Our goal with this newsletter is to get it out of our hands and into your inbox every morning, but that's always harder to do on Tuesdays, which tend to be the big news dump day for injuries suffered the previous week. And it turned out to be impossible on this specific Tuesday, because we got a metric ton of injury news dumped on us this morning. 

And, unfortunately for us, little of the news was positive.

The biggest news was that Vikings WR Justin Jefferson will be placed on IR with a hamstring injury, and we'll dive into that in today's newsletter before we get to the Week 6 waiver-wire targets and my Week 6 rankings later on. But first, let's recap the rest of the news we got Tuesday morning: 

  • De'Von Achane (knee) might go on IR – Achane is expected to miss multiple weeks, according to reports, with Adam Schefter noting he's a candidate for IR. It's a big blow for one of this season's biggest Fantasy breakout stars, and it (along with a shoulder injury that cost him multiple weeks in the preseason) raises some questions about whether Achane will be able to hold up to the kind of workload we want from him. I wrote about that as well as how the Dolphins figure to replace him in the next few weeks here, so make sure you check that out. And we'll have a bit more about the fallout from this injury shortly. 
  • James Conner (knee) might too – Conner is also expected to miss multiple weeks with the injury that forced him out of Sunday's game, and might end p on IR as well. If Keaontay Ingram's neck injury keeps him out of Week 6 too, that would likely push undrafted rookie Emari Demercado into a significant role, and would make him one of the top waiver-wire targets this week. We'll have more on him later in today's newsletter. 
  • The Patriots (probably) aren't benching Mac Jones (yet) – When asked if he anticipates Mac Jones being the starter in Week 6, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien said, "I do." However, The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported Tuesday morning the Patriots will "evaluate every position on the roster" coming off too blowout losses. Jones' job security is pretty much nonexistent after consecutive benchings.

There will be more news to come later Tuesday, and surely even more in the coming days, but we'll tackle that as it comes. For now, let's get to the biggest news of the day, plus our top waiver-wire targets for Week 6 and my initial rankings for this week:

My Week 6 Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE

Five buy-low WRs

  1. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys – Lamb's target share is down to 21.2% from 28% last season, while his average depth of target is down from 10.1 to 8.1. Fewer targets, fewer high-value, downfield targets is a bad combination, but Lamb is also one of the most talented wide receivers in the league, married to a very good QB, so I have to think they'll get going before long. 
  2. Davante Adams, WR, Raiders – Adams has only had one game with fewer than 10 PPR points this season, so I'm not sure how "low" you're really buying here. But his worst game came in Week 5, and he acknowledged his shoulder injury limited him, so there could be a window here. I still view him as a top-12 WR, though there's some risk with his injury.
  3. DeVonta Smith, WR, Eagles – I'm not sure if Smith is a "buy-low" so much as he's just been on the low end of his pretty standard variance in two of the past three games. The Eagles are a great offense, but it's a low-volume passing game with two other elite weapons, so there are always some days when the ball just doesn't flow to Smith; that's happened twice in the past three weeks, but the big weeks are coming too. If there's any kind of discount, pounce. 
  4. Chris Olave, WR, Saints –After putting up 302 yards in the first three games, Olave has just 16 over the past two, which makes him the perfect definition of a buy-low. His struggles have coincided with Derek Carr's shoulder injury, and the production should return as Carr gets closer to 100%. We've seen that duo produce huge numbers already, so I'm fulling willing to write off Olave's slide as a one-off. 
  5. Michael Pittman, WR, Colts – Pittman has had his two worst games of the season in the past two week, and his situation might be about to get a lot better for at least a few weeks. That's not a knock on Anthony Richardson, but Gardner Minshew is going to throw more than the more mobile Richardson, who might miss a month with a shoulder injury. That added volume resulted in 23 targets in the two games Minshew mostly played, and Pittman could be a must-start WR in PPR moving forward. 

🚑Replacing Justin Jefferson

Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 24: Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on in the second quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Over on CBSSports.com/Fantasy, I wrote about the Jefferson injury, the impact it might have on the Vikings offense, and some potential replacements to target in both trades and via waivers this week. 

But I do want to focus on K.J. Osborn for a second. There's going to be some excitement about him, especially with The Athletic's note that Osborn will "slide seamlessly into [Jefferson's] 'X' receiver role." But, I think it's worth noting that it doesn't necessarily mean Osborn is going to suddenly earn a bunch of targets. He played four games in 2021 with Adam Thielen sidelined by injury, and he averaged 5.5 targets per game. 

Among 104 wide receivers with at least 500 routes run since 2021, Osborn ranks 87th in yards per route, 84th in targets per route, and 72nd in PPR points per route. Some of that is impacted by playing with high-target share guys like Jefferson, Thielen, and T.J. Hockenson, but I'll also note that Hockenson's target share jumped up when he joined the Vikings; good players earn targets. 

Osborn is worth adding in most leagues, to be clear, because he's shown a nose for the end zone and will have his share of seven-catch, 77-yard showings when the pass volume is high. He's a WR3/4 for me as long as Jefferson is out. But if you want to bet on someone in this offense stepping up, bet on Jordan Addison having fringe-WR1 upside. He's the more talented player, he's been a lot more productive already this season, and he's a rookie WR who should have seen his usage increase as the season went on anyway. There's no a guarantee that Addison becomes a must-start Fantasy WR, but if you're going to place on kind of bet on that happening with anyone, he's the guy to do it with.

As for replacing Jefferson … I mean, good luck. He's arguably the best player in Fantasy, and you're just hoping you can plug the hole in your lineup long enough for him to return, assuming he does. That being said, you should be doing what you can to find upgrades so here are five trade targets and three waiver-wire options to look for this week:

Three waiver-wire WRs

  1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seahawks – Smith-Njigba (56% rostered) is already playing a decent role, with 20 targets in his first four games despite missing Week 1 and part of training camp with a wrist injury. The hope here is he'll be one of those rookies who takes off after the bye week, and while the presence of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf complicates that plan, we've also seen him be the most productive receiver on a college team with both Olave and Garrett WIlson. He's the highest-upside option available in any number of leagues, and should be rostered in every league. 
  2. Quentin Johnston, WR, Chargers – Even in Johnston's (54%) first game without Mike Williams, his snap share only ticked up to 51%. Still, Johnston is a first-round pick coming off a bye with the kind of skill set that should, in theory, make him a perfect replacement for Williams in the Chargers offense. He's even more of a long shot, but it's still a bet worth making. 
  3. Rashee Rice, WR, Chiefs – Among players who have run at least 66 routes this season, none has been targeted more often than Rice (45% rostered), who has a target on 36% of his routes. He's also 11th in yards per route run. That's an incredibly exciting profile for a young player ... until you see that his route participation rate has peaked at 51% in Week 3 and dropped all the way to 24% in Week 5; there's a reason I had to add that 66-route qualifier here. Still, one of the most clear ways a young player can break out is by seeing an increase in playing time, and Rice is a clear candidate for that path. I don't know if it's going to happen in this Chiefs offense, but I think it makes sense to try to stash him in case it happens. 

Top Week 6 Waiver Wire Targets

Sep 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) runs the ball in for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Douglas DeFelice / USA TODAY Sports

I initially wrote here that we were seeing the limitations of hoarding your FAB money or waiver-wire priority, because the past few weeks haven't had any obvious, smash-the-piggy-bank-and-shake-out-every-penny targets like Kyren Williams, Puka Nacua, and De'Von Achane from the early weeks.

But Achane's injury might change that. If he does end up going on IR, that could make Jeff Wilson a high priority addition. Wilson is working his way back from a finger and core injury that landed him on IR to open the season, but he's going to practice this week and could be back. And, while I do expect Raheem Mostert to remain the lead back, let's not forget that Wilson stepped on the field and immediately challenged Mostert as the team's top back after being acquired via trade last season.

As I wrote here, this Dolphins offense has created 15 touchdowns for its running backs so far this season. And while, yes, plenty of those are the result of Achane's individual brilliance, this is still arguably the best offense in football, and Wilson has been a very productive runner throughout his career. He could absolutely be a top-24 RB alongside Mostert for however long Achane is out. 

You can see Jamey's full priority list for every position on the wire here, and here are my thoughts on the top five options for Week 6: 

Jamey Eisenberg's top targets

  1. Emari Demercado, RB, Cardinals (2%) -- You've probably never heard of Demercado. That's okay. He was a fringe NFL Draft prospect after serving primarily as a backup for TCU in college who latched on with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent this offseason. He's got decent size at 215 pounds and runs pretty well, but hasn't served as a lead back since at least before college, which raises an awful lot of questions. However, if James Conner (knee) and Keaontay Ingram (neck) can't go this week, Demercado will be in the RB2 discussion against the Rams
  2. Jeff Wilson, RB, Dolphins (37%) -- Wilson averaged just 10.6 PPR points per game in nine with the Dolphins last season, including the playoffs, but that's a bit skewed down by two games where he combined for just 2.9 points and left early with injuries; remove those two and he jumps up to 13.2 points per game. He can absolutely be a starting-caliber option with Achane out, and given Mostert's injury history, could be the lead runner here at some point. I'd be willing to drop 20% of my FAB budget on him.
  3. D'Onta Foreman, RB, Bears (12%) -- You might've just dropped Foreman within the last couple of weeks. However, with Khalil Herbert dealing with a high-ankle sprain, the Bears should have a need at RB for at least the next few weeks. What will push Foreman into RB2 territory this week is if the concussion Roschon Johnson suffered last Thursday lingers long enough to keep him out this week. If so, Foreman should be worth starting as the lead back for the Bears; if not, Foreman is more like a TD-or-bust RB3 who you're hoping gets 12 carries. 
  4. KJ Osborn, WR, Vikings (18%) -- Osborn played four games with Adam Thielen inactive over the previous two seasons, and he averaged 11.4 PPR points in those four games, which is pretty solid. However, he earned just 22 targets in those games, which is a pretty mediocre 5.5 per game from a guy who hasn't exactly been a reliable deep threat. He's a touchdown-or-bust WR3/4, but if you need a WR to fill in, he could be useful with Justin Jefferson out. 
  5. Josh Downs, WR Colts (14%) -- I might actually be more interested in Downs than either Reynolds or Osborn, especially if I'm not just thinking about Week 6. Osborn and Reynolds have been around long enough that there probably isn't much to learn about them, but Downs is a third-round rookie sporting a decent 19.7% target share through his first five games. With Gardner Minshew likely to start a few games for the Colts here, Downs could benefit from an increase in pass volume and has some starter appeal in PPR scoring right now, with room to grow. 

My Week 6 Rankings

Week 6 QB Rankings

"Biggest question: Is Justin Fields an elite Fantasy QB right now?

This was exactly what we expected, right? Fields has taken a big step forward as a passer over the past two weeks, in large part thanks to DJ Moore just being the best player on the field for the Bears. I was skeptical about Moore's ability to be a Fantasy superstar in this offense, but I thought it was reasonable to bet he could elevate Fields' game enough to take him to the next level as a Fantasy option. That's what we saw, especially in Week 5, as two of Fields' touchdowns were due directly to Moore's individual brilliance; he beat the defender in one-on-one coverage on a fade route in the second quarter and then closed the game with a 56-yard catch and run where he once again won on a contested target and took off.

What's interesting is, Fields still hasn't done much as a runner yet. He had 57 yards in Week 5 and only 25 in Week 4, and still hasn't had more than 6.3 Fantasy points with his legs in any game this season; last season, he did it nine times. He did have a season-high 10 designed runs in Week 5, which is a positive sign, though none in the 12 plays the Bears ran in the red zone."

  1. Patrick Mahomes vs. DEN
  2. Josh Allen vs. NYG
  3. Jalen Hurts @NYJ
  4. Justin Fields vs. MIN
  5. Lamar Jackson @TEN
  6. Tua Tagovailoa vs. CAR
  7. Justin Herbert vs. DAL
  8. Kirk Cousins @CHI
  9. Joe Burrow vs. SEA
  10. Trevor Lawrence vs. IND
  11. Geno Smith @CIN
  12. Matthew Stafford vs. ARI

Week 6 RB Rankings

"Biggest question: Can you still start both Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane?

Well, maybe not in Week 6. Achane is dealing with a knee injury suffered late in Sunday's game against the Giants, and it has his availability for this wee's game up in the air as he undergoes testing.

If Achane is cleared to play, I think you can treat both as starting caliber options, though obviously, the split here limits how useful both are likely to be. Achane has been a big-play machine for the Dolphins, and he seems like a perfect weapon for this offense and how they want to attack defenses; Mike McDaniel has been featuring him heavily near the end zone, and there are plenty of plays where both are on the field, with Achane splitting out wide occasionally to keep defenses on their toes. That helps both backs and in an offense this explosive, I think both are going to belong in the RB2 conversation as long as they are both healthy."

  1. Christian McCaffrey @CLE
  2. Austin Ekeler vs. DAL
  3. Bijan Robinson vs. WAS
  4. Tony Pollard @LAC
  5. David Montgomery @TB
  6. Travis Etienne vs. IND
  7. Josh Jacobs vs. NE
  8. Alvin Kamara @HOU
  9. Derrick Henry vs. BAL
  10. Kenneth Walker @CIN
  11. Breece Hall vs. PHI
  12. Kyren Williams vs. ARI
  13. Raheem Mostert vs. CAR
  14. Rachaad White vs. DAL
  15. D'Andre Swift @NYJ
  16. Joe Mixon vs. SEA
  17. James Cook vs. NYG
  18. Isiah Pacheco vs. DEN
  19. Zack Moss @JAX
  20. Dameon Pierce vs. NO
  21. Alexander Mattison @CHI
  22. Jonathan Taylor @JAX
  23. Jaleel McLaughlin @KC
  24. Rhamondre Stevenson @LV

Week 6 WR Rankings

"Can DJ Moore keep this up? 

No. I mean, obviously, no. He's averaging 15.6 yards per target right now, something no player has ever done on more than 26 targets in a season. His current level of performance is wholly unsustainable, even for a very, very good play, like Moore.

The question is, what will it look like when he inevitably regresses? We've seen Moore put up very strong efficiency numbers in the past before, specifically in 2020, when he averaged 10.1 yards per target on 118 targets, and that might actually be an instructive comparison. That season, Moore was a low-volume receiver, primarily used as a deep threat, with a 13.2 average depth of target that still stands as the highest mark of his career – just ahead of this year's 13.1 ADoT – while seeing 7.9 targets per game; this season, he's at 6.8. 

The key difference is that he was catching 55.9% of his targets in 2020, a better-than-you-think number for an ADoT that high. There have been 214 seasons over the past decade with at least 50 targets and an ADoT of 13 or higher, and Moore's catch rate that season ranked 93rd. Those 214 players caught 55.3% of their targets in those seasons."

  1. Tyreek Hill vs. CAR
  2. Stefon Diggs vs. NYG
  3. Cooper Kupp vs. ARI
  4. Ja'Marr Chase vs. SEA
  5. Keenan Allen vs. DAL
  6. Davante Adams vs. NE
  7. A.J. Brown @NYJ
  8. CeeDee Lamb @LAC
  9. Devonta Smith @NYJ
  10. Calvin Ridley vs. IND
  11. Chris Olave @HOU
  12. Puka Nacua vs. ARI
  13. Jaylen Waddle vs. CAR
  14. D.J. Moore vs. MIN
  15. Adam Thielen @MIA
  16. DeAndre Hopkins vs. BAL
  17. Deebo Samuel @CLE
  18. Mike Evans vs. DAL
  19. Brandon Aiyuk @CLE
  20. DK Metcalf @CIN
  21. Tyler Lockett @CIN
  22. Michael Pittman @JAX
  23. Jordan Addison @CHI
  24. Christian Kirk vs. IND

Week 5 TE Rankings

"Fantasy players and analysts have been banging our collective heads against the wall with Kyle Pitts for more than a year now. I can't speak for everyone, but I know I've been unwilling to sit Pitts in most leagues for one simple reason: Are his chances of a random big game really any lower than the typical streaming options available on the waiver wire?

Pitts gave us an answer to that Sunday, when he caught seven passes for 87 yards on 11 targets to finish ninth in a very good week for tight ends, pending Monday night's game. However, he wasn't the only one who provided a good test case for why it's so hard to go away from guys who have shown his kind of upside.

George Kittle, Dallas Goedert, and Darren Waller all also had the kind of games that show why I just can't bring myself to bench them for streaming types. Kittle and Goedert were the top two tight ends in Week 5, with 27 and 25 PPR points, respectively, while Waller was TE7 with eight catches for 86 yards, representing the best game for each of them this season."

  1. Travis Kelce vs. DEN
  2. Mark Andrews @TEN
  3. Sam LaPorta @TB
  4. T.J. Hockenson @CHI
  5. Dallas Goedert @NYJ
  6. Evan Engram vs. IND
  7. Darren Waller @BUF
  8. George Kittle @CLE
  9. Jake Ferguson @LAC
  10. Zach Ertz @LAR
  11. Kyle Pitts vs. WAS
  12. Cole Kmet vs. MIN