Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 7
October 20, 2015 | Evan Sandel
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James Starks (18% Yahoo, 22% ESPN)
The Packers handed the reins over to James Starks on Sunday and the fifth year man out of the University of Buffalo responded with vigor.
Starks rushed for over 100 yards against the Chargers, something Eddie Lacy has failed to do all season long. Starks also found the end zone twice, another thing Lacy has yet to do.
Lacy’s demotion wasn’t due to any sort of injury beyond being “banged up” with Coach McCarthy conceding, “we went with James first just because he’s been playing extremely well.”
Starks will have some tough matchups coming out of the bye week as the Packers will travel to Denver and Carolina, but it’s safe to assume Starks will continue to be featured until he falters or Lacy earns his job back.
Add in all formats. Meanwhile, Lacy can join fellow first round fantasy pick C.J. Anderson on the bench.
Brandon LaFell (50% Yahoo, 20% ESPN)
LaFell is finally off the PUP list and will return to practice on Monday, his recovery has gone smoothly and he’s a veteran with a year of Patriots experience under his belt, therefore it’s likely he’ll be active against the Jets next Sunday.
LaFell had a career year in 2014, his first season in New England. LaFell showed instant chemistry with Tom Brady and racked up nearly 1,000 yards and hauled in seven touchdowns.
The Patriots offense has managed to be prolific in LaFell’s absence, but it’s lacking the vertical presence that the LSU alum provides. Diminutive receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola only average 10.5 yards per reception and depend on lots of YAC, meanwhile both New England running backs are averaging an impressive five yards per carry.
Expect LaFell’s return to open up opposing defenses and for the Patriots to score even more pretend points for their fantasy owners.
Marvin Jones (35% Yahoo, 29% ESPN)
Marvin Jones saw season highs in both targets and fantasy points this past week against Buffalo, with 12 and 15.5 (standard) respectively.
On an undefeated Bengals squad that continues to impress, Jones battles it out with the universally owned Tyler Eifert every week to be Andy Dalton’s second favorite passing target.
Cincinnati has a lot of mouths to feed on offense, which will lead to some inconsistency for Jones, but his ceiling is apple pie in the sky high.
Roster Jones as a solid WR3 with the potential to have a big game every week.
Blake Bortles (25% Yahoo, 27% ESPN)
Bortles finished 5th amongst quarterbacks in fantasy point scoring in week six, thanks to his three touchdown passes and 331 passing yards. Far from a fluke, Bortles is surprisingly fourth in scoring amongst QB’s on the season. And with newly minted tight end Julius Thomas now healthy, he has an increasingly impressive array of weapons to throw to.
It’s hard to expect the situation in Jacksonville to remain so friendly to the young quarterback’s stat-line, but Bortles appears to have taken a step forward this year and is worth rostering for those with QB troubles.
It’s also worth noting that Bortles’ fantasy playoff schedule is absolute cake, as he’ll see the some of the worst passing defenses in the NFL in weeks 13-15. He’ll face Indy (287 ypg), Atlanta (288 ypg) and New Orleans (273 ypg). Bortles could be worth stashing just for that primo scheduling.
Benjamin Watson (10% Yahoo, 4% ESPN)
Watson had a career day on Thursday night, catching 10 of 12 targets for 127 yards and a score.
There was speculation before this season that Jimmy Graham’s departure might make a star out of New Orleans’ other tight end Josh Hill, who was theorized to fill that role for the Saints. That theory has been widely debunked, as Hill has been invisible all season long, but Thursday night provided a glimmer of hope that there might yet be a role for a tight end in Sean Payton’s offense.
Watson’s 10 receptions led the Saints by a mile, as Cooks and Snead tied for second with four catches each.
It’s possible that Watson’s big night was a fluke, but the Saints are in need of weapons. He showed chemistry with Brees…and there’s always the ghost of Jimmy Graham to consider.
Watson is only a TE2 for now, but if you’re not satisfied with your current one, it’s worth adding Watson to see if he can maintain a significant role.
Stefon Diggs – Starting in place of the injured Charles Johnson, Diggs has actually been productive, something Johnson wasn’t at all, and that includes a game in Denver. I don’t think Johnson gets his job back when he returns; Diggs is worth a stash.
Landry Jones – Big Ben is almost back, but Jones looked like an immediate improvement over Vick. He’s not worth rostering in redraft leagues, but if Rothlisberger misses another week, Jones is my DFS quarterback.
Ahmad Bradshaw – With Josh Robinson already a healthy scratch, Bradshaw is now the primary handcuff to an aging Frank Gore. He may even have some stand-alone value in PPR.
Matthew Stafford – If somebody got frustrated and cut this guy, go swoop him up. His poor production the last few weeks has had a lot to do with tough scheduling (DEN, SEA, ARI), but that’s about to turn all the way around as the Staff infection will face KC, OAK and PHI in 3 of the next 5 matchups. He led QB’s in scoring this week; he could do it again in any of those games.