Welcome to the Waiver Wire Week 7 article! Week 6 was Deon Jackson week. 28 PPR points were an incredible reward for those who were either bold enough or, in some cases, desperate enough to add AND use Jackson. Sure he flashed in Week 5, finishing as RB25, but this week he finished as the elusive RB1 overall. Some fantasy players hate it when a player, entirely off the preseason radar, has a smash game. But for those of us who grind waivers, continually churn the back end of our rosters, stay calm and make calculated additions, and who just do not stop trying to make our teams BETTER, a week like this is pure bliss.
Some waiver wire columns are for those who play in very shallow formats. This one is not that. This column goes deep, but if you followed our advice two weeks ago and added Jackson, you most likely won this past week.
Grinding the Waiver Wire
Grinding waivers is an inexact science. There has to be a healthy mix of spotting potential rises in usage, new opportunities, identifying talent, and knowing your own team’s needs. Sure, there will be some free square-type plays, but the best waiver wire grinders are often one or two weeks ahead.
Week 7 is another week featuring that nasty B word: Bye Weeks. For fantasy purposes, this week is an absolute killer. Minnesota, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles Rams are all on byes. Some of the best players in fantasy football will be unavailable. This will be a tough week for many fantasy managers, but the glass-half-full argument is that getting the bye out of the way early on can be a lot less stressful than missing them in Week 13 or in the dreaded Week 14 when some formats start their fantasy playoffs.
Here are the Bye Week teams for the next few weeks.
Los Angeles Chargers
New York Giants
New York Jets
New England Patriots
(ALL PLAYERS ARE ROSTERED IN 25 PERCENT OR LESS OF YAHOO LEAGUES)
NOTE: Jared Goff may have been dropped during his bye week. He would be a strong addition.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
(NOTE JONES IS ABOVE OUR THRESHOLD, BUT AVAILABLE IN SOME LEAGUES)
Last week I recommended Jones as a potential streamer, and he responded with his game of the season with two TD passes. It is a low bar for sure, but Wan’Dale Robinson‘s return, and TE Daniel Bellinger‘s emergence, give Jones two more low ADOT weapons. The appeal of Jones will always be his mobility, and while he only rushed for six yards, he had six rush attempts. Fantasy gamers should expect five plus rush attempts every game. The 5-1 Giants are one of the best storylines of the season. Jones is a QB2.
Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons
Mariota had an efficient game this past weekend. He had two touchdown passes on 13 of 14 passing to go along with 50 yards rushing and a TD. This was one of his best fantasy performances of the season, and the Falcons got the big win over San Francisco. The Falcons have been a source of frustration for many fantasy managers hoping for more from Kyle Pitts and Drake London, but Mariota has a rushing upside and a firm hold on the job. His ceiling is limited, but he is a potential bye-week streamer QB2.
Kenyan Drake, Baltimore
Drake was a player I drafted in the later rounds this past summer, and we recommended him in this column as a potential Week 2 streamer. Like nearly everyone in fantasy, I cut Drake after a dismal start to the season.
But the opportunity has knocked once again for the veteran RB. He had his best game as a Raven this past weekend with 119 yards rushing and a TD on 10 carries to go along with a catch. John Harbaugh said that J.K. Dobbins‘ knee tightened up, but Dobbins’s usage is very troubling. He played only 27 percent of snaps and did not see a target. Justice Hill is still out with an injury, and Gus Edwards is not back from the I.R. Drake makes for a short-term streaming RB, and a potentially big help for bye-week-decimated teams this week.
Damien Williams, Atlanta
I have been encouraging readers of this column to add Williams for the past few weeks, and he will return against Cincinnati. Atlanta is one of the most RB-centric teams in fantasy right now. Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley combined for 31 carries this past weekend, but neither one of them is a factor in the passing game. Williams could step into a much more significant role than many fantasy managers are prepared for. He offers two-way ability at the RB position. Cordarelle Patterson’s return will further complicate matters, but I remain bullish on Williams.
Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams
Williams is another stash RB that could pay dividends later in the year. The rookie was a fifth-round selection in this past NFL draft. He is on the small side at 5-9, 195 pounds, but he is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. He had 77 receptions in his last two seasons at Notre Dame and 31 combined touchdowns. A slow 40 kept his draft stock relatively low, but Sean McVay and the Rams coaching staff are very high on him. Cam Akers is going to be traded (or cut) as early as this week. Expect Williams to see an opportunity when he returns from injury. Get ahead of your league mates with this one.
D’Onta Foreman, Carolina
The Panthers season is headed NOWHERE. The Christian McCaffrey rumors are rampant. While Carolina may have too high an asking price, many teams will be interested in a back as talented as McCaffrey. Many fantasy managers are holding their breath right now that McCaffrey does not turn one of their RBs into complete dust. The Carolina offense is already bad and could turn putrid without McCaffrey. However, volume is volume, and we need to take a look at who would be the next man in. My pick would be D’Onta Foreman over Chuba Hubbard. This past weekend, Foreman had five carries to Hubbard’s two. This is an ugly situation and could be a potential split, but Foreman has a clear path to double-digit weekly touches.
Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh, and Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers
Warren and Kelley are clear handcuffs. They are still readily available in many leagues. If Najee Harris or Austin Ekeler were to miss time, these two players would be RB2s. ROSTER HANDCUFFS WHEN YOU CAN!
Wan’Dale Robinson, New York Giants
Robinson returned from injury and helped New York to their big win over Baltimore. He earned four targets and caught three of them, including a TD. Expect his numbers to go up and expect his role to grow. The Giants used a second-round pick on Robinson and took him ahead of George Pickens, Alec Pierce, and Skyy Moore. Additionally, Robinson has a great opportunity ahead of him and is one of this week’s best waiver wire options.
Tyquan Thornton, New England Patriots
Yet another Day 2 rookie pick to write about in the Waiver Wire column. Thornton had a dream start to his NFL career against Cleveland. He scored two touchdowns. One he caught through the air and the other came on the ground.
Thorton earned five targets for four receptions, but the three manufactured rushes are what is most exciting. This indicates New England views him as a part of their weekly game plan. In addition, he played a promising 40 snaps. Thornton is one of the fastest players in the entire league, and I am intrigued to see where this goes.
Khalil Shakir, Buffalo
Isaiah McKenzie was abysmal in his return from injury. He was involved on a fumble and had notable drops. He still out-snapped Shakir 37-12 and out-targeted him 5-2, but we could see a takeover of the Buffalo slot WR position during the bye week. Shakir has more juice.
Robbie Anderson, Arizona
What a wild 24 hours for Anderson. He was sent to the locker room early after arguing with his WRs coach. Seemingly in fantasy limbo, Anderson was handed a lifeline as Arizona traded for the mercurial wide receiver. With Hollywood Brown’s injury, Anderson now has new fantasy life. Expect him to play on the outside opposite Deandre Hopkins. We know what we will get with Anderson. He is a boom-bust type who can help out in the flex on occasion.
Terrace Marshall, Carolina
Marshall makes for a speculative addition. Marshall is a former Day 2 pick from LSU who produced alongside the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. His NFL career thus far has been a huge disappointment, but he will at least have a shot at more playing time.
DeVante Parker, New England
Parker is back on our fantasy radars this week after catching four passes for 64 yards on six targets. Additionally, he played 55 snaps. The Patriots’ WR pecking order seems to be Jakobi Meyers followed by Parker and Thornton. Parker is not a weekly starter by any means, but he still can win downfield. This is strictly a bye-week fill-in type of play.
Cade Otton, Tampa Bay
Otton returns to the Waiver Wire column again this week. Cameron Brate suffered what looked to be a scary head injury on Sunday, and his status moving forward is unknown. Whether it is a short-term absence or a longer one, expect Otton to step into a full-time role. We already saw him flash in week five with a six-catch performance.
Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants
Bellinger saw his highest snap percentage of the entire season and was second on the Giants in targets with five targets. This is now back-to-back weeks where he found the end zone. Much like Robinson, Bellinger is set to take advantage of a weak set of offensive skill position players in New York. His trajectory is pointed up.
Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos
Dulcich is set to make his NFL debut this week. I have recommended him as a stash for weeks now.
I think he quickly becomes a weekly top-15 TE and will have a great deal of fantasy success in his NFL career.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
Gesicki saw an uptick in usage and production this past week. He played 50 snaps and saw seven targets and posted season highs with six catches, 69 yards receiving, and two TDs. I doubt this is a sign of weekly things to come, but Gesicki has been TE1 multiple times in his career. If he is out there on waivers, it is worth picking him up to see if he can carve out a role as the No. 3 target in Miami.