AAF Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 6
What a week we just saw from the AAF! Week 5 brought us by far the highest-scoring week of fantasy football we have seen to date from the league. Despite the big scoring, there isn’t a ton of meat left on the bone in season-long waiver wires unless you’re in shallower leagues now that we’re at the mid-point of the season. We still managed to find a few gems for you, though. Before we get to those, let’s look at some quick stats from last week.
We had 11 players score more than 20 fantasy points last week compared to only one player in Week 4. The QB play really took a big step forward last week as essentially every QB who played close to a full game managed over 200 passing yards except for Zach Mettenberger (181 yards) with three QBs even managing over 300 passing yards.
The quarterbacks weren’t the only ones who got in on the action last week. That lowly tight end spot had itself a big week as well. Coming into Week 5, we had only seen double-digit fantasy points from a tight end on five occasions this season. In Week 5, we saw four TEs manage that feat.
Your leading performer in fantasy for Week 5 was Tarean Folston with 28.6 fantasy points using Fanball’s DFS scoring format. We haven’t seen a QB finish as the overall top performer since all the way back in Week 1 when John Wolford was king.
Now, let’s get to those waiver wire gems who are also players you should keep an eye on going forward for DFS purposes. As always, fantasy points and stats are sourced thanks to Fanball.com and NoExtraPoints.com.
Mike Bercovici (SD)
The SD Fleet was in a precarious position heading into Week 5 as their starting QB, Philip Nelson, was announced to have broken his collar bone and would be forced to miss four-to-six weeks of action. Coach Mike Martz turned to Week 1 starter, Mike Bercovici, who didn’t last more than half a game in Week 1 before he got the hook thanks to some costly turnovers. It’s also said that you can still hear the hit that Bercovici took back in Week 1 echo throughout the stadium on a quiet night.
The matchup was prime for Berco to bounce back in Week 5, though, and he did just that. He completed 22-of-43 attempts (51.2%) for 304 yards with one TD and one INT against Salt Lake’s porous pass defense finishing with 18.1 fantasy points as the QB6. That total would have been good enough for a QB2 finish last week.
Bercovici broke off chunk plays at will hitting wideout Dontez Ford for gains of 34 and 45 yards while connecting with tight end Ben Johnson for his lone TD pass. The matchups won’t always be this sweet for Bercovici, but he should remain a solid volume play on an offense that wants to run a pass-heavy scheme. Berco should be considered a matchup-based starter worthy of a spot on all season-long rosters.
Keith Price (BIR)
As Luis Perez’s struggles continued mightily, Keith Price was brought in early to try and keep Birmingham competitive in what they knew would be a tough game. Perez threw a pick-six in the final minute of the first quarter, giving way to Price for the rest of the game. Price filled in admirably completing 18-of-29 attempts (62.1%) for 234 yards. Price secured the Iron’s first passing TD of the season hitting RB Brandon Ross for a 30-yard score. Price also didn’t turn the ball over once while showing the ability to scramble out of the pocket well, another facet where Perez has struggled this season.
A product out of Washington, Price threw for 73 TDs over his three years as a starter while also contributing 10 rushing TDs during that span according to College Sports Reference. He played there under coach Steve Sarkisian and alongside teammates Bishop Sankey, Jermaine Kearse, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins to name a few. Price was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Seahawks in 2014 but was released quickly thereafter. He also had a brief stint in the CFL with both the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and the BC Lions.
Price didn’t do enough to be a complete game changer with an inevitable outcome of losing to Orlando 31-14 in Week 5. He did, however, likely do enough to warrant consideration as the team’s starting QB going forward, which could lead to matchup-based starter status for himself as well.
Brandon Ross (BIR)
If Brandon Ross slid through your season-long league without being claimed at all last week, you should consider grabbing him this week. While to the workload for Ross wasn’t quite as close to that of rivaling Trent Richardson in Week 5, Ross still saw a handful of touches and managed to be the recipient of the first receiving TD of the season for the Iron.
While seeing only three carries doesn’t seem like it would hold a lot of value, you have to consider the fact that even Richardson only saw eight carries in the game last week as the Iron were playing desperately from behind pretty much from the moment the game started. Ross has still shown us that he is forcing a timeshare here at worst with Richardson and when you’re going up against a guy who is averaging only 2.4 YPA on the season, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find work. Ross is a worthy Flex play going forward in season-long leagues and in DFS who could be a valuable handcuff were Richardson to get hurt.
Terrell Newby (SLC)
With Branden Oliver moved to IR, Terrell Newby was a favorite sleeper play for many last week. Newby fit the mold to fill in as the primary passing-down back for the Stallions in Week 5 and that much, at least, was true. Newby caught four-of-five targets for 33 yards in the game before fumbling and suffering a concussion in the third quarter.
Before the injury, Newby looked spry in the passing game, though he got nowhere as a runner against a stout SD Fleet defense. Even Joel Bouagnon only managed 3.3 YPA in the game. Despite Newby’s status being up in the air for the upcoming week as he works his way back from the concussion, he is a priority add off waivers as he should see Flex value in PPR leagues. If he was to miss time, SLC also added RB Nick Holley recently who served as an RB, WR, and QB in college. Holley had a brief stint with the Rams as well. He would be worth an add if Newby misses time and could potentially carry value in DFS in Week 5.
There wasn’t much in the way of breakout performances from wideouts in Week 5, but here are a couple of guys worth mentioning that people may have dropped that are worth a look once again.
De’Marcus Ayers (SA)
Ayers had a nice breakout in Week 2 where he finished with five catches for 80 yards. Since then, he has quietly managed to see five targets in each game and has been slowly trending back up with his yardage totals. Ayers finished Week 5 with four catches for 50 yards while tying Mekale McKay for the team lead in targets. A battle remains on this offense for the WR2 spot behind McKay, and with the offense trending up after a big win against Arizona last week, Ayers could be in for another breakout soon.
Richard Mullaney (ARZ)
You might remember Mullaney from the first two weeks of action. He managed seven catches on nine targets over the first two games and was operating as the clear WR2 on this offense before he was sidelined with a mysterious knee injury. Mullaney got in limited practices all last week but didn’t make the active roster as a game-time call in Week 5.
The fact that Mullaney was able to practice in a limited fashion all week should have him continuing to trend toward playing Week 6. My guess is that Mullaney is dealing with a sprain of some sort which generally carries a two-to-four week recovery timetable at the NFL level, depending on the severity. This offense certainly looks like it could use the help right now, and Mullaney could quickly slide back into a very active role again once healthy.
Adonis Jennings (SLC)
We haven’t seen a breakout yet for Adonis Jennings, but there has been some encouraging usage that could lead to bigger games down the road. Jennings is second on the Stallions with 21 targets this season with a target share of 13%. He also saw a season-high two red zone targets last week and has cleared 40 yards receiving in each of the last two weeks. SLC’s pass defense has been completely exposed as of late which could lead to more high-scoring affairs down the road which bodes well for this passing game as a whole, but especially Jennings who leads the team with 272 air yards this season. This is more of a bench stash at the moment in season-long leagues, but Jennings might become a worthy dart throw in DFS lineups.
I’m assuming Wes Saxton Jr. (BIR) and Nick Truesdell (SLC) are already owned in the majority of season-long leagues, but if they’re somehow still available, you have to grab them this week. Saxton especially has been on a tear since he joined the Iron and now if Price becomes the weekly starter, there is more reason to be excited. Austin Seferian-Jenkins was one of the leading receivers in the Huskies’ Keith Price-led offenses in college, and Saxton has looked like the best receiving threat on the team.
Scott Orndoff (ORL)
Orndoff made the top of fantasy ranks last week and may very well be available in season-long leagues, but he has been horribly volatile all season as Orlando spreads the ball around a ton and hasn’t shown much interest in involving the tight end position. Orndoff is worth a bench stash but don’t expect much.
Ben Johnson (SD)
Johnson will be a name to watch who is worth grabbing off waivers if you’re absolutely desperate. San Diego has involved multiple tight ends all season as Gavin Escobar and Marcus Baugh all continue to see healthy work in the passing game. Johnson has seen seven targets over the last three weeks, however, with three of those coming in the red zone.