Welcome to the Week 7 waiver wire! This is a time to really strike in free agency if some of this week’s options are available in your league. You can do some serious upgrading right now or build some high-quality depth to help get you through the bye weeks, which will be picking up steam soon enough. The time to get ready for Weeks 9-11 is right now. All of those weeks have four or more teams on the bye. Don’t wait. Prepare while you still can.
The ownership percentages are listed for each player. These rates of ownership are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your particular league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that.
If you play in really big leagues, as I tend to do, you should head on over to Rotobahn this afternoon and check out my expanded waiver wire. The expanded edition gives you about twice as many options. To keep pace with all WEEI and Rotobahn fantasy football content, including Sunday chats and The Fantasy Football Hour with my good buddy Jim Hackett, follow me on Twitter.
Joe Flacco, Ravens — 50 percent
He is getting hot and his receivers both are settled in now. No way should he be on the waiver wire. Add Flacco and you have a guy you can play on an as-needed basis the rest of the way.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals — 30 percent
Palmer was on the field last week and the results were solid. His nerve is on the mend and things should get better from this point forward. Add him in all leagues as a solid QB2.
Kirk Cousins, Washington — 49 percent
He has a solid schedule for the near team, so he is a good asset, but there is the possibility that Robert Griffin III gets back and reclaims the job. This makes Cousins more of a short-term solution, but with long-term potential.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars — 12 percent
Bortles is getting comfortable now, and his receivers are getting healthy around him. He is a nice QB2 option, and unlike Cousins he should hold the gig all the way through 2014 and beyond. His ability to score fantasy points with his arm and his feet make him consistently dangerous.
Austin Davis, Rams — 14 percent
He’s young and he’ll make mistakes, but they have a deep array of weapons around him, so he’s a viable QB2 in most leagues. The key with Davis is his schedule. Line up your starter’s bye week with his schedule and see if it’s a good fit. For example, he’s got Seattle this week, so he’s not a great fit for Nick Foles owners who are looking for a Week 7 option.
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings — 37 percent
I told you a few weeks back that McKinnon was the back to own in Minnesota, and it appears that the Vikings have made the switch. McKinnon started over Matt Asiata and carried the load for the most part. The Vikings were overmatched by the Lions front seven, but the schedule is not bad at all going forward. McKinnon is a must-own in all formats. Check out his pre-draft scouting report if you are unfamiliar with him.
Ronnie Hillman, Broncos – 45 percent
Montee Ball’s injury is not going to heal anytime soon. Hillman could be a back you can ride as a starter for another three weeks and conceivably more if he plays well. He should be owned in all leagues for now.
Isaiah Crowell, Browns — 19 percent
He’s seemingly won the battle for the backup job behind Ben Tate, and this is an offense that has consistently been using two backs. Moreover, Crowell has been getting red zone touches all year. He needs to be owned now, because Tate is well known for missing time and Crowell could be a serious fantasy option as the lead dog. Add this guy in all leagues, especially if you rely on Tate. Check out Crowell’s pre-draft scouting report.
Khiry Robinson, Saints — 43 percent
Mark Ingram could be back this week, but Robinson has stand-alone value and still could be the main ball-carrier this week and until Ingram is back at 100 percent. He should be owned in all formats right now.
Tre Mason, Rams — 2 percent
He’s probably more of a 12-team target in free agency, but in case you have extra bench space or are relying heavily on Zac Stacy, you should know about Mason, who was Rotobahn’s No. 2 back in this year’s draft class behind only Carlos Hyde. He was finally active Monday night. As we expected, he was clearly the most explosive back on the team. If you want to try to get Mason ahead of the curve, the time to act is now. He’s a must-own in big leagues.
Odell Beckham, Jr., Giants – 37 percent
He’ll be highly sought now that Victor Cruz is out for the year, so I hope you’ve already added Beckham. He’s got star potential and must be owned in all formats. Go get him.
Mohamed Sanu, Bengals — 61 percent
He’s now fully legit as the only healthy outside option in Cincinnati. A.J. Green will return eventually, but now there is talk that Marvin Jones might need surgery, and that turns Sanu into a weekly option for the rest of 2014. Add the playmaker in all formats.
Justin Hunter, Titans — 55 percent
He’s now the most active receiver in Tennessee. The Titans have made the commitment to Hunter and so should you. His ability to make big plays is clear. He’s a high-upside WR3 in all formats.
Mike Evans, Buccaneers — 52 percent
Evans was supposed to be out up to a month, but he missed a single week and returned with a touchdown. He’s out there in a lot of leagues, so go get him. He can start for you as long as he is healthy. As I said in his pre-draft scouting report, Evans is a potential star.
Robert Woods, Bills — 2 percent
He is running ahead of Mike Williams now, and that’s the key along with the switch at quarterback. Woods is very much available in all leagues and now is a player who needs to be owned. Go get him and you have a WR4 who can play for you when you need him.
Josh Gordon, Browns — 58 percent
If you have bench space and you want to make an investment at WR, this is the guy with all the upside. You can’t cash the check until Week 12, but he’s one heck of a payoff for those who can afford to wait.
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars — 38 percent
We wanted to see him handle a full complement of snaps and he did it. Shorts can help you on a weekly basis for as long as his health lasts.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs — 75 percent
If he was dropped during his bye, go after him. He won’t be available again this year if he stays healthy. Kansas City is getting healthy and finding its groove, and that should mean some big plays for Kelce.
Jordan Reed, Washington — 59 percent
He returned strong with eight grabs for 92 yards. Reed can start for you in any league, so go get him if he’s available. There’s always injury risk with this guy, but you will get high-end performance, so add him and play him while he lasts.
Dwayne Allen, Colts — 61 percent
He’s going to be consistent and he has some untapped ceiling, too. Allen has scored touchdowns in four games so far this year and his targets are on the rise. He’s a weekly starter in all leagues.
Ladarius Green, Chargers — 30 percent
He’s still a bit of a sleeper or stash in smaller formats, but his usage is on the rise and he is a serious playmaker with a high-end quarterback throwing him the ball. Green is a red zone weapon of the highest order and he’s making plays between the 20s as well. If you are looking for a player to stash at tight end, this is a guy to add.
Jace Amaro, Jets — 2 percent
While I do not like his upcoming matchup with the Patriots, I do like Amaro’s chances of posting good numbers the rest of the way. The Jets are trying very diligently to get their second-round pick involved, and the rookie responded with a big Week 6. It’s not just that he was heavily targeted. Amaro responded very well to the increased playing time. He’s a good bet to stay involved the rest of the way. The Jets will be in full-blown developmental mode soon enough.