We’re through six weeks of the fantasy season already, and some of my fantasy teams are hopelessly lost. I’ve whined about this previously, and I know I’m not alone this season when I admit to being pretty disillusioned with some of my squads. But as we near the halfway mark of the fantasy regular season, I can glean a glimmer of hope for the worst of my teams when I see the Colts (remember that dreadful Thursday Night Football game against the Broncos?) in the playoff picture, the Steelers upend the Buccaneers, and the Jets roll into Lambeau and walk out mocking the cheeseheads.
Big win for the Baby Jets at Lambeau Field. pic.twitter.com/YX1QXMbzKZ
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 16, 2022
All that said, the waiver wire is looking fairly bleak these days. If you’re still sitting on FAAB, you might want to carry it over into next year, if you’re in leagues that allow you to do so.
Let’s get to the wire! Keep in mind when reading:
- This advice is geared more toward 14- and 16-team dynasty setups, or 12-team setups with fairly large roster limits (65 spots or so). My goal is to write this for managers who must dig deeper on the wire in order to stay ahead for both this season and future years.
- I’m probably not going to list many IDPs you can find in my top 150 rankings. I’ll list some obvious “shallow” league options but I don’t plan to go into much detail on those players unless there’s some growing dynasty (this season and beyond) appeal.
- Not everyone I list is a recommended add. Sometimes I may just want to write up a player to convince you not to waste your FAAB on him.
A 2021 third-round pick, Jones saw extended snaps with D.J. Wonnum inactive due to illness and registered two of Minnesota’s six sacks against Miami. Jones should return to the No. 4 edge role next week, but if you need a reason for dynasty excitement, starters Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith aren’t recently known for durability. Jones could see a larger role as early as 2023 should the Vikings decide to cut Smith as a cap-saving measure.
Dayo Odeyingo (one solo tackle) was a major disappointment and took a back seat to Lewis as the primary fill-in for injured edge Kwity Paye. Lewis collected a sack to go along with three solo tackles and an assist, as well as a forced fumble on Jacksonville’s ill-fated, lateral-heavy final play of its loss to Indy. The Colts have a decent matchup for edge production this week at Tennessee, so feel free to consider Lewis if the byes are wreaking havoc on your edge corps.
- Charles Omenihu, SF – We’ll see how much longer Nick Bosa is out of commission with a groin injury, but if he’s again inactive in week seven, Omenihu (a sack to go along with four total tackles) might be worth a streaming start if you’re short on quality edges.
- Al-Quadin Muhammad, CHI – My Bears edge picks mostly bombed in a nice matchup with Washington, but at least Muhammad came through with a sack. Feel free to give him the boot now; I don’t think he’s worth hanging on to.
This is a “just in case” listing for sure, but Brown shouldn’t be on the wire in any defensive tackle-required league. He’s living up to his high draft pick pedigree this year, and the statistics are starting to catch up and reflect it. Brown delivered half-a-sack on two quarterback hits to accompany three solo tackles and four assists against the Rams for his best outing of the season. While currently a low-end DT2 on the season, he’s on an upward trajectory.
Jones had a real nice start to his season with 20 total tackles and two sacks over his first five games. Week six was a quiet one though, with just a pass defensed, and I’d expect some frustrated streamers to ignore him or send him back to the waiver wire. I wouldn’t be too quick to give up on him in true position formats: he tops Chicago defensive tackles in snaps, and has another good matchup this week against New England on Monday Night Football.
The rookie third-rounder had a massive breakout performance with four solos and a sack on two quarterback hits. At 6-feet-4 and 334 pounds, Jones is a big boy and will see his share of snaps lined up at nose. He’s capable of walking back a center, however. Expect inconsistent production, but Jones should be rostered in defensive tackle-premium formats.
— Sᴘᴏʀᴛs 24/7 (@Sports_24x7_) October 16, 2022
- Poona Ford, SEA – If you’re wondering whether Poona (great name!) had the fantasy game of his life on Sunday with a sack, three tackles for loss, a pass defensed, four solo tackles and an assist, the answer is yes, he did. Good player, but don’t bank on getting it again.
- Davon Hamilton, JAC – Hamilton had a nice week six with two solos, four assists and a quarterback hit, but he’s still a nose tackle for the most part, and that limits his ceiling. He does draw a nice matchup for tackles this week against the Giants, so there are worse candidates on the wire.
- Grover Stewart, IND – Stewart’s not available in most leagues but I wouldn’t hesitate to scoop him up if available. He’s not lining up at nose tackle anywhere near as much as he did a few seasons ago, and his numbers have been acceptable from a fantasy perspective. He picked up his second sack of the season on Sunday, and you can consider him a starter against those heavy run teams (hint, hint: Derrick Henry on tap) and hope for another four-solo, one-assist tackle performance.
There’s little to be excited about on the linebacker wire this week but I feel obligated to write up something, so I’ll mention that Littleton led the Panthers with ten combined tackles and half-a-sack. There are some caveats, of course: Shaq Thompson was the full-time linebacker, with Littleton on the field maybe two-thirds of the defensive snaps. And, Frankie Luvu was again inactive with a shoulder injury. We’re assuming that Luvu will regain a full-time – or at least high volume – role upon return, but with a new head coach and defensive coordinator at the helm since Luvu last played, that may not be a safe assumption. If he’s available, go ahead and grab Littleton to guard against the unexpected.
- Elandon Roberts, MIA – Yes, the veteran had a big week, but it came in large part due to his one-and-a-half sack performance. You’re not going to be able to count on that big play production on any given week.
We know Julian Love and Xavier McKinney are locked into full-time safety roles, but given the state of the Big Blue linebacker corps, a third safety will mix in frequently. I’ve covered both Belton and Collins previously, but they bear repeat mentions. Collins has been hanging out on the Giants practice squad since signing, but I think he could soon see a good snap share as a box defender – a role with excellent value for a safety. Belton (five solos, one assist and a pass defensed against Baltimore) is pretty versatile, and is a good dynasty asset in case Love signs elsewhere next off-season.
Injuries have ravaged the 49ers this season to the point that San Francisco is losing to Atlanta. Gipson (seven solos, two assists vs. the Falcons) should hold down a safety job as long as Jimmie Ward is sidelined with a broken hand. The 32-year-old Gipson isn’t a dynasty asset by any stretch, and you shouldn’t view him as anything more than a depth safety, so don’t jettison anyone you have long-term hope for in order to sign him for today.
Stone is filling in at safety for Marcus Williams, who was placed on injured reserve last week after dislocating a wrist. Hopefully you don’t need to dig this deep for safety help, but you’ll typically be happy with six solo tackles out of your S3 or bye-week fill-in at S2. Rookie Kyle Hamilton hasn’t been setting the league on fire, but we could always see Baltimore ramp up his snap count, so I’d always have that in the back of my mind should I consider starting Stone.
Kudos to the Colts for seeing enough of something in a sub-200-pound linebacker from Yale to draft him in the seventh round. Thomas is making the unconventional shift from college linebacker to NFL free safety, and now he’s had two good weeks in a row in place of the injured Julian Blackmon (ankle). His four solo, three assist day topped that of fellow safety Rodney McLeod (four solos and one assist, with two tackles for loss), though McLeod is getting much more work in the box. Tread lightly with Thomas, but he’s an option, at least until Blackmon returns.
- Darrick Forrest, WAS – Don’t forget about Forrest, because Washington hasn’t even with Kamren Curl back and playing a full-time role. Forrest saw 40 of 72 snaps (56 percent) in week six and collected four total tackles and a pass defensed. He’s nothing but a stash right now, but should Curl get injured, you have an S1 on your hands.
- Jaylinn Hawkins, ATL – last week Hawkins got it done in the tackle column. This week, big plays (an interception and a fumble recovery to accompany a solo tackle and three assists) carried him to another S1 finish. He’s definitely seeing the snaps to warrant starting consideration, so fire him up if needed.
- Ryan Neal, SEA – He’s indeed seeing a fantasy starter-worthy role as a box safety, and it’s being amplified by Cody Barton’s reduced role/Seattle’s shift to single linebacker sets. Barring something special during Monday Night Football, Neal (a sack, a pass defensed, a forced fumble, six solo tackles and an assist) is the S1 on the week.
Any and all Saints corners are in play for Thursday Night Football in Arizona. I’m not sure what Lattimore’s status is at the moment since he was inactive with an abdomen injury, or how the Arizona targets will be redistributed with DeAndre Hopkins set to make his season debut, but I do know Arizona is a matchup to follow for opposing corners. Take what’s available on your wire and plug ’em in.
The elder Harris is most interesting – the 33-year-old led New Orleans with eight solo tackles while seeing his first significant snaps of the season and as a Saint.
Both Griffin (seven solo tackles, two assists, two tackles for loss and two passes defensed) and Campbell (seven solos, three passes defensed and a forced fumble) are coming off big weeks, and I don’t mind grabbing them where available for future matchups. I wouldn’t use them in week seven against the Giants, who haven’t been a great fantasy matchup for opposing corners.
When William Jackson III is out, as he has been over most of the past two weeks, St-Juste plays outside – and it’s been a struggle for the most part. Jackson, who is dealing with a back injury, is reportedly unhappy and on the trade block. This puts St-Juste in line for a full snap workload outside opposite Kendall Fuller. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been his old elite self this season, but I’d still expect him to attack the weakest link in the Washington defensive backfield, and that’s St-Juste.
Wildgoose, meanwhile, has recently been picking up most of the Commander slot work, and collected seven solo tackles against Chicago. Green Bay slot Randall Cobb saw just one target and suffered a bad ankle sprain in week six, so I wouldn’t run Wildgoose out in my lineup this week, but moving forward he’s worth consideration. With a name like Wildgoose, he should draw plenty of targets.
- Martin Emerson, CLE – The rookie third-rounder from Mississippi State has been good as an outside corner when the Browns go with three corner looks. He’s not getting enough volume most weeks to consider, but you can think about him in weeks when a starter is out, as was the case Sunday with Denzel Ward inactive. Baltimore’s on tap, so avoid him in week seven, but otherwise keep him on your radar.
- Joshua Williams, KC – The rookie fourth-rounder has played sparingly this season, but was thrust into a high-snap role against Buffalo with Rashad Fenton inactive. Williams responded with a fantasy-friendly line of six solos, three assists and a pass defensed, but should return to negligible use as soon as Fenton returns from a hamstring injury.
- Coby Bryant, Michael Jackson and Tariq Woolen, SEA – I don’t always hit on cornerback recommendations, but I nailed it last week with this trio going against the Cardinals. All three came through with starter-worthy showings, and Seattle gets Arizona again in week nine.