Fantasy Football Week 7: Top Players to Target on the Waiver Wire
Following all the NFL action on Sundays, some of us forget about the players who built momentum going into their bye weeks. They're often left on the waiver wire while inactive. You can make a power move with a sharp memory of breakout Week 5 performers.
The Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders had captivating Week 5 matchups. Both squads feature offensive units that could take off following bye weeks. Managers who seek the thrill of taking a chance on players with boom potential may find interest in a few options between the two AFC West squads.
If you want to take an early jump on Week 7, consider an unheralded name in the Thursday Night Football matchup who's on a hot streak. He's made the most of his opportunities as a fill-in starter for the Philadelphia Eagles.
All the waiver-wire suggestions below are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Free-agent budgets are based on leagues with $100 for a whole season.
RB Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers (45 Percent Rostered)
Before the Los Angeles Chargers' bye week, Justin Jackson led the backfield instead of rookie fourth-rounder Joshua Kelley. In addition to 15 carries for 71 yards, he caught five passes for 23 yards.
While running back Austin Ekeler nurses a Grade 2 hamstring strain and a hyperextended knee on injured reserve, Jackson and Kelley will split the workload, though managers should switch to the former if they had the latter in their lineups, especially in point-per-reception leagues.
In Week 5, Jackson saw six targets compared to one for Kelley. Although a quadriceps injury slowed him down at the beginning of the season, he started in the previous contest, which shows the Chargers lean toward the third-year veteran over the rookie.
Jackson will face a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has allowed at least 123 rushing yards in five consecutive games and just surrendered 180 on the ground to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Free-Agent Budget (FAB): $5
RB J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (11 Percent Rostered)
J.D. McKissic isn't a strong RB2 play like Justin Jackson, but he's a solid flex option in PPR leagues.
Aside from wideout Terry McLaurin, the Washington Football Team's aerial attack doesn't offer much fantasy relevance, though McKissic can potentially flirt with 100 scrimmage yards on a weekly basis because of his role on the ground and as a pass-catcher.
In Week 6, McKissic recorded a season-high 14 touches (eight carries and six receptions) for an offense without a consistent secondary receiver or a complementary ball-carrier to rookie third-rounder Antonio Gibson. The fifth-year pro has a stronghold on the primary pass-catching role among the team's running backs.
Over the last four weeks, Washington's quarterbacks have targeted McKissic 26 times. In the next matchup, he'll go against the Dallas Cowboys, whose defense ranked 28th against the run and allowed 12 passing touchdowns going into Week 6.
WR Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders (47 Percent Rostered)
Before the Las Vegas Raiders' bye week, Henry Ruggs III converted three targets into two receptions for 118 yards and a score in Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ruggs' target volume leaves little margin for error. However, he produced big numbers in his first fully healthy game. He played through the season opener with a knee injury that likely factored into his quiet performance in Week 2. The Alabama product missed the following two contests before burning the Chiefs for big plays at Arrowhead Stadium.
Coming off a bye week, Ruggs could further demonstrate his explosiveness at full strength and speed. The Raiders selected him with the 12th overall pick, the highest-drafted wide receiver in 2020. Expect head coach Jon Gruden to feature his top rookie as the season goes on.
The Raiders will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Sunday Night Football showcase. The Bucs' fifth-ranked pass defense isn't an easy matchup for Ruggs, but he just needs a couple of receptions to fulfill his boom potential. The wideout leads the league in receptions of 40-plus yards (three).
WR Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (45 Percent Rostered)
Managers can add another Los Angeles Charger to their pickup lists. Mike Williams recorded five receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints in his last outing.
Williams became a go-to target along with tight end Hunter Henry once wideout Keenan Allen exited with a back injury.
The Chargers haven't publicly shared any concerns for Allen's availability, but Williams could have a productive Week 7 even with the three-time Pro Bowler on the field. Going into Week 6, the Jacksonville Jaguars ranked 29th against passing attacks. They've also allowed at least 30 points in five consecutive games.
With quarterback Justin Herbert's big arm, Chargers wideouts can rip off some big plays downfield. Head coach Anthony Lynn has opened up the offense with his rookie signal-caller under center, which bodes well for Williams, who averages 17.4 yards per catch.
WR Travis Fulgham, Philadelphia Eagles (31 Percent Rostered)
For the non-believers out there, Travis Fulgham has filled in admirably for the Philadelphia Eagles' top wide receivers, who are on the mend from injuries.
Alshon Jeffery underwent offseason Lisfranc surgery, and he's yet to play a game this season. DeSean Jackson has battled a hamstring injury and missed the last three contests. Jalen Reagor continues to recover from a torn UCL in his thumb on injured reserve.
Meanwhile, Fulgham has scored in each of the last three weeks, converting 26 targets into 18 receptions for 284 yards during that span. He's taken the lead role from Greg Ward, whose number of targets has dropped since Week 3.
On a short week, the Eagles will likely suit up without Jeffery and Jackson. Even if they play, both wideouts may see limited roles because of their inactivity over long stretches. Managers should plug Fulgham into lineups while he's on a scoring streak and going against a defense that allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to wideouts headed into Week 6.
WR Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (18 Percent Rostered)
In Week 7, the Denver Broncos could welcome back wideout KJ Hamler (hamstring) and tight end Noah Fant (ankle), which would cut into Tim Patrick's target share, but that's not a given.
For now, managers should pick up Patrick and expect him to play a big role in the Broncos passing attack. He's logged 100-plus-yards in consecutive outings.
Patrick has started in all five of the Broncos' games this season, which suggests he's earned the trust of the coaching staff. His production won't necessarily fade once Fant and Hamler return to action.
At 6'4", 212 pounds, he's a big target for quarterback Drew Lock, who will need to push the ball downfield against the Kansas City Chiefs' top-10 scoring offense.
Although Patrick's production window may eventually close, he's a solid acquisition for managers in need of wide receiver help right now.
Fantasy points allowed provided by FantasyPros.