Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Our favorite players are broken down in Top Targets and the best secondary options are in our Going Deeper sections. We’ll also list any players at the top of each position who are above the 50% threshold — or are household names — and are still widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.
Be sure to check out our weekly Waiver Wire podcast for more analysis. We’ll also have Streaming articles every Tuesday that focuses on the top quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses for the upcoming week(s).
Note: The initial Waiver Wire article writeup will be posted every Monday evening, followed by in-depth updates Tuesday, and continued additions/updates Wednesday.
Teams on Bye in Week 7
Los Angeles Chargers
Hansen’s Top-15 Options
Note: For these rankings, John Hansen leans on players who are available in at least 40% of Yahoo leagues and who also saw a favorable development for their fantasy values last week. Some players are better long-term picks up, and some are better for just this week or the short term.
- Rhamondre Stevenson (NE, 7%) — Multiple paths to fantasy relevance now, and upside if Harris is out.
- Rashod Bateman (Bal, 28%) — Handled a starter’s role in Week 6 and Ravens throwing more, plus Sammy Watkins stinks.
- D’Ernest Johnson (Cle, 2%) — Browns signed RB John Kelly off the practice squad, but Johnson is the best bet for Week 7 with Chubb OUT.
- Pat Freiermuth (Pit, 6%) — Potential to emerge as a top-12 guy this year, and he’s a future star beyond 2021.
- Ricky Seals-Jones (Was, 29%) — Logan Thomas out at least one more week, and RSJ is a TE1 until LT returns.
- Carson Wentz (Ind, 12%) — Playing well and a lot of weapons.
- Tua Tagovailoa (Mia, 16%) — Has a chance to settle in as a clear top-20 producer.
- Mo Alie-Cox (Ind, 8%) — Likely to be TD-dependent, but he could score 5-6 more TDs this year easily.
- Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 7%) — Lance is not ready to start, so Jimmy G has a chance in a (usually) good offense.
- T.Y. Hilton (Ind, 39%) — Parris Campbell out for a while, and TY immediately produced with Carson Wentz, which is a good sign.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, 6%) — Randall Cobb had a chance but there was not much happening, and someone else has to step up here.
- Russell Gage (Atl, 6%) — Matt Ryan and the Falcons passing game is quietly doing well, and they need another passing target.
- Nico Collins (Hou, 1%) — A factor in Week 6 and easily their best long-term prospect at WR.
- Dyami Brown (Was, 1%) — Very interesting add for later in the season, since he looks primed to make his mark at some point this year.
- Jaret Patterson (Was, 2%) — Assuming JDMC is unavailable, Patterson needs to be owners by all Gibson owners, and a good stash-and-hope for the rest.
None of note.
Carson Wentz (Ind, 12%) — Wentz is playing his best football in quite some time as he’s thrown two TD passes in each of the last three weeks while averaging 9.8 YPA. He posted just 17.0 FP in a lopsided victory over the hapless Texans in Week 6, but he impressively completed 11/20 passes for 223 yards (11.2) and two touchdowns. On the downside, he’s no longer running with just 9/14 rushing over the last four weeks, and his receiving corps can’t stay healthy with T.Y. Hilton (quad) and Parris Campbell (foot) each going down in Week 6. Wentz is pushing toward mid-QB2 if the Colts receiving corps and O-line can get healthy, and he has a mostly-friendly upcoming schedule (@SF, Ten, NYJ, Jax) to do it. Campbell may not be heard from again this year, but TY should be fine, per the HC. UPDATED: 10/19
Teddy Bridgewater (Den, 20%) — Denver’s once-promising season has veered in the wrong direction after a 3-0 start, but Teddy is putting up solid fantasy production (19+ FP) thanks to some garbage-time opportunities the last two weeks. He completed 35/49 passes for 334 yards (6.8 YPA), three touchdowns, and three interceptions with 2/9 rushing against the Raiders. Denver’s defense has become extremely vulnerable the last three weeks, which could force Teddy to throw it a little more with competitive matchups (although @Cle, Was, @Dal, and Phi all each give up 20+ FPG right now) coming up over the next month. He should also get his boy Jerry Jeudy (high ankle, IR) by the end of the month to give him a little more help. HC Vic Fangio said on 10/18, that Jeudy is “less than 50%” for Week 7, which means he may be looking good for Week 8.
Jameis Winston (NO, 36%) — Winston had fallen below 14 FP in his last three games after throwing five TD passes in the season opener against the Packers, but he exploded again for 27.8 FP in Week 5. He attempted a season-high 30 passes, producing 279 yards (9.3 YPA), four TDs, and one INT against the Football Team in Week 5. New Orleans has been operating a low-volume passing attack so Winston is going to have to connect on some downfield passes to produce for fantasy as he did in Week 5. He’s going to be a boom-or-bust low-end QB2 moving forward, but if he can get Michael Thomas and/or Tre’Quan Smith back soon, he does have some very tasty matchups upcoming (@Sea, TB, Atlanta, @Ten). With Thomas at least, it looks like he will need a week or two, so Week 7 looks unlikely.
Tua Tagovailoa (Mia, 16%) — Jacoby Brissett has had an uninspiring run as the team’s starting quarterback in Weeks 3-5 with Tua on the injured reserve with broken ribs. Tua returned to action in Week 6 and he played well in defeat. With DeVante Parker (hamstring) and Will Fuller (hand, IR) out of the lineup, Tua completed 33/47 passes for 329 yards (7.0 YPA), two touchdowns, and one INT and he added 3/22 rushing for 22.4 FP against the Jaguars. Tua should be viewed as a low-end QB2 for now but he showed some potential in his first start back, albeit against Jacksonville. He has some good spots coming up (Atl, @Buf, Hou, Bal), and he’ll potentially have his full complement of weapons in the near future.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 7%) and Trey Lance (SF, 34%) — The 49ers are coming out of their Week 6 bye and Jimmy G (calf) will most likely be their starting quarterback when they return to action (Ind, @Chi, Ari, LAR). The 49ers weren’t planning on starting Lance anytime soon, and he unlikely changed their minds in their loss to the Cardinals in Week 5. He completed 15/29 passes for 192 yards and one INT and he added 16/89 rushing for 15.6 FP. Lance should be viewed as a potential top-12 option when he starts going forward because of his rushing upside, but he’s likely back to being a bench stash. Jimmy G scored between 15.8-19.6 FP in each of his three full games so he’ll return to being an unspectacular QB2 option in Superflex/two-QB formats. Jimmy G’s Week 7 matchup against the Colts is a good one, and he’s a good bet to start after returning to practice on 10/18 with Lance missing practice.
Daniel Jones (NYG, 34%) — Jones was rolling to open his third season with 22+ FP in three of his first four starts, but his progress was halted by a nasty collision at the goal line against the Cowboys in Week 5. Jones suffered a concussion on the play, which knocked him out in the second quarter, and he played poorly in Week 6 as soon as Kadarius Toney left the lineup early with an ankle injury. He completed 29/51 passes for 242 yards (4.7 YPA) and three INTs, and he added just 3/4 rushing in the lopsided loss to the Rams. Jones is still a volatile mid-QB2 option with some beatable matchups looming over the next four weeks (Car, @KC, LV, bye), but expectations need to be lowered if his two best playmaking receivers, Toney and Kenny Golladay (knee), are out of the lineup, as both look to be in Week 7. Toney’s injury is reportedly serious, but Jones does still have his guy Sterling Shepard. UPDATED: 10/19
Tyrod Taylor (Hou, 4%) — HC David Culley said last week that Tyrod is the team’s starting quarterback as soon as he’s healthy enough to return to action, and he said this week (10/18) that he was day-to-day and he did not know if he would be activated, so we’ll see. Taylor played well before his injury, totaling 40.1 FP in just six quarters of action, and he should be stashed in Superflex/two-QB formats just in case he returns to action soon (@Ari, LAR, @Mia) before their Week 10 bye.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Was, 15%) and Taylor Heinicke (Was, 16%) — After posting 21+ FP in his first three starts for Fitzpatrick (hip, IR), Heinicke has come crashing back to earth the last two weeks with a combined 22.2 FP. He completed 24/39 passes for 182 yards (4.7 YPA), one touchdown, and one INT against the Chiefs and he didn't add any rushing production for the first time this season. Heinicke picked the wrong time to hit a wall with Fitz potentially returning as early as this week (@GB, @Den, bye, TB). The Football Team needs a shot of life with their season slipping a bit, and it’s looking likely that he’ll get his job back as soon as he’s cleared to play if you’re looking for help in Superflex/two-QB leagues.
Geno Smith (Sea, 1%) — Russell Wilson’s out at least two more games, since he’s on IR, so for now Geno is the guy. Prior to Week 5, Smith had attempted just five passes since he arrived in Seattle back in 2019, but he moved the ball well through the air in a small sample size against Los Angeles. He was a fantasy flop in Week 6, however, with just 209/1 passing and a sad -1 yard rushing, which was crushing since Geno has always been keen on running and productive. The Seahawks may be interested in Cam Newton, keep in mind, and Geno shouldn’t be anywhere near lineups against NO in Week 7. But if Smith’s the guy he’ll be a good streamer against the hapless Jaguars in Week 8.
Justin Fields (Chi, 32%) — The Bears are sticking with Fields as their starter moving forward, and he actually broke double-digit FP in his fourth NFL start. He completed 16/27 passes for 174 yards (6.4 YPA), one TD, and one INT against the Packers in Week 6. More importantly, he finally used his legs, posting 6/43 rushing after combining for 9/25 rushing in his first three starts. Fields is a limited passer at this stage of his career, and he’s not going to cut it for fantasy if he doesn’t keep running in the future. Fields is more of a bench stash than a usable fantasy option at this stage (@TB, SF, @Pit, bye), but he’s at least showing signs of fantasy life.
Mac Jones (NE, 17%) — Jones has acquitted himself fairly well to the NFL, but he’s having some rookie growing pains in recent weeks. He’s yet to crack 18+ FP in his first six starts and he’s now thrown interceptions in four straight games with six picks overall. He completed 15/21 passes for 229 yards (10.9 YPA), two touchdowns, and one interception in an overtime loss to the Patriots in Week 6. Jones doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of rushing production, and he has a relatively difficult schedule over the next month (NYJ, @LAC, @Car, Cle) so he’s still a low-end QB2 for now.
Zach Wilson (NYJ, 8%) — Wilson’s career is off to a rough start with just four TDs and nine INTs in the first five games. He’s thrown an INT in every game and he’s failed to reach double-digit FP in three of his first five starts after completing 19/32 passes for 192 scoreless yards against the Falcons in Week 5. Wilson isn’t getting much help from his offensive line with LT Mekhi Becton (knee) out of the lineup, and the Jets have a non-existent rushing attack. Wilson has a tough slate coming up (@NE, Cin, @Ind, Buf), and the Jets need to find something to hang their hat on as an offense coming out of their Week 6 bye. Wilson’s current state of play makes him just a low-end option in Superflex/two-QB leagues.
Jared Goff (Det, 11%) — Goff now owns an 0-13 record without Sean McVay as his head coach, and he’s failed to reach 20+ FP in four straight games after doing it twice to open the season. Goff fell below double-digit FP for the third time in four weeks by completing 28/42 passes for 202 yards and one INT in a bad loss to the Bengals in Week 6. After a promising start to the season, Goff has come back to earth and he can only be considered as a desperation option in Superflex/two-QB formats in the upcoming weeks with tougher matchup coming (@LAR, Phi, bye, @Pit).
Ben Roethlisberger (Pit, 23%) — Big Ben has yet to reach 18+ FP in each of his first five games, and he’s at a sad 13.4 FPG Weeks 4-6. He had his best performance of the season in their victory over the Broncos in Week 5, but in Week 6 it was shaky again for Ben. It took him 29 completions to get to 229/1 passing, and he lost a fumble. But at least he ran for -3 yards. He’s off this week, but one has to wonder if the plug may be pulled sometime soon.
J.D. McKissic (Was, 42%) and Jaret Patterson (Was, 2%) — Antonio Gibson is playing through a stress fracture in his shin, which has limited his practice time and it’s now limiting his playing time. Gibson was clearly limited by his injury in Week 6 and he went in and out of the lineup on his way to 12/44 scrimmage on 39% of the snaps against the Chiefs. Meanwhile, McKissic finished with 16/110 scrimmage on a 61% snap share and Patterson added 2/3 scrimmage on an 8% share. Washington’s season is starting to slip away a bit with a 2-4 record, and it’s fair to wonder if the Football Team will shut Gibson down for a couple of weeks or potentially for the rest of the season. Patterson, a UDFA out of Buffalo, would take over as the team’s lead runner if Gibson is forced to miss time with McKissic working in passing situations while getting more opportunities as a runner. McKissic should be owned in most formats at this point, and Patterson should be stashed (especially if you have Gibson) just in case the injury becomes too much for Gibson to play through or if the team decides to shut him down at some point with their season heading south.
Rhamondre Stevenson (NE, 7%) — The rookie is back out of Bill Belichick’s doghouse, and the Patriots actually featured him against the Cowboys. Damien Harris handled the bulk of the work (19/108/1 scrimmage, 48% of the snaps) in Week 6, but Stevenson added 5/23/1 rushing and a promising 3/39 receiving on three targets (14% share, 33% of the snaps). Stevenson was also featured ahead of Brandon Bolden (2/0 scrimmage), which is hopefully a sign of things to come since there’s some potential for catches in this backfield with James White (hip, IR) out of the picture. This is still a Patriots’ backfield we’re dealing with so nothing is set in stone moving forward, but Stevenson stock is on the rise and it could be just a matter of time before he’s a fantasy factor as the #2 option in this backfield. Also, Harris limped off early in the game last week (he returned), so he continues to seemingly be teetering on the edge of injury disaster.
D’Ernest Johnson (Cle, 2%) and Demetric Felton (Cle, 9%) — Nick Chubb missed Week 6 with a calf injury, and Kareem Hunt left in the fourth quarter in a great deal of pain on a non-contact calf injury. Hunt is on IR and could miss up to six weeks, and Chubb has been ruled OUT for Thursday night against the Broncos. With Chubb unable to play, the capable Johnson will serve as the team’s primary runner while the hybrid RB/WR Felton should be factored in during passing situations. Both backs played 20% of the snaps in Week 6, but Johnson’s snaps are on the rise with Hunt possibly up to six weeks. The Browns signed RB John Kelly off their practice squad on 10/19, but Johnson is still easily the best option here as of right now. That’s followed by Felton, who will be dependent on big play but who has shown he can make big plays. UPDATED: 10/19
Rashad Penny (Sea, 7%) and DeeJay Dallas (Sea, 2%) — Here we go again with Penny. Eligible to come off IR ahead of Week 7, he may actually have a solid role in Week 7 with Chris Carson on IR and Alex Collins injured late in their Week 6 loss to the Steelers. Seahawks HC Pete Carroll said on 10/18 that Collins (glute, hip) has a chance to play in Week 7, but we may not know much until late in the week. In the meantime, Penny is a WW grab now for RB-starved teams looking for a short-term fix. They do still have the solid DeeJay Dallas (34% of the snaps) and he caught all 5 of his targets for 33 yards in Week 6, plus Travis Homer (8%), so don’t go nuts for Penny in terms of FAAB.
Devonta Freeman (Bal, 2%) — It’s not saying much but Freeman has looked the best out of Baltimore’s decrepit stable of running backs over Latavius Murray and Le’Veon Bell. Freeman led the backfield with 9/53/1 rushing in their victory over the Chargers, and Murray ended up leaving the game early with an ankle injury. Murray could be looking at missed time in the future, and Bell looked slow and plodding on his way to 8/18/1 rushing in Week 6. Ty’Son Williams will likely return to the active roster if Murray misses action, but Freeman is the best bet to potentially make some fantasy noise.
JaMycal Hasty (SF, 2%) — Hasty suffered an ankle injury in Week 2 and he’s been on the IR since, but he could return this week and he could vault right back into the mix behind Elijah Mitchell and ahead of Trey Sermon. The 49ers are still targeting a late November return for Jeff Wilson (meniscus, PUP) and HC Kyle Shanahan said nothing has changed in terms of his timeline. Shanahan’s depth charts are constantly evolving and they can change quickly so it’s not a bad idea to stash Hasty just in case he vaults to the top at some point in the near future.
Marlon Mack (Ind, 30%) — Mack and the Colts continue to be on the verge of parting ways after they mutually agreed to seek a trade, so with RBs dropping like flies around the league, Mack is still worth a speculative add just in case he would land on an RB-needy team. The Colts have showcased him some over the last three weeks, and he has 20/81 rushing (4.1 YPC) as Jonathan Taylor’s backup on early downs. Mack isn’t guaranteed to be traded since he hasn’t been moved yet, but he’s worth a bench stash in deeper leagues just in case he’s moved before the Nov. 2 trade deadline.
Mark Ingram (Hou, 32%) and David Johnson (Hou, 28%) — The Texans’ backfield is a fantasy wasteland with Johnson, Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, and Rex Burkhead competing for snaps and limited fantasy production. Ingram (44% of the snaps Week 6) has been the most active and he hit double-digit FP for the first time since Week 1 when he posted 18/73 rushing and 2/8 receiving against the Colts in Week 6. Ingram at least has had 14-22 carries in four of their six games, including 16 carries Weeks 5-6. Johnson (43% of the snaps Week 6) is on this list as a player to potentially stash just in case he’s traded to a much better situation before the NFL trade deadline on Nov. 2.
Best Handcuff Stashes
Samaje Perine (Cin, 28%) — Perine is the primary handcuff for Joe Mixon, who already had an injury scare this season when he went down with an ankle injury. Chris Evans impressed with 7/67/1 scrimmage in Week 6 with Perine on the COVID list, and he’d be a factor behind Perine if Mixon missed time.
Peyton Barber (LV, 5%) — Barber is the top runner in Las Vegas if Josh Jacobs misses more time this season, and he went off for 142/2 scrimmage back in Week 3 when Jacobs sat out with foot/ankle injuries.
Carlos Hyde (Jax, 9%) — Hyde is the distant second to James Robinson in Jacksonville’s backfield after Travis Etienne’s season-ending foot injury in August. Hyde isn’t a usable fantasy piece but he could creep into the low-end RB2 picture if anything happens to Robinson.
Anthony McFarland (Pit, 0%) — It would likely be a committee in Pittsburgh if Najee Harris missed time with Benny Snell, Kalen Ballage, and McFarland. Ballage may have the most upside, but McFarland was actually drafted by the Steelers last year, and they were planning on him having a role. He’s got great speed and some receiving chops. He can come off IR at any time now.
Kadarius Toney (NYG, 64%), Henry Ruggs (LV, 53%), Sterling Shepard (NYG, 51%), Jarvis Landry (Cle, 63%), Darnell Mooney (Chi, 45%), Mecole Hardman (KC, 50%), Hunter Renfrow (LV, 47%), Christian Kirk (Ari, 46%), AJ Green (Ari, 45%), Rondale Moore (Ari, 45%)
Rashod Bateman (Bal, 28%) — Bateman, a first-round pick in the spring, saw his first NFL action in Week 6, and he immediately jumped into the #2 WR role with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) out of the lineup. He matched Mark Andrews for a team-best six targets (22% share) against the Chargers, and he turned his looks into 4/29 receiving on a day in which Lamar Jackson had to do little through the air (167 passing yards). He played the second-most WR snaps (65%) so he really wasn’t on a snap count when the game was still competitive. Bateman will slot into the #3 receiver role behind established ballers Andrews and Marquise Brown, but the Ravens are morphing into more of a passing team than we’ve ever seen with Lamar at quarterback. Bateman could carve out some fantasy value soon, and he’s a player to scoop up now before he starts to make some noise.
Tim Patrick (Den, 35%) — Patrick was a popular player to drop after his 3/39 receiving performance against the Ravens in Week 4, but he’s back to scoring 12+ FP the last two weeks, which he’s now done in 5-of-6 games. He posted 3/42/1 receiving on six targets on 89% of the snaps in a loss to the Raiders in Week 6. He scored his third touchdown of the season from 23 yards away. Patrick will continue to be a solid but unsexy WR4 option for as long as Jerry Jeudy (high ankle, IR) is out of the lineup. Jeudy is getting close to a return, but he’s unlikely to be ready for a Thursday night against the Browns this week (less than 50% chance, per the team) so keep using Patrick as a WR3 with some confidence.
DeVante Parker (Mia, 41%) — Parker had been solid but unspectacular through the first three weeks of the season with 4+ catches and 40+ yards in each game. He finally busted through with a big game in Week 4 with Will Fuller (hand, IR) leaving early with a hand injury, posting 4/77/1 receiving on nine targets (30% share) with 90% of the snaps. He picked up a hamstring injury in practice before Week 5, and he ended up sitting out two exploitable matchups against the Buccaneers and Jaguars. He will be an unsexy WR4 moving forward, but his prospects are improved with Tua Tagovailoa back in the lineup.
T.Y. Hilton (Ind, 39%) — Hilton saw his first action of the season after having neck surgery at the end of August, and he made his first action of the season count by catching all four of his targets for 80 yards. The bad news is that he left the game early after picking up a quad injury, which dampened his return to the lineup. Parris Campbell also left early with a foot injury, and Campbell is definitely going to miss a considerable period of time. Hilton is a tentative add this week, and he’s reportedly going to be fine after an injury scare in Week 6. The Ghost will turn 32 years old in November so he’s not guaranteed to stay healthy for long as he’s shown us multiple times to open the season, but it didn’t take him long to drop down 14 PPR points in Week 6, and that was on only 50% of the snaps. UPDATED: 10/19
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, 6%) — MVS is eligible to return from the injured reserve starting this week after missing the last three weeks with a hamstring injury. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb did little over the last two weeks with MVS out of the lineup — they combined for 7/63/1 receiving in that span. Aaron Rodgers could certainly use another playmaker at receiver, and MVS had 3/59/1 receiving in his last game against the 49ers before he picked his hamstring injury. He’d have an exploitable matchup right out of the gates against Washington this week if he’s able to get cleared for action.
Russell Gage (Atl, 6%) — Coming out of their Week 6 bye, Gage (ankle) was working on Monday (10/18), so he should be set to return this week. QB Matt Ryan has thrown for 300/2, 243/2, 283/4, and 343/2 and they are dying for help at receiver, so Gage is a sneaky pickup ASAP.
Michael Gallup (Dal, 43%) — Gallup is eligible to come off the IR off of the calf injury he suffered in Week 1. He was given a 3-5 week timeline so he should be ready to play when the Cowboys come out of their bye in Week 7. Amari Cooper is playing through hamstring and rib injuries so Gallup could step right back into a prominent role as soon as he’s activated. Gallup is a WR4 once he returns to the lineup and he has WR3 potential playing in Dallas’ potent passing attack, so scoop him up if he’s been dropped.
Nico Collins (Hou, 1%) — Collins, a third-round pick in the spring, returned from the injured reserve in Week 6 off a shoulder injury he suffered back in Week 2. He finished with 4/44 receiving on six targets against the Colts in his first action in a month, and he had the third-highest snap share (55%) at WR. Collins has a chance to come into his own in the near future since the Texans have every incentive to funnel him targets and to give him playing experience down the stretch. He could also get a quarterback upgrade soon when Tyrod Taylor (hamstring, IR) is activated from the injured reserve.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Det, 24%) — Good luck picking which Lions WR to use for fantasy but the best bet is still the rookie St. Brown, who has 5+ catches and 7+ targets in three consecutive games. The rookie slot receiver finished with 5/26 receiving on seven targets against the Bengals, but he added a two-point conversion to finish with 9.6 FP. Quintez Cephus (collarbone, IR) is done for the season and Tyrell Williams (concussion, IR) isn’t close to returning from his brain injury suffered in Week 1, so St. Brown is the best bet to post usable fantasy production over Kalif Raymond. Raymond is a close second, though, and he has been productive in three of his last four games.
Marquez Callaway (NO, 34%) — Callaway exploded for 4/85/2 receiving on a season-high eight targets (27%) against Washington in Week 5, thanks in large part to his 49-yard touchdown on a Hail Mary pass before halftime. Michael Thomas (ankle, PUP) is unlikely to join the starting lineup until at least Week 8 against the Buccaneers. Callaway may struggle for consistent targets coming out of their Week 6 bye, but then again, he may benefit at times from Thomas being on the field, so he has a chance, and he’s likely the guy one more time at least in Week 7 vs. a weak Seattle secondary.
Dyami Brown (Was, 1%) — Curtis Samuel has been battling a groin injury since the summer and he simply can’t get over the injury. Brown, a third-round pick in the spring, is getting opportunities to play and it could be just a matter of time before he starts cashing in on his chances. He finished with 3/30 receiving on six targets (15%) against the Chiefs in Week 6, with a healthy 80% of the snaps, and he ran a route on a healthy 77% of Taylor Heinicke’ dropbacks. He’s worth a stash in case he starts to emerge as the #2 receiver in this passing attack. They do like him a lot and he’s very explosive, so there’s some upside. He’s the future here.
Donovan Peoples-Jones (Cle, 1%) — DPJ has come out of nowhere to post 9/171/2 receiving on 11 targets the last two weeks after seeing a grand total of four targets in the first four games. He did catch a 57-yard Hail Mary for most of his production in Week 6, and Jarvis Landry (knee, IR) could be back as early as Thursday night to take some targets away. Odell Beckham did miss some time with a shoulder issue in Week 6, which is something to watch this week with a quick turnaround to play the Broncos. DPJ is worth a look in deeper formats just in case he’s turned a corner in his development, and he could be worth at least a one-week stab if OBJ and Landry miss this week.
Zach Pascal (Ind, 11%) — The Rascal is back in business with Parris Campbell set to miss significant time with a serious foot injury. TY Hilton also picked up a quad injury in Week 6, but HC Frank Reich said he was “doing fine” on Monday (10/18). Pascal had 8+ FP in four of five games before last week 9/71/3 the first two weeks. He gets manufactured touches and looks in the red zone out of the slot.
Jamison Crowder (NYJ, 30%) — Crowder saw his first action of the season in Week 4 after missing the first three games of the season with a groin injury, and he instantly stepped into a significant role as Zach Wilson’s security blanket in the middle of the field. He finished behind only Corey Davis in targets (6, 19% share) in Week 5 with a solid 61% of the snaps, but it translated into just 4/24 receiving against the Falcons with Wilson struggling to move the ball through the air. It’s tough to get too excited about Crowder since Wilson is having growing pains and since Crowder struggles to string together multiple healthy weeks in a row. This receiving corps is also crowded with Davis, Elijah Moore, and Keelan Cole each in the mix. Crowder is clearly going to be active in the underneath areas of the field for his struggling rookie quarterback so he’s worth a look in deeper PPR formats.
K.J. Osborn (Min, 8%) — Osborn had just 8/66 receiving in Weeks 3-5 after opening the season with a blistering 12/167/1 receiving in Weeks 1-2. He came back to life in a game in which Kirk Cousins attempted 48 passes, posting 6/78/1 receiving on seven targets and he scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Panthers. Most weeks, Osborn is competing for 4-6 targets with Tyler Conklin so he’s only a desperation option in games that could produce more passing volume.
Ricky Seals-Jones (Was, 29%) — RSJ is an every-down player with Logan Thomas (hamstring, IR) expected to be out of the lineup for at least the next three games through their Week 9 bye. He just missed having a massive day in Week 5, but that big game came his way in Week 6 when he finished with 4/58/1receiving on six targets against the Chiefs. His touchdown came on a blown coverage for a 39-yard score, but he played on 100% of the snaps and he ran a route on 95% of Taylor Heinicke’s dropbacks. RSJ will be a low-end TE1 option for as long as Thomas is out of the lineup, and it doesn’t hurt that Curtis Samuel simply can’t get over his groin injury.
Dan Arnold (Jax, 10%) — Arnold has been fairly active in his first three weeks with the Jags, but he disappointed with 2/27 receiving on five targets (12% share, 62% of the snaps). Arnold, a former college WR and hurdler, can line up all over the formation and he can produce at all levels of the field. His role should grow a bit in this receiver-needy offense after D.J. Chark went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Week 4. He could develop into a high-end TE2 option if you’re looking for help at an ever-thinning fantasy position.
Pat Freiermuth (Pit, 6%) — The rookie is a future star, and while veteran Eric Ebron remains around (45% of the snaps, 2 targets Week 6), Freiermuth had his breakout game against Seattle. He caught all seven of his targets for 58 yards with a season-high 60% of the snaps. With JuJu Smith-Schuster done for the year, Freiermuth has a chance to emerge as a viable PPR starter. Ideally for him (maybe), Ben Roethlisberger sticks as the starter.
Gerald Everett (Sea, 39%) — Everett has been dropped and forgotten after missing the last two weeks on the COVID list, but he should be ready to play against the Steelers in Week 6. Everett had his best game of the season (5/54 receiving) before missing the last two games, and he’s played on a healthy 77% of the snaps when in the lineup. Unfortunately, he’ll be playing with Geno Smith for at least the next three weeks, but Geno did target fellow TE Will Dissly three times (18% share) when he came into the game in Week 5.
Mo Alie-Cox (Ind, 8%) — Alie-Cox is a player to monitor since he’s making the most of his limited opportunities. He’s scored three touchdowns in his last three games after his lone catch went for a 28-yard touchdown against the Texans. The bad news is that Jack Doyle played more snaps (31 to 24) and MAC ran just nine routes and saw three targets in the victory. Alie-Cox is a TD-or-bust option moving forward, but at least Carson Wentz is looking for him often in the money area.
Tyler Conklin (Min, 16%) — Conklin has a faint fantasy pulse at a weak position since he gets weekly targets while seeing a large snap share. He came back to life in a game in which Kirk Cousins attempted 48 passes, posting 3/71 receiving on five targets. Most weeks, Conklin is competing for 4-6 targets with K.J. Osborn so he’s only a desperation option in games that could produce more passing volume.
Cole Kmet (Chi, 19%) — This passing game is damn near hopeless, but there’s a glimmer of hope for Kmet. His catches (1, 2, 4) and yards (6, 22, 49) have been up each of the last three weeks, so he might be a guy who routinely gets 7-10 points in PPR in a pinch.
Daniel Carlson (LV, 58%) - Half of his field goal conversions this season have been from the bonus range with half of those going for 50 or more yards. Both of his missed field goals have been from the bonus range as well. Thus, 57% of his attempts are from the bonus range. Carlson has a favorable matchup at home against the Eagles and the Raiders are showing some moxy following their recent woes.
Younghoe Koo (Atl, 47%) - Falcons are coming off a bye week and even though this is a road game, the matchup is favorable for them. Koo has converted on at least one field goal in every game this year, but also has two multiple field goal outings. This could be his third two or more field goal games this season. Surprisingly enough, Koo has yet to miss on any field goal or extra point attempt in 2021.
Graham Gano (NYG, 9%) - After getting blown out by the Rams at home last week, listing Gano here seems absurd. Still, Gano is tied for the third highest number of field goal attempts (14) and conversion (12) in the NFL through six games. This game against Carolina should be much closer than last week’s blowout loss. Gano could get two or more field goal attempts at home.
Panthers (Car, 53%) — Other than their Week Three thrashing at the hands of the juggernaut Dallas offense, Carolina’s D has been a top-10 unit every week. They’re getting it done with points against, sacks, INTs, FR, and defensive TDs. Not only do they have a soft schedule ahead — @NYG, @Atl, NE — stud CB Stephon Gilmore should start practicing this week. They could have him on the field in a week or two to pair with Donte Jackson.
Saints (NO, 39%) — The Saints are coming off their bye and will be healthier than they’ve been since Week One while traveling to face a banged up Seattle team as 4 point road favorites with an expected points against total of 19. The Seahawks are on second and third stringers at QB and RB, and may not have their most effective pass rusher (Darrell Taylor) on an already weak defense. The New Orleans defense comes in as one of the top scoring units in the league, led by 9 INTs and averaging 18PA. They do have a Week Eight date with Tampa Bay but after that, they have a decent schedule of the Falcons, Titans, and Eagles.
None of note.