It feels like we just began the season, but at the conclusion of the upcoming week we will be more than halfway through the fantasy regular season. That means the time is now. I’m not looking to be an alarmist here, and we still don’t want to rush into any bad moves, but it is getting to be the time to act. While there is still plenty of season left, you don’t want to wait too long to make your move. It is also the time where you have to start using the waiver wire to look ahead. Upside is still just as important, but at this point we also have a pretty good idea as to what we are dealing with.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some options that may be available on your waiver wire:
Sam Darnold – QB – New York Jets
After returning from illness Darnold has just two games under his belt so far this season, but only his last game was played under clear health. We can throw out his season debut and last week Darnold returned with gusto. Things aren’t going all that well for the Cowboys and it was just one game, but it’s hard to find much fault with his performance. The second year quarterback was 23 for 32 for 338 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT, and the Jets’ offense certainly looked a lot different than it previously had this season. Next week things will get a little more difficult as he faces the Patriots, but his schedule then beings to lighten up. The fact that Darnold is also past his bye week also works in his favor.
Jimmy Garoppolo – QB – San Francisco 49ers
If you expected the 49ers to be undefeated at this point in the season, then raise your hand and accept your praise. The record means Garoppolo might warrant some attention. The fact that he has already fulfilled his bye week is a positive, but before we get too crazy the San Francisco offense appears to be more concerned about victories than fantasy stats. Yes, I know, that is how the NFL is supposed to work. After going 24 for 33 with 243 yards and 0 TD last week, Garoppolo is at just 7 TD this season with 5 INT, but you have to like his prospects this week as the 49ers face off against the Redskins.
Alexander Mattison – RB – Minnesota Vikings
Let’s be honest, everyone has some dead weight on their team. If you are currently staring at a low upside, boring and bland option on your bench, it might be time to replace them with someone like Mattison. When in the lineup this season the clear handcuff to Dalvin Cook has had success (48 carries for 252 yards and a touchdown), but we also know his role. Yes, he had a season high last week in both carries (14) and yards (63), but that is about what his limit is at this point. What if Cook gets hurt? It is very easy to project what he could do with a full work load, and since he is the unquestioned back-up you won’t make the wrong roster decision by starting him either.
Mark Walton – RB – Miami Dolphins
Now we get to the part of the schedule where we chase touches. Let’s be honest, there really isn’t much (well maybe nothing) good to say about the Miami Dolphins, but they still have football players who pick up some, keyword some, fantasy production. So with Walton now picking up some playing time in Miami’s backfield, because they have to keep on searching to find something that works, he does warrant some attention. Last week he had a season high 11 touches, six carries for 32 yards and five receptions for 43 yards, and I would expect to see that only continue moving forward. Now I’m not saying there is much upside, and game flow isn’t going to work in Walton’s favor, but the workload is going to increase and the performance was there.
Brandon Bolden – RB – New England Patriots
I really didn’t want to do this, but this what the Patriots do to us. Why can’t they just make things simple and handle their backfield according to plan? Sony Michel actually had a good game last week, but instead it was Bolden who got the touchdown. All together Bolden had just five touches on the day, three carries for 23 yards and two receptions for 22 yards, but it is the touchdown that is going to stick in our minds. It was just his second touchdown of the season and he has a total of just 45 rushing yards, so I would stay away and try not to chase any more touchdowns.
Auden Tate – WR – Cincinnati Bengals
A week after catching the first touchdown of his career, Tate didn’t see a tremendous surge in his ownership but did have another strong game against Baltimore. The rookie was a large part in the Bengals’ game plan as he was targeted 12 times on Sunday and caught five passes for 91 yards, in what was the best performance of his young career. Overall Tate has been targeted 36 times while catching 19 balls for 261 yards and a touchdown, and as he gets more acclimated to the NFL and Cincinnati’s offense I would expect to see a continuation of last week’s success.
Keke Coutee – WR – Houston Texans
So far this season Coutee is one of those disappointing draft picks that likely was sent packing for a better option, but if you are looking for help at wide receiver you could do worse. The addition of Kenny Stills certainly didn’t work in Coutee’s favor, but we know that the Texans are going to throw the ball downfield and nothing else regarding his situation has changed. Last week Coutee was targeted a respectable six times, and he caught four passes for 39 yards. On the season he has just 10 receptions for 129 yards, so his value is at its absolute lowest.
Jakobi Meyers – WR – New England Patriots
We first came across Meyers in the pre-season as he burst onto the scene, but that was the last we heard of him for a few weeks. As we know everything with the Patriots is a fluid situation, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see Meyers emerge back on the scene after he flashed big play potential over the summer. Between Antonio Brown’s suspension and Phillip Dorsett’s recent injury there are some available targets, and last week Meyers caught all four of his for 54 yards. There is no reason, well other than that it’s Patriots, for this not to continue, but Meyers is perfect waiver wire addition and boom or bust bench option.
Geoff Swaim – TE – Jacksonville Jaguars
Yes I know, Swaim has just 13 catches for 65 yards on the season without a touchdown so we aren’t at the exciting part of the program, but there is some opportunity. Last week he caught one of his two targets, for five yards, but he did leave early due to a concussion and also came close to what would have been his first touchdown reception of the season. Assuming he plays next week Swaim is going to receive the majority of work in Jacksonville’s receiving game, and he should find his way to a touchdown.
Dallas Goedert – TE – Philadelphia Eagles
We know that Goedert is talented, but so far this season it has yet to translate into results. He has 10 receptions on the year, with five of them coming last week, so at this point it is difficult to truly count on him as a featured part of Philadelphia’s offense. In reality the Eagles are still looking to find some of their footing in the passing game, and game flow worked in Goedert’s favor last week as Philadelphia was trailing from the get go. While he looks like a red zone target, he has just one touchdown catch so if you are going to take a flier on anyone target the skill.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: