The injury bug continues to sweep through the league leaving fantasy owners holes to fill, making for another busy waiver week.
Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (40% rostered) – Outside of the tough Week 3 against Buffalo, Howell has been a better than expected fantasy QB, scoring above 16 points in every other game. He’s strung together 3 games above 18 in a row, and has a decent schedule against the Giants, Eagles and Patriots the next 3 weeks. Howell also provides a nice floor adding in 4+ rush attempts each of the last 3 weeks. I think Howell has QB1 potential to finish in the 10-12 range and can be grabbed as a season long option if you own a QB who’s gone down recently.
Brian Hoyer, Las Vegas Raiders (0% rostered) – I wouldn’t suggest adding Hoyer to the roster in any 1 QB format, but for Superflex leagues, Hoyer is a nice high floor options as a veteran that’s been around forever. He most likely doesn’t have a ceiling of more than 18 points, but he most likely won’t stick you with 5 points either. He gets a great matchup against Chicago and as long as the Raiders’ receivers are healthy, Hoyer should do enough for double digit points.
Jordan Mason (4% rostered)/Elijah Mitchell (34% rostered), San Fransisco 49ers – One of the biggest fantasy gold mines is a Shanahan backfield, and you always want to grab a piece when it becomes available. An unfortunate injury to Christian McCaffrey kept him out of a lot of the game in Week 6, and Mason was the prime beneficiary. Mitchell started the year as the #2 but has missed a few weeks with injury, so we’ll see if Mitchell resumes the #2 role as he gets healthier. I would prioritize Mason but absolutely worth putting a claim in for both. If either guy gets a lead RB role he should make a dependable RB2 if CMC misses. Even a split backfield would probably make both guys a FLEX option with six teams on bye next week.
Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions (2% rostered) – Reynolds is a less inspiring option but could be in line for a monster workload with an injury this week to David Montgomery where early reports say he’ll miss a few weeks. First round rookie Jamyr Gibbs has missed the last two games with injury and if he misses another game, Reynolds would have the backfield virtually to himself. Even if Gibbs is back, he hasn’t been heavily utilized yet this season and in a game coming off injury, I wouldn’t imagine his usage skyrockets this week. The Lions travel to Baltimore where I don’t expect a ton of points in this game as Jared Goff has a storied history of playing poorly on the road, Baltimore’s defense smothers RBs, and Detroit’s defense is quietly one of the best in the game. Reynolds is a low ceiling FLEX play this week, but should see solid volume with Montgomery out and Gibbs on the fence.
Zach Evans, Los Angeles Rams (5% rostered) – Kyren Williams suffered an injury this week, and had been getting just about every ounce of work in the Rams’ backfield – snap counts of over 70% in every game from Week 2 on. Backup Ronnie Rivers was seemingly the next man in line to lead the backfield, but also suffered his own injury in Week 6. Zach Evans is the last man standing for now, and has hardly been active this year, but was an exciting draft prospect and if the Rams give Evans close to the same workload Williams was getting, he could be a solid RB2 based on volume alone. I don’t imagine LA gives Evans the ball to the same degree as Williams, but the Rams offense is one that involves the RB the most.
Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts (50% rostered) – Downs would be my #1 target at WR this week if he’s still available in your league, and could prioritize as the top waiver add overall, ahead of the San Fran RBs if I needed a WR more. Downs has been the biggest beneficiary of Minshew starting, seeing 12 targets and 8 targets in the two games Minshew has started. Unfortunate news recently that Anthony Richardson has a high probability of being shut down for the season, leads to the idea Downs should continue to see around 8 targets a game, and is a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 with a high floor.
Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs (55% rostered) – While Rice hasn’t had a monster game yet this season, you see him evolving each week, often looked at by Mahomes in the redzone. Rice has gotten 5+ targets in 4 of 6 games this year, and been over 8 points in 4 of 6. The Chiefs’ desperately need someone to take over at the WR position, and we know rookies tend to break out towards the back half of the season. Rice has the talent and the situation to explode down the stretch, we just need to hope he starts to see an uptick in volume.
Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots (21% rostered) – As bad as the Patriot’s offense has been this season, Bourne has shown some boom weeks, over 14 points twice now on the season. His volume seems to be sporadic, but has gotten 11 targets in two games this season, and at least 5 in all but one. You imagine the Patriots are going to be trailing decently against Buffalo this week, so Bourne could see a target share closer to his season-high. He offers a basement level floor as we saw weeks 2-5 so be cautious if rolling him out, but not a bad dice roll in a pinch.
Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans (57% rostered) – After a slow start to the season where Schultz was unstart able, he’s put together 3 good weeks, going over 11 points in all 3 games. The Texan’s offense has been a pleasant surprise this season led by rookie CJ Stroud, and Schultz looks to be benefitting recently. He’s gotten 7+ targets in each of the last 2 weeks, showed he can put up top-level production if given the opportunity as we saw and Dallas, and the tight end position is a wasteland.
Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons (24% rostered) – Smith continues to be involved in Atlanta’s offense with another 5 targets this week and finally found the end-zone for the first time this season. He’s been over 6 points in every game since Week 2, and over 5 targets in every game as well, you know Smith most likely won’t give you a goose. He’s got a tough matchup against Tampa Bay this week so a ceiling most likely isn’t in play, but provides a nice floor if you just want to avoid a disaster at the position.
Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders (12% rostered) – A highly drafted rookie who was the #1 rated TE on a lot of boards heading into the draft, Mayer has gotten more involved as the season’s gone on, seeing 9 targets over the last two games, after only seeing 2 targets through the first 4 weeks combined. A nice matchup against Chicago puts Mayer in the TE streaming conversation for Week 7, and Brian Hoyer isn’t known to chuck it deep consistently. Mayer could continue to see 5-6 targets which provides a solid floor as well if streaming TE.
DST Stream of the Week
Las Vegas Raiders (32% rostered) – After being a DST you wanted to heavily target the first 4 weeks of the season, the Raiders have toughened up and been over 12 points in back to back weeks. Maxx Crosby seems unblockable which means you can count on a sack or two at least each game, and this week they go to Chicago to play an already struggling Bears offense that is without Justin Fields this week and gives up over 4 sacks per game. This game has the lowest Over/Under on the week with the Raiders favored by 3.5, so I think the Raiders DST is a Top 10 option this week.
Good luck all and as always, stay true!