Fantasy Football Week 6 Cheat Sheet: Identifying Sleepers for Deep Leagues
Even if you didn't get the top targets in waivers, there are always players available who can help your fantasy football team.
Injuries have shaken up the NFL landscape heading into Week 6, with top running backs like Saquon Barkley, David Montgomery and Clyde Edwards-Helaire unavailable. Meanwhile, Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook remain questionable, and other players won't be available thanks to the beginning of bye weeks.
It leaves fantasy managers with roster holes and a need to fill them.
The good news is role changes and favorable matchups could lead to breakout performances and startable options from the waiver wire.
Here are some players who are widely available in Yahoo leagues but could be useful options in Week 6.
Taylor Heinicke, WAS vs. Chiefs
After three straight 20-point weeks in standard scoring, Taylor Heinicke posted a dud last week against the New Orleans Saints. The Washington quarterback completed just 49 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions with zero touchdowns.
On the plus side, he continued to use his legs, earning 40 rushing yards, and got a lot of opportunities, throwing 41 pass attempts.
Heinicke has an opportunity to bounce back in Week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that ranks dead last in the NFL in points allowed and 28th in passing yards allowed. Washington will likely be forced to pass a lot to keep up with Kansas City, but the holes in the defense will be there for big numbers.
Carson Wentz, IND vs. Texans
The Colts couldn't hold on against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5, but Carson Wentz did his part with 402 passing yards and two touchdowns. The former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback is now averaging 264.4 passing yards per game and has seven touchdowns with only one interception on the year.
Wentz has developed good chemistry with Michael Pittman and gets a lot of production tossing to running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines.
This could continue against a Texans defense allowing 28.2 points per game this year, the sixth-most in the NFL.
Khalil Herbert, CHI vs. Packers
While Devontae Booker and Darrel Williams got "hot name on the waiver wire" treatment thanks to new injuries, Khalil Herbert likely slipped by in a lot of leagues. If he's still available, go get him now.
Damien Williams started the game and scored a touchdown, but it was Herbert who led the Bears in carries (18) and rushing yards (75) against the Raiders. The rookie sixth-round pick also had 34 offensive snaps compared to Williams' 31, per Pro Football Reference.
Chicago won't always have 34 rush attempts as they milk a lead, yet it's clear Herbert will have a significant role while David Montgomery is unavailable.
Brandon Bolden, NE vs. Cowboys
Damien Harris has been the Patriots' primary running back this season, but he was limited by rib and chest injuries throughout Week 5. Though he avoided serious injury, he could still be less than 100 percent on Sunday.
Harris also lost his second fumble of the year, while Rhamondre Stevenson and J.J. Taylor have also lost key fumbles this season. Stevenson failed to impress after leaving the dog house last week, totaling just 23 yards on 11 carries.
It could leave the door open for Brandon Bolden, who still has the trust of head coach Bill Belichick. The veteran has caught 10 passes the last two games and impressed with a 24-yard rush on Sunday.
More opportunities could be ahead for Bolden, who could especially be valuable in points-per-reception leagues.
Jerick McKinnon, KC at Washington
Darrel Williams is the presumed next man up after Edwards-Helaire went down, but Jerick McKinnon could also have a significant role in the Chiefs offense.
McKinnon played 27 snaps Sunday, just 10 short of Williams for the most among running backs. Even with just four touches on the season, he is the more explosive of the two backs and could be a better comparison to Edwards-Helaire as a runner and receiver.
Though it would be a risky start in Week 6, McKinnon could be worth the roster spot to see his role going forward.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET vs. Bengals
With opposing defenses keeping their attention on T.J. Hockenson, the Lions have needed someone else to step up in the passing attack, and Amon-Ra St. Brown has done that in recent weeks.
The 2021 fourth-round pick had seven catches for 65 yards last game after totaling six catches for 70 yards the week before. He also has eight targets in each of those games.
If he has moved ahead of Quintez Cephus and Kalif Raymond in the pecking order, St. Brown can be a reliable player this week and for the rest of the season.
James Washington, PIT vs. Seahawks
Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are the biggest beneficiaries with JuJu Smith-Schuster set to miss four months with a shoulder injury, but James Washington will also see a bigger role.
The 25-year-old set season highs in Week 5 with four catches for 69 yards, and he could be even better with a full game as the No. 3 option. Pittsburgh ranks sixth in passing attempts this season, and there should be enough targets to go around.
Washington hasn't been able to build on his 735 receiving yards in 2019, but this is a golden opportunity for the talented player.
Jalen Reagor, PHI vs. Buccaneers
Just four catches over the last two games isn't much reason to be encouraged about Jalen Reagor going forward. However, there is still a chance to succeed in Week 6 against the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay ranks first in the NFL against the run and last in passing yards allowed. Just like every other opponent, Philadelphia is going to have to throw the ball to succeed.
It could provide an opening for a big game from the talented second-year wideout.
Ricky Seals-Jones, WAS vs. Chiefs
The injury to Logan Thomas opened the door for Ricky Seals-Jones to catch five passes for 41 yards on Sunday. The tight end also tied for second on the team with eight targets.
As discussed with Heinicke, facing the Chiefs provides an opportunity for the Washington offense to thrive, especially through the air.
In a shallow position, Seals-Jones could be a reliable target until Thomas returns.
Dan Arnold, JAC vs. Dolphins
It's become clear the Jaguars plan to use Dan Arnold a significant amount after acquiring him in a trade with the Carolina Panthers.
Arnold caught six of his eight targets in Week 5 for 64 yards, playing 73 percent of snaps. On a day where Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault struggled to take advantage of a promising matchup, Arnold led the team in receiving.
He has seemingly already earned Trevor Lawrence's trust and could have more big days in the future.