Waiver Wire Gems for Week 7
Last week was probably the craziest slate of games so far in the 2016 season- at least from a predictive Fantasy perspective. Several players were expected to return and ended up being duds, while other unheralded guys were off-the-charts, lineup winning breakouts.
Along with the surprises came another round of injuries. If you were hit hard by the injury bug, or, like me, had the misfortune of starting the wrong guys in Week 6, hitting your waiver wire will be an important part of securing these critical midseason wins.
Here are the guys who are available in at least half of ESPN public leagues and how much of your remaining budget I would be willing to spend on each player.
Week 7 Byes: Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys
Marcus Mariota – Mariota topped this list last week and responded with another fantastic week. In his last two games, Mariota has produced 124 rushing yards, 7 total touchdowns and is averaging 32.4 fantasy points per game. That two-week run has vaulted him into the QB6 spot for the season. Expect another big performance in Week 7 as the Titans host the bottom-10 Indianapolis Colts defense. I’m recommending an aggressive bid because I expect Mariota to be highly-coveted this week and assume that he will no longer be a streaming option. He needs to be owned in all leagues, moving forward.
-Ownership data based on ESPN public leagues
Alex Smith – The Chiefs will remain a run-first team with both Spencer Ware and Jamaal Charles lined-up behind Smith, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have streaming value. Like say, for instance, this week when the Chiefs host the New Orleans Saints and their famously-generous pass defense. Cam Newton owners looking for a one-week fill-in should consider Smith as a nice option.
Joe Flacco – Flacco’s first game under Marty Mornhinweg produced a season-high 307 passing yards. The Ravens two scores came on the ground, but are more likely to come through the air in Week 7 as the Ravens play their second-straight road game at MetLife Stadium. The banged-up Jets secondary is among the three worst units in football. Should be a good day for Flacco.
Jay Ajayi – I hinted at frustration over the “wrong” players having big games last week. Ajayi was the main benefactor there, as many of us expected Arian Foster to return and take the lion’s share of carries and restore some value to a messy 4-man rotation. Instead, Ajayi destroyed the Steelers for over 200 yards and a couple of scores. He out-carried Foster 25-6, so it looks pretty much like Ajayi will be the workhorse moving forward. Of course, Adam Gase isn’t to be trusted, but for now, Ajayi is worth a substantial bid in free agency. It’s a tough Week 7 matchup against the Bills, but grab him anyway.
Dion Lewis – He’s not going to help you this week, but when Lewis returns, he could be a huge difference-maker. Tom Brady’s return has resurrected the Patriots offense. In Brady’s two games, current pass-catching back James White has averaged just a hair under 20 fantasy points per tilt. I expect Lewis to completely take over that role when he’s healthy. There’s speculation that Lewis could practice as soon as this week. That means his return is nearing and now is the time to be proactive and add a potential stud RB2 to your roster as the playoffs near.
Cameron Meredith – It’s been quite a two-week run for Meredith, but word has gotten out and he’s going to be one of the most-added players in all formats this week, again. In the past two games, Meredith has commanded a whopping 27 targets, while hauling in 20 balls for 243 yards and a score. Brian Hoyer seems to love the second-year wideout- almost as much as his PPR owners. You’re going to have to bid aggressively to acquire him this week, but keep in mind that the bad Hoyer game is coming and there’s no guarantee that Meredith will remain fantasy-relevant if and when Jay Cutler resumes starter duties.
Jamison Crowder – Overall, Crowder’s numbers have slowly started to fade, but he remains fantasy-relevant due to his red zone prowess. Crowder’s 9 red zone looks are No. 4 in the NFL. He’s become a trusted outlet for QB Kirk Cousins and should be in for another couple of throws in or around the goal line this week against Detroit’s lousy secondary.
Kenny Britt – It’s normally not a good idea to go haphazardly chasing point when a guy like Kenny Britt has a breakout 2-TD week and inevitably fails to ever approach those numbers again. But surprisingly, Britt is actually the WR15 for the season and is not only seeing a consistent role (over 46 snaps in every game), but he’s getting targets and even has 4+ receptions in every game. The Rams passing game leaves a lot to be desired, but Britt is one of the most under-appreciated players in fantasy football right now, and worth and add in all leagues.
Pierre Garçon – Like Cameron Meredith, Pierre Garçon has been red hot lately, with over 30 PPR points in Washington’s last two weeks. Jordan Reed’s absence translated into a season-high 11 targets last week. Whether Reed returns in Week 7 or not, Garçon is worth a look this week against a Detroit secondary that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wideouts so far in 2016.
Cameron Brate – The Bucs are coming off of their bye, so now is the right time to add their underrated pass-catching tight end. Brate has played between 54 and 70 snaps in each of Tampa’s past three contests and he’s averaging 9.7 fantasy points per game- which is TE1 numbers.
Vernon Davis – Davis got the start for Jordan Reed, who sat out Week 6 with a concussion. Davis put up a solid 2/50/1 game in relief, and is worth starting consideration as long as Reed is out. He’s a solid streaming option this week in Detroit.
Deep Sleeper Adds
- Quarterbacks – Landry Jones, Brian Hoyer, Sam Bradford, Geno Smith
- Running Backs – Chris Thompson, Mike Gillislee, CJ Spiller
- Wide Receivers – Brandon LaFell, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jeff Janis
- Tight Ends – Jack Doyle, Ladarius Green, CJ Fiedorowicz
Thanks for reading!