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Week 6 proved to be one of the most surprising weeks yet as the Cowboys upset the Seahawks, Joe Flacco looked as elite as ever, the Panthers and Bengals battled to a tie, Green Bay pulled out a last-second score to down Miami, and the Raiders pushed the Chargers to the limit.
Just another reminder that even players like Derek Carr and Andre Holmes can look like Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson on certain weeks and those players can be readily had in even the deepest leagues.
Without a ton of injuries to usher in new starters that are likely available on the waiver wire, we’ll have to dig a little deeper to find waiver help in deep fantasy leagues. Let’s take a look at who is still available in nearly every league and focus on opportunity and matchups.
Teddy Bridgewater (Owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues): Bridgewater’s outing against the stout Lions defense was rough but not unexpected given that Detroit has also shut down the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning this season and are giving up among the fewest fantasy points to opposing passers all year. Bridgewater’s next few games are against much easier opponents.
This week he’ll face the Bills who have given up 230+ yards and a touchdown to every quarterback they’ve faced and have given up multiple passing touchdowns in three of their six games.
The week after he’ll face Tampa, who has given up 319 yards and 3.25 touchdowns per game to opposing passers over their last four weeks.
The following week he’ll face a Washington defense that has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in four straight weeks.
Aside from facing poor passing defenses, Bridgewater is also good for an extra couple of fantasy points on the ground.
Kyle Orton (4 percent): In two games as the Bills’ starter, Orton has 607 passing yards and three touchdowns. Facing solid defenses in Detroit and New England, Orton has proven that he is definitely a more capable passer than EJ Manuel to lead a fairly solid offense.
This week he’ll head to Minnesota to face a defense that has given up nine passing touchdowns compared to just two interceptions over the last four weeks. The following week he’ll face a Jets defense that has allowed at least two passing touchdowns in every game (including to Derek Carr) and are now starting guys at corner that weren’t even on the roster a few weeks ago.
Running Back Targets:
Antone Smith (29 percent): All Smith does is score big touchdowns. Even though he has now posted a long touchdown in four straight games and five of six this season, we can’t really expect him to keep it up. We can, however, expect more opportunities. Smith had four receptions and two carries against Chicago, the most touches he’s had all season.
Slight upticks in weekly opportunities, coupled with Steven Jackson’s inability to make anything happen (he only got six touches against the Bears) and Devonta Freeman’s and Jacquizz Rodgers’ limited usage, means Smith should get more touches if he continues to explode every time he touches the ball.
Jerick McKinnon (37 percent): McKinnon is likely gone in your league but it’s worth a check. McKinnon saw 17 touches on Sunday, including six receptions, while Matt Asiata got just four. The McKinnon era appears to have begun in Minnesota and McKinnon certainly has the ability to become an instant fantasy sensation given his catching ability and 5.0 yards per carry on 41 attempts thus far this season.
Wide Receiver Targets:
Andre Holmes (6 percent): Rookie Derek Carr has finally figured out that the 6-foot-5 Hillsdale college product is likely his best go-to target.
Holmes has now been targeted 20 times in the last two weeks and has come away with nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns. His 20 targets lead the team over that stretch after starting the season as a third/fourth option. Look for the big wideout to flourish in Tony Sparano’s typically limited offense.
Allen Robinson (12 percent): Robinson has now been targeted 37 times over the past four weeks and the 6-foot-3 second-rounder continues to develop a chemistry with fellow rookie Blake Bortles. Robinson leads the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards on the season and can be had in nearly 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Tight End Targets:
Jace Amaro (2 percent): Amaro wasn’t targeted more than five times in any of the first five weeks. After the embarrassing Week 5 loss to the Chargers, the Jets made a clear decision to make Amaro a larger part of the offense to give Geno Smith that security blanket tight end that young passers often have to resort to and Jeff Cumberland couldn’t provide.
Amaro, whose catching ability was the biggest concern entering the season, caught 10 of his 12 targets on Sunday, dropping just one pass and had another broken up on a great play by Bradley Roby. Amaro came away with 68 yards and a touchdown, the third time he has eclipsed 50 yards in the last four weeks.
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