Between injuries and rookies coming into their own, there are more than a few attractive options on the waiver wire this week, and plenty of good finds in deep leagues. DeMarco Murray and Julio Jones have both opened the door for waiver wire players to take over some serious volume while Calvin Johnson’s foot injury and Nate Burleson’s arm injury have allowed Kris Durham to see fantasy relevance for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, youngsters like Andre Ellington, Roy Helu, and Keenan Allen are quickly seeing increased trust from their coaches and larger weekly workloads. Let’s take a look at all of the top fantasy football deep league running back and wide receiver buys for Week 7.
Joseph Randle (4%): With DeMarco Murray out with a sprained MCL, Joseph Randle figures to be the odds-on starter for the Cowboys, at least in Week 7. Lance Dunbar is probably the safer choice but, he too, is out with a hammy injury. Randle came in after Murray went down on Sunday night and rushed 11 times for a mere 17 yards (including one 14 yard run) but scored a touchdown and added a couple of catches for 15 yards. He’s not a very attractive option but all starting running backs have value and Randle did put up a 5.5 YPC over his impressive career at Oklahoma State, scoring 40 touchdowns over his last two years before being drafted in the fifth-round by the ‘Boys.
Andre Ellington (36%): I have been touting Ellington in this column for as long as I can remember and he continues to impress and see an increased role. He ran seven times for 56 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the 49ers, adding five catches for 36 yards. He has now run for 50+ yards and caught 30+ yards in back-to-back weeks and owns a 7.0 YPC on the season. He’s a must-buy in more than just deep leagues and is becoming startable in all PPR leagues.
Roy Helu (18%): Helu has now had back-to-back games of relevance as well. He ran 13 times for 41 yards and a touchdown against Oakland in Week 4, adding two receptions for 43 yards. Last night against the Cowboys, Helu ran just six times but walked away with 42 yards and four receptions for 35 yards. He’s not startable just yet but he’s a good stash pick with an increasing role.
Mike Tolbert (5%): DeAngelo Williams has yet to see the endzone while Tolbert has put up three touchdowns in his last three games. He only put up 47 total yards on Sunday but scored two touchdowns and continues to be the go-to guy inside the red zone. It’s tough to start Tolbert unless you’re really desperate at running back but you can do worse that starting him in a bye week pinch or if one of your starters gets hit with an injury.
Harry Douglas (36%): The Falcons were on a bye week so we didn’t get to see how the Falcons offense looks without Julio Jones but Douglas certainly stands to be the biggest beneficiary of Julio’s foot injury. Don’t expect the same production as you would have gotten from Jones but he will certainly get plenty of looks from Matt Ryan with his top target hitting the IR.
Kris Durham (1%): Durham only has 113 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks but interestingly, got more targets on Sunday with Calvin Johnson back in the lineup than he did last week when Johnson was out. With Nate Burleson out and Ryan Broyles clearly not taking over his role, Durham and his 21 targets over the last two games make for a very solid pickup, especially since Calvin remains limited. We haven’t seen a lot of Durham over his first two seasons in the league since he had less catches combined than he does this season but the volume should be there for him to be fantasy relevant.
Keenan Allen (32%): Allen plays against the Colts tonight so we’ll keep an eye on him but it appears that he has clearly become the number one receiver in San Diego and should definitely be owned in more leagues than he’s currently owned in. He’s put up 195 yards and a touchdown over his last two weeks and continues to see an increased role in his rookie year.