17 October 2023 • by Bryan Oldham
The injury bug is slowly becoming an infestation. Plenty of weekly lineup locks are now injured, and the NFL is proving why a depth chart is called a depth chart.
Thankfully, there are plenty of quality options on the wire this week. Let’s plug some gaps and try to bounce back from fantasy injuries with our Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets.
We should caveat here: while these guys are often listed as viable pickups for multiple weeks, you can also view our QB recommendations as synonymous with streaming recommendations.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Howell has been a QB1 most of the season, and his schedule moving forward is more than manageable. He’s got plenty of weapons, even though he’s neglecting some of them (i.e. Jahan Dotson), but Howell is going to stick in this offense.
Let’s look at the negatives: 3 interceptions against the Jaguars doesn’t inspire confidence. Minshew also lost a fumble, totaling 4 turnovers. Even so, it proves he’s going to keep throwing the ball and trying to make things happen. If the INTs continue, he won’t be as viable of course, but Minshew Mania could rear it’s mulleted head again.
I gave Ridder some tough critiques on last weekend’s livestream, so he obviously turned around and showed out against the Commanders. Though his completion percentage was under 60%, 28 for 47 with 307 and 2 TDs is a nice day. Yes, the 3 INTs hurt, but if Ridder can find his groove in the pocket, combined with some contributions on the ground, he could prove why Atlanta stuck with him for 2023.
This is a long-shot, lottery ticket, one-in-a-million, wait-and-see pickup. Cunningham was signed off the practice squad and given a three-year deal by the Patriots, and subsequently served as the immediate backup in Week 6.
Considering Mac Jones has been benched multiple times so far in blowouts this season, maybe Cunningham can provide a spark the Patriots need. If you have an extra bench spot, it can’t hurt to wait and see.
Jordan Mason looked good in his backup role in Week 6, filling in after CMC went down. We also know that, when healthy, Elijah Mitchell is a quality starting RB. The question is IF he can stay healthy. If so, Mitchell is the priority add, with Mason a luxury pickup. The latter will get clean-up duties and give Mitchell a breather, with the potential to be a viable RB1 if Mitchell were to miss time.
Dameon Pierce held nearly 100% of the ground work in Houston for most of the year, only to see it dip below half of the work in Week 6. Singletary led the way with 58 yards in Week 6, and DeMeco Ryans and company did go out of their way to sign Singletary this offseason. That, plus his ability to catch the ball, gives Singletary a fair amount of upside in the new-look Texans offense.
Talk about a buzz kill. We get Cooper Kupp back just in time for Kyren Williams to go down. In Week 6, Williams went off for 158 ground yards on 20 carries (3.1 YPC) and a touchdown, but was sidelined by a sprained ankle.
The injury news is promising, with the Rams indicating that Williams may only miss a game or two. Even so, Evans will carry the load in Week 7, making him a great one-week rental at worst, and a solid multi-week replacement if Williams’ absence is lengthy.
The Miles Sanders experiment is looking less than optimal right now. Compound that with his injury history, and Hubbard’s ability to stick around through the coaching change, and we’ve got a little bit of a starting RB controversy on our hands. Similar to what may happen in Pittsburgh with Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris, Chuba could take hold of the starting job and not let go.
Baltimore’s backfield is treacherous waters, but Hill is the guy who catches the ball. He’s looked like the best RB in Baltimore, and he’s the one who can help the most in PPR formats. I’d lean Hill over Edwards right now, especially if the Ravens are throwing the ball to score.
While we wait on the emergence of Quentin Johnston, Palmer is the WR2 for the Chargers, and it’s not close. He very much looked the part on Monday night against the Cowboys, making some athletic catches and getting open. If Herbert gets any time to throw the ball in the coming weeks, Palmer has the upside where you can flex him. I’ll take any piece of Herbert’s offense where I can, and this is going to be the best option if he’s available.
We can finally say it’s time to stash Rice and wait for the breakout. The rookie out of SMU caught all 4 of his targets for a season-high 72 yards last week against Denver, and it seems he’s quickly becoming the number 2 option behind Travis Kelce in Kansas City.
This is not to say you should immediately plug him into your lineups, but if he continues to see his targets creep up and the yardage can consistently hover around 50 yards as his floor, a Mahomes-targeted receiver is always a viable fantasy option.
The yardage wasn’t awesome, but Downs did haul in 5 of his 8 targets against the Jaguars. That’s a 14.5% target share, which we love to see for a rookie, especially now that we know Gardner Minshew is his QB moving forward (likely the rest of the 2023 season). Downs is going to be the Colts’ WR2 behind Michael Pittman, and if they can get Jonathan Taylor back to form, Downs’ opportunity will be a nice addition for the late season stretch.
It’s happening, isn’t it? At least, we hope it is. WDR caught 8 balls on 8 targets from Tyrod Taylor for 62 yards against the Bills on Sunday night. Before tearing his ACL last year, Robinson was rapidly ascending to the top of the WR depth chart, and he may be doing so again in 2023. The PPR floor is so delicious here that you can likely count on Wan’Dale as a weekly WR3/Flex option, just know that there could be some rough weeks given this offense.
This is another deep cut. Tucker caught both of his targets in Week 6, taking them for 57 yards (one catch for 48). This isn’t to say he’s going to emerge and overcome the Adams/Meyers stack, but Tucker is one of the rare WR backups that could be valuable. He’s clearly overtaken Hunter Renfroe on the depth chart, and there’s room to grow. 14 team leagues and deep 12 team leagues could look here for upside.
Kyle Pitts managers may want to look away. Smith is effectively the WR3 for the Falcons, seeing 60+% route run usage the last 4 weeks. We don’t know why this is happening, but the position is so thin that a player of Smith’s size and obvious trust in the offense is worth playing.
We’re gonna keep pounding the drum for Musgrave. The Packers are coming off the bye and Musgrave is now multiple weeks removed from the concussion. He’s got a steady floor in an emerging offense, and that’s good enough to warrant a flyer.
The breakout probably went unnoticed given the injury to Jimmy G and the disappearance of Davante Adams, but Mayer may finally live up to his draft pedigree. He played more than 80% of snaps against the Patriots, finishing with 5 for 75. That’s a double-digit ppr fantasy day, and well worth a stash, especially if he becomes anything close to what Kittle used to be for Jimmy G.
Anyone you think we missed? Who are you spending your top waiver priority on this week? Sound off on social media and let us know!
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