Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 7: Expert Advice on Wan’Dale Robinson, Tyquan Thornton, More
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Wan’Dale Robinson.
No matter how deep your league is, Week 6 offered plenty of injuries and potential breakout performances to make sure your waiver wire has intriguing names on it.
Our fantasy football analysts break down key names you'll be either bidding on or considering with your top waiver claim.
RB Kenyan Drake, Ravens
Sean Koerner: J.K. Dobbins was forced out of the game due to knee tightness and Drake stepped up in his absence with a solid 10/119/1 rushing line. He would offer RB2/3 value if Dobbins were to miss the next game or two, but as of right now, we should view Dobbins as questionable for Week 7.
Considering that Justice Hill and/or Gus Edwards could potentially return as well, Drake seems like a risky waiver wire bet who might only offer 1-2 weeks of value the rest of the way. Drake is for managers who are in a must-win situation or are dealing with injuries/byes at RB.
Chris Raybon:Drake is highly unlikely to provide long-term value with Lamar Jackson leading the team in carries (9.3) and rarely checking it down to RBs (Baltimore backs average 3.0 receptions per game, sixth fewest).
With that said, he’s worth a speculative stash on the off chance he ends up being the lead back in Week 7, which could happen if Dobbins is out and Edwards isn’t ready.
The matchup is juicy against a Browns defense that has allowed the most total TDs per game to opposing RBs (1.67). Cleveland ranks 30th in run defense DVOA and 29th in DVOA on passes to RBs.
Mike Triplett: Drake doesn’t feel like a safe long-term investment since the Ravens' backfield is so crowded — not to mention it’s hard to buy into such an out-of-nowhere performance.
Before he had carries of 30, 30 and 21 yards on Sunday, Drake hadn’t broken a run of more than 21 yards since 2020. I’d be stingy with my FAAB budget here.
However, there is some hot-hand potential in Baltimore, where Dobbins wasn’t quite looking like himself even before he sat out the second half with knee tightness. And even if Edwards returns in the next week or two, he’ll need time to ramp up from his own major knee injury. Drake should definitely be a top waiver priority if you need a RB in the short term.
WR Chase Claypool, Steelers
Koerner: Claypool is a WR3/4 who is coming off a spike week where he went for 7/96/1 against the Bucs. You’ll probably have to bid 5-10% of your FAAB in order to land him, so if you are desperate at WR, go for it.
Just keep in mind that he likely took advantage of Pat Freiermuth being out of the lineup — and when all pass catchers are healthy for Pittsburgh, Claypool is likely going to be the odd man out most weeks.
Pouring a bit more cold water on his impressive Week 6 performance — a lot of his production occurred once Mitchell Trubisky replaced the injured Kenny Pickett.
Raybon: Claypool is running a route on 94% of dropbacks (great) but averaging a target on 16% of routes (not great).
His biggest game of the season also came with Freiermuth (concussion) out of the lineup. Claypool will pop for a big game here and there but is not worth buying high on as the third or fourth option in a weak passing offense.
Samantha Previte: Claypool was phenomenal in what should have been a tough matchup against the Buccaneers. He caught all seven of his targets for 96 yards and a touchdown and tacked on a rush for eight yards as the Steelers picked up their second win of the year.
This was by far Claypool's best game of the season. He tied Diontae Johnson with seven targets and outshined both Johnson and George Pickens from a yardage standpoint.
I would be wary of going all-in on Claypool based off this one game given his boom-or-bust tendencies and the struggles of the Steelers offense this season. That said, he does have a juicy matchup up next against the Dolphins, whose defense has allowed the seventh most fantasy points to wide receivers.
He could be a viable, risk/reward flex play in deeper leagues with four teams on bye.
WR Wan'Dale Robinson, Giants
Koerner: With Sterling Shepard out for the season and Kadarius Toney dealing injured hamstring(s) (as well as being a potential trade candidate), there is a very real chance Robinson leads the Giants in targets the rest of the season. It may take a few weeks, but Robinson could settle in as a high-floor WR3/4.
Raybon: Robinson posted a 3/37/1 line on four targets despite running a route on just 34% of Daniel Jones’ dropbacks.
He has been targeted on 33% of his routes this season, so there’s room for major upside if he gets starter snaps. That could happen sooner than later, as he is the only WR on the roster who was drafted by the Brian Daboll regime.
Still, expectations must be kept in check with New York's low-volume passing offense. He’s worth a speculative bench stash if you can get him cheap, but I wouldn’t spend starter-level FAAB or high waiver priority on him.
Previte: Robinson was solid in his first game back from injury. The rookie hauled in 3-of-4 targets for 37 yards and a touchdown.
To be completely frank, Robinson did not wow me as a prospect out of Kentucky. He is athletic but undersized, and felt like a reach for the Giants in the second round. I also had concerns about Robinson joining a crowded WR corps that already had slot receivers.
Those concerns have been vanquished, however, as no one on the wide receiver depth chart can stay healthy. Toney keeps suffering setbacks to his hamstring, Shepard is out for the year with a torn ACL he suffered in Week 3 and Kenny Golladay remains out with a knee injury.
Robinson could end up being a valuable fantasy asset if Toney continues to miss time — especially with the Giants (5-1) playing as well as they have been. The Giants have two attractive matchups on deck before their Week 9 bye, which could be enough to vault Robinson into the streaming conversation.
WR Tyquan Thornton, Patriots
Koerner: Anytime a second-round rookie has a two-touchdown performance, we need to take notice.
Thornton is blazing fast (4.28 40-time) and his ability to score from anywhere on the field will allow him to offer more spike weeks in the future. However, it’s going to be tough for him to offer consistent WR3/4 value given the crowded Patriots WR room.
If Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor’s injuries turn out to be serious enough to cost them multiple games, I would be much more interested in Thornton. He is a high-upside stash in deeper leagues.
Raybon: Thornton ran a route on 64% of the dropbacks in his Week 5 debut and upped it to 72% last week. This is extremely encouraging given that the Patriots have a crowded WR room and young players typically take a long time to earn Bill Belichick’s trust.
With that said, Thornton may not have the same chemistry with Mac Jones that he has with Bailey Zappe. We also can’t fully trust Patriots WR usage, as snap counts have been volatile outside of Jakobi Meyers.
Still, Thornton is worth stashing in deeper leagues, as he could enter the WR3/FLEX ranks at some point if he keeps playing this well and his usage continues to grow.
Previte: Thornton turned heads in the second game of his NFL career. The rookie hauled in 4-of-5 targets for 37 yards and a touchdown and tacked on three carries for 16 yards and a rushing touchdown in the Patriots' dominant victory over the Browns.
Thornton missed the first four games of the year due to a fractured clavicle he suffered in the preseason. The Baylor product, who stands at 6-foot-2 and 182 pounds, was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He nearly set a combine record with an unofficial 4.21-second 40-yard dash, which was later officially ruled 4.28 seconds.
The speed demon could be worth stashing on benches for now, especially with the Patriots playing shockingly well with third-string quarterback Bailey Zappe under center.
TE Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
Koerner: Gesicki is a very talented pass-catching tight end, but he has struggled in the new scheme under Mike McDaniel. He is coming off a breakout game in which he posted a 6/69/2 receiving line thanks to a season high 76% route participation.
The increase in routes was likely due to Durham Smythe being sidelined with a hamstring injury. Once Smythe returns, Gesicki will likely be a mid-range TE2.
I would rather target Greg Dulcich, whose upside is unknown at this point. As I mentioned before Monday Night Football, Dulcich has a path to becoming the Broncos' lead TE for the rest of the season and reminds me of T.J. Hockenson.
Sure enough, he ended up running a route on 81% of Russell Wilson’s dropbacks and posted a 2/44/1 line in his debut. I'd rather invest in the third-round rookie instead.
Triplett: No, thanks.
It was good to see flashes of the formerly fantasy relevant Gesicki on Sunday, but it’s hard to expect a repeat performance after he had a total of nine catches over the first five games combined. His snap count increased in part because starting TE Durham Smythe was out with a hamstring injury. And both of Gesicki’s TD catches came from backup Teddy Bridgewater, who should take a seat behind Tua Tagovailoa this week.
I’d prefer to add Robert Tonyan, who is looking like one of Aaron Rodgers’ few trusted targets in Green Bay, among others.
WR Rondale Moore, Cardinals
Koerner: Moore has established himself as a high-floor, low-end WR3 option who offers even more value in full PPR formats.
DeAndre Hopkins returning to the lineup from suspension was always going to ding his target share, but now with Marquise Brown (foot) set to miss multiple games, it should allow Moore the opportunity to continue averaging around five receptions per game.
He shouldn’t be available in any leagues and is certainly worth a bid from managers looking for more stability from their WR3 slot.
Raybon: It’s telling that despite missing the first three games of the season, Moore wasn’t eased in at all, averaging a 94% route participation rate across his first three games.
Moore is averaging 5.3 receptions and 1.0 rushing attempts per game, which should be realistic marks for him to maintain for the foreseeable future with Brown out. Moore has a high PPR floor because of his 4.5 aDOT. If you need a WR3, he’s worth bidding on.
Previte: Moore has been a target hog over the past two games. In Week 5 against the Eagles, he reeled in 7-of-8 targets for 68 yards and was the WR31 in half PPR. In Week 6 against the Seahawks, he tied Zach Ertz for a team-high 10 targets and caught six passes for 49 yards.
Moore is currently the WR38 and could be worth hanging on to — even with Hopkins set to return from suspension Thursday and Robbie Anderson joining the team. Moore holds a ton of value in PPR formats.
Triplett: Moore could have long-term value while Brown is sidelined. But I especially like him in Week 7.
Although Hopkins is returning from suspension and the Cardinals just traded for the veteran Anderson, both of those guys will have a short week to get ramped up before Thursday night’s game.
Meanwhile, Moore has played more than 90% of the Cardinals’ snaps over the past three weeks. He has 13 catches on 18 targets over the past two weeks. And the Saints are a sneaky-good matchup for him since they have been especially vulnerable against slot receivers while dealing with injuries.
Another Week 7 option I like in deeper or daily leagues is Zay Jones, who is consistently producing as a top-two WR for the Jaguars.