I see you there with your lone win, maybe two, and you are starting to worry. This is not at all how you thought the season was going to go when you were drafting back in August. The real fear is starting to sink in of completely missing the playoffs and having to play for your league’s last place trophy, which is probably some horrid garden ornament you must display in your home every day through the following season. I am here to tell you, there options and you guessed it, we are looking towards the silver screen for inspiration. When John Cassavetes’ acting career was in trouble in Rosemary’s Baby he reached out to his neighbors for help, but now he must help raise that baby and apparently something is wrong with his eyes. You could always see your local Godfather for some trade assistance and a deal no one could refuse, but horseheads are in short supply these days. Then again, it is probably better to buckle down and focus on fielding the best lineup you can. Allow me to be of assistance with this week’s waiver wire recommendations.
My goal is to keep it simple with the waiver wire recommendations in terms of layout. I will include player, team, roster percentage, free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) dollar amount (in percentage) I would use on the player, and of course a little background on why the player is suggested. The players will be listed by position in order of priority. The threshold I work with is generally less than 50% rostered in leagues. I also want to provide you something quick and easy to pull up while making your waiver claims on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. At the bottom of every article, you will find the “waiver cheat sheet.”
51% Rostered | 25% of FAAB
Go and add Derek Carr now. When Carr returns from the Raiders’ Week Eight bye, seven out of Carr’s final nine fantasy matchups are against teams giving up at least the seventh most fantasy points per game to the quarterback. This includes two matchups against the Chiefs, who are currently giving up the second most points to quarterbacks. Carr had an excellent Week Six against the Denver Broncos with 341 passing yards and two touchdowns. This is his fourth game in 2021 with over three hundred yards passing and multiple touchdowns. The Raiders face the Eagles in Week Seven who have been decent against the pass this season, only allowing 18.1 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Rostered | 12% of FAAB
Last week I made the recommendation to pick up and hold onto Jameis Winston through his bye week. The Saints now have a four-week run against four of the ten worst teams against fantasy quarterbacks. The Seahawks, Buccaneers, Falcons, and Titans give up an average of 27.6 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. One of the biggest improvements to Winston’s game in 2021 has been his decrease in turning the ball over with only three interceptions and one fumble through five games. This is uncharted territory for the former Buccaneers turnover machine. Even after the next four games, the Saints only remaining difficult matchup is a Week Twelve showdown against the Bills. If I am rostering two quarterbacks for the rest of the season, I am elated to have Winston apart of the strategy.
Rostered | 10% of FAAB
Tua Tagovailoa returned from his rib injury with a top twelve fantasy quarterback performance. The London fans were treated to Tagovailoa passing for a season high 329 yards and two touchdowns against the Jaguars, who are no longer one of the ten worst teams against fantasy quarterbacks as they were in 2020. Tagovailoa played conservative when rushing taking the extra second on the slide or even rolling to protect his ribs. He did exit the game without injury on Sunday. Tagovailoa will host the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday, a matchup which should be even better for the Dolphins quarterback.
32% Rostered | 5% of FAAB
Justin Fields did not have a good fantasy performance against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday only passing for 174 yards and a touchdown. So why am I including him in this week’s waiver wire? Well on Sunday Justin Fields plays the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have allowed an average of 285 yards passing and two touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season. This could be a game for Fields to grow from as the Bears only have one matchup remaining on their schedule against a team who ranks in the top ten against fantasy quarterbacks this season.
JD McKissic | Washington Football Team
42% Rostered | 20% of FAAB
It is hard not to wonder how long the Washington Football Team is going to let Antonio Gibson continue to start games while he has a stress fracture in his shin, especially when the performance of JD McKissic has been so strong. McKissic not only is their healthier back currently, but he played better in Sunday’s matchup against the Chiefs where he had eight carries for forty-five yards and eight receptions for sixty-five yards. The Football Team’s next two matchups before their Week Nine bye are against the Packers and Broncos, who give up an average of 20.6 PPR fantasy points per game to running backs. Look for McKissic to at least be on the field for passing downs with the potential of more as Gibson continues to deal with his injury.
2% Rostered | 10% of FAAB
There is a timeshare in Baltimore and every relevant running back from 2015 is invited! The touches on Sunday were as follows: Latavius Murray eleven, Devonta Freeman nine, and Le’Veon Bell eight with all three scoring rushing touchdowns. However, it was Freeman who was favored in the red zone Sunday with four total touches compared to Murray and Bell’s combined three. It will probably be a headache unless one of the backs becomes injured. Still with bye weeks coming in full force, ten touches a week in a high-powered offense like Baltimore’s could provide you with a nice floor to get you by for a week. The Ravens play the Bengals next week who give up over twenty-five points per game to running backs which ranks around a point shy of the tenth worst in the league.
5% Rostered | 5% of FAAB
The Patriots best ball darling of the summer finally came out to play last Sunday against the Cowboys. Rhamondre Stevenson had five carries for twenty-three yards and a touchdown with three receptions for thirty-nine yards. He will be playing behind Damien Harris for the foreseeable future, but he looked easily better than any other currently healthy Patriots option. Harris also briefly left the game Sunday but did return. Look for Stevenson to receive more work in the offense, especially on passing downs.
1% Rostered | 5% of FAAB
D’Ernest Johnson | Cleveland Browns
1% Rostered | 5% of FAAB
Kareem Hunt could be headed to the injured reserve and Nick Chubb may miss his second week in a row. We could be looking at a Cleveland Browns running back duo of Demetric Felton and D’Ernest Johnson going into Thursday night’s game against the Denver Broncos. The duo has combined for three carries for eleven yards and nine receptions for ninety-seven yards with a touchdown through six weeks. So yes, their usage has been minute. However, with bye weeks and no one currently behind them on the Browns depth chart, they will get some amount of work should their numbers be called. I would prioritize Johnson if you were playing in a standard league as we have seen as recent as last season he can handle a modest workload. Last year in Week Four he had a thirteen carry, ninety-five yard game. If you are playing in a PPR (points per reception league) you should prioritize Felton as he has already done well with some passing duties this season. They are deep league and desperation adds, but if Chubb is out work will be allotted.
51% Rostered | 35% of FAAB
Patience is a virtue, but it appears some fantasy managers had to cut ties with Sterling Shepard who just three weeks ago was rostered in over 85% of fantasy leagues. Shepard marked his return to the Giants receiving group with a season high ten receptions for seventy-six yards. He is currently averaging nine targets and just short of seventy-five yards a game. He is a PPR monster and if he is on your waiver wire, he is a must-add especially with the statuses of Darius Slayton and Kadarius Toney currently being unknown.
39% Rostered | 25% of FAAB
T.Y. Hilton made his debut for the Colts on Sunday in a very familiar fashion by helping them decimate the Houston Texans. Hilton caught all four of his targets for eighty yards assisting in the Colts 31-3 victory. The return could not have come sooner either as the Colts lost receiver Parris Campbell for the foreseeable future. Hilton has been the star receiver for the Colts for close to a decade scoring no less than five touchdowns a season since 2012. Look for him and Michael Pittman to have weekly friendly battles for the WR1 role on the team. The only downside to Hilton is the schedule ahead for the Colts is quite difficult with the third most difficult remaining strength of schedule. I am still adding Hilton everywhere available as he has a proven history of quality fantasy numbers when healthy.
44 % Rostered | 15% of FAAB
The 27th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft finally made his much-anticipated debut for the Ravens with four receptions for twenty-nine yards. Not an impressive performance by any means, but he did equal the team high six targets of Marquise Brown in just his first game. The Ravens have the Bengals in Week Seven and then will head to their bye. Still as Batemon become more acclimated with the offense his numbers will continue to grow. This is just the beginning of his career. It is a good idea to get in now while you can.
44% Rostered | 15% of FAAB
Well, it appears Justin Fields has a type, and it is not Allen Robinson. That is not nice. Well, let’s just say they don’t seem to be exclusive, he doesn’t hate him as much as the fantasy world seems to be leading on. Still Fields has favored Darnell Mooney targeting him twenty-four times compared to Robinson’s nineteen over a four-game span. The two wideouts snap counts are virtually identical as neither really comes off the field much. Even without Fields, Mooney has had the better season by every conceivable measure. He is averaging more yards per reception, receptions per game, and has a better catch percentage. The WR1 for the Bears is available and he is worth a top five waiver priority or 20% of your remaining budget if available in your league.
10% Rostered | 10% of FAAB
Donovan Peoples-Jones had an excellent performance against the Chargers last week and followed it up this week with 101 yards receiving on four receptions with two touchdowns. It appears a dependable second option for Baker Mayfield may be emerging in the Browns offense. Odell Beckham remains the number one option in the offense, but Peoples-Jones should still see plenty of work. It is worth monitoring the health of both Beckham and Mayfield going into Thursday night. If Case Keenum ends up starting for the Browns, Peoples-Jones would not be much of a priority at all.
Wide Receiver is always deep, so here are a few more players rostered in less than 25% I would recommend rostering on your bench:
Ricky Seals-Jones | Washington Football Team
29% Rostered | 20% of FAAB
In two games without Logan Thomas, Ricky Seals-Jones has fifteen targets second on the team to only Terry McLaurin. The wide receiver group has not shown up for the Football Team this season with Curtis Samuel absent most of the offseason and no true WR2 emerging. Seals-Jones had his second receiving touchdown of the season on a thirty-nine-yard reception from Taylor Heinicke as the Chiefs secondary seemingly forgot he existed. The Football Team plays the Packers next week who have given up just shy of fourteen fantasy points a game to wide receivers. Seals-Jones is a must-start at the position until Logan Thomas returns.
1% Rostered | 15% of FAAB
Could it finally be O.J. Howard season in Tampa Bay? Buccaneers fans have been clamoring for an emergence from Howard since his rookie year in 2017. Injuries and a rotating quarterback door have plagued the beginning of his career in Tampa Bay. However, an injured Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady behind center may finally be the coming out party we have all been waiting for. Howard was second on the team in targets in Week Six where he had six receptions for forty-nine yards and a touchdown. Tampa Bay has two tough matchups ahead against the Bears and Saints, but Howard should still be a favorable tight end play at least until Gronkowski returns from injury.
New Orleans Saints
40% Rostered | 3% of FAAB
The Saints are my favorite widely available defense or special team for this week as they will play the Seahawks. Last week the defensive line of Seattle allowed five sacks to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Saints are not as talented upfront as the Steelers, but they should still see success in getting to backup quarterback Geno Smith.
55% Rostered | 4% of FAAB
While more rostered than the Saints, the Cardinals have the premium defensive matchup for Week Seven against Davis Mills and the Texans. Twice this season has the team facing the Texans finished as the number one overall DST for the week. The Cardinals have one of the most impressive overall defenses in the league and it should be on full display come Sunday.