Week 7 waiver wire targets for standard scoring fantasy football leagues.
New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues)
David Wilson got good news on Monday in Los Angeles, hearing that he should not undergo surgery. His neck injury is not considered serious, but the Giants will hold the young back out of the lineup as a precaution. The Giants have two games before their week nine bye, and Brandon Jacobs could have a chance for plenty of carries. He’s coming off a game with 22 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Don’t let your expectations soar for the 6-foot-4, 264-pound big guy; there’s a reason he touched the ball five total times in 2012, and was out of the NFL for several months. That said, the 31-year-old has likely earned a couple more starts if he can stay healthy.
Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles (owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Nick Foles has now thrown a pass in four games this year, having started one last week. He has drastically improved his numbers from 2012, when he completed only 60.8 percent of his passes for a 6-to-5 touchdown to interception ratio. In his week six start, Foles completed 71 percent of his passes for 296 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for another score, dispelling the theory that he is ill-fit for the Chip Kelly system. The head coach publicly admitted that Foles could earn the starting job with strong play. Foles will get his second start of the year against Dallas on Sunday night.
Buffalo quarterback Thaddeus Lewis (owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Following E.J. Manuel’s injury in week five, Thaddeus Lewis impressed his coaches enough during the week to usurp the starting job from backup Jeff Tuel. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said he was “blown away when [he] first started talking to him.” The former Duke quarterback threw more than 10,000 yards in college, and lit up the scoreboard in his second NFL start Sunday. Lewis passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, and didn’t throw an interception. The Bills nearly upset the Bengals and their ninth-ranked pass defense, after Lewis led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, including one in the final two minutes. Doug Marrone expects him to start again Sunday.
Dallas running back Joseph Randle (owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Joseph Randle is hardly an electric running back. DeMarco Murray left Sunday’s game early with a knee injury, and Randle ran 11 times for only 17 yards (1.5 yards per carry) and a touchdown. Lance Dunbar has spent some time listed as second on the depth chart, but is currently nursing a pulled hamstring. The Cowboys should be worried about the bevy of players affected by upper leg muscle strains. Miles Austin, DeMarcus Ware and Lance Dunbar are the three biggest names on the list. The defense took a toll against the Redskins week six, so Tony Romo may not have the luxury to hand off as much as he may like. Randle has little upside, but is a nominal starter for week seven.
Arizona running back Andre Ellington (owned in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Andre Ellington is a rookie who has never exceeded seven carries in a game. But his efficiency with those few touches has increased his popularity among fantasy owners. Although he isn’t getting the ball often, he’s rushing for 7.0 yards per carry. He also has 18 catches for 180 yards and two total touchdowns. Mendenhall is still the starter though, having received more carries in every single game this season. This is not a changing of the guard, at least not yet. Mendenhall is rushing for only 3.3 yards per attempt on the season, so owners who can afford a more long-term outlook may want to consider the younger back.
Detroit tight end Joseph Fauria (owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Since week one, Joseph Fauria has caught exactly four passes for exactly four touchdowns. That’s a stat line that might lead one to think they are reading about a resurgent Mike Vrabel. Numbers that silly are usually reserved for gimmick players, like lineman-turned-eligible receivers. But Fauria is a 6-foot-7 rookie tight end from UCLA who now has seven total receptions for five touchdowns. They’re not all red zone scores, either. Fauria’s five touchdowns have come from one, three, one, 23, and 10 yards out. Is this the next oversized tight end success story? Rob Gronkowski is 6-foot-6, and Jimmy Graham is 6-foot-7. But rookie Zach Sudfeld from Nevada is 6-foot-7 and has yet to earn a single target in the four games he has played. New England even waived him. Size isn’t everything, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
Dallas wide receiver Dwayne Harris (owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Dwayne Harris is a third year player from East Carolina. He entered the year with 17 career catches, all coming last year, for 222 yards and a touchdown. In 2012, he returned 22 punts for an average of 16.1 yards, with one for a touchdown. He also returned 11 kickoffs for 19.1 yards per return. This year, he has caught six passes on nine targets, for 66 yards and a score. But the real story is what he did at home on Sunday night against the Redskins. In the second quarter, Harris ran back a punt return 86 yards for a touchdown. The next time he touched the ball came in the third quarter, just seven minutes and 37 seconds later. From five yards deep in the end zone, Harris returned a kickoff 90 yards to the Washington 15-yard line. If your league rewards return yardage, he is definitely worth a look. If not, Harris may still earn playing time with a disappointing Miles Austin eating up snaps. Head coach Jason Garrett admitted this week that Austin was disappointing on Sunday night. Just as Austin did to Roy E. Williams, and Wally Pipp to Lou Gehrig, there may be a youth movement taking charge in Dallas.
San Diego Wide Receiver Keenan Allen (Owned in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Philip Rivers is having a comeback year, completing 72.6 percent of his passes for an average of 307.8 yards, 2.3 touchdowns and 0.8 interceptions per game. In the last two weeks, Keenan Allen has had 27 targets for 20 receptions, 302 yards and two touchdowns. The 6-foot-2 rookie from Cal was taken in the third round last April. Rivers is short on targets this year, with injuries to Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd. Rookie receivers rarely record impressive numbers, but Allen could have some modest flex appeal for owners in need of spot starts. Vincent Brown hasn’t done much to date (averaging 4 catches for 39.8 yards), and Antonio Gates is inconsistent (ranging from two to 10 catches per game). It’s not easy to say which direction this Chargers offense is heading.
Free agent running back Peyton Hillis (owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Peyton Hillis is not yet on an NFL roster, but keep your eyes peeled. The word “yet” was used because on Monday, it was reported that Hillis was going to work out with the New York Giants. The G-Men released Da’Rel Scott (again) this week, and will need help until David Wilson returns in 2-3 weeks. Jacobs and Hillis are alike in their lack of upside. But with the aging Jacobs battling a pulled hamstring, the window of opportunity is open, for a couple of weeks anyway.
Stats and data courtesy of pro-football-reference.com.