Week 6 Waiver Wire: Top Fantasy Football Sleepers at Each Position
Injuries have exposed fantasy football owners to some new names around the league in Week 6. Some of these sleepers are starting to emerge after finding themselves in favorable situations over the past few weeks.
This is when fantasy championships are won.
You don't win in the preseason when you're picking your team. Insurance policy, handcuffs and sleeper picks on the waiver wire are the ways you do it.
Take a look at the best options you should pick up for success this week and beyond.
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Brady Quinn, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (owned in 0.6 percent of ESPN leagues)
Brady Quinn hasn't started a game since 2009. That's nearly two-and-a-half seasons of riding pine in both Denver and Kansas City for the former Notre Dame standout.
He's had plenty of time to think about and dwell on his failures in Cleveland and his inability to beat out either Kyle Orton or even Tim Tebow for the starting job in Denver.
Now, though, he's found an ideal situation to finally jump-start his NFL career. To make things even sweeter, he's playing in the same system in which he was brought up in Cleveland. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and head coach Romeo Crennel both held those positions while Quinn was developing on the Browns bench.
Everything in the world is riding on this game for Quinn. Add that he's facing the league's worst pass defense in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and you have a good situation for a breakout performance.
It's sink or swim time for Brady Quinn.
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James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers (owned in 7.8 percent of ESPN leagues)
The Green Bay Packers have to get something going on the ground if they hope to contend with the grinding style of the Houston Texans this week.
Starks has been on the shelf with a toe injury, but he is fully rested and ready to go in relief duty for the injured Cedric Benson.
He's got an advantage over Alex Green because of the experience he has in Green Bay and the fact that he is more of an every-down back.
Don't expect a huge game this week against the Houston Texans, but Starks may be able to put up respectable numbers and be a good stash for future matchups.
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Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns (owned in 2.0 percent of ESPN leagues)
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver corps is in shambles and just took another hit this week. Reserve Jordan Norwood, who sparked the Browns offense in recent weeks in relief duty for the already injured Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin, has now landed on injured reserve, though he is eligible to return later this season.
That leaves virtually no one other than Greg Little, who can't catch, and Joshua Cribbs, who is an average-at-best receiver with exceptional return skills.
Sure, the Browns have called up quarterback Brandon Weeden's college teammate, Josh Cooper, from the practice squad. But will that impact Gordon's playing time and targets?
He's had 15 targets over the past three games, and that number will be going up with the news of the loss of Norwood.
His ceiling is the sky, as he has the raw physical ability to be a tremendous downfield target for Weeden. His 62-yard touchdown reception against the New York Giants should be testament enough to that.
Hopefully with another week of practice under his belt he'll establish a better rapport with Weeden and find himself putting together one of the biggest breakout performances of Week 6.
Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams (owned in 0.3 percent of ESPN leagues)
Danny Amendola is long gone and the St. Louis Rams don't have much on the depth chart to replace him. If they have any hopes of winning, now or in the immediate future, they will need to find an alternative for Sam Bradford.
Enter his "safety valve," Lance Kendricks.
Last week, after Amendola went down, Kendricks caught a key touchdown in the Rams' 17-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
He doesn't have the results you'd like to see in a fantasy starter through the first five weeks of action. However, he is on the field for 85 percent of the Rams' offensive plays and has the third-most receptions behind Amendola and receiver Brandon Gibson (via ESPN Fantasy Football).
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Miami Dolphins D/ST (owned in 17.4 percent of ESPN leagues)
The Miami Dolphins secondary is being lit up statistically, but a large reason for those big numbers is that the team's defense has stifled opposing rushing attacks.
That won't change as the Fins meet the St. Louis Rams in Week 6. The Rams have struggled mightily at doing much of anything on offense, but that's especially true of their rushing game.
If Miami can continue to stuff the run, it'll be able to tee off on Sam Bradford, who is throwing for 204.4 yards per game (28th-best in the NFL) and only six touchdowns this season.
He's also thrown five interceptions over the past four weeks. The only game he's gone without was the opener against the Detroit Lions.
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Phil Dawson, K, Cleveland Browns (owned in 7.7 percent of ESPN leagues)
I know what you're thinking: "Two Cleveland Browns fantasy players in the same week. OK, buddy!"
If that's the case, you probably haven't heard of Phil "The Toe" Dawson. He's also affectionately known as Phil "Money" Dawson.
Despite an inept offense in Cleveland, Dawson has excelled for the team since its inception in 1999 as an expansion franchise. This season, Dawson has been perfect from 50-plus, connecting on all four of his attempts.
He's also not missed any field goals, totaling a perfect 10-of-10 in those attempts.
This week he faces a favorable matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. He put up 11 fantasy points against them in their first meeting in Week 2.
If you need a kicker for a bye or just need a better one, be sure to pick up Dawson while he's still available.
Mike Hoag Jr. is a Breaking News Team writer with Bleacher Report and also covers the NFL and the Cleveland Browns for the site.