Week 6’s byes won’t necessarily be devastating, but for teams teetering between contender and pretender it very well could be. And that makes the waiver wire selections critical as we approach the heart of the 2016 NFL and fantasy football seasons.
The Minnesota Vikings and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will each have their byes in Week 6 and they also have some top tier players owners will miss. According to FantasyData.com, through the first four weeks of the season the Vikings defense (D/ST) isn’t just the highest scoring defense but the 17th best scorer in all of fantasy.
And Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs is also the 17th highest-scoring receiver, meaning his owners will need some WR2 or WR3 help.
The Buccaneers, despite their woes, also have top scorers like quarterback Jameis Winston (19th in all of fantasy) and budding receiver Mike Evans (47th).
Finding the right substitute, if you didn’t draft one or work the waiver wire for one before Week 6, will be critical for a number of teams.
But use our selections for waiver wire pickups below, based off the first wave of Week 5 games, and keep your fantasy season alive.
Sammie Coates, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers offense is humming and Coates could be a way to buy in for owners, both for a bye replacement in Week 6 and beyond. Even before Week 5 Coates has quietly been Pittsburgh’s second-leading receiver, but he’s owned in just 34 percent of Yahoo and 37.8 of ESPN leagues. He’s third in targets on the team behind only Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams, and next week the Steelers get a Miami pass defense that was ranked No. 22 in the league entering Week 5. Coates is solid WR3 or FLEX2 play.
Anquan Boldin, WR, Detroit Lions
After Marvin Jones, Matthew Stafford is evenly divvying up targets to a number of receivers and Boldin’s right on par with Eric Ebron, Theo Riddick, and Golden Tate. Since posting only three targets in Week 1, Boldin’s got no less than six looks a game from Stafford so in half or full-point PPR leagues he could be an excellent pickup. Boldin’s available in 80 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Brian Hoyer, QB, Chicago Bears
The veteran’s posted consecutive 300-yard games and has yet to throw a pick while developing a solid relationship with receiver Eddie Royal. Hoyer's also improved his accuracy with every game. Hoyer could lose his job to Jay Cutler once he returns from injury, so make sure his job is secure before adding, but he’s a simple one-week plug-in who could blow up given the weapons (Alshon Jeffery, Zach Miller, Jordan Howard) at Hoyer’s disposal. Also, in Week 6, the Bears will play a Jacksonville D that’s the eighth-worst against quarterbacks in fantasy this season.
Others to consider/monitor: Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles; Eddie Royal, WR, Bears; Jesse James, TE, Steelers; Sam Bradford, QB, Vikings