Weekend Waiver Wire Stashes: Week 5 (2021 Fantasy Football)
Here are players to consider stashing ahead of this weekend’s slate of games.
Taylor Heinicke vs Chiefs in Week 6
Heinicke has averaged 279.3 passing yards and has thrown eight TD passes in his three starts. He gets a scrumptious Week 6 matchup against a Chiefs pass defense that ranks 31st in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric and is allowing 8.8 yards per pass attempt. And of course, a matchup with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes could lead to an O.K. Corral game script, with Heinicke and the Football Team ramping up the pass volume in an attempt to keep up.
Tua Tagovailoa vs. Jaguars in Week 6
He’s been on IR with fractured ribs but is expected to be back in Week 6. If Tagovailoa does indeed play, he’ll face the Jaguars in London. Jacksonville ranks dead last against the pass in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric and is letting opponents complete 75.2% of their passes for an average of 9.6 yards per attempt. In Week 7, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins will face an Atlanta defense that has a league-worst opponent passer rating of 120.1 and has given up 11 TD passes in four games. Any fantasy manager streaming quarterbacks should take a hard look at Tua for Weeks 6-7.
Darrel Williams at Washington Football Team in Week 6
Williams is already getting goal-line carries and some third-down work for the Chiefs, and his role could grow even larger if Clyde Edwards-Helaire continues to have fumbling issues. CEH has lost two fumbles in the Chiefs’ first four games. The potency of the Chiefs’ offense boosts the fantasy value of whichever back(s) get snaps, and Williams could be on the cusp of a snap bump.
Rhamondre Stevenson vs. Cowboys in Week 6
Stevenson has been in Bill Belichick’s doghouse even since fumbling the ball away on his second NFL touch, but at some point, he’ll get another chance. The rookie from the University of Oklahoma scored five touchdowns in three preseason games and has an intriguing prospect profile as a big, punishing back with decent pass-catching skills. Stevenson could be an excellent fit for New England’s conservative offense, and patient fantasy managers could reap big rewards if they grab Stevenson now, before he gets out of purgatory.
Rashod Bateman vs. Chargers in Week 6
The rookie from the University of Minnesota is still available in about three-quarters of CBS leagues. He’s expected to return from a core injury in Week 5, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he quickly ascended to prominence in a Baltimore offense that’s been short on WR talent. Bateman is well worth a stash if you have the roster space.
Kadarius Toney vs. Rams in Week 6
As I wrote in the Primer this week, Toney’s performance in Week 4 made me think back to Odell Beckham Jr.’s rookie season in 2014. Toney had six catches for 78 yards on nine targets Sunday against the Saints and looked terrific. Beckham was off the fantasy radar after straining his hamstring in the first practice of his rookie training camp in 2014. He was sidelined all summer before finally making his debut with the Giants in Week 5, and a little over a month later he was a star. Toney contracted COVID-19 at the start of training camp, then had hamstring problems. He didn’t play much in Weeks 1-2, but injuries to Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton ramped up his usage in Week 3, and he looked explosive. Toney just moves differently than everyone else on the field. Defenders look slow when they’re around him. He’s worth a flyer.
Mo Alie-Cox vs. Texans in Week 6
After being out-snapped by Jack Doyle in each of the Colts’ first three games, Alie-Cox saw a massive boost in snap share in Week 4 and out-snapped Doyle by more than 2-to-1. He caught 3 of 5 targets for 43 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Dolphins, and if the snap and target volume stuck, he could flirt with TE1 value. Alie-Cox gets a plus matchup against the Texans in Week 6.
Evan Engram vs. Rams in Week 6
It’s impossible to recommend him with enthusiasm, but we know he’s athletic, and we saw him make an impact as a rookie in 2017. With the state of the TE position in fantasy football so apocalyptic, we can’t afford to write off a tight end with the skill set to be a star.
Miami Dolphins vs. Jaguars in Week 6
The Jaguars have a turnover differential of -8, worst in the league. Jacksonville is an offense we want to target with our streaming defenses. The Dolphins’ defense is 12th against the pass and 20th against the run in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. It’s a perfectly average defense, in other words, and an average defense is worth using in fantasy when it’s up against a hugely below-average offense.
Bengals at Lions in Week 6
The Bengals’ defense has been much better than expected this season and is worth using in the right matchup, and this might be the right matchup. Lions QB Jared Goff has been sacked 20 times, and Detroit has been held to 17 or fewer points in three straight games. The Bengals are giving up just 6.4 yards per pass, and they have 11 sacks on the year. The Lions are well worth targeting if you’re streaming defenses, and the Bengals’ defense isn’t toothless.