We have reached Week 6 in the NFL, and fantasy managers are running out of time to fix their team if they’ve had a rough start.
Bye weeks are starting, which makes benches more important than ever. Luckily there are a number of waiver-wire options available that can be plugged into starting lineups. Players such as Darrel Williams and Rondale Moore will be popular options this week, but there will be some players who aren’t as big of names but will be just as helpful.
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The waiver wire can only help to improve your team so much. Player value fantasy football is constantly changing, so any time a player can get traded away before their value goes down, or traded to your team before their value goes up, it’s a win. So let's dive in.
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FIVE PLAYERS TO ADD
Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered an MCL sprain on Sunday Night Football and will be out for a few weeks. Williams is the only other player on the roster with more than four carries on the season, and he will take over as the primary rusher while Edwards-Helaire is out. Williams has historically been a receiving back, but Jerick McKinnon has taken more of that role this season.
Not only will Williams have borderline starting value for these next few weeks, but he has an opportunity to be the lead rusher the rest of the season. Kansas City’s backfield has slowly become more of a committee as the season’s progressed. No back had more than 42% of the offensive snaps on Sunday night prior to Edwards-Helaire’s injury. Williams graded better as a rusher this season, so if he plays well, he could keep the job.
There are other backs who are available off the waiver wire, such as Devontae Booker or Khalil Herbert, who have some value in the next few weeks but are much less likely to maintain a big role once their team's starter is healthy. This makes Williams the best long-term option.
The 49ers have a bye week next week, and then Wilson Jr. is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. He might not immediately be ready to rejoin the 49ers lineup, but he should be ready by the middle of the season. Once he is, he will be the 49ers' best option to be the primary runner.
Elijah Mitchell remains clearly ahead of Trey Sermon on the depth chart. Sermon was active last week but only played late in the fourth quarter. Wilson’s PFF rush grade has been notably higher than Mitchell's over the last two seasons (73.9 vs. 65.9). His first-down and explosive play rates are higher. The 49ers run at an above-average rate and like giving a single back nearly all of the carries, so Wilson would have plenty of fantasy value if he can regain the job. It would be better to add him now when not many people are thinking about him compared to when he gets activated.
3. WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
Moore’s role has expanded in the Cardinals' offense. He played 26 of a possible 102 offensive snaps in 11 personnel over the first four weeks while the three starting wide receivers were all at 80-plus snaps. This week, he played in 13 of 27 while Christian Kirk was restricted to 16. The increased role allowed him to lead the team in rushing yards while also having the second-most targets.
Tight end Maxx Williams was carted off with what appeared to be a season-ending injury, leading to Demetrius Harris taking over as the receiving tight end. Arizona already runs significant four-receiver sets, but that could increase even more with Williams presumably out. Moore’s route to becoming a consistent fantasy wide receiver just became a lot clearer.