Fantasy News & Analysis

Early waiver wire targets and biggest risers/fallers in fantasy football following NFL Week 6

Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws a pass during the first half against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Only Monday Night Football remains on the 2021 NFL Week 6 slate, so most fantasy football managers will now be turning their gaze to Week 7 to try to gain an advantage in their fantasy leagues.

It’s important not to overreact to individual stat lines. For example, some players scored two touchdowns this week yet probably won’t do that again this season, while other players saw the field for most of their team's snaps but couldn't quite make it to the end zone.

Remember: chase the usage, not the box score.

Here are some early waiver wire targets, as well as the biggest risers and fallers from NFL Week 6. For a more detailed 32-team view of the week, including snap counts, check out the Complete Week 6 Fantasy Football Recap.

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Waiver Wire Targets

RB Alex Collins, Seattle Seahawks: Chris Carson was added to the injured reserve just three days ago, leaving Collins flying a little under the radar compared to some of the more prominent backup running back options. However, Seattle used Collins on the vast majority of plays on Sunday night, and he only left the field for some third downs and two-minute situations. Seattle seemed to rely more heavily on the run with Russell Wilson out.

Collins can be a fantasy starter for at least his next two games. If he continues to play well, they might let Carson stay out even longer until he’s 100%. Collins is still available in over 60% of leagues at ESPN.

Seattle Seahawks Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Alex Collins 39 15 1 20
DeeJay Dallas 22 18 5 4
Travis Homer 5 3 1 2
Total 65 37 27 27

WR Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens: The first-round rookie missed the first five weeks of the season but returned as the No. 2 option on the wide receiver depth chart. He caught four passes for 29 yards, all for first downs. There is some concern about playing time, as Sammy Watkins could return next week. Ideally, Bateman can continue to play most snaps while Watkins replaces Devin Duvernay in the slot. He is no guarantee to work out, but he has a high upside. His future looks even brighter after his first NFL game.

WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts: The Colts wide receiver also spent the first five weeks of the season on injured reserve and went straight to leading the Colts in receptions (4) and receiving yards (80). Still, it’s worth noting that Hilton started the game rotating in and out with Parris Campbell.

Campbell left with a foot injury and didn’t return. Hilton then rotated with Ashton Dulin for snaps. It’s possible Indianapolis was limiting him because it was his first game back, in which case he could have bigger games ahead. It’s also possible that he will be a pitch count all season because of his age.

TE Ricky Seals-Jones, Washington Football Team: The Washington tight end continues to take the role once occupied by Logan Thomas. He played 100% of the team’s offensive snaps and finished with the second-most receiving yards (58). He also scored the team’s only touchdown.

It’s pretty rare for a team to give a tight end 100% of snaps — or close to it — making him valuable even if there are other tight ends more talented or efficient. Over a similar sample size, Seals-Jones has graded better as a receiver than Thomas so far this season, so there is a chance he could maintain a role even when Thomas is back.

PFF's Player Props Tool leverages PFF's Fantasy Football Projections to reveal betting opportunities within player prop markets.

Biggest Risers

QB Justin Fields, Chicago Fields: Fields had the best day of the season from a fantasy football perspective. A big part of his upside was his ability to run, and he reached a career-high in rushing yards (43). Chicago was able to pass more in this game than in the past, leading to his second-most passing yards  (174) and his second straight game with a passing touchdown.

The Bears took a loss, though, and they ideally would have put more successful drives together. Still, things are trending in the right direction from a fantasy football perspective.

RB D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions: Jamaal Williams had led the team in carries each of the last two weeks. Swift had the lead the prior three weeks, but only by one or two carries. This was the first game where Swift dominated in playing time, carries and routes run.

Both players were on the injury report this past week, so there’s a chance Swift is just healthier than Williams. It’s also possible that Swift has established himself as the lead back. If it’s the latter, Swift has top-five fantasy back potential the rest of the season.

Detroit Lions Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
D'Andre Swift 49 32 6 13
Jamaal Williams 19 10 2 4
Total 63 44 38 17

RB J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team: Antonio Gibson spent the past week limited in practice with a shin injury, and he was taken out of the game multiple times. McKissic always took over in these instances, leading the team in both rushing yards and receptions.

Last season it was Peyton Barber who would take over in rushing situations when Gibson was hurt, so this is a new situation for McKissic. If Gibson misses any time, McKissic would be a must-start. He is still available in over 50% of ESPN leagues. Jaret Patterson would be the backup and see a few carries.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage or the individual defenders. Click here for access.

Biggest Fallers

RB Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens backfield has become even harder to trust over the last 48 hours. Baltimore has gone back and forth between having Le’Veon Bell and Ty’Son Williams being active. Williams was inactive yesterday despite having the best receiving and pass-blocking grade of the team's four backs.

The three RBs and Lamar Jackson all handled between eight and nine carries each. This was a reduced role for Murray after playing roughly 50% of offensive snaps the last two weeks. We hoped one or two backs would pull away from the group. Instead, they are closer together.

Baltimore Ravens Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Latavius Murray 26 11 2 9
Le'Veon Bell 22 9 0 8
Devonta Freeman 21 7 0 9
Total 69 33 25 35

WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals: All arrows were pointing up for Moore last week, as he was taking time away from Christian Kirk and the injury to Maxx Williams made it seem like Arizona could use more four-wide receiver sets going forward. The arrow went right back down after the Cardinals traded for Zach Ertz.

Kirk led the team in targets, and Moore was back to playing in four-receiver sets only. The second-round rookie has too much talent to be a backup, but that’s his role right now.

TE Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers: For the fifth time this season, you could count the number of receiving yards Tonyan had with your fingers. Green Bay has too many other weapons on offense that it prioritizes, and Tonyan plays only in certain personnel groups, making him too inconsistent. There are plenty of tight ends with more secure roles who are available off the waiver wire.

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