Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 7
Dan Malin examines the ownership percentages and recent trends to bring you his top waiver wire adds heading into Week Seven of the fantasy football season!
Week 6 was strange by 2020 standards. We saw some key players leave with injuries such as Joe Mixon , Zach Ertz , Miles Sanders, Darius Slayton, Raheem Mostert , etc. As of Monday evening some of these injuries are considered more severe as we are expecting Sanders, Ertz, and Mostert to miss multiple weeks. We also don’t have a noteworthy “must add” player this week, but that certainly depends on who is available in your league and what your need is. Take D’Andre Swift for instance. He won’t appear in the running backs section below because his ownership is simply too high. He’s 75% owned in ESPN leagues and about 80% owned in CBS leagues. By all means, if he is available in your league then you must use your top waiver priority on him and spend upwards of 50-60% of your FAAB on him. We have a lot of intriguing players that are over 60% owned in most leagues. Due to that, I’ve added a sub-section at the bottom of the running back and wide receiver sections as a reminder to check on availability for some must-add players this week. As always I’ll be in the NFL Seasonal Chat Tuesday night from 8:00pm ET to 10:00pm ET taking questions ahead of your waivers being processed Wednesday morning!
Ryan Tannehill (TEN) I cannot believe this guy is available in about 45% of ESPN leagues. If you play in a two-quarterback league or even a Superflex league he is a must-start going forward. Tennessee has already had their bye week and he has 14 total touchdowns in five games with just three turnovers. The Titans have a slightly difficult matchup next week against Pittsburgh, but Devin Bush is done for the year and we may see Tennessee pick apart this defense. This is a Top 12 quarterback that is currently on waivers and he has possibly Top 5 upside at this position. We shouldn’t be sleeping on Tannehill anymore. If you really need help at quarterback, you should pay up for him. FAAB Bid: 12-13% but in Superflex/Two-QB Formats you can go up to 30-35%
Justin Herbert (LAC) I feel like the quarterbacks this week are going to be the same as last week. I just had a little déjà vu when I started writing these guys up. However, when ownership is still light on these guys they deserve the repeated mentions. Herbert’s ownership likely didn’t spike because he was on bye this last week. I do expect that to change heading into Week 7 against Jacksonville. This isn’t a great defense and the Chargers will be able to run and throw on them with ease. Herbert’s put his cannon of an arm on full display with at least 290 passing yards in three of his four starts this year and he has seven touchdown passes in his last two games. For this week I’m anticipating a more modest stat line of 280 passing yards and two touchdowns. But that’s still serviceable. FAAB Bid: 8-12%
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) Well this is a surprising move by Miami. The Dolphins are 3-3 and Ryan Fitzpatrick was doing fairly well as a starting quarterback. While most people assumed it would take a classic case of Ryan running out of his Fitzmagic, the Dolphins have made the switch at quarterback. So in two-quarterback/superflex leagues Tua may need to be rostered purely out of necessity since the position is so scarce. Make no mistake about it, prioritize Tannehill or Herbert over the Miami rookie. Miami does have the week off so there's no need to rush, but he'll have plenty of time to get ready for the Rams in two weeks. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
Giovani Bernard (CIN) Joe Mixon tried to play through his foot injury but left with eight minutes to go. So that’ll only further infuriate his fantasy managers. The Bengals have a couple of tough matchups coming up against Cleveland and Tennessee, but Cleveland’s run defense has been suspect in recent weeks and they allowed over 100 rushing yards to James Conner . I’m not predicting 100 rushing yards for Gio, but he’s a good start in PPR formats as a Flex play if Mixon misses time. Positional need will be a reoccurring theme in this week’s piece. Mixon’s available everywhere so if you truly need him this week he can help you win your matchup if Mixon is out. FAAB Bid 13-17%
Boston Scott (PHI) Alright folks it is time to be disappointed by Boston Scott once again so step right up and get those FAAB bids ready! With Miles Sanders trending in the wrong direction for Thursday night, Scott will be a hot commodity. The Eagles draw the Giants on Thursday and then Dallas in Week 8 so it’s possible we get multiple weeks of usage out of Scott. We’ve been down this road with him before though. It paid off for a few games last year, but he burned us the first two weeks of 2020. There’s still no arguing the potential workload he has in store, and sure, he could split a little with Corey Clement . For now let’s assume this is a one-week rental so desperation may determine how much you spend. FAAB Bid: 12%
J.D. McKissic (WFT) McKissic may have appeared in last week’s waiver article as a bit of an afterthought, but now I’m willing to trust the consistency in his passing game involvement. He now has three straight games with at least six receptions and while he hasn’t found the end zone he’s provided at least 8.2 PPR points in four straight games with 14.4 on Sunday. That’s not great, but he might be worthy of the Flex considering we’re currently without Christian McCaffrey , Austin Ekeler , Nick Chubb , and probably Miles Sanders for Thursday night. If you need a little help at running back McKissic’s worth a modest FAAB bid to get some cheap points. After all, Washington faces Dallas in Week 7. FAAB Bid: 11-12%
J.K. Dobbins (BAL) Mark Ingram left Sunday’s game with an injury, and the extent of it remains unknown as of Monday. Dobbins took on double-digit carries for the first time in his career and it was a bit of a ho-hum performance on his part. The narrative for Dobbins is lining up similarly to D’Andre Swift’s from this past week. Swift was coming off a bye and looked prime for a breakout game. The Ravens have their bye next week and then take on the Steelers in Week 8. We won’t see anything near the level of breakout from Swift. However, to the more casual fantasy football fan, this may be a bad matchup. The Steelers just lost Devin Bush to a torn ACL and he’s their signal caller on defense and they’re trending in the wrong direction for fantasy. Yes, they held the Browns in check but they do that every year. If you can stomach holding Dobbins for his bye week (whose ownership is down to 56% and could drop even more) then it could pay dividends. Remember, when you drafted him you did so knowing the production wouldn’t come until the second half of the season. If he’s available in your league, scoop him up now. For this reason we should also look into Gus Edwards if Mark Ingram does miss significant time. However, you should be spending half on him what you would for Dobbins. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Cam Akers (LAR) Remember last week when Sean McVay made it clear he needed to get Cam Akers more involved and I moronically fell for it and recommended to fantasy players to start Akers in the Flex? Ha! Egg on my face! I completely understand the frustration with the rookie, but after all I’ve been saying for weeks I still believe Darrell Henderson is the guy in this backfield. But people are dumping this kid and if that’s the case, I’m fine throwing a little FAAB to stash him. Henderson and Akers have a lot of upside and right now it’s Henderson getting the rub (and Malcolm Brown for whatever reason). If you have a spot to stash him, go for it. FAAB Bid: 7%
La’Mical Perine (NYJ) Since the last two guys (Dobbins and Akers) might not necessarily be available in your league, there’s a good chance Perine is. Perine was a very late addition to the Waiver column last week once it was announced that Le’Veon Bell had been released. We’ve seen players excel once either Gase was fired or the Gase-led team sent that talent elsewhere. And this is a bad offense right now; a joke, really. And he only had nine total touches on Sunday and he didn’t do much with them. In time, he’ll likely chew into Frank Gore ’s workload. Touches are touches in fantasy football so we’ll keep an eye on those. What he does with them is the big mystery. FAAB Bid: 6%
Tony Pollard (DAL) Not for one second should anybody be buying the narrative that Zeke’s job is in trouble. That’s just stupid. However, Pollard might be worth a stash in the deepest of leagues. Elliott has had a problem with ball security this year. He’s fumbled five times and lost four of them. Ball security is job security as they always say, but Zeke’s job is pretty safe considering the fact he’s an elite running back and Mike McCarthy wouldn’t dare go away from his stud running back. As a mild punishment, Tony Pollard was given more work, but Zeke was still involved on Monday night as well. It would take a serious injury to Elliott for Pollard to really provide any value. At best he’s a cuff in shallower leagues, and a stash in deeper formats. FAAB Bid: 2-4%
Check And See If They’re Available: As mentioned in the opening paragraph, check to see if D’Andre Swift is available in your leagues. Also keep an eye out for Phillip Lindsay, Justin Jackson , Chase Edmonds , and Jerick McKinnon . McKinnon’s stock is trending upward now that Mostert is hitting IR. If you stayed loyal and didn’t drop him, your faith could be rewarded over the next few weeks. Again, if he is available you should look to spend about 30% of your FAAB to pick him up. However, his ownership is still relatively high so he’s likely only available in shallower leagues.
Tee Higgins (CIN) I can’t believe I have to mention Tee Higgins again, but here we are. He has 32 targets over his last four games and he’s flashed big play potential. As excited as I was a week ago for Chase Claypool, even I’ll admit I feel a little better about the consistency of Higgins’ workload. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 3 but he came oh so close on a deep ball where he was tackled inside the ten-yard line. We cannot let this rookie linger on waivers too much longer. Eight targets per week should not be sitting on ESPN’s waiver wire in more than 50% of leagues. FAAB Bid: 15-18%
Christian Kirk (ARI) There have been signs over the last couple weeks of Kirk’s emergence, but he broke out Monday night against Dallas. The target share was minimal, but he had two touchdown catches in a game where Arizona didn’t necessarily need to throw a lot as evidenced by Kyler Murray ’s nine completions. Let’s jump on board and get him while we can because Arizona is going to have to throw a lot to keep pace next week with Seattle. All Arizona pass catchers could be in line for a big game. FAAB Bid: 12%
Travis Fulgham (PHI) I wasn’t excited about him a week ago. Am I allowed to change my tune with the benefit of hindsight? I’m still not overly optimistic, but he simply won’t be benched either when DeSean Jackson , Alshon Jeffery , and/or Jalen Reagor return. He now has touchdowns in three straight games with 23 targets over his last two outings. Add in the fact the Eagles draw the Giants and Cowboys (both at home) over the next two weeks and this is enough of a reason for fantasy owners to get a little excited. I can’t imagine you’re starting him as anything more than just a flex play, but he’s still contributing and Carson Wentz is looking his way. FAAB Bid: 10%
Keelan Cole (JAC) Cole is going to be a frustrating player. For starters there are other pass catchers I like in this offense. D.J. Chark is nursing an injury but he’s reliable when healthy and I’ve written up Laviska Shenault ad nausea this year. But Cole hasn’t seen fewer than five targets in any game this year and he’s found the end zone three times already. He didn’t even score in Week 6 and still caught six-of-nine targets for 143 yards. Currently he’s a Top 20 wide receiver in fantasy. I doubt he finishes the season that high, but he’s maintained relevance in fantasy in four-of-six weeks so far. FAAB Bid: 8%
Tim Patrick (DEN) We had a lot of questions on Tim Patrick this past week, and for the most part I whiffed by telling people not to start him. Which is a shame because I’ve mentioned him in this article before as a solid waiver addition. He came through against the Jets a couple weeks ago and he had another solid game against New England on Sunday. He caught four-of-eight targets for 101 yards as Jerry Jeudy drew significant coverage. Next week is shaping up to be a game where the Broncos are trailing so I’m thinking Patrick has Top 30 upside at this position. There’s more of an argument to start him in three-wide receiver leagues, but he could be a flex play in most formats with Denver likely chasing points. FAAB Bid: 8%
A.J. Green (CIN) The Bengals came out firing on all cylinders on Sunday and jumped out to an impressive 21-0 lead over the Colts. And then they managed to squander it and put up just a field goal in the second half in a losing effort. Naturally, A.J. Green had his best game of the season on Sunday with a team-high 11 targets. He managed to catch eight of those for 96 yards. Ownership is down on him and if you want to take a shot, be my guest. He deserves to be mentioned in this article based on recency bias and overall name recognition. I’m not going to bother putting in a claim for him because Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are still the preferred options for Joe Burrow. FAAB Bid: 5%
Breshad Perriman (NYJ) It feels weird talking up a Jets wide receiver that isn’t named Jamison Crowder , but in his first game since returning from injury Perriman saw eight targets in a reunion with Joe Flacco . He managed to catch four of those targets for 62 yards, which isn’t a terribly showing in your first game back from an ankle injury. The Jets have a slightly tough matchup next week against Buffalo, but then they’ll be chasing points in Week 8 against Kansas City. FAAB Bid: 2-4%
Check And See If they’re Available: Mike Williams was mentioned last week and is coming off his bye and draws Jacksonville in the coming days. We’d obviously feel better about Williams in Week 7 if Keenan Allen were inactive, but it does seem like he’ll play this week so it’s worth monitoring the team’s practice reports. Be on the lookout for Diontae Johnson and Deebo Samuel. These are two players I’ve seen get dropped in a few leagues last week and that is a huge mistake. Brandin Cooks is also worth keeping an eye on. He found the end zone for a second straight week, albeit on a very short one-yard pass. We can’t expect too many of those, but he’s been getting looked at by Deshaun Watson . Similar to Will Fuller , Cooks is an intriguing deep threat that will have his ups and downs for fantasy. Henry Ruggs is another wideout to monitor as his team is coming off a bye. They have a stiff matchup next week in primetime as they host Tampa Bay though.
Dallas Goedert (PHI) Goedert is now eligible to return off IR since he’s missed the last three games with an ankle injury. The timing couldn’t be more perfect since Zach Ertz is set to miss at least a month with a high ankle sprain. Goedert saw 17 targets in his first two games of the year before getting hurt in Week 3. If he’s somehow available in your leagues and you need a tight end, you’ve got options this week at least. Goedert could potentially emerge as a Top 8 player rest of season at his position with his counterpart out a month. Carson Wentz still has very few people to throw to and this coaching staff loves Goedert. FAAB Bid: 13-14%
Rob Gronkowski (TB) I enjoyed poking fun at how Gronk looked through the first four weeks. And objectively speaking, that should’ve been expected. He didn’t play at all in 2019 and he didn’t get preseason games this year so he was bound to look slow and sluggish. And to be fair, he still looks slow but Tom Brady is putting in the effort to get him involved. Gronk finally found the end zone on Sunday and he now has at least six targets in three of his last four games. There’s no O.J. Howard , and Cameron Brate doesn’t look like he’ll be a problem. Additionally the target share between Mike Evans and Chris Godwin is its own puzzle, but on Sunday Godwin and Gronk were the only Tampa pass catchers to see more than two targets. If Gronk can steadily see five or six targets each week then he’s going to be a fantasy-worthy tight end. This position is not as deep as we thought it was so if you’re a Zach Ertz manager or if you’ve struggled with the position all season, at least Gronk is trending in the right direction as a streamer for you. FAAB Bid: 8-9%
Trey Burton (IND) Burton had been trending up in recent weeks with 11 targets in his previous two games before scoring twice this past Sunday against the Bengals. One of those was a touchdown run that probably should have gone to Jonathan Taylor, but alas, it went to Burton and it helps his fantasy value who now has at least five targets in his last three games. The downside is that the Colts are heading into their bye week and honestly starting Week 9, I see Jonathan Taylor really shining with a fantastic schedule the rest of the way. But Burton will still be involved. This offense gets usage out of its tight ends and Philip Rivers has clearly given Burton (and Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox ) opportunities to score this season. FAAB Bid: 6-7% But he’s heading into his bye. We can find other streamers for next week for possibly less FAAB.
Others Receiving Votes: I’m currently pretty high on Goedert and Gronk, but mostly Goedert. If you’re in a deeper league you can look at players like Darren Fells and Anthony Firkser . Deshaun Watson takes advantage of Fells’ size in the end zone as he now has ten touchdowns in his last two seasons. Anthony Firkser is a deep league stash if Jonnu Smith is sidelined with an ankle injury. Firkser is far from the player Smith is, but savvy fantasy managers know opportunity when they see it. Between Fells and Firkser there are potential points to be had here.
Buffalo Bills – The Bills are the obvious grab if they’re available. On ESPN and NFL.com they’re available in about one-third of leagues and they get the Jets next week. The Bills D/ST has been a bit overrated for fantasy. They have four performances this year returning zero points or worse. But next week is the perennial layup across the NFL landscape and in Week 1 the Bills D/ST returned ten fantasy points against the Jets. Similar to the Dolphins last week, we can spend a little FAAB on the D/ST playing the Jets.
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs did pretty well Monday night against the Bills on the road. They only returned five fantasy points, but let’s take away the fantasy aspect from this game and look at how the actual defense did. They held Buffalo to just 17 points and 206 total yards of offense. The knock on Kansas City was they only forced one turnover and didn’t sack Josh Allen at all. But this was still a very good performance with the Chiefs (even if they were aided by the weather). Next week they visit the Broncos in Denver. The Broncos are coming off an upset win over New England, but the offense revolved entirely around six field goals. Drew Lock looked awful completing less than 50% of his passes and throwing a pair of interceptions. I’ll pick the Chiefs to put up seven-to-nine fantasy points in this matchup.
Los Angeles Chargers – This is a longshot play, and probably the option you need to stream if you’re in a deeper league. But the Chargers are coming off their bye week and are hungry for a “get right” game after once again, seeing injuries ravage their defense. Gardner Minshew hasn’t been throwing the ball particularly well and I still believe in the Chargers’ pass rush. The Chargers are far from a lock like the Bills and Chiefs, but maybe they can go out and return six points in this matchup with the Jaguars having to travel cross country for this game.