The waiver wire is a little thin, but it is needed more than ever with four teams on a bye again in Week 6. This week, the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints rest their bumps and bruises, getting ready for the middle of the grueling NFL regular season.
A couple of guys listed below are on byes, but are worth stashing away for a rainy day. If you absolutely have to have someone off the waiver wire this week, the best bet is Green Bay Packers RB Alex Green. He appears to have gained the most Fantasy appeal overnight with the long-term injury to RB Cedric Benson (foot). Good luck in Week 6!
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit: The Lions are back from a bye, and Bell is certainly worth adding off the waiver wire for the Week 6 matchup in Philadelphia in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues. Bell’s value is significantly less in standard leagues. Bell had six receptions last time out against Minnesota in Week 4, and he has 10 catches over the past two games.
Earl Bennett/Devin Hester, WR, Chicago: It’s uncertain whether or not Bennett or Hester will emerge as the No. 2 wide receiver behind Brandon Marshall, as the Bears need a replacement for rookie Alshon Jeffery (broken hand). We’d bet on Bennett and the Vanderbilt connection, as he has a much better rapport with QB Jay Cutler. Both are worth stashing away on reserve for depth at the position, especially to keep them away from your opponents in future weeks. The Bears are on a bye in Week 6.
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland: The bumbling Browns dropped another game on the road at N.Y. Giants in Week 5, but they might have found a potential No. 1 receiver. Gordon hauled in a pair of touchdowns, and looked worthy of the second-round pick the team risked in the NFL Supplemental Draft. He had been reportedly getting better, and last week offensive coordinator Brad Childress said Gordon had one of his best practices as a professional. Gordon won’t have to do much to ascend to the top of the depth chart, as Greg Little can’t hang onto balls, and Travis Benjamin and Mohamed Massaquoi are each dealing with hamstring injuries. Someone has to catch the ball, even in Cleveland.
Alex Green/James Starks, RB, Green Bay: Packers RB Cedric Benson (foot) is expected to miss the next two months due to a Lisfranc injury suffered in the Week 5 loss at Indianapolis, and it is possible he might land on season-ending Injured Reserve. Green is the top choice to start in Week 6, although he faces a difficult matchup on the road at Houston. Still, he is worth stashing away on reserve, since it appears he’ll get a lion’s share of the carries. The truth is, Green, Starks and even Brandon Saine will be auditioning for the starting gig, and it might be a muddled picture until one guy steps to the forefront. Green is considered the favorite, while Starks has a load of potential. Saine is the big-time dark horse laying in the weeds, and is probably the best receiver out of the backfield between the three.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco: Kaepernick might be a wise addition if you have Alex Smith (finger), who is dealing with a sprained finger on his throwing hand. It sounds like a concern, but maybe not quite enough to force Smith out for any period of time. Still, it would be a good idea to have Kaepernick on hand, just in case. He is also worth a look as a low-end QB2 in leagues which require two starting signal callers if you’re up a creek due to byes. Kaepernick has scored two rushing touchdowns over the past two games, and has a package of plays just for him.
Jeremy Kerley, WR, N.Y. Jets: Kerley has emerged as the big-play threat for QB Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense with Santonio Holmes (foot) done for the season. Kerley posted 94 receiving yards on Monday night against the Texans, snagging a pair of 36-yard receptions in the process. He is still only worth considering as a WR4 or ‘flex’ play in most leagues, but he appears to be the best Fantasy bet for the Gang Green wide receiver corps.
Robert Meachem, WR, San Diego: Meachem was owned in 100 percent of Fantasy leagues to start the season, but a very slow start led to his ownership numbers falling into the 50-60 percent range by Week 5. That’s a shame for owners who dropped in, as he finally cashed in with a big-time performance against the Saints, his former team, in New Orleans. Meachem found the end zone twice (his first two scores as a Charger), and posted a season-best 67 yards. While the catch total of three, and yardage total, aren’t exactly eye-popping, he appears to be building more of a rapport with QB Philip Rivers. If that continues, century-mark yardage totals and more scores could be just around the corner.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Cleveland: Weeden has made some silly rookie mistakes, like throwing the ball, catching the deflection, and then trying to throw it again. The “C’Mon, Man!” guys loved that one Monday night. But check out the yardage totals for Weeds this season. He threw for 291 yards in Week 5 at N.Y. Giants, 320 yards in Week 4 at Baltimore, and a season-best 322 yards and two scores in Week 2 at Cincinnati, who just happens to be this week’s opponent. Weeden isn’t worth using as a top Fantasy option, but if your primary option is on a bye, or has a difficult matchup, Weeden has earned occasional starting status.