Week 7 Waiver Wire: Breaking Down Most Intriguing Pickups
In one fantasy league, I needed to spot-start a wide receiver, so I went out and snagged Terrance Williams. He brought me eight points, a solid enough return.
In a two-quarterback league, I had Michael Vick hurt and hated Terrelle Pryor's matchup, so I went out and got Joe Flacco on waivers to pair with Andrew Luck. Luck didn't do much, but at least Flacco was good for 19 points.
The point here is simple—if you play the waiver wire correctly, it can literally be the difference between a win and a loss. With my Week 7 waiver-wire guide, you'll hit this waiver period with a leg up on the competition.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
I probably don't need to tell you this, but Justin Blackmon is a must-own in all formats after back-to-back 19-point performances. Believe it or not, however, he's owned in just 53 percent of ESPN leagues.
If he's available, he's absolutely, positively your waiver priority this week.
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Obviously, Nick Foles' value is tied to whether Michael Vick is healthy or not. But if Vick can't go for a second straight week, Foles is an excellent spot starter this week.
For one, he torched the previously stout Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary to the tune of 296 passing yards, three touchdowns and a total of 29 fantasy points. For another, he faces a Dallas Cowboys defense this week that has allowed 21 or more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in four of six weeks.
Plus, that defense will likely be without DeMarcus Ware, according to Todd Archer and Adam Schefter of ESPN. Either Vick or Foles is a nice start this week, making Foles a must-add for all Vick owners and a pretty good spot start for everyone else.
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
The ascension of Keenan Allen is complete.
In the past three weeks, Allen has caught 20 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns, scoring at least eight fantasy points in each week. If you were wondering whether he or Vincent Brown would emerge as Philip Rivers' favorite target at wideout, you have your answer.
With a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, Allen should keep the good times going. The youngster could legitimately vault himself into WR2 status if he continues to produce as he has the past three weeks.
Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Quite simply, if DeMarco Murray can't go in Week 7—and it looks like he won't be able to—Joseph Randle becomes the top running back available on waivers with a matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles looming.
Murray owners and anyone needing a spot starter at running back must make Randle their top priority. The Eagles are respectable against the run—they're allowing 105.7 rushing yards per game, 16th in the NFL—but in general, the Eagles are highly suspect on defense.
That makes Randle a good addition this week.
Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Harry Douglas hasn't exactly been a fantasy stud to this point with White hobbled for much of the season, but his role in the Atlanta Falcons' offense is about to increase. If nothing else, that should vault him to the realm of WR3 status and makes him a must-add this week.
Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants
Nothing suggested a Brandon Jacobs breakout on Thursday night. The matchup was tough against the Chicago Bears, and Jacobs hadn't looked good at all in his limited usage up to that point in the season.
But Jacobs went to town against the Bears, rushing 22 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Now he faces a Minnesota Vikings team allowing 22 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week.
Jacobs has limited value for fantasy owners—David Wilson doesn't need neck surgery according to ESPN.com's Dan Graziano, so he could potentially return in a few weeks—but with such a solid matchup, Jacobs is a nice addition for owners in need of a spot starter at running back this week.
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams
Let's get one thing out of the way—there is nothing sexy about adding Zac Stacy. Since taking over as the starter in Week 5, he's rushed 32 times for 157 yards, good for about 7.8 fantasy points per week.
Unlike Randle or Jacobs, Stacy appears to be entrenched as the starter. And unlike Randle or Jacobs, there doesn't seem to be nearly the upside with Stacy, at least not this week. Stacy is a good guy to have around if you have running backs with upcoming byes.
Randle or Jacobs are the better options to own if you need a starter this week with upside. Stacy will get into the end zone at some point, but for now, expecting about eight points a week from him seems realistic.
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Andre Ellington continues to be the more impressive running back in the Arizona Cardinals' backfield. While Rashard Mendenhall is getting more carries—and coach Bruce Arians has already said Ellington would be limited to about 30 snaps per game—Ellington has now posted 22 fantasy points in the past two weeks and has become a dangerous weapon in the passing game.
As running back options go, I'd rather have Randle or Jacobs for this week and Stacy in general moving forward. Ellington's usage caps his value. But if given a choice of Cardinals running backs to own down the stretch, I'd rather have Ellington.
In deep leagues, he remains worthy of a stash and the occasional spot start.
Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
For some reason, Heath Miller is owned in just 20.3 percent of ESPN leagues. Now, while I know a lot of people don't like to own a second tight end and Heath Miller is clearly a TE2 at the moment, he was a TE1 a year ago and has posted 15 combined fantasy points in his past two games.
Oh, and the Baltimore Ravens are giving up 9.3 fantasy points to opposing tight ends per week, 24th in the NFL.
Miller is a guy that Ben Roethlisberger clearly trusts and will continue to target. Unless you have a really thin bench setup in your league, Miller is worth rostering as a high-end TE2 the rest of the way.
Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
I was skeptical after last week that Rueben Randle would continue to be a viable fantasy commodity, seeing how superhuman the Philadelphia Eagles have made teams' third receivers look.
But Randle responded with three receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. Is he worth adding now?
While I remain skeptical of his production over the long haul—he's the third receiver on a struggling team, remember—the New York Giants play the Minnesota Vikings (24.2 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers) and the Eagles again (35.0 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers) in the next two weeks, two of the friendliest defenses to opposing wide receivers in fantasy football.
I'd rather have Blackmon, Allen or Douglas, but in really deep leagues, Randle is a logical addition.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
We've already talked about the Eagles' struggles against opposing wide receivers, so Williams remains a logical spot starter this week. Miles Austin did absolutely nothing in his return to action—zero catches on four targets—and with DeMarco Murray likely out, the Cowboys will air it out against a weak Eagles secondary.
If Austin eventually reestablishes himself in this offense, Williams will lose his value. But for now, he seems to be Tony Romo's third option in the passing game behind Dez Bryant and Jason Witten—13 receptions for 249 yards and two touchdowns the past three weeks back that up—making him very valuable against Philly.
Marlon Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Marlon Brown has posted seven or more fantasy points in four of six games this season. He's kind of the Stacy of wide receivers—his upside seems capped, but he's probably going to get you six or seven points if you stick him in your lineup.
Of course, there will be the fear that the return of Jacoby Jones will eat into his usage, or that the Baltimore Ravens will permanently wise up and lean on Ray Rice to carry the load on offense. If you prefer to know exactly what you're getting at the expense of upside, Brown is your guy.
But at this point, there are much better options at the position.
Mike Tolbert, RB, Carolina Panthers
Remember the days when DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart shared the load for the Carolina Panthers, and whenever you would start one of them on your fantasy team, it was the other one who would blow up for a huge performance?
Well, you should keep those maddening days in mind when you consider adding Mike Tolbert to your team following his two-touchdown performance on Sunday. Owners in deep leagues needing an emergency start can turn to Tolbert if the aforementioned running backs on this slideshow aren't available.
Everyone else would be advised to stay away.
Kris Durham, WR, Detroit Lions
In the past two weeks, Kris Durham has 11 receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown. Even more intriguing is the fact that he has 21 targets in that time.
Now, those targets are largely a function of Calvin Johnson missing the Week 5 game and playing hobbled in Week 6. Nonetheless, Durham seems firmly entrenched as Matt Stafford's second option in the passing game, a role that has some value in the Detroit Lions' pass-heavy offense.
He's still probably only an option in deeper leagues, but he should be firmly on your waiver radar at this point.
Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Cleveland Browns
It will be tempting to add Chris Ogbonnaya to fantasy lineups this week. After all, he's scored double-digit points in two of the past three games.
But while Ogbonnaya has become a real weapon in the passing game, Willis McGahee continues to get the bulk of the carries in Cleveland. As running backs who function largely as receiving threats go, Darren Sproles, Danny Woodhead and Ellington are all better options than Ogbonnaya.
He's worth keeping on your radar, but not worth an addition this week.
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Green Bay Packers
Every week, I get a few owners in 20-team leagues asking me for deep sleepers to pick up that week. Well, for you folks out there, I present Jarrett Boykin.
Randall Cobb will be out six to eight weeks, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. James Jones also left Sunday's game with an injury and his status remains up in the air.
If Jones can't go, Boykin becomes Aaron Rodgers' third option in the passing game by default behind Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley. There is definite upside in that role, though he is only a consideration for owners in truly deep leagues.
Joseph Fauria, TE, Detroit Lions
Joseph Fauria has seven receptions for 66 yards and five touchdowns on nine targets this season. In three of his games this year, he's failed to register a catch. Owners might take a gamble on the dancing man after his three-touchdown performance this Sunday, but his touchdown production simply isn't sustainable.
Remember how Eddie Royal shockingly scored five touchdowns in the first two weeks of the NFL season? Well, since then he's managed a grand total of seven fantasy points in the next four weeks.
Consider Fauria the tight end version of Royal, but with even less upside. Stay away.
Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions and commiserate with you over underachieving players. We're going to need nachos.