Few players bring the unique ability to tilt a game on any play in the way that Odell Beckham Jr. can for the New York Giants. His talent is virtually unmatched at the wide receiver spot, as he's a transcendent player with incredible production through three-plus seasons.
The Giants are unfortunately now going to experience life without Beckham, as a fractured left ankle sustained in Week 5 has the rest of his season in doubt. From a fantasy perspective, Beckham is a difficult player to replace. He's a staple of a winning lineup. Those with Beckham on his or her roster-- plus others with Week 6 holes to fill because of bye weeks -- will turn to the waiver wire for reinforcements.
Without further ado, here's the Week 6 ESPN Fantasy waiver column.
Note: Players available in less than 50 percent of leagues on ESPN.com do not qualify for this list.
Remaining bye weeks are as follows:
Week 6 (four teams): Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Seattle
Week 7 (two teams): Detroit, Houston
Week 8 (six teams): Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Tennessee
Week 9 (six teams): Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, New England, Pittsburgh
Week 10 (four teams): Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland, Philadelphia
Week 11 (four teams): Carolina, Indianapolis, New York Jets, San Francisco
While it was Latavius Murray that handled early work for the Vikings backfield, McKinnon emerged in Week 5 as RB3, toting the rock 16 times for 95 yards and a touchdown while also adding six catches for 51 yards. McKinnon is a superb athlete that played two thirds of the Vikings' snaps on Monday night of Week 5. While we forecasted that Murray had a chance to seize the starting role following Dalvin Cook's season-ending injury, it sure looks like McKinnon gives Minnesota its best option going forward. A priority add for all size leagues.
The Cardinals can hardly run the football, which prompted a trade for Adrian Peterson. But I'm not forecasting that to change dramatically, which works in Ellington's favor. He's an excellent pass catching back, with consecutive nine-catch games and over 150 receiving yards during that same stretch. While Peterson is an upgrade over Chris Johnson, the totality of the running woes for Arizona don't figure to evaporate any time soon, thus meaning they'll continue to lean heavily on Ellington in the passing game. In points per reception scoring, he already has RB2 upside.
Elijah McGuire, RB, New York Jets (13.5 percent)
Following a calf injury to Bilal Powell, McGuire took over the heavy lifting in the Jets' backfield in Week 5. While it's unclear if Powell will miss time, McGuire could be in-line for a short-term starting job, with Matt Forte currently battling a knee issue, too. The rookie sixth-rounder has run hard this season (34 carries for 176 yards and a touchdown) and could see a favorable Week 6 matchup versus the Patriots. An add for any back-needy owner.
We don't know how long Smallwood will be out after he suffered a recent knee injury, but the role is too notable to ignore if he returns sometime soon (Philly plays Thursday night versus Carolina). He's the most well-rounded back on the active roster right now and is a flex consideration when healthy. He forms a nice one-two outfit with LeGarrette Blount in the Eagles' backfield.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals (47.5 percent): Peterson, traded to the Cardinals on Tuesday, gets the chance to show one more time whether he still has the goods to be a starting running back in this league. The opportunity is there, as Arizona's running game has been a nonfactor since David Johnson's injury. While Peterson has minimal passing-game impact, he seems likely to get 12-15 carries per game right away. In a non-PPR league, especially one with 12 or more teams, he's an add for an owner with limited options. Is there upside? Much of the recent empirical evidence says no (since the start of last season, he has 153 yards on 64 carries, 2.39 yards per carry), but this presents a chance for AD to get on track.
While he never officially left the game for good, Carlos Hyde has been dealing with a hip injury, which already had Breida on the radar. In Week 5, Breida had a career-high 10 carries, good for 49 yards; his touch count has gone up in each game so far this season, and the 49ers are going to continue to find work for him. He has shown well since being signed as an undrafted free agent. If Hyde is forced to miss any time going forward, Breida immediately jumps into flex territory. He's a must add for all Hyde owners and anyone looking for a speculative back add.
Keep an eye on Mack, who had by far his best pro game in Week 5. He rushed for 91 yards on nine attempts, including a nifty 35-yard run and a touchdown. He's clearly the Colts' most explosive back, and while Frank Gore is the unquestioned starter, Indy might have found something in Mack with his Week 5 usage. The hope is that can serve as a springboard game, making Mack a savvy add and stash.
Jaron Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals (24.7 percent)
As has been referenced already in this piece, the Cardinals have significant struggles running the ball. As a result, no quarterback has thrown the ball more this season than Carson Palmer, who is on pace for 726.4 attempts this season. That bodes well for Brown, who has chewed up 37 targets over the past four weeks. Volume makes him a weekly flex consideration in deeper leagues.
It feels a bit like a fool's errand to thrust confidence in any Seahawks running back right now. Chris Carson was the only back to get things rolling this season, but I'm going to trust my instincts on this one. There was a time when Rawls had the makings of a star (in 2015), and I still believe he's the back on the Seahawks roster right now who is best-equipped to handle a heavy workload. For those who can afford to stash him, I think there's lottery-ticket value.
Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants (24.8 percent)
While Orleans Darkwa found the end zone for the Giants on Sunday, Gallman stood out to me for the second straight week. It's not a high-ceiling position as the Giants starting running back, but it feels like Gallman offers the most upside between his rushing skills and receiving ability to merit low-end, flex consideration in PPR leagues. He handled 16 total touches in Week 5.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, New York Jets (33.5 percent)
In three game since returning from a suspension, Seferian-Jenkins has made a steady impact for the Jets, catching 15 passes on 18 targets. There aren't a ton of other players he's competing for a workload within the Jets offense, and ASJ has made good after a promising offseason. A good story of a player who has turned his life around and has value as a starter in 12-team or larger leagues, especially with more tight end injuries in Week 5 (Charles Clay, for example).
An early injury forced Terrance West out of the Ravens lineup in Week 5, leading to more work for Buck Allen. But Collins also saw 12 carries, totaling 55 yards. He's averaging a ridiculous 7.1 yards per carry this season, and while that won't keep up, he could be in line for an expanded workload if West's injury costs him time. Collins is a worthwhile add in 12-team or larger leagues.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (40.3 percent)
The promising rookie had a would-be touchdown just elude him in Week 5, but he saw the most targets in a single game in his young career (8). The Rams have a brutal stretch of games coming up (at Jacksonville, vs. Arizona, Bye, at New York Giants, vs. Houston, at Minnesota), but Kupp has value in deeper leagues for those with a receiver need.
Jermaine Kearse, WR, New York Jets (40.7 percent)
Kearse made a quick immersion into the Jets' lineup, as he settled into a top receiver role just shortly after being traded from Seattle. In PPR scoring, he has double-digit points in three of his five games thus far this season. He's a consideration for a deeper PPR league whose value in Week 6 could be boosted by a matchup against the Patriots.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (7.0 percent)
Will we see Williams soon? It's getting closer, as has been reported by colleague and NFL Insider extraordinaire Adam Schefter. Williams was the seventh overall pick in the draft for a reason -- he's an immense physical talent. Yes, it's a crowded group of pass-catchers already, but if you want a flier who has unique upside, Williams fits the bill.
Roger Lewis, WR, New York Giants (0.1 percent)
The Giants had four wide receivers leave Sunday's game due to injury, led of course by Beckham. But with Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard also dealing with ankle injuries, this team is going to be desperate for pass-catchers. Lewis is the next man up on the receiving draft and seems destined to play extensively if Marshall or Shepard can't play Sunday night versus the Broncos. Lewis had a touchdown in Week 5 and is an add in a deeper league for a receiver-needy owner looking for a dart throw. Tavarres King (re-signed) and Travis Rudolph (practice squad promotion) are also expected to see snaps for the Giants' receiving group.
The Browns are stuck in the mud for the most part offensively, but someone has to emerge as a consistent pass-catcher, right? (Well, apart from Duke Johnson Jr.) Louis has back-to-back five-catch games. This is a deeper-league add, as the Browns' top receiver job has also been a merry-go-round so far this year.