In week six, not only do we already have injuries galore, with seemingly more and more big names added to injury reports every week, but the four teams on bye are stacked with fantasy studs at every position.
In PPR leagues, three out of the six highest scoring running backs are all on bye, including the highest scoring player in fantasy, Alvin Kamara. Amongst quarterbacks, the 2nd highest scoring player in fantasy, Russell Wilson, is also on bye, not to mention the devastating injury to Dak Prescott in last week’s game against the Giants.
At this point in the season, every game matters, and every team is looking for streaming options to replace missing starters in their lineup. Let’s take a look at players that may be on your bench or, even better, on your waivers, that you can plug into your lineup this week
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. NYJ
Playing for the 8th team in his 16 year NFL career, we have somehow reached a point at which Fitzmagic has become an underrated fantasy asset. Since Week 10 of last season, the only quarterbacks who have scored more fantasy points than Fitspatrick are Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Dak Prescott.
While he may not boast the same winning percentage as those MVP candidates, he is just as capable of putting up a number one scoring week as any of them, and yet he’s still available in over 40% of ESPN fantasy leagues.
He’s worth the stash regardless of your QB situation and faces a particularly favorable matchup this week against the hapless New York Jets. He’s worth the start if you’re looking for a streamer and is certainly worth the add if you’re looking for a backup QB or a replacement for Dak.
Honorable Mention: Jared Goff vs. SF
RB: Chase Edmonds @ DAL
As someone who invested highly in Kenyan Drake, it truly pains me to recommend starting his backup. Edmonds has emerged as the premier third down and pass-catching back for an Arizona Cardinals’ offense that is going up against a Dallas defense that allows the fifth most rushing yards per game in the entire league.
In what Vegas predicts to be a shootout, the Cardinals figure to win this game against a reeling Cowboys team that lost their franchise quarterback and leader just last week. That could very well lead to a favorable game script and thus, more touches, for the Cardinals backfield. While Edmonds has been somewhat touchdown dependent for his fantasy production thus far, he has another solid opportunity to score this week and is worth throwing in your lineup as a low-end RB3/flex option, especially in deeper leagues.
Honorable Mention: Antonio Gibson vs. NYG
WR: Mecole Hardman @ BUF
With Sammy Watkins likely sidelined for multiple weeks, the attractive WR2 spot for the Kansas City Chiefs is now open. While Demarcus Robinson certainly isn’t going away, Hardman has proven to be extraordinarily efficient with his targets and receptions and figures to be significantly more involved in the passing game now with Watkins missing time.
If Bills’ All-Pro CB Tre White plays, he’ll be shadowing Tyreek Hill, meaning Hardman could be positioned for a significant uptick in targets this week. Especially if this game turns out to be a high-scoring affair like many expect, the odds of Hardman finding the end-zone are high.
If you’re looking to replace DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett this week, consider taking a flier on Hardman. As long as Watkins is on the sideline, Hardman will have ample opportunity for targets from the best quarterback in the NFL.
Honorable Mention: Justin Jeffferson vs. ATL
TE: Darren Fells @ TEN
With all signs pointing to Jordan Akins missing another week due to a concussion and an ankle injury, Fells has another week of fantasy relevance. Assuming Akins is out, Fells becomes the favorite redzone target for Deshaun Watson in an offense that figures to improve after finally relieving Bill O’Brien of his GMing, head coaching, and play-calling duties following the Texans fourth straight loss to the Vikings in week four.
What Fells lacks in target volume, he makes up for in high-value touches, as he ranks top ten amongst qualified tight ends in yards per reception and has seen 25% of his targets in the red zone. He may be a boom or bust option, but he could produce value if you’re in need of a tight end replacement in deeper leagues.
Honorable Mention: Irv Smith vs. ATL