In our waiver-wire list last week we, like most sites, recommended picking up Redskins running back Ryan Torain.
While Mike Shanahan has been non-committal in naming a "starting" running back instead saying he'll go with the "hot hand," Torain was the team's surprise workhorse in Week 4 before the team's bye.
In the first three games, Torain had no carries. In Week 4, Torain had 19 carries for 135 yards.
Meanwhile, Tim Hightower's carries have declined every week: 25 (Week 1), 20 (Week 2), 14 (Week 3) and eight (Week 4).
If Torain gets a similar workload in Week 6, he should be in for a monster game against a bad Eagles' run defense. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Eagles. Philadelphia has allowed three 100-yard rushers and have allowed a running back to gain at least 86 yards in all five games this season.
Every week when we list our waiver-wire pickups, we have two criteria for a player to be eligible for the list. One, they are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues and two they weren't mentioned in the previous week's list. Of course, we must believe that they offer value to fantasy owners.
Torain, who is available in exactly 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues as of Tuesday morning, meets the ownership criteria, but since he was mentioned on last week's list, we won't include him below. That said, he is worthy of a pickup if he's available in your league, especially for his Week 6 matchup.
Here are some waiver-wire options heading into Week 6:
As a fantasy football owner, you are less concerned with throwing mechanics, quick releases, etc. than you are with fantasy points. While Tebow is one of the league's worst pocket passers including other team's second and third stringers, Tebow has the ability to make plays, especially running the ball. In relief of Kyle Orton, Tebow completed only four-of-10 passes, but he threw a touchdown (albeit on a check down to Knowshon Moreno) and ran one in. While coach John Fox has said that he hasn't picked a post-bye starting quarterback, it's hard to imagine him not going with Tebow at this point.
RB—Delone Carter, Colts (12 percent)
Colts running back Joseph Addai, who left last week's game with a hamstring injury, is likely out this week and perhaps an additional week or two as well. That means, that Carter and Donald Brown should split the workload again. Even though Brown had more yards (38), Carter had more carries (12) and a touchdown last week. Even when Addai comes back, Carter will get the short-yardage and goal-line work.
RB—Jackie Battle, Chiefs (12 percent)
If you need a running back for Week 6, Battle is not the guy as the team is on bye in Week 6. With Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster relatively ineffective since the team lost Jamaal Charles for the season, Battle had a career day against the Colts with 19 carries for 119 yards and two receptions for 21 yards. While the Colts have a bad run defense, Battle should get the most carries going forward out of Kansas City's running backs.
WR —Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders (10 percent)
For two consecutive weeks, Darrius Heyward-Bey has had strong performances. In those two games, he has 11 receptions for 214 yards and a score. Assuming that other teams will defend the Raiders like the Texans did last week, opposing defenses will focus their overall effort on stopping or slowing down Darren McFadden. More than likely the opponent's top cornerback will be on Denarius Moore. With other receivers, such as Jacoby Ford, Chaz Schilens and Louis Murphy, on the roster, Heyward-Bey may not always get targeted as much, but there is some upside here.
Michael Crabtree, the second receiver selected in 2009 after Heyward-Bey, is more talented . As Crabtree, who has been dealing with an ailing foot, continues to get healthier, his production should continue to increase. Although he had only two receptions for 36 yards last week, Crabtree had more than a quarter of the targets (five) out of Alex Smith's 19 pass attempts in their 45-point blowout of the Bucs. Speaking of Smith, his numbers have been solid across the board this season with a 65.9 completion percentage, 7:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and passer rating of 104.1.
WR—Greg Little, Browns (eight percent)
Little will be one of the team's two starting receivers in Week 6, per head coach Pat Shurmur. Before their bye, Little, the Browns' second-round pick, had the best game of his rookie season in Week 4 with six receptions for 57 yards. While he's an even better option in dynasty leagues, Little should continue to become more involved in the team's offensive game plan.
WR—Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (seven percent)
Baldwin, an undrafted rookie free agent, had a career-high eight receptions and 136 yards in the Seahawks' upset win over the Giants last week. Through five games, Baldwin has three games with 80-plus yards and leads the team in receptions (20), receiving yards (330) and is tied for the lead in touchdowns (two).
TE—Jake Ballard, Giants (three percent)
If you're in a deeper league or need a bye-week replacement, Ballard is someone worth considering. In each of his past two games, Ballard has three receptions and a score. This week, the Giants face the Bills, who allowed a league-high fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2010 and have allowed double-digit fantasy points to tight ends in two of their past three games.
If you're looking for Week 6 rankings, our rankings will be updated by Wednesday at The Tip Drill, our fantasy section.
If interested, our free Week 6 fantasy football contest is "live."
Good luck in Week 6!