Fantasy Football 2014: Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups


With week 7 upcoming we have a fresh set of waiver wire pickups, fueled by the latest rash of the injury bug. If anyone else was waiting on the Marvin Jones breakout year, it’s officially time to put that dream on the shelf as the Bengals could-have-been #2 WR will head to the IR before ever taking a meaningful snap following his 10 TD 2013 campaign. Mohammed Sanu (33.5% on NFL)(38.9% on ESPN) should be owned in all leagues and a priority pick-up for anyone in need of receiver help. Odell Beckham (11.4% on NFL)(7.8% on ESPN) was mentioned last week, but earns another mention following Victor Cruz’s season ending injury. He didn’t do much against the Eagles (2 catches 28 yards) but without Cruz, Beckham will become a bigger part of the game plan and Rueben Randle likely to draw coverage from the opponents top corners. While I’m on the topic of priority adds, Justin Hunter (47.2% on NFL)(70.1% on ESPN) is still available in some leagues and should be in line for a big game this week against the Redskins patchwork secondary.

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  • If you read this column weekly you’re probably tired of hearing these names, but this week’s adds are thin at RB and Isaiah Crowell (8.8% on NFL)(10.7% on ESPN) and Jerick McKinnon (4.8% on NFL)(5.1% on ESPN) simply need to be owned in  more leagues. McKinnon especially deserves a roster spot on your team, as it seems he finally wrestled the starting job away from Matt Asiata this past Sunday against the Lions. He’s got 2 tough match-ups in the next 3 weeks with Buffalo this week and Washington in week 9, but a nice match-up with Tampa Bay is sandwiched in there and his ability to contribute in the passing game still gives him flex worthy consideration. Crowell is a must own for anyone who owns Ben Tate, Terrance West wasn’t even active this past Sunday and unless that changes Crowell should continue to see around 10 carries a game, which with the way he’s been running, gives him flex consideration as well, especially considering his nose for the endzone.

    Alright, enough rehashing old names, let’s get on to some fresh blood. If this is your first time reading the column the names below are grouped by position in no particular order. The parentheticals next to a players name refers to his ownership % in and ESPN fantasy leagues respectively. Any questions? Objections? Praise? Leave a comment at the bottom of the article.

    Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panther: (3.2% on NFL)(25.6% on ESPN) The Panthers are hopeful that Stewart will be a full participant at practice Wednesday after being a game time decision this past Sunday. With DeAngelo Williams still reported to be a few weeks away and Darrin Reaves and Fozzy Whittaker unable to generate anything on the ground in Stewart’s absence he’d be coming back to a featured role in an offense that still wants to run the ball as much as possible headed into a match-up with a Packers team that has given up a ton of yards to running backs so far this year.

    James White, RB, Patriots: (0.4% on NFL)(0.3% on ESPN) Watch his usage. He’s been inactive the past two weeks, but had 3 carries for 21 yards in his only action of the season. With Stevan Ridley out for the rest of the year White will at least be active going forward and nothing we’ve seen from Brandon Bolden or Shane Vereen so far this season indicates that White can’t take the dominant role in a 3 back committee if he runs well. It’s foolhardy to try and predict his usage this far ahead, but his status as an undrafted rookie won’t hold him back as all Bill Belichick cares about is which back can pick up the most yards. EDIT: I got part of this right. White was a 4th round pick, but Jonas Gray’s undrafted (2012) status didn’t keep him from leapfrogging White (who was inactive again) and Brandon Bolden last Thursday.

    Andre Holmes, WR, Raiders (0.2% on NFL)(0.4% on ESPN) After putting up 74 yards and a TD against Miami headed into a week 5 bye, I wanted to be sure Holmes was for real; 4 receptions for 121 yards and 2 TDs later and I’m convinced. Well, actually I was sold on the fact that he had 8 targets and the Raiders upcoming schedule is very favorable for #2 WR’s with the Cardinals, Browns and Seahawks all adept at taking away a teams top option, but vulnerable on the other side, especially to deep threats like Holmes.

    Brandon LaFell, WR, Patriots (1.3% on NFL)(2.9% on ESPN) He’s not going to be consistent, but the Patriots offense is showing signs of life after struggling early and as long as LaFell continues to start ahead of Aaron Dobson he’ll have a chance to put up numbers like he did this week (97 yards, 2 TDs) and in week 4 (119 yards, 1 TD) This week’s game will be against a Jets team that has really struggled against the pass, and we’ve seen at least one team put up a ton of points in each of the Thursday night games so far, so if you feel like taking a chance LaFell is out there in a ton of leagues.

    Jarvis Landry, WR Dolphins: (0.3% on NFL)(0.4% on ESPN) He’s still under the radar for now, but he’s caught 10 passes in the past two weeks combined and is coming off an impressive 6 catch for 75 yards and a TD. He’s been noted for his chemistry with Ryan Tannehill since the preseason and with Knowshon Moreno out for the year the Dolphins may focus more on Landry and the underneath passing game. He’ll have extra value in PPR, but should be usable in standard leagues as the rest of the Dolphins schedule includes a game against the Jaguars in week 8, and match-up with 2 top run defenses in Detroit and Buffalo as well as a week 13 tilt with the Jets.

    Miles Austin, WR, Browns: (4.4% on NFL)(3.3% on ESPN) Only 4 receptions for a combined 7 fantasy points the past two weeks, but the Browns upcoming schedule is just too good to ignore. They travel to sunny florida this week for a match-up with the Jaguars, followed by home games against Oakland and Tampa Bay. It’s possible the Browns continue to get ahead early and just pound the ball with Tate and Crowell, but the Jaguars and Buccaneers, play better against the run than the pass.

    Jermaine Gresham, TE, Bengals: (1.7% on NFL)(1.2% on ESPN) The latest news is that AJ Green could be available for week 7’s match-up with the Colts, but there’s no guarantee. Gresham hauled in 6 of 7 passes for 68 yards last week, and the Colts struggle against TE’s (aside from the Jaguars every starting TE has at least 70 yards receiving against them.) He’s a great spot start this week and could ride the momentum of last week’s production and this week’s match-up to continued fantasy relevance as the 3rd option in the Bengals pass attack.

    Jared Cook, TE, Rams: (5.8% on NFL)(11% on ESPN) With at least 4 receptions and 40 yards in every game so far this season, Cook is quietly having a nice year and the Seahawks have actually struggled against TE’s. Look for Cook to get extra targets against Seattle with top receiver Brian Quick likely to be locked up with Richard Sherman for most of the game. Cook is yet to record his first touchdown of the season, but at 6’5, 254 lbs he’s a big time red zone target and the scores will come, so long as Austin Davis continues to be able to move the ball against opposing defenses.

    One to Watch:

    LaMichael James, RB, Dolphins: (0.3% on NFL)() With Knowshon Moreno’s season over, it shouldn’t be long before James is promoted from the practice squad to the active roster. Technically he’ll still have to work his way past Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams, but neither has looked particularly impressive and James has the highest upside of the 3. It will probably be a couple weeks before we know what role if any he’ll have in the Dolphin’s Moreno-less offense, but Lamar Miller isn’t built for 30 carries a game so there will be some work up for grabs.

    Streaming QB of the Week:

    Derek Carr, QB, Raiders: (2.8% on NFL)(1.8% on NFL) I like Brian Hoyer against the Jaguars and Kirk Cousins against the Titans, but Carr gets my vote this week as he takes on the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals will put up points and despite their injuries still play well against the run, which Oakland has struggled to do anyway. That should leave the game in Carr’s hands, and while I won’t predict another 4 TD performance I think there is plenty of yardage to be found through the air and 2 TDs doesn’t seem far fetched. And as long as I’m showing the Raiders offense some love I’ll through out TE Mychal Rivera as an interesting sleeper. He really hasn’t done much this season, but Arizona struggles to cover TE’s and if Patrick Peterson is shadowing James Jones, Carr could show his 2nd year TE some love.

    Streaming Defense of the Week:

    Cleveland Browns D/ST: (20.6% on NFL)(4.8% on ESPN) Always start the defense facing the Jaguars. Don’t get me wrong, I love Blake Bortles, and there is some good young talent on that roster, but young is the keyword. The offensive line is terrible and they still haven’t figured out the run game. The Browns are playing red hot and should put up solid fantasy numbers. If Cleveland’s not available in your league, I kind of like the Titans against the Redskins, another team with offensive line troubles and Kirk Cousins has thrown 8 INTs in 4 starts.