Waiver Wire Roto Wizard Video Intro for article week 7 NFL 2022

By Evan Tarracciano
Evan Tarracciano

My introduction each week normally features some sort of "theme" that Fantasy players may have picked up on that occurred from the week that was, from disappointing performances to star players being injured. Sometimes it takes a moment to consider what the theme will be, as it isn't readily apparent. Not so much for Week 6 - this was the week where Davids slew Goliaths.

Upsets galore happened around the NFL, with Atlanta dismantling San Francisco, the New York Jets crushing Green Bay (in Lambeau, no less), the New York Giants staging an epic comeback over Baltimore and Pittsburgh somehow triumphing over Tampa Bay. I don't participate in any survivor pools or tournaments, but I can imagine that a good number of players must have been disappointed at the result of these contests.

The big question that we need to take away from this is - it is a mirage? A one-week fluke where the chips fell a particular way? Or, is there something more that we can draw from these upsets, statistically or otherwise. During these contests a number of players that (in my opinion) have risen to waiver-wire consideration came forth, that I'll review below. Time to sift through the ashes and see what remains. Let's find some help for teams that may be struggling with bye weeks and injuries.


Players on bye during Week 7: Kirk Cousins, Jalen Hurts, Matthew Stafford, Josh Allen

Daniel Jones (26 percent rostered) - Jones finished Week 5 just outside the top-10 at the position, and currently sits at QB13 in most formats for the season. Even without his top two receivers (if you wish to refer to Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney as such), Jones has managed to keep a high weekly floor thanks to his rushing totals - he already has nearly 50 attempts for 236 yards and two scores on the ground. New York has been one of the more pleasant surprises on the young season, and few could have predicted the team would be 5-1 at this point. Even better news for Jones? He has managed to significantly cut down on his turnovers thanks to an improved offensive line, and second-round wideout Wan'Dale Robinson has returned to the fold (more on him later). Jones won't post gaudy statistics passing, but he won't hurt you as a starter, and he squares off against Jacksonville and Seattle the next two weeks - both are plus matchups.

Recommendation: Jones can be added as a bye week fill-in option for 12-team leagues or greater, and will largely come at a discount. He's worth a speculative add between $3-$7 of FAAB.

Marcus Mariota (14 percent rostered) - Mariota makes this list for very similar reasons to Jones above - even with low passing totals, he has a nice floor inflated by his rushing attempts, and he has been able to minimize turnovers of late. Mariota has averaged over seven rushing attempts per game, and has already found the end zone three times on scampers. Atlanta finally remembered in Week 6 that Kyle Pitts actually plays for this team, and his presence (along with that of Drake London and Olamide Zaccheaus) give Mariota enough weapons to be viable. Even more promising, Atlanta faces Cincinnati in Week 7, and their defense has the sixth-most passing yards this year, and the third-most passing touchdowns. The elite Bengals offense will force Mariota to be in catch-up mode for the majority of the week, and I smell some significant "garbage time" points ahead.

Recommendation: Mariota is a nice one-week flier for Fantasy players who have a quarterback on bye. Though he isn't a long-term investment, his rushing floor and plus matchup in Week 7 make him worth a $3-$5 FAAB bid.


Running Backs

Players on bye during Week 7: Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Miles Sanders, Darrel Henderson Jr., Devin Singletary, James Cook

Kenyan Drake (3 percent rostered) - This is a classic example of "If X happens, play him. If Y happens, cut him". Drake's name being mentioned here is solely due to the health status of J.K. Dobbins, who suffered a knee injury during Week 6. Head coach John Harbaugh was scarce with his details regarding the extent or severity, but it stands to reason that Drake would get the start in Week 7 if Dobbins couldn't go. Drake picked apart the New York Giants defense on Sunday, rushing for 119 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. With Justice Hill and Gus Edwards both nursing injuries, Drake would be in line for a large workload against the Cleveland Browns, should Dobbins be unable to return. Monitor practice reports and musings from beat writers, as Baltimore is usually tight-lipped around injuries.

Recommendation: Drake can be considered a low-end RB2 or high-end FLEX play in 12-team formats for Week 7, if J.K. Dobbins is forced to miss time with his knee issue. He's available in nearly all formats, and can be likely acquired for a $5-$7 investment in FAAB.

Kyren Williams (2 percent rostered) - I discussed Williams at length last week, but he became even more relevant following the news of the split between Cam Akers and the Los Angeles front office. News broke last Friday that Akers has significant issues with his usage and workload, and now the team is actively attempting to trade him per multiple reports. In his absence, duties fell to Darrel Henderson Jr., Malcolm Brown and Ronnie Rivers on Sunday, and all three backs were utterly dreadful. Sure, Henderson managed to find the end zone, but he averaged a paltry 3.6 YPC and fell multiple times on first contact. Williams is the long-term play that I'd want to invest in here. The Rams traded UP to acquire him in the draft this pass season, he is an elite pass-blocker who is also an exceptional receiver, and it was reported that he was drafted with the intent on replacing Henderson. For Fantasy players who participate in leagues with an IR slot, he's worth holding onto through the team's Week 7 bye. There is a real chance that he is the starter for the remainder of the 2022 season once he returns.
Recommendation: This is a prime example of acquiring a player one week before his price triples. Once Williams is activated from the IR, he will become a focal point in the offense. This team is struggling to find playmakers and desperately needs and infusion of talent at the position. I'd drop $5-$10 to get him now, rather than $25-30 in a few weeks.

D'Onta Foreman (3 percent rostered) - The Carolina Panthers experienced a major shakeup after firing head coach Matt Rhule this past week, and reports from multiple outlets have indicated that the Carolina Panthers are actively listening to trade offers on their star players, most notably Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore. It remains to be seen if the team will receive anything that truly "blows them away" for either player, but one has to imagine that any RB-needy team that is competitive (namely Buffalo, Miami, Denver and the Los Angeles Rams) would be interested. Should McCaffrey move, I'd anticipate Foreman inheriting a substantial chunk of the workload, with the remainder given to Chuba Hubbard. Neither back is overwhelmingly talented, but volume is king when it comes to Fantasy, and I'd rather be one week ahead of the curve than one behind.

Recommendation: If you happen to have a rotating bench spot that is used for speculative adds, few players offer more second-half upside than Foreman. Keep an eye on reports about Carolina's willingness to part with McCaffrey - the NFL trade deadline is November 1st. Add him for a minimum $1 flier.




Wide Receivers

Players on bye during Week 7: Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith, Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah McKenzie

Tyquan Thornton (1 percent rostered) - Can we throw out the assumption that Bill Belichick doesn't like rookie receivers at this point? Perhaps. Thornton's initial numbers from Week 6 aren't overwhelming - he saw a modest five targets and had seven total touches. His rise in snaps came as a direct result from Kendrick Bourne going down with an injury early in the game, and his point totals were largely inflated by him finding the end zone twice (once on a jet-sweep rushing attempt to ice the game). New England seems keen on utilizing his elite speed downfield, so his production (similar to other speedsters) will be inconsistent. Thornton is a better add in Non-PPR formats because of the competition that he will experience in targets. That said, it is difficult to deny his talent, and the Patriots seem firm on giving him several shots per game. His value should remain steady no matter which signal-caller is under center, Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe. He's a FLEX play currently.

Recommendation: Thornton is sure to be one of the most added names over the course of waivers, due to his multiple touchdown performance against Cleveland. He won't score at this clip in the future, but he is worth a speculative add as a FLEX option in Non-PPR formats. His price will likely be inflated to the $5-$10 FAAB range this week.

Wan'Dale Robinson (7 percent rostered) - On multiple radio appearances and in prior articles I wrote about Robinson, telling Fantasy players that they would do well to stash the diminutive second-round selection from Kentucky. Consider this your final warning. New York is desperately in need of offensive playmakers not named Saquon Barkley, and Robinson will be the team's top wideout as long as Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay remained sidelined indefinitely. Giants offensive personnel have raved about Robinson since acquiring him in the NFL Draft, and they haven't exactly been secretive about their plans for him. Throw him the ball in space and let him do the rest. He's a shifty menace to tackle who runs with more power than you'd think. He was eased into action out of the slot in Week 6, but I expect his role to continue to grow with each passing game. Three catches for 37 yards and a score doesn't seem like much on paper, but the Giants have an exceptionally favorable upcoming schedule, and Robinson figures to be a major part of the offensive game plan moving forward. He's more expensive to acquire than prior weeks, but he hasn't blown up yet. Yet.

Recommendation: Robinson is just getting started as an offensive threat in the league. Capable of being used all over the field, he should be viewed long-term as a Deebo Samuel-lite option. With so many injuries at the position on the team, Robinson will be a focal point of the offense. He's worth every bit of a $10 FAAB bid.

Alec Pierce (25 percent rostered) - Color me surprised that Pierce hasn't crossed the 35-40 percent rostered threshold mark after his performance in Week 5. Indianapolis has been forced to assume a new identity due to struggles on the defensive side of the ball, and weaknesses along their offensive line. Over the last two weeks, Matt Ryan has nearly thrown 100 passes, with Pierce being one of the biggest beneficiaries. Will that mantra change once Jonathan Taylor returns? Somewhat, but I don't expect a total divergence from what has been working. Pierce boasts an elite combination of size (6'3, 211 lbs.) and speed, allowing him to be used interchangeably as a deep threat or chain moving option, depending on what circumstances call for. I'm no worried that he was out-targeted by Parris Campbell this past week, I'd rather bank on talent winning out.

Recommendation: Pierce can be viewed as a mid-range WR3 on a Colts team that will need to throw often to stay competitive. Consecutive strong performances will inflate his costs entering Week 7, and a $5-$10 bid will be necessary to acquire him.




Tight Ends

Players on bye during Week 7: Irv Smith Jr., Dallas Goedert, Tyler Higbee, Dawson Knox

Robert Tonyan (27 percent rostered) - It goes without saying that Green Bay has been vastly underwhelming from an offensive standpoint in 2022, and the loss of Davante Adams has utterly crippled their ability to move the ball. With Sammy Watkins (hamstring), Christian Watson (hamstring) and Randall Cobb (ankle) shelved, Aaron Rodgers turned to his tight end to make the difference and carry them in Week 6. Tonyan was targeted a team-high 12 times, catching 10 passes for 90 yards in a losing effort to the New York Jets. Even with Allen Lazard (4/76/1) and Romeo Doubs (4/21) seeing 9 targets each, Tonyan was by far and away the most effective weapon this past week. At a top-heavy position like tight end, having any sort of consistency is worth acquiring. I fully anticipate Tonyan to be a major part of Green Bay's identity moving forward, as their running game struggles to get going.

Recommendation: Tonyan has averaged over 11 points per game since Week 3, and has quietly entered the discussion as a low-end TE1 option. Green Bay's struggles have come to his benefit. In shallower leagues where he remains available, I'd place a $5-$7 bid to add him.

Daniel Bellinger (3 percent rostered) - Bellinger eclipsed the double-digit Fantasy point mark for the second week in a row, and led the New York Giants in targets (5) and receiving yards (38). These aren't gaudy numbers to be sure, but his growing usage is encouraging. The team thought that his well-rounded ability as both a plus-blocker and adept pass-catcher would pay dividends, and early returns are encouraging. As mentioned with my earlier Giants writeups, the team will square off against several weaker opponents in the upcoming weeks, and Fantasy players looking for a stopgap during the bye weeks could do worse. He's a short term pivot, but someone to keep an eye on at a thin position.

Recommendation: Bellinger is a mid-range TE2 who is coming off of consecutive strong performances. Fantasy players with a top option on bye over the next two weeks can safely add him for a minimum bid as a streaming play.