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.
BUF – The Bills were on a bye in Week 6, but Allen should be fully
healthy and ready to take on the lowly Dolphins in dream matchup
for Week 7. He showed some rapport with rookie Duke Williams in
Week 5 and RB Devin Singletary is on track to return, giving the
Bills offense another complementary weapon for their passing game.
Allen is available in over 50 percent of ESPN leagues and has
a stretch of excellent matchups coming in the next five weeks.
Kirk Cousins, MIN – Cousins (still just 25-40 percent owned)
has started to show signs of his previous life as a viable NFL
fantasy QB, completing 22-of-29 passes for 333 yards and four
touchdowns in the Vikings’ Week 6 win over the Eagles. The
Vikings are a run-first team and will continue to utilize their
strong RBs, but Cousins is once again on the radar and has a decent
enough matchup in Week 7 against the Lions.
Sam Darnold, NYJ – In a refreshing turn of events, the
Jets offense looked for real again with Darnold at the helm. The
second-year QB completed 23-of-32 passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns
and one INT in the Jets’ Week 6 upset over the Cowboys.
Darnold (7-10 percent owned) ignited a lifeless offense and the
Jets’ three first half touchdowns were more than they’d
scored in the first four games. The Week 7 matchup against New
England’s defense isn’t a great spot, but Darnold
is an excellent play in Week 9 against Miami and have a few streaming
opportunities moving forward.
Gardner Minshew, JAC – The rookie completed just 14-of-29
passes for 163-0-1 while adding two rushes for 1 measly yard Sunday
in the Jags’ Week 6 loss to the Saints. He disappointed
this week but there will be better spots for the enigmatic young
QB – like Week 7 against a winless Bengals team.
CAR – There's still a chance Allen remains the starter
when Cam Newton
returns, and that’s what some fantasy owners are hoping for as
Cam’s fill-in completed 20-of-32 passes for 227-2-0 in the Panthers’
Week 6 win over the Bucs. Cam’s at about 50 percent ownership
in ESPN leagues, and Allen is at about 10 percent. Stay tuned.
PIT – With Jaylen Samuels out for the next month or so and James
Conner (quad) leaving Sunday’s game early, the door is open for
Snell, who rushed 17 times for 75 yards and caught his lone target
for 14 yards in the 24-17 Week 6 win over the Chargers. While
nearly half of the rookie's carries came in the second half after
Conner exited and the Steelers bye week coming up, we have a bit
of an uncertain picture. Still, Snell played well Sunday and is
worth adding in all formats.
Johnson, HOU – Johnson carried five times for 34
yards while adding 20 yards and a TD on two catches during Sunday’s
31-24 win over the Chiefs. He’s still available in about 20-40
percent of fantasy leagues and is a key role player in the Texans
Williams, GB –UPDATE:
Aaron Jones dropped a TD pass and also lost a fumble, and Jamaal
looked solid with the extra work after the Jones miscues. Williams
finished with 104 rushing yards on 14 caries and added 4-32-1
on five targets. He may have been dropped by owners after his
scary Week 4 injury but he’s just 25 percent owned in ESPN leagues
and is a must-own after a big Week 6 performance.
Edmonds, ARI – Edmonds (20-25 percent owned) had
only five rushes but tallied 34 yards and caught 2-33-1 in the
Cardinals’ Week 6 win over the Falcons. Starter David Johnson
managed to play through his back injury and ended with about twice
that workload, and if Johnson were to miss time this season, Edmonds
would be a viable RB2 with upside in all fantasy formats.
UPDATE: No word on Johnson yet,
but even if their star is healthy the Cards will look to Edmonds
and his standalone flex value against the Giants – who have
allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
Alexander Mattison, MIN – Mattison (15-20 percent owned)
had another solid game as the Vikings continue to use both him
and Cook to gains chunks of yardage in this awesome running attack.
Mattison rushed for 63 yards on 14 carries – just two fewer
carries than Cook – and had the standalone value we talked
about last week. He’s looking like a viable flex option
and appears to be top handcuff to own in fantasy, given the Vikings
ATL – Just three carries for 6 yards, while Devonta Freeman went
nuts. Not a good showing for Smith, who’s off my radar now.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
TE Hunter Henry,
LAC – Expected to be limited in his return following a tibia fracture
that kept him out of action the last month, Henry exploded for
8-100-2 on nine targets in the Chargers’ loss to the Steelers
on Sunday. He and Philip Rivers connected on an 18-yard pass down
the seam on the Chargers’ first offensive play of the game and
seemed to have no problems picking apart the Steelers’ secondary
at times. He’s a must-add in all formats at a thin position and
is owned in fewer than 55 percent of ESPN leagues.
Robby Anderson, NYJ – Anderson looked happy to have Darnold
back at QB as he caught five of eight targets for 125 yards and
a TD on Sunday. He’s a must-add in all formats and is owned
in fewer than 60 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues. The Jets have
favorable matchups the next several weeks, and Anderson could
be the pickup that drastically alters the rest of your season,
so make him a priority if he’s available.
NYG – Tate didn’t do much in Week 5 but had an excellent game
in the TNF loss to New England, catching six of nine targets for
102 yards and a TD in the 35-14 loss. His target total was buoyed
by the absence of Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and any semblance
of a running game, but he’s owned ibn just 55-65 percent of fantasy
leagues and will be a contributor this season.
NYG – Another Giants WR I’m keeping an eye on is Slayton, who
has seen at least five targets in three of the first four games
he's suited up for. The Round 5 draft pick has above-average speed,
decent hands and plenty of upside as a downfield threat – which
could be exploited more once Saquon Barkley is healthy.
MIA – I shouldn’t have started Preston Williams in DFS Sunday,
because he was covered by Josh Norman, allowing Parker to get
in on the scoring action. Parker caught 3-of-4 targets for 28
yards and a TD against the Redskins, and regardless of who’s under
center in Miami should post decent WR4 numbers.
Williams, BUF – In his first week of NFL action,
Williams was targeted four times by Allen and the two connected
on a 7-yard score. Not too many folks added the former practice
squad WR since the Bills were on their bye, and Williams makes
for a great add – with WR3 upside almost immediately.
Knox, BUF –UPDATE:
The Bills should look early and often to their rookie TE this
week, and he’ll continue to shine as long as Tyler Kroft remains
out. Knox is just 5-10 percent owned and provides upside at a
position without too many stars. Zay Jones, OAK
–UPDATE: Jones (0-5 percent
owned) came to the Raiders from the Bills and looks to provide
Derek Carr with a viable option on the outside – or in the slot
in 11 personnel. He’s been an enigmatic character but shows flashes
of upside in favorable spots.
Will Fuller, HOU – Oh boy. Fuller caught 5-of-9 targets
for 44 yards in Houston's Week 6 win over the Chiefs, but he dropped
two TD passes from DeShaun Watson and remains a WR3/4 with upside.
JAC – Chark struggled to shed the coverage of Marshon Lattimore
and finished Sunday with just 3-43-0, numbers the 2018 second-rounder
will improve on in Wek 7 against the Bengals. Chark’s ownership
shot up to about 70-85 percent this past week, and he still warrants
WR2 usage moving forward.
Everett, LAR – I don’t know what the Rams are doing. Everett
caught 2-of-5 targets for 9 yards in the Rams’ Week 6 loss to
the 49ers, and those five targets were second only to Cooper Kupp.
When Jared Goff and the Rams right this ship, he’ll be more useful
– but last season’s NFC Champs look dreadful these days.
KC – Tyreek Hill came back and went off, and Pringle settled for
2-24-0 on three targets in Kansas City’s Week 6 loss to the Texans.
He’s worth a look only if Sammy Watkins remains out but is safe
to drop ion most leagues.
HOU – Coutee caught 4-of-6 passes for 39 yards in Houston’s Week
6 win over the Chiefs and remains on the radar as long as Kenny
Stills is out.