With Jay Ajayi on injured reserve, Clement and Smallwood should be owned
Week 5 brought fantasy owners plenty of points and heartbreak. Some players were injured, as is every week in football. Fantasy owners also are dealing with the bye weeks. The New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions are off Week 6, and those two teams have plenty of fantasy-relevant players that will need replacing. Many fantasy owners will turn to the waiver wire for help.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (44 percent owned)
It’s never pretty, but somehow Bortles manages to put up solid fantasy numbers. Some players will remember this from last year as well. If fantasy owners put him in their lineup, hit submit and didn’t watch the game, they would be pretty happy with the results. Even with four interceptions and a fumble in Week 5, he still managed more than 20 fantasy points in most leagues. The Jaguars play the Cowboys in Week 6, and Bortles is a fine streamer.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (37 percent owned)
As soon as Mayfield entered the game, the Browns' offense looked, well, like an NFL offense. Mayfield has ignited this team and most importantly to real-life football, won. Even better, he is putting up decent numbers from a fantasy perspective too. He has scored just under 20 points each of the past two weeks. Mayfield is more of a fill-in option at this point, but Cleveland faces the Chargers, then Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Atlanta before their Week 11 bye. Those are good matchups for a quarterback.
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20 percent owned)
After filling in for a struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick, Winston has regained the starting job. The Bucs face the Falcons in Week 6, and there should be plenty of points to go around. While it’s hard to say how well Winston will fare, the offense has weapons and he has the ability to put up big numbers. Grab him now before he blows up and everyone wants him next week.
Alfred Morris, San Francisco 49ers (42 percent owned)
When Matt Breida went down with an ankle injury, Morris was the one to carry the load. He had 18 carries for 61 yards in Week 5. He also added three receptions for 30 yards. The 49ers are one of the hardest-hit teams injury-wise this year, and Morris is simply the next man up. Breida's injury is not believed to be serious, but he will likely be out for Week 6, at minimum.
Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (24 and 7 percent owned)
The news came out late Monday afternoon that Jay Ajayi was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. It’s unclear when the injury happened as he played in Week 5 and didn’t seem to be hampered at any point. Either way, Ajayi is out for the rest of the year and Clement and Smallwood will be the Eagles' backfield with veteran Darren Sproles getting back into the mix when he returns from a hamstring injury. Clement has been dealing with a quad injury, but he should be active for Week 6. Both backs should be owned, with Clement as the priority over Smallwood if both are available.
D’Onta Foreman and Alfred Blue, Houston Texans (20 and 14 percent owned)
Lamar Miller was active but did not play in Week 5 as he was dealing with a chest injury. In his absence, Blue didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard. He had 20 carries, which he turned into 46 yards (2.3 ypc), along with eight receptions for 73 yards. Foreman should be close to returning from a torn Achilles tendon, which is just going to make a mess of this backfield. If Miller plays in Week 6, Blue is just a handcuff. Foreman is a speculative add as he might share carries with Miller upon his return.
Don't forget about:
Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26 percent owned)
Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks (19 percent owned)
Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (46 and 9 percent owned)
Once Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Allison (concussion) were ruled out for Week 5, fantasy owners looked to pick up and start Valdes-Scantling. If they did start him, they were rewarded with seven receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown (almost two). His value is only while Allison is out, whose value increases as long as Cobb is sidelined. Keep an eye on the practice reports ahead of Week 6. Allison should be good to go once he clears the concussion protocol.
Robby Anderson, New York Jets (35 percent owned)
Anderson was drafted as a WR2... and then dropped by most fantasy owners after a few weeks. In Week 5, he had 123 yards and two touchdowns on just three receptions. He had five targets, which did lead the team. The problem with the Jets is that trying to predict who will have a big game is nearly impossible. However, after this outing, Anderson should be owned in at least 50 percent of leagues.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (9 percent owned)
For those in deeper leagues, Kirk is becoming the wide receiver to own in Arizona. He only had three receptions, but he took one of those for a 75-yard touchdown. It seems that Josh Rosen is looking for him as Larry Fitzgerald is banged up and seemingly not the Fitzgerald that he has been in the past. Someone else needs to step up and that may just be Kirk.
Don't forget about:
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (38 percent owned)
Keke Coutee, Houston Texans (34 percent owned)
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals (26 percent owned)
After Tyler Eifert was injured, Tyler Kroft was the next man up. However, he suffered a foot injury in Week 5 and Uzomah took over. He only caught two passes for 43 yards in Week 5, but if Kroft is out, Uzomah is a solid TE2 with upside. The Bengals are pretty banged up, but face Pittsburgh in Week 6, who they certainly can score points against.
Niles Paul, Jacksonville Jaguars (0 percent owned)
For those that are truly desperate at TE, Paul is likely available. The Jags put Austin Seferian-Jenkins on injured reserve, which makes Paul the starter. Paul had nine targets in Week 5. He caught seven of those for 65 yards. The volume will likely be there, although trying to predict which Jacksonville pass catcher will have a good game is nearly impossible.
Defense/Special Teams (DSTs)
Green Bay Packers (52 percent owned)
The Packers face the 49ers next Monday night. The Packers are over 50 percent owned, so they technically don’t qualify for the waiver wire column, but since they are so close, this should be the top pick up for those streaming DSTs, if available. The 49ers have so many injuries, plus this game is at Lambeau Field. The Packers DST should have a solid fantasy outing in Week 6.
Seattle Seahawks (21 percent owned)
The Seahawks' defense has not been what it has in the past. However, they face the Oakland Raiders in Week 6. The game is in London, so neither team truly has a home advantage. Derek Carr has struggled this year and the Seahawks did a decent job against the Rams, with one sack and two interceptions.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.