Tim Tebow, Delone Carter and Greg Little lead the waiver wire pickups for Week 6.
It's fantasy football bye weeks, folks, so everyone's going to be scrambling for some fill-in players because some of us have a tendency to draft our back-up without realizing he has the same bye week as our starter. Here are some of the best options available.
Some of the players listed in Athlon Sports' NFL Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 6 may be one-week adds, some may be season-long adds and some are listed just for you to keep an eye on to stash on your roster if you have the space.
Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point PER 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.
Curtis Painter, Indianapolis Colts
He shot the lights out in the first half against the Chiefs, and then someone turned the light off for Curtis in the second half. But still, there's at least been some promise in the recent play of the back-up's back-up in Indy. You won't get massive production out of Painter, but who wouldn't be happy with another 250+ yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions from a guy filling in for your regular starter? Answer: No one. (Well, maybe jerks.) To go along with that, the injury to Addai could mean a depleted backfield next week which means more Curtis Painter through the air. He has a nice rapport with Pierre Garcon (more on him later) that clicked and will hopefully keep clicking as the season goes on. If Curtis can put together a complete game, he could be a consideration if your real starter goes against a shutdown passing defense like the Jets or Eagles.
Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
The Broncos are on a bye this week, but you may want to stash Tim on your bench because it's officially going to be Tebow Time in Denver. And while we don't think he's going to be a capable quarterback in the NFL, he can be a serviceable back-up for fantasy owners because of what he does with his legs. Think of him as Vick-lite (or Vick-heavy, since he outweighs the Eagles QB by a solid 40 pounds.) He's going to throw picks. He's going to have lots of incompletions. But, he's also going to pile up a few rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Rushing yards stack up at 10 yards per point, while passing yards are generally at 25-40 yards per point. And rushing touchdowns usually count for 6 points, while passing TD are ususally worth 4. You do the math.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati
Yep, the Bengals actually have a decent young quarterback on their hands. They also have a bunch of guys who get giant packages of illegal drugs shipped to their house. But let's focus on Dalton. He didn't have his best game against Jacksonville (179 yards, 2 TDs and 1 pick), but he still managed to put up passable numbers that wouldn't have killed you. He goes up against a horrible Colts secondary that got abused by Dwayne Bowe and the Chiefs on Sunday. This may be the best game of the season to play Dalton because Cedric Benson's suspension could come down this week, meaning the Bengals will be even more likely to rely on the passing game if they're without their #1 back.
Charlie Whitehurst, Seattle
If it comes out that he's the starter in Seattle, and then your first, second and third QB options are all either injured or dead, then go ahead and take a flier on Whitehurst. But unless you're in a 32 team fantasy league, there's probably a few better options out there at the quarterback spot.
Delone Carter, Indianapolis
With Joseph Addai going down with a hamstring injury, Carter took the majority of the carries for the rest of the game. He had 14 touches, while other back-up Donald Brown finished with 8. Carter didn't necessarily light it up trudging for just 22 yards on 12 carries and two receptions for 12 yards. Brown on the other hand managed 38 yards. So which one should you get? While Carter probably won't break off any 100+ yard games, he is probably the better back to bank on than Donald Brown because Carter gets the goal line carries and you may get lucky with 50 yards, a score and a couple catches sprinkled in. The Colts play a stout Bengals defense next week, so Carter will only be a play if you're in a dire situation due to injuries or bye weeks.
Jacob Hester, Chargers
With Ryan Mathews injuring his calf and Mike Tolbert getting dinged with a concussion, there's a lot of uncertainty in the Chargers backfield. The Chargers are on a bye this week, and they face a Jets defense in week 7 that is normally strong, but also just gave up a career day to BenJarvis Green-Ellis. This is strictly a flyer pick-up as Hester is a fullback with a fullback's speed. Tolbert is expected to play in week 7, but concussions have a knack for coming back. And Mathews' injury is still uncertain. If Hester finds himself as the feature back against the Jets, he won't pile up much yardage, but could be good for a few goal-line looks and receptions (he had 2 catches filling in for Tolbert and Mathews in week 5.)
Kregg Lumpkin, Buccaneers
Yes, I didn't know who Kregg Lumpkin was until this week, either. The Bucs back-up's, back-up's back-up running back has been a favorite of the Tampa Bay coaching staff for a couple years (who knew?), and now after LeGarrette Blount (do the Bucs have the best collection of named running backs? Yes.) left Sunday's game against the Niners with an injured knee, Lumpkin could see some playing time. On top of it, Earnest Graham has also been nursing a tweaked hamstring. Graham played last week, but hammy's also have a way of rearing their heads again. If Blount's knee keeps him out, Lumpkin could be a good candidate to get 10-15 touches and a few receptions against the Saints in week 6.
Ryan Torain, Redskins
Ryan Torain went off two weeks ago in his first action of the season against the St. Louis Rams for 135 yards and a touchdown on only 19 carries. Now, before you wet yourself, the Rams have the worst run defense in the league. But, if you feel like wetting yourself again, Torain and the Redskins are going up against the Eagles and their almost equally pathetic run defense. The Redskins backfield has been a committee all season, but coach Mike Shanahan said that Torain ran like he was "possessed" against the Rams. If that's not a vote of confidence that could turn a running back committee into a running back of one, then I don't know what is. Tim Hightower, who injured his shoulder two weeks ago expects to play, but look for him to primarily be a third-down back with Torain playing his way into the feature role.
Jackie Battle, Kansas City Chiefs
Remember when everyone was pretty sure that Dexter McCluster was going to blow up after Kansas City lost Jamaal Charles for the year? Well, that didn't really happen. And last week Battle was the back who lead the Chiefs in carries and yards, with 19 and 119 respectively. The Chiefs are on bye this week and play the Raiders in week 7, so you may want to hold off on picking him up. And quite honestly, no one knows what to expect from the Chiefs offense. But if he emerges as the go-to back and keeps putting up numbers like he did in week 5, you could have a solid RB2 on your hands.
Bernard Scott, Cincinnati Bengals
Cedric Benson is going to get suspended at some point, right? Right? And when he does, well, you have a mediocre RB3 to put right in your lineup. (Full disclosure: We've expected Benson to be suspended for weeks now. Some of us have actually been keeping Bernard Scott on our bench way longer than we should have. If anyone in the league office is reading this, please put us out of our misery and either suspend Benson or let us know that he got off scot free.)
Pierre Garcon, Indianapolis Colts
I know what you're thinking. "Pierre Garcon? There's no way he's available on the waiver wire." Well, consider this just a friendly reminder to go back and check. Garcon was dropped in a lot of leagues after Kerry Collins came out and stunk up the joint. But now, with Curtis "I look like an ugly Thor" Painter at the helm in Indy, Garcon's season has been revived. He has a great rapport with Painter, posting 146 and 125 yards and 4 (count em, 4!) touchdowns in the last two weeks, alone. So while there's a good chance he's not around, it's worth taking the two minutes to check. You could find a diamond from an owner who gave up on him weeks ago.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are on a bye next week, but if you have the space, it's a good idea to stash Baldwin. Baldwin racked up 8 catches and 136 yards with a td last week to follow up a solid 5 catch, 84 yard performance two weeks ago. With Sidney Rice getting most of the attention Baldwin has managed to get himself into a consistent bit of production. How long this will last remains to be seen. Both Baldwin and Ben Obomanu (more on him next) have capitalized in the absence of Mike Williams concussion issues. But both of those guys are doing what the Seahawks offense is asking of them.
Ben Obomanu, Seattle Seahawks
Right now you're probably wondering why we made a joke about picking up the Seahawks possible starting quarterback and we've got two Seahawks wide receivers on the waiver wire list. Well, it's because we like jokes. (And there are conflicting reports on whether Whitehurst will actually be the starter now.) But back to the other Big Ben. He posted a solid 6 catch and 51 yard performance with a touchdown added in for good measure last week. The Mike Williams absence has helped him and he could be the first to lose playing time when Williams comes back. But until he does, keep Obomanu in your back pocket. Or in your front pocket, whichever you prefer.
Greg Little, Cleveland Browns
Good news! Greg Little has been officially promoted to the starting lineup for the Cleveland Browns. Which is a little like getting promoted at Enron. (In 2011.) The Browns currently have the 30th ranked offense in the NFL, and given the fact that there are only 32 teams in the league, that qualifies them as "bad." Is Greg Little going to come in and make them a top 5 offense? Probably not, but he is a dynamic playmaker who should rack up a few receptions starting in the X slot for the Browns. Little was the guy making noise in the preseason as a breakout candidate, and this is his chance to prove those yea-sayers right.
Legedu Naanee, Carolina Panthers
With Steve Smith getting back to his old self and Cam Newton playing beyond his years, there might actually be some room for Legedu to put up some points. Normally, there wouldn't be too much to get excited about from a 4 catch and 63 yard performance. But what should get you at least a little excited is that Naanee was targeted 8 times in the game (which led the team.) Now, should he have done more with those 8 targets? Sure. But if teams keep double-teaming Steve Smith, there should be lots of room opening up for Naanee. And if he can stay on the same page with Newton, he may just blossom into a decent WR3.
Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons
Before the season started, everyone loved Harry Douglas as a sleeper. Now, five weeks in, the only person who loves Harry Douglas is his mom (mostly because he's basically sucked fantasy-wise all season). But there may be some reason to hold out a little hope. With Julio Jones going down with a hamstring injury, this could be Harry's time to shine. Keep an eye on how long Jones will be out. If his hammy is fine, then don't take a flier on Harry. If not, then go for it because the Falcons aren't shy about spreading the ball around.
Damian Williams, Tennessee Titans
When Kenny Britt went down, someone had to step up and fill at least some of the shoes he left on LP Field. And it was Damian who had a breakout game in week 5 with 6 catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. The Titans are on a bye in week 6, so you should probably hold off on adding him right now, but he's had two touchdowns in as many weeks. And he should be good for a handful of receptions each week as his chemistry with Matt Hasselbeck gets better with more playing time. The lack of running game for the Titans means they'll probably be throwing more than usual, as well.
Kevin Walter, Houston Texans
Walter has been inconsistent all season, but finally had a decent game in week 5 against the Raiders with five catches for 81 yards and one touchdown. After getting zero production in weeks 2 and 4, there's really no telling which Kevin will show up next week. Houston is going up against the Ravens in week 6, so normally we'd say not to pick him up, but since Andre Johnson will be out, and the Texans will either be down or needing to throw a lot, this will be your last chance to squeeze many fantasy points out of Walter. But if he continues is on again off again pattern, then he may get zero catches next week. Don't say we didn't warn you (yes, we're hedging against ourselves.)
Kyle Williams, San Francisco 49ers
With Josh Morgan out for most, if not all, of the season with a busted ankle, it looks like Kyle Williams may have a chance to step up in his place. And with Alex Smith playing out of his mind, he may be worth a flier in a deep, deep league. Williams hasn't done anything to give anyone the idea that he's a breakout candidate, but no one thought the 49ers would be 4-1 right now, either. Weirder things have happened.
Joel Dreessen, Houston Texans
Just when you thought TE/RB one-week sensation James Casey who would be the guy to be your genius waiver wire pickup in week 4, along comes Joel Dreessen, a borong old TE (no RB) to drop 5 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Casey is now out with a torn pectoral muscle, so we guess maybe Dreessen is going to be more involved? OK, I'm going to come tell you something that no other fantasy pundit will tell you, no one has any clue what Joel Dreessen will do next week. But, with both Casey and Johnson on the sideline, someone has to get some catches, right? Right?
Any Kicker That's Available If Your Kicker Is On Bye
Seriously, it doesn't matter. Go find a monkey, and then go find some darts, and then ask the monkey to throw some darts at the list of available kickers. And then pick a different one. It just doesn't matter. There's no way to predict which kicker will just put PATs through the uprights on a random Sunday, or the kicker who will launch three 50 yarders. Just make sure he's starting and his kicking leg hasn't fallen off and he's as good as any other kicker. (You may also want to make sure his non-kicking leg hasn't fallen off, either. Just to be safe.)
Check back later this week for our complete week 6 positional rankings.