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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 7

By Matt Schauf 1:16pm EDT 10/17/23

Waiver Wire Targets 

 

Shallow Leagues

Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Rostered: 28%
Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

Mitchell returned from a two-week knee injury last week to play fewer snaps than Jordan Mason in a game that Christian McCaffrey left early.

Were the 49ers just being cautious with Mitchell on a rainy day? Will Mason split work with him – or lead again – if McCaffrey can’t play in Week 7?

The uncertainty on those questions and McCaffrey’s availability add risk to adding Mitchell.

Mitchell Still the No. 2?

But HC Kyle Shanahan reportedly made it sound Monday as though he’d favor Mitchell in a McCaffrey-less Week 7 backfield.

Frankly, now that McCaffrey is dealing with injury, any San Francisco RB with a shot to touch the ball is worth a waiver look across formats. Mitchell, of course, worked well ahead of Mason last year. He averaged 9.0 carries per game to Mason’s 2.7. And Mitchell led the 2021 Niners in rushing.

Stash him where possible this week – and try to hold Mitchell beyond this week even if McCaffrey’s ready for Monday night.

Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns

Rostered: 36%
Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

Hunt opened Sunday’s win in Cleveland’s backfield and logged the first three RB touches.

Jerome Ford did enter before the end of that drive and led Hunt 8-4 in carries by halftime. But they wound up even in pass routes for the game, with Hunt edging Ford 3-2 in targets.

That marked a large jump vs. Cleveland’s Week 4 game, before the bye. That one saw Ford beat Hunt:

  • 43-15 in total snaps
  • 9-5 in carries
  • 27-8 in routes
  • 6-0 in targets

The Week 6 usage doesn’t necessarily mean Hunt is on a path to pass Ford, or even that they’ll stay as even as they ran against the 49ers. But the chance of either makes him worth adding in many leagues this week.

Jonnu Smith, TE, Atlanta Falcons

Rostered: 19%
Blind-bid recommendation: 8-15%

Smith shouldn’t have been this available heading into Week 6.

Kyle Pitts has rebounded to post his two best fantasy scores of the season the past two weeks, finishing eighth and third among PPR TEs. Smith still managed TE12 and TE4 scores for those weeks, respectively.

For the season, he still sports 5.5 more PPR points than Pitts and ranks eighth among all TEs.

He’s a weekly starter at a position that holds disturbingly few such players.

Cleveland Browns DST

Rostered: 28%
Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

This isn’t your typical streaming defense. Cleveland has been the league’s best real-life defense to date and has yet to post a negative fantasy outing.

Even Week 4’s 28-3 loss to Baltimore found the Ravens being held under 300 total yards while taking 3 sacks and losing a fumble.

The Browns aren’t only a high-upside option for Week 7 at Indy. They’re a defense you can keep the rest of the year – and potentially use every week.

The schedule holds especially attractive home dates with the Bears in Week 15 and Jets in Week 17.

12-Team Leagues

Sam Howell, QB, Washington Commanders

Rostered: 38%
Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Howell has been on a hot streak of late, ranking as the QB5 in points per game (21.1) over the past three weeks.

The second-year starter has finished QB13 or higher in five of six weeks so far.

Among NFL QBs, he ranks 10th in passing yards per game (250.0) and eighth in adjusted completion percentage (78.5%). Howell has maintained a solid scoring floor despite being sacked a league-leading 34 times.

Week 7’s matchup vs. the Giants is a juicy spot.

Latavius Murray, RB, Buffalo Bills

Rostered: 14%
Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Murray found himself thrust into a larger role on Sunday night following a neck injury to teammate Damien Harris.

The 33-year-old logged a season-high 47% snap share with 12 carries and 45 rushing yards. He also saw a handful of red-zone rushes and now ranks tied for fourth among RBs with 6 carries from inside the 5-yard line for the season

Murray looks like a potential flex play for Week 7.

Jordan Mason, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Rostered: 6%
Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

We’re still awaiting words on the MRI results for Christian McCaffrey’s rib/oblique injury from Sunday vs. the Browns.

After CMC left in the second half, Mason out-touched teammate Elijah Mitchell: 5 carries to 2. 

Mitchell, to be fair, was coming off a two-week knee injury. A wet field might have further motivated coaches to limit his exposure.

There’s a chance, though, that Mason stays even with Mitchell in usage if McCaffrey sits out Week 7. And running No. 2 behind Mitchell would make Mason worth stashing in many leagues.

Mitchell’s checkered injury history is well known.

Craig Reynolds, RB, Detroit Lions

Rostered: 2%
Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Lions RBs are scoring the league’s third-most PPR points per game for the position. That’s obviously thanks to players with more talent than Reynolds has, but it also speaks to the favorable situation.

Detroit ranks fourth in the league in scoring, fourth in total yards, sixth in rushing attempts, fourth in yards per play, and just 21st in yards per carry.

That means the offense is rolling so well that the quality of the runner almost doesn’t matter. There will be worthwhile opportunities available.

We’ll see how long David Montgomery’s rib injury is expected to keep him out. And rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs might return as soon as this week. Throw in a Week 7 matchup with the Ravens, who have ranked among the league’s toughest defenses this season.

Reynolds is no lock for fantasy production. But he’s a good fill-in option if you’re hard up for RB help this week (and perhaps next, when he’d face the softer Raiders).

Zach Evans, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Rostered: 3%
Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Here’s what Evans has: Opportunity. Kyren Williams is expected to miss at least one game after spraining an ankle in the win over the Cardinals. Backup Ronnie Rivers sprained a PCL in the same game and will probably be out longer. That leaves Evans as the only active RB who has touched a ball in a game this season.

Evans flashed his talent in college, with 6.9 yards per carry and 10.8 yards per catch career across two stops. But he never took over a backfield at TCU or Ole Miss. Then he landed in Round 6 of the NFL Draft.

Evans has made it onto the active roster for just two of six games and got the first 4 carries of his career last week (for 10 yards).

If he gets double-digit touches against Pittsburgh this week, there’s potential to turn them into useful yardage. But there’s also a chance HC Sean McVay simply trusts unexciting veteran Royce Freeman more.

Don’t overpay for Evans.

Rashid Shaheed, WR, New Orleans Saints

Rostered: 32%
Blind-bid recommendation: 0-3%

Shaheed is a big-play threat with some appeal as a bye-week filler.

He ranks second on the Saints in air yards share (23%) and has three games with more than 60 receiving yards this season. On Sunday vs. the Texans, the former undrafted free agent played on a season-high 72 offensive snaps with a stellar 83% route participation rate.

In Week 7, Shaheed will face off against a Jaguars defense that’s been the ninth-best matchup in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs.

Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, New York Giants

Rostered: 18%
Blind-bid recommendation: 0-3%

Robinson leads the Giants in receptions (22) and ranks second on the team in targets (25) since returning from injury in Week 3.

He had yet to see his involvement translate to fantasy production until this past Sunday night vs. the Bills. The second-year wideout saw a team-high 26% target share, converting all 8 targets for 62 receiving yards (14.2 PPR points).

It’s tough to pass up a player seeing this much volume.

Josh Downs, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Rostered: 33%
Blind-bid recommendation: 0-3%

Through six weeks, Downs ranks second on the Colts with a 17.0% target share and has produced as the WR27 or better in PPR scoring three times.

Despite being held to just 21 receiving yards in Week 6, the rookie saw 8 targets vs. the Jaguars and found the end zone.

He’ll be a solid weekly flex option, even with the news that QB Anthony Richardson “probably” done for the season.

Michael Mayer, TE, Las Vegas Raiders

Rostered: 5%
Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Before this weekend, WRs Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers were the only Raiders' pass-catchers who had seen 5 or more targets in a game this season.

That all changed on Sunday when Mayer converted 6 targets into 5 catches and 75 yards on a season-best 67% route-participation rate.

He sits seventh among TEs in receiving yards (114) and 12th in PPR points per game (9.2) over the last two weeks and seems poised to see a more stable role moving forward.

 

Deep Leagues 

Kendre Miller, RB, New Orleans Saints

Rostered: 17%
Blind-bid recommendation: 2-4%

Miller didn’t see the field much in Week 6. On 18 snaps, he posted 12 routes, 2 targets, and 2 carries.

But here’s the thing: Miller remains the No. 2 option behind Alvin Kamara. The rookie was the only other Saints RB to see the field on Sunday. And as of Tuesday morning, Jamaal Williams (hamstring) remains without a firm timeline to return.

The Saints host Jacksonville on Thursday night.

Devin Singletary, RB, Houston Texans

Rostered: 13%
Blind-bid recommendation: 2-4%

Singletary is a borderline pickup in 12-team leagues given his Week 6 usage.

He topped Dameon Pierce in snaps (34 to 21) and routes (18 to 7) while splitting carries (12 to 13). Singletary proved more efficient on the ground, too (4.8 YPC to 2.6).

Singletary has a Week 7 bye, but Week 8 turns up an excellent matchup with Carolina’s bottom-3 run defense. 

Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Rostered: 9%
Blind-bid recommendation: 1-3%

Moore saw 7 targets in Week 6, second-most on the team. He also remained a part-time RB with 3 carries.

Arizona should encounter plenty of trailing game scripts going forward. Entering Week 7, they’re sitting on a -45 point differential. Seattle and Baltimore show up next on the schedule.

As a bonus: Arizona’s bye doesn’t arrive until Week 14.

Michael Wilson, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Rostered: 23%
Blind-bid recommendation: 1-3%

Wilson continued to play a full-time role in Week 6. He matched Marquise Brown in snaps and routes run, although the veteran remained the clear WR1 with 11 targets (vs. 4 for the rookie).

Wilson has proved ultra-efficient with 17.6 YPC and an 81.8% catch rate, and gained 56+ yards in four of his past five outings.

Should Brown be forced to miss time, Wilson would likely slot in as a WR3. 

Nelson Agholor, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Rostered: 1%
Blind-bid recommendation: 1-3%

On Sunday, Baltimore rotated snaps for WRs Odell Beckham and Rashod Bateman. Both guys remained underwhelming for fantasy, combining to snag four passes for 49 yards.

Agholor (2 catches for 40 yards) wasn't exactly a stud in the win over Tennessee. But he ranked second among Ravens WRs in routes (23). He’s also out-producing Bateman and Beckham on the season.

Agholor enters Week 7 with 39+ yards in 5 of 6 games.

Taysom Hill, TE, New Orleans Saints

Rostered: 7%
Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

Week 6 turned up career highs in targets (8), catches (7) and receiving yards (49). 

Hill ran 34 routes on 48 snaps, as Juwan Johnson remained out with a calf injury. The 33-year-old even attempted 1 rush and 1 pass attempt.

If Johnson remains out for Thursday’s game vs. Jacksonville, Hill will be worth a look for some lineups.

 

Streaming Options

Baker Mayfield, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mayfield has been more of a “he won’t kill you” play than a week-winner so far. But that works when you’re seeking a bye-week filler.

His two worst outings have come vs. a Philly defense that always has that potential and a Detroit D that sits third in overall DVOA.

This week brings Atlanta, which has played the run much tougher than the pass so far. The Falcons haven’t allowed big QB numbers but have yielded multi-TD outings to Sam Howell, Jared Goff and Jordan Love.

Derek Carr, QB, New Orleans Saints

Carr’s average depth of target hit a season-low in Week 4, the first game after he hurt his throwing shoulder. But that number jumped 2.0 the following week and then another 1.6 in Week 7.

That’s not enough to make Carr an exciting fantasy option. He only has 5 TD passes through six games, after all. But it does give him some upside – albeit in a game with a fairly low opening over/under of 40 points.

Josh Dobbs, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Dobbs is coming off his two poorest outings this season, each with less than 6.0 yards per pass attempt and multiple turnovers. But he rebounded his rushing last week, at least, gaining 47 yards on seven attempts.

That aspect helps Dobbs in any matchup. And this week finds a Seattle defense that’s been a slightly positive matchup for QB scoring.

Desmond Ridder, QB, Atlanta Falcons

The past two weeks have seen Ridder deliver arguably his best pro performance (in Week 5) and then perhaps his worst. But his fantasy scores couldn’t tell much difference.

Ridder went over 300 yards passing in each game and finished each week among the top 8 fantasy QBs.

Week 7 holds a Bucs defense that has been playing better than either the Houston or Washington Ds of the past two weeks. Tampa has been a friendly QB matchup overall but also faced Kirk Cousins, Justin Fields, Jalen Hurts, and Jared Goff already.

Ridder sports at least as much downside risk as he does upside. Be careful.

DST Options:

  • Los Angeles Rams DST
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers DST
  • Washington Commanders DST
  • New York Giants DST

These four aren’t worth writing up separately. Only the Bucs rank among the top 12 in season scoring averaging, by ESPN scoring. They could lead this week in scoring if last week’s Desmond Ridder (3 INTs) shows up.

The Rams come off their best fantasy outing of the year to face Kenny Pickett at their place.

The Giants and Commanders face each other in a battle of who’s more sackable. Neither D is actually good, but the offenses have been the two best scoring matchups for opponent defenses on the Week 7 slate.

 

Drop Candidates

Arizona Cardinals RBs

If three mediocre-to-poor players are going to run as a committee while James Conner is out, then none of them is worth putting into your fantasy lineup – unless you’re really hard up.

None of the Cardinals’ RBs cracked the top 30 at the position in Week 6 fantasy scoring.

Matt Breida, RB, New York Giants

There are some backups worth holding even when their starters return. Breida isn’t one of those guys.

He admirably stole a TD at San Francisco in Week 3, in a game that included just 7 touches and 18 total yards for him. Then Breida caught 5 passes against Seattle, while running for just 2.1 yards per carry.

He averaged 9 carries for 22.7 yards and 3 receptions for 17.3 over the three weeks Saquon Barkley missed. That’s not upside you need to stash.

Breida logged just 4 total touches in Barkley’s Sunday night return.

Tutu Atwell, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Here’s how Atwell’s target shares have broken down by week:

  • 21%
  • 16.4%
  • 27.3%
  • 22.5%
  • 13.5%
  • 4.2%

Can you tell when Cooper Kupp returned?

Things obviously won’t stay as bad as they were in Week 6, when the Rams attempted just 24 passes – nine fewer than in any other game this season.

Atwell might see weeks that push him back north of 20%. But he’s a poor bet to go back to living in that range.

And that makes him OK to dump for someone who can either help you more regularly or help fill those bye holes.

Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington Commanders

Dotson hasn’t reached 40 yards in a game since the season opener. He’s averaging just 2.8 catches per game.

Dotson remains second behind Terry McLaurin in route participation. He’s just not getting the ball. That was literally true in his zero-catch Week 6.

Considering that even McLaurin ranks just 30th in PPR points per game at the position, there’s just nothing here worth waiting for.

 

Grab This Guy

Jalin Hyatt, WR, New York Giants

Rostered: 5%
Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

Week 6 was huge for Hyatt.

He played 57 of 77 snaps, good for a career-high 74% snap rate. That figure – and his 35 routes run – ranked second among Giants WRs.

Hyatt didn’t flash in the box score. The rookie lost one impressive deep catch to a penalty, leaving him with 3 receptions for 21 yards on 4 targets.

Of course, he’ll need a healthy Daniel Jones to have a shot at becoming a second-half factor. But we’ve yet to see any reports of Jones’ neck injury requiring a long-term absence. We’ll continue to track his health. 

For now, though, Hyatt and his 4.40 speed make for an enticing stash. Week 7 even turns up a potential breakthrough spot vs. Washington’s bottom-3 WR defense.

More Week 7 Waiver Wire Picks

Matt and Jared run through the top waiver wire targets for Week 7 in this video, including streaming options at QB and defense.

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