It’s never fun to throw away an established name for a Benjamin Watson, but, well, welcome to the fantasy football Week 7 waiver wire.
Survival is a basic instinct that translates well to the realm of fake football for most. Those owners able to throw aside connections to players they drafted after working so hard to perfect a draft class are the ones digging up the waiver gems and winning leagues.
For those willing to set aside such connections for the greater good, below rests a who’s-who guide of the Week 7 waiver wire, including players with surprise playing time, performances and roles.
Week 7 Waiver-Wire Pickup Targets
Brian Hoyer, QB, Houston Texans (6.2 Percent Owned)
It’s a relatively weak waiver wire for signal-callers this time out after Josh McCown led the way for two weeks.
Now it’s time to click “Add” on Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer. He just tossed a trio of scores this past weekend on the way to 23 points and a spot as the position’s fifth-highest scorer before Monday.
This isn’t an isolated incident, either. Hoyer has 17 or more points in three consecutive games despite the fact that he hasn’t even been the starter for three consecutive games.
Now he is. Hoyer‘s a game manager, sure, but his stats inflate like a balloon playing on an offense with DeAndre Hopkins and Arian Foster. Owners in a pinch have no excuse to look anywhere else.
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers (22.3 Percent Owned)
It’s time to say goodbye to Eddie Lacy.
This is what the intro was talking about. Lacy was at worst a second-round pick after reliable production last season. Something’s changed in Green Bay, though, because Lacy took just four carries against a miserable San Diego Chargers defense in Week 6 while backup James Starks carried it 10 times for 112 yards and one score.
“We’re a one-two punch team,” coach Mike McCarthy said, per Michael Cohen of the Journal Sentinel. “It’s really no different than the way we operate. We went with James first just because he’s been playing extremely well, and Eddie has been a little banged up.”
Translation: Get Starks right away. He collected 23 fantasy points in a solid matchup this past weekend. It’s pretty clear the coaching staff will ride the hot hand, not the one with the bigger name, and right now, that would be Starks.
While he’s headed into a bye week, it’s a good idea to stash Starks. The way the first six weeks have gone, he might wind up as the season-long starter.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings (3.0 Percent Owned)
Now would be the time to pay attention to Minnesota Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs.
The fifth-round rookie is on the verge of a breakout despite the presence of Mike Wallace and Kyle Rudolph around him. Adrian Peterson in the backfield hasn’t hampered Diggs‘ production over the last two weeks, either.
Diggs has at least six catches and eight fantasy points over his last two games, with his seven grabs for 129 yards going for 12 points this past weekend. He’s fully worked his way into playing time and a better rapport with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, so there’s no reason to believe the consistent production won’t continue.
Some may ask for a bigger sample size before pulling the trigger, but Diggs‘ next two opponents rank among the 12 teams allowing the most points to wideouts on average.
Sometimes investing in the samples is a great move.
Benjamin Watson, TE, New Orleans Saints (4.0 Percent Owned)
Fantasy owners decried the loss of Jimmy Graham for the New Orleans Saints without realizing the team would find a capable replacement.
Veteran Benjamin Watson has never raised any eyebrows as a fantasy contributor, but the journeyman has stepped up in a big way for the struggling Saints offense. He wound up second in scoring at the position in Week 6 before Monday behind only Carolina’s Greg Olsen.
There, Watson caught 10 passes for 127 yards and a score, good for 18 points. It made for his second consecutive touchdown and trip to at least nine points.
In fact, the production was bigger than any outburst Graham has had in Seattle, and Watson has scored just as many touchdowns. As a reliable veteran who has now emerged as an every-down option for Drew Brees, owners will want to jump on board in a hurry.
Reliable production is rare at tight end, but Watson might just provide it as he plays the Graham role in the pass-happy New Orleans offense.
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