As we start to put Week 5 of the fantasy football season in the rearview mirror, an expected wrinkle will now be prominent: bye weeks. In Week 6, the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, and New Orleans Saints will all be home resting. That means fantasy owners must go to their bench as depth becomes more important than ever.
As fantasy studs such as Alvin Kamara, Deebo Samuel, and now Cordarrelle Patterson will be sidelined in Week 6, it’s key to make sure you have a suitable replacement to keep your team afloat. While you make think that replacement could be someone who drafted and has sat on your bench all season, always make sure to look around for the best potential option. After a key few injuries on Sunday, the best Week 6 replacement could be sitting on your league’s waiver wire.
So, let’s look at who those players could be and some other takeaways from Week 5.
Add Devontae Booker... As Saquon Barkely had his ankle rolled up on, it was Booker’s backfield on Sunday. He wasn't extremely effective running the ball, but did find the end zone twice - once on the ground and once through the air. More importantly, Booker recorded 19 total touches while playing 60 snaps. Barkley may only miss a week or two due to injury so don't go too crazy trying to add him, but any back seeing that kind of volume needs to be rostered.
Add Darrel Williams... Williams was trending upward the past two weeks after seeing increased playing time. Now, with Clyde Edwards-Helaire landing on the IR, Williams will be the lead dog in the Chiefs backfield. Williams will likely be the top add this week, while Jerick McKinnon could be worth a look for PPR owners in deeper leagues.
Khalil Herbert over Damien Williams?... After David Montgomery’s Week 4 injury, Williams was the most popular waiver wire add last week. Williams responded with 16.4 fantasy points this week, but was not the workhorse he was expected to be. The Bears split carries between him and rookie Khalil Herbert - who actually out-carried and out-gained the veteran. If the split continues going forward, it will make it difficult to trust either player. For now, it may be time to sell Williams at high-value while adding Herbert.
Sell high on Aaron Jones... Aaron Jones has been an elite fantasy running back the past few years, but owning him is a true rollercoaster. While his end-of-the-year production always falls near the top 5, his week-to-week scoring is always inconsistent - as several games with 20+ points outweigh several games in single digits. After his first 100-yard game of the season this week, it may be the perfect time to sell Jones and receive high value in return. The reason? A.J. Dillon. Dillon has become much more involved in the Green Bay offense the past two weeks and now head coach Matt LaFleur says he hopes to get the former Boston College Eagle even more involved going forward - specifically in the passing game. Jones should still produce low-end RB1 numbers, but be prepared for the inconsistent showings.
Cordarrelle Patterson dilemma continues... We mentioned last week that it may be time to sell-high on Patterson as he just would not be able to keep up his current production with his current amount of playing time. However, the Swiss-army knife played a much larger role over in London Week 5. Patterson played 46 snaps and recorded over 100 total yards on offense. Now, the question is was his increased workload a result of Atlanta being without several offensive skill players? Monitoring how Atlanta uses Patterson in Week 7 following their bye this week could reveal if Patterson is a legit, season-long fantasy hero.
Add Kadarious Toney... Toney’s Week 5 breakout was brewing. Even with Sterling Shepherd and Darius Slayton expected to return this week, Toney has forced himself into regular playing snaps with the Giants. The past two weeks, the elusive rookie has hauled in 16 receptions for 267 receiving yards while leading the league with 141 yards after the catch.
Kadarius Toney put the moves on Trevon Diggs— PFF (@PFF) October 10, 2021
While he needs to be rostered, it might be wise to not chase his near 30-point performance last week and leave him sidelined for Week 6. To start, Toney could be sidelined with a minor ankle injury. Also, we’ll need to see how the Giants plan to use all of the healthy receivers, while Daniel Jones (concussion) may also be out. Either way, the first-round pick from April showed us what he’s capable of and needs to be owned.
Diggs and Dawson... It's been a frustrating start to the year for Stefon Diggs’ owners, as the star receiver has not had the production to match his ADP. Diggs has scored just one touchdown this year and has eclipsed the 100-yard mark just once, while being held in the 60-70 yard range in every other game. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders has hurt, but Diggs Sunday night was just the first time he saw less than eight target this season. Diggs is still locked in as an every week WR1. ... Part of Diggs’ decline in production has also been because of Dawson Knox. Knox ran the second most routes out of Buffalo’s receiving threats and found the end zone for the fourth straight game. He’s not an elite option at the position, but has become a weekly starter at the weakest position in fantasy.
Allen Robinson is still an elite NFL wide receiver, but the Bears’ offense is just pathetic currently. Chicago’s offense is last in the league in vertical pass attempts, completions, and yards this year, while Robinson has hauled in just two of their nine vertical completions. The dreadful offense has just tanked Robinson’s fantasy value, as the star receiver has eclipsed the 35-yard mark just once this season. The hope for Robinson is that he still operates as Chicago’s No. 1 wide receiver and the Bears will matchup with a number of high-scoring offenses the rest of the season. Keep him on the bench for now, but there are better options for your starting lineup.
Acquire Chase Claypool... Returning from a hamstring injury, Claypool looked healthy as he led Pittsburgh with six targets, leading to five receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown. The increased volume likely had to do with JuJu Smith-Schuster leaving the game with an injury - one that is expected to end his season. The Steelers’ offense has obviously had their issues, but Claypool will now operate as the full time No. 2 receiver. If he can be picked up off the waiver wire or acquired for cheap value, he’s worth the addition.
Miles Sanders misery... The Philadelphia Eagles refuse to run the football. The last three weeks, Sanders has recorded just 20 total carries - 45th in the league. For whatever reason, Nick Sirianni is committed to letting Jalen Hurts air it out. That shouldn't change this week, as Philadelphia will likely have to play catch-up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense Thursday night. Pair a bad game script with just a bad matchup against Tampa’s stout defensive front, and Sanders will likely be in for another clunker.
That is all for this week’s recap. Leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter @iambrianhines if you have any questions about your fantasy team!