Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups – Week 7
Going into Week 7, we have done a decent job identifying fantasy waiver options to push your team to the upper echelon of fantasy stardom. You’re going to be missing some prominent fantasy options in Week 7 with the Vikings, Dolphins, Colts and Ravens all on bye. Without any potential COVID shakeups this week, we have a good set of games where we can target a few waiver options high in order to succeed against all odds. Lets review our selections from Week 6.
Andy Dalton: 16.6
JD McKissic: 14.4
Zack Moss DROP: 1.5
Chase Claypool: 18.1
AJ Green DROP: 17.6
Gerald Everett: 5.7
Miami Dolphins: 15.5
Not a half bad week for our picks while your primary starters are on bye. Andy Dalton had a tough matchup vs. a challenging Cardinals defense, but nonetheless, he still put up a decent 16.6 points, but unfortunately wasn’t enough for the Cowboys to take down the Cardinals. McKissic got the primary touches while Gibson is still working into the offense, that played in our favor to the tune of 14.4 fantasy points. As for our drop candidates, Zack Moss performed as usual, luckily he was off your roster, and AJ Green outperformed what players far and wide projected of him. Do not read into this AJ Green performance, this will not be the norm, and I would guess he goes back to his old self against Cleveland in Week 7.
Chase Claypool is slowly turning into one of the 2020 Draft’s top WR prospects, and as Juju continues to struggle, Claypool will continue to see increased snap and target percentages. Everett saw the return of Higbee, and they split snaps throughout Week 6, he still put up 5.7 points, and while not outstanding, still more than other TE1 options including Tonyan, Engram, Andrews, Ebron, Smith and Njoku. Lastly, if you played the Miami Dolphins Defense, you’re welcome. Miami took down Nick Foles and the abysmal Jets offense to the tune of 15.5 fantasy points. Overall, I am very pleased with our Week 6 waiver pickups and drops, you easily could have plugged these options into your lineup and lead your team to victory.
RULES: These picks will be for players that are UNDER 40% rostered (ESPN Rankings) in standard leagues. These selections will not only be starting caliber players, but will also provide bench depth for the comings weeks. Reminder, these players will not always be for the respective week, we plan to look ahead a bit to beat the mass pickup as the player gains notoriety or favorable matchup. Any future projections will be noted in the body of the analysis.
QB: Tua Tagovailoa- MIA (5.9% Rostered)
PICK HIM UP NOW BEFORE HE STARTS FLYING OFF THE SHELVES. Miami is on bye this week, but earlier today (Tuesday) Brian Flores named Tagovailoa the starter moving forward, replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has been playing well throughout the early portion of the 2020 season. Tagovailoa was the 5th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Dolphins hit a homerun with this selection. Although Tua has missed the beginning portion of the season dealing with the lingering remnants of a dislocated hip sustained in the 2019 Alabama season vs. Mississippi State. Although this has been a long road to recovery for Tagovailoa, doctors have medically cleared him, and team reports have stated that he is looking better than ever.
During his tenure at University of Alabama, Tua threw for 7,442 yards and 87 touchdowns, and ran for 340 yards and 9 touchdowns during only 32 total games at Alabama. Regardless of not competing at the NFL Combine, and only having a virtual Pro Day to showcase his abilities, coming off of a very serious hip injury, Tagovailoa was highly sought after and at multiple points, was rumored to be in contention for the #1 selection in the Draft. With the emergency of Myles Gaskin, and the presence of DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Isaiah Ford, Jakeem Grant, and Mike Gesicki in the passing game, the Dolphins Offense is looking much better than multiple years past. If Tua can hit the ground running, and pick up where Fitpatrick has left the current state of the offense, Tua could be a force to be reckoned with in the NFL for years to come. Tagovailoa not only has a cannon, but also has mobility that forces defenses to remain on their toes, and could be a serious threat in the Dolphins offensive attack.
RB: Boston Scott- PHI (10.6% Rostered)
We spoke about Boston Scott much earlier in the season (Week 1), but here we are again with another golden opportunity to see him shine. Sanders went down in Week 6 with a knee injury that could sideline him for 1-2 weeks. With a short week, facing the Giants on Thursday night will almost certainty happen without Miles Sanders in the lineup. To put it simply, the Giants just have not been good this season in the least and with Daniel Jones often looking like a deer in the headlights; I do not anticipate Week 7 being their saving grace. To this point in the season, the Giants have been giving up an average of 19 fantasy points per game, and we have seen big games against them from names such as Benny Snell, Jeff Wilson, and JD McKissic. To say the Giants have a bottom tier defense may be putting it nicely, so lets target ANY offensive weapons against them at this point in the season. Scott has been a situational starter this season as when Sanders is healthy, he barely sees the field.
When Sanders went out halfway through the game in Week 6, Scott saw his snap count skyrocket and ended the game with 49% of offensive snaps under his belt (mind you he only played about a half). When Sanders has been out this season (and last season as well), Scott has transitioned into the #1 RB option, and it looks to be the same equation going into Week 7. Many people will look at Scott’s Week 6 production and question the output, but when you think about the fact he only played a half of football, in a game that was primarily planned around Sanders being healthy, in a game where they were playing catchup the entire second half, there wasn’t too many opportunities for him to thrive. Scott is a quick, shifty, change of pace back that can succeed in any situation as long as the OLine is willing to create holes. With the lack of Sanders (knee), Ertz (ankle), Goedert (ankle), Jeffrey (foot), and Jackson (hamstring) it looks like Scott will be the only option in the offense, so I anticipate there being high snap count and hopefully resultant production.
RB DROP: Alexander Mattison- MIN (95.7% Rostered)
I understand the appeal of Alexander Mattison, but the logical production does not match for him. Dalvin Cook is often injured, and while the handcuff of having his immediate backup is extremely appealing, it has not panned out. In Week 5, Mattison received the opportunity to fill in for Cook when he left the game with a groin injury, and was able to capitalize on production against a stifling Seahawks Defense, putting up 112 yards on the ground and another 24 yards in the passing game (16.6 points). Coming in halfway through the game for an injured Cook, and putting up 16.6 points worth of production is outstanding in a game where the game plan was based around a different back. The one issue with this situation, everyone had Mattison on their bench, therefore not capitalizing on the newfound opportunities. Going into Week 5, the Vikings knew Cook would miss some time, therefore had the opportunity to game plan around Mattison as RB1 against the Falcons Defense. The Falcons have allowed an average of 16.7 points per game to the oppositions respective RB1, but this was not the case in Week 6 for the Vikings. Mattison put up a whopping 4.0 points, with a total of 10 rushing attempts for 26 yards and a singular reception for 4 yards. In a perfect world, this would have been a pivot situation if another offensive weapon took the majority of snaps, but the Vikings decided to dismantle the running game all together, and completed their Week 6 loss with a total of 32 rushing yards… giving the Falcons their solo win on the season. With the bye week coming at the optimal time (Week 7) this will give Dalvin Cook another opportunity to heal his injury, to return for Week 8. Various news sources have identified a 99.999% chance of Cook returning in Week 8, so its time to move forward without Mattison. When you needed him most, he was unable to produce. With Cook coming back from injury, and with all hopes being stronger than previous, he will be able to maintain some solid production throughout the remainder of the season. Move on from Mattison because he is just filling a bench spot “in case,” where he was not even able to capitalize on his opportunities in Week 6.
WR: Tim Patrick- DEN (18.6% Rostered)
Much like the previously mentioned Eagles Offense, the Broncos have been struggling with injury throughout this season. Lock missed some time early in the season with a shoulder injury, followed by the loss of Fant (ankle), Sutton (ACL/MCL), Hamler (hamstring), and Gordon (illness), the recent offensive options in Denver have been bleak. With all the uncertainty surrounding the offense, Tim Patrick, the 2017 UDFA out of Utah, has been the one shining point that has stepped up to the plate in a time of need. With the hype of younger offensive weapons coming into the season, a lot of focus has been on Jerry Jeudy, who has had an average start to the year.
With Jeudy primarily being blanketed by the CB1, this is going to leave Patrick with a favorable matchup moving forward. During Patrick’s last 3 games, he has totaled 257 yards and 2 touchdowns, while scoring a total of 51.7 fantasy points (14.3, 23.3, & 14.1) and carrying the Denver passing game. Coming into a tough matchup vs. Kansas City in Week 7, it will not be easy for Patrick to shine, but most likely playing from behind, Locke will have to air the ball out in order to attempt to take down the Chiefs. Patrick has been the hot hand(s) over the last few weeks, and with a ‘Prove It’ attitude, I anticipate him to continue to shine. Patrick stands at 6′ 4″ tall and is a solid offensive mismatch option with the lack of a TE in Denver until Fant is healthy. In a big rivalry game against the Chiefs, where they will be almost certainly playing from behind, Patrick will need to be a primary target of Locke in order to make moves towards potential victory.
WR DROP: T.Y. Hilton- IND (82.7% Rostered)
Honestly, this was a tough call to make. Hilton, the 4x Pro Bowler has had an outstanding career to date, and at 30 years old, still has some longevity left on his wheels, but he is not seeing the targets or production of years past. With the acquisition of Jonathan Taylor in the 2020 Draft, coupled with Nyheim Hines and Marlon Mack (when healthy), the Colts have dedicated their game plan to feature the run predominantly. Throughout this season, Hilton’s snap count has increased weekly, topping out at 94% of offensive snaps in Week 6, but snaps have not turned into targets for Hilton, who only had 5 looks last week.
Zach Pascal has emerged as one of the primary targets for Rivers, and has shown resultant production, totaling 198 receiving yards and two touchdowns. As well in the 2020 Draft, the Colts selected Michael Pittman out of USC, and although he has been on IR dealing with a calf injury, he is projected to return to the offense sometime after November 1st. Also, throughout Philip Rivers career he has shown a fondness to the Tight End position, and with Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox, and Trey Burton, the stable is chock full of options, taking away targets from elsewhere on the field. So far this season, the Colts have been an above average team, and they have been able to succeed (4-2) without the overwhelming presence of TY Hilton. This will continue on, especially after the rookie WR Pittman returns from injury; he will be groomed to be a top option in the Colts offense.
TE: Darren Fells- HOU (3.4% Rostered)
Across the NFL this season, the TE position has been so volatile; there hasn’t been a real solid weekly matchup that hasn’t let us down at least once or twice in the process. The primary big man option in the passing game so far this season in Houston has been Jordan Akins, but with him missing time with an ankle injury and a concussion, Darren Fells took the opportunity to shine in Akins’ absence. In Week 6 with the absence of Akins, Fells capitalized on the occasion going 6/7 for 85 yards and a touchdown (17.5 points). Throughout the season, sharing production with Akins, Fells has still been able to carve out his own opportunities and has 205 yards and 3 touchdowns on the year. Deshaun Watson has targeted Fells in the red zone, as he is an absolute monster based on size metrics alone. Fells is 6′ 7″ and weighs 270 lbs. And while he is more built like an underweight offensive lineman, he has smooth hands and has no issues coming down with the ball.
On the season, Fells has a 73.7% catch rate, and while seeing an increase in snap percentage over the last 3 weeks (80% on average), even with Akins in the lineup, he is a threat at all times in the red zone. Deshaun Watson is an outstanding quarterback, but with the inconsistencies of Fuller, Cooks and Cobb this season, the Texans have been criminally underperforming. Since the release of Bill O’Brien, the Texans have had a rejuvenated offense taking down the Jaguars and playing a highly competitive OT thriller against the undefeated Titans (ended in a loss). I fully expect this young offense to thrive moving forward with a new coaching staff in place, and expect to see Fells be a primary red zone target based on his size alone. While the Week 7 matchup against the Packers in Week 7 will be a tough one, following the bye, the Texans visit the Jaguars and Watson will have an opportunity to show the pop in his arm and put up some strong offensive numbers. While week-to-week Fells may not be a high yardage guy, he will forever be a big red zone threat, and will continue to see targets in a young, high-powered offense.
Streaming DEF of the Week: PHI (13.9% Rostered) vs. NYG
It is going to be tough to follow up our Week 6 pick of Miami putting up 15.5 points, but with a lower level of ownership (13.9), I expect the Eagles Defense to hold their own against the Giants struggling offense. Earlier in the article (see Boston Scott), I explained all the reasons why the Giants defense has been struggling to date, but the offense hasn’t been any better. Daniel Jones often looks like a deer in the headlights, and cannot manage to get the ball off in any form of pressure. Jones is averaging 1.6 turnovers per game on the season, and through 6 games, has been sacked 18 times… Its not easy to be sacked 18 times, and that puts Jones in the top 5 QB’s in the league in number of sacks throughout the 2020 season, not a category to boast being Top 5 in… Needless to say, their Offensive Line has been struggling, and it is not anticipated to miraculously get better in Week 7. When healthy, the Eagles defense is very strong. They made numerous offseason acquisitions that on paper left them with a Top 10 defense in terms of players and past production. In Week 7, we will see a lot of cause and effect in terms of how the Eagles Defense will put up an outstanding showing vs. the Giants. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham will be the two catalyst pieces in the cause and effect by putting pressure on the weak OLine, causing duress on Daniel Jones. With Daniel Jones being forced to make a pass (running game is desolate without Saquon), Darius Slay, Jalen Mills and Rodney McLeod will have the opportunity to contest the forced pass, hopefully leading to defensive points. While this all stems essentially from pressure on Daniel Jones, I anticipate Jones having 2+ turnovers in this game, and if the Eagles can capitalize on these errors by returning one for a touchdown, expect higher point totals for the Eagles defense in Week 7.
Let me know your thoughts! Reach out on twitter at @AJAudet80 for discussion on the fantasy selections above. Any questions on your fantasy lineups, trades, or additional waivers pickups, hit me on twitter for advice! I look forward to hearing from you and working to build a strong fantasy community.