Fantasy Football: 5 Players You Must Pick Up off the Waiver Wire for Week 7

Joe Rapolla Jr.Featured ColumnistOctober 17, 2011

Fantasy Football: 5 Players You Must Pick Up off the Waiver Wire for Week 7

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    Week 6 was a slow week for fantasy football. Sure we saw Ahmad Bradshaw go off for three touchdowns and 30 fantasy points, but for the most part, players around the NFL were practicing modesty in Week 6. 

    The highest scoring wide receiver was Marques Colston with only 17 fantasy points and the highest scoring tight end was Jimmy Graham with a respectable, but very modest, 12 fantasy points.

    With low scores, injuries and bye weeks, you might be left scratching your bald scalp after you pulled all your hair out.

    Fear not though. The fantasy season is still young (albeit moving too quickly), and there is still plenty of time to save your team and your season by making some nifty waiver wire pickups. Here are five good ones for Week 7.  

5. Preston Parker, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Preston Parker is quickly becoming the most reliable wide receiver on Tampa Bay, thanks in part to Mike Williams' struggles. 

    Aside from two awful weeks this season, Parker has seen consistent targets from quarterback Josh Freeman. Even better news, he has been finding the end zone in recent weeks. He scored his second touchdown in three weeks against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. 

    Pick up Parker and feel confident starting him as a bye-week replacement or a No. 3 wide receiver in most leagues. 

4. Montario Hardesty, RB, Cleveland Browns

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    Yes, I know he didn't look very impressive in relief of Peyton Hillis on Sunday, but Montario Hardesty could be in place for a starting role next weekend, and there is no reason why any starting running back should be on the fantasy waiver wire. 

    Montario Hardesty is a great runner with the size and strength that is required for dominance. He appears to be healthy now, for the first time in his short NFL career, so definitely feel good about picking him up. 

    The Cleveland Browns will take on the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7, and this matchup is very favorable for whoever starts at running back for the Browns. If it's Hardesty, he's a great flex-option/bye week replacement. 

3. Nate Burleson, WR, Detroit Lions

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    The nine-year NFL veteran, Nate Burleson plays on the same team as fantasy wunderkind Calvin Johnson. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. 

    The bad part is that Calvin Johnson rightfully receives a great deal of Matthew Stafford's pass attempts. 

    The good news for Burleson owners is that defenses know this, and therefore focus a lot of defensive attention on Johnson, leaving Burleson more open than he should be. 

    Also, if Johnson does go down with an injury, Burleson will play a huge role in a red hot offense. 

    Pick up Burleson if he is available and stash him on your bench as a good injury-replacement player/flex option. 

2. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

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    The secret on Doug Baldwin slipped two weeks ago when he caught eight passes for 136 yards and a touchdown against the New York Giants. 

    The good news for a lot of desperate owners is that the Seattle Seahawks were on a bye this past week and Baldwin may have been overlooked on the waiver wire as a result. 

    If he is still available and you can nab him, consider yourself very lucky and gratefully accept this steal.

    Seattle's passing game has looked surprisingly vibrant in the past weeks, and Baldwin can safely be started as a No. 3 wide receiver in all formats, especially in PPR leagues. 

1. Earnest Graham, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Earnest Graham was a hot waiver wire pickup this last week since LeGarrette Blount was expected to miss the game due to injury. After coming through with an impressive 131 total yards against the New Orleans Saints, Graham should be considered a must-add in all leagues. 

    Graham was extremely explosive in Sunday's game and controlled the clock excellently for the Bucs. He picked up first downs when needs and even played a role in the passing game, catching two passes for 22 yards. (Four additional points in a PPR league.)

    Blount is expected to miss this next week, and if Graham can put together another solid performance, him and Blount could see split carries when Blount returns. 

    Add Graham and start him with confidence heading into Week 7!



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