Week 5 is wrapping up and chaos continues to roll on. Backfields continue to turn over and the new realities the NFL reveals constantly remind us not to cling to our conceived notions. It's a reminder that pain is always present in the joy that is fantasy football. Now we must look forward to options to assist in beefing up our fake teams to move forward, whether it be long-term replacements or a streamer just to get by.
It's just those sort of symptoms that the Deep Dive is prescribed to help alleviate. NFL Fantasy's editorial overlord Alex Gelhar dutifully attacks the waiver wire to give you the top adds for the coming week in hopes of bolstering your roster. However, in this arena, we'll look at options to help those of you looking to go a little bit further down the rabbit hole, whether you play in a deeper format or are at the mercy of your incredibly sharp league-mates who scour the waiver wire relentlessly. A player can only qualify for the deep dive if they're owned in less than 10 percent of NFL.com leagues. With that, here are 11 players you can consider adding before Week 6 either as deep FLEX plays or simply as bench stashes.
Passing volume is in short supply for the Jets starting quarterback. Josh McCown averages just 29.4 pass attempts per game on the year. However, he and the rest of the offense should be forced to come out of their shell a bit in Week 6. New York welcomes the high-octane New England Patriots offense in a game where the two sides are shockingly sporting identical records atop the AFC East. While the Patriots should be able to put up points on the Jets, there's no reason to think that McCown and company can't give it right back. As Matt Franciscovich noted, the Patriots allowed 20-plus point performances to all but one of the quarterbacks they've played so far. Given how careful he's played, sporting a 71.4 completion percentage, McCown may not access that type of ceiling but he could well be a floor play for fantasy managers with a signal-caller on bye.
Drawing the start for the Giants, Orleans Darkwa led the team in rushing yards with 69 on eight carries, including a 23-yard score. Darkwa didn't see much work after that, as he suffered a calf injury. Despite staying in the game, the veteran back was on the field for fewer plays than both rookie Wayne Gallman and pass-catcher Shane Vereen. Given that New York's offense is falling apart amid wide receiver injuries and the backfield looks like a committee approach, Darkwa is far from a priority add. However, this coaching staff has long seemed to have some sort of affection for this player. For that reason, along with general running back attrition, he has some appeal.
With DeAndre Washington sidelined due to a hamstring injury, Jalen Richard stepped up to take 44 percent of the Raiders offensive plays in Week 5. He was on the field for just two fewer plays than Marshawn Lynch, who the Raiders continue to use on less than 50 percent of their offensive snaps and hasn't averaged over 4.0 yards per carry since Week 1. Through five games, it's painfully apparent that viewing Lynch as anything more than a committee back is mere foolish hope. Whenever Richard touches the ball, good things happen. He has a 5.3 yards per carry and 8.1 yards per reception average on limited touches in his career. Honestly, it's not impossible to assert that he's the best running back on that Oakland roster.
Wendall Smallwood missed the Eagles' Week 5 win over the Arizona Cardinals. LeGarrette Blount led the backfield in touches with 14 carries for 74 yards. Corey Clement didn't do much on the ground (7-17) but did haul in a 22-yard reception. He was on the field for 23 offensive plays to 24 for Blount. He's at least worth a stash if you have the space in case this backfield suffers anymore turmoil.
In the Seahawks first game without Chris Carson in the fold, no one stepped up as the new feature back. Eddie Lacy drew nine carries and Thomas Rawls handled eight. Neither managed a run over seven yards on the day. J.D. McKissic only saw five touches go his way but was on the field for 26 percent of the team's plays but made plays as a receiver, hauling in three of his five targets for 36 yards. The Seahawks continue to use him as a weapon all over the formation. Just 53 percent of his plays came lined up in the backfield, with another 29 percent coming out wide and 18 percent in the slot. The Seahawks are on bye this week but for a team that has been up and down on offense, maybe they look to McKissic for answers once they return to action in Week 7.
The Browns offense somewhat came alive when Kevin Hogan replaced DeShone Kizer against the Jets. Of course, this doesn't mean that the Cleveland passing game will all the sudden be a fertile garden to grow fantasy options, but it's at least worth noting who are the central pieces in an ever-revolving wide receiver corps. With Kenny Britt floundering and Rishard Higgins failing to seize momentum following his big Week 2, Ricardo Louis looks like the top player in the rotation. He's led the wideouts in snaps played in each of the last two weeks and saw a combined 17 targets. For leagues that start multiple wide receivers, he's at least a player to monitor.
The veteran wide receiver has out-snapped Donte Moncrief in each of the Colts' last two games. He was on the field for 88 percent of the plays in Week 5, compared to 70 percent for Moncrief. On the season, Aiken takes 53 percent of his snaps from the slot and appears to have that role locked-in when the Colts go into their three-wide receiver package. We're probably not all that interested in taking deep dives into the Jacoby Brissett-led version of the Indianapolis scoring attack, but this is a situation to monitor to see if holds up when Andrew Luck gets back. If you are desperate, Aiken and the Colts do get a Titans secondary that already gave up a league-high nine touchdowns on the season.
With Chris Conley now out for the year with an Achilles injury, a small target vacuum will open for the remaining Chiefs receivers. Albert Wilson was operating as the No. 3 receiver after Tyreek Hill and Conley so he's set to see a small stock up. Of course, Conley averaged just three targets per game so there is not much room behind Hill and Travis Kelce in this passing game. However, since the Chiefs are suddenly one of the most explosive offenses in the league, we ought to be interested in their ancillary pieces, especially one like Wilson who at times, looked like a solid NFL player the last few seasons. He averages just 5.1 air yards per target on the year, so he could put up a few games of five-plus catches with more volume in his short-area role. Not a strong sell so far? Well, if you do pick up Albert Wilson and he does well, you can join in with your friends here from the Fantasy Stronghold in being idiots on the internet.
With Cam Newton in MVP form again the last two weeks, the entire Panthers offense just became much more interesting. Even pieces like Ed Dickson. Of course, we aren't expecting five catches for 175 yards like we got in Week 5 against the Lions. However, Dickson was on the field for 100 percent of the plays Carolina ran in Detroit after going out for 98 percent against the Patriots in Week 4. He's a tight end consistently on the field and catching passes from a quarterback who is red-hot right now. That's nothing to wave-off in the current fantasy market at that position.
The rookie tight end saw a season-high nine targets in Week 6 as the 49ers gave chase to the Colts. It resulted in his first big game, positing seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. George Kittle has three games on his resume this season where he's played 87-plus percent of San Francisco's snaps. The 49ers travel to Washington their Week 6 game. Despite taking their bye last week, Washington has allowed the third-most yards (361) to the tight end position so far this season.
Charles Clay looks set to miss multiple weeks after suffering a knee injury against the Bengals in Week 5. Clay's 258 yards on the season not only ranks top-five among tight ends this season but also leads all Bills' offensive players. That position is clearly an emphasis point in their passing game. Nick O'Leary stepped in to play 84 percent of the team's snaps and caught five of his six targets. He's a desperation option for teams hurting at tight end, as Buffalo has their bye in Week 6. </content:power-ranking>