Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 7

Waiver Wire Gems for Week 7

Waiver Wire PickupsLast 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

Quarterbacks

marcus-mariotaMarcus 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.

 

Player Team Pos Own% FAAB
Jay Ajayi
RB 42.5 35%
Cameron Meredith
WR 32.2 35%
Hunter Henry
TE 49.3 21%
Jamison Crowder
WR 35.6 20%
Marcus Mariota
QB 41 18%
Dion Lewis
RB 22.3 15%
Kenny Britt
WR 13.1 10%
Cameron Brate
TE 23.6 9%
Jacquizz Rodgers
RB 29.9 8%
Kendall Wright
WR 1.2 7%
Anquan Boldin
WR 19.4 7%
Pierre Garçon
WR 26 6%
Devontae Booker
RB 29.9 6%
Matt Asiata
RB 19.8 5%
Bobby Rainey
RB 8.4 5%
Alex Smith
QB 37.1 5%
Vernon Davis
TE 11.7 4%
Ty Montgomery
WR 0.2 4%
Joe Flacco
QB 34.7 3%

-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.

Running Backs

Jay AjayiJay 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.

Jacquizz Rodgers – Charles Sims in on IR, so Rodgers will assume his role when Doug Marin returns. Martin is expected back this week, but if he’s slow to heal, Rodgers proved he could handle the full workload before the Buccaneers went on bye. Rodgers is a great handcuff for Martin owners, but also offers stand-alone value as a passing-down back in PPR leagues. In Week 7, the well-rested Bucs play a San Francisco run defense that has surrendered 478 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns to opposing running backs over the past three weeks.

Wide Receivers

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-brittKenny 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.

Tight Ends

Hunter Henry – If you watched Thursday Night Football last week, you saw that it’s become apparent that Henry has surpassed Antonio Gates and is now the No. 1 tight end for San Diego. Gates will remain involved- especially in the red zone, but Henry’s size and downfield ability make his a dangerous weapon and worth a pretty big free agent bid for a position that is very difficult to fill. San Diego’s Week 7 matchup in Atlanta should be very conducive to points- making Henry a sure-fire TE1 this week.

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!

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About the author

Jody Smith

Co-owner and Managing Editor of Gridiron Experts. 2012 FantasyPros Most Accurate Fantasy Expert. Member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. 26 year fantasy football veteran. Featured on NFL.com, Fantasypros, Football Diehards annual magazine, local AM sports radio, podcasts everywhere and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Once scored 4 touchdowns in a single game for Polk High School.

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