NFL Waiver Wire: Week 7 Deep Dive

NFL Waiver Wire: Week 7 Deep Dive

This article is part of our NFL Waiver Wire series.

Week 7 will be a challenge for many with the Eagles and Bills on bye weeks. With injuries also continuing to mount, this article may become more and more useful for immediate plays rather than primarily for stashes. We'll aim to address both topics with our player recommendations and some solid adds across all positions.

Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Chiefs (19 percent ESPN)

Garoppolo taking to the air often isn't ideal for the 49ers, but it at least results in some decent fantasy performances. Against KC, San Francisco will at least have to match points - if not chase them. Garoppolo's not my highest priority, but he should offer a safe floor of 15 fantasy points.

Jameis Winston at Cardinals (15 percent ESPN)
Andy Dalton at Cardinals (two percent ESPN)

Winston has been cleared to return, but the coaching staff has declined to say whether he or Andy Dalton will start. The Saints carry a depleted wide receiver corps, but the Cards aren't a particularly difficult matchup. For those in a tough QB spot, this is a situation to monitor throughout Thursday.

Kenny Pickett at Dolphins (nine percent ESPN)
Mitch Trubisky at Dolphins (one percent ESPN)

If Pickett clears concussion protocol, he'll be the Steelers' starter. But given the new iterations to that protocol, players have had difficulty returning to the field in the week following an incident and this also requires monitoring. The Pittsburgh offense has been uninspiring, but they have strong skill-position players if either Pickett or Trubisky

Week 7 will be a challenge for many with the Eagles and Bills on bye weeks. With injuries also continuing to mount, this article may become more and more useful for immediate plays rather than primarily for stashes. We'll aim to address both topics with our player recommendations and some solid adds across all positions.

Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Chiefs (19 percent ESPN)

Garoppolo taking to the air often isn't ideal for the 49ers, but it at least results in some decent fantasy performances. Against KC, San Francisco will at least have to match points - if not chase them. Garoppolo's not my highest priority, but he should offer a safe floor of 15 fantasy points.

Jameis Winston at Cardinals (15 percent ESPN)
Andy Dalton at Cardinals (two percent ESPN)

Winston has been cleared to return, but the coaching staff has declined to say whether he or Andy Dalton will start. The Saints carry a depleted wide receiver corps, but the Cards aren't a particularly difficult matchup. For those in a tough QB spot, this is a situation to monitor throughout Thursday.

Kenny Pickett at Dolphins (nine percent ESPN)
Mitch Trubisky at Dolphins (one percent ESPN)

If Pickett clears concussion protocol, he'll be the Steelers' starter. But given the new iterations to that protocol, players have had difficulty returning to the field in the week following an incident and this also requires monitoring. The Pittsburgh offense has been uninspiring, but they have strong skill-position players if either Pickett or Trubisky proves capable of effectively distributing the ball. 

Sam Darnold vs. Buccaneers (zero percent ESPN)

You know things are bad when Darnold is viewed as the savior of a quarterback situation, but that's currently the case in Carolina. He's been ruled out for this weekend, but appears likely to be under center in Week 8. This is probably better news for Carolina's pass catchers than Darnold himself from a fantasy perspective, but his potential return is noteworthy for those in superflex/2QB formats.

Brett Rypien vs. Jets (zero percent ESPN) 

Rypien would be the starter if Russell Wilson is out. He's probably not even relevant in superflex leagues, but may be necessary in ones requiring two QBs.

Running Backs

Gus Edwards vs. Browns (six percent ESPN)
Justice Hill vs. Browns (zero percent ESPN)

Kenyan Drake is the hot waiver wire add this week after logging three rushes of more than 20 yards on 10 carries against the Giants in Week 6 after no similar plays during his first 21 carries of the season. More importantly, he needed the entire Ravens' backfield to go down to reach 10 carries as J.K. Dobbins suffered a setback to his knee while both Edwards and Hill were inactive. The Ravens could be cautious with Dobbins, opening opportunity in the backfield. However, the usage could be far more ambiguous than those dumping loads of FAAB to acquire Drake believe. Hill practiced fully Wednesday and Edwards could make his season debut Sunday. I'd expect Hill to have the edge over Edwards in the short-term, with that reversing the further we get into the season. 

Caleb Huntley at Bengals (six percent ESPN) 

Huntley has emerged as the 1B to Tyler Allgeier's 1A in Atlanta's backfield. The Atlanta attack isn't exciting, but it can run the ball effectively. Until either Damien Williams or Cordarrelle Patterson return, Huntley looks to be a relatively safe bet for double-digit carries.

Sony Michel vs. Seahawks (three percent ESPN)

Joshua Kelley didn't practice Wednesday after suffering a knee injury in the Chargers' victory over Denver on Monday. That leaves Michel as the clear backup to Austin Ekeler and he recorded eight carries and three catches in that role on MNF.

Kyren Williams BYE (four percent ESPN)

The Rams backfield is thin with Cam Akers' future with the team currently uncertain. Darrell Henderson's usage both in past seasons and Sunday indicates the team doesn't want to utilize him as a workhorse back. Williams could return after the bye, and it could be to a significant role.

Wide Receivers

Nico Collins at Raiders (11 percent ESPN)

Collins is a nice addition for teams in need of production. His range of outcomes is fairly narrow due to the Houston offense, but he's registered at least five targets in three of five games this season and has topped 50 yards in each of those outings.

DeVante Parker vs. Bears (18 percent ESPN)

All eyes are on Tyquan Thornton in New England, and rightfully so after he found the end zone twice in Week 6. Parker will always be someone frustrating to roster, but the Patriots could be without both Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne on Monday. A matchup against the Bears doesn't project to be high scoring, so the Patriots could run their offense through the ground game and that would obviously hurt Parker. There are a lot of paths to failure for him, but he could be useful to those in need of immediate help.  

Parris Campbell at Titans (two percent ESPN)

The Colts aren't likely to take to the air 47 times again if Jonathan Taylor returns, but Campbell had a big game as the team shifted their pass attack to underneath areas of the field last weekend. Alec Pierce looks likeliest to emerge as Matt Ryan's second-favorite receiver after Michael Pittman, but speculating on Campbell is a decent idea.

DeSean Jackson vs. Browns (two percent ESPN)

Speaking of a team in need of additional receiving weapons, Baltimore fits the bill. Lamar Jackson has struggled (relatively) in the absence of Rashod Bateman. Even if Bateman can come back as expected this week, Jackson could emerge off the practice squad as a field stretcher and big-play threat.

Khalil Shakir BYE (one percent ESPN)

Isaiah McKenzie had a few more mistakes in Week 6 against Kansas City. He still is clearly third in the pecking order of Buffalo receivers, but Shakir could emerge with a larger role out of the bye. Anyone with a role in Buffalo is worth rostering, so I don't mind speculating. 

Marquez Callaway at Cardinals (one percent ESPN)
Tre'Quan Smith at Cardinals (one percent ESPN)

Chris Olave will return Thursday, but the Saints will still need additional pass catchers to step up. Smith and Callaway posted similar stat lines in Week 6 and both are worthwhile longshot FLEX options in the deepest of leagues.

Shi Smith vs. Buccaneers (zero percent ESPN)
Terrace Marshall vs. Buccaneers (zero percent ESPN)
Laviska Shenault vs. Buccaneers (zero percent ESPN)

The Panthers' offense isn't one we want to be invested in as fantasy managers, but there is a role up for grabs with Robbie Anderson out of the picture. Shi Smith was already operating as the team's third receiver, so he appears to be the likeliest to benefit – if anyone does.

Tight End

Greg Dulcich vs. Jets (three percent ESPN)

The Broncos tight end depth chart has been a disaster all season, but Duclich's return likely solved those problems. Unfortunately, he's not enough to solve Denver's offensive woes and his potential to produce will take a hit if Russell Wilson is sidelined.

Juwan Johnson at Cardinals (two percent ESPN)

Adam Trautman has been ruled out for Thursday Night Football and Johnson will handle the bulk – if not all – the vacated snaps. The Saints' receiver corps remains depleted, so Johnson could have a significant role.

Cade Otton at Panthers (four percent ESPN)

Cameron Brate hasn't been ruled out for this week after suffering a scary injury Sunday. He appears unlikely to play, and that will benefit Otton. I still wouldn't expect a big performance from him as Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette will all still be active and will be prioritized as receivers.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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