Owners who predict the waiver wire correctly win leagues. It is just that simple.
Going into Week 6, those owners who took a chance on Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown? They’re patting themselves on the back after the veteran posted 35 points to lead all scorers at the position before Monday.
It’s only one example, but a potent one—the waiver wire is the most important thing around right now.
With this lesson in hand, let’s break down the top adds from the waiver wire ahead of Week 6, identifying guys who have not only proven worth it but also project to continue scoring well.
Week 6 Waiver-Wire Pickup Targets
Josh McCown, QB, Cleveland Browns (4.2 Percent Owned)
Look, an owner’s gut reaction would be to ignore the Browns. It’s nobody’s fault but the organization’s.
But it would be silly to rest on the old rule with the way McCown continues to play. He’s improved over the past three weeks after getting over an injury, scoring 19, 22 and 35 points.
In fact, from a numbers standpoint, he’s the best thing the Browns have had under center in a long time, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Some might say McCown is nothing but a matchup-based play. At the same time, though, it’s hard to ignore the fact that he’s attempted 41 or more passes over his last three games, completing at least 57.1 percent of them in each contest with just one interception.
With the Browns throwing often and McCown taking care of the football, he’s a nice starting option each week.
Charcandrick West, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (0.3 Percent Owned)
Charcandrick West isn’t a household name just yet, but he’s going to be in less than a week.
The young Kansas City Chiefs running back is about to assume a starting role with the team after an unfortunate injury to lead back Jamaal Charles, who could miss the rest of the season. According to ESPN’s Adam Teicher, a preliminary report indicates that Charles has a torn ACL.
West spoke with Kathleen Gier of the Kansas City Star about his opportunity.
“We haven’t heard anything,” West said. “They told us—me and Knile—we’re both going to play, we both have to be ready to step up. We know our big brother went down, so it’s time for us to step up.”
Even before Charles’ injury, West had come on as an option. He’s worked his way past fellow backup Knile Davis, carrying the ball more than him in each of the team’s last two games.
Opportunities equate to production at running back, so it’s almost a sure thing that West’s ownership percentage will take the biggest leap of the week. Don’t miss out.
Jaelen Strong, WR, Houston Texans (1.4 Percent Owned)
It looks like the Houston Texans finally found someone to step up across from DeAndre Hopkins.
It’s a small sample size, but rookie Jaelen Strong went out and caught both of his targets this past week for 53 yards and two scores.
Fluky performance or not, one has to wonder if Strong didn’t carve out some more playing time for himself considering Cecil Shorts (22-of-39) and Nate Washington (13-of-28) haven’t exactly been reliable when it comes to hauling in targets.
After Strong’s Hail Mary catch, the coaching staff went to the well quite often in the second half, as Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus illustrated:
The quarterback situation is a mess and both Shorts and Washington will get healthy at some point, but it’s still worth adding Strong. Houston looks desperate for reliable names, and it doesn’t get much better than what the rookie did this week.
Starting him will depend on the health of others and the matchup, but Strong looks poised for a bigger role moving forward.
Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints (29.0 Percent Owned)
Willie Snead made his way onto must-add lists this past week because of the budding trend of Drew Brees starting to favor him in the passing game.
The trend came to life in Week 5 and rewarded owners who rolled the dice.
After tallying eight points in two of his first four games, Snead exploded with six grabs for 141 yards and 14 points for the New Orleans Saints on the road in Philadelphia this past weekend.
The writing on the wall? It’s oh so easy to see. Rotoworld’s Evan Silva crunched the numbers:
In fact, Snead tallied a team-high 11 targets, two more than Brandin Cooks and six more than anyone else.
Remember the damage Kenny Stills would do for the Saints and owners last year? Snead looks like the same thing, except this time around, there’s no Jimmy Graham in the way to soak up targets.
Snead shouldn’t be available in any leagues with this information available.
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