Each week, we will run down the top waiver wire pickups with a focus on the coming week and rest of the season.
Nick Foles (at Tampa Bay)
Last week: 16/25, 197 yards, 2 TDs
Foles is your token injury replacement pickup QB for Week 6. Michael Vick will miss at least next week with a hamstring injury suffered in the Eagles win over the New York Giants on Sunday and Foles was solid in replacing him. In just over a half of play, Foles threw for nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers were against the porous Giants' defence however, and the 2012 third rounder will face a tougher test against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (at Seattle)
Last week: 21/41, 247 yards, 1 TD 2 INTs; 6 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD
As Foles is this week's token injury replacement pickup, Fitzpatrick's was last week's. But if he's still around on the waiver wire after his weekend performance, he's definitely worth a look now. The former Buffalo Bills starter threw for 247 yards and a touchdown and added 50 yards and a score on the ground in helping the Titans move on after the Jake Locker injury. Expecting Fitzpatrick to keep up those rushing statistics on a weekly basis is unrealistic, but he showed he can move Tennessee's offence consistently, and that's a start.
Matt Schaub (vs St. Louis)
Last week: 19/35, 173, 3 INTs
Matt Schaub has had a really tough stretch of games lately, throwing inopportune interceptions and even getting benched last week in a blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers. But the interceptions don't matter much in fantasy and the benching is likely a one-week occurrence. What's left is a 15th ranked fantasy QB that can be had for cheap. The Texans are a better team than their 2-3 record suggests and should improve – along with their QB – moving forward.
Others: Brandon Weeden (vs Detroit), Thad Lewis (vs Cincinnati)
Brandon Bolden (vs New Orleans)
Last week: 5 carries, 24 yards; 6 catches, 40 yards
Bolden was the latest running back to lead the New England Patriots' backfield in touches and even though they haven't looked their normal self this year, it's still the Patriots' offence; having their lead back has got to be worth something. Bolden didn't do much in the rushing game but could be worth his keep when you add his numbers through the air (six catches for 40 yards against the Bengals last week.)
Zac Stacy (at Houston)
Last week: 14 carries, 78 yards
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher confirmed early in the week that Stacy would be the team's starting running back moving forward after an under-the-radar strong performance in Week 5. The rookie fifth-rounder picked up 78 yards on 14 carries for an impressive 5.6 yards per carry average. His performance was under-the-radar because it was against the awful Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be interesting to see how he does against an NFL defence next week against the Houston Texans.
Marcel Reece (at Kansas City)
Last week: 7 carries, 32 yards; 3 catches, 25 yards
Reece is perhaps the most exciting fullback in the league and we could get a chance to see what he can really do in Week 6 against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Oakland's starting running back Darren McFadden is expected out another week and backup Rashard Jennings suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5 and may not be able to go this Sunday. Reece put up 10+ points in each of his three starts as a fill-in RB last year as a producer on the ground and through the air.
Others: Willis McGahee (vs Detroit), Montee Ball (vs Jacksonville)
Denarius Moore (at Kansas City)
Last week: 5 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD
Denarius Moore's status as a viable fantasy WR has been built mainly on a strong rookie season two years ago. But the former fifth-rounder has strung together three straight strong games, accented by a five catch, 84-yard and one touchdown performance in Oakland's Week 5 win over the San Diego Chargers. Moore was inches away from another deep touchdown last week and appears to be developing a workable chemistry with Terrelle Pryor.
Vincent Brown (vs Indianapolis)
Last week: 8 catches, 117 yards
Brown had his best game of 2013 last week, catching eight balls for 117 yards. Coming off the heels of a seven catch performance against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5, all signs point to Brown breaking out of his early-season slump. If Brown can catch one of those passes in the end zone each game, he's looking at some strong fantasy numbers.
Reuben Randle (at Chicago)
Last week: 6 catches, 96 yards, 2 TDs
Randle was the surprise fantasy star of the Giants' deep and talented receiving corps last week, racking up 96 yards and two touchdowns. While it's unrealistic to expect Randle to score with the likes of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks every week, there are plenty of points to be had for Giants' receivers when you consider how bad the team has been to start the season. Being behind on the scoreboard means lots of throwing on offence.
Others: Keenan Allen (vs Indianapolis), Rod Streater (at Kansas City), Jerome Simpson (vs Carolina)
Garrett Graham (vs St. Louis)
Owen Daniels, the Texans starter the first five weeks of the season, suffered a leg injury against the 49ers last week that could keep him out of action for a couple weeks. Garrett Graham is the next man up, and through five weeks is only three spots behind Daniels (a top 10 TE so far) in the rankings in most formats. Schaub is clearly comfortable with Graham and with the added opportunity, the former fourth-rounder becomes a borderline TE1 while filling in.
Scott Chandler (vs Cincinnati)
Last week: 4 catches, 49 yards
While it's bad for Buffalo's offence in general, Thad Lewis' fill-in start for the injured EJ Manuel could be a good thing for Chandler. Save for his Week 3 performance against the New York Jets, Chandler has had a disappointing year, but if there is one thing inexperienced starting QBs love it's a safety valve. Chandler could see an upswing in targets from Lewis who will likely be looking to play it safe in Week 6 against a strong Cincinnati Bengals defence.
Mychal Rivera (at Kansas City)
Last week: 1 catch, 5 yards
Jeron Mastrud is listed as the Raiders starter but if there's a pass play designed for the tight end in Oakland, it's going to Rivera. Rivera's numbers have yet to stand out in 2013, although he did have 44 yards and a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in Week 4, but Oakland's offence looks more a legit unit every week and Rivera should continue to grow a bigger role in it.
Others: Delanie Walker (at Seattle), Jermaine Gresham (at Buffalo), Jordan Reed (at Dallas)