Let’s take a look at players our analysts consider on the fringe as you weigh your waiver wire additions for the week. And be sure to check out all of our waiver wire advice for Week 6.
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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice: Drop or Hold?
Returning from a hamstring injury, Rashod Bateman had one catch for 8 yards and dropped what should have been an easy 4-yard touchdown against the Steelers on Sunday. The oft-injured Bateman played fewer snaps, ran fewer routes and drew fewer targets than teammates Zay Flowers, Nelson Agholor and Odell Beckham. It’s time to extinguish his torch.
In search of a much-needed offensive spark, the Giants dialed down Matt Breida’s snap share in Week 5 and gave more work to rookie RB Eric Gray. Even if Breida can hold off Gray on the depth chart, it won’t matter with Saquon Barkley likely to return from a high-ankle sprain this week and render all other Giants RBs irrelevant.
The Patriots’ offense is a smoldering crater. New England’s starting RB, Rhamondre Stevenson, is averaging only 2.8 yards per carry. Ezekiel Elliott is averaging 2.8 yards per carry and only 2.5 yards per target, so it’s not as if Zeke is forcing the Patriots’ brass to consider a changing of the guard. No need to keep Elliott around when there are better RB stashes to be had.
Over his last two games, Mac Jones has completed 55.8% of his passes and averaged 6.0 yards per attempt with zero touchdowns, four interceptions and two lost fumbles. Even though he has a decent matchup against the Raiders this week, Jones is too risky to trust as a streamer because Bill Belichick could pull him if he gets off to a poor start and replace him with Bailey Zappe.
Droppable with a chance of regret
Back in action after missing two games with an ankle injury, Odell Beckham sustained another (unspecified) injury after two catches for 13 yards. He simply isn’t durable enough to be counted on, and the starry upside of OBJ’s younger days may be gone.
Tyler Higbee probably isn’t going to see a great deal of targets going forward now that target hog Cooper Kupp is back to form a powerful WR trio for the Rams along with Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell. Facing an Eagles defense that had allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends entering Week 5, Higbee had 2-20-0 receiving on three targets.
Poor Daniel Jones. His offensive line is incapable of protecting him, and his WR corps is among the worst in the league. Even at the height of his powers, Tom Brady might have had difficulty moving the chains with such a feeble supporting cast. You can drop Jones without regret.
Joshua Kelley didn’t distinguish himself while Austin Ekeler was out with a high-ankle sprain. Ekeler is expected back in Week 6, so it’s fine to ditch Kelley.
Don’t drop yet
Zack Moss wasn’t aware that Week 5 was supposed to be all about Jonathan Taylor‘s return to action. Taylor was indeed back after coming off injured reserve and signing a lucrative new deal with the Colts after a summer of acrimony. But Moss stole the show from JT, with 23 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns against a tough Titans run defense. Moss also added two catches for 30 yards. Taylor will eventually assume something close to a workhorse role after Shane Steichen and his staff decided that Taylor is back in game shape, but with his outstanding early-season performance, Moss has let us know that he’s among the most valuable handcuff RBs in the game, if not the most valuable handcuff.
Miles Sanders is off to a slow start, and his performance keep getting worse. Sanders had 32 rushing yards in Week 5, and that was actually his best rushing output since Week 2. But Sanders has been dealing with a groin injury, and he was up against a tough Detroit run defense on Sunday. With better health and matchups, Sanders’ numbers should get better.
Rhamondre Stevenson investors are panicking, and it’s hard to blame them. After an outstanding 2022 season, Stevenson is averaging 37/6 rushing yards per game and 2.8 yards per carry. The Patriots’ offense is a mess at the moment, and Stevenson is getting pulled down by the undertow. But lead RBs have value even when they’re playing in bad offenses, and we’ve seen what Stevenson is capable of. If you have to bench him, fine, but don’t cut him.
A lot of people eagerly scooped up Michael Wilson after his 7-76-2 performance in Week 4. He followed it up with a 1-18-0 clunker in Week 5. Don’t give up on your bench stashes after one bad game.
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