Each week, I'm tasked with picking the top waiver wire targets for fantasy footballers. That article is a more cursory glance at the waiver wire, helping the countless fantasy players in more casual leagues on NFL.com figure out who is worth adding to their roster.
However, for those of you in more intense or competitive leagues, this is the column for you. As the season progresses, I'll use this space highlight the players you want to be a week early on, as opposed to trying to win them in a waiver-wire bidding war after they've started to produce. Many of these players will hopefully graduate to the main waiver-wire column in the coming weeks and already be on your roster. Of course, I can't promise anything. Fantasy is far from a guaranteed game, as we know all too well.
Anyway, let's see what else Week 6 has to offer on the waiver wire.
Deep waiver targets for Week 6:
The Devontae Booker breakout is coming, and C.J. Anderson owners need to be a bit worried. When the Broncos drafted Booker in the fourth round earlier this year, NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah immediately said Booker was the best back on the roster. While I believed in Anderson then and still do now, if Sunday's game was any indication D.J. might be right. Booker looked like the better back, amassing three fewer total yards than Anderson (59 to 62) on four fewer touches. The team seemingly wanted to bring Booker along slowly to start the year (he was coming off a torn MCL during his final season at Utah) as his 29 snaps in Week 5 were 11 more than his previous high, set the week prior. This might not be a full-fledged committee starting in Week 6, but Booker's performance and usage are trending toward him gaining a significant role in this offense. He should be a top add this week.
Kenneth Dixon's NFL debut went about as expected (i.e. "Not great, Bob"). Terrance West will remain the featured back, for now, making Dixon nothing more than a high-upside stash at this point. Matt Asiata isn't an exciting back to own or start in fantasy but given how disastrous running backs have been (again) it's hard to ignore his nose for the end zone. He's converted each of his goal-line attempts for a score in the last two weeks. He'll be a low-ceiling, touchdown-dependent play from here on out, but is on his bye in Week 6.
Zach Zenner filled the Dwayne Washington role for the Lions but was largely ineffective against the Eagles stout front seven. Things don't get easier next week with the Rams coming to Detroit, but Zenner will have touchdown-upside as the likely goal-line back if Washington remains sidelined. Rob Kelley made some plays in the preseason but was largely left on the sideline during the season in favor of Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. He did see three carries in the second half of Week 5, though, so he's a name to monitor or stash in deeper leagues. Were Jones to suffer an injury, Kelley could see decent volume. Despite Rashad Jennings missing action again in Week 5, Paul Perkins remained third-fiddle in the Giants backfield. He's a talented player worth stashing in deeper leagues in case he usurps the passing-back role from Bobby Rainey, but for now, it looks like Rainey's going to continue to fill the Shane Vereen role.
Many expected Michael Thomas to take on a big role in the Saints passing attack in 2016, and that has finally started to happen in Weeks 3 and 4. Thomas' 20 targets in those two weeks led the team, and he found the end zone each week as well. Starting Saints wide receivers can be a dicey proposition, as Drew Brees excels at exploiting matchups and spreading the ball around. However, Thomas' increasing role makes him a solid add this week on the waiver wire as he prepares for a home matchup with the Panthers lackluster secondary. Breshad Perriman was inches away from a game-winning touchdown and solid fantasy outing but instead finished with just two catches for 11 yards on five targets. If Steve Smith's ankle injury (he left the game in Week 5 and didn't return) is at all serious, Perriman could see a big bump in playing time and targets. He's a good player to stash this week before he actually breaks out. Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal are both seeing more and more work in the Bears passing attack. With Alshon Jeffery pulling a bit of a disappearing act in this offense (though it's not all his fault), Meredith and Royal will be viable matchup-based plays in deeper leagues as the season progresses.
The Vikings are heading into their bye in Week 6, but Adam Thielen and even Cordarrelle Patterson are worth consideration on the waiver-wire. Thielen assumed the No. 1 wideout duties with Stefon Diggs sideline with a groin injury. If Diggs remains out in Week 7 or is limited, Thielen could be a low-end flex play. Patterson is more of a speculative add at this point, as the Vikings seem to be finding ways to put his immense physical gifts to use. He caught a nice touchdown in Week 5, potentially giving him some momentum as he heads into the bye.
Quietly, Kenny Britt has been putting together a rather nice PPR season. He's had four-plus receptions in every game this year, with 67-plus yards in four of his five starts. He's a solid flex play in deeper leagues and should be added ahead of Brian Quick. Britt currently owns 21 percent of the Rams targets and trails only Tavon Austin in looks. Adam Humphries has yet to play in Week 5 as of the writing of this article but is still worth a look in deeper PPR formats. He is the second-most targeted receiver on the team through four weeks, though he could soon lose that title to former "Deep Dive" star Cameron Brate.
Dontrelle Inman crashed back down to Earth after his monstrous Week 4 performance. As I wrote last week, he'll be a volatile play only worth starting in favorable matchups. He can be added this week, but shouldn't be in lineups against the Broncos on Thursday night. BREAKING NEWS: Seth Roberts didn't score a touchdown. He was still targeted once in the red zone, though. Unless Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree suffers an injury, Roberts has the look of a touchdown-dependent flex option in deeper leagues. He's basically the Matt Asiata of wide receivers. If the Chiefs-Raiders game in Week 6 turns into a high-scoring affair (which it very well could), then Chris Conley will have some deeper league appeal. He is the No. 2 wide receiver for the Chiefs and racked up six catches for 70 yards on seven targets in Week 4 while the Chiefs were passing the ball a ton chasing the Steelers' massive lead. The Raiders have given up the most yards to opposing receivers through five weeks, and the next closest team is more than 100 yards behind Oakland.
Jacob Tamme wasn't featured against the Broncos, notching just one catch for one yard on one target. The Falcons have the look of an offense that will mold their offensive game plan to exploit the weakness of an opposing defense, which will occasionally leave a player like Tamme with little to do. He might have a rough go again next week against a Seattle defense that's only allowed 96 receiving yards to tight ends, but Tamme is still worth an add at a frustrating fantasy position. If Larry Donnell misses more time with his concussion, Will Tye will be a streaming option. Tye dropped what could have been a huge touchdown catch against the Packers, and instead finished with 37 yards on two catches. He faces the Ravens next, but if Donnell returns Tye's viability as a starter goes right out the window.