K.J. Osborn Waiver Wire Week 7: Fantasy outlook for Vikings WR

After scoring the game-winning TD in an overall productive Week 6, is K.J. Osborn worth picking up in fantasy off the waiver wire?

Last week, Minnesota Vikings WR K.J. Osborn scored the walk-off touchdown in overtime to beat the Carolina Panthers. Proving to be a serviceable WR3 in Minnesota’s offense, should Osborn be a top waiver wire add in fantasy football ahead of Week 7 despite being on a bye?

K.J. Osborn is currently a fantasy WR3

As a rookie in 2020, Osborn was sparingly used in the offense and primarily contributed on special teams. However, in his sophomore season, Osborn’s had somewhat of a mini-breakout through six weeks of football. Through six games, he’s totaled 26 receptions on 35 targets, 311 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns. As it stands, Osborn is a WR3 in fantasy football, albeit barely, at WR36 overall in half-PPR formats.

Nevertheless, heading into the 2021 season, no fantasy manager would’ve batted an eye at the WR3 on the Vikings’ offense. And who could blame them? Minnesota owns a run-heavy offense, and with Dalvin Cook in the backfield, it makes sense as to why.

The Vikings are top five in pass attempts

Yes, it’s true. Minnesota has thrown the ball on 58.5% of their plays to start the season. As a result, Kirk Cousins is fourth in the league in pass attempts (239). Only Tom Brady, Justin Herbert, and Patrick Mahomes have thrown more times than Cousins through the first six weeks.

While the majority of the defenses the Vikings have played against thus far are middle of the pack against the pass, it seems that offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak intends to throw the ball more in 2021. Last season, Cousins threw the ball 516 total times. He’s currently on pace to have more than 630 attempts.

That’s going to open up more opportunities for receivers outside of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. And thus far, Osborn has carved out a nice role for himself within the offense.

Both Jefferson (WR9) and Thielen (WR12) currently sit as WR1s in fantasy football. So, naturally, Osborn’s production has gone relatively quiet outside of his game-winning 27-yard touchdown in Week 6. But as the No. 3 receiver in Minnesota’s offense and a borderline WR3 in fantasy, does Osborn bring value for the rest of the 2021 season?

Is Osborn a top waiver wire pickup for Week 7?

First, it’s important to point out that Osborn and the Vikings are on a bye in Week 7. In fact, Week 7 may be the most impactful bye week of the 2021 season for fantasy football managers. Joining the Vikings on a bye this week are the Bills, Chargers, Cowboys, Jaguars, and Steelers.

Just from reading that last sentence, one can gather that a plethora of fantasy-relevant players — not even including those currently nursing injuries — will be out this week. All that is to say that Osborn is worth adding to rosters, but only if you can afford to squeeze him in. If Minnesota were playing this week, I’d make the claim that Osborn would be a top add. Nevertheless, he and the other Vikings pass catchers have a great fantasy matchup in Week 8 against the Cowboys.

Intriguing matchup in Week 8 against Cowboys

At first glance, it appears that Osborn has enjoyed playing on the road this season rather than at home. In Minnesota’s three road games thus far, Osborn has caught 18 of 22 targets for 245 receiving yards and 2 scores. Meanwhile, at home in Weeks 3 and 4, Osborn maxed out at 26 yards receiving for each game. He then followed that up with just 14 yards in Week 5.

Following his strong start to the season, it appeared that Osborn’s production had died down. However, his Week 6 performance has revitalized his outlook going forward. While his upside is capped behind Jefferson and Thielen, it’s possible he sustains his WR3 production throughout the year.

Unfortunately, the Week 8 matchup against Dallas is at home. Yet, Osborn is worth stashing on your bench if you have the room to do so. While the Cowboys’ defense has improved, they’re still giving up the third-most passing yards in the NFL. Nearly every Cowboys game can be projected for a shootout, and this one will be no different.

Adding Osborn now will probably cost just a few dollars at most in FAAB, as league-mates scrounge for players to fill their Week 7 rosters. Get ahead now if you can and add a potential WR3 at little to no cost.

Eric Frosbutter is a News Editor for Pro Football Network. You can read his work here and follow him on Twitter @FrostyPFN.

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