Early Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups: Rashee Rice and Josh Downs Are Priority Adds

After assessing all the action that just occurred, who are the top Week 7 waiver wire pickups and targets for 2023 fantasy football managers?

The 2023 fantasy football season is nearing the midpoint. The NFL landscape is always shifting, and fantasy managers should always be looking to improve their rosters. Let’s take a look at the top Week 7 waiver wire targets and pickups that fantasy managers should consider adding to their rosters.

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Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 7 | Quarterbacks

Note: As always, all players are rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo leagues.

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (38% Rostered)

Don’t let the final line fool you; Sam Howell did not play particularly well against the Atlanta Falcons. He did throw three touchdowns, but whether the Washington Commanders score via the ground or the air is random. Otherwise, Howell only threw for 151 yards and did not run at all (four carries for three yards).

MORE: Fantasy News Tracker

With that said, it’s difficult to find startable quarterbacks on the waiver wire. Howell has a road matchup against the New York Giants next week. He’s scored at least 18 fantasy points in three straight games and is well worth a pickup.

FAAB Recommendation: 5-15%

Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 7 | Running Backs

There are a couple of priority adds at the running back position off the waiver wire. Jordan Mason and Tyjae Spears are among them.

Jordan Mason, San Francisco 49ers (4% Rostered)

Christian McCaffrey suffered an oblique injury in the second half. Replacing him was not Elijah Mitchell, who was just returning from a two-week absence himself. Instead, it was Jordan Mason.

I have no idea whether it will be Mason or Mitchell as the lead back next week if McCaffrey can’t go. This is purely a speculative addition that could end up being useless, but Mason will be picked up in your league. If you need a potential one-to-two-week starter, you have to take the shot.

FAAB Recommendation: 5-35%, depending on need

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (48% Rostered)

Tyjae Spears didn’t do much to inspire confidence, but he remains the clear handcuff to Derrick Henry. We saw Spears’ potential on his 48-yard reception late in the fourth quarter. There is immense upside here if Henry were to get hurt.

FAAB Recommendation: 5-10%

Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens (42% Rostered)

There’s nothing exciting about Justice Hill. He’s in a timeshare with Gus Edwards and isn’t going to touch the ball more than 10-12 times a game. However, with bye weeks and injuries, Hill’s 8-10 carries and 2-3 catches a game aren’t the worst. There’s also the off chance he scores.

FAAB Recommendation: 5-10%

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns (35% Rostered)

Few things were more surprising than the Cleveland Browns’ performance against the best team in football. Kareem Hunt touched the ball 15 times for 71 total yards and ran in a nice touchdown.

I don’t think this is repeatable, nor do I think Hunt is a threat to Jerome Ford’s lead-back status. But at the very least, Hunt is the handcuff. That’s worth something.

FAAB Recommendation: 4-8%

Devin Singletary, Houston Texans (13% Rostered)

For several weeks now, I’ve had Dameon Pierce as a sell-high. On Sunday, we saw why. The Texans rotated their running backs more than usual. Devin Singletary carried the ball 12 times for 48 yards. He looked significantly more explosive than Pierce.

I’m not saying Singletary is taking Pierce’s job — he’s not — but this could be much more of a timeshare going forward.

Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 7 | Wide Receivers

We have a combination of wily veterans and some rookies worth stashing on the Week 7 waiver wire at the wide receiver position.

Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs (45% Rostered)

Rashee Rice’s roster percentage is getting up there, but it hasn’t quite crested 50% just yet. I am confident he will not be eligible for this list next week, though.

After getting talked up by Matt Nagy earlier in the week, Rice’s usage did, in fact, increase on Thursday night. His snap share still didn’t hit 50%, but he ran 22 routes, just one fewer than Skyy Moore. While Marquez Valdes-Scantling ran the most routes, he is just there to clear out the defense — he’s not a real player who ever gets the ball.

MORE: 2023 Dynasty WR Rankings

The Chiefs have one of the saddest group of wide receivers I have ever seen in my 25+ years watching football. Rice is the only one with even a modicum of NFL-level talent. And it’s been on full display over the past couple of weeks.

Rice’s targets-per-route-run rate is easily the highest on the team. He commands targets because he is just better than every other non-Travis Kelce pass catcher. Rice is teetering on the edge of being an every-week WR3. If he’s still out there in your league, pick him up.

FAAB Recommendation: 8-15%

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders (34% Rostered)

This week’s four targets marked a three-week low for Curtis Samuel. But he caught all four of them for 42 yards and his third touchdown in as many weeks.

Samuel now has double-digit fantasy points in four of six games this season. I would go so far as to call him a legitimate weekly WR3. He is not rostered in enough leagues.

FAAB Recommendation: 5-10%

Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts (33% Rostered)

Josh Downs’ role in this offense continues to grow. He’s now seen 14 targets over the past two weeks. He’s scored 13 fantasy points or more in three of his last four games.

Alec Pierce went down with an injury this week. Downs is already vastly superior to Pierce, but his absence would mean Downs likely plays in two-receiver sets.

Downs is not a threat to Michael Pittman Jr.’s WR1 status, but with Gardner Minshew II potentially starting for the remainder of the season, Downs could be a fantasy WR3 over the second half.

FAAB Recommendation: 10-15%

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (48% Rostered)

Tyler Boyd had a classic Tyler Boyd game. He turned seven targets into seven catches for a mere 38 yards. He’s now seen at least seven targets in five straight games.

Tyler Boyd (83) celebrates a touchdown in the first quarter of the NFL Week 6 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks at Paycor Stadium.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) celebrates a touchdown in the first quarter of the NFL Week 6 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks at Paycor Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023.

Boyd happened to score in this one, which makes his line look great. If he doesn’t score, it’s an unexciting 10 fantasy points. Nevertheless, you could do worse than Boyd’s 6-8 point floor.

It is worth noting that the Cincinnati Bengals are on bye next week

FAAB Recommendation: 0-5%

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots (17% Rostered)

We play this game with Kendrick Bourne two or three times a year. Every once in a while, he comes up with a big game. He caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. Then, he disappeared for a month. This past week, Bourne caught 10 passes for 89 yards.

Don’t fall for it. Bourne is not worth picking up.

FAAB Recommendation: 0%

Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 7 | Tight Ends

The tight end position is not in a good spot this season, but there are some players who are solid adds.

Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders (5% Rostered)

Rookie tight ends have been pretty good this season, particularly Sam LaPorta. One who has not been great is Michael Mayer. He caught a total of three passes over his first five games. But in Week 6, something changed. Mayer caught five of six targets for 75 yards. It may be nothing. But it also could be Mayer starting to figure it out.

MORE: 2023 Dynasty TE Rankings

Mayer was a top prospect. If his playing time continues to grow, he could be a TE1 over the second half of the season. If you’ve been floundering at the position, take the stab.

FAAB Recommendation: 0-5%

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (7% Rostered)

For perhaps the first time in his career, Taysom Hill was actually used as a tight end in Week 6. He caught seven of eight targets for 49 yards.

Is this legit? I don’t know. But given the state of the TE position, it might be worth it to find out. That’s really the best I’ve got on Hill.

FAAB Recommendation: 0-3%

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