Corey Clement
© Eric Hartline | 2018 Sep 23
Corey Clement © Eric Hartline | 2018 Sep 23

After losing Jay Ajayi to a season-ending knee injury, the 2-3 Eagles' title defense season gets a little harder. Will Howie Roseman make another bold trade over the next few weeks? Can Wendell Smallwood continue providing the type of flashes that compelled Roseman to draft him two years ago? And what about injured Darren Sproles and returning Corey Clement?

In addition to the Eagles' muddled RB situation, we'll also look at the Bucs with Jameis Winston returning, the Browns — whose upcoming schedule is more than a little enticing — and the 49ers' increasingly injury-ravaged backfield in the new '9 route,' your path to success on the Week 6 waiver route. First, a quick reminder: Only players owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues are eligible for this column. The top targets who just missed out on being eligible: Bucs TE O.J. Howard, Jets WR Quincy Enunwa and Jaguars WRs Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole.

Happy hunting!

9. Chris Godwin

Godwin was held out of the end zone for the first time in four games before the bye, and anyone who watched his roller coaster outing vs. the Steelers a week earlier understands what they're getting in Godwin — an immense talent with all sorts of big-play ability who remains a bit rough around the edges. But as Jameis Winston returns to his QB1 post, he knows what he has in Godwin, whose recent roll actually started in the final two weeks of his rookie 2017 season, when he outperformed Mike Evans. He was held to one catch in each of his first two meetings with Week 6 foe Atlanta, but this Falcons 'D' is a shadow of its '17 self.

8. David Moore

Brandon Marshall as a Seahawk? We hardly knew you. But get to know Moore, the 226th overall pick in the 2017 draft, who took Marshall's job and caught his first and second career touchdowns Sunday vs. the Rams. Moore (6-0, 215) brings a bit more size to the Seahawks' WR corps than WR1 Doug Baldwin and WR2 Tyler Lockett, and he showed awareness and some route-running ability in twice beating All-Pro CB Marcus Peters for scores. On the first TD, from three yards out, Moore just keeps working to uncover from Peters on a Russell Wilson scramble drill. On the second score, a 30-yarder, Moore badly beats Peters on a double move and creates major separation to untie the game for the second time in the third quarter.

7. Robby Anderson

Anderson's ownership plummeted between Week 1, when he converted his only look into a 41-yard home run, and Sunday, when he turned five targets into three catches, 123 yards and two long scores. Why? Because he not only lost a key fumble against Cleveland in primetime but totaled only 7-67 receiving in three games, during which No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold scuffled. We get it (and admit to dropping Anderson in one league), but the WR16 overall a year ago is now up to WR40, and his quarterback is coming off his best game as a pro. Moreover, Anderson gets a Colts 'D' that's ravaged by injuries and ceded 75 combined points and 688 passing yards over the past two weeks.

6. Jameis Winston

We resisted the temptation to slot Baker Mayfield in here namely because Winston visits the Falcons, who have surrendered 14 total TDs to fantasy QBs — matched only by Pittsburgh — while Mayfield hosts the still-dangerous Chargers prior to a charmin-soft slate in Weeks 7-10 (at Bucs, at Steelers, vs. Chiefs, vs. Falcons). If they can, QB-needy owners should try and double dip here. Winston has torched Dan Quinn's Falcons in recent years, but he faces a tough four-week stretch after Sunday, when Mayfield's real star turn awaits. And while we're talking Mayfield and the Browns' opportunistic stretch ahead, Antonio Callaway was the No. 10 option in this week's '9 route...'

5. Keke Coutee

We told you guys that Coutee, our No. 3 add in Week 5, not only was legit but in a truly luxurious spot alongside Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Well, you get one more chance to add this exciting rookie playmaker, whom Bill O'Brien is manufacturing touches for — a whopping 21 combined in Coutee's first 2 NFL games. Sunday's opponent, the Bills, have settled down defensively since permitting six combined receiving touchdowns in Weeks 1-2, but there will be nothing settled about Josh Allen visiting J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and crew. Houston's offense should have extra chances to score Sunday.

4. Cameron Brate

We've written plenty about fantasy's TE wasteland in the early going this season, and O.J. Howard's knee injury occurred at a time when Brate was already coming on with touchdowns in two consecutive games. Touchdowns won't be at a premium at Mercedes-Benz dome Sunday, where the point total currently sits at 57 ½ (implied Bucs total of 27 ½). Brate is nothing if not a TD-scorer, with one every 7.1 catches in his career, and Atlanta has allowed him to find the end zone twice in three of the past six meetings.

4. Wendell Smallwood

Smallwood is healthy, and that's more than we can say for Jay Ajayi (season-ending IR) and Darren Sproles (inactive the past four games with a hamstring injury). And the 2016 fifth-rounder, who became the forgotten man in the Eagles' flight to the Super Bowl, has seized his chances with two touchdowns in the past three games. We think Philly's O-line is too talented not to make corrections, and if draft pedigree matters, Smallwood actually has the most of the Eagles backs left standing. The Giants, who host the Eagles on Thursday night, have allowed eight touchdowns to backs — more than 30 other clubs.

3. Mike Davis

Davis followed up his 124-yard, 2-TD outing against the Cardinals in Week 4, when he was Seattle's heavy lifter with Chris Carson out, by turning 14 chances into 75 total yards and a touchdown Sunday vs. the Rams. That makes Davis RB8 overall during that stretch, and that's impossible to ignore, even with Carson back and eclipsing the century mark rushing in his past two outings. Carson is good, but he hasn't proven yet that he's durable, and Seattle has the fourth-most manageable remaining slate for backs. Seattle's recent resurgence on the ground might be sustainable — with Carson and Davis playing key roles, at least Sunday in Oakland.

2. Alfred Morris

We're going to hedge here by saying that it won't surprise us if Kyle Jusczcyk, the Niners' $9.5 million jack of all trades fullback, outperforms Morris, who simply doesn't offer anything in the passing game. But with Matt Breida (ankle) likely out Monday night and perhaps even longer, Morris is being penciled in as the Niners' early-down workhorse. That can pay dividends in Green Bay, where several Packers defenders still remember well what Kyle Shanahan did to them as the Falcons' offensive coordinator two years ago.

1. Corey Clement

He returned to practice Tuesday after missing the past two games with a quad injury, and the Super Bowl standout led the Eagles with 57 carries and 112 rushing yards at the time of his injury. Of course, that's not even where Clement has shone brightest in his brief NFL career; he snared 8-of-10 targets for 74 yards over that stretch and easily is the most dependable Eagles back in the passing game. Like with Morris, we're hedging a tad here not only by listing Smallwood but mentioning that it would surprise absolutely no one if Howie Roseman has another big trade up his sleeve to help replace Jay Ajayi and perhaps spark an offense that ranks 25th in scoring and yards per play. Then again, a healthy Clement is capable of fireworks and already is steeped in Doug Pederson's offense.


1. Jameis Winston

2. Baker Mayfield

3. Joe Flacco

4. Blake Bortles

5. Derek Carr

6. Marcus Mariota

7. Case Keenum

8. Eli Manning

9. Josh Allen


1. Corey Clement

2. Alfred Morris

3. Mike Davis

4. Wendell Smallwood

5. Ronald Jones

6. Marlon Mack

7. Alfred Blue

8. Kyle Jusczcyk

9. Josh Adams


1. Keke Coutee

2. Robby Anderson

3. David Moore

4. Chris Godwin

5. Antonio Callaway

6. Geronimo Allison

7. Taylor Gabriel

8. Josh Reynolds

9. Tre'Quan Smith


1. Cameron Brate

2. C.J. Uzomah

3. Ricky Seals-Jones

4. Geoff Swaim

5. Niles Paul

6. Tyler Higbee

7. Nick Vannett

8. Jack Doyle

9. Adam Shaheen