Several star players continued to struggle in Week 5 of the 2014 NFL season, leading to a few upsets on the schedule. With the regular season of fantasy football nearing the midway point, owners have key decisions to make regarding who to add or drop on the Week 6 waiver wire.
LeSean McCoy was the No.1 overall pick in many fantasy football drafts, but he continues to underperform and struggle to find the end zone. Calvin Johnson was, once again, a non-factor, and the injury that has plagued the wide receiver forced him to leave the Detroit Lions' game early.
Not only was the NFL’s best wide receiver hampered by an injury, but the league’s top tight end also had his Week 5 ended prematurely. Jimmy Graham left the New Orleans Saints’ contest early with a shoulder injury after catching two passes for 36 yards. Heading into Week 5, he had 340 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
With some of the top players at their respective positions failing to put up big numbers, others unexpectedly had big games in Week 5. Arian Foster had one of the best rushing performances after being injured for a few weeks, and New York Giants rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught a touchdown pass in his first ever NFL game.
Several players could emerge in the handful of games remaining in Week 5, but let’s delve into a few of the players owners should consider for Week 6‘s waiver-wire. Remember, always drop and add at your own discretion.
Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
Following a slow start under a new offensive coordinator, New York’s offense continues to put up big numbers. With team’s focusing on stopping Victor Cruz, Randle has emerged as a viable starting option in fantasy leagues. He caught a touchdown pass early on in the Giants’ Week 5 contest, and was targeted at least 10 times for a third straight game. Randle is still available in 32 percent of Yahoo! league’s, and he could be very productive in Week 6 against a poor Eagles pass defense.
Antone Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Steven Jackson is still Atlanta’s No.1 running back, but Smith has turned into a strong option for fantasy teams in need of help at the position. Week 5 marked his third straight game with a touchdown, turning a pass from Matt Ryan into a 74-yard score. Smith has totaled at least 50 yards in all but one game, and while he’s available in 93 percent of Yahoo! leagues, that number should decrease significantly in Week 6.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Fantasy owners took notice of Allen Hurns after a big opening week, but Robinson has turned into the more consistent performer. He was the Jaguars’ leading receiver in Week 5, and has become a favorite of Blake Bortles. The rookie quarterback will have his struggles in 2014, but he should benefit Jacksonville's wide receivers more than Chad Henne did. Robinson could be a solid third wide receiver option in Week 6.
Louis Murphy, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The wide receiver came out of nowhere to grab six catches for 99 yards in Week 4, and he proved in Week 5 that his performance wasn’t a fluke. He caught a touchdown pass against the Saints, and should continue to get opportunities in the weeks to come. Murphy is available in virtually all leagues, and is worth picking up for owners who lack depth at wide receiver.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
As the No.2 wide receiver on one of the NFL’s best defenses, Matthews is always a threat help fantasy owners. He’s available in 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and is too good to be sitting on waivers. Matthews caught four passes in first half of Philadelphia’s Week 5 game, and he could have a big game against the New York Giants in Week 6.
Others to watch: Bills DST; Andre Williams, RB, N.Y. Giants; George Winn, RB, Detroit; Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee; Josh Hill, TE, New Orleans; Jason Avant, WR, Carolina; Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay