Every Monday during the season, theScore’s Justin Boone will run down the recommended waiver wire pickups.

Ownership percentages are based on Yahoo leagues. FAAB bids are set off a $100 budget. Only players owned in less than 60 percent of leagues are considered.

Fantasy Podcast: Week 6 takeaways, and early look at waiver wire


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Mitch Trubisky, Bears

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. NE 29% $5

It’s our first week with more than two teams on a bye, meaning QB streamers will have added importance. At the top of the list this week is Trubisky, who’s thrown for 670 yards and nine touchdowns across his last two games. He’s looking more comfortable in Matt Nagy’s offense and is spreading the ball around with ease. Meanwhile, the Patriots have allowed multiple touchdown passes in four of their six outings this season, giving Trubisky an excellent chance to continue his hot streak.

Baker Mayfield, Browns

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at TB 42% $2

Mayfield came out of Sunday’s loss a little banged up, but he gets to face a horrible Buccaneers pass defense that just fired coordinator Mike Smith. Tampa’s allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks than any other team, as the defense has given up at least 334 passing yards to every QB it’s faced while allowing an average of three passing touchdowns per game. And looking ahead, Mayfield’s next month appears extremely promising with the Steelers, Chiefs, and Falcons on tap after the Bucs.

Other options: Eli Manning at Falcons (22 percent owned), Joe Flacco vs. NO (27 percent owned), Blake Bortles vs. HOU (42 percent owned)

*Jameis Winston is owned in 59 percent of leagues, but should be targeted anywhere he’s still available.

Running Back

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Peyton Barber, Buccaneers

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. CLE 33% $29

Barber was completely ineffective over the first four games and was barely used as a pass-catcher, but all that changed coming out of the bye against a broken-down Falcons defense. The Bucs gave Barber another chance and he seized it with 82 yards on 13 carries and another 24 yards on four receptions, including a touchdown. The door that was cracked open for rookie Ronald Jones has been slammed shut. With the offense clicking once again, Barber becomes an intriguing option against the Browns, who were just carved up by Melvin Gordon for 150 yards and three scores from scrimmage.

Marlon Mack, Colts

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. BUF 26% $29

Nyheim Hines, who was previously featured in this space, may have squandered his opportunity to take charge of the Colts’ backfield. After dropping a wide-open touchdown pass in the end zone, he didn’t see much work the rest of the afternoon. So, with Jordan Wilkins not doing much in the opening month and Hines committing rookie mistakes, Mack stepped up in his return from injury with 93 yards from scrimmage. A timeshare is likely to continue, but Mack has the skill set and the results to remain the lead back.

Ito Smith, Falcons

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. NYG 9% $14

Devonta Freeman just can’t get healthy this season and the team doesn’t expect him back in Week 7. His absence has permitted Smith to take on a significant role alongside Tevin Coleman, and while the rookie hasn’t racked up many yards, he’s scored a touchdown in three straight games. It appears Smith is becoming the Javorius Allen to Coleman’s Alex Collins, especially since he’s emerging as the clear goal-line option. With Freeman’s availability uncertain at best moving forward, Smith needs to be owned everywhere.

Frank Gore, Dolphins

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. DET 10% $9

The 35-year-old led the Dolphins’ backfield in their overtime win over the Bears, rushing 15 times for 101 yards while tacking on 18 more yards through the air. Gore isn’t someone you’ll be excited about picking up, but he’s in an even timeshare with Kenyan Drake and looks like the more reliable fantasy asset. The Lions’ run defense will be well-rested coming off their bye, but that might not matter since they were allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs heading into Week 6. If you’re in a bye-week crunch, Gore is a serviceable fill-in.

Nick Chubb/Duke Johnson, Browns

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at TB 30%/33% $9/$8

Hue Jackson reiterated a desire to get Chubb the ball more often, which is an extremely obvious concept considering how much talent the rookie has flashed on just two or three touches per game. Veteran Carlos Hyde is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry and an injury to the veteran would vault Chubb into potential league-winning status, making him one of the best stashes out there. Meanwhile, Johnson had 109 yards from scrimmage on Sunday, including 73 receiving yards, and did all that on just six touches. The limited volume makes him hard to trust in fantasy, but with several injuries among the Browns’ receiving corps, Johnson could see his role grow as a pass-catcher.

Other options: LeGarrette Blount at MIA (12 percent owned), Chris Ivory at IND (10 percent owned), D’Onta Foreman on PUP (24 percent owned), Spencer Ware vs. CIN (5 percent owned), Malcolm Brown at SF (2 percent owned), C.J. Anderson at PHI (19 percent owned)

*Corey Clement is owned in 59 percent of leagues, but should be targeted anywhere he’s still available.

Wide Receivers

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Chris Godwin, Buccaneers

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. CLE 44% $34

You won’t get another opportunity to pick up Godwin. Aside from a two-catch performance in a blowout loss to the Bears in Week 4, the receiver has gone 3-41-1, 4-56-1, 5-74-1, and 6-56-1 this season – that’s four touchdowns in five games. Jameis Winston has returned and we know the pair has chemistry dating back to their run down the stretch last season. There’s no reason Godwin should be available in more than half of leagues.

Taylor Gabriel, Bears

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. NE 22% $29

Gabriel’s another familiar name on this list and recorded back-to-back 100-yard games across his last two outings. The breakout has coincided with Trubisky’s improved play, lending credence to the possibility that Gabriel could be an impact fantasy WR3/flex play the rest of the way. And in deeper leagues, keep your eyes on Anthony Miller (7 percent owned). The rookie caught his second touchdown of the season on Sunday and is a cheap entry point to an emerging offense.

Dede Westbrook, Jaguars

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. HOU 44% $19

Westbrook leads the Jags in receptions and receiving yards, and has at least 50 yards or a touchdown in five of six games this season. He’s a surprisingly consistent fantasy weapon in an offense known for its high ceiling and low floor.

Christian Kirk, Cardinals

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. DEN 14% $14

No one’s benefited more from Josh Rosen being named Arizona’s starter than Kirk. The rookie posted at least 77 yards in three of the last four weeks while usurping an injured Larry Fitzgerald to become the Cardinals’ top fantasy receiver. He’s another player who’s reached flex status, and could rise higher as the season progresses.

Jermaine Kearse, Jets

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. MIN 1% $9

Quincy Enunwa suffered a high-ankle sprain on Sunday, which will increase Kearse’s slot snaps. Kearse was fantasy-relevant at times last season with Josh McCown under center, and we got a reminder of that in Sunday’s game when he delivered nine catches for 94 yards on 10 targets. If you’re looking for Enunwa-style production, Kearse is more than capable of replicating the former’s numbers. In deeper leagues, Terrelle Pryor (2 percent owned) is also worth consideration after his five-catch, 57-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 6. However, he’ll be a more volatile fantasy asset than Kearse.

Tre’Quan Smith/Cameron Meredith, Saints

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at BAL 5%/9% $9/$9

It’s easy to forget players who have big weeks and then go on a bye, but you shouldn’t let Smith or Meredith slip through your grasp. Smith posted 111 yards and two touchdowns on three catches in the Saints’ big Monday night win in Week 5, while Meredith hauled in five passes for 77 yards in the same contest. Of course, Ted Ginn’s knee injury freed up targets in that game, so we’ll need to monitor his practice participation this week. Regardless, Smith and Meredith need to rostered as potential breakout candidates in a Drew Brees-led passing attack that’s been forced to throw more often due to the team’s defensive struggles this season.

Albert Wilson, Dolphins

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. DET 10% $7

Low target totals made Wilson a risky fantasy play prior to Week 6. He hadn’t topped six in any game this year, but that number jumped to nine in a huge performance against the Bears. If we see Wilson remain in that range, he’ll be a regular WR3 for fantasy. His ability to turn short passes in space into huge gains has been on display all season. On the other hand, whether you want to invest in an offense that might be quarterbacked by Brock Osweiler is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Other options: Tyrell Williams vs. TEN (9 percent owned), Keke Coutee at JAX (47 percent owned), Chester Rogers vs. BUF (16 percent owned), Cole Beasley at WAS (9 percent owned), Jordan Reynolds at SF (1 percent owned), Damion Ratley at TB (0 percent owned)

Tight Ends

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Ricky Seals-Jones, Cardinals

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. DEN 21% $4

Seals-Jones was blanked in the box score in Week 5, failing to bring down any of his six targets. The results were much better in Week 6, when he turned six targets into five receptions for 69 yards. It’s a slow process, but Rosen is restoring hope for Arizona’s offensive weapons, and that includes RSJ. The Broncos have given up at least 49 yards to five tight ends this year, which makes Seals-Jones’ outlook even brighter.

C.J. Uzomah, Bengals

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at KC 33% $4

Sure, the Steelers are awful at defending tight ends, but Uzomah caught six of seven targets for 54 yards in Week 6. Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft are both out of the picture, leaving Uzomah with plenty of opportunities for the rest of the season. And over the next two weeks, he’ll get to face two more defenses that are bottom five against tight ends. With many owners searching for an answer at the position, Uzomah can be started with confidence.

Other options: Jack Doyle vs. BUF (28 percent owned), Hayden Hurst vs. NO (6 percent owned), Vernon Davis at NYG (2 percent owned), James O’Shaughnessy vs. HOU (0 percent owned)

*O.J. Howard and Vance McDonald are owned in 54 percent and 50 percent of leagues, respectively, but should be targeted anywhere they are still available.