Scott Engel is in his eighth season of providing Fantasy Football coverage for Seahawks.com. An inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame, he is in his 23rd year as a Fantasy analyst and professional. You can now find more of his work and weekly rankings on RotoBaller.com and hear him every Saturday night on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.
We’re heading into Week 6 of the 2019 Fantasy Football season, and this is when the levels of challenges really start to ramp up. The past two weeks, only two NFL teams were on byes. In Week 5 the Lions were the only idle team of true consequence to affect our lineup decisions. This time, four teams are on byes and for the first time this season, we all will have to rely more heavily on the reserves on our rosters. This will mostly be the norm going forward as at least four teams are on byes in five of the next six weeks.
You likely won’t have the ideal lineup on paper at every position, but everyone else will be dealing with those same issues. We have some interesting waiver pickups for you if you need to fill specific roster holes. If you cannot quite find what you need on free agency, though, you can always swing a trade where you are not overhauling your roster in a major way. You don’t have to execute a blockbuster deal to fill a spot just for a week. There aren’t many waiver options to plug and play this week, so not every player we suggest is a pure start now, but could help in the future.
Recommended waiver adds are listed in order of preference at each position and are based on NFL.com ownership percentages.
Ito Smith, Falcons (11.3 percent owned on NFL.com): He has scored in double figures in PPR formats in each of the past two weeks, registering a rushing TD in Week 4 and catching six passes in Week 5. Smith has a friendly matchup at Arizona in Week 6 and could start to see more quality touches as the Falcons try to turn things around in terms of wins and losses. Smith was on the field for 47 percent of the snaps in Week 5 at Houston.
Rashaad Penny, Seahawks (53.6): He returned to action on Thursday and totaled 49 yards from scrimmage. If you have Chris Carson on your roster it is essential to roster Penny as well in case he gets more touches at any time. He displayed versatility as both a runner and receiver against the Rams and can post impressive fantasy totals in situations where his amount of touches would increase.
Chase Edmonds, Cardinals (0.3): He totaled 86 yards from scrimmage in Week 5 as he saw 35 percent of the snaps at Cincinnati. Edmonds had a 37-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. He must be rostered if you have David Johnson. He should not be a free agent in so many leagues. For fantasy safety’s sake, you should always roster the handcuff to your top RBs.
Byron Pringle, Chiefs (0.0): The undrafted second year free agent was a surprising receiving leader for the Chiefs, catching six passes on nine targets for 103 yards and a TD. If injuries continue to be an issue for the Kansas City WRs, Pringle could be a useful bye week plugger against the Texans in Week 6. Houston has allowed an AFC-high 77 receptions to opposing wide receivers.
Mohamed Sanu, Falcons (40.2): He has three consecutive games with double figure PPR points, and has totaled 33.40 in the past two. Sanu had 164 total yards in Weeks 3 and 4 and caught his first TD pass of the season in Week 5. He will be a comfortable bye week plug as the Falcons continue to throw the ball often.
Auden Tate, Bengals (2.0): Injuries have forced Tate into a more prominent role and he has delivered so far. He has scored nine-plus PPR Fantasy points in his past three games with two double figure outings. He caught his first career TD pass in Week 5. Tate is emerging as a useful Fantasy WR4.
Matthew Stafford, Lions (43.8): He remains a free agent in many leagues, even though he has two 290-plus yard games and two three-TD outings. He has not been hesitant to throw downfield as he has recaptured his better form. Stafford entered Week 5 (he was on a bye) with nine TD passes, which was second in the NFL, and his 12 completions of 20-plus yards was best in the NFC.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars (15.6): He was drafted in the sixth round by the Jaguars this year, but has provided the offense with an unexpected spark that they really needed at the position. Minshew threw for a career-high 374 yards in Week 5 at Carolina and has two TD passes in four of five games so far. He has also rushed for over 40 yards in two games. He has quickly become a quality backup Fantasy QB and possible streamer.
Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams (4.1): He came through with a career game in Week 5, catching seven passes for 136 yards. Everett has scored 36 total Fantasy points in his past two games and the Rams have been attempting to get their TEs more involved this season
Foster Morneau, Raiders (0.0): The rookie caught four passes for 46 yards in Week 5 a week after scoring his first NFL TD. Oakland has needed other pass-catchers to step up and Morneau is starting to make his presence felt, so he is worth a flier for bye week usage.
Seahawks Fantasy Spotlight
With a four TD performance in Week 5 that led to 29.92 Fantasy points, Russell Wilson moved to the No. 1 spot on the Fantasy QB ladder on NFL.com. Wilson has 126.36 Fantasy points after five weeks, and passed Patrick Mahomes (123.34) for first place. Deshaun Watson (122.76) ranks third. Wilson finished as the top QB in Fantasy Football in 2017, over 48 points ahead of Cam Newton.
Seahawks Fantasy Mailbag
Sean Lee of Conover asks: Who should I start in Week 6 at QB? Dak Prescott against the Jets, Kirk Cousins against the Eagles, or Kyler Murray against the Falcons? I am 2-3 and desperate for a win.
Engel: At 2-3 you can easily get back to true respectability with one victory. If you were 1-4 I’d consider that more of a desperate situation. The Jets allow the most Fantasy Points Per Game to opposing QBs among AFC teams, and the Eagles have allowed the second-most in the NFC. The Falcons are fourth in the NFC in that regard. So all three QBs have good matchups. I would have to go with Prescott for sure, though. He is the sixth-highest scoring Fantasy QB after six weeks. The Vikings just started opening things up more in the passing game in Week 5 but Cousins is more of a Fantasy QB2. Murray has a lot of promise but is still evolving as a rookie and Prescott is a safer play.
John Madincea asks: What is your take on DeAndre Hopkins? Is it anything health related?
Engel: Hopkins, a consensus mid-first round Fantasy pick in 2019, is the 17th highest ranked Fantasy WR after five weeks. He has not scored or reached 90 receiving yards since Week One. NFL.com Fantasy analyst Marcas Grant noted he has gone four consecutive games without 10 targets. While Hopkins was banged up last season and has played through a lot of injuries in his career, he did catch seven balls for 88 yards on Sunday, so that is not a sign of a player who is being held back by injuries enough to contribute. Deshaun Watson has shown a willingness to go to other playmakers, as evidenced by Will Fuller’s 14 catches in Week 5. A healthy Fuller gives Watson another quality option in the passing game, so he elected to go elsewhere with the ball this week, whereas in the past Hopkins was the only true outstanding threat in the passing game. There is no evidence of any significant injury, so you will simply have to be patient with Hopkins if you have a winning record. If your team is losing, though, and you can’t afford to wait for him to tun things around, see what you can get in a trade. The Houston offense has been up and down so far and better times should be ahead for Hopkins.
For more from Scott Engel, get the RotoBaller.com 2019 Fantasy Football Package, which includes his lineup rankings and regular weekly columns. Enter code “Seahawks” at checkout for a discount.
Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 5 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.