Fantasy football: Week 6 waiver wire advice

Week 5 of the NFL season is (nearly) in the books, with Atlanta and the New York Jets still going tonight. But even though there is one game left on the schedule, that shouldn't stop you from getting a jump on your competition and start sifting through the waiver wire to improve your fantasy team. Here are some guys you should be targeting.
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QB Jay Cutler. Available in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues, the much-maligned Cutler is getting it done in Marc Trestman's offense. I still don't know if I'd want him quarterbacking my real team in the playoffs, but in our wonderful world of fake football, he's been terrific. And he's got some of the juiciest match-ups one could ask for in the next few weeks, starting with the leaky New York Giants on Thursday night. He follows that up with games against defensive sieves Washington, Green Bay and Detroit around his week 8 bye. If you own one of these guys: Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Terrelle Pryor, Peyton Manning, Matt Stafford or Colin Kaepernick and need a bye-week broski and Cutler is available, you should rush out to get him now.
QB Alex Smith. This is basically for Matt Ryan owners only. Despite Smith's great numbers to start the season, I'm not endorsing him as an every week starter. But, he gets the Raiders at home this week and Ryan is on a bye. If you need a fill-in, Smith can be your man.
QB Terrelle Pryor. He was great against a really bad San Diego defense on Monday morning football, and he's still widely available in 71 percent of leagues. He has a tough match-up against Kansas City, but QBs who make plays with their legs offer upside regardless of match-up. And the Chiefs allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to score a rushing TD last week. Ryan. Fitz. Patrick.
QB Brandon Weeden. For the truly desperate, with Brian Hoyer done for the year, Weeden is once again at the helm of the Cleveland offense. That actually isn't the joke it used to be. With WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron emerging as legitimate weapons and RB Willis McGahee showing he's still got a little bit left in the tank, Weeden could get you through this week against a shaky Detroit defense if you need him to.
RB Zac Stacy. It was against the Jags, but Stacy finally gave the Rams something to be excited about in the running game. He left with a rib injury late that he says was just the wind knocked out of him, but any time you get a chance to pick up what appears to be a starting RB this late into this season (yes, I know it's only week 5) you do it. In the offseason, Stacy was a very buzzy player who drew comparisons to Ray Rice and Maurice Jones Drew. I don't know if I'd go that far, but certainly you can find a spot for him on the bottom of your roster. He's available in 82 percent of leagues. Isaiah Pead, it should be noted, is now fourth on the Rams depth chart and can safely be dropped in all leagues.
RB Andre Ellington. Widely available in 78 percent of leagues, Ellington played just as many snaps as Rashard Mendenhall this past week. The bad news? He's tied to a bad offense that's playing San Francisco and Seattle the next two weeks. I'd much rather own him in a PPR, as he's getting a lot of check down looks from Carson Palmer.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. You really don't want to be starting the Law Firm at this point, as it's clear Cincy is trying to make rookie Giovani Bernard the feature back. But there is always a chance the plodder punches in a touchdown and saves his fantasy day. If you're desperate, he's available in 35 percent of leagues.
RB Danny Woodhead. He's only available in 30 percent of leagues, but he'll see a lot more time on the field if Ryan Mathews is sidelined on Monday Night Football. He's not a horrible option regardless, especially in a PPR league. He's getting a lot of work in Mike McCoy's precision offense.
WR Alshon Jeffery. He dropped a 218-yard fantasy nuke on Sunday against the Saints and suddenly teammate Brandon Marshall is saying he's got the potential to be "the best who has ever done it." Don't get carried away, but understand that Jeffery has the make-up of an elite receiver and if Cutler is actually going to look his way more often (part of the reason Cutler has struggled in the past is his reliance on locking onto Marshall).
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WR Justin Blackmon. I told you to add him last week. If you did, you beat the buzz that will come after his 5-for-136 and a touchdown return to the NFL. Granted it was against St. Louis and he gets Seattle this week (yikes) but for the long-term, you're getting a rock-solid WR3 at a rock bottom price. That Chad Henne is likely going to start means he'll get more opportunities deep. And Seattle isn't going to stop every deep threat, as evidence Sunday by ...
WR T.Y. Hilton. Chances are, owners of Hilton hadn't given up just yet and cut him, but he most likely had his monster game against the usually impenetrable Seahawks secondary from your bench rather than the waiver wire (available in just 19 percent of leagues). However, in the off chance he was dropped while someone went in search of a bye-week fill-in, pounce on him ASAP.
WR Rueben Randle. The Giants No. 3 WR is going to overtake Hakeem Nicks as the starter soon, and really, he has in everything but name only. His two-touchdown day against the Eagles could be a sign of things to come. The Thursday night game with Chicago is a crap shoot, but the schedule is filled with softies in the next month after that.
WR Robert Woods. The rookie from USC was said to be the most pro-ready receiver in the draft, and he's been solid, going over 64 yards in each of the past three weeks and he seems to be overtaking Stevie Johnson as the No. 1 receiver in Buffalo. But the Bills are turning to undrafted rookie Thad Lewis with EJ Manuel out. He's available in 69 percent of leagues.
WR Austin Pettis. When we were all talking about the Rams finding ways to get Austin the ball this offseason, we were clearly talking about Pettis, not Tavon, right? I wouldn't want to rely on him as anythink more than wide receiver depth, but if Sam Bradford has a favorite target, Pettis is it. He's available in 90 percent of leagues, so if you're desperate...
WR Terrance Williams. Available in 84 percent of leagues, Williams is a high upside WR3 option this week against the Redskins awful secondary, especially if Miles Austin sits again with his gimpy hamstring.
TE Charles Clay. He's been here every single week I've written this column, he continues to produce and, yet, he's still available in 43 percent of leagues. Clay is the sixth-highest scoring TE in standard formats putting him ahead of Vernon Davis, Tony Gonzales, Owen Daniels, Martellus Bennett, Greg Olsen, Jermichael Finley and Jared Cook. Only Bennett has more points (0.3) in a PPR. Get on board.

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