2021 Fantasy Football: Week 6 Waiver Wire Rankings
You’re ready once again to look to the waiver wire for one or more reasons. Whatever the case, I’m here to help. There are some new names this week. There are also some players who are still worth your consideration from weeks past.
With Bye weeks upon us, navigating the waiver wire will get tricky. Make sure you have your claims prioritized! If you’re unsuccessful in your waiver wire claims, also pay attention to who your league mates drop to make room for these players. Sometimes the value from the waiver wire is in the players that get cut to make room for the players you didn’t claim.
WEEK 6 BYES: ATL, NYJ, SF, NO
Below, we’ll look at players at each position, who are on 50% or less of most fantasy football rosters, that could be considered on the Week 6 waiver wire.
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Week 6 Waiver Wire Rankings
Darrell Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
Williams’ role in the Week 4 win over the Philadelphia Eagles officially put him on the waiver wire map. That, on top of the increasing urgency to roster the top backup running backs across the league. These days, it really feels like no running back is safe. Once starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire went down with an MCL sprain on Sunday night, Williams’ value skyrocketed.
It was an ugly game for the Chiefs as they fell to 2-3 following a loss to the Buffalo Bills. Williams, however, saw a season-high in snaps accounting for 43%. Williams totaled five carries as well as five targets, confirming his role as a pass-catcher. He’s now the starting running back, until further notice, on a team that needs to put together a winning streak, and fast. They’ll have a great opportunity to as their next three opponents, Washington, Tennessee, and the New York Giants, are a combined 6-9.
The bottom line is Darrell Williams is the obvious top waiver wire add this week. He’s all of a sudden the lead back on a top-five scoring offense. The Chiefs, albeit disappointing in the standings, are averaging over 420 yards of total offense per game. Williams will see enough volume and scoring opportunities to cement him as a weekly RB2 for the time being.
Devontae Booker, New York Giants
It wouldn’t surprise me if Booker was drafted in your league. With early concerns about Saquon Barkley’s role, Booker’s value as an insurance policy was worth a draft pick. Since then, in 10 to 12-team leagues, he’s probably been sent to free agency, if he didn’t start the season there. Following Saquon’s unfortunate ankle injury on Sunday, Booker is back in the conversation and a must-add this week on the waiver wire.
Once Saquon exited the game, Booker saw 20 total opportunities: 16 carries and four targets. While only totaling 58 yards, Booker did score the Giants’ only two touchdowns of the day. Once as a runner and once as a pass-catcher. Saquon wasn’t the only injury on offense the Giants had to manage. To put it gently, their team right now is an absolute mess.
Even still, Booker is a volume-based RB2 moving forward, even against a tough Los Angeles Rams defense in Week 6. Odds are, if you’re planning to put in a claim for Booker, you have Saquon heading to IR or the bench. If that’s not the case, and you want to get Booker on your roster anyway, I would hesitate before giving him the starting nod. Regardless, Booker is a must-add across all leagues even on a banged-up Giants offense.
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles
I’m back to discuss Kenneth Gainwell. Again. His roster percentage is slowly creeping up. I believe the lack of faith in Philadelphia’s play calling is what’s holding fantasy managers back from adding Gainwell at this point.
Looking ahead, the Eagles host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football. While fans have been begging the team to run the ball more, their best chance at winning is through the air. The Tampa secondary is banged up and, more importantly, their defensive line is one of the best in the league. They’re allowing just 45.8 rushing yards per game, easily the least amongst all defenses.
With that said, Gainwell has serious flex appeal in Week 6 for those looking for a Bye Week fill-in or simply need help overall at running back. Miles Sanders played 75% of the snaps in Week 5 to Gainwell’s 24%, his lowest share yet. On a short week, however, and with his pass-catching ability, I expect Gainwell to be heavily involved against the Bucs.
Beyond Week 6, the Eagles face three straight opponents, the Raiders, Lions, and Chargers, allowing top-10 rushing yard totals to opposing offenses. It’s possible Miles Sanders comes alive during that time. In the event Gainwell remains “a thing” in Philly, it’s best to get him off of the waiver wire and onto your roster this week.
Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots
Personally, I’m not rushing to put a waiver claim in for Stevenson. I’ve drafted him. Then cut him. I’ve even added him again and, yes, dropped him again. I very much want the rookie to break out this season, and soon. It’s just hard to trust any New England Patriot running back’s role any given week.
It doesn’t sound like the weekly starter, Damien Harris is going to miss significant time following an injury on Sunday. Even when he is active, calling him the starter is sometimes a formality. He’s succeeded a large share of snaps to the likes of Brandon Bolden, Jakob Johnson, and, when healthy, James White. Bolden is also up for waiver wire consideration, furthering the headache that is the New England backfield.
Stevenson is back in the waiver wire mix after playing 34% of snaps Sunday coming off of three straight weeks of being a healthy scratch on game day. With the newfound opportunity, he turned 11 carries into just 23 yards. Adding him at this point is based on his preseason breakout where he totaled 194 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 25 carries in two games. If you have room for that potential on your bench in a 12 or 14-team league, then considering putting in a claim for the rookie, Rhamondre.
Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
The rookie quietly kept pace with last week’s top waiver wire add, Damien Williams, in the Bears’ win over the Raiders on Sunday. Both Williams and Herbert logged 18 touches, with Williams edging Herbert 84 to 74 in total yards. Herbert, however, played three more snaps to that of Damien Williams. That, especially, lands him on this week’s waiver wire column.
I don’t expect the Bears’ every-week starter, David Montgomery, back until after the team’s Week 10 Bye. Especially if they can’t put together a string of wins any time soon, there’s no need to rush him back. In the meantime, keeping an eye on Williams’ and Herbert’s roles in this backfield is of high interest. Justin Fields is officially the starter and looked the part in Week 5.
If Chicago’s offense can figure itself out, the better it is for both Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert. It’s clear, even with Montgomery out, that this team is committed to giving their running backs touches. Montgomery averaged 18.75 in four games by himself while the aforementioned Week 5 duo had 18 of their own, each, this past week.
Depending on where you’re at in your league’s waiver wire order, Herbert may be the only reasonable option available to you at running back. If you have the space in 10-team leagues or need to patch up the position in 12 or more team leagues, putting in a claim for Herbert is advised.
Other Running Backs to Consider
AJ Dillon and Sony Michel should both be on rosters by now in leagues of all sizes. If they’re not, I would prioritize them above every running back I’ve mentioned above. They are the top backups to the starters ahead of them in top offenses, the Packers and Rams, respectively. However, they’re on less rosters than the likes of Trey Sermon and Latavius Murray. I would cut both of those backs for either Dillon or Michel. Just take one more look at your waiver wire to make sure they’re not there.
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
Moore continues to pop up on the weekly waiver wire column. For good reason! The red-hot Arizona Cardinals are 5-0 and Moore is making his case, again, to the be the second option in the passing game. Veterans AJ Green and Christian Kirk are still worth a roster spot in 12 to 14-team leagues. However, Moore is the guy I’m stashing, for now, in 10-team leagues.
Kirk played his lowest snap count of the season while Moore played his most yet at 48%. Moore was the second-most targeted wide receiver. He saw six targets and added three rushes, as well, for 97 total yards. It’s becoming clear that as the season continues, Moore is going to develop into one of Kyler Murray’s top weapons.
That’s not to say that AJ Green, who’s averaging 81% of the Cardinals’ snaps through five weeks, won’t have a role. I just expect the 33-year-old to find usage in more specific scenarios as Rondale Moore gets more and more acclimated at the professional level. Moore is currently a matchup-based flex player in PPR formats. I’m using a waiver wire claim on him this week with the expectation he finishes the season, at worst, as a weekly WR3.
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders
It’s time to put some respect on Hunter Renfrow’s name. We all need to pay attention to the fact that he’s averaging 7.6 targets per game. He’s also just 10 targets behind tight end, Darren Waller, in team targets (48 to 38). Mind you, Waller had a ridiculous 19 targets in Week 1.
Through five weeks, Renfrow is the WR25 in total points, averaging 14.1 PPR points per game. He has five or six receptions in every game this season. His floor is safer than anyone could have imagined. Renfrow, at a glance, doesn’t look like a guy who’s going to carry your fantasy football team to victory, let alone an NFL team. However, he clearly has a connection with Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr, with no signs of anyone else but Waller threatening his role.
Renfrow’s snap count continues to increase. Having him on the field only leads to more opportunities and targets. As the Bye weeks begin to affect our weekly lineups, Renfrow should be on the forefront of filling in at wide receiver if he isn’t a starter already. There’s no reason, at this point, that Renfrow should be available in any league of any size following this waiver wire period.
Kadarius Toney, New York Giants
We’re talking Toney for a variety of reasons. The rookie is silencing all doubters after a rough start to the season by totaling 43.5 fantasy points in the last two weeks. He’s the WR6 in that same span of time. Toney’s been a bright spot for an offense who can’t catch a break.
Unfortunately, Toney’s breakout came to a sudden halt after he punched a Dallas Cowboy defender late in Sunday’s matchup. He’s not expected to face any sort of suspension for the actions, but the rookie has to be better than that. What is more concerning is that Toney had x-rays done on his ankle following the game for a possible injury.
It sounds like he is going to avoid missing significant time, but will likely miss Week 6. For that reason especially, he’s not the top wide receiver waiver wire addition. However, if his 10 reception and 189 receiving yard performance, on 13 targets, are any indication of what to expect for the budding star, I’m absolutely going to put in a waiver wire claim this week for him knowing he’s on my team and not yours.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
Another rookie making a name for himself is St. Brown, who has played 98 of a possible 139 offensive snaps the last two weeks. In that time, he’s developed into a top target for quarterback, Jared Goff. The rookie has eight targets in each of those games logging 13 receptions for 135 receiving yards.
Earlier this week, the Lions announced the wide receiver, Quintez Cephus, is likely to miss the remainder of the season with the a broken collar bone. In addition, the presumed top target, tight end, TJ Hockenson, is dealing with a knee injury. The 0-5 Lions are going to continue to pass the ball to stay in games as they look to correct their current -40 overall point differential.
Look for St. Brown to emerge as a PPR value as the season continues. It’s hard to believe we’re rounding up this many rookies again to count on, but the volume and talent for many of them is hard to ignore. St. Brown’s role and skill set are no different. He should be a waiver wire add in 12 or more team leagues especially.
Other Wide Receivers to Consider
Mecole Hardman is consistently coming and going from the free agency pool. We’ve all been waiting for him to develop into a top wide receiver in Patrick Mahomes’ arsenal. While he still provides value to the Chiefs, it doesn’t always translate to fantasy football to keep him on our rosters. However, that could change if Tyreek Hill’s current knee injury is worse than the Chiefs are letting on. The team assures the fans it’s nothing to worry about, but getting Hardman on our benches this week from the waiver wire may be beneficial in the long run.
Rashod Bateman is set to make his NFL regular-season debut in Week 6. The rookie has been sidelined with a core muscle injury. In his absence, Marquis Brown, Mark Andrews, and Sammy Watkins have done the heavy lifting in the Ravens’ passing game. As Bateman is set to play, Watkins is set to sit with a recent hamstring injury. Bateman may be busy sooner than later as the Ravens run game stock is down. For that reason, he remains a bench stash in all formats as we wait and see if he emerges as a top target for Lamar Jackson.
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
Before the season, it was anyone’s guess as to if Hunter Henry or Jonnu Smith could or would provide value at tight end in fantasy football. Having both of these players on one roster didn’t seem like it could do either of them any good. This past week, however, Henry pulled ahead logging six receptions, 75 yards, and a touchdown on a team-high eight targets. We’ve seen Bill Belichick’s offense support elite tight end production in the past. Grabbing Henry is worth the speculative add in case this develops consistency.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
Similar to Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, the idea of Njoku and Austin Hooper coexisting in Cleveland is still somewhat of a mystery. Hooper got off to a more involved start seeing 16 targets to Njoku’s 10 the first four weeks. However, on Sunday, in a game where the Browns scored 42 points, Hooper didn’t see a single target. Hooper played more snaps, too. Njoku logged seven targets. With those, he recorded his first 100-yard game as a Brown finishing the day with a 7/149/1 stat line. The tight end position remains messy, but there are worse ideas than rolling out Njoku in a Week 6 home matchup where the Browns are a -2.5 point favorite.
Ricky Seals-Jones, Washington Football Team
Seals-Jones is specifically a waiver wire add if you need a Week 6 fill-in at tight end. Since starter, Logan Thomas, went down with a hamstring injury in Week 5, RSJ has logged 12 targets in two weeks. Seals-Jones played 99% of the Football Team’s snaps in Week 5, recording eight of the aforementioned 12 targets. I like Seals-Jones against the Kansas City Chiefs defense who just gave up a three-catch, 117-yard, one-touchdown night to Dawson Knox in prime time.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Burrow has at least two passing touchdowns in all five games this season. He’s also topped 260 passing yards three out of five times. Now, he gets a Week 6 matchup against the Lions that are allowing 27.6 points per game. With his healthy trio of wide receivers all good to go, I like Burrow this week and beyond. If you need a fill-in for Russell Wilson or are just streaming thus far, I’d make Burrow a priority on the waiver wire.
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