Field YatesESPN Insider
CloseField Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston’s Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.
Believe it or not, we’re closing in on the halfway point of the fantasy football regular season. Weird. It always flies by.
The reason I bring this up is that while things can change at a moment’s notice — it is 2020, after all — you likely have a general sense of which direction your fantasy roster is headed and what needs you have at this time and going forward.
Maybe the core of your roster is largely set week to week and you just need some complementary parts. Maybe you’re in a bit of a rut and need to start swinging for the fences. No matter your situation, I’ll keep offering up key players for the waiver-wire adds of the week.
Without further ado, the Week 7 ESPN Fantasy waiver column.
Note: All players in this column are available in more than 50% of leagues on ESPN.com.
Week 7 byes: Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings
A look at some quarterback options to consider as a bye-week fill-in or even your weekly starter. Yes, I’m breaking our 50% threshold rule with two of them. No, I do not apologize, because these players are worth it!
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans (54.1%): In 15 games since taking over as the Titans’ starter, Tannehill now has 40 total touchdowns. That is not a typo. He is sizzling-hot with back-to-back 30-point fantasy weeks, and he is a quarterback we need to take seriously as a weekly top-eight consideration. Add him, start him, ride the wave of goodness. Tannehill is incredible.
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (50.7%): Trivia: Name the Eagles’ three best wide receivers who are currently healthy. Wentz has been a fantasy magician of late, scoring at least 21 points in three of four games, and he’s doing so minus a laundry list of offensive contributors, including his top wideouts not named Travis Fulgham. His next three games are against the Giants, Cowboys and Giants again. If Philly’s offense starts to get healthier? Watch out for Wentz.
Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers (45.4%): I suspect this will be the final time I’ll be able to cover Herbert in this column, as we are on the heels of his bye week and heading into a matchup with the Jaguars that is just ideal. Herbert has at least 20 fantasy points in three of his four starts and has looked the part of a viable fantasy quarterback at nearly every turn so far. He’s athletic enough to earn some fantasy points with his wheels as well. The arrow is pointing up for this rising star.
Travis Fulgham, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (45.5): The incredible story continues for Fulgham, who piled up another six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown in Week 6, bringing his streak of games with at least 50 yards and a touchdown to three. The Eagles are woefully banged up right now and are looking for players to count on, and Fulgham has emerged as exactly that. Even when DeSean Jackson (as soon as Thursday) and Alshon Jeffery return, the Eagles must keep Fulgham in the fold. He’s earned a spot in Philly’s offense and all fantasy leagues.
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Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (10.9%): We don’t yet know the status of Miles Sanders’ ankle injury, which caused him to leave the game in Week 6, but we do know that Scott is the likeliest starter if Sanders misses any games. Scott had 11 total touches in Week 1, when Sanders was absent, and was a very useful player for the Eagles down the stretch in 2019. It’s a depleted offensive line he would be running behind, but volume should push Scott onto the radar in the event that Sanders is out.
Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (43.8%): While A.J. Green in Week 6 looked the best he has in any game this season, it did not come at the cost of Higgins’ rise. The 33rd overall pick in this year’s draft had 125 receiving yards for his fourth straight fantastic game, looking very much the part of a long-term fixture in the Bengals’ offense. Chase the upside here in fantasy too, as he’s going to have plenty of huge days in this pass-heavy offense.
Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins (40.9%): It’s unclear how severe the groin injury is that caused DeVante Parker to leave the Dolphins’ Week 6 win early, but Williams is the Dolphins wideout best equipped to step into a larger role if Parker is forced to miss time. While Williams has been held to two or fewer catches in every game but one so far this season, it’s important to note that he is coming off a torn ACL and still working his way back to where he was last season. He also has a touchdown in three of his past four games.
J.D. McKissic, RB, Washington Football Team (22.7%): With at least six catches and 40 yards in three straight games, McKissic has carved out a role that at least merits some consideration in deeper leagues. We’re going to soon enter weeks with even more fantasy-relevant running backs on a bye, so you’ll be tapping into your bench depth soon enough. McKissic has been a hybrid running back and wide receiver in his career, so his aptitude in the passing game should come as no surprise.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (24.1%): As the Eagles’ injuries mount, Goedert could provide a beacon of hope, as he is now eligible to return from injured reserve after missing three games due to a broken thumb. He was exceptional this season before the injury and should provide a much-needed boost to the Eagles’ passing game. For those still seeking a starter at tight end, Goedert is an option.
La’Mical Perine, RB, New York Jets (11.9%): It came as no surprise that the Jets got Perine more involved following the release of Le’Veon Bell, though he’s still very much in a timeshare that prominently involves Frank Gore. So I’m not advocating adding Perine as a player you can use imminently, as Gore will stay involved and this Jets’ offense — to put it mildly — stinks. But running back depth is nearly impossible to find, so stash Perine on your bench if you have the room and hope that he becomes a workhorse at some point for the Jets.
Keelan Cole Sr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (14.3%): Cole fits into one of those sweet spots in fantasy football that is hard to size up. The good news is that he has at least five targets in every game and now has 10-plus points in four of six games. Yet he’s also likely to be the third-ranked wideout on his own team most weeks behind DJ Chark Jr. and Laviska Shenualt Jr. Nonetheless, the numbers tell a story that puts him on the radar as an add in leagues with at least 12 teams for bench depth and potential flex usage as bye weeks continue to pile up.
Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos (18.2%): A nice story in development in Denver, as Patrick has blossomed with the Broncos after originally entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and being waived by two separate teams. He now has three straight double-digit fantasy games, with 100-plus receiving yards in consecutive weeks. Jerry Jeudy has the goods to be an elite vertical receiver in the NFL, but Patrick will help the Broncos in that regard too. He is a player to stash in deeper leagues as well.
Trey Burton, TE, Indianapolis Colts (5.2%): Here’s a name to keep an eye on if you are on the hunt for a fill-in tight end, as Burton now has at least five targets in each of the three games he has played since being activated off injured reserve. Mo Alie-Cox missed Week 6, and Jack Doyle has been quiet for much of this season, while Burton offers the Colts their best athletic playmaker at the position — to that point, Burton scored a rushing touchdown in Week 6. He is a fill-in player to consider.
Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens (1.4%): We’re monitoring an ankle injury that limited Mark Ingram in Week 6, with an eye on Edwards and J.K. Dobbins in the Ravens’ backfield. Edwards had 14 carries for 26 yards and a touchdown on Sunday and is a player the Ravens have long valued as a north-south toter of the rock. If Ingram is out for Week 8, after the Week 7 bye — that might be unlikely — Edwards would make his way onto the flex radar for deeper leagues with non-PPR scoring, as he’s virtually a zero in the passing game.
Darren Fells, TE, Houston Texans (2.8%): Tight end is the toughest position in fantasy football to find consistency, but if you’re going to roll the dice with a fill-in, finding one who is a red zone threat for an offense led by one of the best players in football is a reasonable hedge. Fells has three touchdowns already this season, and he had seven in 2019 — Deshaun Watson uses Fells’ massive frame to the Texans’ advantage. Houston has been hot on offense and will need to stay that way. The team has allowed at least 28 points in five of six games this season. That helps Fells’ outlook.
Anthony Firkser, TE, Tennessee Titans (0.1%): As we monitor the news surrounding Jonnu Smith, who left Sunday’s win with an ankle injury, our best option to replace him could be in-house, as Firkser had a huge day in Week 6 with eight catches and a touchdown. He’s playing in an offense quarterbacked by one of the hottest players in football, as Ryan Tannehill continues to scorch defenses this season. The Titans have scored at least 30 points in four straight games, and with the way they are throwing the ball, Firkser at least has a shot at making noise if he is needed to step into a starting role.