Chances are if you’re reading this, you got unlucky with an injury in last week’s matchup or you need to find a replacement for players on bye (BUF, PIT, MIN, LAC, JAX, DAL). There have been plenty of injuries that have plagued the league in six weeks of action, with top-tier fantasy players out for extended periods of time or were unable to suit up Sunday morning, leaving you scrambling for a plug-in starter. This is why you will need to work the fantasy football waiver wire to grab high-upside players to help fill these empty spots and reduce the Sunday morning pre-kickoff panic.
It’s only been six games, so you can still stash those late-round flyers you’re attached to and think could boom moving forward in the season especially with multiple names added to the injury report this week. But if you need an immediate upgrade now, here are some Week 7 fantasy football waiver wire pickups that could help move your team in the right direction.
Players must be owned in less than 60 percent of ESPN leagues to be included in the Week 7 fantasy football waiver wire pickups column. All ownerships for waiver wire players will be provided and will reflect that of Monday evening.
QB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Carson Wentz | Indianapolis Colts (18.1%)
Carson Wentz has been pretty consistent for only 18 percent ownership, throwing two touchdowns in all but two games so far this season. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points in all but one game and doesn’t have his bye week until Week 14. If you’re looking for a safe and consistent option, Wentz is solid. After this week against SF, the Colts face some poor defenses in TEN, NYJ and JAX, which could bode well for Wentz and his fantasy upside. It’s nice to not have to worry about plugging in different quarterbacks every week, and you could very easily start Wentz the next three weeks, following the 49ers game, and feel comfortable.
Matt Ryan | Atlanta Falcons (29.1%)
Matt Ryan and the entire Atlants Falcons team started off slow in the beginning of the season. Ryan has at least sped up a little bit, with Cordarelle Patterson adding a new dynamic to the offense, throwing six touchdowns in the past two games. He’s surpassed 20 fantasy points as well and is coming off a bye week so, hopefully, he has his targets Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage back in action. Atlanta’s defense isn’t good, which means the offense will have to throw more often than not, so Ryan’s fantasy upside will likely be very solid moving forward into the season.
Jameis Winston | New Orleans Saints (22.8%)
After posting an impressive five-touchdown game in Week 1, Jameis Winston slowed down and looked like his normal self. But in Week 5, he posted 25.76 fantasy points against Washington then had his bye week. New Orleans faces SEA, TB, ATL and TEN in its next four games, which are all considerable matchups for Winston to continue posting 20+ fantasy point performances. He’s usually a pretty inconsistent option in fantasy football, but considering his bye week is out of the way and he’s rostered in less than 22 percent of leagues, he can’t be that bad as a backup or plug-in starter on your fantasy team.
RB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
D’Ernest Johnson | Cleveland Browns (1.4%)
With Kareem Hunt out for at least a few weeks with a calf injury, D’Ernest Johnson could see a lot more reps out of the backfield. Obviously, Nick Chubb still exists but he is truly questionable for Thursday’s game. Either way, Johnson is much more of a fantasy option than rookie Demetric Felton, considering he has only taken two snaps out of the backfield and only a few from the slot. If Chubb misses extended time and his injury status is still up in the air for Thursday night, Johnson will get plenty of work on one of the best running offenses in the league.
Alex Collins | Seattle Seahawks (50.5%)
With Chris Carson placed on IR, Alex Collins has emerged as a dependable fantasy option, posting his first 100-yard performance last week against Pittsburgh. It looks like Collins was banged up a bit after logging 20 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown against the tough Steelers defensive line, but it doesn’t seem to be serious. His biggest threat is Rashaad Penny returning from injury. Still, Collins has earned touches no matter who is healthy for this team.
J.D. McKissic | Washington Football Team (46.2%)
J.D. McKissic brings virtually nothing to the table in the running game, logging only 25 carries all season, but he’s a serious threat in the passing game. It seems that Antonio Gibson has been questionable nearly all season long, which could increase McKissic’s role moving forward if he were to miss time. Washington used to thrive when their defense was tough and stingy, but now, the defense doesn’t play as well, which means the offense needs to throw more often. More passing downs simply equals more snaps for McKissic because he is essentially a wide receiver with a running back tag. The upside is seriously there and it’d be stupid not to look at him on the fantasy football waiver wire this week.
WR Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Darnell Mooney | Chicago Bears (45.8%)
Darnell Mooney has seen plenty of targets all season long, but his fantasy production hasn’t been appealing. However, once Justin Fields adjusts more and becomes comfortable, Mooney’s value could explode. Allen Robinson has done essentially nothing this season but still draws more than one defender per play, leaving Mooney open more often than not. I know it’s hard to trust Bears players in fantasy, but Mooney’s upside is very high moving forward with the number of targets he sees consistently.
Rashod Bateman | Baltimore Ravens (14.6%)
Rashod Bateman finally made his NFL debut last week, catching 4-of-6 targets for 29 yards. That isn’t a promising stat line, but it was his first game as a rookie and the Ravens’ offense looks nearly unstoppable these last few weeks. Lamar Jackson seems more comfortable with throwing the ball this season rather than depending on his legs, and Bateman is just another target for him to find and gain chemistry with. Considering he’s owned in less than 14 percent of leagues and he made his NFL debut five weeks in, it’d be wise to monitor his role before plugging him in the lineup, but his upside is very high.
T.Y. Hilton | Indianapolis Colts (23.8%)
The Indianapolis Colts were really lacking their veteran presence in the wide receiver room, but T.Y. Hilton finally returned to the lineup and caught all four of his targets for 80 yards. However, he left the game early with yet another injury. Hilton has been injury-prone, but when he plays, he makes a serious fantasy impact because of his deep-threat and big-play abilities. The injury isn’t expected to keep Hilton out, so he should operate as a go-to target for Wentz again this week.
TE Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Zach Ertz | Arizona Cardinals (48.3%)
Zach Ertz was recently traded to the Arizona Cardinals, a more high-powered offense than his previous team. The Cardinals are pretty set at nearly every other skill position besides tight end, and Ertz fought for targets with Dallas Goedert in Philadelphia, so he should be able to return to Pro Bowl form, hopefully. He should still be considered a main target in Arizona behind DeAndre Hopkins. Grab him before it’s too late, because he could turn into a fantasy monster.
Ricky Seals-Jones | Washington Football Team (20.0%)
It’s pretty clear the Washington offensive game plan is to target the tight end, whether it’s Logan Thomas or not. Ricky Seals-Jones has seen 15 targets over the past two games as a starter and posted an impressive 15.8 fantasy points last week against Kansas City. Once Thomas returns to the lineup, Seals-Jones will obviously fall back down the depth chart, but it’s hard to ignore his fantasy upside right now. I’d grab him for a solid option at a position that is tough to find on the fantasy football waiver wire.