texans, Stevenson, the rookie, seemed to be the Patriots’ top running back. Brandon Bolden was also on the field, but Stevenson was the most effective. He only gained 23 yards on 11 carries but Bolden was held to practically nothing in the passing game. If Bill Belichick decides to sit Harris in Week 6, Stevenson should assume lead-back duties in New England.
Darrell Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was knocked out of Sunday night’s game with a panful-looking knee injury. Following the hit, Williams looks poised to take over as Kansas City’s workhorse. He’s a capable runner and pass-catcher, so don’t be surprised if he sees 14-18 touches against Washington’s underperforming defense in Week 6. Jerick McKinnon may have some value in PPR leagues, but Williams is definitely the guy to own in Kansas City’s backfield. He’s a solid flex option in Week 6.
Michael Carter" data-toggle="modal" data-target="#player-pop-up" href="/nfl_player_news/Michael_Carter/">Michael Carter, New York Jets
Carter only managed 52 yards on 13 touches but punched it into the end zone for the second consecutive week. Carter and the Jets get a bye in Week 6, but he could be worth starting when the Jets return in Week 7. Carter appears to be the workhorse for the Jets.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns
With Odell Beckham Jr. underperforming and Jarvis Landry still on Injured Reserve, Donovan Peoples-Jones appears to be Baker Mayfield’s best option at moving the chains. The Browns start a three-game home stretch against Arizona, Denver and Pittsburgh next week. Peoples-Jones continues to see WR2 snaps in Cleveland with Landry sidelined. He had his best outing in Week 5 against the Chargers in which he caught five of his six targets for 70 yards. Look for more games like this in the near future.
Kadarius Toney, New York Giants
With Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both out with hamstring injuries, Toney became the focal point of the offense after Kenny Golladay and Saquon Barkley suffered injuries in Week 5. The first-round rookie was basically all that was left for the G-Men in Week 5. It showed as Toney has his best performance on the young season. Toney could have had an even better day but was ejected from the game when tempers flared. Still, the youngster produced 10 receptions on 13 targets for a whopping 189 yards. Toney also attempted a pass and had a carry inside the 10 on a wildcat snap. It's unclear when New York's WR corps will be healthy, but Toney has shown enough to deserve more playing time when everyone is back. Even next week against the Rams, he'll have flex value (even if Daniel Jones is unable to suit up, though I think he will be back from the concussion protocol).
Marquez Callaway, New Orleans Saints
Callaway has been a major disappointment this year, but he came up big in a highly favorable matchup in Week 5, catching four-of-eight targets for 85 yards and two TDs. To be fair, one of those touchdowns was a 49-yard Hail Mary at the end of the first half, but Callaway was still clearly involved and productive. The Saints have a bye next week, and Michael Thomas (ankle) and Tre'Quan Smith (hamstring) might return in Week 7, both of which would cut into Callaway's workload, but perhaps he would also see more favorable coverage. Either way, he's worth adding as a depth piece now that the byes are here.
Ross Dwelley, San Francisco 49ers
The loss of George Kittle gives Dwelley starting snaps for a couple more games. Against the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers backup tight end accumulated two catches for 25 yards. Dwelley’s ceiling remains low based on his play over the past two seasons (15/91/2 and 19/245/1), but he may work as a matchup filler at tight end in deep formats.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
In his sophomore season in 2018, Njoku delivered 56 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns, putting him on a path to be perennial top 12 tight end. Unfortunately, an injury in 2019 and a trade for Austin Hooper pushed him to a back seat tight end option for Cleveland. However, his snap count continues to rise (52 percent in Week 4), and his talent flashed in a wide-open matchup against the Chargers, leading to an impact game (7/149/1). A 71-yard score highlighted Njoku’s success on Sunday. His name should shine through this week on the waiver wire for a fantasy team looking to improve their tight end depth.