Alfred Morris fantasy football owners needed a break after the San Francisco 49ers didn’t do anything last Monday despite every sign prior to Week 6 pointing to him having a robust day against the Green Bay Packers. That’s a brutal lesson in the highs and lows of being a fantasy football manager and banking on waiver wire pickups.
Let’s try our luck again this week with the help of some players we should be adding from the waiver wire.
10. Jermaine Kearse – New York Jets WR (9.2% owned in ESPN)
The Jets have already ruled out wide receiver Quincy Enunwa for their Week 7 matchup with the Minnesota Viking because of an ankle injury he sustained last Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. In fantasy football verbiage, that means Kearse is slated to see more snaps and targets than usual.
Kearse already saw a glimpse of how large of a role he’ll have in the passing attack minus Enunwa, as he had a season-high 59 snaps in the Colts game, thanks in large part to Enunwa’s premature exit from the contest.
9. Eli Manning – New York Giants QB (11.1% owned in ESPN)
Do not look at me like that, as though I just punted your dog into the river. And yeah, I also heard some gasping in the room. To the others, drop those knives. Everyone, hear me out first.
Adding Manning is mostly a reasonable option for folks who have quarterbacks on byes in Week 7. Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Russell Wilson are all out this week together with Derek Carr, who’s also a drop candidate, so owners of these quarterbacks must be streaming for an option.
Manning is bad. He’s been catastrophic, but so is the Falcons’ defense. In fact, Atlanta is allowing the second-most points to opponents this season and is also surrendering the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in standard scoring leagues.
As ugly as he’s been under center for the most part of the ongoing season, Manning can reward fantasy football managers bold enough to take him.
8. Albert Wilson – Miami Dolphins WR (16.9% owned in ESPN)
Wilson helped unleash Brocktober in Miami last week, as he was among the key figures in quarterback Brock Osweiler’s surprising performance against the Chicago Bears of all teams.
Wilson turned six receptions into 155 receiving yards and two touchdowns. That’s only the second time Wilson caught more than at least 70 yards this season, but the opportunity has always been there for him, as evidenced by his team-leading 36 targets.
With his apparent rapport with Osweiler, who’ll start again in lieu of the injured Ryan Tannehill, Wilson’s fantasy prospects are looking good ahead of Week 7’s showdown with the Detroit Lions at home.
7. Chester Rogers – Indianapolis Colts WR (14.1% owned in ESPN)
T.Y. Hilton is reportedly practicing in full this week, which is a good sign that he’s finally ready to suit up after missing the Colts’ last two games. This might not sound too well for Rogers’ potential going forward, but Andrew Luck isn’t probably just going to let him slide out of the picture in the Colts’ passing attack after the third-year receiver got double-digit targets in each of the last three weeks.
Rogers is also riding on some form of momentum following the Week 6 date with the Jets in which he corralled his first touchdown of the season to go with 55 yards on four receptions.
6.Willie Snead – Baltimore Ravens WR (14.6% owned in ESPN)
Outside of Michael Crabtree, the top wide receiver to get from Baltimore is John Brown, but those who missed on grabbing Brown off the waivers can turn their attention to Snead. The fourth-year pro out of Ball State has even silently out-snapped Brown in each of the last two weeks, including in this past Sunday’s 21-0 thrashing of the Tennessee Titans.
Against the Titans, Snead led the team with 10 targets and caught seven of them for 60 receiving yards. With the incredibly flimsy defense of New Orleans up ahead for the Ravens, Joe Flacco and the rest of the Ravens’ passing attack could have chicken barbecue all day long through the air at M&T Bank Stadium this coming Sunday. The Saints are giving up the most standard fantasy points to opposing wide receivers through the first six weeks of the season.
5. Cole Beasley – Dallas Cowboys WR (14.7% owned in ESPN)
The Cowboys’ passing game isn’t sexy, but in Dallas’ Week 6 40-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at home, wide receiver Cole Beasley looked like a Vogue cover model, so to speak.
Opposite the vaunted defense of the Jags, Beasley exploded for 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns while inhaling nine of 11 targets. Maybe the Jaguars let Beasley off the hook a little bit to focus on stopping Ezekiel Elliott and the other more athletic Cowboys receivers, but that does not change the fact that the seven-year veteran is leading the team with 36 targets and 26 receptions this season.
Those in PPR leagues should feel more confident in adding him to their rosters.
4. Frank Gore – Miami Dolphins RB (17.6% owned in ESPN)
Gore will still be playing running back long after the last son of Antonio Cromartie is done playing football. The ageless backfield wonder did it again in Week 7, as he rushed for 101 yards on 15 carries for a fantastic 6.7 rushing yards average per touch.
Although the Dolphins have a fresher pair of legs in Kenyan Drake, Gore is making it hard for Miami to ignore him. For those looking for running back depth or someone to fill a Week 7 flex spot, Gore isn’t a bad idea, especially when considering that Miami is about to face Detroit’s stop unit that’s giving up the third most rushing yards per game.
3. Ito Smith – Atlanta Falcons RB (32.0% owned in ESPN)
The news Devonta Freeman owners feared the most finally arrived: Freeman has been put by the Falcons on the injured reserve. However, it’s the same news that’s making Ito Smith owners pop bottles of champagnes.
With Freeman out for the foreseeable future, the red carpet is now completely rolled out for Smith to continue what he’s been doing over the last three weeks. Smith is on a three-game rushing touchdown streak. He’s also been a red zone vulture for the Falcons, as he is currently leading the team in red zone rushing attempts and touchdowns with 14 and three, respectively.
Those numbers blow Tevin Coleman’s seven rushing attempts and one touchdown in the red zone out of the water. It’s better to get Smith now than regret not doing so later.
2. Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR (42.8% owned in ESPN)
Godwin was a hot fantasy football add earlier this season back when Ryan Fitzgerald was still on top of the world. Fast forward to today, Godwin continues to demand attention.
Last week, he was tied with DeSean Jackson for most targets among Bucs wide receivers with nine against the Falcons, finishing the game with four catches, 56 receiving yards, and a touchdown. Granted that he collected those numbers against Atlanta’s wet paper bag pass defense, he’s not going to have much of a problem securing a significant role on Tampa Bay’s offense, especially with the softer coverages he’s enjoying thanks to the existence of teammate Mike Evans.
That’s a trend that hasn’t changed much this season and shouldn’t for weeks to come.
1. Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts RB (44.3% owned in ESPN)
It’s the return of the Mack –Marlon Mack that is. After missing Weeks 3-5 due to a hamstring injury, Mack reported back to work last Sunday and put on a large neon sign pleading for fantasy owners to get him.
Against the Jets, Mack rushed for 89 rushing yards on 12 carries. He probably battled some rust following a long layoff, but he should only get better. Generally viewed as the best running back on a Colts team, albeit one that’s last in the league in rushing play percentage, Mack’s upside is enticing enough for owners to not let him float around the waivers.