Waiver Wire Watch: Week 7
Editor’s Note: We’re happy that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 7. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
McCown has been shockingly effective this year, and even with an imposing matchup against a tough Denver defense in Week 6, the veteran quarterback managed to throw for 213 yards with a couple of TD passes to favorite target Gary Barnidge (albeit with a pair of INTs). McCown is averaging 283.2 passing yards per game and has thrown two TD passes in four consecutive games. Unfortunately, McCown faces further schedule difficulties over the next three weeks. He has a difficult road matchup against the Rams this Sunday. At this point, though, I’d take McCown against a top defense before I took, say, Alex Smith against a mediocre defense.
Fitzpatrick had his best, most efficient game of the season in Week 6, completing 19-of-26 passes for 253 yards with two TDs and one INT in a 34-20 win over the Redskins. #FitzMagic also ran four times for 31 yards and a TD. He’s averaging 235.4 passing yards per game and has thrown nine TD passes in five starts. A road game against the Patriots this week could set up as a spot where Fitz is required to throw 30-plus times, making him a solid streaming option for this week. His Week 8 matchup against the Raiders is even better.
In four starts this season, Hoyer has attempted at least 30 passes in each and is averaging 268.3 yards per start, with eight TDs and two INTs. Hoyer may be a quarterback of modest talents, but Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins is among the two or three best wide receivers in the game, and Arian Foster is a dangerous receiving threat out of the backfield. Hoyer is a nice arbitrage play on those two assets, and he makes for a solid streaming option this week against a so-so (but revitalized?) Miami pass defense.
Carr is still only 35% owned in Yahoo leagues despite averaging 234.2 yards per start, with an 8-3 TD-INT ratio through five games. His opponent this week, San Diego, has been surprisingly good against the pass this season, and Carr’s Week 8 matchup against the Jets is even more foreboding. Carr’s Week 9 matchup against the Steelers holds promise, however, and Carr’s maturation this year is real. He isn’t ready to be an every-week fantasy starter yet, but he’s fine as a matchup play.
Cutler continues to put up solid fantasy numbers in what’s sure to be his last season in Chicago. After throwing for 353 yards and a TD in an overtime loss to the Lions on Sunday, Cutler now has 1,231 passing yards and seven TD passes on the year. Alshon Jeffery finally returned from his leg injury on Sunday and had eight catches for 147 yards and a TD, further bolstering Cutler’s near-term outlook. However, the schedule gets difficult for Cutler when the Bears come out of their Week 7 bye, with a hard six-week stretch that includes road games against the Chargers, Rams and Packers.