Fantasy Football Week 6 Waiver Wire: Wendell Smallwood the top priority among free agents

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We got hit with a big injury Monday evening when it was reported that Eagles running back Jay Ajayi will be placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. It will make Wendell Smallwood quite popular on this week's waiver wire.

Smallwood will be part of a rotation with Corey Clement and Darren Sproles, but Smallwood should get the most touches in Week 6 at the Giants. The game is Thursday night, and Clement (quad) has not played since Week 3, while Sproles (hamstring) remains out since getting hurt in Week 1.

Clement is also worth adding in all leagues and could eventually become the starter, but the Eagles will likely use multiple backs for the rest of the season based on coach Doug Pederson's track record. Or Philadelphia could be a buyer via trade -- Le'Veon Bell is clearly a possibility -- after the team acquired Ajayi from Miami last year in a mid-season deal.

For now, Smallwood should be the No. 1 player added in all leagues. And he will likely be a starting Fantasy option in Week 6, especially if Clement isn't ready for a heavy workload in his return to the field.

In other injury news, Alfred Morris could also be a popular waiver-wire addition with Matt Breida (ankle) hurt. And Fantasy owners will likely need some receiver help with Brandin Cooks (concussion) and Cooper Kupp (concussion) both ailing.

And with New Orleans and Detroit on a bye, we are without several stars in Week 6, including quarterbacks Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford. Jameis Winston is a priority add for anyone in need of a quarterback because he could be a top-10 Fantasy passer for the rest of the season.

Editor's note: For this waiver wire column, we are only looking at players owned in less than 65 percent of CBS Sports leagues.


  • Key players on a bye: Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford 
  • Injuries of note: Deshaun Watson (chest)
  • Priority list: Jameis Winston (49 percent ownership), Baker Mayfield (62 percent), Eli Manning (41 percent), Mitchell Trubisky (42 percent), Case Keenum (36 percent), C.J. Beathard (12 percent)
Top priorities
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Winston will be Tampa Bay's starter coming off the bye in Week 5, and hopefully he plays like Ryan Fitzpatrick did during the first three games of the year. I never expected to write that sentence, but Fitzpatrick was exceptional at the start of the season before falling apart at Chicago in Week 4. Now, we'll see if Winston can take advantage of this favorable situation, which includes an aggressive play-caller in Todd Monken, as well as a loaded receiving corps. Winston gets a great matchup in Week 6 at Atlanta, and he's worth starting in most leagues right away. Plan on spending 5-10 percent of your FAAB budget on Winston.
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
Mayfield may not be the best starting option in Week 6 against the Chargers in anything more than two-quarterback leagues, although Los Angeles has allowed some big games to Patrick Mahomes , Jared Goff and C.J. Beathard this year. And Mayfield is coming off his best Fantasy performance with 19 points against Baltimore in Week 5. But the main reason to add Mayfield now is for his upcoming schedule, which includes games at Tampa Bay in Week 7, at Pittsburgh in Week 8, vs. Kansas City in Week 9 and vs. Atlanta in Week 10. Those are four of the five worst pass defenses in the NFL, and Mayfield will be a streaming option during that stretch. He's worth up to 5 percent of your FAAB.
Eli Manning New York Giants QB
Manning is worth a look as a streaming option in Week 6 with his matchup against the Eagles. In two road games, Philadelphia has allowed 746 passing yards and seven total touchdowns to Fitzpatrick and Marcus Mariota . Manning has 23 Fantasy points in two of his past three games, including Week 5 at Carolina, and last year had 800 passing yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions against the Eagles in two meetings. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB.
Mitchell Trubisky Chicago Bears QB
We'll see if Trubisky can build off his last game in Week 4 against Tampa Bay when he scored 55 Fantasy points on 354 passing yards and six touchdowns, along with 53 rushing yards. The Dolphins have only allowed multiple touchdowns against Tom Brady this year and have at least one interception in each game, but Trubisky is still worth a look in two-quarterback leagues given what we saw from him prior to his bye in Week 5. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB.
Case Keenum Denver Broncos QB
Keenum is worth a Hail Mary play in two-quarterback leagues with his matchup against the Rams in Week 6. They were expected to have a great defense, but a poor pass rush, as well as injuries in the secondary, have allowed several quarterbacks to have success against this defense. Philip Rivers , Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson have combined for 846 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions against the Rams in the past three games. Keenum isn't in that tier of quarterbacks, but he does have two games this season with 25 Fantasy points and isn't a horrible option in a desperate situation. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB.
C.J. Beathard San Francisco 49ers QB
Speaking of Hail Mary plays, Beathard might not be horrible either in deeper two-quarterback or superflex formats. He's scored at least 20 Fantasy points in two consecutive starts for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo (ACL), and he's facing a Packers defense in Week 6 that has allowed multiple touchdowns to Cousins, Alex Smith and Stafford in three of its past four games. With the game in Lambeau Field, expect most of Beathard's production to be in garbage time. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB.

Drop candidates: Alex Smith (86 percent), Blake Bortles (66 percent), Derek Carr (60 percent) 

Running backs

Add 'Em
Wendell Smallwood Philadelphia Eagles RB
Smallwood should be the No. 1 player to add this week with Ajayi out, but also check if Clement is available. For Week 6, since Clement hasn't played in two games, we should see Smallwood get the majority of work against the Giants on a short week. But Clement might have the higher ceiling moving forward and shouldn't be overlooked, especially if Sproles remains out. With the injuries of late, Smallwood has scored 17 PPR points in two of his past three games. He's also averaging 6.0 yards per carry for the season with 10 catches on 15 targets. Clement scored 28 combined PPR points in his last two games before getting hurt and is averaging 4.2 yards per carry with eight catches on 10 targets. Barring a trade, these will be Philadelphia's top two running backs for the rest of the season with Ajayi out. Smallwood is worth at least 25 percent of your FAAB budget, and Clement is worth at least 20 percent where available. Sproles is also worth a flier at 1 percent of your FAAB in deeper PPR leagues.
Alfred Morris San Francisco 49ers RB
We don't know how long Breida will be out with his ankle injury, but ESPN reports he's considered doubtful for Monday's game at Green Bay in Week 6. That should allow Morris to have a featured role, although Juszczyk can be involved in the passing game after he just had six catches for 75 yards on seven targets in Week 5 against Arizona. Juszczyk is worth 1 percent of your FAAB in deep PPR leagues. As for Morris, he's been the No. 2 running back for the 49ers behind Breida, but he has at least 12 carries in four of five games and has scored 12 PPR points in two of his past three outings. He has the potential to be a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all formats this week against the Packers, who have allowed a running back to score multiple touchdowns (Adrian Peterson in Week 3 and LeGarrette Blount in Week 5) in two of the past three games. Morris is worth up to 15 percent of your FAAB.
Nyheim Hines Indianapolis Colts RB
The Colts run game has been non-existent, and maybe Mack getting healthy or more work for Robert Turbin , who just ended his four-game suspension prior to Week 5, will improve things. But the one constant in Indianapolis' backfield thus far has been Hines, especially in the passing game, and we'll make an exception to mention him here despite his ownership at 66 percent. He has three games with at least seven catches, including 16 receptions in the past two outings for 108 yards and two touchdowns on 20 targets. If this continues, Hines will put himself in consideration as at least a flex option in non-PPR leagues. In PPR, he's becoming a must-start running back. He's worth 15-20 percent of your FAAB.
Ronald Jones Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB
We'll see what Tampa Bay does with its backfield coming off the bye in Week 5, but you should expect Jones to see more work. He made his NFL debut in Week 4 at Chicago and had 10 carries for 29 yards and one catch for minus-1 yard. Obviously, those aren't great numbers, but Peyton Barber wasn't lighting up the scoreboard either to start the season. You don't have to start Jones in Week 6 at Atlanta, but he is someone to stash if you have an open roster spot. Hopefully, he can become a difference maker toward the end of the season. Jones is worth at least 10 percent of your FAAB.
Mike Davis Seattle Seahawks RB
I'm taking Davis over Jones if I need someone for this week, and potentially over Hines in non-PPR leagues. He was clearly great in Week 3 at Arizona when Chris Carson was out with a hip injury when he had 21 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns and four catches for 23 yards. But he was also good in Week 4 in sharing touches with Carson when he had 12 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 7 yards. This looks like a backfield tandem that can be successful for Fantasy owners, even though Carson remains the lead runner. And Davis has a favorable matchup in Week 6 against Oakland in London. He's worth at least 10 percent of your FAAB.
Latavius Murray Minnesota Vikings RB
We'll see if Cook can return this week for the Vikings , but Minnesota might be cautious with him since he's had a hard time staying healthy. If Cook is out, I like Murray as a No. 2 running back this week with his matchup at home against Arizona. The Cardinals allow the most Fantasy points to opposing running backs, and Murray just had a respectable game in Week 5 at Philadelphia with 56 total yards on 13 total touches. Keep an eye on Cook's status, but Murray could be a solid starter in Week 6 if given a heavy workload. He's worth at least 10 percent of your FAAB.
Alfred Blue Houston Texans RB
Miller is expected to return in Week 6 against Buffalo, but keep an eye on his status in case he doesn't play against the Bills . He was active in Week 5 against Dallas, but the Texans held him out as a precaution. In his place, Blue was great with 19 PPR points, and he would be a must-start running back against Buffalo if Miller is out. And after this week, the Texans backfield could become a jumbled mess since Foreman is eligible to come off the PUP list as early as Week 7 from last year's Achilles injury. Foreman might eventually become the best running back in Houston, so stash him now if you have an open roster spot. Blue is worth up to 5 percent of your FAAB, and Foreman is worth 1 percent.
Samaje Perine Washington Redskins RB
I don't have much interest in Perine or Bibbs in most seasonal leagues, but they could be thrust into prominent roles if Peterson and Thompson are out in Week 6 against Carolina. Keep an eye on the Washington backfield, but Perine in non-PPR leagues and Bibbs in PPR formats are worth a look with 1 percent of your FAAB.
Jalen Richard Oakland Raiders RB
Richard is worth a look in all PPR leagues because he's been the pass-catching running back for the Raiders and should continue in that role all year. He already has 24 catches for 205 yards on 29 targets, and he's scored at least 11 PPR points in three of five games. While he might not help you in non-PPR leagues, he's worth 1 percent of your FAAB budget in deeper PPR formats.

Drop candidates: Jay Ajayi (99 percent), Giovani Bernard (83 percent), Jamaal Williams (68 percent), Peyton Barber (55 percent), Duke Johnson (46 percent), Rashaad Penny (42 percent) 

Wide receivers

Add 'Em
Chris Godwin Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
It's understandable if you dropped Godwin going into Tampa Bay's bye in Week 5. He had a bad game in Week 4 with just four PPR points, but don't give up on him yet. Prior to Week 4, Godwin had scored at least 13 PPR points in each of the first three games of the season. And he should continue his breakout campaign starting this week, with Winston now taking over at quarterback for Fitzpatrick. The Buccaneers have a great schedule coming up at Atlanta, vs. Cleveland and at Cincinnati in the next three games, and Godwin should have the chance for quality production. He's worth up to 10 percent of your FAAB.
Mohamed Sanu Atlanta Falcons WR
Sanu has played well for three games in a row in PPR leagues, but he's been overshadowed by Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley -- rightfully so. But he's scored at least 15 PPR points in each of the past three games with 23 targets for 14 catches, 220 yards and two touchdowns. The defense for Atlanta is awful, which will keep Matt Ryan throwing a lot and leaning on all of his targets, and Sanu has an amazing matchup in Week 6 against Tampa Bay. He's worth up to 10 percent of your FAAB in PPR.
Keke Coutee Houston Texans WR
Coutee has played well in his first two NFL games and should continue to be a relevant part of the Houston offense even with DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller on the roster. He has 22 targets for 17 catches, 160 yards and one touchdown in the past two games against Indianapolis and Dallas, and he's scored at least 17 PPR points over that span. We'll see if all three can be successful at the same time, and Fuller has played hurt the past two weeks. But for now, you should buy into Coutee as a viable Fantasy option, and he's worth up to 10 percent of your FAAB.
Taylor Gabriel Chicago Bears WR
Gabriel is somewhat dependent on Miller and his shoulder injury, but he has at least seven targets in each of the past three games. He was awesome in Week 4 against Tampa Bay with seven catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns, and hopefully that's a performance he can build off in Week 6 at Miami. Gabriel should continue to be a favorite target for Trubisky, and he's worth 5-10 percent of your FAAB.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling Green Bay Packers WR
I liked Valdes-Scantling coming into Week 5 at Detroit with Allison and Cobb banged up, and he delivered in a big way with seven catches for 68 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. He could go back to the bench if Allison and Cobb return in Week 6, which is the risk with putting him here on this list, but if both remain out, Valdes-Scantling is a must-start receiver against the 49ers at home. And if both remain out, St. Brown would be worth a look in deeper leagues after he had three catches for 89 yards on five targets in Week 5. Valdes-Scantling is worth up to 10 percent of your FAAB budget, and St. Brown is worth 1 percent.
Chester Rogers Indianapolis Colts WR
Prior to the season, Rogers was my second-favorite Colts receiver behind Hilton. We'll see if he continues his recent level of play once Hilton, who was out in Week 5 with a hamstring injury, is healthy, but Rogers' production of late is encouraging. In his past two games, Rogers has 16 catches for 151 yards on 22 targets. With how much Andrew Luck is throwing the ball -- 245 attempts through five games -- there is enough volume for Rogers to stay relevant in PPR leagues on a weekly basis. He's worth 5 percent of your FAAB.
Robby Anderson New York Jets WR
Anderson was great in Week 5 against Denver with three catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns on five targets, but don't get too excited about his performance. He has yet to have more than six targets or three catches in a game, and he's clearly touchdown or bust. He will hopefully improve as Sam Darnold continues to get better, so he's worth speculating on, but you don't have to start him in Week 6 against the Colts. Anderson is worth up to 5 percent of your FAAB.
Donte Moncrief Jacksonville Jaguars WR
Is Moncrief the best Jaguars receiver? We might never get a handle on the best receiver in Jacksonville with Moncrief, Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook , but Moncrief has been the most consistent with his Fantasy production, scoring at least 13 PPR points in three of the past four games. He just had six catches for 76 yards on a whopping 14 targets at Kansas City, and he appears to be a favorite target for Blake Bortles. Moncrief is worth up to 5 percent of your FAAB.
Cameron Meredith New Orleans Saints WR
I'd have more interest in Meredith and Smith if the Saints weren't on a bye in Week 6, and we don't know how long Ginn will be out. But both played great in Week 5 against Washington. Meredith had five catches for 71 yards on five targets, and Smith had three catches for 111 yards on three targets. Ginn coming back will make it hard to trust these guys, although Meredith should have some staying power in seasonal leagues. Prioritize Meredith over Smith, but both are worth stashing through their bye week at 1 percent of your FAAB.
Christian Kirk Arizona Cardinals WR
Kirk has actually been the best Cardinals receiver with Larry Fitzgerald struggling through a hamstring injury, and he has at least 16 PPR points in two of his past three games. He just had three catches for 85 yards and a touchdown on four targets in Week 5 at San Francisco, and he could be an option for owners in deeper leagues. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB.
Josh Reynolds Los Angeles Rams WR
If Cooks and Kupp are out in Week 6 at Denver, Reynolds will likely be the starter for the Rams opposite Robert Woods . That would put him in a position to get an increased amount of targets, and he'd be a sleeper in deeper leagues. With Cooks and Kupp leaving Week 5 at Seattle, Reynolds had two catches for 39 yards on three targets. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB.
Antonio Callaway Cleveland Browns WR
The Browns receiving corps is a little bit messy with Higgins expected to be out for at least two weeks, so hopefully Callaway will get back to seeing an increased workload. He went from 19 combined targets in Weeks 3-4 to just five targets in Week 5 against Baltimore, but the Browns might have to lean on him again. Also, Cleveland might sign Rishard Matthews as a free agent, so take a flier on him in deeper leagues. Both guys are worth 1 percent of your FAAB.
Trent Taylor San Francisco 49ers WR
The 49ers receiving corps is messy with Goodwin and Dante Pettis (knee) hurt, and Pierre Garcon (shoulder) was also in and out of Week 5 against Arizona. Tight end George Kittle (knee) is also banged up, as is Breida. Taylor took advantage of the situation with seven catches for 61 yards and a touchdown on eight targets, and he could be heavily involved again if everyone is out in Week 7 at Green Bay. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB.

Drop candidates: Larry Fitzgerald (87 percent), Kenny Stills (85 percent), Randall Cobb (74 percent), Quincy Enunwa (74 percent), Chris Hogan (73 percent), Ted Ginn (56 percent), Marquise Goodwin (53 percent) 

Tight ends

Add 'Em
Cameron Brate Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE
Brate will start while Howard is out, and he should be considered a No. 1 Fantasy tight end in Week 6 at Atlanta. It helps that he's reunited with Winston given their track record together, and Brate comes into Week 6 with eight targets for six catches, 63 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games. He's worth at least 10 percent of your FAAB budget.
Austin Hooper Atlanta Falcons TE
Like Sanu, Hooper has quietly played well and has scored at least seven PPR points in three of his past four games, including two with at least 16 points. He was excellent in Week 5 at Pittsburgh with nine catches for 77 yards on 12 targets, and he has a great matchup in Week 6 against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers allow the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and Hooper should be considered a starter in all formats. He's worth 5-10 percent of your FAAB.
Hayden Hurst Baltimore Ravens TE
Hurst isn't someone you have to start in Week 6 at Tennessee, but he is someone to stash if you have an open roster spot. He made his NFL debut in Week 5 at Cleveland after being out to start the season with a foot injury, and he finished with one catch for 7 yards on two targets. He should continue to be more involved moving forward, and he's worth up to 5 percent of your FAAB.
C.J. Uzomah Cincinnati Bengals TE
Uzomah is a good streaming option for Week 6 against Pittsburgh now that Kroft is hurt, with Tyler Eifert (ankle) out for the season. The Steelers just struggled with Hooper. and Uzomah should be the fourth option in the passing game behind A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon . Uzomah is worth up to 5 percent of your FAAB.
Geoff Swaim Dallas Cowboys TE
Swaim had another quality outing in Week 5 against Houston with three catches for 55 yards on three targets, and he has now scored at least eight PPR points in three games in a row. He's become the primary tight end for the Cowboys , and he's a low-end starting option in Week 6 against Jacksonville. Swaim is worth up to 5 percent of your FAAB.

Drop candidates: Ricky Seals-Jones (50 percent), O.J. Howard (49 percent), Benjamin Watson (43 percent)

DST streamers

  • Packers (51 percent) vs. SF
  • Seahawks (38 percent) at OAK
  • Cowboys (47 percent) vs. JAC

K streamers

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 6? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.    

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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