Waiver Wire: Week 6 scouting report
Get the latest on the players you should be scoping with Mario Puig's Week 6 scouting report.
Stephen Morris , QB, Miami (FL): Morris didn't look like much a couple weeks ago, but his numbers the last two weeks have been so great that he's nearing must-own status in most formats. Despite playing against two competent defenses in Georgia Tech and North Carolina State, Morris has somehow thrown for 1,002 yards and seven touchdowns in his last two games. Numbers like that usually aren't a fluke, so if you need a quarterback, Morris is worth a gamble.
Terence Davis , WR, Wake Forest: Davis suddenly looks like a nice pickup in ACC-only leagues, as go-to Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro (38 catches in five games) will miss several weeks with a broken hand. Davis started slowly this year due to a separated shoulder, but he had a nice game against Duke on Saturday, catching six passes for 100 yards. The senior had five touchdowns on just 20 catches last year, so he's a sneaky option at receiver with Campanaro's targets up for grabs.
David Ash , QB, Texas: Ash looked quite rough as a starter last year, but he apparently made fantastic progress over the offseason. The difference has been night and day, as Ash has thrown for 1,007 yards (9.2 YPA), 10 touchdowns and one interception while completing 78 percent of his passes through four games this year. Last year, on the other hand, Ash completed 56.6 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,068 yards (6.2 YPA), four touchdowns and eight interceptions. He should be a nice start this week in most formats, as Texas has a home game against West Virginia's super-powered offense, which will likely force a shootout.
Justin Brown , WR, Oklahoma: Brown is only a deep-league and Big 12-only league spot start consideration due to the dysfunction of the Oklahoma passing game, but he could be a decent option in such scenarios for this week, at the least. Despite transferring to Oklahoma from Penn State just before the start of the year, Brown is second on the team with 12 receptions through three weeks, including six catches against Kansas State. The catches only went for 48 yards, but if he gets that many targets this week it should translate to more yardage and perhaps a score against a Texas Tech defense that is historically bad and hasn't been tested yet this year.
Lindsey Lamar , RB, South Florida: Due to Demetris Murray 's unimpressive start to this year and an injury to backup Marcus Shaw , Lamar was moved from receiver to running back to provide some depth. As it turns out, Lamar might have been the best running back of the three all along. He received eight carries against Florida State on Saturday compared to seven for Murray, who averages just 3.9 yards per carry. Lamar's explosiveness and ability to catch passes give him a chance to pull away from the sluggish Murray in this backfield rotation, so he should be owned in Big East-only leagues for sure.
Gary Nova , QB, Rutgers: Nova is generally a desperation pickup outside of Big East-only leagues, but it's hard to not be impressed with his huge numbers on the road against Arkansas the last time Rutgers played. He completed 71.4 percent of his passes as he threw for 397 yards (11.3 YPA) and five touchdowns without throwing an interception. He's still unproven for the most part, but Nova has a good group of receivers to target in Brandon Coleman , Mark Harrison and Tim Wright, and his Big East schedule is manageable.
Trevor Siemian , QB, Northwestern: Kain Colter is still the star of the offense and will steal red-zone work as a running specialist, but those in Big Ten-only leagues should make sure Siemian is owned now that he's the team primary quarterback. He has the potential to post good numbers in a Northwestern offense that historically does well through the air. Besides, Colter and Dan Persa coexisted a year ago. Siemian has consistently shown good skills as a passer, throwing for 928 yards (8.4 YPA), four touchdowns and two interceptions the last two years.
Carlos Hyde , RB, Ohio State: Jordan Hall (PCL) figures to miss at least one game for Ohio State, leaving the bruising Hyde as the most established runner for a team that averages 33.6 points per game. The 230-pound back ran for 82 yards in two touchdowns in his only healthy start this year, and he figures to get a good amount of work this week as Ohio State attempts to keep a potent Nebraska running attack on the sideline with clock-killing drives.
Tommy Shuler , WR, Marshall: Aaron Dobson is one of the nation's most acclaimed wideouts and fellow veteran Antavious Wilson is accomplished in his own right, but somehow it's Shuler, a little-known sophomore, who is far and away leading Marshall in receptions and receiving yardage. In a Thundering Herd passing game that's probably operating at its highest level since Byron Leftwich was around, averaging 394.6 yards per game, Shuler has been a monster in PPR formats so far, snagging 51 passes for 534 yards and a touchdown in five games. His role seems to be growing, too, as 40 of those catches came in the last three weeks, including 19 catches for 200 yards on the road against Purdue last week.
Latavius Murray , RB, UCF: Murray sat out Saturday's game against Missouri, but the incumbent starter at running back for UCF is believed to be ready to return from the shoulder injury that kept him out the last three weeks. Miami transfer Storm Johnson has been promising playing in Murray's place, running for 246 yards, but Murray is too good to keep off the field now that he's ready to play. He should, in fact, regain his role as the lead back. Murray has consistently done a great job the last three years, running for 1,294 yards (5.8 YPC) and 20 touchdowns on just 223 carries.
Jamaal Williams , RB, BYU: He's only a freshman and was generally off the radar in BYU's competition for the starting running back role this offseason, but after his explosive showing against Hawaii on Friday, it's difficult to see how BYU can possibly rationalize keeping Williams off the field. After seeing the running game plod in an unspectacular fashion the first three weeks, averaging just 148 yards per game, Williams burned Hawaii for 155 yards by himself, adding two touchdowns on just 15 carries. He's worth picking up in any remotely deep format.
Dawan Scott , WR, Miami (OH): With Nick Harwell (knee) questionable indefinitely, it looks like Scott is poised to serve as Miami's top receiver, in which case he could hold major value in any format. Scott was considered a running back/receiver tweener before this year, but the consistent explosiveness he has shown as a pass catcher will probably make him a permanent receiver from here, and probably a very good one. He leads Miami with 441 yards (16.3 YPC) and four touchdowns through the air in five games after catching 20 passes for 424 yards (21.2 YPC) and two touchdowns as a freshman last year. With 300 yards and four touchdowns the last two weeks, Scott is a must-own in most cases.
Dri Archer , RB, Kent State: Archer has quietly been one of the nation's most fantastic playmakers through the first month of the year. Although the tiny (5-foot-8, 175) runner's blazing speed is well-documented, no one can claim to have expected Archer's numbers to this point - he has 331 yards and four touchdowns on just 38 carries, 10 catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns and two more touchdowns on just 10 kick returns. He averaged nine yards or better per carry in each of his last three games, including a road game against Kentucky, and is suddenly worth owning in most formats.
Zach Sudfeld , TE, Nevada: Sudfeld continues to stay under the radar, but very few tight ends in the nation have been as productive this year, particularly in the last three weeks. He has 10 catches for 124 yards and four touchdowns over that span, giving him 19 catches for 232 yards and four scores in five games. The huge (6-7, 255) tight end is clearly Nevada's go-to option when throwing in the red zone, as the team's other three leading receivers have yet to catch a touchdown. He should be owned in all formats.
Jay Ajayi , RB, Boise State: He's primarily just a MWC-only and deep-league handcuff for owners of D.J. Harper, but Ajayi's stock is clearly rising in the Boise State offense, and early indications are that he has the talent to be the team's next star in the backfield. He torched New Mexico for 118 yards and a touchdown on just six carries Saturday, and he figures to pull away in the competition for the backup role behind Harper in the process.
Sean Mannion , QB, Oregon State: Mannion and the Oregon State passing game looked like a wreck against Wisconsin in their first game, but the Beavers have been doing all the wrecking since. There can't be more than five passing games in the country that look as dangerous as Oregon State's, as Mannion has thrown for 812 yards (10.2 YPA), five touchdowns and one interception in road games against UCLA and Arizona the last two weeks. He has a dominant duo of big- play threats at receiving in Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks , and all three need to be owned in most or all formats.
Brandin Cooks , WR, Oregon State: Senior Markus Wheaton is one of Oregon State's best receivers in school history, but Cooks might already be just as good as a sophomore. While Wheaton tends to serve the chain-moving role with a team-leading 27 receptions, the explosive Cooks has shown more of a gamebreaking tendency, posting one more yard (404) than Wheaton (403) on just 21 catches. With at least six catches in each game this year, Cooks is showing excellent consistency in combination with his big-play potential. Both wideouts figure to be among the nation's best fantasy receivers the rest of the year.
Todd Gurley , RB, Georgia: For a while it looked difficult to pick out a fantasy option between Georgia's star freshman running backs, but at this point it's clear that the answer is "all of the above," as both Gurley and Keith Marshall have looked frighteningly good through five games. The bruising Gurley is the top option between the two since he is taking on more of a workhorse role, running for 536 yards (7.9 YPC) and nine touchdowns. Even with South Carolina up next, Gurley looks close to a must-start in most formats, because he simply looks far too good to be stopped.
Keith Marshall , RB, Georgia: Even with Gurley producing like an entire running game by himself, Marshall has also shown an ability to maintain fantasy relevance thanks to his surreal big-play ability. In the last three weeks in particular Marshall has shown a remarkable ability to burn up open field, taking 30 carries for 350 yards and five touchdowns. He's worth owning in most formats because it looks like Marshall is poised to serve as the Felix Jones to Gurley's Darren McFadden in a Georgia running game that looks crushingly strong.
Terrance Broadway , QB, Louisiana-Lafayette: Broadway will start at quarterback for the foreseeable future for Lafayette, as starter Blaine Gautier suffered a broken throwing hand Saturday. Like Gautier, Broadway is a skilled dual-threat quarterback who could be a fantasy monster in a Lafayette offense that features several good receivers and a big-play mentality. As a Houston transfer and a former four-star recruit, Broadway has the pedigree to be a big hit. He has 462 yards (8.4 YPA) and two touchdowns passing while running for 99 yards and two scores in Gautier's place this year and should probably be owned in all leagues.
Benny Cunningham , RB, Middle Tennessee: Cunningham almost certainly played the best game of his career against Georgia Tech last week, serving as the hero in the team's huge 49-28 upset on the road, but that doesn't mean there isn't more for fantasy owners to capitalize on. Indeed, after running for 217 yards and five touchdowns on just 27 carries against Georgia Tech, it would be a big surprise if Cunningham doesn't post more nice numbers when the matchup is right. His next three weeks are surprisingly tough with Louisiana-Monroe, Florida International and Mississippi State lined up, but Cunningham should do well against the likes of North Texas, South Alabama, Troy and Arkansas State.
Dominique Blackman , QB, Idaho: Idaho is a trainwreck, and Blackman's showing could be ugly in real football terms, but as a decent talent in an offense that's constantly playing catch-up, Blackman has the ability to post good fantasy numbers when the matchup is favorable. At home against a New Mexico State team allowing 8.5 yards per pass and 11 touchdowns compared to one interception through the air so far, this week qualifies as such a matchup. Blackman has 658 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in the two manageable games he's played so far - Bowling Green and Wyoming.
Andrew Manley , QB, New Mexico State: While Blackman figures to post good numbers for Idaho this week, Manley looks like a strong bet to force a shootout on the other end. Like Blackman, Manley gets no help from his offensive line and even less from his defense, but Idaho's defense is dreadful and should give Manley enough time to throw to his talented receivers. Manley has quietly thrown for 1,321 yards (7.9 YPA), 10 touchdowns and four interceptions through five games, and he should look good against an Idaho defense allowing 9.3 yards per pass on the year and 13 passing touchdowns in five games.
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