Week 7 promises to bring about tough decisions for fantasy owners. Not only is the wear and tear of the season causing injuries to mount, the NFL is also throwing a curveball by having 6 teams on byes instead of the typical 4 teams. That means it’s more important than ever to get things right with this week’s waiver wire choices.
To help out, we’ve rounded up another group of Featured Pros. As before, the experts ranked a list of RB/WR/TE targets based off of rest of season value. Their picks were then combined to produce consensus waiver wire rankings. We also asked the experts to give us their top spot play recommendations for week 7, so we’ll share those picks as well.
Before we get to the advice, here are the featured experts for the week. You can follow each pundit on Twitter by clicking their names.
Waiver Wire Rankings (STD Scoring)
|Player||Position||Team||Consensus Rank||Best Rank||Worst Rank|
Spot Play Picks: Week 7
The experts were also asked to provide a player or two they like specifically for the upcoming week. Here is their spot play advice.
Felix Jones (RB – DAL): While running on the Ravens is not nearly as difficult as it once was, Felix Jones ran the ball well (92 yards and a score) Sunday in relief of DeMarco Murray (foot). One of the reasons the Ravens have given up so many rushing yards this season is that their opposition has rushed a league-high 213 times against them. Their yards-per-carry average of 3.8 is more respectable and much lower than that of the Panthers (4.4), who are the Cowboys Week 7 foe. Assuming Murray misses this week’s game as early indications suggest and Jones gets the lion’s share of carries, he has the potential to be a RB2 with his favorable matchup.
Josh Gordon (WR – CLE): He’s not doing it with volume, since he has yet to grab more than three passes in any game, but the Browns rookie can get deep, with 62 and 71-yard touchdown catches in the last two weeks. Going to Indianapolis, the Browns face a Colts pass defense that doesn’t give up huge yardage, but allows a touchdown pass on every 14.2 pass attempts, which is second-worst in the league, ahead of only Kansas City. There is obviously risk in selecting a wide receiver on the premise that he’s going to hit paydirt, but Gordon has the second-most targets among Browns wide receivers, behind only butter-fingered Greg Little, so Gordon has an opportunity to develop into more than just a long touchdown maker too.
Santana Moss (WR – WAS): While 33-year-old Moss’ role has decreased in the Redskins offense, Pierre Garcon’s ongoing foot trouble opens the door for Moss to get more looks from Robert Griffin III. Moss led the Redskins with an admittedly modest four catches for 46 yards last week, but he’s enjoyed a lot of success against the Giants and, at least prior to Week Six, this year’s Giants haven’t been shutting down opposing passing games very effectively. In his career, Moss has averaged 65.4 yards per game in his 15 games against the Giants, scoring nine touchdowns, more touchdowns than he’s managed against any other team. If the Giants experience some defensive letdown after their win in San Francisco and Moss gets at least a handful of targets against a team giving up 8.6 yards per pass attempt, he could find the end zone again, or at least gain enough yardage to make do for a week when six teams are on bye weeks.
Kendall Wright (WR – TEN): While all of the hype coming out of the 2012 rookie wide receiver class was centered on Justin Blackmon, I actually believe Kendall Wright is the most talented and certainly the most polished receiver to come out of last year’s draft. So far this season, Wright has proven to be consistent yet unspectacular, as he’s currently top 15 in the league in targets but has only 285 yards to show for it to go along with two TD’s. This week I expect Wright to maintain his consistent targets but significantly improve on his subpar production, mostly thanks to the Titans’ favorable matchup against the bottom 3 Bills secondary. With 6 teams on bye and hopefully the return of a healthy Jake Locker, Wright will undoubtedly be inside my top 30 wide receivers this week and if you’re in need of a wideout, there are much worse options out there for week 7 than Kendall Wright.
Felix Jones (RB – DAL): DeMarco Murray (foot) is already said to be doubtful for Week 7, so Felix Jones is certainly a nice fill-in with the Cowboys set to take on a bottom-feeding Panthers rush defense.
Montario Hardesty (RB – CLE): The other high-profile running back injury this week came to Trent Richardson who if unable to play, would make Montario Hardesty one of the more intriguing plays this week going against a Colts’ defense that just let Shonn Greene run all over them.
Donnie Avery (WR – IND) & Josh Gordon (WR – CLE): Sticking with the Cleveland-Indianapolis matchup, you don’t need an injury to a main player to get WRs Donnie Avery or Josh Gordon into your lineup. The Colts’ secondary has had trouble with speedsters all year long while Cleveland has let pretty much every receiver in the book do whatever they want on them.
Felix Jones (RB – DAL): Although there are a lot of running backs on this list that may be available on the waiver wire, I don’t think they are worth using a waiver wire pick, especially if you have a waiver wire pick in the top 50% of your league (i.e. waiver wire priority of 6 or better in a 12 team league). I do think it is a wise choice to use your waiver wire pick if you need to handcuff any of the injured players on Sunday, but only as a precaution (i.e. DeMarco Murray/Felix Jones, Trent Richardson/Montario Hardesty, Darren McFadden/Mike Goodson, Rashard Mendenhall/Baron Batch, Steven Jackson/Daryl Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw/David Wilson). It appears that DeMarco Murray has suffered ligament damage to his foot and may miss several weeks, so if you need help at running back, Felix Jones is my #1 waiver wire priority for week 7. I would use my waiver wire priority for players that are receiving increased playing time, targets and subsequent opportunities to generate fantasy points.
Josh Gordon (WR – CLE): I would make Gordon my #2 waiver priority for week 7, not only for this week, but also for weeks to come. He has passed Greg Little as the #1 wide receiver in Cleveland and you know the Browns will be in shootouts or behind all season. In week 7, Gordon faces an Indianapolis Colts defense that is averaging the 6th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers at 27.3 fantasy PPG.
Felix Jones (RB – DAL): Felix Jones is a “no brainer” pick-up this week. Stash Jones and once you officially find out Murray’s status for week 7 you can trust that Felix will be a solid start in Murray’s absence.
Montario Hardesty (RB – CLE): Trent Richardson is fairly banged up and will need to be monitored as well. If Richardson can’t go then Hardesty is an awesome spot start. So if Murray is out then go Felix as the #1 pick-up and if Richardson is out go Hardesty or vice-versa.
Thanks to this week’s Featured Pros for offering up their advice! Stay tuned for more picks as their weekly rankings are unveiled shortly.