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Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league.
Albert Wilson saw 9 targets on Sunday while
DeVante Parker was targeted just once in Week 6.
Manning, NYG – I know that it seems silly to include
Eli here after his horrid performance on Thursday night, but the
Falcons defense in Week 7 doesn’t offer much of a deterrent to
chuck it downfield. Manning should rebound with at least 250 passing
yards and two TDs, and has enormous upside facing a depleted defense
that has not stopped anybody. He’s only about 10-30 percent owned
so he makes a fine bye week fill-in for Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger
and Russell Wilson owners.
Trubisky, CHI – Trubisky’s ownership ranges from about
30-60 percent, depending on league size and format, and he’s coming
off a decent game (316-3-1). He could be forced to throw a lot
more next week facing the Patriots, who gave up 352 passing yards
to the Chiefs on MNF.
Beathard, SF –UPDATE:
Beathard was fearless on MNF and gave audiences a great show,
posting 246-2-1 with 21 rushing yards. He’s not going to
be an every week QB2, but he’s got some upside as a DFS
play in the right matchup and could pile up some decent fantasy
numbers in Week 7 as the Niners try to keep pace with the Rams.
Osweiler, MIA – Osweiler may have started a QB controversy
in Miami as he threw for 380-3-2 with a 2XP in the OT win over
the Bears, as Ryan Tannehill sat out with a shoulder injury. Osweiler
is universally available and despite his checkered past could
make sense in two-QB formats moving forward. Keep an eye on this
situation, especially if you’re in a super-deep league where starting
QBs are hard to find on the wire. Tannehill is currently listed
Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield took a step back Sunday, struggling
with just 238-1-2 and a 2XP in the loss to the Chargers. He was
pressured most of the game but has a much better matchup next
week facing Tampa Bay, where he’s expected to play despite a minor
Winston, TB – Speaking of Tampa Bay, Winston piled
up big numbers in his first start of 2018, throwing for 395-4-2
in the loss to Atlanta. He’s looking like a QB1 the rest of the
way in this high-powered passing offense.
Keenum, DEN – Keenum completed 25-of-41 passes for
322-2-1 in the Week 6 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He’ll be a
solid QB2 and decent DFS value play next week against the Cards.
Carr, OAK – The Raiders got pummeled by the Seahawks
in London and Carr finished with a dreadful 142-0-0 with two lost
fumbles. He was under pressure all game long and suffered a minor
shoulder injury, which should have some additional time to repair
as the Raiders are coming up on their bye week.
Murray, MIN – With Dalvin Cook a surprise scratch,
Murray racked up 155 rushing yards and a TD, adding 1-3-0 in the
win over Arizona. Cook’s been a disappointment this year due to
injury and ineffectiveness, so Murray (45-65 percent owned) is
a must-own in 12-team leagues even if Cook’s hamstring gets healthy.
Gore, MIA – The veteran RB has gained 239 total yards
in his last three games, including 101 rushing yards and 1-18-0
in yesterday’s OT win over the Bears. Gore (10-35 percent owned)
may be a reliable option for the Dolphins, since he grinds out
a few yards here and there and doesn’t fumble, but his production
for fantasy owners remains somewhat sparse. This game could change
that as Kenyan Drake lost a late fumble that could have cost Miami
Mack, IND – I JUST dropped this guy in one 12-team
league where I already has Nyheim Hines and was banking on his
effectives over Mack’s – so Sunday’s developments didn’t make
me very happy. Mack (25-60 percent owned) rushed for 89 yards
on 12 carries and if his hamstring can stay healthy, he could
supplant Hines and the lead of the Colts’ RB committee.
Johnson, CLE – Duke’s 4-73-0 and 36 rushing yards on
just two carries led the Browns skill positions in total yardage.
Perhaps he’ll be a bigger part of this offense moving forward,
and his 25-50 percent ownership level will jump. He’s definitely
one to watch given the Browns’ matchup with Tampa Bay next week.
Crowell, NYJ – Crowell rushed 13 times for 40 yards
and caught 2-12-0 in a 42-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts in
Week 6. He’s an unreliable fantasy producer alongside Bilal Powell,
and is a risky play in Week 7 against Minnesota.
Clement, PHI – Despite pre-game chatter about his “pitch
count” Clement ran the ball 11 times for 43 yards and a TD, and
caught three passes for 26 yards on Thursday night. Without a
clear starter in Philly, he remains a solid RB2 and usually gets
a few more touches than Wendell Smallwood.
Allen, BAL – I’ll be honest – I’ve had a hard time
discerning who the more valuable back in Baltimore is for most
of last season and some of this one, but they seem to alternate
based on game flow and score. When the Ravens get an early lead,
Alex Collins is the guy, and when they get behind (even a little
bit), Allen takes over. This week, Collins blew up for a couple
scores while Allen tallied 1 rushing yard (on one carry) and 3-18-0
on his three targets – but Allen has a higher floor as the team's
primary pass-catching back in Week 7 against the high-powered
Morris, SF –UPDATE:
With Matt Breida active, Alfred Morris played just one offensive
snap didn't touch the ball in the 49ers’ Week 6 loss to
the Packers on Monday night. He’s safe to drop in all formats.
Raheem Mostert (a fourth-year UDFA out of Purdue listed above
in “RBs to consider”) finished with 87 yards on 12
carries and looked sharp in this one. Mostert is worth adding
in deeper formats.
Williams, GB –UPDATE:
Williams rushed just six times for 29 yards on Monday night, hauling
in a single 10-yard pass on three targets. Unless something happens
to Aaron Jones, Williams doesn’t have a lot of fantasy value
and is another candidate for a return to the waiver wire.
Blue, HOU – With Lamar Miller starting again, Blue
reverted to his reserve role after briefly holding the “bell-cow”
status. Blue finished with 26 rushing yards on 7 carries and 2-17-0
on three targets. He’s only a fantasy option when something is
wrong with Miller.
Charles, JAC – Charles had just five carries for 5
yards and 1-5-0 receiving in the loss to Dallas – who did an excellent
job limiting the Jacksonville offense. Unless he can bring some
of the “big plays” he spoke of when he got signed, expect Charles
to disappear from relevance again.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Williams, LAC – I had Williams (10-20 percent owned)
in my WRs “to consider” last week, and hopefully some of you pulled
the trigger and started him as he busted out for 3-118-2 in the
win over Cleveland. It’s hist first big game of the season and
he made some very nice plays on the TDs, including being draped
with several defenders on the second score. Perhaps he’ll see
more than his usual complement of 3-5 targets moving forward.
Goodwin, SF –UPDATE:
Goodwin exploded for 4-126-2 on Monday night (five targets), contributing
two big TD catches on nice throws from C.J. Beathard in the tough
loss to Green Bay. He’s definitely back on the fantasy radar
and should be on everyone’s radar heading into a matchup
with the Rams in Week 7 – when the 49ers will definitely
be throwing to keep pace with that potent offense. He’s
40-55 percent owned but should be rostered in all 12-team leagues.
Wilson, MIA – Wilson is just 10-25 percent owned but
he’s already had two monster fantasy lines this season, a Week
3 outburst against the Raiders that included a 52-yard TD pass(!)
to Jakeem Grant and a 74-yard TD reception from Tannehill. He
blew up for 6-155-2 on a season-high nine targets from Osweiler
Sunday and makes for a decent WR3 pickup heading into Week 6 vs.
Gabriel, CHI –UPDATE:
I included him a couple weeks back heading into the Bears bye
week, and hopefully you rostered him then. He’s emerging
as a solid big-play threat and is owned in about 35-55 percent
of fantasy leagues. He’s worth a look in just about any
format, has 12-214-2 in his last two games, and gets the Pats
in Week 7.
Rogers, IND –UPDATE:
The Colts passing game is a mess, and Andrew Luck has been reliant
on Eric Ebron in the red zone. But Rogers (15-35 percent owned)
has been helping to move the chains and is the only receiver not
showing up on the injury report every week. With Ryan Grant sidelined
and T.Y. Hilton still nursing chest and hamstring injuries, Rogers
(a steady contributor with 28-255-1 this season) makes for a fine
play against the hapless Bills in Week 7.
Beasley, DAL – In retrospect, it makes sense that the
Cowboys would attack the Jaguars using the shifty Beasley (5-10
percent owned), exploiting their pass rush on some quick-hitting
routes, but 9-101-2 on 11 targets was tough to envision in this
difficult matchup. It’ll probably be a high-water mark for this
fantasy output this year, but this blueprint shows me Beasley
can contribute – especially in PPR leagues.
Kearse, NYJ – Kearse finally looks healthy and benefited
Sunday from the absence of Quincy Enunwa, snagging 9-94-0 on 10
targets from Darnold in the win over Indy. He’s not my favorite
option due to his wild inconsistency, but the Jets need a big-body
WR to make up for Enunwa, who’s expected to be out for at least
a week or two.
Ratley, CLE – Ratley caught 6-of-8 targets for 82 yards
in Sunday's Week 6 loss to the Chargers. The Texas A&M product
was forced into action with all of the injuries to the Browns
receiving corps. He’s got a good matchup in Week 7 (@ TB) if he’s
Seals-Jones, ARI – Seals-Jones caught 5-of-6 passes
for 69 yards in Week 6 against the Vikings, failing to score.
Despite the chatter about his development, he’s a low-end TE2
until he shows more of a nose for the end zone.
Hogan, NE – Hogan caught four passes for 78 yards in
a wild Week 6 game against the Chiefs, looking much sharper on
his routes and running with the ball after his catches. There’s
a lot of mouths to feed in the New England offense, but the potency
of this unit makes him worth rostering in deeper formats.
Godwin, TB – Despite the return of TE O.J. Howard and
the relative health of all the Bucs WRs, Godwin still caught 6-of-9
targets for 56 yards and a touchdown in the Week 6 loss to the
Falcons and appears to be a favorite of Winston’s in this potent
offense. He’s a high-end WR4 and a decent flex option this week
facing the Browns, and his four TDs in five games this season
shows he’s a great red zone target.
Anderson, NYJ – The Jets offense looked sharp on Sunday,
but Anderson finished with just 3-39-0 on five targets. Despite
the early exit of WR Quincy Enunwa, who suffered an ankle injury,
it was mostly Jermaine Kearse and Terrelle Pryor who shined, combining
for 14 receptions for 151 yards and a score. Anderson is a boom-or-bust
WR3 who is reliant on TDs and big plays for his production.
Sanu, ATL – Sanu didn’t get targeted much, but he was
efficient with the two he got, giving us a 2-46-1 line that included
a 35-yard TD catch. He actually left the game in the second half
with a knee injury and could be questionable for Week 7 against
the Giants. Stay tuned.
Meredith, NO – The Saints were on a bye this week,
but Meredith is trending upward.
Smith, NO – Like Meredith, there will be more looks
and scoring opportunities for Smith in the coming weeks.
Kirk, ARI – Kirk turned his seven targets into 6-77-0
and seems to have better rapport with Josh Rosen than Larry Fitzgerald.
Valdes-Scantling, GB –UPDATE:
With Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison out once again, “MVS”
caught three passes on six targets for 103 receiving yards in
the MNF win and finished third on the team in targets behind Davante
Adams (16) and Jimmy Graham (9). Valdes-Scantling is big, talented
target but should see a reduced role once the Packers return form
their bye and likely get at least one of their main WRs back in
action. He’s worth holding in dynasty and even a few deep
keeper leagues, though.
Olsen, CAR – Olsen (foot) made some nice catches in
his Week 6 return, hauling in 4-48-0 but failing to reach the
end zone. He’s a low-end TE1 given the foot injury that is guaranteed
to follow him this season and make him a risk for early exit.
Hooper, ATL – Finally! Hooper bailed me out of a relatively
lackluster group of receiver recommendations this week, catching
9 balls for 71 yards and a TD on his 10 targets. He’s a
solid low-end TE1 with upside in Week 7 against the giants, especially
if Sanu and Calvin Ridley (ankle) are forced to sit.