Week 6 Preview and Which Waivers Are Looming?

Friday, Oct 13, 2023 at 5:18 pm ET

Week 6 is a reprieve on byes, with just Green Bay and Pittsburgh off, and there are a lot of potential fantasy candidates. Some were picked up on the waiver wire this week, and more will be claimed next Wednesday. The landscape will change due to injuries, scheme changes, and team outlook, so stay vigilant with waivers each week.

James Conner was placed on IR, and Emari Demercado filled in admirably last week after Conner's injury. Keaontay Ingram is still limited in practice and uncertain to play, so Demarcado looks like he will get plenty of work in Week 6. As we preview this week, I will point out a few other players who either were waiver pickups or might emerge as waiver players after this week.

No Explanation Needed

These are weekly starters expected to do their thing.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: QB Fantasy Pts/Gm Projected Points (Rank)
Josh Allen, BUF New York Giants 18th 23.8 (T-1st)
Lamar Jackson, BAL Tennessee Titans 11th 20.5 (T-4th)
Tua Tagovailoa, MIA Carolina Panthers 13th 20.5 (T-4th)
Jalen Hurts, PHI New York Jets 12th 21.9 (3rd)
Kirk Cousins, MIN Chicago Bears 32nd 186 (10th)
Justin Herbert, LAC Dallas Cowboys 5th 19.8 (6th)


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: RB Fantasy Pts/Gm Standard Projected Pts (Rank) PPR Projected Pts (Rank)
Bijan Robinson, ATL Washington Commanders 14th 14.3 (4th) 17.9 (4th)
Kenneth Walker, SEA Cincinnati Bengals 18th 12.6 (12th) 14.4 (14th)
Joe Mixon, CIN Seattle Seahawks 16th 12.5 (13th) 15.0 (T-12th)
Travis Etienne, JAC Indianapolis Colts 20th 14.0 (5th) 17.1 (6th)
Raheem Mostert, MIA Carolina Panthers 31st 13.8 (6th) 16.5 (8th)
Christian McCaffrey, SF Cleveland Browns 5th 17.4 (1st) 21.4 (1st)
Alvin Kamara, NO Houston Texans 26th 13.3 (9th) 17.4 (5th)
Tony Pollard, DAL Los Angeles Chargers 23rd 14.6 (2nd) 18.0 (3rd)
Kyren Williams, LAR Arizona Cardinals 28th 13.2 (10th) 15,8 (9th)
James Cook, BUF New York Giants 29th 10.7 (18th) 13.0 (T-19th)
Josh Jacobs, LV New England Patriots 21st 13.5 (T-7th) 16.8 (7th)
David Montgomery, DET Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9th 13.5 (T-7th) 15.4 (10th)
Austin Ekeler, LAC Dallas Cowboys 14th 14.5 (3rd) 19.2 (2nd)
Saquon Barkley, NYG Buffalo Bills 24th 11.1 (17th) 14.3 (15th)
D'Andre Swift, PHI New York Jets 22nd 12.4 (14th) 15.0 (T-12th)
Raheem Mostert
  • With Devon Achane out, Mostert could be in line for huge production. Miami likes to rotate backs, but they fed one player multiple times last season when other backs were injured. Mostert was that bell cow nine times in 2022 and has a fantastic matchup here.
  • Undrafted rookie Chris Brooks is listed second on Miami's depth chart right now and ran nine times for 66 yards in the destruction of Denver Week 3. He might split time here and be a big waiver player after Week 6. Not a bad lottery ticket if you have an open spot before Sunday, as is Salvon Ahmed. Jeff Wilson can start practicing and could return to a significant role soon.
  • A few tough matchups here for McCaffrey and Montgomery, but I'll let you be the one to bet against them.
  • Ekeler is expected back and should step into his usual role. I'm starting him with no worry if he's active.
  • I list Barkley here, but he's still questionable to play despite optimism. The Bills have given up points to running backs, but I don't trust any other back on this team against Buffalo.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: WR Fantasy Pts/Gm Standard Projected Pts (Rank) PPR Projected Pts (Rank)
Brandon Aiyuk, SF Cleveland Browns 1st 10.1 (T-18th) 13.6 (T-27th)
CeeDee Lamb, DAL Los Angeles Chargers 32nd 12.5 (7th) 17.3 (7th)
Davante Adams, LV New England Patriots 14th 13.4 (6th) 18.5 (6th)
Cooper Kupp, LAR Arizona Cardinals 25th 14.9 (3rd) 20.9 (T-2nd)
Puka Nacua, LAR Arizona Cardinals 25th 11.6 (9th) 16.4 (9th)
Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18th 11.3 (12th) 16.2 (10th)
A.J. Brown, PHI New York Jets 2nd 12.4 (8th) 16.7 (8th)
Stefon Diggs, BUF New York Giants 26th 14.7 (4th) 20.1 (4th)
DK Metcalf, SEA Cincinnati Bengals 15th 10.5 (15th) 14.5 (16th)
Ja'Marr Chase, CIN Seattle Seahawks 29th 15.2 (2nd) 20.9 (T-2nd)
Tyreek Hill, MIA Carolina Panthers 7th 16.5 (1st) 22.0 (1st)
Keenan Allen, LAC Dallas Cowboys 4th 13.7 (5th) 19.5 (5th)
Mike Evans, TB Detroit Lions 19th 10.1 (T-18th) 13.8 (T-22nd)
  • Evans hopes to play but isn't a lock after missing Week 4 before the team's bye last week. He had at least 60 yards and a touchdown in each of the three complete games he has played.
  • A few tough matchups, like with the running backs, but some guys you just can't sit.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: TE Fantasy Pts/Gm Standard Projected Pts (Rank) PPR Projected Pts (Rank)
Evan Engram, JAC Indianapolis Colts 16th 7.7 (6th) 12.6 (4th)
Sam LaPorta, DET Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2nd 7.8 (T-4th) 11.9 (5th)
Mark Andrews, BAL Tennessee Titans 10th 10.0 (T-2nd) 14.7 (3rd)
T.J. Hockenson, MIN Chicago Bears 20th 10.0 (T-2nd) 15.8 (2nd)


These are mid-to-low level players who are worth looking at this week.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: QB Fantasy Pts/Gm Projected Points (Rank)
Dak Prescott, DAL Los Angeles Chargers 28th 17.6 (12th)
Trevor Lawrence, JAC Indianapolis Colts 23rd 18.8 (9th)
Justin Fields, CHI Minnesota Vikings 25th 19.4 (7th)
Bryce Young, CAR Miami Dolphins 26th 14.3 (22nd)
Desmond Ridder, ATL Washington Commanders 30th 14.5 (21st)
Matthew Stafford, LAR Arizona Cardinals 29th 18.3 (11th)
Zach Wilson, NYJ Philadelphia Eagles 27th 12.8 (27th)
  • You can probably find better options than Young or Ridder; they are deep options for desperate owners, even after a big Week 5 for Ridder.
  • I am NOT recommending Wilson, but the matchup is right.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: RB Fantasy Pts/Gm Standard Projected Pts (Rank) PPR Projected Pts (Rank)
Alexander Mattison, MIN Chicago Bears 30th 10.6 (19th) 13.0 (T-19th)
  • Mattison is 19th in standard scoring and 18th in PPR among running backs. He has a great matchup in Week 6 against Chicago, though, and should be in starting lineups if you don't have a concrete plan already. On top of the third-most fantasy points to backs, the Bears are also allowing the third-most total points per game.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: WR Fantasy Pts/Gm Standard Projected Pts (Rank) PPR Projected Pts (Rank)
Calvin Ridley, JAC Indianapolis Colts 24th 10.9 (13th) 15.0 (14th)
Christian Kirk, JAC Indianapolis Colts 24th 10.0 (21st) 14.3 (T-17th)
Jordan Addison, MIN Chicago Bears 23rd 9.9 (T-22nd) 13.9 (21st)
K.J. Osborn, MIN Chicago Bears 23rd 8.3 (37th) 11.6 (38th)
Garrett Wilson, NYJ Philadelphia Eagles 30th 9.3 (T-31st) 13.3 (T-29th)
Drake London, ATL Washington Commanders 31st 8.6 (36th) 12.1 (36th)
D.J. Moore, CHI Minnesota Vikings 28th 11.5 (10th) 15.5 (11th)
Gabriel Davis, BUF New York Giants 26th 9.3 (T-31st) 12.2 (T-34th)
Michael Gallup, DAL Los Angeles Chargers 32nd 6.6 (48th) 9.3 (T-48th)
Tyler Boyd, CIN Seattle Seahawks 29th 7.0 (44th) 10.4 (T-41st)
Jordan Addison
  • Ridley had eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown against the Colts in Week 1, one of two big games on the season along with Week 5. Kirk was anonymous in that Week 1 game, but he has topped 50 yards every game since, with three of those over 75. They are both WR2 options this week.
  • While tempted to call Addison a must-start, I'll leave him here with Osborn. Justin Jefferson will miss at least four games, but Minnesota will keep throwing the ball. Tight end Hockenson will soak up a lot of work, but Addison is in line for WR1 volume. A fantastic matchup with the Bears makes Osborn a WR2 in Week 6.
  • I expected Moore to be way down this season because the Bears hardly threw the ball in 2022. While Chicago is just 28th in pass attempts per game, they are throwing over eight passes more per game than last season. That's been enough for Moore, who has three games over 100 yards and five touchdowns.
  • Gallup had good games in Weeks 3 and 4, but his other three games don't combine to reach either of those weeks individually. He has a prime matchup with the Chargers this week and is a WR2/3 candidate. Brandin Cooks is under WR3 consideration even though he's done nothing this season.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: TE Fantasy Pts/Gm Standard Projected Pts (Rank) PPR Projected Pts (Rank)
Logan Thomas, WAS Atlanta Falcons 28th 6.1 (13th) 9.7 (T-12th)
Noah Fant, SEA Cincinnati Bengals 30th 4.5 (T-23rd) 6.9 (23rd)
Zach Ertz, ARI Los Angeles Rams 31st 6.3 (T-11th) 10.3 (T-9th)
Dallas Goedert, PHI New York Jets 32nd 7.6 (7th) 11.7 (6th)
Cade Otton, TB Detroit Lions 27th 4.5 (T-23rd) 7.3 (22nd)
  • Colby Parkinson and Fant have 10 and 11 targets, respectively, but Fant has caught 10 passes to just six for Parkinson. I don't want to play either, but Fant is a deep streaming option if you're desperate. Same for Otton.
  • Thomas, Ertz, and Goedert could all work their way to weekly-starter status; I'm not ready to go there right now.


These players have tough matchups, lack of volume, or something else holding them back this week.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: QB Fantasy Pts/Gm Projected Points (Rank)
Brock Purdy, SF Cleveland Browns 4th 15.7 (T-18th)
C.J. Stroud, HOU New Orleans Saints 6th 15.7 (T-18th)
  • Neither matchup here is good, but both quarterbacks have been productive. They will probably both finish between 13th-20th in scoring this week.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: RB Fantasy Pts/Gm Standard Projected Pts (Rank) PPR Projected Pts (Rank)
Derrick Henry, TEN Baltimore Ravens 10th 12.1 (15th) 13.8 (17th)
Jerome Ford, CLE San Francisco 49ers 7th 8.6 (26th) 10.8 (24th)
Brian Robinson, WAS Atlanta Falcons 6th 10.2 (22nd) 11.7 (23rd)
Zack Moss, IND Jacksonville Jaguars 4th 8.9 (24th) 10.3 (26th)
Dameon Pierce, HOU New Orleans Saints 3rd 10.5 (T-20th) 12.2 (21st)
Rachaad White, TB Detroit Lions 2nd 10.5 (T-20th) 13.1 (18th)
Breece Hall, NYJ Philadelphia Eagles 1st 12.0 (16th) 14.2 (16th)
  • Henry and Robinson are near must-start status, but they each face a tough run defense. Henry has put up decent numbers but has been below 65 rushing yards in three of his five games. There's always a chance for huge volume and a touchdown, but Baltimore is stout. It's OK to start either player if you don't have a great replacement.
  • Moss defied our expectations by having a huge day with Jonathan Taylor returning. This throws things into doubt: most assumed Taylor would usurp the top role, but Moss has over 100 total yards in three of his four games and four touchdowns. The uncertainty in touch share and good Jacksonville run defense have me struggling to trust Moss, even after he's been so great.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: WR Fantasy Pts/Gm Standard Projected Pts (Rank) PPR Projected Pts (Rank)
DeVonta Smith, PHI New York Jets 2nd 9.7 (26th) 13.6 (T-27th)
Terry McLaurin, WAS Atlanta Falcons 6th 9.0 (33rd) 12.6 (32nd)
Jaylen Waddle, MIA Carolina Panthers 7th 11.4 (11th) 15.2 (13th)
Deebo Samuel, SF Cleveland Browns 1st 9.9 (T-22nd) 13.2 (31st)
Amari Cooper, CLE San Francisco 49ers 11th 8.9 (34th) 12.3 (33rd)
Nico Collins, HOU New Orleans Saints 13th 10.1 (T-18th) 13.8 (T-22nd)
Chris Olave, NO Houston Texans 3rd 10.3 (16th) 14.3 (T-17th)
Marquise Brown, ARI Los Angeles Rams 5th 9.8 (T-24th) 13.8 (T-22nd)
DeAndre Hopkins, TEN Baltimore Ravens 8th 10.6 (14th) 15.4 (12th)
  • Carolina has been good against receivers but allowed running backs to blow them up. That's bad news with the Miami running game up next, and it might signal a slow game for Waddle if the team gets up early and dominates on the ground. Benching a player like Waddle is scary: there's always potential for big plays. It's worth looking at your options, though.
  • Along with Waddle, Smith and Samuel each have a receiver teammate listed as must-start. Those three players are matchup-proof, but these three all have reason for pause with a tough opponent. Smith hasn't been able to produce at the same time as Brown; Samuel has acted more as a complement and gadget player with Aiyuk on the field; Waddle fights for targets with a certified freak.
  • Reports say that Deshaun Watson will not play this week, and that makes Cooper a non-starter against a tough 49ers defense. He's a WR3 at best, but sit him unless you have no other option.


Player Opponent Opponent Rank: TE Fantasy Pts/Gm Standard Projected Pts (Rank) PPR Projected Pts (Rank)
George Kittle, SF Cleveland Browns 13th 7.8 (T-4th) 11.3 (T-7th)
Darren Waller, NYG Buffalo Bills 3rd 7.2 (8th) 11.3 (T-7th)
Kyle Pitts, ATL Washington Commanders 6th 6.5 (10th) 9.8 (11th)
Dalton Schultz, HOU New Orleans Saints 4th 5.9 (T-14th) 9.2 (15th)
  • Kittle had seven catches for 90 yards in Week 3, but he hasn't had more than three catches in any other game. His three catches in Week 5 all went for touchdowns, a marvelous fantasy day, but Kittle has been very inconsistent on the season. I have trouble trusting him to find the end zone against a stout Cleveland defense.
  • Most probably don't have the option to bench Waller, but he has struggled against good defenses, and the Bills have allowed the eighth-least receiving yards per game and second-least fantasy points per game to tight ends.
  • Throw Jonnu Smith in with his teammate Pitts. Smith has never had more than the six receptions he had in both Weeks 4 and 5. Before Week 4, he hadn't topped the 67 yards he produced in Week 5 since 2020. Smith's sudden outburst is too random to trust, but he has out-produced Pitts on the season.

Join the Discussion

mrock CommentedOct 15, 2023 12:43 pm

Long time Nerd member and I wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your previews each week.

Would you hold onto Darren Waller or try to trade him? That Giants offense seems like a dumpster fire, no?

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 16, 2023 12:48 pm

I'll second that compliment, really like these articles. I also have Waller and am just going to stick with him for now as other options aren't plentiful and he should've had a TD there at the end if Tyrod could've just thrown a better ball... he's one of the better players on the team, targets should go up as saquon comes back and takes some attention longer term and ideally Jones starts playing NFL-level football again... which is totally 50/50!

Daniel Hepner CommentedOct 17, 2023 3:22 am

Waller is leading his team in targets by quite a bit, so I see him as a decent middle option, like TE7-TE10 type. I wouldn't get rid of him if you don't have another plan unless you're getting a good return in trade.

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