Although we rely on big-name players to guide our fantasy football teams to victory, knowing how to locate the sleepers in a given week could be what pushes your team over the edge. With Week 6 of the NFL and fantasy football season on the horizon, here are some sleepers to keep in mind when setting your lineups.
Week 6 Fantasy Football Sleepers | Quarterbacks
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks vs. ARI
However you want to slice it, Geno Smith is the quarterback that Denver thought it was getting. The guy has balled out this year and continued to do so on Sunday, throwing for nearly 270 yards with three touchdowns in the team’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Smith has thrown for at least two touchdowns in four of five games and is utilizing both D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett anytime and anywhere. With three straight top-eight finishes in fantasy, Smith is on the short list of sleepers at QB in Week 6 as they take on the 25th-ranked Cardinals defense (19.52 PPR). I can safely say Smith sitting as the QB6 in fantasy was not on my bingo card.
Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders at CHI
Carson Wentz is a roller coaster of emotions. One moment he is ripping your heart out with bad plays, and the next, he is tossing dimes 50-yards down the field. We saw both sides on Sunday, with Wentz throwing for 359 yards on 25 of 38 passing with two touchdowns and an interception.
With Jahan Dotson out, he showed an instant connection with Dyami Brown, a former 1,000-yard receiver at UNC, connecting on a 75-yard score and a 30-yard one in the third quarter.
It was a much-needed bounce-back for Wentz, who averaged 27.7 PPR over the first two weeks but only 7.8 between Weeks 3 and 4. Wentz will always have his ups and his downs, but the Commanders get a vulnerable Bears defense in a short week. Wentz is a sleeper QB for Week 6 that could get off to a quick start.
Week 6 Fantasy Football Sleepers | Running Backs
Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks vs. ARI
This week, it’s all about Kenneth Walker III, so get ready for a ton of K9 conversations to take place. With Rashaad Penny suffering a broken tibia, Walker III carried the rock for Seattle, which showed off his immense upside. Walker III rushed eight times for 88 yards on Sunday, most coming on his 69-yard score, harking back to his first touch at Michigan State, where he took a carry 75-yards for a TD.
For those who don’t know, Walker III is special. Walker was No. 1 in the NCAA in yards after contact (1,169) and broken tackles (89). He would have been 19th in the nation in rushing on his after-contact yardage alone.
Additionally, Walker was No. 1 in the FBS in carries of 10+ yards (46) and 15+ yards (30). He was the Javonte Williams of his class and, in my opinion, the best rusher as well, even over Breece Hall from a technical standpoint.
He is the most essential sleeper/buy-low/waiver wire target we have had all year. Whatever you want to use, he is it. Whatever FAAB you have, spend it. Walker II is a top-15 ROS RB and jumps into high-end RB2 range out of the gates. Kenneth Walker III, no matter what.
Eno Benjamin, Arizona Cardinals vs. SEA
With James Conner (ribs) and Darrel Williams (knee) leaving last week’s matchup, Eno Benjamin sits in an interesting spot. Benjamin rushed eight times for 25 yards and a TD and added three catches for 28 yards in the Cardinals’ loss but could have an even more prominent role next week.
It all depends on the gameday status of Conner and Williams, but with the likelihood of them at least being limited, Benjamin is a sneaky sleeper target for Week 6 against 28th-ranked defense vs. the position (28.2 PPR).
Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders at CHI
I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Brian Robinson as a sleeper, even though, by now, most are familiar with the former Alabama RB after his unfortunate off-the-field incident.
While Washington did limit his snaps, we already saw the impact Robinson will have on this backfield. Making his regular-season debut, Robinson led the Commanders’ backfield, rushing nine times for 22 yards, leading Antonio Gibson in both rushes (3) and also yards (6). Gibson did have the edge in the receiving game, catching three of four targets for 33 yards.
Like others, I do expect Robinson Jr. to take over this backfield from a rushing perspective, leaving Gibson and McKissic to fight it out for targets. With bye weeks starting in Week 6, Robinson Jr. is the kind of sleeper who could be an excellent fill-in option.
Week 6 Fantasy Football Sleepers | Wide Receivers
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots at CLE
After being listed as questionable during the week, Jakobi Meyers had no issues being involved from the jump. Meyers hauled in seven of eight targets for 111 yards and one touchdown against the Detroit Lions in Week 5.
Meyers missed the last two games due to a knee injury but returned to eclipse the 100-yard mark for the first time this season. He’s now scored 10.2, 18.5, and 24.1 PRP points in his three games this year and led the Patriots in snaps, routes run, and targets last week. Meyers was disrespected all last year, and fantasy managers need to stop doing it now and roster Meyers.
Bailey Zappe has many wondering if he has taken Mac Jones’ job with his play, and while I don’t know what will happen, all I know is Meyers will be the top target regardless of who is under center. Meyers is, at minimum, a WR3 for fantasy.
Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts vs. JAC
That’s now three weeks in a row where Alex Pierce has impressed us. With 81 yards in Week 5, Pierce has 80-yards or more in back-to-back weeks thanks to eight of nine receiving against the Broncos as the lone bright spot in an otherwise awful game.
Pierce was QB Matt Ryan’s top weapon, leading the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards in a game where both offenses left a lot to be desired. Pierce continues to improve his game and become a more well-rounded WR than we saw at Cincinnati. He should remain the No. 2 in this Colts offense, but they need to become more consistent for Pierce to move from sleeper to must-start status for fantasy.
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals at SEA
The building blocks for Rondale Moore were laid in Week 4, playing 86% of the snaps while running a route on 94% of dropbacks, relegating Greg Dortch back to his role on the sidelines. Moore was busy again in Week 5, catching seven passes off eight targets for 68 yards.
We will see DeAndre Hopkins return next week, but the utilization of Moore is a hopeful sign of things to come. But for him to surpass sleeper status, we have to bank on Kliff Kingsbury using Moore are more than a dump-off. So far, so good, as Moore carries an 8.4 aDOT compared to his 1.7 aDOT last year, which was bottom of the league at wideouts.
Week 6 Fantasy Football Sleepers | Tight Ends
Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars at IND
Truth be told, the Jaguars massively disappointed me. They were in a prime position to have a great game, but that didn’t happen. Well, for the most part. It wasn’t Trevor Lawrence, Christian Kirk, or even James Robinson, but Evan Engram who came out of nowhere.
Engram saw a season-high in targets with ten looks and hauled in six for a season-high 69 yards. It’s quite the change from his back-to-back one-catch games in Weeks 3 and 4. Engram has yet to score in a Jaguars uniform, but volume like that suggests not only trust between him and his QB but the TE-friendliness of Doug Pederson’s offense. Engram could become a borderline starter for the rest of the season but is a worthwhile sleeper for bye weeks, given the absurdly low floor of the position.
Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals at NO
Finishing second on the team in targets, Hayden Hurts was third on the offense in snaps (51), catching six of seven targets for 53 yards with a score. Through five games, Hurst is one of just four tight ends with 20-plus receptions, 150-plus yards, and two-plus touchdowns on the season, joining Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz. He also ranks top-four in routes run despite the Bengals’ offense yet to live up to our lofty expectations.
Tee Higgins left the game with an ankle injury and is likely questionable for Week 6 against New Orleans. If he is limited or even misses, Hurst could be treated as a low-end TE1, not just as a fantasy sleeper.