Top waiver wire pickups for Week 6
Note: This list includes only players who are owned in less than 50% of leagues.
Terrelle Pryor (OAK): I believe he has been on this list every week this season, but people are still too stubborn to recognize that this is a very solid fantasy quarterback. Maybe it's because he entered the season getting bashed by the media for being horrible in the pocket, or maybe it's because of his unorthodox entrance into the league. Maybe it's just because he plays for the Raiders. Whatever the reason, he is not getting the recognition in fantasy leagues that he deserves. He's eighth in the NFL in passer rating at 97.6 - he can throw the football. In my league, Pryor is 14th among quarterbacks in fantasy points per game - better than Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Eli Manning, and even Tom Brady.
Pierre Thomas (NO): Doing his best Darren Sproles impression, Thomas caught nine passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. He added 19 carries for 36 yards - a disappointing average, but an encouraging workload. You can't expect this type of production on a weekly basis, as Thomas is one of many mouths to feed in a loaded Saints offense, but this is the type of upside he has. He should continue to be the Saints' main man for between-the-tackles work, and will often be featured in the screen game.
Zac Stacy (STL): Announced as the surprise starter on Sunday morning, savvy owners may have already snatched this guy up before his Week 6 game (I tried, but failed; for the second straight week my Yahoo phone app has betrayed me). Stacy had a fine debut, carrying the ball 14 times for 78 yards before being forced from the game with a rib injury. Granted, it was against a pathetic Jaguars defense, but he was still significantly more effective than No. 2 back Daryl Richardson. Both Stacy and head coach Jeff Fisher have confirmed that the team's new starter will be fine for Week 6, and he will handle the majority of the carries going forward.
Andre Ellington (ARI): Though his workload so far this season is a bit too small to definitively determine just how good this rookie is, it is becoming fairly clear that he is a more effective player than starter Rashard Mendenhall. Head coach Bruce Arians acknowledged that in Week 5 when he gave each back 30 snaps. Mendenhall is still getting the bulk of the carries despite the fact that he has been struggling terribly, as Arians does not believe that Ellington's 5'9'', 199 pound frame could hold up if given a heavy workload through a full season - that certainly limits his upside. However, Ellington has been so much better on a per-touch basis than Mendenhall that I expect to see him start getting a bump in touches. On Sunday, he carried the ball seven times for 52 yards and added four catches for 31 yards. He could be a solid fill-in with a bunch of bye weeks coming up.
Marcel Reece (OAK): Perhaps the most talented fullback in the NFL, Reece could be slated for lead halfback duties in Week 6 with Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings both nursing hamstring injuries. Reece was a beast in 2012 when McFadden and Mike Goodson were sidelined, and he could get a similar workload this weekend. While the Raiders may struggle to move the ball against a stout Chiefs defense, the Chiefs have allowed 5.3 yards per carry (third-worst in the NFL), so Reece should have some room to operate. He is also a great pass catcher, so his production won't come to a halt if the Raiders fall behind.