Fantasy football: top 10 waiver wire Week 6 pickups

Whether injury or ineffectiveness has set your fantasy football team back or you just need a bye week boost, check out these top 10 waiver wire Week 6 pickups.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates (14) leads the way in my top 10 waiver wire Week 6 pickups. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season is already over a month old, and teams continue to emerge as contenders. The teams that took big steps forward this week included the Patriots and the Falcons who both got big wins on the road. The return of Tom Brady is just one of the big factors impacting fantasy football moving forward. The ever-changing fantasy landscape requires you to be flexible as an owner and make the right roster moves throughout the season. If you’re looking to give your fantasy team a boost at any of the major positions, check out my top ten targets from the waiver wire Week 6 on the followings slides.

In my weekly waiver wire post, I focus on the top ten options who are available in more than half of ESPN leagues. So far this season, players like Jordan Howard, Will Fuller, Quincy Enunwa, Carson Wentz, Tevin Coleman, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Henry, and Matt Ryan were on my waiver wire pickup list when they were available in over 50% of leagues. Those players won’t be found in my waiver wire week 6 picks, though, since the ownership percentage is already too high. However, if any are hanging around on your league’s waiver wire get them as quick as you can. To see who the new crop of options are for this week, check out my my top ten targets on the following slides.

Each week, I make sure to include players at each of the main fantasy football positions–quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and team defense. The players are listed in the general order that I would target them, but be sure to take into account your league’s roster requirements and your team’s strength and weaknesses. I’ve included each player’s ownership percentage as of Tuesday morning at the top of their page. If you’re in deeper leagues or are looking for more options, check out the final slide of this post where I’ve listed some extra other options from the waiver wire week 6.

If you have any specific questions about your team or other players who may be available, you are welcome to drop them in the comment section at the bottom of the page or give me a shout out on Twitter. To keep up with all our fantasy football coverage, also make sure to drop a bookmark on our fantasy football hub and follow us on Twitter @FansidedFantasy. I do my best to answer all questions to our Twitter feed, and you’ll even get a chance for your tweets to appear in one of our future posts.

So let’s kick off our Week 6 waiver wire coverage, with a wide receiver who should be at the top of every league’s claims if he’s available.

Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates (14) catches a pass for a touchdown as New York Jets cornerback Marcus Williams (20) pursues during the first quarter at Heinz Field against the New York Jets. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Sammie Coates-WR-Pittsburgh Steelers (39.8%)

The Steelers got a huge boost in their win over the Jets from second-year receiver Sammie Coates. I really liked Coates as one of my fantasy football sleepers to watch back at the beginning of training camp (wrote about it here and here). However, I had cooled on Coates since he had been so boom-or-bust. He struggled with consistency throughout the preseason and the first few weeks, but after a couple of big weeks I think he’s one of the best fantasy football pickups from the waiver wire Week 6.

The former Auburn playmaker has put together back-to-back weeks with six catches and went off for 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns this week agains the Jets. He has at least 50 yards receiving every week this season and is averaging 84 yards per game.

The Steelers will always throw the ball a lot under offensive coordinator Todd Haley, and Coates is in a great place to produce since teams have to roll their coverages toward Antonio Brown. The rest of the season, I think Coates will be a Martavis Bryant-like complement to Brown and get plenty of production as long as he and Big Ben are healthy. This week, the Steelers head to Miami before a Week 7 showdown with the Patriots.

Oct 9, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Cameron Meredith (81) runs with the ball after making a catch against Indianapolis Colts cornerback Patrick Robinson (25) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Cameron Meredith-WR-Chicago Bears (1.5%)

While some of my WR Sleepers for Week 5 struggled, I had a few that ended up with good games including Cameron Meredith of the Bears. Meredith was thrust into a starting role across from Alshon Jeffery who was playing through injury on Sunday, and the converted QB turned in a career-best performance. He looks like one of the best plays off the waiver wire Week 6 and has a ton of upside moving forward.

In week 5, Meredith caught nine of the 12 passes thrown his way and finished with 130 yards and a touchdown. He had a brutal fumble late as the Bears were trying to get in position for a potential game-winning score, but he showed enough upside to overlook that for fantasy purposes.

With Kevin White done for the season and Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal banged up, Meredith is a great waiver wire Week 6 pickup. He has demonstrated a great connection with Brian Hoyer (more on him later) and has tons of upside moving forward against the Jaguars and Packers the next two weeks.

Sep 18, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan (15) pulls down a pass while defended by Miami Dolphins free safety Michael Thomas (31) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Hogan-WR-New England Patriots (34.8%)

Another one of my WR Sleepers who came up large on Sunday was Chris Hogan who flourished in the new-look Patriots offense led by the returning Tom Brady. Brady’s return to the Patriots offense and gave everyone in New England’s attack an instant fantasy football upgrade. He started off the day throwing to Gronk and Edelman, but as the day went on he eventually started working out his new weapons Chris Hogan and Martellus Bennett.

While Bennett ended up with there touchdowns, Hogan was only targeted five times. However, he made the most of the looks his way by pulling in four catches for 114 yards. He ended up with a couple big gains and flashed a lot of upside as the Patriots regular second WR. The problem with Hogan is that he is about fifth in line for targets even though he is the teams second receiver.

The reason that Hogan is my third straight WR from the waiver wire week 6 is that he is part of such a potent offense, but the multitude of other weapons also makes him a risky week-to-week play. Some weeks, he’ll go off like this week, while other weeks the Patriots may attack other matchups and throw to him very little. That being said, I think he’s under-rated and a nice depth grab at WR in most formats. He can definitely help you get through bye weeks the next few weeks as long as you don’t need him week 9 (bye) or week 10 (vs Seattle).

Oct 9, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants running back Bobby Rainey (43) rushes with the football during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Bobby Rainey-RB-New York Giants (4.0%)

Unlike wide receiver, there aren’t many options on the waiver wire week 6 at running back. One place to find an option worth a look is in the Giants’ backfield which has turned into a mess of injuries with Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen missing significant time and Orleans Darkwa going nowhere fast. Jennings may be back relatively soon, but Vereen is out for the season.

Since Rainey fills in most directly for Vereen, he should continue to get playing time even when Jennings does return. Last week on Sunday Night Football, Rainey led the Giants is snaps in the backfield playing 21 downs while Darkwa was second with 14. Rainey ended up with 22 yards on his five carries, but he again proved to be an able receiver out of the backfield posting 52 more yards on his six catches. In the last two weeks, Rainey has 95 receiving yards.

If you are in a PPR league, Rainey is definitely worth a roster stash as we go through the bye-week season, but it’s tricky to say what his role will be in the long-term. New York is home this week for the Ravens before heading to London to face the Rams before their bye week. Rainey is the top running back available on the waiver wire week 6, in my opinion, even though he isn’t going to be a workhorse back any time soon.

Oct 2, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) throws a pass during the second half against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Chicago won 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Hoyer-QB-Chicago Bears (16.6%)

The Bears seem to have found the QB, and it doesn’t look like Jay Cutler will be getting his job back any time soon. Brian Hoyer has bounced around the league from New England to Arizona to Cleveland to Houston, but he looks like he has finally found a home in Chicago playing for coach John Fox.

Fox said he won’t commit to Hoyer as his long-term starter, but the eight-year vet out of Michigan State has definitely made a strong case for himself throwing for over 300 yards in each of the last three games. In Week 5, Hoyer threw for 397 yards and a pair of touchdowns while avoiding an interception for the third straight week. He ended up 33-of-43, and he effectively used Cameron Meredith, Zach Miller, Jordan Howard, and his other banged-up receivers to pile up fantasy points against the Colts.

Hoyer gets another good matchup this Sunday, so if you need a spot start he’s the top quarterback from the waiver wire Week 6. He and the Bears will host the Jaguars at Soldier Field before heading on the road to face Green Bay on a short week.

Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) is tackled by a Pittsburgh Steelers defender during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won, 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Bilal Powell-RB-New York Jets (44.6%)

The Jets continue to work both Matt Forte and Bilal Powell into their running back rotation, and lately it has been Powell who has looked the more effective of the two backs. If Powell is still available in your league, he can be a great addition from the waiver wire week 6 although he won’t have a locked-in starting spot unless Forte goes down.

Powell didn’t go off against the Steelers, but Brad Evans made a great point before the game.

In Week 5, he played 27 snaps compared to 37 for Forte. He ran the ball just four times for ten yards, but he hauled in six passes for 41 yards.  Powell hasn’t gotten all the fantasy football buzz he deserves since he hasn’t gotten into the end zone, but he has caught six passes for at least 40 yards in three straight weeks.

In PPR leagues, Powell is a great add, but he does have tough matchups the next two weeks against the Cardinals and Ravens. If you need a quick fix, I’d give Rainey the slight nod, but if you need someone with bigger upside from the waiver wire week 6 I’d grab Powell.

Oct 9, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay (85) runs upfield after catching a pass in the 1st quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Clay-TE-Buffalo Bills (13.8%)

The Bills are looking for playmakers after losing Sammy Watkins, and that search should open up doors for Charles Clay. Clay is my top tight end on the waiver wire Week 6, and I think he’s set up for a few big weeks coming up.

In three of his last four games, Clay has five catches although he was held catchless in Week 3 against the Cardinals. Since that goose-egg, Clay caught five passes for 47 yards against the Patriots and added five more catches for 73 yards against the Rams.

Clay should continue to be involved going forward since he and Tyrod Taylor have a solid connection and he’s clearly over a knee injury which affected him earlier this season. Clay has great matchups the next two weeks against the 49ers and the Dolphins making him one of the best streaming options at TE especially in PPR formats.

Oct 9, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) celebrates after sacking Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (not pictured) during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens D/ST (47.2%)

The best widely available D/ST this week is the Ravens. Baltimore has been solid but not outstanding through the season and are headed into a pair of good matchups in New York City.

Baltimore has forced multiple turnovers in three of their last four contests. On Sunday, they only allowed nine offensive points (and a punt return) against the Redskins while picking off Kirk Cousins and forcing a Matt Jones fumble. Baltimore only had one sack on Sunday from Terrell Suggs.

Baltimore is the best option from waiver wire week 6, and they’ll be a good play against Eli and the Giants in Week 6 and the Jets in Week 7. Baltimore has been very good against the run, and they should continue to be a good team defense option you can ride through the bye weeks.

Oct 9, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) catches a pass against the Houston Texans for a touchdown in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Thielen-WR-Minnesota Vikings (0.7%)

The Vikings have been one of the biggest surprises of the season, and they’re still the last unbeaten team in the NFL heading into their bye week. Minnesota has impressively won all five of their games without Teddy Bridgewater and the last few without Adrian Peterson. This week, they even won without Stefon Diggs thanks to a big week from Adam Thielen.

Thielen has been solid all year, but he stepped up with the best game of his career hauling in seven catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. He has worked as the team’s second receiver all season, and his big game on Sunday could earn him a growing role moving forward.

Thielen originally joined the Vikings as an un-drafted free agenda out of Minnesota State-Mankato. Thielen is one of the interesting options on the waiver wire Week 6, but you’ll have to wait for him to give you anything until Week 7. Thielen will be inconsistent since the Vikings want to run the ball and play defense, but he definitely looked good on Sunday against Houston. Diggs is currently expected to return in Week 7, but Thielen is still worth  speculative add if you can’t grab any of the first three WR on this list.

October 9, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard (30) runs the football against San Diego Chargers linebacker Korey Toomer (56) during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Richard-RB-Oakland Raiders (19.3%)

The Raiders used their pair of rookie running backs in a timeshare this week against the Chargers. DeAndre Washington got the start, but both he and Richard ended up with 14 touches. Since Washington is already owned in over 50% of leagues, Richard makes a good grab from the wavier wire week 6.

Richard ran eight times for 31 yards and hauled in six passes for 66 yards. His 97 total yards were much more than the 52 yards from Washington, but ultimately Jamize Olawale got the rushing touchdown. Both Washington and Richard are solid flex plays if Latavius Murray is out next week.

Richard is not quite ready to be a regular starter if Murray is there to siphon off snaps, but if either Washington or Murray is ever sidelined, Richard has shown he can be a productive fantasy option especially in PPR formats. He isn’t as immediate an RB solution as Rainey or Powell, but he has the upside to be worth stashing.

Oct 9, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) warms up before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Other Waiver Wire Week 6 targets

These options are also available in over 50% of ESPN and make good pickups as well. They’re listed in the general order that I would target them if the top 10 aren’t available in your league.

QB: Trevor Siemian-Denver Broncos, Marcus Mariota-Tennessee Titans, Sam Bradford-Minnesota Vikings (bye this week), Joe Flacco-Baltimore Ravens

RB: Kenneth Dixon-Baltimore Ravens, Jacquizz Rodgers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (bye), James White-New England Patriots, Cameron Artis-Payne-Carolina Panthers, Matt Asiata-Minnesota Vikings

WR: Kenny Britt-Los Angeles Rams, Jeremy Kerley-San Francisco 49ers, Cordarrelle Patterson-Minnesota Vikings (bye), Robert Woods-Buffalo Bills, Jamison Crowder, Donte Moncrief (stash for his return)

TE: Eric Ebron-Detroit Lions, Cameron Brate-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (bye), Jesse James-Pittsburgh Steelers, Richard Rodgers-Green Bay Packers,

D/ST:  Titans D/ST, Steelers D/ST, Lions D/ST

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