Fantasy: Waiver Wire - Week 7

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Every Monday during the season, theScore's Justin Boone runs down the recommended waiver wire pickups.

Roster percentages are based on Yahoo leagues. Free Agent Budget (FAB) amounts are set off a $100 salary cap. Only players rostered in less than 50% of leagues are considered.

Quarterbacks

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Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins

Next Up Rostered FAB
vs. ATL 17% $3

Miami's franchise quarterback returned to the lineup with 329 yards and two scores in the loss to the Jaguars. The embarrassing interception he threw was offset fantasy points-wise by his 22 rushing yards.

The degree of difficulty wasn't high versus the Jags, and Tagovailoa gets another soft matchup against Atlanta next. The Falcons were the fourth friendliest opponents to fantasy QBs prior to their Week 6 bye.

With Tua healthy, this could be the start of an uptick in production for Miami's passing attack, especially if the Dolphins can get other injured starters like DeVante Parker and Will Fuller back in the coming weeks.

For now, consider Tagovailoa a strong streaming option with the potential to develop into a long-term asset in your lineup.

Streaming options: Jameis Winston at SEA (37% rostered), Taylor Heinicke at GB (28% rostered), Teddy Bridgewater at CLE (20% rostered)

Risky streaming options: Daniel Jones vs. CAR (33% rostered), Jimmy Garoppolo vs. IND (7% rostered), Justin Fields at TB (32% rostered), Carson Wentz at SF (35% rostered)

Dart-throw streaming options: Mac Jones vs. NYJ (17% rostered), Jared Goff at LAR (11% rostered), Geno Smith vs. NO (7% rostered)

Bye week stashes: Ben Roethlisberger (26% rostered)

Long-term stashes: Trey Lance vs. IND (31% rostered)

2QB/Superflex long-term stashes: Cam Newton (1% rostered), Case Keenum (0% rostered)

Running backs

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J.D. McKissic/Jaret Patterson, Washington

Next Up Rostered FAB
at GB 42%/1% $14/$3

Antonio Gibson has been playing through a stress fracture in his shin, and it may have got the best of him this week. Washington's lead back was limited to just 23 snaps against the Chiefs, 13 fewer than teammate McKissic.

That prompted an MRI, which could ultimately lead to the second-year star missing time. With Washington's bye not until Week 9, Gibson may need to be shut down in order to let the injury heal properly.

If that happens, McKissic will likely see the majority of the touches (including the bulk of passing-down duties), with undrafted rookie and preseason standout Patterson spelling him as a complementary option.

McKissic isn't built to be a lead runner, so his fantasy ceiling is capped as a low-end RB2.

D'Ernest Johnson/Demetric Felton, Browns

Next Up Rostered FAB
vs. DEN 2%/9% $14/$1

With Kareem Hunt heading to injured reserve and Nick Chubb's status unclear for Thursday night's tilt with the Broncos, Cleveland might be forced to start Johnson in their backfield.

The 5-foot-10, 208-pound runner has never played more than 37% of his team's offensive snaps in a game and is far from a lock to dominate touches.

He'll likely split some time with pass-catching specialist Felton, who's primarily played wideout while catching two passes in four of the Browns' last five outings despite taking the field for just a handful of snaps each week.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Chubb is progressing after missing Week 6. If he manages to play, Johnson and Felton will slide back down the depth chart into change-of-pace roles.

However, if Chubb is out, Johnson can be temporarily started as an RB3, while Felton would project as a flex in PPR and half PPR formats.

Rashaad Penny, Seahawks

Next Up Rostered FAB
vs. NO 7% $9

Over the last four years, Pete Carroll has shown excitement about his former first-round running back countless times only for fantasy managers to be left disappointed when Penny inevitably got hurt.

Here we go again.

The 25-year-old, who's been plagued by injuries since entering the league, is returning this week at a time when starter Chris Carson is on IR with a chronic neck issue and backup Alex Collins is banged up after handling 20 carries and rushing for 101 yards in Week 6.

Collins spent the end of that game on the sidelines, but Carroll ruled out a serious injury, meaning it's possible he could be available in Week 7.

Either way, it seems Seattle wants to give Penny a shot to earn touches, and with Carson lacking any clear timeline for his recovery, this backfield is a wide-open competition.

Penny is worth a stash just to see if he can break the loop and stay healthy long enough to carve out a legitimate role.

Devonta Freeman/Le'Veon Bell/Ty'Son Williams, Ravens

Next Up Rostered FAB
vs. CIN 2%/7%/16% $5/$5/$5

With Latavius Murray suffering an ankle injury Sunday, it's likely the Ravens elect to rest him through their Week 8 bye.

That leaves some combination of Freeman, Bell, and Williams to pick up the pieces.

Despite the sophomore Williams looking and producing like the most effective runner in the group, Baltimore has been taking turns activating only one of him or Bell on game days.

This week was Bell's turn and he saw near identical usage to Freeman and Murray in what's become a three-man committee.

That's probably going to continue, so keep your expectations for this trio in check. But if you're in a bye-week crunch, you could deploy any one of them as a risky flex play.

Michael Carter is close to the 50% cutoff line but should be rostered in most leagues.

Flex options: Rhamondre Stevenson vs. NYJ (11% rostered), Kenneth Gainwell at LV (28% rostered), Mark Ingram at ARI (32% rostered), DeeJay Dallas vs. NO (2% rostered)

Dart-throw flex options: David Johnson at ARI (28% rostered), Samaje Perine at BAL (16% rostered), Giovani Bernard vs. CHI (19% rostered), Ty Johnson at NE (5% rostered), Jerick McKinnon at TEN (19% rostered)

Stash in case of trade: Marlon Mack at SF (30% rostered), Ronald Jones vs. CHI (37% rostered)

Other backups to roster: Darrynton Evans vs. KC (2% rostered), Salvon Ahmed vs. ATL (1% rostered), Justin Jackson on Bye (2% rostered), Wayne Gallman at MIA (1% rostered), Chris Evans at BAL (4% rostered), Royce Freeman at NYG (1% rostered)

Injured reserve stashes: JaMycal Hasty (2% rostered), Jeff Wilson Jr. (20% rostered), Anthony McFarland Jr. (1% rostered)

Wide receivers

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Rashod Bateman, Ravens

Next Up Rostered FAB
vs. CIN 28% $12

As far as debuts go, Bateman's four-catch, 29-yard performance won't draw much attention. But he appeared comfortable while playing 65% of the offensive snaps - second most among Ravens wideouts behind only Marquise Brown.

The rookie also tied for the team lead in targets with Mark Andrews and may have seen even more passes if Baltimore didn't get out to a commanding lead over the Chargers.

We don't know how the Ravens will divvy up playing time when Sammy Watkins returns, but you should feel comfortable betting on this year's first-round pick over an often injured and mostly underperforming veteran like Watkins.

With Baltimore's passing attack showing signs of life this season, Bateman has the upside to emerge as a WR3 the rest of the way if he maintains the starting job.

Tim Patrick, Broncos

Next Up Rostered FAB
at CLE 35% $9

Some people read these articles to find out who they should pick up off the waiver wire. Others come to see whether this is the week I'll have a full-blown meltdown over the fact that Patrick is still available in the majority of fantasy leagues.

Patrick has appeared in this column so many times over the last two years, he might as well be a sponsor.

After another trip to the end zone this week, he now has 89 yards or a touchdown in five of his six contests this year - with the lone exception being the game that Teddy Bridgewater left with a concussion.

It's a feat he's accomplished in 12 of his last 19 outings dating back to Week 3 of the 2020 campaign when his playing time increased following Courtland Sutton's season-ending injury.

Jerry Jeudy's eventual return will complicate the situation, but head coach Vic Fangio said Jeudy's odds of playing this week are below 50%. So Patrick can continue to be used as a WR3/flex until further notice.

Henry Ruggs, Sterling Shepard, Rondale Moore, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Mecole Hardman, Darnell Mooney, and Hunter Renfrow are close to the 50% cutoff line but should be rostered in most leagues.

Long-term upside stashes: Michael Gallup on Bye (43% rostered), Curtis Samuel at GB (20% rostered), Josh Gordon at TEN (26% rostered)

Flex options: Marquez Callaway at SEA (34% rostered), Jamison Crowder at NE (27% rostered), Jamal Agnew on Bye (0% rostered),

Flex options (if healthy): DeVante Parker vs. ATL (40% rostered), T.Y. Hilton at SF (39% rostered), Tyrell Williams at LAR (10% rostered)

Risky flex options: Quez Watkins at LV (2% rostered), Deonte Harris at SEA (10% rostered), Amon-Ra St. Brown at LAR (23% rostered), Kalif Raymond at LAR (3% rostered), Donovan Peoples-Jones vs. DEN (2% rostered), Zach Pascal at SF (11% rostered)

Dart-throw flex options: Darius Slayton vs. CAR (6% rostered), K.J. Osborn on Bye (8% rostered), Bryan Edwards vs. PHI (11% rostered), Russell Gage at MIA (6% rostered), Allen Lazard vs. WAS (2% rostered), Nico Collins at ARI (1% rostered), Van Jefferson vs. DET (10% rostered), Sammy Watkins vs. CIN (18% rostered), Randall Cobb vs. WAS (12% rostered)

Deep bench stashes: Demarcus Robinson at TEN (0% rostered), Byron Pringle at TEN (1% rostered), Kendrick Bourne vs. NYJ (2% rostered), Josh Palmer on Bye (1% rostered), Cedrick Wilson on Bye (1% rostered), Dante Pettis vs. CAR (0% rostered)

Tight ends

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Ricky Seals-Jones, Washington

Next Up Rostered FAB
at GB 29% $9

Seals-Jones has completely assumed Logan Thomas' role in Washington's offense, playing 93%, 99%, and 100% of the team's snaps over the last three games.

The results have been stat lines of 5-41 and 4-58-1 over his past two starts, making him a TE1 for fantasy during that time.

Thomas isn't eligible to return from injured reserve until at least Week 8 and his hamstring issue might keep him out longer, so continue to fire up RSJ as a top-12 option until he returns.

Zach Ertz is close to the 50% cutoff line but should be rostered in all leagues.

Risky streamer options: Evan Engram vs. CAR (33% rostered), Cole Kmet at TB (19% rostered), O.J. Howard vs. CHI (1% rostered)

Bye week stashes: Tyler Conklin on Bye (16% rostered), Pat Freiermuth on Bye (6% rostered), Dan Arnold on Bye (9% rostered)

Dart-throw streamer options: Gerald Everett vs. NO (31% rostered), Anthony Firkser vs. KC (7% rostered), Mo Alie-Cox at SF (8% rostered), C.J. Uzomah at BAL (6% rostered), Hayden Hurst at MIA (2% rostered)

Defenses

Week 7 streamers

Team Next Up Rostered
49ers vs. IND 47%
Raiders vs. PHI 13%
Saints at SEA 40%
Dolphins vs. ATL 33%
Giants vs. CAR 2%

Favorable upcoming schedules: 49ers DEF (47% rostered), Eagles DEF (4% rostered)

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Fantasy: Waiver Wire - Week 7
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