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Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Andrew Gould | @andrewgould4 | Featured Writer
Oct 20, 2020

Justin Jackson quickly carved out a big slice of the Chargers’ backfield work without Austin Ekeler.

Before filing wavier-wire claims on the following players, fantasy football managers should take a full reconnaissance of everyone available.

More than any other week this season, several candidates narrowly missed the cut since they are rostered in over 50% of Yahoo leagues. Only Chase Claypool has compiled more fantasy points than Brandin Cooks (62%) in the last two weeks. Claypool is actually technically eligible at 49%, but let’s assume nobody needs the reminder to add the Pittsburgh rookie if still available.

With Nick Chubb’s injury re-directing Cleveland’s run-heavy offense, Austin Hooper (60%) has registered five catches in each of his last three games. For those needing quarterback help, Carson Wentz (60%) plays his next five games against the Giants (twice), Cowboys, Browns, and Seahawks.

Other players are even closer to the halfway mark. Justin Herbert (54%) was dealing before the Chargers’ Week 6 bye, and he’ll return as a QB1 in an appetizing matchup against Jacksonville. Understandably dropped after depositing three yards in two games, A.J. Green (55%), resurfaced to catch eight of 11 targets for 96 yards against a tough Indianapolis defense. That didn’t slow down Bengals rookie Tee Higgins (52%), who produced 125 yards on six grabs. And though he only manufactured 10 yards, Zack Moss (55%) returned from a toe injury Monday.

Those are all strong targets, but ones likely available only in shallow 10-team leagues. If they’re all gone, here are some options for everyone else. Be sure to act soon, as there are several Eagles of intrigue heading into their Thursday night bout with the Giants.

Note: Rostered percentages provided via Yahoo leagues.

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Top 5 Waiver Targets of Week 7

Justin Jackson (RB – LAC): 47% Rostered
An early bye gives fantasy gamers a second chance to snag Jackson. With Austin Ekeler out of the Week 5 lineup, Jackson upstaged Joshua Kelley by tallying 94 yards on 20 touches (15 rushes, five receptions). That came against the Saints, who rank sixth in rushing defense and ninth in fantasy points allowed to running backs. The Chargers return from their scheduled intermission to face the Jaguars, who fell to 28th in rushing defense and 29th in fantasy points allowed to running backs after getting shredded by D’Andre Swift and the Lions. If Swift can shine in limited snaps, Jackson will feast if again seeing the field on 59% of Los Angeles’ offensive plays.

Christian Kirk (WR – ARI): 39% Rostered
After finally breaking through with 78 yards in Week 5, Kirk stole the show Monday night. His first touchdown came on a six-yard shovel pass. The second went 80 yards. Following the efficient explosion, the Cardinals will now square off against the Seahawks, who surrendered an NFL-worst 370.4 passing yards per game prior to their Week 6 bye.

Boston Scott (RB – PHI): 14% Rostered
Miles Sanders, who left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, is expected to miss Thursday night’s matchup against the Giants. While Philadelphia’s lead back appears to have avoided a more serious long-term issue, Scott has a chance to once again torch an opponent he twice dominated in 2019. The 5’6″ back had hardly played at all until replacing Sanders in Week 14, when he registered 128 total yards and a touchdown in a comeback win over the G-Men. Managers who play out the entire season could have then ridden Scott to a championship, as he recorded 138 yards and three touchdowns at the Giants’ expense in Week 17. Though he posted just 54 yards without Sanders in the Week 1 lineup, Scott is a strong add and Week 7 flex play (particularly in PPR or half-PPR leagues) with the Eagles scrambling for healthy rushing and pass-catching options.

Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI): 41% Rostered
Although eligible to return from the IR this week, there’s no guarantee Goedert is ready by Thursday. Nevertheless, this is probably your last chance to grab him. Zach Ertz will likely miss at least three to four weeks with an ankle injury, giving Goedert a strong chance to return first. Even when playing alongside Ertz, Goedert opened the season with 101 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 before receiving eight targets the following game. He’s easily a top-10 tight end — potentially top five if Philadelphia’s wide receivers don’t also return — if playing without Ertz.

Tim Patrick (WR – DEN): 18% Rostered
Patrick now has two straight 100-yard performances with two different quarterbacks. After making his mark by recording 113 yards and a touchdown with Brett Rypien in Week 4, he returned 17 days later — the Broncos had last played on Thursday Night Football — to tally 101 of 189 yards from the returning Drew Lock. Patrick’s eight targets accounted for one-third of Lock’s pass attempts in a throwback 18-12 grinder over New England. Per NFL Next Gen Stats, he also saw 45.4% of Denver’s targeted air yards.

It’s safe to say the Broncos won’t keep up with the Chiefs if playing that style of football in Week 7. Patrick has produced at least 12 half-PPR fantasy points in all three games since Courtland Sutton tore his ACL in Week 2, so he should be rostered everywhere going forward.

Notable Players 35-50% Rostered

Mike Williams (WR – LAC): 46%
A dazzling Week 5 performance would have elevated Williams above the 50% rostered threshold if not for the Chargers then embarking on a bye week. After combing for 31 receiving yards in the prior three games, the former No. 7 overall pick posted 109 yards and two touchdowns on Monday Night Football. He averaged 20.1 air yards per target, including a 64-yard score and a spectacular downfield grab in double-coverage.

The 26-year-old has had a strange start to his career, pairing 10 touchdowns with just 664 yards in 2018, but 1,001 yards with only two touchdowns last season. Perhaps he puts both pieces of the puzzle together alongside a thriving Herbert.

Notable Players 10-35% Rostered

Travis Fulgham (WR – PHI): 31%
DeSean Jackson (WR – PHI): 24%
Alshon Jeffery (WR – PHI): 15%
The Eagles hope to have Jackson back for the first time since Week 3 this Thursday. Doug Pederson is also optimistic that Jeffery will make his season debut. Those returns would obviously hurt Fulgham, who has found the end zone in three straight games and caught 16 of 23 targets for 227 yards in the last two contests.

Even if the Eagles have all three wide receivers, they’ll instead be missing Sanders, Ertz, and potentially Goedert. As a result, Fulgham shouldn’t fade away from this offense entirely, especially with Jackson and Jeffery working their way back to full strength. He’ll be the top-ranked wideout of this trio for Week 7, but Jackson or Jeffery offer more long-term upside for a manager with the flexibility to plan ahead.

Frank Gore (RB – NYJ): 31%
La’Mical Perine (RB – NYJ): 17%
It’s the Jets, but touches are touches. Backfield reps are open after the AFC East laughingstock cut Le’Veon Bell last Tuesday. Playing without the fantasy phenom, Gore totaled 70 yards (56 rushing, 24 receiving) on 11 carries and four catches. Although Perine mustered just 36 total yards (27 rushing, nine receiving) on nine touches, he played 39 snaps to Gore’s 25.

After trading Bell, Adam Gase said he would “definitely” get Perine more involved. Then again, he might not be the head coach for long, as the Jets fell to 0-6 with a 24-0 loss to Miami. For now, Gore is the safer floor play, but ultimately a touchdown-dependent option on a team struggling mightily to put up any points. While Perine may have a higher chance of blossoming into a lineup fixture, that’s still a stretch.

Philadelphia Eagles D/ST: 31%
The Giants are averaging just 16.8 points per game this season, and they’ll have a shortened week to prepare for the Eagles on Thursday night. This battle of one-win squads sadly bears significance in the NFC East; it’s now or never for Philadelphia to start limping to the postseason. Despite their early struggles, the Eagles have collected 21 sacks. The Giants have struggled to protect Daniel Jones, who has coughed up 15 fumbles in 19 career games. Add and insert Philadelphia’s defense into your starting lineup by Thursday evening.

Keelan Cole (WR – JAC): 29%
Cole and Laviska Shenault Jr. seem to trade places in this column every week. Both are good enough to roster, but it’s been a guessing game as to which Jaguars wideout hits on any given week. Following encouraging back-to-back showings from Sheanult, it was Cole’s turn to shine in Week 6. He set season-highs in targets (nine) and receiving yards (143) in a lopsided loss to Detroit, upping his 2020 tallies to 38 targets and 362 yards. With at least five targets in every game, he’s never disappeared entirely from Gardner Minshew’s line of vision. Although Jacksonville’s schedule is rough, Cole could come in handy as bye weeks begin to pile up. Shenault, meanwhile, still brandishes intriguing upside despite Sunday’s 11-yard dud.

Tony Pollard (RB – DAL): 24%
Ezekiel Elliott coughed up two costly fumbles early in Monday night’s loss to Arizona. That brings his 2020 total to four; he lost five in four previous seasons combined. The Cowboys responded by giving more reps to Pollard, who picked up just 40 yards on 12 touches. While Elliott’s managers shouldn’t panic, they should stash his understudy just in case.

Derek Carr (QB –  LVR): 23%
Before Oakland’s Week 6 bye, Carr topped 300 yards in consecutive games while throwing two or three touchdowns in four straight contests. He quietly exited Week 5 as the QB13, averaging 288.4 yards per game with just one interception and a 73.1% completion rate. Despite a rough matchup against Tampa Bay, Carr could make a respectable bye-week replacement with the Raiders rising to the level of their stout competition thus far. The Week 7 slate doesn’t feature any obvious widely available matchup plays under center.

Trey Burton (TE – IND): 20%
Eventually, the Colts are going to stick with a tight end who produces commendable numbers alongside Philip Rivers. Jack Doyle has done little in the passing game since getting injured in Week 1. Mo-Alie Cox momentarily looked like an excellent find, but his playing time has suddenly tumbled. Indianapolis now appears to prefer Burton, who has drawn 11 targets in the last two games. He registered both a rushing and receiving touchdown last Sunday alongside 59 total yards. Burton quickly has the makings of a high-caliber TE2 to use in the right matchups following Indianapolis’ Week 7 bye.

J.D. McKissic (RB – WAS): 12%
McKissic remained a PPR gamer’s delight in Week 6, securing all six targets for 43 yards while adding 41 rushing yards on eight carries. He played 12 more snaps (39) and received one more touch than Antonio Gibson. Over the last four games, McKissic has 22 receptions on 26 targets for 166 yards, playing at least half of Washington’s snaps each time. Managers who miss out on Scott could receive a cheaper facsimile in McKissic, who has a cushy Week 7 matchup against Dallas.

Notable Players <10% Rostered

Irv Smith Jr. (TE – MIN): 9%
Mentioned here last week as well, Smith caught four of five targets for the second consecutive game. On Week 6’s lone misconnection, he had the ball knocked out of his hands while lunging toward the end zone. He did, however, secure a two-point conversion in the 40-23 loss to Atlanta, and the rookie tight end now has 119 yards over his last two contests. Smith may inch closer toward borderline TE1 territory after Minnesota returns from a Week 7 bye.

Breshad Perriman (WR – NYJ): 8%
Seeing his first action since injuring his ankle in Week 2, Perriman promptly played 63 snaps and secured four of eight targets for 62 yards. While this feels like way too many mentions for the New York Jets in a waiver-wire article, they’re already proving to sustain one potent fantasy wideout in Jamison Crowder. And with Perriman sidelined, Jeff Smith saw 20 targets in Weeks 4 and 5. Even though Crowder will continue to gobble up receptions, Perriman poses their best downfield threat. The circumstances are certainly different, but he swung 2019 titles with 506 receiving yards and five touchdowns over the final five weeks.

Zach Pascal (WR – IND): 6%
Marcus Johnson also warrants some deep-league consideration after amassing 108 yards on eight targets last Sunday. Pascal, however, played more snaps (52 of 63) en route to submitting 54 yards and a score. He’s now played over 90% of the Colts’ snaps in three of their last four games. The Colts simply might not possess a trustworthy fantasy wide receiver, but Pascal is best positioned to round out a roster.

Gus Edwards (RB – BAL): 3%
The answer to “Which Baltimore running back should I start?” remains none. However, Mark Ingram II left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. That turned a maddening three-headed commune into an ineffective timeshare. Whereas J.K. Dobbins transformed his 11 touches into 29 yards, Edwards at least added a touchdown to his 26 yards on 14 handoffs. Edwards has now led the Ravens in snaps in each of the last three weeks, so he could continue to see double-digit carries if Ingram remains hobbled following a Week 7 bye.

Anthony Firkser (TE – TEN): 1%
Jonny Smith exited Sunday’s game early with an ankle injury. In place of the 2020 breakout, Firkser filled in splendidly. The third-year pro caught eight of nine targets for 113 yards — all team-highs — and a score in a thrilling 42-36 overtime triumph over the Texans. Even before Smith went down, his backup garnered 11 targets in three games. Nevertheless, he’s only a target in the typical league in the event of Smith missing more time.

Demarcus Robinson (WR – KC): 1%
So much for the Mecole Hardman breakout. Expected to assume a bigger role without Sammy Watkins, Hardman instead never touched the ball Monday. Robinson instead led Kansas City’s wide receivers with six targets, five catches, and 69 receiving yards. It’d hardly be surprising if Hardman or even Bryan Pringle saw more work next time, but the potential of contributing in a Patrick Mahomes-led offense demands attention in deeper leagues.

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Andrew Gould is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Andrew, check out his archive and follow him @andrewgould4.