James Starks & Alex Green, RBs, Green Bay Packers: Starting running back Cedric Benson is headed to the shelf for eight weeks with a Lisfranc foot injury suffered in Sunday’s loss at Indianapolis. That means the door is wide open for either Starks or Green to emerge as the lead back in Green Bay. Just keep in mind that the Packers currently rank 20th in the NFL in rushing (95.6 yds/gm), so the upside here is relatively limited. If we had to make a bet on which one produces more, we’d give a slight edge to Starks.
Devin Hester, WR, Chicago Bears: With rookie wideout Alshon Jeffery (14-184-2) expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a fractured hand, somebody has to step up and make catches opposite Brandon Marshall. Hester’s role on the offense is now likely to increase, meaning he could be good for one or two big plays per game moving forward.
Robert Meachem, WR, San Diego Chargers: Meachem finally gave fantasy owners something to smile about this past weekend as the former New Orleans Saint hauled in three passes for 67 yards and two scores in Sunday’s loss. And while consistency is a big concern here, as is the fact that Meachem’s only good game came against the lousy Saints defense, we feel he makes for a decent WR4 option for owners in leagues with 12 or more teams. There’s some upside here.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Second-year running back Ryan Williams (shoulder) is done for the season and former starter Beanie Wells is not yet ready to return to the lineup. As a result, Arizona will look to Stephens-Howling, William Powell and Alfonso Smith to carry the backfield workload. The Cardinals’ offensive line has been dreadful this year, so we don’t see a whole lot of production coming out of this group. But it’s rare to land a starting running back off the waiver wire at this point in the season, so we give the edge to Stephens-Howling as the guy to target.
Miami Dolphins, D/ST: Believe it or not, the Dolphins currently rank in the top-11 in fantasy scoring at the D/ST position. We don’t envision this unit being one that you can start on a week-to-week basis, but Week 6 offers up a favorable matchup against a St. Louis Rams team that currently ranks 29th in the NFL in total offense (278.0 yds/gm) and 23rd in scoring (19.2 pts/gm). If you need a pick-and-plug unit for this Sunday, these guys are worth taking a look at.
Kolb has taken a beating this season, but Week 6 offers up a very tasty matchup.
Kevin Kolb, QB, Arizona Cardinals: This is a risky roll of the dice, but keep in mind that Kolb has a Week 6 date against a Buffalo Bills defense that is surrendering more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (27.9 pts/gm) than any other team in the league. If you’re in a pinch, this could be the guy.
Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers: Miller has made this list before and is worth mentioning again because Thursday’s matchup for the Steelers comes against a Titans team that is giving up more fantasy points to opposing tight ends than any other squad in the NFL (16.7 pts/gm). Plus, Miller currently ranks seventh in fantasy scoring at the TE position, so he’s a guy you can hold onto moving forward.
Chris Givens, WR, St. Louis Rams: With Danny Amendola out for the rest of the season, a bunch of targets are about to open up for the other receivers on the St. Louis roster. Givens has only hauled in four passes on the year, but he saw a season-high five targets and scored a touchdown in last Thursday’s win over Arizona. Teammate Brandon Gibson is also worth acquiring for owners in deeper leagues.
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns: The rookie from Baylor saw a season-high eight targets in Sunday’s loss to the Giants that resulted in two receptions for 82 yards and two touchdowns. The Cleveland offense is as inconsistent as they come, but keep in mind that Week 6 offers up a showdown with a Cincinnati defense that gave up 27 points to the Browns back in Week 2.
Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills: He currently ranks fifth in fantasy scoring at the tight end position, is averaging 5.8 targets per game and has found the end zone four times in five starts this season. The reality of the situation is that Chandler should already be on somebody’s roster, but we continue to see him floating around on waivers in a high percentage of leagues across the internet. This guy can play.
Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans: The rookie from Baylor has rolled up an astounding 30 targets over his last three games, 11 of which came in Week 5 with backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck under center. And guess what? Hass will be starting for the Titans once again in Week 6, as second-year quarterback Jake Locker continues to rest his separated shoulder. Wright is worth a spot on your roster as a WR3/4 moving forward.
Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots: He’s worth mentioning for the second week in a row because Bolden just rolled up another 14 carries this past Sunday against the Broncos. Over his last two games, the 22-year-old has rushed for 191 yards and a score on 30 carries. Yes, it’s still Stevan Ridley’s backfield, but New England is featuring the ground game a lot more in 2012 than they have in years past. This guy should not be sitting on waivers.
Arizona Cardinals, D/ST: If for some reason they are still sitting on waivers in your league, snatch them up. The Cards currently rank fourth among D/STs in fantasy scoring and have a Week 6 matchup with a Buffalo Bills team that just got hammered in San Francisco and now has to play another west coast road game. The situation here is mighty tasty.
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