At this point in the season, there’s a good chance your starting lineup looks a bit different from the one you left with on draft day. If you’re lucky, the core of your roster [from the first four rounds] is still intact, you hit on one or two upside picks, and maybe were even fortunate enough to pick up a regular producer from the free agent pool in recent weeks. Congratulations on acing the early season test, but you’re not like most teams. The reality for most squads out there is packed with a litany of injuries, inconveniently-placed bye weeks, and/or underperforming players that were initially drafted to be the foundation of your roster. The good news is that there’s still plenty of time to turn things around. Take a deep breath, focus on winning the week, and take a look at this week’s RB/WR/TE streamers if you could use a little help filling out your roster.
* Players marked with an asterisk below can also be found in the priority waiver wire adds article referenced at the end. All players below are under 65%-owned as of 10/21/20.
*Chase Edmonds (RB, Arizona Cardinals)
Before we get into discussing Chase Edmonds‘ utility, I need to drive home the priority addition of Justin Jackson if he’s available in your league (53% Yahoo, 65% ESPN). In this thin RB landscape, he has the potential to be an impact player [indefinitely, while Austin Ekeler is out] as a Flex in your lineup and takes priority over the RBs featured this week. That is all. You could find drawbacks with just about any RBs at this level. I considered “boring” veteran options like Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson here, but as game script-dependent players with rookies breathing down their necks, I’m going with the spry legs and pass-catching ability Edmonds brings to the table. The Week 7 Cardinals-Seahawks matchup figures to be a track meet, and I don’t believe Arizona will be in a position to milk the clock with Kenyan Drake the way they did last week. While he’s not seeing the volume you’d prefer out of a starter in your lineup, Edmonds has scored in three of six games this season and has been efficient with his touches, averaging 4.9 yards-per-carry and a more modest 7.1 yards-per-catch.
*J.D. McKissic (RB, Washington Football Team)
Hey, nobody said the streaming-tier of RBs would be pretty. When in doubt, follow the touches, and if you participate in a league that rewards points-per-reception, appreciate the fact that the majority of McKissic’s touches come in the passing game. His 23 receptions on the season are fifth-most among RBs and he has also been decent as a runner with 4.3 yards-per-carry on the season (27 attempts for 116 yards). The WFT is a near-lock to be in negative game scripts most weeks and has targeted the RB position more than any other team in the league, which has remained consistent regardless of who is playing QB. McKissic has yet to find paydirt so far this year (and the Cowboys have not allowed any receiving TDs to opposing RBs this season), but as a floor-play who will mix in a handful of carries and receptions, McKissic is a solid bet to keep you afloat if you’re in need of an RB this week.
Other names to consider (in order): Justin Jackson (priority add if available), Giovani Bernard (priority add if Joe Mixon is inactive Week 7), Adrian Peterson, Joshua Kelley, Damien Harris, Frank Gore, Lamical Perine, Rex Burkhead, Latavius Murray (handcuff-stash), Zack Moss (handcuff-stash), Tony Pollard (handcuff-stash)
*Tim Patrick (WR, Denver Broncos)
Similar to my preface in the RB section, I have to mention a couple of names that would take priority over this week’s featured WRs. Tee Higgins and Mike Williams are no-brainer adds unless you play in a shallow league, and it could be argued that Higgins should be rostered in all leagues. Now on to Tim Patrick, who is also a great streamer in leagues that reward bonuses for rostering players with two first names. Fantasy managers have likely been hesitant to pick up Patrick for a number of reasons: Denver’s QB play has been shaky at best, they had an unexpected bye week, and it’s much easier to fixate on higher-profile pass-catchers like Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant. At some point, we have to acknowledge that Patrick has been the Broncos’ leading receiver with 20 catches on 29 targets for 310 yards and two scores. You don’t get any points based on draft position and I think Patrick has flown under the radar for too long as he quietly continues to produce. He’s a floor-play Flex in PPR leagues against the Chiefs in Week 7.
Henry Ruggs III (WR, Las Vegas Raiders)
Now that we’ve identified Patrick (above) as a streaming option with a safe floor due to reliable volume, it’s time to get into the more volatile (some might say more “fun”), but higher-ceiling option that is Henry Ruggs III. We’ve only seen two full weeks of Ruggs thus far, so the sample is small, but the results have been mighty. With an effective rushing attack and talented pass-catchers, the Raiders offense is much more balanced than it has been in recent years, so there are plenty of options for them to go to. Although Ruggs doesn’t figure to see a lot of targets (his five in Week 1 being the highest so far), we can count on Jon Gruden to scheme up ways to get the ball in his hands. Ruggs showcased his big-play ability two weeks ago, turning just three targets into two catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. We have to consider that Ruggs is still a rookie and was out for three weeks due to injury, so it’s reasonable to expect improved health and increased involvement coming out the Week 6 bye. He remains a boom-or-bust WR3 in Week 7, but the rest-of-season upside is immense as he continues to find his place as a regular in this offense.
Other names to consider (in order): Tee Higgins (priority add), Mike Williams (priority add), Travis Fulgham, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, Laviska Shenault Jr, Keelan Cole Sr, Emmanuel Sanders, Preston Williams, Cole Beasley, Mecole Hardman, Alshon Jeffery (stash), Adam Humphries, N’Keal Harry, DeSean Jackson, Sterling Shepard (stash), Hunter Renfrow
Jimmy Graham (TE, Chicago Bears)
Graham has been a mainstay as either a featured player (Week 4) or “Other name to consider” in this article nearly all season, and it makes perfect sense why he’s remained a fringe starter. Now lacking the burst which gave him the potential to post elite yardage totals early in his career, Graham relies on touchdowns to reach top-10 finishes these days. Through six weeks, he’s averaging roughly 34 yards per game. In other words, not enough for fantasy managers to keep him rostered at all costs, but enough for teams who need a fill-in at TE to take a shot on him for his red-zone prowess. In the end, you’re counting on Graham’s high-value targets to come through for you, as he sits at the forefront of all major categories near the end zone: four catches on six targets inside the 10-yard-line (both 2nd) along with four scores inside the 20 (T-3rd).
Other names to consider (in order): Rob Gronkowski (priority add), Austin Hooper (priority add), Dalton Schultz, Dallas Goedert (IR-stash), Trey Burton (bye-stash), Greg Olsen
Accountability is everything, so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Phillip Lindsay (RB, Denver Broncos): Lindsay did not disappoint in his return to the Broncos lineup in Week 6, easing any injury concerns with a hefty workload of 23 carries for 101 yards. It remains to be seen what this backfield will look like with both Lindsay and Melvin Gordon active, but Lindsay earned the opportunity to be afforded with a near-even split moving forward and, most importantly, did not experience any known setbacks.
Damien Harris (RB, New England Patriots): In what turned out to be a surprising negative game script, Harris did not see the volume necessary to move the needle for fantasy managers who took a shot on him last week. Although he led the Patriots backfield in carries (six for 19 yards), it was Cam Newton (10 carries for 76 yards) who led the rushing attack. I still believe in the talent, but New England’s backfield remains a game of musical chairs.
Mecole Hardman (WR, Kansas City Chiefs): We could blame Hardman’s goose egg on the wet conditions or the fact that the Chiefs ran the ball with ease and didn’t “need” to pass, but the bottom line is that this was a disappointing performance from a player many expected to thrive in the absence of Sammy Watkins. Unfortunately, we can’t simply write this off as a “down game,” as Demarcus Robinson was the primary beneficiary without Watkins instead of Hardman.
Brandin Cooks (WR, Houston Texans): Most of the time that Cooks has positive results, it’s due to a few big plays that he hits on to boost his numbers. He got it done in a different way than we’re used to in Week 6, as he hauled in all nine of his targets for 68 yards and a score. Continue to roll with Cooks as a Flex with WR2 upside if this target volume sustains.
Austin Hooper (TE, Cleveland Browns): Although he failed to find the end zone in Week 6, Hooper showed his ability to remain effective with five catches on six targets for 52 yards. The TE position is a bit of a minefield, so fantasy managers will gladly take the targets and yardage floor Hooper provides on a weekly basis.
Make sure to check out Myles Nelson’s priority waiver wire adds article every Tuesday for more insights on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday. Good luck in Week 7!
(Photo by MSA/Icon Sportswire)