Best Fantasy Week 7 Waiver Pickups: Injuries to James Conner, Will Dissly, Amari Cooper force fantasy owners to dig deep for backups
Last week’s waiver wire looked rough after Sunday, but top players Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, David Johnson, Evan Engram, Goerge Kittle, and Marquise Brown wound up being questionable or out, prompting some last-minute trips to the wire for free agent adds. Our top Week 7 fantasy waiver wire pickups after Sunday look to be similar, as there aren’t any obvious starters for next week among them. Even the big injuries (Amari Cooper, Will Dissly) don’t lend themselves to obvious replacements. ( Update: James Conner’s quad injury on Sunday night gives obvious value to Benny Tate if Conner were to miss time.) There will likely be more worthwhile pickups as the week goes on, but any real value will need to come from late-week injuries or breakouts in the prime-time games.
Our full free agent list is actually more beneficial than what we have listed below, as there are several matchup-based streamers at QB, TE, and D/ST for Week 7, plus some WR3 fliers (Jamison Crowder, Dante Pettis) and an RB worth a look (Mark Walton) You can find the potential D/ST streamers at the end of this list. Joey Slye replacements can be found by consulting our Week 7 kicker rankings (though no one can replace Joey Slye in our hearts).
Barring any big developments before Wednesday, it doesn’t look like it’s worth using a waiver claim this week. Even if you lost Dissly, you can probably find a decent fill-in as a free agent. We’ve been saying this for a while, and technically it came to fruition with Gurley’s deactivation, but the big RB injuries are coming. You’ll want your high waiver claim for those weeks. ( Update: Conner’s injury would qualify as a “big” RB injury, but with the Steelers on bye in Week 7, it’s unclear if Snell is worth a waiver claim. Also, after Jamaal Williams’s performance on Monday Night Football, he also looks like he warrants a relatively high claim.)
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Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 7
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Benny Snell, RB, Steelers. Snell ran 17 times for 75 yards on Sunday night, operating mostly as Pittsburgh’s No. 2 back until James Conner exited late in the third quarter because of a quad injury. Snell showed his obvious value if he were to start, but with Pittsburgh on bye next week, fantasy owners won’t know how serious Conner’s injury is when making pickups this week. At this point, it seems more likely than not Conner will be fine for Week 8 against Miami, but Snell is at least worth a free agent add as a handcuff/lotto ticket.
Darren Fells, TE, Texans. Fells scored twice in Week 5, but he only received two targets. This week, he actually got volume (seven targets) en route to a solid six catches and 69 yards. With the TE position already thin and getting thinner with no Will Dissly (Achilles’), Greg Olsen (bye), O.J. Howard (bye), and Vance McDonald (bye) next week, someone like Fells might be needed. Fortunately, he has a favorable matchup against a Colts defense allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to TEs.
Auden Tate, WR, Bengals. We keep telling you to grab Tate, but only 23 percent of you in Yahoo leagues have done so. Tate grabbed another five passes for 91 yards on Sunday and remains a productive No. 2 WR for the Bengals — and, really, based on the numbers, he’s closer to the WR1. He had a team-high 12 and has received six targets or more in each of the last two weeks (including two double-digit target games). The 6-5 receiver made three extremely difficult catches Sunday, outplayed Tyler Boyd (3-10 on seven targets), and has obviously gained the trust of Andy Dalton. John Ross and A.J. Green are still slated to miss more time, so grab Tate now.
Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals. Edmonds should have been a top pickup last week, but with David Johnson (back) expected to be active most of the week, fantasy owners didn’t feel the need to grab his backup. Edmonds once again saw legit playing time in (seven touches) and produced in Week 7, totaling 67 yards and scoring for a second straight week. It’s clear that the Cardinals will use him more regularly to keep Johnson fresh, and Edmonds is showing he can pay off. He’ll likely be a bit boom-or-bust for fantasy purposes, but with heavier byes coming up and Johnson a constant injury worry, Edmonds should be owned in most leagues.
DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Broncos. Hamilton took over the majority of snaps over once Emmanuel Sanders exited because of a knee injury. He didn’t do much (two targets, two receptions, 25 yards), but it’s worth looking at how he performed down the stretch last season once Sanders was out. Hamilton averaged 9.5 targets, 6.3 catches, and 45.5 yards with two total TDs in Denver’s final four games. Obviously, the Broncos offense isn’t the best for fantasy-worthy receivers — and Courtland Sutton will continue to get his — but Hamilton is an interesting PPR add if Sanders remains out. Considering Denver plays on Thursday, it could be tough for Sanders to be ready, and considering it’s playing the Chiefs, it might be forced to pass a lot.
For more waiver wire/free agent pickup suggestions, including WR fliers and D/ST streamers, check out our full Week 7 list .