Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Week 7 Waiver Wire: Tight Spot

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There are a couple of players I want to talk about before getting into this week’s Waiver adds. First, I want to discuss Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. I spoke about him in the Week 5 edition of The Fantasy Edge after he blamed the rest of the offense for his lack of production. Apparently, his continued struggles remain everyone else’s fault as heard by a local reporter prior to Buffalo’s Week 6 game:

Someone who has four catches on his last 17 targets should not be declining extra practice time. This was just the latest in a long list of attitude issues for the former Panther. Benjamin doesn’t have the work ethic to match his physical talent and is quickly becoming one of the biggest headaches in the NFL. Benjamin has come out and denied the events, but it’s hard to give him the benefit of the doubt.

If the reports are true, Buffalo needs to cut him. A young, rebuilding team can’t afford to have a locker room cancer like Benjamin around for too long.

The second player I want to talk about is Nathan Peterman. After an injury to Josh Allen, Peterman came into the game with a chance to redeem his terrible Week 1 effort. Before heading into the game he told the coaching staff “He’s got this”.

Peterman actually started off well, throwing a touchdown to Zay Jones to take a 13-10 lead. He then proceeded to do exactly what you expect he would do and threw two interceptions, including a pick-six, late in the fourth. I don’t mean to kick a guy when he’s down, but the whole thing seems like it came out of a sitcom, or an Adam Sandler movie. At this point, the Bills have to move on. Yes, Derek Anderson is a better option than Peterman.

As always, I will focus on players owned in under 35% of Yahoo leagues. Moving forward, I will also list some players owned in less than 50% of leagues who are worth an add.

2018 Fantasy Football Week 7 Waiver Wire

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Quarterbacks

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (28% Owned)

It’s tough to believe I’m advocating for Trubisky with the way he looked through Week 3, but here we are. Trubisky exploded for six touchdowns in Week 4 against the Buccaneers, but many owners left him on the wire because it came against the hapless Tampa defense and was followed by Chicago’s BYE week. The former second overall pick then followed up his breakout performance with a three-touchdown game last week against the Dolphins.

The Bears offense has looked much better, and Trubisky seems to be improving quickly. Head Coach Matt Nagy has moved toward a more pass-heavy offense and Trubisky is reaping the rewards. He will be in for another heavy workload when the Bears travel to New England to take on the Patriots. The Patriots can scheme anyone out of a game, but I expect Trubisky will need to throw early and often to keep the Bears within striking distance of Tom Brady and the Pats.

Owners in need of a BYE week fill-in should invest in the new and improved Bears offense.

Eli Manning, New York Giants (22% Owned)

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This is probably going to be the suggestion that ruins me. Manning has not looked good this season and is one of the biggest reasons for the Giants poor start. Regardless of how bad his offensive line is (Hint: really bad), Eli has not been able to generate much outside of handing the ball to Saquon Barkley.

He will have his chance for redemption next Monday in a dream matchup against the Falcons. The Falcons have allowed the third most Fantasy points to QB’s this season, and they would be much closer to first if they didn’t have the fortune of playing Nick Foles in Week 1. Atlanta has allowed three or more TD passes in five straight games, with four of those QB’s throwing for over 330 yards.

Adding Eli is a Week 7 move only, but he has the best matchup among QB’s owned in under 35% of leagues. If you need a QB for this week, just close your eyes and let Eli take the wheel.

Other QB Options: Baker Mayfield @ Tampa Bay (42% owned), Joe Flacco (27% owned) vs. New Orleans

Running Backs

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts (26% Owned)

I know what you’re thinking. Why would you recommend the one running back who might be as injury prone as Leonard Fournette? Yes, Mack comes with some injury risk, but you can’t tell me you would leave a starting running back on the waiver wire. Mack made his return from a hamstring injury last week and carried the ball 12 times for 89 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Jets.

Mack handled the majority of the RB touches for the Colts, as Nyheim Hines received just three carries. He also saw two targets in the passing game, although that’s not his area of strength. The Colts will always be a pass-heavy offense, but Mack will continue to see around 60 percent of the carries, and most of the goal-line work.

 


Head Coach Frank Reich had good things to say about Mack’s return, which bodes well for his workload moving forward.

Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins (10% Owned)

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Even the most stalwart Kenyan Drake supporters can see the writing on the wall. The ageless Gore has officially forced a full timeshare in the Miami backfield. Drake out-touched Gore 17-16 but Gore outgained him with 119 yards to Drake’s 78. Drake’s goal-line fumble in overtime may also result in an uptick in red zone work for Gore. That likely would have been a Gore touchdown has he not gassed himself out breaking off a 32 yard run a few plays earlier.

It’s unlikely that Gore will become a full-on bell-cow at his age, but Adam Gase seems to prefer the more experienced Gore as his early down RB. The two will remain in a nearly even split, but Gore has carved himself a role large enough to warrant ownership in 12 and 14 team leagues.

Other RB Options: Peyton Barber (33% owned), Latavius Murray (49% owned)

Wide Receivers

Willie Snead IV, WR, Baltimore Ravens (9% Owned)

Snead is only nine percent owned because his numbers haven’t been flashy, but he has been a steady producer over the last three weeks, posting at least 50 yards in each game. He hasn’t caught a touchdown since Week 1 but has seen his targets steadily increase, seeing a season-high 10 looks in Week 6.

Snead led the team in both targets and receptions last week. He was also second on the team in air yards, with 123. The Raven’s new possession receiver will be a solid PPR asset moving forward and especially this week, as the Ravens will host the Saints and their 25th DVOA ranked defense.

Taylor Gabriel, Chicago Bears (22% Owned)

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I’ve written about Gabriel before as a suggested add and owners who missed the train will now have to fight for him on the waiver wire. Gabriel will likely be one of the most added WR after his five catch, 110-yard performance against the Dolphins. He has now posted consecutive 100-yard games and has performed just as well as fellow FA signing Allen Robinson.

Gabriel leads the team in receptions, receiving yards and yards after the catch. His big-play ability has made him Trubisky’s main deep threat, and he will continue to see close to seven targets per game moving forward. Gabriel should pay immediate dividends to owners that add him, as the New England secondary has looked shaky for much of this season.

Other WR Options: Dede Westbrook (44% owned), Marquise Goodwin (41% Owned), Chris Godwin (44% owned)

Tight Ends

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (28% Owned)

A mysterious hip injury has cost Doyle the last four games, causing his ownership rate to plummet. There’s hasn’t been too much information in regards to a timetable, but owners with an available IR spot (or adequate bench space) should add Doyle while they have the chance.

In his one and only full game this season, Doyle received 10 targets, catching seven passes for 60 yards. Eric Ebron has filled in very well with Doyle on the shelf, but his production is mainly a result of injuries to Doyle and T.Y. Hilton. When Doyle is fully healthy I expect him to take at least an even split of the TE targets.

I know that some owners hate carrying injured players on their bench. However, it’s rare to find such a high upside TE sitting on the waiver wire. Any owner struggling with week-to-week TE streaming stash Doyle before news of an exact return date is established.

Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals (21% Owned)

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I would hate to put my faith in the Cardinals offense, but this is what we’ve come to. Seals-Jones hasn’t had any big games yet, but he has consistently been one of Arizona’s most targeted players. He sees an average of five targets per game, third on the team behind Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Seals-Jones has flashed his big-play ability, catching a 30+ yard pass in three of his last four games. Arizona is starved for playmakers outside of David Johnson and OC Mike McCoy would be foolish not to target his big TE. Then again, he continues to believe that running DJ up the middle is the key to success.

Despite the Cardinals offense holding him back, Seals-Jones is one of the better options left among widely available TE.

Other TE Options: C.J. Uzomah (33% owned), Vance McDonald (50% owned)

Deep League Special

Jermaine Kearse, WR, New York Jets (1% Owned)

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Kearse has always been an inconsistent player, but an ankle injury to Quincy Enunwa has opened up a ton of targets for the former Seahawk. Without Enunwa in the lineup, Kearse will assume the main slot receiver position for the Jets.

In his new, larger role in Week 6, Kearse saw 10 targets and caught nine passes for 94 yards. He won’t have the luxury of playing every game against the Colt’s defense but New York will need his solid underneath work to compliment Robby Anderson’s ability down the field. With Enunwa out last season, Kearse finished with 805 yards and five touchdowns and should be able to replicate a similar pace this year.


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Terrelle Pryor will take some targets as well, but I don’t believe he will take enough to hurt Kearse in PPR leagues.


Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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