By Jack Thomason–
(CBS) Here are my top 10 waiver adds for 10- and 12-member fantasy football leagues with Week 6 upon us.
1. Aaron Jones (RB, Green Bay Packers) – Jones ownership levels aren’t where they need to be. He should’ve been added last week, but I think part of the problem was the lack of clarity on the Green Bay running back situation. There’s no more uncertainty now. Ty Montgomery may miss multiple weeks with broken ribs, and the Packers have no incentive to rush him back with as well as Jones played. Add that to the fact that Aaron Ripkowski and Jamaal Williams combined for just nine snaps, and we have ourselves a bona fide RB1 for as long as Montgomery is out and possible flex value even when Montgomery returns.
2. Marlon Mack (RB, Indianapolis Colts) – Mack returned from a shoulder injury and picked up where he left off by making splash plays. While Mack played on just 22 percent of the snaps, he saw 30 percent of the backfield touches and tallied 93 yards and a score. He ripped of long gains and looked explosive in a backfield that has lacked big-play ability behind Frank Gore and Robert Turbin. Coach Chuck Pagano said it would be wise to get Mack more involved, and that’s enough for me to make him a high priority on a slow week.
3. Roger Lewis (WR, New York Giants) – This has to be obvious, right? No one is left to play receiver for the Giants, who lost Odell Beckham Jr. for the season and Brandon Marshall multiple weeks. Sterling Shepard is also currently day-to-day with an ankle injury. The win-less Giants will have to continue to throw, and Lewis is going to get plenty of looks over the rest of the season. He did have a really nice 29-yard touchdown grab Sunday as well.
4. Wayne Gallman/Orleans Darkwa (RB, New York Giants) – This is another situation in which ownership levels are too low. Again, it’s probably again due to uncertainty, but at this point both Gallman and Darkwa have proved more than Paul Perkins. Gallman racked up 16 touches for 82 yards and Darkwa, who started the game and ended up leaving with a calf injury, popped for nine touches, 72 yards and a touchdown. I’d be happy getting either of these players on my team, but keep in mind that Darkwa has already dealt with a back issue and now has the calf issue.
5. Elijah McGuire (RB, New York Jets) – Matt Forte is still dealing with a toe injury, and Bilal Powell suffered a strained calf in Sunday’s game. McGuire didn’t do anything exciting in this week’s game, recording just 20 yards on 11 carries and adding in two receptions for 10 additional yards. Still, if Powell ends up missing time — and it sounds like he could — McGuire will see plenty of work and can help you get through bye weeks.
6. Matt Breida (RB, San Francisco 49ers) – I’m not sure what to make of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s recent comments around Breida playing more snaps (35) than Carlos Hyde (33) due to going with the hot hand against it being about Hyde’s hip injury. Breida did log 71 yards on 13 touches in comparison to Hyde’s 18 yards on nine touches, but Hyde has been one of the better running backs in the NFL this season, so I wouldn’t read too much into this. That being said, Breida needs to be owned, as he’s the clear backup to Hyde and potentially in for a larger role.
7. Ricardo Louis (WR, Cleveland Browns) – With Kenny Britt inactive, Louis was the beneficiary and a bright spot in a subpar day for the Browns. He’s now caught 10 of 16 targets for 135 yards in the last two weeks, including snagging five of seven targets for 71 yards this past Sunday. There may be an uptick in his game too if the Browns decide to go with Kevin Hogan over DeShone Kizer moving forward. There’s no doubt that the passing game will be better under Hogan at this time.
8. JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers) – Smith-Schuster has played at least 71 percent of the snaps the last three weeks. He has also out-snapped Martavis Bryant in every one of those games and seems to be playing better than him. Smith-Schuster has seen six targets in two of the last three games and has two touchdowns on the season, which leads the receiving core. In an ugly waiver week, he’s worth looking at.
9. Jalen Richard (RB, Oakland Raiders) – Richard seems to be the running back behind Marshawn Lynch whom you’d want to own. DeAndre Washington was inactive for this last game, and Richard has been making explosive plays throughout the season. On far less work, he’s quietly within eight points of Lynch’s fantasy point total in both point-per-reception leagues and standard scoring. He looks like the best back in Oakland.
10. Ed Dickson (TE, Carolina Panthers) – Last time I’ll say it, but in a bad week, Dickson is worth picking up due to his increased usage and upcoming schedule — especially if you’re hurting at the tight end spot with injuries. Dickson had an huge game in catching five balls and rumbling for 175 yards Sunday. He’s been trending upward in targets and yards each week since Greg Olsen went down.
Just missed: Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Deonte Thompson, Nelson Agholor, David Njoku and Nick O’Leary.
Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert and co-host of “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today,” which can be heard every Sunday during football season from 8-9 a.m. CT on WSCR-670 and 670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter@jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.