We have made it. We survived Byemaggedon.
Week 7 presented many challenges; eight teams on bye weeks coupled with multiple injuries. There was fight or flight time for many fantasy managers this past week. This was a week to either give up and phone it in OR work the waiver wire, stream some strong starts and grind out some victories. I was happy to have churned out several significant wins across my many fantasy leagues. Especially after hearing all week about how “impossible this week was.”
In fantasy football, winning league championships and the money and pride that goes with it is a great feeling, but the journey along the way can be just as rewarding. We can take pride in many victories along the way. Big regular-season wins, whether against a friend or a league mate you respect, feel great. Winning a waiver bid by a few dollars feels great. Drafting a terrific value pick like Ja’Marr Chase or Cooper Kupp feels unbelievable.
But if you play in enough competitive leagues, being able to use players off the waiver wire and have them produce for you and help you get victories during choppy weeks like this past one are the kind of accomplishments that make you keep going work even harder on the waiver wire. If you could win this week with Carson Wentz, Khalil Herbert, D’Ernest Johnson, Ricky Seals-Jones, then salute. You added players that your league mates may have overlooked or underbid on, and their performances helped you win.
With Week 7 in the books, we reach a vital Week 8. After this week, we will be two months in, and the fantasy playoffs inch closer and closer. This week, with only two teams on a bye, it is less about surviving than it is about thriving. Put up a big point total this week, and get some momentum heading into the end of your regular season.
The injuries, as always, continue to mount up. Miles Sanders went down with an ankle injury, and Darren Waller was a surprising late scratch. Waller is on a bye this week, but we need to prepare for more games missed until we have some answers. In a Monday morning shocker, we found out that Davante Adams will almost definitely miss Thursday night’s game after being placed on the Covid-19 list.
The QBs on bye this week are Lamar Jackson, one of the best fantasy options all year, and Derek Carr, a popular streamer.
This week and moving forward, the goal is to keep improving your roster AND add players that can help your league mates.
Kirk Cousins (Vikings)
Kirk Cousins is one of my favorite streamers this week. He has one of the best tandems of WRs in football in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, and No. 3 WR K.J. Osborn has been a reliable option. The Vikings are hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football with a sizzling 53-point total. With both teams coming off of a bye week, I am expecting a shootout.
Deshaun Watson (Team TBD)
Deshaun Watson is one of the most talented QBs in football and will likely be on the move this week. Despite what many people think, he will not be on the commissioner’s exempt list unless he is charged criminally and will be eligible to play right away.
In the wake of Sam Darnold’s benching, rumors around CAR and Deshaun Watson are heating up. https://t.co/7GMHwo1T00
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 25, 2021
I would bet on a Watson start as early as Week 9 or 10. He is the rare chance at an every-week starter added off the waiver wire.
Carson Wentz (Colts)
Carson Wentz is playing terrific football of late. He has a QB rating of 115 or higher for four straight games. This past weekend, he threw for two TD passes and ran for another on the road during a big win at San Francisco. Consider rostering him in all leagues right now. Do not let QB-needy teams pick him up for cheap.
If Marlon Mack is on the move, make sure he’s on your roster 🚨 pic.twitter.com/SKYU0UJT2t
— PlayerProfiler (@rotounderworld) October 26, 2021
Kenny Gainwell (Eagles)
Kenny Gainwell has appeared in this column multiple times this season. Miles Sanders exited the game early, and while Boston Scott should also see increased touches, Gainwell is the Eagles back to roster.
🥱 did you get Gainwell before the rush?
damn it feels good to be great 🤷♂️ https://t.co/P93RxSfPbY
— Cody Carpentier™ (@CarpentierNFL) October 26, 2021
The Eagles offense has issues, but I am excited to see Gainwell in a more significant role. He is a good pass catcher already and could spark a team that badly needs one. In deeper formats, consider adding Scott as well.
Brandon Bolden (Patriots)
I cannot believe I am writing about Brandon Bolden, but Rhamondre Stevenson was inactive this week, and Bolden hauled in six catches and found the end zone as The Patriots obliterated the Jets. Bolden appears to have the trust of the coaching staff. Tread carefully when dealing with Patriots RBs, but keeping Bolden on your bench to see if this pass catching work continues is worth a shot.
Kenyan Drake (Raiders)
Josh Jacobs has been dealing with injuries all season long, and he exited this week with a chest injury. Kenyan Drake should see an increased role as The Raiders come off of their bye week. This past weekend, Drake found the end zone and added 69 yards on the ground while also catching three passes.
Weeks 1-5: RB51
Weeks 6-7: RB6
— Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) October 26, 2021
You may get a bye week discount if Drake is available in your league. He is a great stash.
Samaje Perine (Bengals)
It is time to view Samaje Perine as a top notch handcuff with a weekly floor. If you are RB needy, Perine can be used in a pinch. If you want to roster him as a potential lottery ticket, he would be an every-week strong RB2 if Joe Mixon were to miss time with an injury.
Bengals third-down snaps in Week 7:
Joe Mixon: 1
Samaje Perine: 13
Honestly surprised it wasn’t Chris Evans getting the pass-down work. The splits were in favor of Mixon in Weeks 1-4 with everyone healthy so this is a surprise. Will lower his weekly ceiling if it persists
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 26, 2021
We want to roster as many handcuffs as we can this time of year, and Perine is in a great spot.
D’Ernest Johnson (Browns)
D’Ernest Johnson had the game of his career this past week. Nick Chubb will be back, but Johnson did enough not to go away completely. He should see a lot of the Kareem Hunt snaps, as a change of pace to Chubb.
Editors Cut: Marlon Mack (Colts)
You’ll probably want Marlon Mack on your fantasy team in the event he gets traded to a real-life contender that can use a bellcow.
Rashod Bateman (Ravens)
I wrote about Rashod Bateman for the past few weeks. If he is available then make him a priority this week. He is also a strong buy low candidate in redraft leagues.
This past weekend, he caught 3 passes for 80 yards in only his second game this season. Expect his role to solidify and grow during the bye week. Bateman is a future NFL star.
Hunter Renfrow (Raiders)
Keep an eye on Hunter Renfrow this week in case anyone cuts him on his bye week. Renfrow led the Raiders in catches once again, and is up to 38 catches on the season. He is going to end up with 80-90 catches if he stays healthy and is a very useful player to roster.
Darius Slayton (Giants)
The Giants WRs are banged up. Darius Slayton came back from injury and immediately saw ten targets. He looks like the de facto WR1 right now and has a chance at double digit targets again this week as The Giants face off with Kansas City.
Allen Lazard (Packers)
Injuries to be ahead of for waiver bids this evening:
* Davante = Lazard, Tonyan
* Sanders = Gainwell, Scott
* M Brown = Gaskin > Ahmed
* JuJu = Freiermuth
* Giants WRs = Slayton, Pettis
* James White = Bolden
* Landry, OBJ = TE lottery
* Knox = Gabe Davis, Sweeney
— John Daigle (@notJDaigle) October 26, 2021
Lazard should be Aaron Rodgers‘ preferred target. He caught five passes this past week and found the end zone.
UPDATE: With Lazard landing on the COVID list and out for Thursday night, Randall Cobb and Marquez Valdes-Scantling immediately jump into the streamer conversation. Deep-leaguers should also not forget about Amari Rodgers, who makes for a decent stash in case he can impress his quarterback.
Van Jefferson (Rams)
Van Jefferson‘s role seems to be growing. This past weekend, he played 61 snaps and had 40 routes run- his best usage of the season. He caught four passes and found the end zone. The Rams look like they will be in three WR sets for most of the game. Jefferson should be rostered.
C.J. Uzomah (Bengals)
C.J. Uzomah has now scored five TDs his last four games. He is not a high-target player, but he saw the second-most snaps of any Bengals receiver this weekend.
C.J. Uzomah ranks third among qualifying TEs with a catch% of 89.5 & he leads TEs with an impressive 13.5 yards/target. He faces a Jets team in Week 8 ranked 19th in TE aFPA, making him an ideal TE streamer.
— 4for4 Fantasy Football (@4for4football) October 26, 2021
The Bengals offense is rolling, and Uzomah is one of the cheapest ways to get exposure to it.
Ricky Seals-Jones (Football Team)
Ricky Seals-Jones has appeared in this column for multiple weeks now. He is an every-week starter for as long as Logan Thomas is out. Seals-Jones was on the field for every snap this past weekend and saw seven targets.
Foster Moreau (Raiders)
Darren Waller was a late scratch, causing many fantasy players to score a zero this past weekend. Foster Moreau filled in admirably, posting career highs in catches (six) and yards (60) and also added a TD reception. He played every snap.
The Island of Moreau with Darren Waller out yesterday:
* 66-of-66 snaps
* 50 inline, 11 slot/wide, 5 backfield
* 32 routes on 37 Carr dropbacks
* 6 targets for a 17.6% share
* 6-60-1 result
* Max sex
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 25, 2021
We do not know the extent of Waller’s ankle injury, but Moreau should be added in case Waller misses more time.