After how shitty 2020 has been, each Sunday morning we all wake up, turn on the television, crack a beer, and settle in to enjoy football. It is like a little slice of Christmas every week this year and something to get excited about. This week though, we turned on the television and were greeted with the steaming turd that was the rescheduling of the Denver vs New England game. Fantasy managers were sent scrambling to replace key players. In a topsy-turvy 2020, the waiver wire has become even more important. Early waiver wire action can be the difference between success and failure in 2020.
Week 6 is in the books and boy oh boy, are we realizing the need to be deep and diversified. Sure, you can invest heavily in one team, but you need to be prepared to scramble if the worst happens. Look to the waiver wire early or to make some trades to prepare your fantasy squad for season-long success.
Early Week 6 Waiver Wire Pickups
Andy Dalton (QB) – 0.2% of Rosters
This week’s early waiver wire column features a choose your own adventure pathway for Dak Prescott managers. The question you have to answer is, do you believe in the ability of Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore to create an offensive system that can allow an average quarterback to put up high volume numbers? If you do, then keep reading about why you should add Andy Dalton. If you do not, skip to the Ryan Fitzpatrick section.
Dalton looked respectable in relief duty, but more than half of his production came on two throws on the game-winning drive to Michael Gallup. With a week of practice, preparation, and game-planning centered on him, he might do better. He certainly has an arsenal of weapons unlike any he had in Cincinnati, but he is still Andy Dalton. If you believe that the Cowboys’ coaches and weapons have the ability to prop up Average Andy, he is your Dak replacement.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB) – 20.7% of Rosters
If you do not believe in McCarthy and Moore to be able to prop up Dalton, then Ryan “the Amish Rifle” Fitzpatrick is your early waiver wire target. Fitzmagic is a top-10 quarterback so far this season, despite an awful Week 1 against New England. Looking ahead, the Dolphins and Fitzpatrick do not have any super challenging games during the fantasy season. Even with a Week 15 rematch against New England, Fitzpatrick is a set and forget starter each week. With the continued emergence of DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki and the establishing of a running game with Myles Gaskin, Fitzy has weapons to work with. If you had Dak or drafted an underperforming quarterback like Carson Wentz, Drew Brees, or Kirk Cousins, Fitzmagic could salvage your season.
Chase Claypool (WR) – 8.9% of Rosters
There are two givens in every fantasy football season. The 49ers running backs will be confusing whack-a-mole, and a seemingly random Steelers’ receiver will emerge out of nowhere. While everyone seemed to “know” that Diontae Johnson was going to be the “sleeper” Steelers’ receiver, Chase “Mapletron” Claypool has emerged as that guy. Claypool announced his presence with authority against the Eagles with four touchdowns this week. However, he has been slowly getting more and more involved each week. With a climbing snap and target share combined with explosive athleticism, Claypool looks the part of a versatile offensive weapon. There will be a mad rush to add him this week, but he seems a good candidate to live up to the hype as a weekly Flex play.
Travis Fulgham (WR) – 0.2% of Rosters
We all saw the highlights of Carson Wentz locking in on some dude out of Old Dominion and targeting him 13 times. Sure, some receivers come out of nowhere to get a half dozen targets and a bunch of yards, but it is rare for a player to get 13 targets and catch 10 of them this early in their career. The 6th Round pick out of Old Dominion looked like he has Went’s trust and might keep it moving forward. Spoilers, Alshon Jeffrey and Desean Jackson are still banged up and have not played. Greg Ward is a nice option underneath, but Fulgham looked like the weapon Wentz has needed. If he can maintain about 7-10 targets per week in Philly, Fulgham will be a WR3 for the rest of the season.
JD McKissic (RB) – 11.0% of Rosters
Each week moving forward there will be fewer and fewer options as the bye weeks start to stack up. Luckily, many of y’all degenerates are playing in PPR leagues. This opens up some wonderfully sneaky flex plays each week with guys like JD McKissic. McKissic has been steadily emerging as a reliable check-down option in Washington. Over the last two weeks, McKissic has 13 catches and will continue to be involved in their offense. If you can get lucky and he sneaks into the endzone on one of those catches, you just hit on a solid flex play for that week. He may be touchdown-dependent to reach a higher level, but he will give you about 10 points each week in PPR leagues.
Tyler Johnson (WR) – 0.3% of Rosters
Sometimes you need to look ahead and think about what could be with your early waiver wire targets. Tyler Johnson is one of those speculative additions. He is not even the most famous or well-known Tyler Johnson in his own city, but he has the most upside right now. Johnson was targeted six times against the Bears but looked good in his limited action. The Buccaneers used a 5th Round pick on him for a reason and he flashed some potential. Tampa has a soft schedule moving forward and their passing offense will continue to improve. If Johnson can stay on the field as the third receiver, he should be stashed in all formats.
Chase Edmonds (RB) – 44.7% of Rosters
It looks like Edmonds is the more effective back in Arizona. This week against a stingy Jets’ defense, Edmonds turned 8 touches into 92 yards, while it took Drake 19 touches to gain 62 yards. Granted Drake had a touchdown, but Edmonds has consistently looked like he deserves a greater share of the workload in Arizona. Sure, he is already rostered in many leagues, but if he is available in yours, go add him now. Edmonds has looked like the more explosive and dynamic back all season. Edmonds will earn a larger share of the work so go get him now.
Alexander Mattison (RB) – 41.5% of Rosters
Dalvin Cook pulled up partway through the Sunday Night game with what looked like a groin injury. In an amazing display of “next man up” Alexander Mattison absolutely destroyed the Seahawks’ defense to the tune of 23 touches for 136 yards. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry and looked like a physical and elusive runner throughout the entire night. Mattison has had some deeper-league value all year, but if Cook misses time that changes. Mattison would instantly be a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 each week if Cook is out. If he is available in your league, go get him now.
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