Week 7 is officially here, and with that we get into my personal favorite part of the weekly grind: the waiver wire! Whether you play in a league that does standard waiver claims or FAB (free agent bidding), we will highlight players below based off players rostered in 33.3% or less of ESPN leagues. If you happen to play in a 10-team league or smaller, this article will serve more as a "watch list and stash" report, rather than a guide to directly making your top pickups and FAB bids. For a complete list of our waiver wire rankings, by position with no write-ups, check out our weekly Waiver Wire Rankings page here.
Author's Note: While we don't want to overreact to just a six-week sample size, we do want to jump on the opportunity to improve our rosters as often as humanly possible. We do this through waivers, trades and streaming positions at QB, TE, D/ST and/or Kicker. The ability to drop these positions at the start of the week and make at least one or two additional, speculative adds, can often be the difference in hitting on a league-winner off the waivers and not. It's the owners who stand pat and stay stagnant who often see their fortunes fade down the stretch. That's why it's so important to grind the bottom of your rosters each week and not be afraid to cut players with "household names" who aren't seeing good usage.
- Tua Tagovailoa (Roster Percentage - 16.6%): Ladies & Gentlemen, the time is here. The time is now. #TuaTime has officially begun in Miami, and although the Dolphins enter Week 7 on a bye, Tua remains a priority pickup this week as long as you're not desperate for an immediate starter. Miami appears convinced that the rookie is healthy enough to go 100%, or else it wouldn't have made this move after a 3-3 start, and although the Week 8 matchup against the Rams isn't fantastic, we get the Cardinals, Chargers, Broncos and Jets over the next month after that. The Dolphins have decent weapons surrounding the Alabama product, from DeVante Parker and Preston Williams to Mike Gesicki and Myles Gaskin. Look, we can't take a raw sample from college and apply it to the pros, but, IF Tua was healthy, entering the 2020 NFL Draft I believe most would agree that Tua would've been either the unanimous #1 or #2 pick. His completion percentage improved every year with the Crimson Tide (63.6%-69.0%-71.4%) and he racked up a ridiculously impressive 87:11 TD to INT ratio in the process. The Dolphins are going to make a playoff push for that seventh seed, as long as Tua remains healthy under center, he's going to let it rip and keep games competitive. At the very least, garbage time point for a rookie count just as much for our fantasy football rosters. When you're comparing Tua to other QB's owned in less than 1/3 of leagues - guys like Andy Dalton, Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins, etc. - he easily stands out as a young talent with the arm to make big plays and also with the athleticism to provide a rushing floor if he decides to scramble and improvise as he's getting comfortable with his new gig. Don't look ahead too much, but he gets a juicy Week 13 matchup against the Jets in the fantasy football regular-season finale and plays the Raiders in Week 16 for the fantasy championship. The upside is there for a top 10 finish in 2020.
- Teddy Bridgewater (32.9%): Good ole Teddy fell below our 33.3% ownership threshold after waivers went through last night, and I'm not sure why. Sure, Bridgewater struggled against arguably the NFL's toughest pass defense in the Chicago Bears in Week 6, but he still threw for 216 yards and also ran eight times for 48 yards. Two turnovers also sapped a solid fantasy outing, as did DJ Moore dropping a surefire touchdown in the back of the endzone. Bridgewater gets in the New Orleans Saints in Week 7, however, and while our first inclination might be to think of Marshon Lattimore and a shutdown secondary, that has been anything but the case this season. The Saints boast one of the toughest run defenses in the league this year, but they've actually been a funneling pass defense and have been torched through the air by the likes of Derek Carr (284-3), Aaron Rodgers (283-3) and Justin Herbert (264-4). Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford combined for five touchdown passes against this now suspect Saints secondary as well, and I also suspect that Bridgewater will have his way through the air in a game that sees the Panthers as +7.5 road dogs and facing a stout front four that will shut down Mike Davis on the ground. When you look at the underlying numbers, you'll also see that Good Ole Teddy has actually been the "unluckiest" quarterback with touchdown passes this season and that positive regression is due to shift his way. He also ranks a solid fifth overall in completions (146), and completion percentage (70.9%) and seventh overall in passing yards (1,677). What's most impressive to me about Bridgewater is his 8.1 yards per attempt, which ranks ninth in the NFL and is a career high for the former Louisville product. One last nugget to add here - Bridgewater ranks 10th overall in rushing yards for quarterbacks (121) - and the moral of the story here is that his ownership percentage fell by -9.6% following his game against Chicago in Week 6. He's worth an add right now - and a start- in Week 7 and gets an absolute cake matchup against Atlanta in Week 8.
- Kyle Allen (2.3%): This is strictly a "in case of emergency - break glass" pickup and spot stream for Week 7, but even then you could do a whole hell of a lot worse than streaming Kyle Allen at home and against this Dallas Cowboys defense. Dallas is allowing a record-setting amount of points to opposing offenses in 2020, and it's 218 points allowed this season is 25+ points higher than the next highest culprit (Minnesota - 192 points allowed). Outside of a Week 1 loss to the Rams, the Cowboys have allowed at least 37 points in five straight games. Kyler Murray needed just nine (!) completions in Week 6 to put up a top four week at quarterback in fantasy, and I expect Kyle Allen to have his best game of the season here in this spot as well. Allen looked, well, "competent" in Washington's 20-19 loss to the Giants in Week 6, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns against an underrated New York defense on the road. This Carolina coaching staff and regime trusts Kyle Allen, and outside of a five-int first half performance or something crazy like that, he's keeping this job. Allen is actually throwing at a 72.7% completion percentage clip in his two starts this season, and he won't hesitate to scramble once or twice per game, as evident by his seven-yard touchdown run in Week 5 before he left the game shortly thereafter with an injury. I haven't finalized my Week 7 fantasy rankings just yet, but I'm telling you that the gap between Dalton and Allen will be extremely close this week. For the time being I actually like Allen a tad more, simply based on the fact that he's the one facing the Dallas defense, while Dalton must face Chase Young and a talented Washington defense/front four.
- Honorable Mention: Andy Dalton (20.5%), Derek Carr (24.8%), Jimmy Garoppolo (21.6%), Daniel Jones (21.6%), Kirk Cousins (20.7%), Nick Foles (8.5%)
- Deep(er) League Adds: Philip Rivers (8.2%), Drew Lock (5.4%), Jalen Hurts (1.0%), Sam Darnold (2.0%), Case Keenum (0.1%), Joe Flacco (1.6%)
- JD McKissic (Roster Percentage - 32.4%): A bonafide RB2 from Weeks 4-6, McKissic now has a ridiculous 22 targets over the last three weeks and has turned that into a more-than-solid 19-129 receiving line with at least one catch of 10+ yards in every game. While the rookie Antonio Gibson remains the true RB2 ceiling play and ultimate talent in this backfield, we simply can't ignore McKissic's usage and production playing with the Checkdown King in Mr. Kyle Allen himself. McKissic in fact ranks as the overall RB24 in Weeks 4-6 while averaging 11.6 fantasy points per game. He tied a season-high in Week 6 as well eight carries for 41 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per tote, while Gibson managed just 3.3 yards per carry in the same game with nine carries. A deliciously cake matchup with the Dallas Cowboys now looms (see Kyle Allen above) and McKissic is in prime position to put up RB2 numbers yet again as bye weeks take hold of rosters and injuries continue to mount. Opposing teams haven't needed to throw to their backs much against Dallas in 2020, but the Cowboys did allow four catches for 35 yards to the Rams in Week 1 in what was their most neutral-script game of the year. I expect a similar game script in Week 7 as well. Washington is at home and wants to stick to their game plan, which means peppering Terry McLaurin with a ton of targets and continuing to utilize both Gibson and McKissic as the second and third receiving options in the passing game. If you weren't able to get your hands on Boston Scott this week and McKissic is still available on waivers, then you could do a lot worse for an RB2/flex consolation prize. Upcoming games against the Giants, Lions and Cowboys again in Week 10 mean that McKissic could provide value for over the next month or more, as opposed to Scott, who might just be playable for one week or two at the most.
- Giovani Bernard (4.9%): At this point of the season, when it comes to running backs on waivers, we are simply making a play on the injury news and reports during the week. Look no further than Giovani Bernard, who would assume a large portion of Joe Mixon's workload if Mixon were to ever miss any time. Mixon has been listed as questionable for the last few weeks now and missed practiced as of Wednesday, October 21st, so this is a speculative stash until we get a clearer status on his availability for the Cincinnati Bengals' Week 7 clash with the division rival Cleveland Browns. Bernard hasn't seen much run in 2020, although he still does offer a floor in PPR formats with multiple targets and at least one reception in all but one game this season. Bernard added a rushing score in Week 6 along with 3-13 on three targets through the air. In Weeks 1-3 he also tallied 12-98 on 15 targets and benefits from the Bengals' woeful offensive line because it often leads to more check downs to the running backs from Joe Burrow. Bernard has been a fantasy starter and star in the past when Mixon has missed time. We do have to go back to 2018 to get our last Gio starting action sample size, but those two games did yield a solid 27-130-3 on the ground and 9-52 (13 targets) through the air. Myles Garrett and Browns' are sure to bring the pressure up front on Sunday, which means Gio could inherit a huge role if Mixon is ruled out between now and then. If you own Mixon especially, make sure you own Bernard too, who despite his small stature (5'9", 205 lb) can still manage a hefty workload.
- JaMychal Hasty/Jeff Wilson Jr. (1.6% and 8.9%): The Shanahanigans at running back continue in San Francisco. Three weeks ago it was Jerick McKinnon who took over lead dog duties in prime time against the Philadelphia Eagles, and two weeks ago it was Mostert who dominated touches in just his first game back from IR. Although it might be tough to pinpoint who Shanahan will lean on this week, we do know that whoever receives the bulk of the work has a good shot at being productive in fantasy. McKinnon, who was the star of Week 4, seemingly lost playing time late in Week 6 to undrafted free agent JaMychal Hasty in a relatively close divisional game on primetime against the Los Angeles Rams. It was Hasty who out-carried McKinnon nine to six and finished with an impressive 4.1 yards per carry compared to just three yards per carry for McKinnon. Hasty drew heaps of praise in the offseason from the 49ers coaching staff, and if you watch his college tape from Baylor, you will instantly see that this dude can be explosive out of the backfield. I was pleasantly surprised to see Hasty get a target late as well, although he didn't catch it. All this goes to say is that potentially 10+ touches for a Kyle Shanahan running back is something I want a piece of, in my flex spot, at the very least. I'm willing to bet on the talent of Hasty as a stash-and-see sort of pickup here, as we all know Shanahan could care less about a player's draft capital when it comes giving him extended run. The Patriots in Week 7 look like a tough matchup by name and on paper, but New England has struggled against the run quite a bit this season, ceding 23-101 to Philip Lindsay last week as well as 4.0 yards per carry to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 4.4 to Josh Jacobs, 4.2 to Chris Carson and 4.4 to Myles Gaskin/Matt Breida in Week 1. Hasty is a dart throw type of start in Week 7 unless you're in a very deep league, but if we get word from beat reporters this week that his role could be increased, or if Jeff Wilson isn't healthy yet, it's all the more reason to pick up the former Baylor Bear. I'd prioritize Hasty over Wilson for now, as the latter has shown to be nothing more than a goal-line vulture type of running back over the last few seasons in San Francisco's offense.
- Honorable Mention: Tony Pollard (21.7%), Jamaal Williams (24.1%), Corey Clement (0.5%), La'Mical Perine (11.0%), Frank Gore (27.2%), Tevin Coleman (20.7%), D'Ernest Johnson (13.3%), Benny Snell Jr. (10.9%), Matt Breida (28.1%), Brian Hill (8.1%), Duke Johnson (23.0%), Gus Edwards (1.9%)
- Deep(er) League Adds: Jeremy McNichols (0.7%), Darrynton Evans (2.8%), Royce Freeman (2.9%), AJ Dillon (3.1%), Anthony McFarland Jr. (1.8%), Trayveon Williams (0.1%), Ty Johnson (0.2%), Dontrell Hilliard (0.1%), Devine Ozigbo (3.1%), Ryquell Armstead (4.5%), Rashaad Penny (2.3%), Eno Benjamin (0.2%)
- Tim Patrick (Roster Percentage - 23.0%): I wrote about Tim Patrick as my top WR waiver add in our Week 5 edition of "Hunting The Waiver Wire," and I'm going back to the well for the kid I'm now officially calling "Courtland Sutton 2.0" - Patrick now leads the Denver Broncos this season in receiving yards (310), receptions (20), receiving touchdowns (2) and trails only Jerry Jeudy in targets 33-29 overall. Many fantasy owners might've forgotten about Patrick after the Broncos played on a Thursday night island game against the Jets and then took a few weeks off due to COVID-19 rescheduling, but he came back with a bang in Week 6 with 4-101 on eight targets against the New England Patriots. Patrick's last two games now has the former Utah product at 10 catches for 214 yards (!) and a score on 15 targets, and he's done that with two different quarterbacks under center in Brett Rypien and Drew Lock. Patrick is being used as both a possession receiver and a complimentary deep threat alongside Jeudy, who also plays out of the slot, and we're also talking about a Denver team here that is unlikely to be favored in many games in 2020. Expect a ton of negative game script for the Broncos this year and in Week 7 specifically, as they enter Mile High Stadium as +10.5 home dogs to division rival Kansas City. The Chiefs have been stingy against opposing wideouts dating back to last season, but the Broncos could still amass a decent amount of garbage time production in this game if they are unable to keep things close. Either way I think Patrick's role and usage is just fine, and the only way he's getting phased out of the gameplan is if the Broncos are leading by three touchdowns or more, which might not happen a single game this entire season.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling (22.7%): A neat little stat nugget on the artist formerly known as "MVS" for 2020, via the Action Network's Matthew Freeman on Twitter - MVS ranks eighth overall in "AirYAC" (air yards + yards after catch) per game heading into Week 7, averaging 126.6 per game and trailing only Calvin Ridley, DK Metcalf, Jamison Crowder, Terry McLaurin, Allen Robinson, Marquis Brown and Robby Anderson. I'm fully aware that you might've been burned by starting MVS in Week 3 when he posted a 1-5 dud on four targets in primetime against the New Orleans Saints, but you've gotta keep in mind here that MVS needs Davante Adams to take defensive attention away on the opposite side of the field. It's not a coincidence that MVS had by far his best game of 2020 in Week 1 when Adams was 100% healthy (4-96-1 on six targets). I'm willing to throw Week 6 out the window, too, being that it was Adams' first game back from injury and the Packers as a whole looked like a hot mess against Tampa Bay. One thing is clear for MVS this season, however, and that's that with no Allen Lazard he is the clear cut No. 2 WR in this offense. Add to the fact that the underrated Bradley Roby will likely shadow Adams for most of Week 7's matchup between the Packers and Texans, and MVS could easily find himself on the receiving end of some long bombs from Rodgers in a get-right spot for the Green Bay offense. We all know the ceiling for MVS is there, and with Adams fully healthy and a plus matchup on deck, I'm willing to roll the dice in this spot for the former University of South Florida (Go Bulls!) product. The Packers and MVS draw an even juicier matchup in Week 8 at Lambeau Field, at home against a Minnesota Vikings secondary that can't stop a single soul this season.
- Desean Jackson (26.6%): I'll keep this one short and sum up this one with a fun fact - Philadelphia's very own John Hightower has the most air yards in the NFL over the past two weeks with 340 (!) total air yards, and teammate Travis Fulgham is fourth overall with 244. Carson Wentz is slinging the living hell out of the football despite being under constant pressure from opposing front fours, and two relative unknown names in Hightower and Fulgham have been the biggest beneficiaries. Add to this that Zach Ertz is now on IR and Miles Sanders could miss the next 1-2 weeks, and Wentz is running out of viable options to throw the ball to. I'm saying this all because Desean Jackson is closer than ever to returning. As of this writing - late Wednesday night - Jackson does not carry an injury designation/tag ahead of the Eagles' Week 7 Thursday Night Football showdown against the division rival New York Football Giants. Whether Jackson suits up for this NFC East contest or not, he most likely deserves a stash on your bench if you have an extra IR slot to use or if you're hurting for WR depth. Jackson, 33, might be on the wrong side of 30 these days but the fact remains that he is still an explosive deep threat on the outside for a gun-slinging Wentz with nothing to lose. Jackson had 16 targets in Weeks 1-2 before getting hurt in Week 3 and that was when Jalen Reagor, Dallas Goedert, Sanders and Ertz were all relatively healthy. All of those guys are either ruled out or on IR now, and with upcoming matchups against the Cowboys, Giants again (Week 9), Browns and Seahawks, I'm buying into whatever Eagles pass-catchers have a pulse over this next month. I stress the word "IF" here, but IF Jackson can stay healthy, he could provide some massive WR1 ceiling games from Weeks 7-11. Jackson's ownership has now officially dipped below 33.3% for the first time all season as bye weeks, injuries and sheer impatience ravage the rosters of fellow fantasy managers. Take advantage if he was cut bait in your league and tossed to the waiver wire, as this is the closest he's been to returning in nearly a month. No player in the NFL has more air yards waiting upon his return than DJax does, and with no injury tag in Week 7, I expect him to operate in a near full-time role.
- Honorable Mention: Adam Humphries (6.0%), Keelan Cole Sr. (22.5%), Russell Gage (24.3%), Brandon Aiyuk (24.1%), Breshad Perriman (16.3%), James Washington (7.2%), Corey Davis (24.1%), Cole Beasley (31.0%), Alshon Jeffery (11.9%), Jalen Reagor (10.2%), Randall Cobb (14.8%), Zach Pascal (2.6%)
- Deep(er) League Adds: Marcus Johnson (0.2%), Darnell Mooney (1.5%), Nelson Agholor (2.1%), Damiere Byrd (2.1%), Demarcus Robinson (2.7%), Jalen Guyton (0.2%), Danny Amendola (5.7%), KJ Hamler (1.8%), Bryan Edwards (1.7%), Denzel Mims (3.2%), John Hightower (0.3%), Antonio Brown (4.2%)
- Dallas Goedert (Roster Percentage - 28.7%): I already mentioned the Eagles' absolutely depleted pass-catching core with my Desean Jackson writeup above. And once Dallas Goedert is cleared for action, folks, the dude will be locked in as a TE1 as long as he's healthy enough to see the field. Coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday that Goedert is "progressing well" in his recovery from a dislocated ankle, and while he'll obviously miss Week 7's Thursday night game against the Giants, he does have a shot to return in Week 8 or Week 10 (the Eagles have a Week 9 bye) and vault towards the top of Carson Wentz's pecking order once again. Goedert posted a stellar 8-101-1 line on nine targets in Week 1 and quietly went for 4-30 in Week 2 despite getting a whopping eight targets. He was hurt early in Week 3, however, forcing many fantasy owners to cut bait after he was placed on IR. With no Ertz coming back for a while and the Eagles o-line continuing to struggle, then Goedert - when healthy - might just be the single most talented pass catcher on this Philadelphia roster. Goedert has operated as a hybrid wide receiver/tight end in the past, and I mention that only because the Eagles have the fourth-best fantasy adjusted schedule for wide receivers for the rest of the season. It might seem like an ugly proposition now, but I will say it again - buy Eagles in fantasy. From Sanders, to Goedert and possibly Fulgham/DJax/Wentz, the schedule is ripe for the fantasy playoff taking. Goedert himself could immediately provide weekly top 10 upside at the tight end position.
- Trey Burton (7.2%): Burton enters Week 7 on bye after torching the Cincinnati Bengals for 4-58-1 on five targets to go along with a rushing touchdown. Many people in the fantasy industry and sports media world wrote off Burton after his two-year stint with the Chicago Bears, but there's a reason why the Colts decided to sign him this summer and rave about him during the offseason. Less than two seasons ago Burton was a TE1 with 54-569-6 (76) targets and last year his numbers took a nose dive because of nagging injuries and the inconsistency of Trubisky's arm and Nagy's play-calling. Burton looks back and 100% healthy now, however, and he's operating as the #1 TE on an even more tight-end friendly offense than before. Philip Rivers has always shown a tendency to involve his tight end heavily throughout his career as well, and Burton athleticism, combined with soft hands and solid route running, are the perfect combo for him in his new Indianapolis home. The fact that Burton's ownership rose to just 7.2% following his Week 6 performance shows that fantasy owners simply aren't buying in. Take advantage of the Chicago recency bias here. Burton comes off the bye with exploitable tight end matchups against the Lions in Week 8 and Titans in both Week 9 and Week 11, with a game against the Packers in between, who have also been exposed by tight ends in 2020. Burton also has the rare ability at his position to add the occasional trick play via rush or pass. I actually covered Burton as a sports reporter in Sarasota, FL, once upon a time, when he was the star quarterback at Venice High School before being converted to WR/TE with the Florida Gators. There's a reason the Eagles let him throw a trick pass in the Super Bowl after all, and now reunited with Frank Reicht, there's a reason why they gave him a goal line carry last weekend, too. Buy low on Trey Burton off the waiver wire while you can, as each week that passes by the tight end position becomes that much more of dumpster fire than ever before. I'll take the floor of five with a ceiling of 15+ or more here.
- Anthony Firkser (4.9%): This pickup and potential stash entirely depends on the health status of Jonnu Smith this week, who was a limited participant (ankle) on Wednesday. Firkser filled in for Jonnu in Week 6 and didn't miss a beat, hauling in eight catches on nine targets for a team-high 113 yards and a touchdown. Firsker averaged 14.1 yards per catch against the Texans in that game, including a long reception of 45 yards that showed impressive yards after the catch and burst from the former Harvard product. The third-year tight end has flashed in Tennessee before, too, scoring touchdowns in both the AFC Championship and AFC Wild Card rounds last season. The Steelers look like a scary matchup on paper, but they've actually struggled covering the middle of the field this season and are now without Devin Bush. Pittsburgh allowed 5-52 to Austin Hooper in Week 6, albeit in mostly garbage time, but they also ceded 4-57-1 to Noah Fant in Week 2 and haven't faced an offense like Tennessee so far this season. If Jonnu is out this week, then I'll likely have Firkser in my top 10-15 tight ends in our Week 7 fantasy football rankings. Tight end is simply an uber-thin fantasy position in 2020, and with our top two above pickups either being on bye or IR, I'm waiting on Firkser as a stash first to see if he can draw a start in Week 7. If Jonnu does play, however, I'll look to play Darren Fells if Jordan Akins is ruled out again or possibly look to Logan Thomas/Greg Olsen as backup options. If you're desperate, then the rookie "Albert O" could also be a sneaky start if Fant is out again.