Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 6 Pickups: Despite Rudolph Injury, Diontae Johnson A Solid WR Option

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 6 Pickups: Despite Rudolph Injury, Diontae Johnson A Solid WR Option
Matt Citak

(CBS Boston)- Week 5 of the NFL season is over, and what a weird week it was.


This past weekend, we saw several players explode for the best fantasy performances of their careers. Christian McCaffrey, Aaron Jones and Will Fuller finished with around 45 fantasy points each, while guys such as DJ Chark (32 points), Josh Jacobs (28 points) and Michael Gallup (21 points) exploded onto the fantasy scene with massive outings.


On the other hand, we also witnessed some prominent players sorely disappoint their fantasy owners this week. Michael Evans and Greg Olsen both produced goose eggs in Week 5, while injuries forced Sammy Watkins (0 points) and Wayne Gallman (1 point) to disappear from their respective box scores.


As we all know, these are the ups and downs that come with playing fantasy football. The good news is we are only five weeks in, and there is still plenty of time left to turn your season around.


Hopefully these recommendations will help. Here are the top waiver wire adds heading into Week 6.


QB Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars– It is officially time buy into Minshew Mania. Minshew has registered at least 16 fantasy points in every game this season, a remarkable feat for a sixth-round pick that was nowhere near the fantasy radar just a month ago. The rookie quarterback finished with over 21 fantasy points in Week 5, which is even more impressive when looking at the success the Panthers defense has had limiting opposing quarterbacks this year. Minshew’s fantasy day would have been bigger had it not been for a few fumbles, which is certainly fixable moving forward. Minshew has proven that he is for real, and the mustache-touting rookie does not appear to be going away anytime soon.


Credit: David Eulitt/Getty Images


QB Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts– The Brissett hype train died down a bit after his subpar performance Sunday night, but don’t let one game overshadow a very solid season. Brissett entered Week 5 having registered at least 16.5 fantasy points in each of Indy’s first four games, and topped the 20-point mark in two of those contests. With the Colts entering their bye week, fantasy owners may unload Brissett, giving you the opportunity to snag the 26-year-old quarterback. If you are in a situation where you are streaming QBs each week and already have an option for Week 6, then pick up Brissett now and get ready to use him as your starting QB (depending on the matchup) for the rest of the season.


RB Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals– Edmonds hadn’t done much prior to Week 5, but his performance against the Bengals Sunday showed that the Cardinals backup running back may be one of the most, if not the most, valuable handcuffs in fantasy football. Edmonds carried the ball a season-high eight times against Cincinnati, gaining 68 yards (8.5-yard avg.) while scoring a touchdown. He also added three receptions for 18 yards, proving that if something were to happen to David Johnson, Edmonds would be able to step in and fill the starting running back’s role admirably. He doesn’t offer a ton of standalone value, but at this time of the season, you have to take chances on some lottery ticket waiver wire adds. If you have Johnson as one of your starting backs, get Edmonds on your bench ASAP.


Credit: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images


RB Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings– Mattison is in the same boat as Edmonds. The rookie running back is Dalvin Cook’s handcuff, and while Cook is healthy and having a stellar campaign, Mattison is unlikely to offer much standalone value. While giving Cook a breather in Week 5, Mattison picked up 52 yards on seven carries (7.4-yard avg.) against the Giants. The rookie third-round pick is averaging 5.6 yards per carry on 34 rush attempts this season, and would immediately be at least a strong RB2 if he were to become the starting running back in Minnesota’s run heavy offense.


WR Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals– Following the placement of John Ross on IR, Tate was elevated to Cincinnati’s starting lineup. Now it wasn’t the prettiest of performances for the second-year player in Week 5, but the volume Tate received in the Bengals offense Sunday is what we can expect from him on a weekly basis until A.J. Green returns to the field. Tate saw six targets against the Cardinals, catching three of them for 26 yards and a touchdown. While the touchdown was Tate’s first of the season, Week 5 marked the third consecutive week in which the 22-year-old had at least six targets. The Bengals will be trailing in most games for the rest of the season, which means they will be throwing the ball a ton. With Green out for at least one more week, Tate will remain a solid FLEX play against the Ravens in Week 6.


WR Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers– At the time of this writing, it remains unclear how long Mason Rudolph may be out following the scary concussion he suffered Sunday. Even if it’s Devlin Hodges under center for Pittsburgh in Week 6, I still like the potential of Johnson as a waiver wire add. Johnson was targeted a team-high eight times in Sunday’s overtime loss against Baltimore, giving the rookie third-round pick 20 targets over the last three weeks. Although he was only able to turn those eight targets into five receptions for 27 yards, it was the second consecutive week that Johnson led the Steelers’ receivers in targets. Hodges kept Johnson involved after taking over the offense, as the two rookies appear to have a solid connection stemming from their time spent together throughout the offseason. Johnson is certainly a risky play moving forward, but he could quickly find his way onto the FLEX radar with some competent quarterback play.


WR Bryon Pringle, Kansas City Chiefs– Pringle is the latest Kansas City receiver to burst out of nowhere onto the fantasy scene. After Sammy Watkins left the game on the first series with a hamstring injury, the second-year receiver lined up in the team’s three-receiver sets and had himself a career day. Pringle reeled in six of nine targets, finishing with 103 yards and a touchdown. It is unclear how serious the injury to Watkins is, but with him banged up and Tyreek Hill still not 100%, Pringle is worth an add as one of Patrick Mahomes’ starting wide receivers.


Credit: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images


TE Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams– After receiving only seven targets in the Rams’ first three games, Everett has seen an expanded role over the last two weeks. With the Rams throwing the ball a lot more recently, Everett has gotten 19 targets in Weeks 4 and 5, turning that into 12 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown. The presence of fellow tight end Tyler Higbee in Los Angeles takes a little away from Everett’s fantasy value, but it hasn’t hurt his production over the last two weeks. If Brandin Cooks is forced to miss this week due to the concussion he suffered last Thursday, Everett could be the top streaming option at tight end in Week 6.


TE Chris Herndon, New York Jets– Hopefully you listened last week and snagged Herndon off the waiver wire a week early. If not, you should pray that the rest of your league made the same mistake. The tight end position has been awfully inconsistent this year, with very few reliable options outside of the top guys. While the Jets have been a mess all season, the return of Herndon from suspension might coincide with the return of Sam Darnold to the starting lineup. The pair connected for 39 receptions, 502 yards and four touchdowns in their rookie seasons last year, and with a year of experience now under their belts, the connection should be even stronger. Herndon could quickly emerge as a top-10 TE option.


Matt Citak is a contributing writer for CBS Local. Follow him on Twitter here for all things fantasy football, New York Giants and more.