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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.
The Packers will move forward with Brett
Hundley at QB. Is he worth a spot on your fantasy roster?
Palmer, ARI – Palmer is about 60-85 percent owned in
competitive leagues, and he’s got a matchup with the Rams in Week
7 before a Week 8 bye and then have a favorable matchup with the
49ers in Week 9. He’s coming off his best game in 2017 from a
TD perspective, throwing for 283-3-1 in the win over Tampa Bay,
and the addition of Adrian Peterson has breathed new life into
McCown, NYJ – I was skeptical that McCown could return
solid production against the Patriots, who have dominated he Jets
for several seasons but seem to be giving up big fantasy numbers
to opposing QBs in 2017. Alas, McCown did have a solid day, throwing
for 354-2-2 in a tough loss that should have included one more
passing TD. I haven’t seen any call worse than the TD-turned-touchback
on Austin Seferian-Jenkins supposed fumble, but that shouldn’t
keep the Jets from playing tough in Miami in Week 7. If you’re
looking for a passable QB to roster, McCown (10-20 percent owned)
is most likely available, and he doesn’t have a bye until Week
Hundley, GB – With the injury to Aaron Rodgers and
the Green Bay Packers planning to stick with Hundley, the entire
offense takes a hit. Hundley is a longshot for consistent fantasy
production but gets a favorable matchup in Week 7 against the
Saints, even with that unit coming off a huge game where they
forced five Matthew Stafford turnovers. Stafford was at less than
100 percent and still threw three passing TDs. Hundley could take
a while to get the requisite confidence to lead the Packers to
a few wins, but he’s universally available and many believed he
was a better QB than both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota heading
into his 2014 season at UCLA.
Fitzpatrick, TB –UPDATE:
The plug-n-play viability of Fitzpatrick depends on the status
of Jameis Winston (who won’t test the shoulder with throws
until later in the week) and your belief in the power of the narrative
play, as Fitzpatrick will be facing his old team the Bills if
he gets the call. Maybe just a DFS longshot, Fitzpatrick is a
risky option but has been known to put up monster fantasy numbers
when given the opportunity. He’s not a sensible long-term
pickup, as Winston is simply day-to-day and has just a mild AC
Hoyer, SF – Hoyer was benched for Beathard and the
rookie out of Iowa threw for 245-1-1. I’m avoiding the QB situation
in San Fran but I did include Beathard as someone to consider
if you’re willing to take a risk and roll him out against the
Cowboys in Week 7.
UPDATE: It’s been confirmed that Beathard will take over
starting QB duties this week against Dallas, where he’ll
be a high-risk QB2.
Brissett, IND –UPDATE: Brissett completed 21-of-37
passes for 212 yards and one touchdown in the Colts' Week 6 loss
to the Titans on Monday night and added five carries for 15 rushing
yards. His 212-1-0 line should have been better but Donte Moncrief
dropped a 18-yard TD in the endzone. His time as a viable fantasy
starter is running out as Jacksonville present a difficult matchup
and Andrew Luck is nearing a return.ate coming Tuesday.
Keenum, MIN – Keenum completed 24-of-38 passes for
239-1-1 in the Vikings’ Week 6 win over the Packers, but may not
be the starter for long if Teddy Bridgewater is ready to take
the reins. Even if he gets the nod for Week 7, he’s got a tough
matchup against the Ravens.
UPDATE: Bridgewater (knee) will resume practicing on Wednesday,
which begins the Vikings’ three-week window to officially
activate him or revert him to the PUP list for the remainder of
the season. All signs point toward Bridgewater being officially
activated before his window is through, which complicates the
fantasy value of both Keenum and Sam Bradford.
Ivory, JAC – Ivory’s team-high nine receptions in Week
6 (9-74-1 on 10 targets) was a huge surprise, especially considering
he had no targets in Week 5 and just 11 on the season coming into
the matchup with the Rams. We’ve seen production from Ivory before,
but it’s been via traditional usage in the power running game
and not as the more versatile change-of-pace back. Leonard Fournette
actually went down late in Sunday’s loss to the Rams and was sidelined
for the remainder of the game, giving Ivory (10-20 percent owned)
some opportunities. Jags head coach Doug Marrone said Fournette
could have gone back in had the Jaguars needed him, but it was
interesting to see Ivory used in the hurry-up offense, showing
he could be used a lot more for passing-down work going forward.
UPDATE: Adam Schefter confirmed Monday that Fournette is expected
to play against the Colts in Week 7, but Ivory still has some
low-end value and could see additional work.
Lewis, NE – Despite being a dynamic, versatile back
in a potent offense, Lewis is just 5-35 percent owned in fantasy
leagues, and is coming off his best game of 2017. He ran for 52
yards and a TD on 11 carries Sunday but didn’t see any targets
and has just 7-42-0 receiving through six weeks. The Pats might
be using him even more frequently against the Falcons in Week
7, and he’s a great pickup if you’re hurting at RB.
Foreman, HOU – There’s plenty of production to go around
in this Houston offense, and in Week 6 the Texans broke up the
carries pretty evenly between Foreman (12 carries for 59 yards)
and Lamar Miller (15 carries for 41 yards, 3-40-0 on four targets).
This is definitely a situation to monitor and Foreman (20-60 percent
owned) could see equal time with Miller and more of the early
down work moving forward.
Morris and Darren
McFadden, DAL –UPDATE: These two have likely
been scooped up off the wire in most leagues, and there’s
still some debate over who will take over the majority of carries
in the Dallas backfield. But NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart said
Ezekiel Elliott's suspension is “in place” and should
begin Week 7 against the 49ers. There have been several conflicting
readings of the various court decisions regarding Elliott in the
last week, but the NFL is clear on their position. The Fifth Circuit
Court of Appeals is also expected to decide on Zeke's request
for a full panel rehearing early this week, so you’ll have
to stay tuned to the reports as the come. For now, both Morris
and McFadden should be owned in all formats.
Peterson, ARI – Peterson was added in just about all remaining
fantasy leagues when word broke of the trade to Arizona. He responded
with 134 yards and two TDs on 26 carries and could be a legitimate
RB1 until David Johnson returns sometime in December.
Mack, IND –UPDATE: Mack disappointed on Monday night,
rushing twice for just 18 total yards in the Colts' Week 6 loss
to the Titans. He failed to haul in either of his two targets
in the passing game. A risky play with upside moving forward,
the Colts now seem once again committed to getting Frank Gore
the majority of carries.
McKinnon, MIN – McKinnon had another huge day with
69 rushing yards on 16 carries and 5-30-1 receiving on six targets.
He’s a dynamic back with plenty of upside even in less favorable
matchups due to his abilities as a receiver.
Allen, BAL – Allen had 10 carries for 49 rushing yards
and 3-17-0 and still has an edge over Alex Collins as the top
RB in Baltimore. He’s also disappearing from most waiver wires
and is about 75-95 in fantasy leagues.
Breida, SF – Breida rushed for 21 yards on four carries
and added 15 yards on two catches in Sunday’s 26-24 loss to Washington.
Hyde got a couple goal line TDs and more of the passing game work,
but rumors of a possible Hyde trade make Breida a must-own.
Darkwa and Shane
Vereen, NYG – Darkwa had a big game Sunday night (21
carries for 117 yards, 1-13-0 receiving) in the win over Denver
but Vereen didn’t record a catch and had just one carry for 4
yards. Consider Darkwa (10-25 percent owned) the top Giants back
moving forward and a must-own in all formats.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Jones, DET – Jones is about 60-75 percent owned in
fantasy leagues and I featured him as one of my “starts” in last
Week’s Shot Caller’s Report. Coming off a solid Week 5 where he
a season-high eight targets and contributed 6-54-0 in the loss
to the Panthers, Jones saw a massive 14 targets from Stafford
and finished with 6-96-1. Sure, there was a lot of second-half
catchup time and an enormous number of plays run by the Lions
offense – but Jones is heating up and should be owned in all formats.
UPDATE: Golden Tate looks like he’ll be missing extended
time, increasing the value of Jones when the Lions return from
their bye. He’s a sneaky pickup this week if you’re
okay for Week 7 depth. Kenny Golladay (hamstring) should also
be ready by Week 8, so he’s another interesting deep-league
Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ – Despite solid performances
in every game he’s played this season, ASJ is available in almost
30 percent of competitive leagues and now has 23-152-4 on 29 targets
in four games. I’d rank him in the middle of the second tier of
fantasy TEs after the first tier of Gronk/Kelce/Ertz and right
among Jordan Reed, Delanie Walker and Cameron Brate in my rest-of-the-season
rankings. He needs to be owned in all formats.
Agholor, PHI – Agholor’s ownership rates are all over
the place, ranging from just 36 percent on ESPN to as high as
80 percent in more competitive leagues, but he’s there’s no disputing
he’s a talented receiver on a very good offense. He now has 20-321-4
on 30 targets this season, and has moderately high upside because
of his big play ability. Still, we can’t expect him to score every
week, so he remains a risky play moving forward.
Kearse, NYJ – It’s still taking me a while to process
that the Jets offense might actually be decent, so I apologize
for not including him since Week 3 in this column. That said,
he’s coming off a 4-79-0 (four targets) game against the Patriots,
is still about 60-75 percent owned in competitive leagues and
makes for a fine addition in 12-team leagues. He’s probably the
best receiving option behind Seferian-Jenkins on the Jets.
Engram, NYG – Engram is probably the best receiving
opting on the Giants and should have steady value as a low-end
TE1. He was blanked in Week 5 on four targets but had a big night
against Denver with 5-82-1 on seven targets from Eli Manning.
Kroft, CIN – With the news that Tyler Eifert is done
for 2017, Kroft vaults once again near the top of the list of
TEs to add. He’s proven to be a good red zone target for Dalton
and will likely be a TD-dependent TE2 moving forward.
Lewis, NYG – Lewis posted just 1-15-0 in the win over
Denver but should remain an option in the right matchups.
Brown and Jaron
Brown, ARI – John Brown (3-63-1 on four targets) had
the best day among the Cards receivers aside form Larry Fitzgerald’s
10-138-1 on 11 targets, with Nelson and Jaron combining for just
one catch and one carry. The struggle is real, folks.
Goodwin, SF – Goodwin had a forgettable day with 2-26-0
on five targets, and the sea change at QB could signify more looks
for Aldrick Robinson moving forward. Stay tuned.
Dickson, CAR – Dickson saw eight targets on Thursday
night and caught 4-36-0. He’s a high-end TE2 with upside