After an eventful Week 6 in fantasy football filled with breakout players, disappointments, and injuries, it’s time to look to Week 7. With four teams on bye in Week 7, fantasy owners will need to scramble on putting in replacements as we are close to the mid-point of the season. So who are some of the early waiver wire targets to look at in Week 7 for your fantasy lineups? Let’s look at who is deserving of those priority claims.
Early Week 7 Waiver Wire Quarterback Targets
Gardner Minshew (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Despite how he played in Week 6, Gardner Minshew had yet another solid fantasy football performance. Against a weak Detroit Lions defense, he only had 243 yards passing with one touchdown and interception. However, he did have 14 yards rushing and a touchdown scored on the ground as well. His day could have been better after missing a wide-open DJ Chark for a long gain as well.
Minshew is seeing plenty of passing volume with each of his last four games ending with 40+ pass attempts. He faces an injured Los Angeles Chargers defense in Week 7 who has given up 30+ fantasy points to opposing quarterback units in the last two games. They also gave up two rushing touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5 as well, which bodes well for Minshew’s ability to run the ball.
Teddy Bridgewater (Carolina Panthers)
It’s clear to anyone who watched Teddy Bridgewater’s Week 6 performance that he did not have a good game. He finished with 216 yards passing and two interceptions on just over a 50% completion rate. He did have 48 yards rushing, though. Bridgewater came into Week 6 having thrown two touchdowns in each of his last two games with only one interception. He faced a tough Chicago Bears defense, so it’s easy to see why he struggled.
Bridgewater does have a very favorable matchup in Week 7 against the division rival New Orleans Saints. The Saints have given up at least three passing touchdowns in each of the last four games to opposing quarterbacks with no interceptions forced over that time. The Carolina Panthers had a tough matchup and clearly struggled. They have a much better matchup for fantasy next week, and Bridgewater is lined up for a bounce-back performance.
Week 7 Running Back Targets
Boston Scott (Philadelphia Eagles)
Despite the Philadelphia Eagles dropping to 1-4-1 on the season, they gave the Baltimore Ravens a run for their money with a 30-28 loss. Miles Sanders once again broke off another big run but got injured in the process and did not return. Scott was the only other running back to get any carries in Week 6 and would be in line for the majority of work if Sanders weren’t able to play in Week 7.
The Eagles are lined up to play their division rivals – the New York Giants – in Week 7. This game provides a much softer defensive matchup for the Eagles than the Ravens’ tough defensive unit. The Giants have given up five different double-digit performances to opposing running backs this season in half point-per-reception (PPR) scoring. The Eagles appear to be playing a bit better as of late on offense and with a match-up featuring two of the weaker defenses in the league, we could see plenty of offense in this one.
J.D. McKissic (Washington Football Team)
Washington’s running back situation has become a bit harder to figure out over the past two weeks. McKissic has appeared to work his way into a timeshare with rookie Antonio Gibson. McKissic had eight carries for 41 yards and six catches for 43 yards in Week 6. He had the second-most targets of any player for Washington in Week 6 and out-touched Gibson 14-13.
McKissic also had six receptions for 46 yards in Week 5 as well, giving him 12 receptions for 89 yards in the last two weeks. He provides a nice floor as a heavily-targeted running back, and with Dalvin Cook, Jonathan Taylor, and Myles Gaskin on bye in Week 7, McKissic provides a solid bye week option. He and the Washington Football Team face the Dallas Cowboys, who gave up six receptions to Giants’ running backs in Week 5.
Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Targets in Week 7
Travis Fulgham (Philadelphia Eagles)
Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Travis Fulgham has three straight weeks with double-digit points in half-PPR scoring leagues. He has at least 10 targets in the last two games each, scored a touchdown in three straight games, and at least 50 yards receiving in each of the last three games. Believe it or not, Fulgham has operated as the Eagles’ number one receiver. He played well against a very tough Ravens defense with six receptions, 75 yards, and a touchdown on 10 targets.
Apparently not a fluke, Fulgham deserves to be owned in fantasy football leagues and may even be startable in Week 7 against the Giants defense. New York somehow gave up 280 yards passing and two touchdowns to Kyle Allen in Week 6, so Carson Wentz should have a solid matchup. Fulgham is operating as one of the top targets for the Eagles and simply can’t be ignored any longer.
Tim Patrick (Denver Broncos)
Due to KJ Hamler and Noah Fant being injured, Tim Patrick has taken on a featured role as of late for the Denver Broncos. He has at least 43 yards receiving and/or a touchdown scored in the last three games with his last two games being 100+ receiving-yard performances. Despite facing a tough New England Patriots secondary, Patrick showed well and has deserved being picked up in most fantasy football leagues.
While Hamler and/or Fant could be back next week, it’s fair to wonder if they’ll see a full plethora of snaps/targets after missing games with lower-body injuries despite having a week to heal up.
Patrick and the Broncos are slated to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7. The Broncos are destined to be playing from behind and be forced to pass quite a bit. While a tough matchup, they still don’t pose as big of a threat as the New England Patriots defense did, and Patrick still performed well against them. He could find himself being heavily involved once again.
Keelan Cole (Jacksonville Jaguars)
While it may be hard to believe, Keelan Cole has been one of the most consistent fantasy football producers at the wide receiver position. He has four double-digit performances in half-PPR leagues with at least four receptions and 43 yards in all but one of his games.
He has three touchdowns scored and just went off for 143 yards on six receptions in Week 6. Losers of five straight games with at least 30+ points allowed in each of them, the Jacksonville Jaguars field one of the worst defenses in the league.
That allows for Minshew and the Jaguars offense to throw the ball plenty. Besides DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault, Cole is very clearly the number three target on a high-passing team. He and the Jaguars play the Chargers in Week 7, who have given up three 16+ point performances over the last two games to opposing wide receivers. Cole is very much deserving of FLEX consideration in that game and an early waiver wire candidate for Week 7.
Early Week 7 Tight End Targets
Trey Burton (Indianapolis Colts)
In his first three games as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Trey Burton has quietly seen at least five targets each time. He had 49 yards receiving on seven receptions and 11 targets over that time. He had a huge game in Week 6 with four receptions, 58 yards, and a receiving touchdown. On top of that, he had a one-yard rushing touchdown on a goal-line Wildcat formation.
While the Colts are on bye in Week 7, solid tight ends are extremely tough to find this season and Burton could very well be a top-15 play going forward. He has become a trusted target for Philip Rivers, and even with Jack Doyle and Mo-Alie Cox in the mix, Burton is the clear number one receiving option at tight end. He is a bye week stash for those still looking for trustworthy production from the tight end position.
Anthony Firkser (Tennessee Titans)
Nowhere close to being on the fantasy football radar, Anthony Firkser exploded for eight receptions, 113 yards, and a touchdown on nine targets in Week 6. He did see his involvement increase when Jonnu Smith exited with an injury. While he had seen at least four targets in each of his previous two games before Week 6, he had nowhere close to this type of production.
The Tennessee Titans are still very much a run-heavy offense, but they have been very efficient in the passing game with quarterback Ryan Tannehill throwing seven touchdowns over the last two weeks and 320+ yards in two of his last three.
If Smith were unable to suit up in Week 7, Firkser will undoubtedly be on the streaming radar as an early waiver wire pickup as the Titans may be forced to pass more than usual against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers team that bolsters a strong offense and defense. Firkser could very well be a beneficiary of that if he is thrust into starting for Smith.
Darren Fells (Houston Texans)
After only seeing more than two targets in one game this season prior to Week 6, Fells had a great performance with six receptions, 85 yards, and a touchdown, on seven targets. A lot of this has to do with Jordan Akins being injured, but Fells capitalized nonetheless. Fells has 50+ yards receiving and one touchdown in each of the last two games as quarterback Deshaun Watson has thrown for 325+ yards and at least three touchdowns over that time.
If Akins is unable to suit up in Week 7, Fells would find himself as an early waiver wire option with a solid matchup on hand with the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay just gave up five receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski in Week 6, so it’s clear that opposing tight ends can score fantasy points against them. Fells is a solid Week 7 streaming option if Akins doesn’t play.
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Doug Moore is a fantasy football writer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter at @DMooreNFL.