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Fantasy Football: Waiver Wire Rankings (Week 7)

Oct 16, 2017

Orleans Darkwa made a splash Sunday night and is still widely available on waivers

It was another weird week of football and another top fantasy draft pick went down. Losing Aaron Rodgers for possibly the season is bad for both fantasy owners and football itself. Even worse, though, may be the situation in front of you when facing the waiver wire. We realize that every league is different, so we’ve identified the best options that are still readily-available (< 50%) based on Yahoo and ESPN leagues and asked the experts to rank them. You can be sure that the likes of Adrian Peterson and Nelson Agholor would head up this list if their ownership percentages were lower. There’s also likely questions surrounding Ezekiel Elliott’s potential replacement and Alfred Morris being an option, but he’s not included as an option below due to his current ownership percentage being above the threshold.

So take a look below and you can quickly see how the experts view the available waiver candidates. For more advice, our featured pundits are also providing commentary on their favorite targets, how much they’d spend on them, and which defenses they’ll be targeting for streaming purposes this week.

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Featured Experts:
Sean Koerner – STATS
Mike Tagliere – FantasyPros
Mike Wright – The Fantasy Footballers
Jason Willan – Gridiron Experts
Bobby Sylvester – FantasyPros

*Ownership % derived from a consensus of Yahoo & ESPN leagues

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Q1. Give us your thoughts on a waiver wire target (or two) you especially like as a pickup.

Orleans Darkwa has been the Giants best running back all season, and in Week 6 we finally saw what he could do with a full complement of carries. Facing a Denver defense that had given up less than 51 rushing yards per game over its first four contests, Darkwa exploded for 117 yards on 21 carries. Rookie Wayne Gallman only produced 27 yards on his nine carries, and on the season, Darkwa holds a 5.7 yards-per-carry average, compared to 4.1 for Gallman. With the Giants’ receiving corps in shambles and Darkwa’s big game coming as Ben McAdoo turns play-calling duties over to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, this could be one of those truly meaningful mid-season waiver adds. I’d consider a big chunk of my remaining FAAB if you are one of many RB-needy fantasy teams. If you need help immediately, Chargers rookie wide receiver Mike Williams isn’t your guy. But if you are looking for a player to stash now who could pay big dividends before the season is over, Williams has about as much potential as anyone readily available on waivers this week. Playing in his first professional game on Sunday after sitting out the first five weeks with a back injury, Williams was only on the field for 9-of-65 offensive snaps, recording a 15-yard reception on his only target. But the big takeaway here is that the number seven overall pick from this year’s NFL draft was finally on the field, playing his first real game since wrapping up a 98-catch junior year at Clemson last season that included 1,361 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. As he gets acclimated, I could see the rookie eventually challenging Tyrell Williams for the starting spot opposite Keenan Allen. In a high-volume passing offense, Mike Williams could find himself in a great position to help fantasy owners that can afford to be patient, and he should come at a relatively cheap FAAB price tag this week.”
– Jason Willan (Gridiron Experts)

“With apologies to Darren McFadden, who may or may not be available in your league, the two top pickups of the week are Alex Collins and Orleans Darkwa. Both have seemingly taken over the starting running back roles for their respective teams and while there is remaining competition for carries, they appear to be good bets to continue getting enough work to warrant playing them in your fantasy lineups. Over the past five weeks, Collins is averaging 67.0 yards per game while Darkwa has 69.3 since being handed his role three weeks ago. To put that in perspective, those numbers are above Melvin Gordon, LeSean McCoy, DeMarco Murray, and Lamar Miller.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

“I feel like people analyze the WW too broadly this time of year. If you are dealing with a ton of issues and need short-term plays to win right now you should be keying in on players with good outlooks the next couple weeks: McFadden, Darkwa, Ivory (w/ Fournette potentially less than 100% this week), Kearse, and Lee. Only McFadden is worth going out of your way for (20-40% of FAAB budget). If you are sitting pretty and have depth, you need to make long-term investments. Players that would become #1 Waiver or 60%+ FAAB type players if a certain teammate were to get injured and/or may see an increased role later in the season- these are players like Foreman, Mike Williams, Ju-Ju, Doctson, and Ivory types. Injuries are part of the game and you have to ask yourself ‘if player X were to miss an extended period of time, who would become so valuable they would draw 60%+ of the FAAB in order to get that player?'”
– Sean Koerner (STATS)

“As of this moment, the Steelers are apparently shopping Martavis Bryant due to him being unhappy with his role and future on the team. Because of that, JuJu Smith-Schuster has actually been playing more snaps than him and becoming more involved in the offense seemingly every single week. As the No. 2 option in the Steelers wide receiver corps, Smith-Schuster would offer WR3/WR4-type value. It’s hard to find a weekly producer on the waiver wire at this point in the season, so go out there and snag him before a trade is actually made. The best part is that you don’t need to spend a whole lot to get him, maybe 5-8 percent of your FAAB budget.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Taylor Gabriel is a pretty intriguing WR option to pick up and play next week if you are dealing with injury/bye week troubles. Monitor Mohamed Sanu’s availability, but his injury should keep him out another week. Meaning, Gabriel will be facing against the New England Patriots that are giving up nearly 325 passing yards a week. I’d spend 3% FAAB for the rental. Chris Ivory is worth a speculative add with Leonard Fournette’s injury. Yes, the team thinks Fournette could have returned to the game, but he does have a history of foot injuries and those injuries were really the only concern of his transition to the pros. If Fournette can’t go, Ivory will start and face up against the Colts making him an easy plug-and-play RB2. Since we are getting into handcuff season as it is, I’d be willing to spend 7% FAAB on him, could end up more if Fournette’s injury is revealed to be worse.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

Q2. For owners renting a D/ST in Week 7, what readily available option (under 40%) should they target and why?

“I’m not the biggest fan of the defenses in both Miami and Dallas, but they make for solid streaming defenses in Week 7. As bad as the Dolphins offense has been, their defense has yet to allow more than 20 points to an opponent and are coming off back-to-back wins. They’ll also be at home, which is the ideal situation for a streamer. The Cowboys aren’t a very good defense, but they don’t have to be against the 49ers new starting quarterback, C.J. Beathard. Upon coming in against the Redskins’ mediocre defense, he threw 36 passes, getting sacked twice and intercepted once. It’s always good to target rookie quarterbacks who are prone to make rookie mistakes, especially when you consider that Beathard wasn’t a blue-chip prospect who was expected to contribute right away.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

“Perhaps Jay Cutler’s performance has been so awful that you haven’t noticed, but the Dolphins‘ defense is quite good this season. They haven’t allowed more than 20 points in a game all season, have more sacks per game than Seattle, and go against the Jets this week. While New York has been competitive, they are surrendering 3.0 sacks per game and scoring under 20 points per contest.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Buffalo seems the most logical D/ST pickup for the week. They will be taking on the Buccaneers next week, and it now looks like Bucs could be without Jameis Winston. Ryan Fitzpatrick filled in admirably against the Cardinals, but his history of turnovers is well documented. Even with Winston, the Bills would be a nice D/ST play this week, but with Fitz the Bills become a must start.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

“The New Orleans Saints have been among the hottest fantasy football defenses over the last month, including a ridiculous three-touchdown performance against Detroit in Week 6. While fantasy owners obviously can’t count on regular trips to the endzone with this (or any) defense, the turnovers and quarterback pressure being applied by New Orleans over its last three games are things that can be carried over to future matchups. The Saints have at least four sacks in each of those contests and a total of nine turnovers over the three-week stretch. A matchup with a Packers team that just lost Aaron Rodgers and has been decimated along the offensive line bodes well for continued fantasy success for the New Orleans defensive.”
– Jason Willan (Gridiron Experts)

Thank you to the experts for naming their top waiver targets. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter if you’re not already doing so and check out our latest podcast below for more great advice.

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