The 2022 fantasy football season has continued to take twists and turns to the next level. We’re on top of the latest developments to make sure you’re in the best position to backfill roster spots and replace slumping playmakers. You don’t need to be in a prime position to win a Week 7 waiver wire claim to get a helpful boost.
We’re paying close attention to the top names on the waiver wire all season long. With Cam Akers expected to be traded, Ronnie Rivers and Malcolm Brown must be considered for fantasy managers. We’ll dive into Rivers’ and Brown’s Week 7 waiver wire value as they head into the bye week.
Ronnie Rivers or Malcolm Brown: Who Should You Add From the Waiver Wire?
Available in every Yahoo and ESPN league, some fantasy managers might look at you sideways for picking up an undrafted running back who has one rushing attempt and one reception for 14 yards in his three career snaps. But with Akers more likely to be off the Los Angeles Rams roster in the coming days than be on it, Rivers will be fighting for Darrell Henderson Jr.’s valued backup rusher role in Sean McVay’s offense. This is the definition of a sharp pickup with little risk.
Since being drafted by the Rams, Akers has been bad for the better part of his career. Injuries and poor offensive line play have certainly affected that. I think adding someone with Rivers’ burst and fresh legs can rejuvenate a rushing game that ranks 31st in yards and yards per carry.
Rivers very much fits the zone-rusher mold, thanks to his vision, patience, and quick feet that show on sudden cuts. His senior season at Fresno State was filled with examples of comfort reading how lanes develop and great toughness, even though his overall power and size are lacking. Rivers runs hard to overcome elite athleticism, much like today’s version of Jerick McKinnon.
The big benefit of Rivers becoming the primary backup is his pass catching. He’s a force in the open field because of his quickness but not a huge threat for bigger plays. He’s quick but not overly fast.
Still, I’d expect to see Rivers quickly take to the opportunity despite his size and speed limitations. He’s a good third-down back who can be a problematic presence for defenses that forget to throw a defender his way. But his upside for fantasy managers will be limited.
Because Rivers isn’t the strongest or fastest, I’d expect Henderson or Brown to see more of the valued red-zone touches. Thus, I’d avoid picking up Rivers on your fantasy roster even if he’s a potentially effective role player.
After a brief one-year stint in Miami, Brown is back with the franchise that he’s been with for a total of seven years. Brown lacks any semblance of flash, but he’s the consummate professional back who can reliably do the dirty work on third downs or in the red zone. He’s totaled 1,328 rushing yards, 350 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns on 385 touches.
Brown’s 2022 season has been quiet thus far, earning only seven carries and one reception through three games. But he came off the bench before Rivers in Week 6 and tallied each of those totals in his 16 snaps. He is clearly RB2 in Los Angeles entering the bye week.
Brown’s 5’11”, 225-pound frame makes him a different situational play than Rivers’ 5’9″, 195-pound frame. It’s far more likely Rivers is the PPR or Best Ball option, whereas Brown might be the touchdown vulture in the backfield. Considering the lack of success by Akers and Henderson in general, though, neither backup can have a ton of value for fantasy managers.
I would also pass on picking up Brown off the waiver wire this week. Akers and Henderson have only three combined rushing scores, and it’s unlikely any back besides Henderson becomes a valued focal point of the unit.