The playoffs are rapidly approaching in fantasy football leagues, and smart waiver wire pickup can be the difference between a postseason birth and an offseason full of shame for many owners.
During Week 7, a few wide receivers proved they are worthy of a roster spot and can contribute important points each week.
Whether you are desperate to fill out a decimated lineup, or simply need to add depth to an already strong roster, there are attractive options on this week’s waiver wire.
Here are the wideouts that every fantasy owner should target.
Note: all owned percentages courtesy of ESPN.com.
Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
While Browns fans are likely still cursing at Josh Gordon for dropping a 55-yard pass that Brandon Weeden put directly into his arms, the rookie wideout is still talented enough to warrant a spot on fantasy rosters.
The 6’3”, 225-pounder has the size and speed to be a productive player, and he is currently owned in just 36.7 percent of ESPN leagues.
He has been a fantastic deep threat for quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has steadily improved throughout this season. Weeden has thrown two touchdown passes in each of the past three games, and targeted Gordon 22 times in those contests.
Gordon will continue to be threat down the field this season, and will be a valuable addition to fantasy rosters.
Titus Young, Detroit Lions
Titus Young was touted as a valuable sleeper in the preseason and was tapped as the player who would benefit from the ridiculous amount of attention opposing defenses pay to Calvin Johnson.
Fantasy owners are still waiting for the second-year wide out to fully establish himself in the Detroit offense, but Nate Burleson’s season-ending injury, as noted by The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett, may be a catalyst for Young’s development.
Nate Burleson broke his leg is out for the year— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) October 23, 2012
While both Burleson and Young have spent a similar amount of time on the field according to Football Outsiders’ snap counts, quarterback Matthew Stafford has targeted Young just 29 times, while throwing towards Burleson 43 times.
Now, Young will be a larger part of the Lions offense, and if Stafford and the passing game can get back on track, he will be a productive fantasy player. He is owned in 51.2 percent of ESPN leagues, and should certainly be picked up if still available.
Santana Moss, Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III has been spectacular so far and leads the NFL in completion percentage. However, no single Redskins receiver has benefited from the rookie’s incredible play, as Griffin has spread the ball around.
Griffin has looked to Santana Moss 27 times, while tight end Fred Davis has been thrown to 31 times and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson leads the team in targets with 33. While all these receivers have been given roughly equal attention, Moss has caught four of Griffin’s seven touchdown passes.
While TDs are often the most difficult fantasy statistic to predict, there is a pattern emerging, and fantasy owners should run with it. USA Today’s Mike Garafolo reported that Pierre Garcon will likely be out until after the team’s bye in Week 10.
With Garcon out, Griffin will continue to find Moss in the end zone. But due to Griffin's habit of getting the ball to all his receivers, Moss is owned in just 24.9 percent of ESPN leagues. Fantasy owners would be wise to add him to their roster this week.