Free-agent recommendations refer to 12-team leagues, unless specifically stated otherwise. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.
Bye weeks: Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy football waiver wire targets
1-week plug & play
Kyle Allen, Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys
This one is going out on a limb of sorts, because Allen doesn’t have a great deal of weapons at his disposal, yet he was able to make enough noise in his first full start with Washington to warrant consideration. Wideout Terry McLaurin, RB J.D. McKissic and unheralded tight end Logan Thomas may be just enough to once again make the former Carolina Panther quarterback relevant in a week with four byes. Allen knows this system better than any of the QBs on the roster, and he was good for 280 yards with a pair of scores in Week 6. That said, a pair of turnovers were in tow — something gamers must be willing to accept. In an ideal world, he’s utilized only as a second QB in leagues that allow/require such or as a DFS flier in quaint competitions. Dallas has given up an average of 250 yards and 2.2 TD passes a game entering Monday Night Football, contributing to 22.3 fantasy points allowed, on average.
Priority Free Agent
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team
McKissic was featured here last week as a short-term option. He authored his third consecutive line of double-digit PPR points in Week 6 and deserves universal ownership in leagues that reward receptions. The Washington offense lacks weapons in the aerial attack, and the short-area passing game has become an extension of a pedestrian running game. The quarterback hasn’t mattered so much, and McKissic has a role in an offense that should remain secure, so long as he is healthy. He has seen 22 targets over the past three games, resulting in rock-steady returns of at least six catches and 40 yards.
1-week plug & play/grab & stash
Boston Scott and Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Miles Sanders (knee) left vs. Baltimore with a knee injury and did not return. He’ll miss a week or two (likely two, since Philly goes on bye in Week 9). Scott and Clement will split the workload, with the former being more likely to handle the pass-catching chores. Scott is a slightly stronger add, and Clement can be considered a consolation, but he’s probably a hair better of a gamble for a cheap touchdown.
Availability: 50% (Scott); 91% (Clement)
FAAB: $1-3 for both
grab & stash
Jeremy McNichols, Tennessee Titans
Short and sweet: With rookie Darrynton Evans (hamstring) on IR, McNichols is the immediate handcuff to Derrick Henry. If buying insurance on the cheap is your thing, consider McNichols as a stash option.
Priority Free Agent
Travis Fulgham, Philadelphia Eagles
Reminder from last week … check your wire for Fulgham. He has scored in three straight games and is a must-own as long as the Eagles remain decimated at wide receiver. Compounding the injury woes, RB Miles Sanders (knee) and TE Zach Ertz (ankle) left prematurely in Week 6 and will miss Week 7 on Thursday.
grab & stash
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
While calling him a “priority” free agent may be a little bit of a stretch, Shepard is poised to return from IR this week, after being near a comeback in Week 6, and belongs on rosters. The Giants desperately need him, and there is a pretty good chance fantasy teams do, too, given all of the injuries and bye weeks. Philadelphia is the Week 7 opponent, making Shepard a possible play, but he’s best left in reserve.
Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans
After a brief stay on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer returned to the field to enjoy his best fantasy showing of 2020. In four outings, Humphries has been targeted at least six times in each of those contests, scoring twice along the way. The Titans should get back the services of WR Corey Davis (COVID-19) this week, but Davis being available hasn’t impeded Humphries from posting at least 8.1 PPR points in all four of his games played. Pittsburgh makes for a dicey opponent, but bye weeks could force gamers to play the slot receiver. Afterward, Cincinnati, Chicago, Indy and Baltimore … probably a short stay on rosters, but he has utility in a pinch as long as four-team bye weeks are an issue.
1-Week Plug & Play
James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
This one is largely contingent upon what happens with the availability of WR Diontae Johnson (back). He missed this past week and almost all of Week 5 after taking a helmet to the back. Chase Claypool has stepped up, but so has Washington, just to much less fanfare. He has seen 11 targets in those games, including seven against the Cleveland Browns, resulting in a line of 4-68-1. Tennessee has struggled mightily vs. receivers in PPR, and Washington will have utility in the WR3 territory if Johnson has to sit once more.
1-Week Plug & Play
Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles
Seeing a trend here? Philly is so battered across the board that three different positions worth of Eagles have made the cut this week. Rodgers will be the next in line to see meaningful work at tight end with Zach Ertz (ankle) unable to play for up to a month. Dallas Goedert (fractured ankle) is eligible to return from the Reserve/Injured list in Week 7, but it seems awfully optimistic. He may be held out through the Week 9 bye. Monitor Goedert the coming days, but consider Rodgers a viable TE1 or flex fill-in option with four teams on a bye and numerous injuries.
Anthony Firkser, Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
Firkser should be an immediate acquisition, despite having a statistically difficult matchup in Week 7, if tight end Jonnu Smith (ankle) is unable to play. Pittsburgh lost linebacker Devin Bush (knee) for the season in Week 6, and there could be an exploitable coverage transition for Firkser. The tight end position is a frequent contributor to this offense, and gamers should keep tabs on Smith’s status. Barring news of an obvious long-term issue for Smith, the protocol should be to cautiously invest in his backup with the expectation it likely won’t last more than a game. The FAAB recommendation below is with the idea Smith is back after Week 7.
Darren Fells, Houston Texans vs. Green Bay Packers
It was an ankle and residual concussion that kept tight end Jordan Akins out of Week 6, helping create a sly play out of Fells vs. the Titans. Green Bay struggled to contain Rob Gronkowski in Week 6 following four games of being stout against the position. This one really could go either way, but if you’re in a desperate situation, Fells is always a fine gamble for a cheap touchdown. Should Green Bay be able to get their offensive struggles of Week 6 sorted out and force Houston in a pass-heavy script, Fells’ role could be similar to his uncharacteristic seven-look Week 6 showing. Pay attention to Akins’ status, however.
1-Week Plug & Play
Sam Sloman, Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears
Update: LA activated Kai Forbath to the active roster Tuesday. Either player is a viable option, but the move shows the coaching staff clearly has Sloman on a short leash.
The rookie had posted at least five fantasy points in every game leading up to scoring four vs. San Fran, but he also has missed two field goals and as many point-after attempts. The Rams have afforded him at least one field goal attempt in each game, and Sloman has a date with a Chicago unit that has given up a hearty 18 three-point tries in 2020.
Cairo Santos, Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams
Chicago’s offense is not as explosive as it could be, leading the way to Santos seeing no more three PATs in any contest this year. He has kicked two or more field goals in 50 percent of the games, but the last two weeks have seen him boot five of his 10 total tries. More importantly, he hasn’t missed since Week 3. Los Angeles has permitted eight of only nine field goal attempts to clear in 2020, but these teams match up in a way that favors a low-scoring, field goal-drive effort by Chicago. There are worse fantasy fill-ins for Week 7 bye weeks.
1-week plug & play
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
LA comes back from its bye week to face a Jaguars offense that has struggled of late. From Weeks 1-5, Jacksonville permitted three or more sacks in four of those contests. Detroit managed just one sack of Gardner Minshew in Week 6, but the Jaguars turned it over twice, which has been the average number of times this team has handed it over to opposing defenses in the past three games. For its part in this equation, LA has two or more sacks in three of five appearances, but takeaways have been lacking (4 in 5 games). One of them went for a score, at least. It will require an overachieving effort by the Bolts, but there’s upside in a slate with few worthwhile one-week rental options.