Waiver Wire Madness: Week 7
October 13, 2014 | Jeff
The Week 6 waiver wire was the most productive of the year so far, as we saw fresh pickups turn in stellar stat lines around fake football land last weekend. This week’s crop isn’t quite as strong, but we have some definite “must adds” like running backs Isaiah Crowell of Cleveland and Minnesota’s Jerick McKinnon. The fantasy regular season is just about halfway over, so make every roster move count! Let’s dig right in and check out the best waiver wire options as we head into Week 7…
Derek Carr (Ownership: 4% Yahoo, 2% ESPN) had the best Week 6 performance of any quarterback under 40% ownership but isn’t worth much trouble on the waiver wire this week. Carr touched up the San Diego Chargers for the best day of his young career with 282 yards and four touchdown passes. The recent involvement of Andre Holmes in the Oakland offense is promising for Carr’s future prospects but his fantasy contributions will only be relevant to 2QB leagues at this point.
Joe Flacco (Ownership: 50% Yahoo, 36% ESPN) went bonkers on Sunday, throwing five touchdown passes before Ravens fans found their seats. Joe and Baltimore have a nice cushy matchup with Atlanta in Week 7, so Flacco is definitely worth a look for QB streamers next week.
Ryan Tannehill (Ownership: 35% Yahoo, 13% ESPN) and Kirk Cousins (Ownership: 49% Yahoo, 48% ESPN) both turned in decent stat lines in Week 7 but they will be weekly reserve options even in deep leagues and won’t be cracking QB1 or even high QB2 range any time soon.
Before we start, make sure these guys are owned: Branden Oliver (Ownership: 78% Yahoo, 73% ESPN), Ronnie Hillman (Ownership: 45% Yahoo, 5% ESPN), and Andre Williams (Ownership: 73% Yahoo, 72% ESPN). These three waiver wire amigos from last week should all be owned at this point and all three will contribute over the next few weeks at a minimum. I would rank them 1A) Oliver, 1B) Hillman, 3) Williams going forward.
Isaiah Crowell (Ownership: 19% Yahoo, 11% ESPN) needs to be owned everywhere, especially after fellow Browns rookie running back Terrance West was inactive in Week 6. Crowell is the unquestioned backup to the oft-injured Ben Tate in Cleveland, and even has some flex appeal on his own. Tate is still the leader of this backfield but Crowell still had 11 carries on Sunday and the Browns love to pound the ball on the ground. If Tate gets hurt again, Crowell will be a borderline RB1. Snag him now.
Jerick McKinnon (Ownership: 37% Yahoo, 5% ESPN) is my top add of the week if he is still available in your league(s). McKinnon was the unquestioned featured back for the Vikings on Sunday as the sluggish Matt Asiata was moved to the bench earlier than anticipated. This appears to be McKinnon’s job at the moment and speedsters like this guy with featured roles don’t pop up every day. Make him your priority.
Jeremy Hill (Ownership: 51% Yahoo, 82% ESPN) and Darren McFadden (Ownership: 40% Yahoo, 87% ESPN) are two guys who should be owned in more leagues. Hill is still getting a reasonable amount of work alongside Giovani Bernard in Cincinnati, including some passing game work lately and McFadden was given 16 touches in his first week under the new interim Oakland coaching staff. Both could provide nice depth for the remainder of bye week season.
Storm Johnson (Ownership: 18% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) scored in Week 6 but wasn’t incredibly impressive otherwise. He is the back to own in Jacksonville but it likely won’t be pretty as Denard Robinson and others are mixed in occasionally. He is worth a shot if you have space but I am not enamored with his situation.
With Stevan Ridley out for the season with a shredded knee, it will now likely be Brandon Bolden (Ownership: 2% Yahoo, 2% ESPN) and James White (Ownership: 3% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) filling in on early downs for New England. I would lean towards adding White first of this duo, but we all know that Bill Belichick is quite the tough nut to crack when it comes to projecting running back touches. In any event, both are worth an add to see how the situation shakes out.
Leave these guys on the wire: Theo Riddick (Ownership: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN), Antone Smith (Ownership: 28% Yahoo, 5% ESPN), Fozzy Whittaker (Ownership: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN).
We have talked about this moose here before but once again, Andre Holmes (Ownership: 6% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) needs to be added to your fantasy squads as quick as humanly possible. Holmes was a monster again on Sunday with four grabs for 121 yards and two touchdowns and was targeted eight times by Derek Carr. Holmes has the most enormous upside of any waiver option left at this point in the season so swipe him up before your league mates get their grubby mitts on him.
Brandon LaFell (Ownership: 7% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) had two scores on Sunday but predicting which weeks he performs well in is a difficult task better left to others in your league.
Mohamed Sanu (Ownership: 61% Yahoo, 39% ESPN) is worth a shot again in Week 7 as A.J. Green could still be out with his toe injury. Sanu was targeted 14 times in Week 6 while Green was out and caught 10 passes for 120 yards and a score. Fire him up if you need a starter this week.
Odell Beckham Jr. (Ownership: 38% Yahoo, 8% ESPN) didn’t do much for an encore in Week 6 but with Victor Cruz now lost for the year with a knee injury, he will be a nice contributor moving forward. The Giants will undoubtedly look better in the future than they did against Philadelphia in Week 6, and having a young piece of this passing offense isn’t a terrible idea.
Cecil Shorts (Ownership: 38% Yahoo, 86% ESPN) and Allen Robinson (Ownership: 12% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) are the two Jacksonville receivers to own if you’re looking for some depth at that spot. Shorts was targets 16 times in Week 6 while Robinson saw nine targets himself. Bad teams can contribute in the fantasy air game and we like points any way they come.
Malcom Floyd (Ownership: 23% Yahoo, 4% ESPN) had a nice 103 yard, one touchdown performance in Week 6 and has been pretty solid this season so far. If Eddie Royal (ribs) misses time, Floyd will be a WR3 type in Week 7 as the Chargers take on Kansas City.
Jordan Reed (Ownership: 59% Yahoo, 51% ESPN) is the best tight end option to scoop up this week if he is available in your league. Reed came roaring back after missing multiple games with a hamstring injury and caught eight of 11 Week 6 targets for 92 yards. Niles Paul appears to be no threat to Reed, who will be a great option while he is healthy, as he was for most of the 2013 season. Make sure he is rostered.
The top two underowned (<10%) options that had solid Week 6 performances are Jacksonville’s Clay Harbor (Ownership: 3% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) and rookie Jace Amaro (2% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) of the New York Jets. Harbor has been decent in three weeks filling for Marcedes Lewi) and is a fine TE2 option moving forward if your squad has the need for that type of thing. Amaro was heavily involved in Week 6 (12 targets) but I wouldn’t be sitting any respectable tight end options for any player in the Jets passing game. Both of these waiver targets are middling options at best but could help in deep league scenarios.