Week 7 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Boston Scott & More
Week 7 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Boston Scott & More
Finally, a week that makes us realize that grinding the waivers is important all year long and not just in the first few weeks. Now that we are getting into the bye weeks, the threshold for starting level production is a little lighter, which certainly helps. Additionally, we have had some players return from injury who were out on waivers, and as with every NFL week, more players have succumbed to injuries themselves. While Alexander Mattison busted hard last week for owners who went all in, Chase Claypool paid dividends for owners who believed in the Notre Dame product.
This is my favorite time of year in fantasy football, as it really rewards the true grinders. Did you pay $2 for Trey Burton last week? Congrats, you got 20 PPR points. Gus Edwards was already on your bench? Awesome, now you don’t have to spend any more this week. Another key element of doing FAAB as we head into Week 7 and beyond is knowing what kind of team you have. Are you 2-4 and scrapping for points? You need immediate production, and someone like Eno Benjamin shouldn’t be anywhere near your roster. Are you 6-0 with a strong squad? Well, then why do you have someone like Marvin Jones with no upside rotting away on your bench.
Each week, we will look at three tiers of players: the “must adds” or players that we expect will be picked up in every league and in every format, the “borderline” tier, and the deep-league darts. The focus will be on 12-team PPR leagues as our frame of reference and as always, if you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me on Twitter @DavisMattek or in the Daily Roto NFL Slack channel.
All players referenced in the Fantasy Football Waiver Wire column are under 50% owned in Yahoo! Fantasy Football Leagues. It is possible these players might be owned in your league.
Absolutely Should Be Owned In Every League, But You Will See There Name In Other Fantasy Football Waiver Pieces: Chase Edmonds, Brandin Cooks, Mecole Hardman, Austin Hooper, Henry Ruggs, Damien Harris, Phillip Lindsay, Laviska Shenault, Tee Higgins, Christian Kirk
POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE MAKERS (THESE ARE PLAYERS WORTH > 25% OF YOUR FAAB, OR THE #1 OVERALL WAIVER CLAIM) FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
Now, in any sort of real “competitive” league, Boston Scott is already going to be owned. The FFPC Main Event, Football Guys Championships, Scott Fish Bowl, etc., Scott got drafted in the 11th round and has stayed on rosters all year long. I get it; trust me, I do. However, Scott is owned in only 13% (!!!!!) of Yahoo! fantasy football leagues, so the vast majority of people reading this are going to have a chance to bid on the diminutive running back.
Scott has not been impressive in limited samples this season, but with news that Miles Sanders injured his knee on Sunday, Scott is the best pickup of the week. Scott played 35 snaps for the Eagles against the Steelers on Sunday, and the Eagles will now play the Giants, Cowboys, and then Giants again over their next three games. Those are the sort of easy matchups that will open Scott up to doing what he did last year over the Eagles final four games last year, where he caught 23 passes and scored four touchdowns.
Depending on what we hear for Sanders’ knee, I am comfortable bidding up to 50% of your remaining FAAB on Boston Scott. He was a strong PPR producer last year, and Corey Clement has played a max of seven snaps this season while Sanders was active.
Since Mark Ingram arrived in Baltimore, we have been waiting for him to get phased, look his age, or miss time with injury to see what the Ravens’ young stable of running backs could do. He left Baltimore’s win against the Eagles early with an ankle injury, though the team doesn’t think it is a serious issue. Justice Hill was “active” but did not play. This is how Edwards’ and Dobbins’ playing time broke out after Ingram left:
-Route Run %: 35%
-RZ touches: 2
-Route Run%: 43%
-RZ touches: 0
Per Nathan Jahnke on PFF.com, “In the second half, Gus Edwards played in over 70% of the first and second-down snaps, while J.K. Dobbins played in over 80% of the third-down snaps.” While we all WANT Dobbins to be the running back breakout in this backfield, the team has telegraphed to us that they think Edwards is the better runner. Edwards actually leads all Ravens running backs in snaps played even before account for Ingram’s injury and should be owned in all leagues. He has only nine career receptions in three seasons, so we can expect Dobbins to have that role locked down.
If you desperately need RB production for the next 2-3 weeks, Edwards is a fine 20% FAAB spend but is likely a touchdown-or-bust weekly start. If Ingram misses no time, Edwards has only marginal standalone value and will likely rank outside the top-40 RBs any given week.
Yes, I know Travis Fulgham is probably owned in *your* league, but this is a fairly solid reminder that he needs to be owned in *every* league. He led the Eagles again in targets, receiving yards, scored a touchdown, and drew a 49-yard defensive pass interference penalty that would have given the Eagles a chance to win the game had they been able to cap off the drive.
While I am always a little weary of the out-of-nowhere wide receivers, far more than I am of running backs, Fulgham is giving off every appearance of a player who is going to continue to be a weekly PPR starter. If Alshon Jeffrey and Jalen Reagor ever get back, Fulgham is likely to take on a more reserve role, but until then, you are going to be starting him in any format where you can start up to four (or more) wide receivers.
BORDERLINE STARTERS (THESE PLAYERS LIKELY ARE COMING OFF A GOOD GAME BUT DO NOT PROJECT AS MULTI-WEEK STARTERS, WORTH LESS THAN 25% OF YOUR FAAB) FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
Dallas Goedert + Sterling Shepherd
Yes, Zach Ertz got injured on Sunday against the Ravens, but that isn’t why Dallas Goedert is being listed as a waiver wire add. Both he and Shepherd are close to their windows from returning from the short-term injured reserve. Goedert is rostered in 41% of Yahoo! leagues, and Sterling Shepherd is rostered in 29% of leagues. Shep is a little further away from coming back than Goedert is, reportedly.
Both of these guys project as starters in 12-team PPR leagues with one or more flex and should be owned in competitive leagues where there are 12 gamers who are all paying attention. If Ertz is, in fact, injured for multiple weeks, Goedert will likely project close to a top-five option at the position given its’ total dearth of usable options. This isn’t a trade advice column but sending out super small offers for Goedert makes a lot of sense to me.
I feel like I have not been giving Patrick near enough credit for how large his role has been in the Denver offense. With Drew Lock returning under center, Patrick led the Broncos offense in snaps and now has back to back 100-yard games. That is a feat in and of itself inside an offense that has mostly looked stagnant this year. Patrick has been on the periphery in Denver for three seasons but is now semi-flourishing in a starting role.
With KJ Hamler dealing with an injury, Noah Fant out, and Jerry Jeudy coming along semi-slowly, there is no immediate threat to Patrick’s role in the Denver offense. While he doe have the consecutive 100+ yard games, we can’t realistically view him as a top-36 fantasy football wide receiver. He should be owned in most of your leagues but is perhaps not the highest of ceiling options.
If you missed out on Perine very cheaply in last weeks’ waivers, you are going to have to pay more for him this week. Yes, the Jets are easily the worst team in the NFL. Yes, Adam Gase is still somehow the head coach after his team got shutout against the Miami Dolphins. This is not a spot where we are buying and then expecting the offense to provide a lot of value. However, Perine led the Jets backfield in snaps with 41 and played virtually every third down for a vast majority of the game.
As the season goes on, it would be a rational expectation for Perine to take even more of the early-down work from Frank Gore while retaining his passing down playing time. Were Adam Gase to get fired and Sam Darnold to return from injury and play well, it could be argued that Perine has a 13-15 FPPG role to be carved out in this backfield. I think it is probably thin for him to get there, but it is firmly in the range of outcomes. In leagues where that sort of player would for sure make my starting lineup, I am spending up to 15% on Perine.
Get the FIRK out if you thought it would be Firkser who lead the Titans in targets and receiving yards in the overtime shootout against the Houston Texans. With Jonnu Smith picking up an injury after playing only 29 snaps, Firkser accumulated nine targets for 113 yards and a touchdown. Firkser is an extremely average athlete, but this Titans offense is built around developing layups for their tertiary players. Derrick Henry and A.J Brown do a vast majority of the heavy-lifting while Arthur Smith devises ways for Jonnu/Firkser/Humphries to just be wide open when they are targeted. It is unclear how injured Jonnu Smith is at this point, but if he were to miss multiple weeks, we could probably start Firkser in tight-end-premium leagues or as a deep(er) streamer. I’m comfortable spending 5-10% on Firkser at this point.
Last week I wrote about McKissic: “He has played over 50% of the snaps in each of Washington’s last three games and has been targeted 16 times in their last two games. With Peyton Barber playing an average of 3.5 snaps per game since Week 1, this is now a two-man backfield in Washington, and for whatever reason, it is McKissic who is holding the more valuable receiving role than Antonio Gibson.”
Again, for whatever reason, the coaching staff spent the week talking up Antonio Gibson only for Gibson to play 37% of the teams’ snaps and receive only 14 total interactions while McKissic matched his season-high with 39 snaps, rushed a season-high eight times, and was targeted six times for 43 yards. McKissic has absolutely no ceiling (unlike Perine) but should be owned in all 12-team PPR leagues. Don’t spend more than 5% of your budget on him unless you are truly desperate.
This is where we are at in the season, guys. We are writing up multiple New York Jets because all of the good players are already owned in competitive fantasy leagues, and the Jets keep flipping around the playing time of their skill position players. After returning from the short-term IR, he led the team in wide-receiver-snaps, though he had only three catches for 17 yards.
Again, the hope is that the offense is able to be just normal bad instead of unspeakable bad with Darnold at quarterback over Flacco. Perriman has elite long-speed and was once a high pedigree wide receiver draft pick. Personally, these are the types of adds I like to make because if Perriman does hit, he can be something close to a WR2 the rest of the way at a ceiling level.
With Mo Alie-Cox out due to injury, Trey Burton has taken over clearly as the top receiving tight end for the Colts, who have historically used their tight ends extremely often in the passing game under Frank Reich. Burton has at least five targets in each of his games since returning from injury and, of course, scored a goal-line rushing touchdown in Week 6 out of the WIldcat. While we can’t count on that happening even once more this season, Burton has a clear and defined receiving role, which is something only like 15 other tight ends in all of football can say. Burton needs to be owned in all formats.
DEEP LEAGUE TARGETS AND BENCH STASHES FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
I am writing this before the Chiefs/Bills game takes place on Monday night, but we can already feel fairly confident in what Kroft’s role is going to be. The Bills do not structure much of their offense around passing to the tight end, except for in the red zone. In an earlier start this year with Knox OUT, Kroft had five targets and two touchdowns though he has only logged eight targets on the season. He is a deepest-of-leagues add only but does have a receiving role in one of the five best offenses in football. If Knox’s injury troubles continue, Kroft may be a multi-week desperation play.
Irv Smith Jr.
Last week I wrote about Irv: “Irv finally had a solid game in Week 5 against Seattle. He has played over 60% of the Vikings snaps in all but one game this season, and it never really made sense that he wouldn’t take the next step and be targeted more after 47 targets as a rookie tight end last season. There wasn’t that much a difference in performance per route between TJ Hockenson and Smith Jr. last season. I wouldn’t hold Irv Smith Jr. as my third tight end, but there is upside in the context of a younger player with a high-draft pedigree in a team that still has an opening for their second target.”
He followed that up in Week 6 with 44 snaps (more than Kyle Rudolph and only six less than Justin Jefferson, eight less than Adam Thielen). He was again targeted five times, he again caught four passes, and even caught a two-point conversion after an Adam Thielen touchdown. Whatever was causing Irv to not be a part of the passing game early in the season seems to have mostly evaporated.
With Darrynton Evans on the short-term injured reserve, Jeremy McNichols is spelling the Big Dog in Tennessee. McNichols has 14 carries and four targets in the Titans last two games while playing exactly 39% of the teams’ snaps in both contests. While Henry is great and capturing headlines, the fact that McNichols is out there that often (and running pass routes) means that you need to have him on all your teams. With Evans out, if Henry were to get banged up and have to miss a game, McNichols would be a true lead back (even if for only a game or two). I’m making $1 bids on McNichols in almost every format this week.
With Noah Fant out and KJ Hamler banged up, it was Drew Lock’s college best bud Albert Okwuebunam, who almost had a monster fantasy day. He was targeted twice in the endzone while playing 24 offensive snaps. The snaps are nothing to write home about, but six targets on 24 snaps is a truly absurd targets per route run. Albert is a 99th percentile athlete at tight end, and if Fant were to miss extended time (and maybe even if he doesn’t), I would not be surprised to see Okwuegbunam lead the Broncos in receiving touchdowns the rest of the way.
Look Ahead Defense Bids (5% of FAAB or less): Miami Dolphins (With the way Jared Goff is playing, I want to stream defenses against him the rest of the year), Green Bay Packers (they should get dropped after the stinker against TB, but they play Kirk Cousins at home in Week 8).