Rookies Roschon Johnson & Emari Demercado look to break out after injuries to their backfield counterparts, making them priority waiver wire pickups in week 6.

Note: Ownership numbers are an average between ESPN, Yahoo!, and Sleeper platforms.

Tyjae Spears – 29%

Running Back – Tennessee Titans

Tyjae Spears surprised early in the season when he was out-snapping veteran Derrick Henry. The fantasy production wasn’t there weeks 1-4, but it came in week 5 when he scored 16.9 PPR points.

While he is still tough to flex, that may change as the season progresses. The biggest thing with Spears is that he is one of the top handcuffs in the entire NFL. If Henry misses time, or gets traded, Spears would immediately become a top 18 RB option weekly.

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Season Stats: 27 attempts, 156 yards, 1 touchdown, 19 targets, 14 receptions for 63 yards. 41.9 fantasy points.

Emari Demercado – 2%

Running Back – Arizona Cardinals

Prior to James Conner’s week 5 injury, Emari Demercado had a total of 4 rushing attempts. He would only get 10 in week 5, but he was the only RB outside of Conner to touch the ball.

He would turn those 10 rushing attempts into 25 yards and a touchdown. He would also be targeted 3 times, catching one, for 12 yards.

If James Conner misses time, Emari may be the lead back for the Cardinals, and a flex option for your fantasy team.

Season Stats: 14 attempts, 48 yards, 1 touchdown, 9 targets, 6 receptions, 40 yards. 14.8 fantasy points.

Baker Mayfield – 18%

Quarterback – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Not sure if anybody would’ve guessed this, but Baker Mayfield is averaging 17.3 fantasy points per game through his first 4 games. That is 17th in football and ahead of Matthew Stafford, Trevor Lawrence, Geno Smith, and Dak Prescott.

When he returns to the field in week 6, he will be coming off his best performance of the season, a 23.9-point game against the Saints.

He will be facing the Lions who are in the middle of the pack in FPPG against the QB at 17/game, making him one of my priority waiver wire pickups in week 6.

Season Stats: 87/125, 69.6%, 882 yards, 7 touchdowns, 2 INT, 23 attempts, 61 yards. 69.3 fantasy points.

Curtis Samuel – 20%

Wide Receiver – Washington Commanders

It is crazy that the preseason hype around Jahan Dotson (WR62) and the perceived WR1 status of Terry Mclaurin (WR35) have fallen this far with how much Sam Howell has been slinging it. The fact of the matter is that Curtis Samuel, who is currently the WR32 while averaging 12.3 fantasy points per game, has outperformed each up to this point.

Over the past two weeks, Samuel has scored 18.2 and 18.5 PPR points. The best game of the other two receivers so far is 16.6 from McLaurin in week 4.

Season Stats: 27 targets, 23 receptions, 243 yards, 1 touchdowns, 3 att, 20 yards, 1 td. 61.3 fantasy points.

Rashee rice – 36%

Wide Receiver – Kansas City Chiefs

I do not care who you are, if you are playing fantasy football in 2023, you are trying to guess which receiver will emerge as Patrick Mahomes favorite. Maybe it won’t even happen.

But, right now, Rashee Rice is the closest thing we have. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in 3/5 weeks and seems to be a favorite in the red zone. Rice is just a rookie, so I see his usage increasing as the season progresses. Snag him now before it is too late.

Season Stats: 24 targets, 17 receptions, 173 yards, 2 TD. 46 fantasy points.

Logan Thomas – 14%

Tight End – Washington Commanders

Logan Thomas issue hasn’t been productivity over the past few years, it has been the inability to stay on the field. The last time he did that was 2020 and he finished as the TE3 on the season.

Coming off of his 20.7-point performance against the Bears in week 5, Thomas is healthy and currently the TE11 on the season despite missing week 3. He needs to be not only rostered but also started in most scenarios, making him one of my priority waiver wire pickups in week 6.

Season Stats: 25 targets, 18 receptions, 183 yards. 46.5 fantasy points.

Luke Musgrave – 26%

Tight End – Green Bay Packers

His numbers don’t pop out at you, but Luke Musgrave was ascending prior to being knocked out of the Packers week 4 game with a concussion. He is cleared and has yet to play in week 5, but if you are looking for an upside option that should continue to improve as the season goes on, this rookie is one to stash now if you are struggling to score TE points.

Season Stats: 16 targets, 12 receptions, 125 yards. 24.5 fantasy points.

Roschon Johnson – 43%

Running Back – Chicago Bears

The time is now for Roschon Johnson. Khalil Herbert has been great so far for the Bears, especially over the past couple of weeks. He is now going to miss multiple weeks, which opens the door for Roschon to showcase what he can do. He will need to get cleared in concussion protocol to go this Sunday, but if he does, he has a matchup that could put him on the map with the Minnesota Vikings.

D’Onta Foreman will likely get work as well, but Johnson should command the majority of the touches after relegating Foreman to “Healthy Inactive” status weeks 2-5.

All of this makes him one of my priority waiver wire pickups in week 6.

Season Stats: 25 attempts, 122 yards, 1 touchdown, 12 targets, 11 receptions, 58 yards. 35 fantasy points.

Gardner Minshew – 2%

Quarterback – Indianapolis Colts

Minshew Mania is a rollercoaster we have been on for years now. It seems like that is going to be a common trend in Indianapolis with Anthony Richardson continuously missing time due to injury in his young career.

In week 6 Minshew gets the Jacksonville Jaguars who give up the 10th most fantasy points per game to the QB position at 19.34. He also has his full arsenal of weapons at his disposal with Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs, and Jonathan Taylor in his 2nd week back.

Season Stats: 57/83, 68.7%, 553 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 INT, 4 attempts, 4 yards. 30.5 fantasy points.

Chuba Hubbard – 30%

Running Back – Carolina Panthers

The time may be coming for the Panthers to give Hubbard the majority of the work. For whatever reason, Miles Sanders has just been bad this season. He is currently averaging 3.1 yards per attempt on 61 carries. Almost 1.3 yards fewer per attempt than Chuba.

From a fantasy perspective, Hubbard has 33.1 fantasy points on 47 touches, while Sanders has 44.1 on 76 touches.

Chuba has to be rostered right now and could be a starting running back down the stretch if Sanders doesn’t turn it around soon.

Season Stats: 35 attempts, 154 yards, 14 targets, 12 receptions, 57 yards. 33.1 fantasy points.

Early Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 6

I appreciate you checking out the article! If you want to tell me I missed someone or added someone to the list that you think sucks, make sure to head over to Twitter (I am not calling it X) and let me know!

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