Nothing is ever easy in fantasy football, and that's what makes it fun. Whether it be injuries, poor matchups or underperformance it's rare that we can count on starting the same players week-in-and-week-out. Sometimes we have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for options in good spots that given week for a desperation play.
Here we will look at five candidates each week, one or two from each of the four fantasy-relevant positions that make good spot starts in their upcoming games. These players are widely available on league waiver wires or sitting on the end of your beach, but whether by newfound opportunity or a good matchup, present sneaky value for the coming week.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills (67.8 percent owned)
The 49ers have allowed a 10-4 touchdown to interception ratio this season and travel to Buffalo in Week 6. Since the start of the 2015 season the San Francisco pass defense has been drastically better in their home stadium. The team allows a 109.4 passer rating on the road compared to a much stronger 78.4 at home.
Tyrod Taylor brings a deep passing mindset to the game. His 9.6 average depth of aimed throw is the ninth highest in the NFL and he averages 10.6 yards per completion. Even without Sammy Watkins, Taylor is finding ways to push the ball down the field. Taylor also earns nearly the same percentage of his points from rushing (29.7 percent) as he did last season. He's one of the top quarterback streamers this week.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Seattle Seahawks (2.0 percent owned)
It doesn't feel good, but it might just be a worthwhile play. C.J. Spiller was an instant impact player for the Seahawks, playing 15 percent of the team snaps in his first game with the team. He also snagged two receptions, one of which went for a red zone touchdown. Coming off the bye week, the Seahawks might have installed new packages for him and avenues to get the ball in his hands. Christine Michael is taking workhorse-level snaps with a 66 and 73 percent snap share the last two weeks. A slight change of pace would benefit the team.
The Falcons travel to Seattle in Week 6. While their offense has vaulted to the top of the NFL this season, their defense is still a below-league average unit. One of their biggest weaknesses is middle of the field coverage, as they allow the second-most catches to running backs. That's a trend that's rolled over from 2015, when they allowed a league-high 118 receptions to the position. The Seahawks could look to exploit the Falcons weaknesses not only with the newly integrated Jimmy Graham, but also with Spiller on Sunday.
Ted Ginn/Corey Brown, WRs, Carolina Panthers (16.1 and 0.4 percent owned)
The Saints and Panthers both sit with just a single win on the season as they head into a Week 6 meeting in New Orleans on Sunday. Both teams also come into their faceoff in the Superdome carrying bottom-half pass defenses. Carolina ranks 19th in pass defense DVOA allowing nine touchdowns in five games, and New Orleans ranks 25th and gives up a 68.4 completion percentage.
Cam Newton should be back for Week 6 after missing the Panthers Monday night game with a concussion. These two offenses are quite likely to engage in a shootout of some degree. Those game scripts elevate the ancillary players on both sides. Corey Brown (57 percent) has played the second-most snaps in the Panthers receiving corps with Ted Ginn (61 percent) coming in third. Brown should run most of his routes against journeymen Sterling Moore or safety Kenny Vaccaro from the slot, where he's lineup up on 78 percent of his snaps. Ginn takes 46 percent of his snaps from the right wide position, which should match him up with the inexperienced B.W. Webb at left corner. Their deep speed could make a difference in this game.
Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens (0.4 percent owned)
The 2015 first-round pick averaged a 36 percent snap share through the first four weeks of the season, but saw a season-high 49 percent of the snaps in Week 5. The Ravens likely dismissed offensive coordinator Marc Trestman because Joe Flacco was unhappy with the dink-and-dunk nature of the offense.
If the Ravens are going to go downfield more often now per Flacco's request, there is a chance they will look to get Breshad Perriman more involved especially with Steve Smith sidelined with an ankle injury.. Perriman has tangible speed and is a big-time athlete. Per Next Gen Stats, Perriman has hit a max speed of over 20 MPH on two incomplete targets while running go-routes this season. In the first he faced off against Joe Haden in Week 2 and earned 1.29 yards of separation at his fastest point in the route. He earned 1.25 yards of separation against Greg Toler in Week 5. Joe Flacco was just a bit off target on both and Perriman couldn't make the adjustment to the ball. One of those deep shots, especially if they're going to call them more with Trestman gone, could go the young wideout's way against the Giants in Week 6, especially if top corner Janoris Jenkins locks up with Mike Wallace.
Jesse James, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (11.7 percent owned)
When streaming tight ends, you're essentially just chasing a touchdown. In that vein, Jesse James makes for one of the best candidates readily available on the waiver wire. James leads the Steelers in red zone targets through five weeks and has converted three of his five targets into touchdowns inside the 20-yard line. The Dolphins rank 27th in the NFL at defending the tight end position per Football Outsiders' DVOA.