Back with your weekly waiver wire pickups with an eye on week 7. I will pour over the best options available, and list my waiver wire must adds along with which deep sleepers you should be keeping an eye on in larger formats. Anyone missing from this list? Have your eye on a special someone? Feel free to leave a comment below. Special mention goes to the good folks over at Reddit. Thanks for the upvotes, they are always appreciated as we all move towards our ultimate goal – Total fantasy football domination.
All % owned numbers come from Yahoo
Zac Stacy – St. Louis Rams – RB (38% owned)
Looks like the Rams have found a feature back. In a blowout 38-13 win over the Texans in week 6, Stacy handled the vast majority of the carries, rushing the ball 18 times for 79 yards and adding an additional 11 yards on 2 receptions. The guys he was in a former timeshare with? Daryl Richardson – 3 carries for 5 yards and 1 catch for 18 yards, and Benny Cunningham – 3 carries for 11 yards. Obviously, Fisher has been fickle with his running back rotations this year (some would call them Shanahanigans), and that explains why only 38% of owners were willing to pickup Stacy off waivers, but after handling 75% of the rushing attempts in week 6, it is time to add Zac in all leagues.
Harry Douglas – Atlanta Falcons – WR (35% owned)
Douglas is available in an astonishing 65% of yahoo fantasy football leagues. Surely, everyone has heard the Julio Jones news now right? Compounding that situation is Roddy White (who at last report still might miss week 7 due to a hamstring pull) and the Falcons are left woefully shallow at WR. Sure, Tony Gonzalez is still there in the middle of the offense, but he will draw his share of double teams, leaving Douglas as Matt Ryan‘s go to wide out. The other WR’s on the depth chart are Kevin Cone, Drew Davis, and Brian Robiskie, clearly not a bunch that inspires awe in fantasy or real world circles.
Pick up Douglas now as one of the best speculative WR’s available, and plug him in if you need a decent WR3. He has the upside to become a top 30 WR in all formats over the remainder of the season, and should not be sitting on the waiver wire.
Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals – RB (35% owned)
Ellington has appeared in this article for a few weeks now, and it should only be a matter of time before he takes the lead back role from Rashard Mendenhall. Andre ran the ball 7 times for 56 yards with a TD, while hauling in all 5 targets for an additional 36 yards. Consider Ellington a poor man’s Giovani Bernard. Both backs are currently outproducing the “lead” backs for their team, and should earn the starting job sooner rather than later. Grab Ellington as one of the best handcuffs to own here as we near the mid-point of the season, and consider him a low-end flex play until he starts seeing 15+ touches per game.
Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers (32% owned)
Adding this name to my must add list in advance of the Monday Night Football game thanks to the injuries affecting the wide receiver position. Groans resounded from around the country as guys like Randall Cobb, Julio Jones, Danny Amendola, and James Jones all went down to injuries in the past week, leaving owners scrambling furiously to fill the vacancy. Keenan Allen had a monster game in week 5 against the Oakland Raiders as he hauled in 6 receptions for 115 yards and a TD. He should operate in all 2 WR sets opposite Vincent Brown, and is continuing to build trust with Philip Rivers.
Update – Boy am I glad I added his name before MNF… Allen had his 2nd monster game in a row catching 9 passes for 107 yards and a TD, while drawing a team high 12 targets. Keenan was all over the field in this one, and looks like Rivers favorite target. Consider him a must-add off waivers heading into week 7, and a WR3 at this point whose arrow is pointing directly up.
Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants (24% owned)
Making his second straight appearance in my waiver wire article, Brandon Jacobs solidified his place in the must-add realm with a monstrous 22 carry, 106 yard, 2 TD performance on Thursday night against the Bears. My earlier advice still holds true, as I see Jacobs as a McGahee type back, whose only value lies in sheer volume. If you can pick him up and flip to a desperate owner, I would do so as Brandon is unlikely to average over 4 YPC for the remainder of the season.
With the news that Da’Rel Scott is expected to miss a few weeks, alongside David Wilson who is questionable for the remainder of the season, Jacobs should see an easy 15+ touches per game, especially against an offensively inept team like the Vikings in week 7.
Joseph Randle – Dallas Cowboys – RB (2% owned)
DeMarco Murray exited Sunday night’s contest in week 6 with what was initially ruled a left knee sprain, and did not return to the game. At this point, the Cowboys would have liked to turn to Lance Dunbar, but he is having hamstring problems, so rookie Joseph Randle got the call. Playing with a big lead for much of the second half, Randle was called on to simple rumble forward and not fumble, and he did his job perfectly racking up a colossal 17 yards on 11 carries…he did manage to plunge in for a score when the Cowboys forced a turnover and started from their opponents 3 yard line, but on the whole it was a rather uninspiring performance. We will update both Murray’s and Dunbar’s status as the week progresses, but for now, consider Joseph Randle a must add as he figures to be the starting back in week 7 for the Cowboys
Update (10/14/13) – Murray was diagnosed with an MCL sprain, and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Randle should see the majority of carries for the Cowboys in week 7, but is no better than a flex play as we have yet to see him put up big numbers in the NFL.
Jarrett Boykin – Green Bay Packers – WR (0% owned)
Boykin is very nearly a must add for the week ahead, but it will largely depend on the health of the other Packers’ wide receivers. Both James Jones and Randall Cobb went down to nasty looking injuries in week 6 against the Ravens, leaving the Packers with just Jordy Nelson and Jarret Boykin at WR. While Boykin’s week 6 numbers don’t jump off the page (1 reception for 43 yards on a quick hitter that Boykin turned into decent yards after the catch), Rodgers will be looking to throw to someone other than Jordy (who will be shadowed by Joe Haden) in week 7, and Boykin could be a sneaky play for fantasy owners looking for WR depth in 12 team leagues.
Update – (Monday 10/14) Packers coach Mike McCarthy has announced that Randall Cobb will miss multiple weeks with his leg injury (Possibly 6-8 according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. James Jones is questionable for week 7, and the Packers are hopeful he will play. Boykin is now squarely on the sleeper radar, although not a must add just yet.
Kris Durham – Detroit Lions – WR (1% owned)
With all eyes on Ryan Broyles as the potential fantasy breakout wide receiver for the Lions in 2013, it has been Kris Durham who has been slowly breaking through. Week 4, he saw 3 receptions for 58 yards, week 5 (with Megatron out) Durham hauled in another 3 passes for 30 yards and a TD, and in week 6 Matthew Stafford showed his increased trust by completing 8 passes to Durham for 83 yards. In the Lions pass happy offense, owners are always looking for the next big thing, and it looks like Durham is the receiver developing the best chemistry with his stud QB.
Tight Ends to watch – a.k.a the desperate Jimmy Graham owners section
If you have Graham on a bye in week 6, and are desperately looking for a TE in a deep league… give these guys a look
Tim Wright – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – TE (0% owned)
I’ll be honest. I never heard the name Tim Wright before week 5. If you had asked me who the tight end was in Tampa Bay, I would responded with a casual, “who cares”? Well, fantasy owners should start caring, as Wright has 12 targets over his last 2 weeks. What is so important about those 2 weeks? Mike Glennon has been the starter in that time frame, and is clearly comfortable checking down to his TE. In week 6, Wright racked up 91 yards on 7 receptions, 1 week after 41 yards on 5 receptions. If he continues to see about 6 receptions a week, Wright will end up being more valuable than some of these bums like Brandon Myers who are being asked to block for their QB. Not on the must-add list yet, but Wright is a name to know for owners in a TE pinch.
Joseph Fauria – Detroit Lions – TE (1% owned)
This is one of those names I just have to add in for all the searchers who will be wondering, “Who is Joseph Fauria?” and “how on earth did he catch 3 TD’s?”. Fauria is a large 6’7″ TE out of UCLA who saw the field a good deal more in week 6 thanks to Tony Scheffler being ruled out due to concussion. Anyone who is still hanging on to Brandon Pettigrew hoping he develops into something more can safely cut the chord, as it looks like the future at TE in Detroit has arrived. Fauria will only be relevant in deep 16 team leagues at the moment (as owners will recall a similar situation in 2012 with Tom Crabtree in Green Bay), but he is certainly someone to have on your radar as one of Stafford’s top red zone targets alongside Calvin Johnson. Keep in mind, he only caught 3 passes for 34 yards in week 6, but all 3 went for TD’s – putting him at 7 receptions and 5 TD’s on the season.
As one of our readers pointed out in the comments, it is time for owners to start thinking about the playoffs, and picking up players that could be studs when they come off the I.R.
Percy Harvin – WR – Seattle Seahawks (42% owned)
Harvin is eligible to come off the PUP list this week, but is unlikely to play. As you can see, he is already owned in nearly 50% of fantasy leagues, so if you need a WR and he is available, this is the week to pick him up
Andre Brown – RB – New York Giants (10% owned)
Brown has resumed running, and is expected back around week 10. With David Wilson trending towards a season ending injury, there is a healthy chance that Brown is named the starting RB when he returns to the Giants.
Michael Crabtree – WR – San Francisco 49ers (7% owned)
Last word on Crabtree was that he would be back around weeks 11 or 12. He will likely be a hot waiver wire pickup when he does return, so make sure you have his name in the back of your head when considering playoff pickups.
Shane Vereen – RB – New England Patriots (32% owned)
Eligible to return in week 11, was a terrific sleeper before his injury. With Amendola continuing to deal with injury, Vereen could be in for a big role when he returns.
Nate Burleson – WR – Detroit Lions (3% owned)
Burleson is targeting a week 10 return. Low end WR3 when healthy, but a name to keep in the back of your mind in deeper formats.