We have now made it through seven weeks of fantasy football. Hopefully, your team is doing well as it’s been a challenge with all the uniqueness this season has brought. If not, that’s okay as each new week brings a new opportunity to “go fish” in the waiver wire pool. Here are this week’s free agent pick up suggestions.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (29% owned)
Fantasy owners are already thinking ahead as the stash of Tua began last week because he’s already owned in 29% of leagues. This is a pure dice roll on this young playmaking quarterback as owners are likely to sit back and watch what the rookie can do when he makes his first start against the Rams this Sunday. It’s still surprising that the Dolphins moved away from Ryan Fitzpatrick after two consecutive games with three touchdowns, but if Tua can keep this offense humming, he could have just as much fantasy goodness as Fitzmagic did.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (33% owned)
If you are a former Mayfield owner, you are probably sick to your stomach. After a 119-yard, two-interception performance in Week 6, there’s a chance he got his walking papers as he hadn’t had a single top 15 QB finish all season. But as soon as he gets the boot, what does he do? He puts together a five-touchdown performance in that wild Ohio shootout against the Bengals. While it’s not enough to earn back the trust of fantasy owners, it’s still worth keeping an eye on just in case he’s turned a corner as he has some fantasy friendly matchups coming up soon.
JaMycal Hasty, San Francisco 49ers (21% owned)
It feels like every week we have a different 49ers running back to throw at you, and to be honest, playing any of these guys comes with so much risk as trying to figure out how Kyle Shanahan will use his backs is a daunting task. What we do know is that Raheem Mostert is on injured reserve and will miss at least another two weeks. We also know that Tevin Coleman has yet to return from his injury. And finally, we know that Jeff Wilson Jr. took full advantage of those extra opportunities with a 31 point performance that earned him the highest scoring fantasy RB of the week. We also know that he suffered a high ankle sprain in that game. This opens the door for Hasty to step in and keep feeding on that hearty fantasy bone that is the 49ers rushing attack. The range of deliciousness is wide, so your guess is as good as mine, but the possibility of a huge Week 8 certainly exists.
La’Mical Perine, New York Jets (16% owned)
It’s really hard to advocate for a player in this Jets offense, but running backs do matter, especially in fantasy football. With Le’Veon Bell off to Kansas City, the lead back job is available in the Jets backfield. While most believed the gig would go to veteran Frank Gore, it was actually Perine who saw 70% of the offensive snaps compared to Gore’s 28%. They both had 11 carries, and Gore was the more efficient runner; however, Perine was the only fantasy relevant back as he was able to find the end zone. It’s not something fantasy owners would be excited about, but volume has meaning and if that falls into Perine’s lap, he could warrant starting if you need help at running back.
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (29% owned)
After missing the last four games with a toe injury, the Giants receiver had a nice return on Thursday night against the Eagles, catching six of eight targets for 59 yards and a touchdown. While Darius Slayton appears to be the fantasy receiver to own in this offense, it’s worth noting that Shepard had a two-to-one advantage in target share in this game. It’s just one game, but with the Giants playing a lot of catching, the receiver with the biggest workload is worth sliding in your fantasy lineup.
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns (2% owned)
With the news that Odell Beckham Jr. is out for the season with a torn ACL, Higgins now takes on a larger role in the Browns offense. While the team still has Jarvis Landry around (currently dealing with a rib injury) who should see a larger target share, Higgins expanded role is already showing itself. Higgins caught six passes for 110 yards on Sunday against the Bengals. While it’s one game, it would interesting to see how this plays out as the potential to carve out a viable fantasy role is there for Higgins.
Harrison Bryant, Cleveland Browns (1% owned)
You never want to overreact to a one-hit wonder, but boy did Bryant ball out in his first game taking over the tight end target share in Cleveland. Filling in for Austin Hooper, Bryant caught four passes for 56 yards and two touchdowns. It was good enough to hold down the honors for the top performing tight end of the week. With Hooper expecting to miss Week 8 after undergoing surgery for appendicitis, Bryant could be fantasy relevant yet again.
Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles (9% owned)
If you are desperate at the tight end position, you might want to consider adding Rodgers to your team this week, with an injury to starter Zach Ertz and the uncertain return of backup Dallas Goedert. He’s coming off an eight-target performance where he hauled in six catches for 85 yards. It was good enough for a top 8 TE finish for the week. The Eagles love to throw to tight ends, and if he’s thrown into another starting opportunity, he could be a serviceable play against a very suspect Cowboys defense.
Tennessee Titans (27% owned)
The Titans are a good football team, but they’ve had some problems on defense. They give up a lot of yards, and only two other teams has surrendered more passing touchdowns. But believe it or not, the Titans defense has actually finished inside the top 12 in four of the six weeks this season. Their nine interceptions is second-highest in the league, and now they’ll square off against the Bengals that allows the seventh most fantasy points to opposing defenses. If you need help at defense this week, you should remember the Titans.