Fantasy waiver wire targets for Week 6 of 2021 NFL season

Kadarius Toney had his Week 5 end early after he was ejected for throwing a punch, but he made the most of the time he was out there before his inauspicious end. Toney was targeted 13 times, catching 10 of them for 189 yards Sunday against the Cowboys. He also carried the ball once for seven yards. He exploded for 29.6 fantasy points, enough to make him a WR1 in Week 5. Toney was brought along slowly, having just five targets in the first three weeks combined, but he was called upon with Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton out. Last week Toney saw nine targets, catching six of them for 78 yards. Not only have Shepard and Slayton missed the last two, but Kenny Golladay exited Week 5 with a knee injury. The Giants are thin at receiver, plus, they invested a first-round pick into Toney. With Toney playing this well the last two weeks, they will not look to go away from him. The reports on Toney out of college were that he was a raw route runner, but an elite option with the ball in his hands. Toney has done a good job getting open and deserves credit, but the Giants also deserve credit for running plays that fit his strengths. Toney is seeing huge volume with the Giants banged up at receiver, and Toney is so explosive that it leads to him having a high weekly ceiling. Toney is the top waiver option of the week due to that upside he brings. Here is what I wrote about him heading into the NFL Draft:  

He had a career season in 2020, posting 984 yards and 10 TDs on 70 catches. In his first three seasons combined, he posted 50 catches, 606 yards and two TDs. He is also utilized in the running game, rushing for 580 yards in his college career. His 477 yards after the catch in 2020 ranked eighth among all draft-eligible players. He picked up 27 explosive plays (15+ yards) and forced 20 missed tackles, both of which ranked in the top-five in this class.” 

Week 6 is the first week with byes! The Falcons, Jets, Saints and 49ers will all be on bye in Week 6, so make plans to replace any of those players on your roster!  

Check if available:Emmanuel Sanders, Trevor Lawrence, Michael Carter, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Rashod Bateman. 

You can drop: Robby Anderson, Trey Sermon, Devin Singletary, Cole Beasley, Robert Tonyan, Curtis Samuel. 

Do not drop: Calvin Ridley, Stefon Diggs, A.J. Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Allen Robinson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. 

Quarterbacks 

I have written about Lance and Fields a number of times this season, but if either is out there in your league, they are still strong stash options.  

Saints QB Jameis Winstonthrew for a season-high 279 pass yards with four TDs against Washington. It was his second game of the season with four or more touchdown passes and his third multi-TD game of the season. Winston has been up and down this season, topping 25 fantasy points twice and being below 15 fantasy points in the other three. But this game was a step in the right direction as he looked comfortable and was able to bring back the dep ball. He will be on bye in Week 6, meaning he will be even easier to grab off the waiver wire if you are in need of a QB.  

Falcons QB Matt Ryanplayed well across the pond, throwing for 342 yards and two scores. To make it more impressive, he did it against a Jets defense that had been very stingy to QBs, without Ridley or Russell Gage. Just a week ago, Ryan threw for 283 yards and four touchdowns. He has thrown for multiple passing touchdowns in four straight games. Ryan will be up and down, but it has been more up than down lately. He is on bye in Week 6, so you won’t have much competition trying to grab him off the waiver wire.

Seahawks QB Geno Smithcame in in relief of Russell Wilson and looked amazing. He threw for 131 yards and a touchdown and nearly led a comeback but threw an interception on a play where Tyler Lockett tripped. Smith also rushed three times for 23 yards. Wilson is expected to miss a few weeks, and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Seahawks QB is targeting a Week 10 return. That means Smith is in play the next few weeks. He will have good pass catchers around him and can add some points with his legs. He is best suited in two-QB formats such as superflex, as you can find a better option in a one QB league.  

Running back 

Chiefs RB Darrel Williamswas a late addition to the waiver wire list as Edwards-Helaire suffered an MCL sprain Sunday vs. the Bills. But Williams was the lead back for the rest of the way for the Chiefs. He finished the week playing 41 percent of the snaps, carrying the ball five times for 27 yards and seeing five targets, catching three for 18 yards. Williams will be the lead back on one of the best offenses in football for as long as CEH needs to recover. That is a favorable spot to be in, and it makes him an RB you want to have on your roster. He will be an RB2, with RB1 upside in this offense. Be aggressive and spend up to get him on the waiver wire. This is also a lesson that is is advantageous to roster backs like this in fantasy — those good backups who will be a lead back and not in a committee on a good offense. We have seen too many of these backs become high-priced waiver wire options. It’s time to preemptively roster these backs instead of purely depth receivers.  

Bears RB Khalil Herbertwas used way more than expected in the Bears first game without David Montgomery. He played 52 percent of the snaps, to Damien Williams’ 50 percent. Herbert also out carried Williams, 18 to 16. Herbert rushed for 75 yards in the game. Herbert had one touch inside the 10-yard line, while Williams had three. Williams is the top option here still, as he had the valuable touches near the goal line and in the passing game, but Herbert is clearly a big part of the Bears’ running game while Montgomery is sidelined. He may not have had a huge fantasy day, but he had enough volume in this game to warrant being a flex option in favorable matchups. Also, if anything was to happen to Williams, who has already been banged up this season, he would see a huge weekly workload.  

Packers RB A.J. Dillon had his best game of the season in Week 5 scoring 17.9 fantasy points. He rushed eight times for 30 yards, but it was his pass game usage that really makes him intriguing. He was targeted four times, catching all four for 49 yards and a touchdown. Dillon now has 28 touches in the past two weeks after seeing 15 carries and one catch in Week 4. He has topped double-digit fantasy points in each of those games. Dillon has been playing a third of the snaps each week, but he has been seeing enough usage on those snaps to warrant being a flex option. You also cannot overlook that he is next in line for a large workload on a great offense should anything happen to Aaron Jones. It’s never fun to think about injuries, but almost every week the top pickup is a running back after the starter was injured. You want to roster the backups that are clearly the next man up. Dillon is still available in around 60 percent of NFL.com leagues, that needs to change.  

Giants RB Devontae Bookerwas called into action after Saquon Barkley stepped on a defender’s foot and sprained his ankle. Barkley is expected to miss this Sunday’s game and is considered week-to-week, per Rapoport. If Barkley misses extended time, Booker is the next man up in New York. In Week 5, he played 89 percent of the snaps, had 16 carries and four targets. That is workhorse volume. He turned it into 58 yards and a touchdown, with three catches. That sort of volume is enough to make him an RB2 or at the worst a flex option each week.  

Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevensonplayed 34 percent of the snaps with 11 carries after Damien Harris left the game due to a chest injury. Harris exited, then returned, then left the game for good in the fourth quarter. His Week 6 status needs to be monitored, but if he misses time Stevenson would be the lead runner against the Cowboys. Stevenson is a massive back who has surprising speed. He was a preseason darling who would be an RB3/flex option if Harris misses time.

Seahawks RB Alex Collins was forced to start in Week 5 as Chris Carson was out with a neck injury. Collins played 72 percent of the snaps and had 15 carries and three targets. He finished with 72 yards and just under 10 fantasy points. He is clearly the lead back here if Carson misses another week. The volume seems safe and Week 5 feels like his floor. He does not come with the highest ceiling, but he should be rostered given how much time Carson has missed in his career.

Rams RB Sony Michel carried the ball 11 times for 37 yards and a touchdown on Thursday Night Football. He caught his only target for eight yards. He was used wen Darrell Henderson gave us a scare and was getting checked out on the sideline. Henderson has already missed time this season and Michel was a useful fantasy piece. His weekly usage with Henderson in there has to be monitored, but Henderson is not the face of durability and if he misses time Michel becomes the lead back on one of the best offenses in the NFL. He is worth stashing.

Buccaneers RB Giovani Bernard found the end zone again in Week 5. He didn’t see huge volume, however, playing 22 percent of the snaps with just four carries and two targets. That was largely because it was a blow out, but when he was last healthy in Week 3, he was heavily used and scored over 20 fantasy points. He is the Bucs’ top pass-catching RB option.

Patriots RB Brandon Bolden is the new James White. He was targeted four times in Week 5. He did not have a big fantasy day, but he has now been targeted between four and six times in each of the past three games. His usage will increase in games where the Patriots are trailing.

Jaguars RB Carlos Hyde was used in the biggest play of the game for the Jaguars. It was a fourth-and-goal carry from the 1-yard line as they attempted to cut it to a one-score game in the fourth quarter. Hyde was stuffed, but he had two carries inside the 10. His usage near the goal line is new, as all the previous touches inside the 10 had gone to James Robinson. Hyde isn’t used enough to start, but if anything was to happen to Robinson he would see 20-plus touches a week and be a top waiver wire add. Those are the types of backs you stash if you have the spot.

Deeper options:

Texans RB David Johnson was targeted six times, catching five of them for 46 yards. He only carried the ball twice for five yards. Johnson has to share the backfield with Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay, but he has the passing down duties on lock. He is purely a deep league option, but there is value in being the pass-catching back on a team that will trail a lot.

Jets RB Ty Johnson played 39 percent of the snaps, carrying the ball four times and seeing three targets. He went for 34 yards and scored a touchdown against the Falcons in London. He is only on the radar in deeper leagues, but he is the Jets’ RB2 and sees consistent work each week.

Wide receiver

Cardinals WR Rondale Moore is no stranger to the waiver wire article. He played 48 percent of the snaps in Week 5 and had six targets, catching five for 59 yards — including one of the prettiest sideline catches you will see. Moore nearly had a touchdown, but he was ruled out at the one. He was being used in the red zone, however, and that is encouraging. He also added three carries for 38 yards running the option with Kyler Murray, in total going for 14.7 fantasy points. He had a down two weeks coming into Week 5 and was thrown back on a lot of waivers, but that is now double-digit fantasy points in three of five games this season. He will be up and down, but he is an explosive option who just needs to see some consistent volume. He has a chance of surpassing A.J. Green in the pecking order as the season goes on.

Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown saw eight targets for a second straight week, leading the Lions in targets in each of those games. He caught seven of them for 65 yards, giving him 13 fantasy points for a second straight game. St. Brown started slow but has seen a lot of volume as of late and it should continue, as Quintez Cephus suffered a shoulder injury in Week 5 and likely will miss the remainder of the season. St. Brown doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but he is a big-bodied slot receiver who could play the part of Detroit Cooper Kupp for Jared Goff. The volume alone makes St. Brown worthy of taking a flier on.

Broncos WR Tim Patrick continues to play the WR2 role until Jerry Jeudy returns. He saw nine targets in Week 5, catching seven of them for 89 yards. Patrick’s targets have now increased in three straight games, and he has topped 12 fantasy points in four of five games. His 15.9 fantasy points this week is his season high, so his ceiling isn’t that high, but he has a consistent floor.

Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow had eight targets in Week 5, tied with Darren Waller for the most on the team. He led the Raiders with both six catches and 56 yards. He now has eight targets in two straight games. He also has at least five catches in every game and has over 50 yards in all but one. Renfrow has scored double-digit fantasy points in ever game this season and twice has topped 16. He doesn’t bring a high ceiling but he brings a safe floor that could come in handy when the bye weeks hit.

Deeper options:

Dolphins WR Preston Williams was targeted five times, catching three for 60 yards. Only Myles Gaskin had more yards. Williams was used more with Will Fuller on injured reserve and DeVante Parker out. His value is tied to Parker playing, but if Parker sits again, you can stream Williams.

Saints WRs Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris both hit in Week 5. Callaway had four catches for 85 yards and two scores on eight targets, while Harris caught his only target for 72 yards and a touchdown. Both have been boom-or-bust options, but they have high upside and are a risk worth taking in deeper leagues.

Tight end

Patriots TE Hunter Henry led the Patriots in all receiving categories in Week 5. He finished with eight targets, six catches, 75 yards and a touchdown while playing 62 percent of the snaps. He had a 29 percent target share, the highest he has had in a game this season. His fantasy points have increased in every game this season, and he has topped 13 fantasy points in his last two games. We are always looking for tight ends and Henry is starting to look like one you can trust.

Giants TE Evan Engram caught all four of his targets for 55 yards against the Cowboys in Week 5. It was the fewest targets he has had all year, but the most fantasy points. Engram though may get an uptick in volume as the Giants remain thin when it comes to pass catchers. Shepard and Slayton have missed two straight, while Golladay and Barkley left with injuries last week. That makes Engram a streamable option for those in need of a tight end.

Browns TE David Njoku caught all of his team-high seven targets for 149 yards and a touchdown. The bulk came on his 71-yard touchdown catch, but that sort of volume is tough to ignore. This was in a game Austin Hooper played but was not targeted. Njoku played 66 percent of the snaps and looked like a dangerous weapon for the Browns. He has flashed before, so we know his potential, now all we need to see is some consistency.

Jaguars TE Dan Arnold was targeted eight times in Week 5, tied for the most on the Jags. He caught six of them for a team-high 64 receiving yards. The Jags traded for Arnold prior to Week 4, when they had a short week with a Thursday night game. They clearly used the extended time getting Arnold more involved in the game plan. He led Jags tight ends playing 74 percent of the snaps. Sorry Tim Tebow, Arnold is the Jags tight end who is fantasy relevant. He is more in play in deeper leagues, but his usage is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Deeper options:

Chargers TE Donald Parham got to play 53 percent of the snaps and caught both his targets for 29 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a two-point conversion. He has now scored over nine fantasy points in two straight games. He still has to battle for playing time and targets with Jared Cook, but Parham is a big, athletic tight end who has some upside. He is worthy of a flier in deeper leagues.

Falcons TE Hayden Hurst is more of a deep league option and will be on bye next week, but with the Falcons thin in Week 5 he was targeted five times, catching four for 40 yards and a score. Two tight end sets is a staple of an Arthur Smith offense and if Atlanta continues to struggle getting production from their receivers, Hurst could be more utilized even after the Falcons get healthy.

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