Cover Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images 


Fantasy football is easy when you've got the studs, as you'll never worry about starting Todd Gurley or Antonio Brown on any given week. However, things get tougher when you need to dive deep into the waiver wire, yet that's typically how you take your team to the next level.


A good way to determine who you should pick up is usage rate -- how many plays a certain player is on the field -- in addition to how many rushing attempts, receptions, and targets one will accumulate. If they're seeing less time on the field, then it's obvious that you should stay away. It sounds like stating the obvious, but no player in fantasy football history has ever scored points from the sidelines. 


Let's pinpoint some players who are on the rise heading into Week 6. 


Philadelphia Eagles: Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood

The Eagles are in some deep trouble at running back right now after losing Jay Ajayi for the season with a torn ACL. With Darren Sproles still out and Corey Clement dealing with a calf injury, Wendell Smallwood has skyrocketed up the usage chart, garnering 49 percent of the team's snaps and an 11 percent target share in Week 5; this comes after he was virtually irrelevant in Week 1. Clement will be back in Week 6 and should take over as the starter. He has some value here, getting all the way up to 55 percent of the snaps and being utilized 20 times in Week 3 before getting hurt. 


San Francisco 49ers: Alfred Morris and Kyle Jusczcyk

Both players are beneficiaries of Matt Brieda's injury, which will likely keep him out for Week 6. Alfred Morris will have a massive jump in usage after going from 23 percent of the snaps in Week 4 to 45 percent in Week 5. Jusczcyk has been in on 69 percent of the offensive snaps and has a 13 percent target share. He's not a true fantasy starter, despite high usage, since he slots into a fullback role. Jusczyk keeps racking up targets in the passing game out of the backfield and is someone to watch out for if you desperately need to roster a running back. 


Buffalo Bills: LeSean McCoy

After a rough start to the year and a rib injury, Shady is back to full force and is receiving touches accordingly. He was at a 72 percent usage in Week 5 while being utilized 27 times with a 13 percent target share. That's the RB1-level usage we were looking for in McCoy.


Seattle Seahawks: Tyler Lockett and David Moore

With Doug Baldwin back, there was some concern that Tyler Lockett would lose some of his snaps. That hasn't been the case as the Seahawks took away snaps from Brandon Marshall with Lockett and David Moore continuing to see the field. Lockett is a bonafide starter now, posting a snap percentage above 87 percent in every game this season, and a target share of 24 percent in Week 5. Moore has been a pleasant surprise, slowly working himself up to 65 and 52 percent of the snaps in weeks 4 and 5, respectively, while having a 19 percent target share in Week 5. 


Green Bay Packers: Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Marquez Valdes-Scantling has taken over in the absence of Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison and was up to 95 percent of the snaps in Week 5. MVS also had a target share of 19 percent in a great performance against the Lions.


Bengals: Alex Erickson

Alex Erickson was yet another player benefitting from other's injuries as he took the place of John Ross in Week 5. He managed to play 60 percent of the snaps with a 13 percent target share. Erickson's fantasy usefulness relies heavily on Ross' health at this point.


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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.