Week five of the 2022 NFL season is over and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Jared Goff looks like the Jared Goff we all know and love. Rashaad Penny does what Rashaad Penny does best, i.e. getting hurt. Geno Smith being… wait, is Geno Smith still playing well? Shouldn’t he have started acting like Geno Smith by now? What hasn’t changed is the need to use the waiver wire to shore up your roster. I’m going to provide you with the best options available. If I don’t mention someone whom you think I should be talking about, just know there are many reasons why I overlooked them. Maybe they are owned in most leagues. Maybe they are so bad I don’t even consider them. Or, maybe it’s because your opinions cannot be trusted. After all, you are here. So let us examine our best week five waiver wire players for your championship run…
Week Six Waiver Wire Quarterback
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks (32% rostered)
Last week, when Geno Smith finished as the QB2 against the Lions, it was pretty easy to chalk that up to having played the Lions. This week, Smith had 268 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, finishing as QB5, against the New Orleans Saints, a defense that is giving up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. While he doesn’t have the easiest schedule over the next few weeks, he also doesn’t have a particularly difficult one either as he takes on the Cardinals at home, the Chargers on the road, and the Giants at home. If you need quarterback help, the QB6 on the season with back-to-back top-five finishes might not be a bad option.
Week Six Waiver Wire Running Backs
Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks (44% rostered)
Those of us familiar with Rashaad Penny’s ways knew that Kenneth Walker would eventually find his way onto the field. If you built your team on the foolish notion that you could trust Rashaad Penny throughout the whole year, you will need to make Kenneth Walker your number one waiver priority. Even if you don’t have Penny, Walker is the most significant waiver wire player out there, possibly for the rest of the season. If you have FAB, use all of it. If you have the top waiver priority, this is why you hang onto it. A rookie running back taken in the second round now has relatively little touch competition, and you want to wait and see who else is out there? What are you waiting for, someone to accidentally drop Christian McCaffrey? With no Rashaad Penny for most of this one, Walker had 8 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown and looked good doing it. More importantly, he is a running back with a potentially high snap share, draft pedigree, and a pulse. Get Walker.
Eno Benjamin, Arizona Cardinals (6% rostered)
Eno Conner finished week six with 53 all-purpose yards and a touchdown thanks to James Conner leaving the game with a ribs injury. Benjamin really only has value if Conner misses an extended period of time, as Benjamin doesn’t get enough touches to matter otherwise (6.8 PPR points per game in the first four weeks). Eno Benjamin only really has value if Conner misses an extended period of time. If both Darrel Williams and James Conner miss time, then Benjamin could be a decent flex option. However, we do not have enough information to make Benjamin a worthwhile waiver add. If he clears waivers, I’d look at him. But that is about as far as I’d go with Benjamin at this point.
Mike Boone, Denver Broncos (24% rostered)
I am a big proponent of opportunities when it comes to running back play. So with the loss of Javonte Williams, there are a lot of vacated opportunities in Denver. Having said that, I still want nothing to do with any Denver running back not named Melvin Gordon. You can look at Mike Boone’s 85 all-purpose yards and think that he has a chance to really change your fortunes. You could convince yourself of that if you didn’t watch that monstrosity of a Thursday Night game. If you did watch it, you will have already torn your eyes from their sockets because it is better to be blind than watch the Denver Broncos offense. Let someone else invest in the most disappointing offense in football. If I invest in a player on the waiver wire, I need to have hope that their situation can lead to fantasy points. But there is no hope in Denver. Only despair.
Deon Jackson, Indianapolis Colts (1% rostered)
Deon Jackson outgained Mike Boone on Thursday Night Football in the battle of the backups, and you might be able to talk yourself into the idea that he might be able to do something for you this year. With Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines both likely returning next week, then chances are if you pick up Deon Jackson you will also be returning him to the waiver wire.
Week Six Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots (48% rostered)
Jakobi Meyers would not even be on waiver wires if he hadn’t been hurt the last few weeks. The fact that he is available means you should probably grab him. In week five, he had 7 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Meyers has been healthy for three games this year, and he led the team in targets in all three, averaging 9 per game. He is the Patriots’ clear number one receiver, which unfortunately doesn’t mean as much as it used to, but it still means quite a bit. Meyers should have a solid floor with some breakout potential. He is, by far, the safest guy on your waiver wire who still has top-24 wide receiver upside.
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers (51% rostered)
This is your last chance to go get George Pickens off of waivers, if someone didn’t already beat you to the punch, In week five, he finished with six catches for 83 yards, leading the Steelers in both categories, against Buffalo, one of the best defenses in football. Pickens producing like he did against them gives me hope that he will become truly dangerous against lesser competition. Pickens could be a player who comes on during the playoffs like Amon-Ra St. Brown did last year, or he could be a complete dud. If your team is lacking high-ceiling guys at wide receiver, you should probably take a look at George Pickens.
Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions (30% rostered)
Josh Reynolds has at least 6 catches for 80 yards in each of his last three games on 10, 8, and 10 targets. In week five, in a game where no Lions looked good, he finished with 6 catches for 92 yards. He has had a lot of opportunities in recent weeks, ranking eighth in wide receiver targets over the last three games, in a high-powered offense. But, since the lions are on a bye this week, you can probably wait for waivers to clear before making a move to add Reynolds.
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills (37% rostered)
Gabe Davis has a lot of people looking Isaiah McKenzie’s way as an intriguing waiver wire play, probably because Gabe Davis had 3 catches and finished as WR1 in week five. McKenzie didn’t play in this one, and Khalil Shakir played on 70% of the team’s snaps from the slot in his stead, finishing with 75 yards and a touchdown on his own. Once McKenzie comes back, he should take the lion’s share of team snaps from the slot. Josh Allen loves his slot receivers and I want as many shares of the number one passing offense in football.
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (47% rostered)
Gallup finished week five with four catches for 44 yards in an incredibly soft matchup, Gallup didn’t do much to show me that he will help me win a championship with those numbers. However, Cooper Rush threw the ball just sixteen times, showing that the total target count isn’t everything. Also, given how the Dallas defense played, the Cowboys’ offense really didn’t have to do much to secure a victory. I am still nervous about how much Gallup will progress this season after such a serious injury. But, don’t forget that Dak Prescott looms on the horizon. Once Dak returns, Gallup could become a monster in the second half as the Cowboys return to throwing the ball all over the place. If you want a reliable floor, then I don’t think Gallup will help you. But, if you want a high-upside lotto ticket, Gallup should get some consideration.
Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts (6% rostered)
I want to preface this by saying that I am a huge fan of Alec Pierce, and I thought he was one of the strongest receiving prospects in this year’s NFL draft. In week five, we saw him catch 8 passes for 81 yards. However, I am not a fan of Matt Ryan or the Indianapolis Colts’ offense. They are the worst-scoring offense in the NFL, and I must as you: how does adding a player from the worst offense in the league help you win? Keep an eye on Pierce in case the Colts start turning things around, but by no means should you grab a guy on the Colts’ offense unless you are also grabbing a bottle of whiskey and sleeping pills.
Week Six Waiver Wire Tight End
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (43% rostered)
Travis Kelce had four touchdowns on Monday Night Football, yet was only the TE2 this week thanks to Taysom Hill doing his stupid little Taysom Hill thing all over the place. In week two, I told you that Taysom Hill is a tight end cheat code. If you toughed out a couple of mediocre performances in weeks two and three, you were rewarded with 21 rushing yards and a touchdown. If you were brave enough to start him in week five, you probably won your match-up. In week five, Taysom Hill had 22 passing yards, 112 rushing yards, and 4 touchdowns. Also known as the Taysom Hill Cheat Code. The risk with Taysom Hill is that you are going to get quite a few games of mediocre performances. If you keep playing him though, eventually he gives you two or three games that will shatter your opponent’s soul. If you have Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews, you don’t want or need Taysom Hill. If you are constantly trotting out waiver wire guys, just keep Taysom Hill in. Unlike the other guys on the waiver wire who will put up goose eggs for you every so often (I’m looking at you Tyler Conklin), you will get a game like this.
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