Once again, Monday night breakouts had a major impact on the top Week 6 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Big performances from Justin Herbert, Justin Jackson, and Mike Williams vaulted all three into the waiver discussion, with the latter carrying even more value after Keenan Allen exited early because of a back injury. Generally, fantasy owners don’t want to use waiver claims on guys with byes the following week, but all three Chargers might be worth stashing now because of a favorable post-bye schedule. Even if fantasy football owners use their claims on other potential top pickups, such as Alexander Mattison and Chase Claypool, the L.A.’s trio figure to be priority free agent adds after waivers clear around 4-5 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning in Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Our full free agent list is loaded with potential breakout wide receivers (Claypool, Henry Ruggs, Preston Williams, Laviska Shenault, Christian Kirk), as well as some good QB, TE, and D/ST streaming options for Week 6 (which can be found at the end of the list). Unfortunately, there aren’t many RBs on the list, but that will likely be the case most weeks going forward unless there are injuries. Phillip Lindsay and Damien Harris are both owned in just over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, but both should be priority pickups if they’re available in your league. If you need a new kicker or just want to find out if Jon Brown is a real NFL player, you can also check out our Week 6 kicker rankings.
After a relatively quiet Sunday afternoon, we didn’t think it would be worth using a high waiver claim this week, but Dalvin Cook’s injury and Jackson’s breakout means two potential “starting” RBs are available in the majority of leagues. If you throw in Lindsay and Harris, that makes four backs who could all have potential multi-week value (and longer in the case of Lindsay and Harris). Claypool figures to be claimed, but rookie WRs on teams that already have two talented WRs generally aren’t consistent, so don’t go overboard. There are plenty of other WRs with similar outlooks the rest of the season, and you can get most of them on the free agent wire. It’s best to check specific matchups for potential bye-week fill-in WRs anyway.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 6
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Mike Williams, WR, Chargers. Williams shook off a hamstring injury that kept him out last week and posted a season-high 109 yards and two TDs on Monday night against the Saints. He showcased his jump-ball prowess and big-play ability on numerous occasions despite catching just five passes (eight targets), and it’s clear that Williams’ playing style meshes well with Justin Herbert’s big arm. With Keenan Allen exiting early because of a back injury, Williams could continue to operate as the Chargers’ No. 1 receiver after their Week 6 bye, and with several favorable matchups (Jaguars, Broncos, Raiders, Dolphins, Jets).
Justin Jackson, RB, Chargers. With Austin Ekeler (hamstring) out for at least the next month, it was Jackson, not Joshua Kelley, who operated as the Chargers “lead” back on Monday night, outrushing Kelley 71 to 29 (on four more carries) and catching five-of-six targets for 23 yards. All told, Jackson received 20 touches to Kelley’s 12, and he looked far better as both a runner and receiver. Still available in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues, Jackson is worth a relatively high waiver claim, although he won’t be available when he’s on bye in Week 6.
Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers. Herbert is owned in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues, but that number should be higher after he turned in his second straight game with at least three touchdowns. Herbert carved up the Saints on Monday night for 264 yards and four touchdowns, and he’s now averaging 21.8 fantasy points per game (in four-point passing TD leagues) in his four starts. A potential loss of top receiver Keenan Allen (back) could dim Herbert’s shine a bit, but he still looks like he’ll be a top-flight backup and potential streamer after his Week 6 bye. His immediate post-bye schedule is a string of favorable matchups (Jaguars, Broncos, Raiders, Dolphins, Jets), so stash Herbert now if he’s available.
Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs. After catching touchdowns in Weeks 3 and 4, Hardman tied his season high with 50 snaps last week. He didn’t do much, catching two-of-three targets for 50 yards, but Hardman’s value is about to take off with Sammy Watkins set to miss multiple weeks because of a hamstring injury. Hardman caught six-of-seven targets for 73 yards and a score in the two games Watkins missed last year, but he should see even more playing time this season. With favorable upcoming matchups against the Bills, Broncos, and Jets, Hardman has WR3 potential going forward.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos. Lindsay (toe) was nearly ready to return from a two-game absence in Week 4 against the Jets, but on the short week, the Broncos elected to hold him out. With yet another week to heal, Linday should be fully ready for Week 6 against the Patriots. Lindsay is owned in just 51 percent of Yahoo leagues but should be in a timeshare with Melvin Gordon. We got a glimpse of that in the one half he played this year when he had seven carries, including a goal-line carry, and a reception. After the Patriots, he has three great matchups against the Chiefs, Falcons, Raiders).
For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including breakout WRs Chase Claypool and Henry Ruggs, potential starting RBs Alexander Mattison and Damien Harris, and more, check out our full Week 6 list.