The Waiver Wire Wizard Week 7 2020
A realization that many Fantasy Football players don't realize? We're continually banking on odds and expecting an outcome that we have zero control over. We can place our teams in the best possible positions to succeed against overwhelmingly stacked odds and fall flat on our faces repeatedly - and it isn't anyone's fault. Just a bad break.
Sometimes the calls and decisions come out in a positive fashion. Take Julio Jones against the Minnesota Vikings this past weekend, for instance. The Vikings secondary is horrific (to put it mildly), allowing 12.4 YPC - second worst in the league. Additionally, Minnesota has surrendered 1,787 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns - both numbers are third worst in the league. Therefore, it was within reason to expect Jones to have a massive game in this contest. To echo that idea, I even went on Twitter on Sunday morning and stated that I expected Jones to finish with a line around 10/120/2 - and was subsequently mocked relentlessly for my prediction.
Eight catches, 137 yards and two touchdowns later - who is laughing now.
This isn't to suggest that prime matchups always result in breakout games - far from it. I also thought that Ben Roethlisberger would have a top-10 finish against the Cleveland Browns defense - a unit that he has historically feasted upon. In my defense, the Steelers did score 38 points, but Big Ben attempted a season-low 22 attempts, completing just 14 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. In this instance, the Steelers had little need to pass the ball as they were ahead the entire game. Good call - bad result.
Alexander Mattison looked PHENOMENAL in relief of Dalvin Cook in Week 5, rushing for 112 yards on 20 carries - understanding the Cook would be nursing a groin injury this week, Mattison was panned universally as a top-5 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons swiss-cheese defense.
::Cue in the Price is Right's Losing Horn::
Not so much. Mattison saw just 10 carries total, but due to game script and the aforementioned awful Vikings secondary, Minnesota was forced to throw the ball every possession and abandoned the running game after the third drive.
And the worst part about the Roethlisberger or Mattison situations (along with Aaron Rodgers, Cooper Kupp, Mike Evans, Mike Gesicki, Odell Beckham Jr. and MANY others) is that their owners did NOTHING wrong. At all.
That doesn't mean these duds aren't frustrating, or hurt any less when they happen - over and over.
I feel your pain. Trust me.
::Note:: due to time constraints this week, I will only be covering waiver-wire additions that I believe are viable, rather than reviewing each game in its entirety. My apologies for the brevity of this article, but I'll be early-voting for the upcoming election, and the window I have to normally write will be gone.
Giants 20, Redskins 19
Darius Slayton came up gimpy multiple times throughout the course of this game, and his status for next week is currently unknown. Understanding that the passes will need to be funneled somewhere, I'd endorse Golden Tate as an addition, with the health status of Sterling Shepard still up in the air.
For those who are in need of assistance at the tight end position, Logan Thomas remains a fringe starter - he came away with a 3/42/1 line in this one and remains a touchdown-dependent option.
Titans 42, Texans 36
Jonnu Smith left this contest with an ankle injury, and in his absence, Anthony Firkser led the team in receptions (8) and yards (113). He's a name to keep in mind if Smith's ankle injury lingers into next week. This is still a run-first team, but Ryan Tannehill is playing at an MVP-caliber level.
Likewise, Darren Fells continues to look sharp for the Texans with Jordan Akins recovering from his concussion. His 6/85/1 line isn't a fluke.
Colts 31, Bengals 27
Yet another tight end add if possible - Trey Burton. Sure, he's made out of glass and could leave the game at any given point, but with Mo Alie-Cox out and Jack Doyle being a distant third in snaps, Burton has excelled. Along with Firsker, Burton will be a top add at the position.
Joe Mixon came away with a foot injury in this game, and Giovani Bernard filled in for mop-up duty. Mixon is currently questionable for Week 7, but there have been no indications that he will miss any serious amount of time.
Falcons 40, Vikings 23
Irv Smith Jr. came away with another decent game - seriously, how many tight ends can I recommend at this point? Perhaps we are getting to the point where middling option at the position can be trusted more than dart-throws at wideout. This year in a nutshell, folks. Smith Jr. is gamescript dependent, and the Vikings are a team that certainly prefers to run the ball more and control the clock when possible.
Broncos 18, Patriots 12
Nothing sticks out from this game as a suggestion, although Brandon McManus should be owned in more leagues - and he took to Twitter to suggest as much yesterday.
Ravens 30, Eagles 28
With Miles Sanders looking to miss multiple weeks due to a knee injury (results still pending, but he's expected to miss some time), Boston Scott is the add of the week. Philadelphia faces a short rest period with a game right around the corner on Thursday against the New York Giants. Despite a bad record, the Giants defensive front isn't terrible against the run. Scott would be a RB3/FLEX option in standard sized leagues.
Zach Ertz was also banged up in this contest. Head coach Doug Pederson suggested that the Eagles weren't as worried about Ertz as they were with Sanders, but given the short week, Richard Rogers is also a pickup option if necessary, in 14-team or larger formats.
::Update:: Ertz is expected to be placed on the new IR with a high-ankle sprain, and Sanders is expected to miss 1-2 weeks with his knee injury.
Steelers 38, Browns 7
Not much to dig into here - should Diontae Johnson return next week (as expected), I'd expect a smaller share of targets towards Chase Claypool and James Washington, who have stepped up in his absence.
Bears 23, Panthers 16
Christian McCaffrey was iffy to return this past week, but I'd have to imagine that he will be closer to full strength now. If so, Mike Davis will be relegated to a handcuff situation - I'd still hold onto him though, as ankle injuries are tough to come back from.
Lions 34, Jaguars 16
D'Andre Swift came into this game owned in over 50 percent of leagues, so touting him as a pickup seems pointless. Unless you are in an incredibly shallow format, he's already gone. That said, should you play in a league where folks don't pay attention, he was dropped by a frustrated owner or the size of the league is 8 or 10 members, obviously add him.
Dolphins 24, Jets 0
New York perpetually plays from behind, so understanding that, Breshad Perriman is an interesting add. He finished second on the team in targets (8), catching four passes for 62 yards. Things would improve following the return of Sam Darnold, though reports have been few and far between regarding his health. I wouldn't back Frank Gore as an addition, even with Le'Veon Bell gone.
No, I don't think that Week 6 is where Tua Tagovailoa takes the starting job away from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzmagic has been great lately, and with Miami now 3-3 and contending in the division, it doesn't make sense for them to transition.
Buccaneers 38, Packers 10
It was puzzling to see Mike Evans be an afterthought, with his target share going to Rob Gronkowski instead. Two targets? Seriously? Oh, and in case it wasn't readily obvious - feel free to dump Scotty Miller's corpse should you need an addition. I'd prefer Tyler Johnson over him for the remainder of 2020.
49ers 24, Rams 16
Jerick McKinnon will be a plug-and-play RB3 again if Raheem Mostert's ankle is an actual issue. Mostert came out of this game rather suddenly, and I was surprised to see him ruled "out" immediately. He kept his helmet on and was catching passes on the sidelines during the second half, so I doubt that this is anything long-term or major.
::Update:: Mostert has been diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and will be placed upon the new IR list. With Tevin Coleman still on IR, the 49ers will implement a RBBC with McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty. Both need to be added in deeper formats.
Chiefs 26, Bills 17
Expectations were with Sammy Watkins out that Mecole Hardman would inherit his role, but Demarcus Robinson GREATLY outsnapped him in this contest, and actually led the team in receiving yards. In sloppy weather conditions this game was a mess on both sides, and the Chiefs ran the ball at whim. In an offense that will add a further weapon with Le'Veon Bell next week, it is hard to endorse their fourth or fifth option.
Cardinals 38, Cowboys 10
Nothing really to take away from this one, other than Kenyan Drake finally showing up for a week. Welcome to the 2020 season bud!
Those who drafted Andy Dalton as either a Dak Prescott replacement or bye-week starter need to be worried, he looked horrific.