Hopefully you weren't banking on making key free agent fantasy moves ahead of Week 6, because this is an absolutely barren week for waiver wire pickups. Outside of a few fairly straight-forward adds, there likely isn't a whole lot to love on your league's wire. In addition to looking ahead at the top waiver pickups -- let's review the best RB stashes and take a look at the QB, TE, and D/ST streamers ahead of the Week 6 slate:
Main Waiver Wire Targets
Obvious adds: Jon Hilliman, NYG, RB; Gerald Everett, TE, LAR; Chris Herndon, TE, NYJ; Auden Tate, WR, CIN
Saquon Barkley (ankle) and Wayne Gallman (concussion) are both questionable ahead of the Giants short-week bout against the Patriots on Thursday Night, perhaps elevating Jon Hilliman to a full-time role. Hilliman gained just 24 yards on his 10 touches in Week 5 and New England's defense is a brutal matchup this week, but Hilliman will be a serviceable RB2 in Week 6 with four teams out on a bye (Bills, Bears, Colts, and Raiders) if both Barkley and Gallman miss. ... Gerald Everett has seen 19 targets over the last two weeks as the Rams have leaned heavily on passing in back-to-back losses. Jared Goff throwing the ball 117 times in Week 4-5 certainly helped boost Everett's output (5/44/1 vs. TB; 7/136 vs. SEA), but Everett is significantly out-snapping teammate Tyler Higbee on passing downs (138 to 56) and any tight end that sees bankable volume is worth keeping an eye on at the thinnest position in fantasy. ... Chris Herndon is off his suspension and is still available in over 75 percent of NFL.com leagues. Now, we just have to hope Sam Darnold's spleen cooperates. ... With A.J. Green (ankle) and John Ross (shoulder; I.R.) out, Auden Tate is going to continue to see volume for the Bengals. Tate has seen at least six targets in three-straight games, has compiled 6/88, 4/50, and 3/26/1 receiving in this span, and now gets to face a struggling Ravens secondary next.
Adrian Peterson, RB, WAS -- Peterson was dropped in over 15 percent of fantasy leagues in Week 5... and for good reason. AD has turned his 40 carries into just 108 yards (2.7 YPC) through four games so far, but a matchup against the Dolphins run "defense" at least brings him back into play in fantasy for just this week only. No team has allowed more rushing yards per game so far than the Dolphins (153.0).
Chase Edmonds, RB, ARI -- Apparently, David Johnson's back "tightened up" in the Cardinals Week 5 win against the Bengals -- but it wasn't serious enough to take him out of the game. Johnson has never dealt with back issues in his career, but HC Kliff Kingsbury said they would monitor D.J. all week. If you own Johnson and have a roster spot to burn, try to stash Edmonds if he's available.
Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder, WRs, NYJ -- Anderson (50 percent available) and Crowder (75 percent available) have been dumped in a bunch of leagues because of Sam Darnold's absence. As Darnold's top two targets, both Anderson and Crowder are worth re-adding ahead of Week 6. Per Warren Sharp's strength of schedule metrics, no team has an easier remaining schedule of pass defenses than the Jets.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, ATL -- If you're in a bind at wide receiver during the bye weeks, take a look and see if Sanu is available on the wire. Atlanta is throwing the ball a ton so far and Sanu has been one of the direct beneficiaries of all of Matt Ryan's pass volume. Because Ryan is on pace to throw the ball 710 times this season (would be second-most all-time), Sanu has quietly banked 10 or more PPR points in 4-of-5 games and he now gets a cake matchup in Week 6 against the Cardinals.
Preston Williams, WR, MIA -- Coming out of the Dolphins bye, Williams is the sneakiest waiver wire add of the week. With Josh Rosen starting under center over Miami's last two games, Williams has seen a robust 29 percent of team targets and he leads the team in receptions (15) and yards (201) over the full season. The Dolphins aren't going to score may points this season, but Williams has flashed elite separation skills and has now shown a small-sample connection with Rosen in both the preseason and regular season.
Byron Pringle, WR, KC -- The Chiefs were without Tyreek Hill (shoulder/collarbone) and Sammy Watkins (hamstring) against the Colts, clearing the way for Pringle to breakout for 6/103/1 on a team-leading nine targets. For what it's worth, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman saw six targets each. HC Andy Reid said Hill should return to practicing fully ahead of Week 6, but Watkins' injury will perhaps clear the way for Pringle to play a little bit more. Still, Pringle is a long shot to maintain relevance in the Chiefs crowded pass catching corps and I'm only mentioning him in this space because it is a weak waiver wire week.
Best Running Back Stashes and Handcuffs
Kirk Cousins, QB, MIN (vs. PHI) -- Coming off of his best game of the season by far (306 yards and 2 TDs on 27 attempts), Cousins is in a great streaming spot in Week 6 against the Eagles. Philadelphia's defense has been elite against the run this season but their banged up secondary has struggled significantly. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs should get open at will this week.
Gardner Minshew, QB, JAX (vs. NO) -- Minshew mania rolls on in Week 6 ahead of a great matchup against the Saints. New Orleans' inconsistent secondary is giving up 23.3 points per game to opposing quarterbacks (tied with Atlanta for second-most) while Minshew, Patrick Mahomes, and Kyler Murray are the only QBs to have 16 or more fantasy points in every game so far.
Tight End Streamers
We already discussed Chris Herndon and Gerald Everett at the top of this column and they are the best Week 6 streaming options, by far. If you're truly desperate (or just sick of O.J. Howard), T.J. Hockenson may have been dropped in your league during the Lions bye week. Vance McDonald returned in Week 5 after a one week absence (shoulder) and may have been dropped because of his injury, too. Otherwise, Jason Witten (four targets in every game) and Jaguars TE Geoff Swaim (starter James O'Shaughnessy tore his ACL last week) are your Week 6 punt-and-pray plays.
Chargers defense (vs PIT) -- The Bolts defense has struggled out of the gates, but a matchup against the road-tripping Steelers on Sunday Night football is enough to put them on the Week 6 streaming radar. Mason Rudolph (concussion) will likely miss the game, too, leading to third-stringer Devlin Hodges' first career start.
Titans defense (at DEN) -- Tennessee's defense has been fantastic to start this season, recording 3 or more sacks and holding their opponents to under 20 points in 4-of-5 games. Plus, we will want to keep targeting the Broncos offense with our D/ST streamers all season long. Joe Flacco has taken 11 sacks and turned the ball over six times over the last four weeks.
- -- Graham Barfield is a fantasy editor and analyst for NFL.com. Catch him on the NFL Fantasy Football podcast with Marcas Grant and Michael Fabiano, Fantasy LIVE on NFL Network, watch him on Fantasy League One, and follow him on Twitter @GrahamBarfield. *