Fantasy News & Analysis

Early waiver wire targets and biggest risers/fallers in fantasy football following NFL Week 7

Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah (87) avoids the tackle of Baltimore Ravens safety DeShon Elliott (32) while scoring a touchdown in the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Only Monday Night Football remains on the 2021 NFL Week 7 slate, so most fantasy football managers will now be turning their gaze to Week 8 to try to gain an advantage in their fantasy leagues.

It’s important not to overreact to individual stat lines. For example, some players scored two touchdowns this week yet probably won’t do that again this season, while other players saw the field for most of their team's snaps but couldn't quite make it to the end zone.

Remember: chase the usage, not the box score.

Here are some early waiver wire targets, as well as the biggest risers and fallers from NFL Week 7. For a more detailed 32-team view of the week, including snap counts, check out the Complete Week 7 Fantasy Football Recap.

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Waiver Wire Targets

RB Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles: Miles Sanders suffered an ankle injury early in the game and was carted to the locker room. With Sanders out, the Eagles split snaps between Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott, with Gainwell handling passing downs and Scott coming in for rushing plays.

Looking specifically at Week 8, it is Scott who would be the waiver wire target. The Eagles play the Lions, and Philadelphia should stay competitive and run the ball a lot. Detroit had also allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs coming into the week.

If Sanders' injury is serious, Gainwell is probably the better long-term option.

WR Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens' rookie receiver should have been added last week after tying for the team lead in targets. This week, Baltimore basically threw to only three players while the game was close, and he was one of them. He tied for the team lead in receiving yards with 80, and he caught three of the five passes thrown his way.

It’s no sure thing that he will continue to see this much playing time and targets once Sammy Watkins returns, but he has too much upside to leave him on the waiver wire.

PFF's Player Props Tool leverages PFF's Fantasy Football Projections to reveal betting opportunities within player prop markets.

WR Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers: Lazard scored a touchdown in his second straight game while putting up his best numbers of the season. He caught five passes for 60 yards. The only problem for him going forward is that Marquez Valdes-Scantling is eligible to return from injured reserve and could be coming back soon. MVS will limit Lazard’s pass routes when he’s back. 

The Packers have a short week ahead, making it less likely Valdes-Scantling is back for that matchup. And Green Bay's opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, are among the league leaders in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, making him a solid option for Week 8.

Green Bay Packers WRs Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Allen Lazard 51 36 6 0
Davante Adams 48 37 6 0
Randall Cobb 35 30 4 0
Equanimeous St. Brown 12 6 1 1
Amari Rodgers 4 1 0 0
Total 56 40 32 12

TE C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals tight end has scored five touchdowns in the last four games. He caught all three of his targets for 91 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's divisional victory. It can be hard to trust tight ends who score a lot of touchdowns on a few targets, but one advantage Uzomah has is that he's always on the field and almost always running a route.  His 178 routes run rank 12th among tight ends this season. This should give him a better chance of sustaining this than other tight ends who have seen really good individual weeks out of nowhere.

Biggest Risers

WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals: The rookie receiver put together his best game in the NFL. He’s had at least one explosive play in each game, but he was more consistently used in the offense on Sunday. His 26.3% threat rate was the second-best for him in a game after having just 17.1% last week. His aDOT of 12.4 was a season-low, but his targets (10), receptions (8), yards (201), avoided tackles (3) and yards per route run (5.29) were all season-highs. The scary thing is there is even more room for his target share to go up.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage or the individual defenders. Click here for access.

WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins: Waddle was started in just over 50% of ESPN leagues this week despite all of the players on bye. The sixth overall pick set a new high in receiving yards (83) while tying the team lead in targets (8) and receptions (7). Part of the reason for his success is the injuries to the other wide receivers in Miami, but he’s gaining valuable chemistry with Tua Tagovailoa that will last when the others are at full health.

TE Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles: Goedert was in for most offensive plays, and he ran a route on most of the Eagles' pass plays. This was expected after the Zach Ertz trade, but it was good to see nonetheless. He led the team in receiving yards (70) on three receptions. He should be a fantasy starter most weeks over the rest of the season.

Philadelphia Eagles TEs Snaps Routes Run Targets
Dallas Goedert 63 34 4
Jack Stoll 13 7 0
Richard Rodgers 7 1 0
Total 68 39 28

Biggest Fallers

RB Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons: Cordarrelle Patterson has completely taken over the Falcons' backfield. The two backs split the receiving work, including some plays where both ran a route, but Patterson was the clear rusher for the game, and he got the goal-line work. There is a chance this is a one-game anomaly, but it’s too risky to trust a player with only two touches through 50 minutes of a contest.

Atlanta Falcons HBs Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Cordarrelle Patterson 46 28 4 14
Mike Davis 38 26 0 4
Wayne Gallman 3 2 0 1
Total 63 42 38 21

RB Damien Williams, Chicago Bears: Williams was activated off the Covid-19 list on Saturday but was barely involved in the offense. He was on the field for 11 plays, where he ran the ball three times and saw one target. It was the Khalil Herbert show again, and the rookie ran for 100 yards on 18 carries despite the game script. The former Chief might not be 100%, but it seems like Chicago is happy with Herbert.

David Montgomery is eligible to return off injured reserve after this game. It’s unlikely he will be ready for next week, but Williams doesn’t have much time to get a bigger role in the offense.

TE O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Howard had a good game last week with Rob Gronkowski out and seemed to be trending more toward being the receiving tight end over Cameron Brate. He caught a pass while Brate didn’t, but Brate had a clear lead in routes run. Howard only ran a route on 12 of a possible 39 pass plays. If Gronkowski misses another game, it will be hard to trust Howard with this few opportunities.


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