It's October, which means Halloween is just around the corner (get excited, people). And luckily (or unluckily?) for us the calendar fell just right and features a Friday the 13th in October as well. So in honor of that occult occurrence, here are 13 players to target on the waiver wire heading into Week 6.
I'd fill this space with some horror-themed puns, but I don't want to waste any more of your time (or mine). Instead, let's just all agree to watch some horror movies this weekend while tinkering with our lineups.
There were a lot of questions surrounding the Packers backfield this week, with Ty Montgomery (ribs) and Jamaal Williams (knee) practicing. Aaron Jones put an end to those questions (for now) with a fantastic performance against the Cowboys. Jones averaged 6.6 yards per carry by taking his 19 totes for 125 yards and a touchdown. He showed great burst, patience and vision, continuously shooting through Dallas' defense for chunk gains. He played 52 snaps to Williams' two, and might have a stranglehold on the starting job, or at least a large portion of it, even after Montgomery returns. If Jones is still on your waiver-wire, fix that immediately. (Percent owned: 29.8, FAAB suggestion: 50 percent)
Well, it appears Jerick McKinnon has finally delivered on all that athletic potential. For years fantasy owners salivated over McKinnon as a prospect, and it finally all came together on the national stage of Monday Night Football when he rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and took his six receptions for 51 yards. He even out-snapped Latavius Murray 47 to 22. While Murray isn't going away, the genie might be out of the bottle here for McKinnon and fantasy owners need to strike immediately. The only player I'd add ahead of him this week is Aaron Jones. (Percent owned: 3.2, FAAB suggestion: 35+ percent)
Marlon Mack sure has shown a knack for making big plays with his limited opportunities this season. He may have only been used on 17 offensive plays against the 49ers on Sunday, but he touched the ball 10 times, racking up 93 yards and a touchdown. There's no guarantee he continues eating into Frank Gore's workload, but he should be added this week in case he does. It's entirely possible the team will use their young playmaker to help spell Gore and keep defenses on their toes. Plus, in the event that Gore misses any time (not hoping for it, but he is 34) Mack would be in a spot for an increased workload, though he'd probably split duties with Robert Turbin. (Percent owned: 0.8, FAAB suggestion: 10 percent) </content:power-ranking>
Slowly but surely Alex Collins is carving out a bigger piece of the Baltimore backfield pie. He saw a season-high 12 carries against the Raiders on Sunday, rushing for 55 yards. His 7.1 yards-per-carry average on the year more than doubles that of Javorius Allen and Terrance West, who are both sitting at 3.5. Collins has ball-security issues, though, which is part of the reason Allen continues to see the field far more (46 plays vs. 16 on Sunday). However, Collins looks like the best pure runner in Baltimore and it's possible the team will reward him with more work in the coming weeks. (Percent owned: 10.1, FAAB suggestion: 10 percent)
While Orleans Darkwa got the start and touchdown against the Chargers, Gallman led the backfield in playing time, carries (11) and receptions (five). That's partially because Darkwa left with an injury, but the rookie is producing on his opportunities. The Giants backfield remains rather uninspiring, but they could turn to the ground game more after an awful weekend full of injuries to their pass-catchers. Even if they don't, Gallman has shown the most from this group and could merit flex consideration. The Giants face the Broncos' impenetrable fortress of a run defense (2.35 yards per carry allowed to backs) in Week 6, though. (Percent owned: 33.4, FAAB suggestion: 10 percent)
Bilal Powell suffered a calf injury against the Browns, and while the severity is unknown it puts Elijah McGuire back into the waiver-wire mix. The rookie only managed 20 yards on 11 carries in relief, but gets to face the Patriots at home next week. Fantasy is all about opportunity, and McGuire should have plenty with Matt Forte (toe) and Powell both banged up. He'll have flex appeal next week, and perhaps more moving forward. (Percent owned: 3.7, FAAB suggestion: 10 percent) </content:power-ranking>
One of the pleasant surprises this week was the return of good Dion Lewis for the Patriots. He took seven carries for 53 yards and added two receptions for 10 more. The Patriots rushing attack has stalled a few times with Mike Gillislee, so there's a chance they'll turn more work over to Lewis, who was averaging 12 touches per game back in 2015 before he tore his ACL. If Lewis is back to his old, tackle-breaking self, he'll have some appeal in fantasy. He's worth a speculative add this week in case. (Percent owned: 2.8, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)
Over the last three weeks Andre Ellington has 32 targets, which is more than any running back in the entire league had coming into Week 5. The Cardinals cannot run the football (1.3 yards per carry by running backs on Sunday) and are using Ellington in the short passing game as a replacement. Those playing in PPR formats can get a safe weekly floor from Ellington as an RB2 or flex play, as he has nine catches in back-to-back weeks, and five-plus in three straight. The Cardinals return home to face the Buccaneers in Week 6, who just gave up nine catches for 67 yards to James White and Dion Lewis on Thursday night. (Percent owned: 2.8, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)
While many assumed Carlos Hyde's hip injury had flared up, paving the way for Matt Breida's 10-carry, 49-yard outing, Kyle Shanahan indicated in his post-game press conference that he was simply riding the hot hand. That's worrisome for Hyde, who has looked great thus far in Shanahan's offense, but it makes Breida a must-add this week. The 49ers travel to face a surprisingly stingy Washington run defense next week, so I'd leave him on the bench, but his time could be coming soon in fantasy. (Percent owned: 0.5, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)
Speaking of those wide receiver injuries, the Giants were simply decimated, with Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Harris, and Odell Beckham Jr. all going down, the latter two possibly for the season. The next man up is Roger Lewis, a second-year pro out of Bowling Green who has 15 career catches to his name. They'll have to sign a veteran or call someone up from the practice squad, but the volume could be there for Lewis in Week 6. Unfortunately for Lewis (and the Giants), they're travelling to face the "No Fly Zone" and the ferocious Denver defense. He definitely needs to be added, though starting him right away could be risky. (Percent owned: 0.2, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)
I know Will Fuller was widely added this past week, but I wanted to give him one more mention in here before moving on. The speedster caught two touchdowns in his debut last week, then went out and caught two more against the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. His big-play ability will keep him in the flex discussion, especially next week against a Browns defense getting gashed through the air. On the season they're allowing opposing passers a 112.5 rating, with 11 touchdowns against only three interceptions. (Percent owned: 19.8, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)
While we're on the Browns, those in need of a tight end should look to Ryan Griffin. The Browns have allowed five receiving touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year and Griffin has seen target totals of six, five and four the last three weeks. All we're really hoping for is a touchdown from our tight ends in fantasy these days, and Griffin will be in a great spot to try and get one in Week 6. (Percent owned: 1.9, FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent)
Rather than adding Andrew Luck to your roster and burning a valuable bench spot, why not just add Jacoby Brissett and get a viable starter for Week 6? Brissett will be facing a Titans defense that has allowed QB8, QB1 and QB2 performances so far this year. The only passers to not finish in the top 10 against Tennessee were Blake Bortles and Jay Cutler. Four starting-caliber fantasy quarterbacks are on byes in Week 6 ( Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Andy Dalton and Tyrod Taylor), and Brissett has a pristine matchup. Those in a pinch should look to the youngster to carry their squad for at least one week. (Percent owned: 3.1, FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent)