Week 7 Lookahead Waiver Wire Targets: Pick Up Jaylen Warren, Matt Ryan, More Before Sunday
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jaylen Warren.
We’ve put a bow on Week 5 of the 2022 NFL season and are on to Week 6 — now it’s time to gaze into the crystal ball and see which players we should target on the waiver wire now for a big payoff later.
Reminder: The Bills, Rams, Vikings and Eagles all have Week 7 byes, meaning you will need to find one-week replacements for Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, Miles Sanders and Dallas Goedert.
Week 7 Early Waiver Wire Targets
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (37% rostered)
With multiple teams on bye, it’s important to look ahead to avoid jockeying for the same streamers.
Garoppolo could be one of those options. He is coming off his best game of the year against Carolina in which he completed 18-of-30 attempts for 253 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions, finishing as the QB9 for the week.
He has two soft matchups on deck starting with the Falcons in Week 6 and the Chiefs in Week 7. There’s a good chance Garoppolo performs well against the Falcons, which would likely increase demand for him.
This is a great streaming matchup, as the Chiefs have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. He will be a fringe QB1 and option for Allen, Hurts, Cousins or Stafford managers.
QB Matt Ryan, Colts (28%)
The Colts offense has been downright painful to watch at times, including last week’s snoozefest against the Broncos on primetime. Ryan logged just eight fantasy points, tossing zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
Ryan, however, should not be overlooked for Week 7 with the Titans on deck. Tennessee has allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year and ranks bottom five in pass DVOA, according to Football Outsiders.
The veteran performed well in his first meeting against the Titans this season, completing 27-of-37 attempts for 356 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He finished as QB12 for the week, which was his best fantasy finish of the year. Ryan is another potential streaming option for managers with a quarterback on bye in Week 7.
RB Jaylen Warren, Steelers (12%)
Warren has been a recurring fixture on the lookahead waiver wire report with Najee Harris’ health in flux. Now, it appears the pair are trending in opposite directions.
Harris was serviceable over the first three weeks of the season as the RB17 in half PPR (slightly disappointing given you probably had to drop a late first- or second-round pick to secure the Year 2 back). Things have gotten markedly worse, however, as Harris was the RB46 over Weeks 4 and 5. He saw a season-low 49% of snaps in Week 5 while Warren saw a season-high 51%.
Head coach Mike Tomlin says he wants to increase Warren’s workload as the season progresses, which makes sense given Harris’ injury history (most recently, ankle and Lisfranc injuries) and performance. Harris was phenomenal during his rookie campaign, but I have felt for a while that his workload was unsustainable.
This could be developing into a running back committee, which would mean that Warren would have standalone value beyond being Harris’ handcuff. At a minimum, he is one of the most valuable backups who would immediately offer RB2 value if Harris were to ever miss time.
RB Rachaad White, Buccaneers (34%)
White is slowly creeping into fantasy relevance.
The rookie had his best game of the season in Week 4 against the Chiefs, when he logged eight touches for 56 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. He was less impressive in Week 5 against the Falcons, though he did see a season-high 39% of snaps.
He remains the clear-cut No. 2 behind Leonard Fournette, but he could be developing standalone value in the right matchups if this trend continues. At a minimum, White is a valuable insurance policy for Fournette managers and would immediately offer RB2 upside if Fournette were to miss time.
WR Jameson Williams, Lions (32%)
Williams began the season on the the non-football injury list after suffering a torn ACL in the CFP National Championship game against Georgia. The Alabama product is coming off a breakout season in which he tallied 79 catches for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns and was subsequently selected 12th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Due to the injury, Williams did not participate in the NFL Combine, though he is estimated to have 4.3-speed. Standing at 6-foot-1 1/2 and 179 pounds, Williams has an ideal build and he should stack up nicely against NFL secondaries.
Williams is eligible to come off the NFI list and could be activated soon after Detroit’s Week 6 bye. The speedy wideout could become an integral piece — alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown and T.J. Hockenson — for the Lions offense, which, until Week 5, had been very high scoring.
Until activated, you can stash Williams in an IR spot in many leagues (depending on your settings), which makes him a low-cost investment with sky-high potential returns.
WR Robbie Anderson, Panthers (12%)
Anderson has been unremarkable this season, save Week 1 against the Browns. He is coming off a one-catch performance against the 49ers and is the WR62 in half-PPR scoring through five weeks.
Anderson’s struggles aren’t completely his fault, as the Panthers have a glaring issue at quarterback. The team will make the switch to Houston Roughnecks and Temple star P.J. Walker this week with Baker Mayfield dealing with a high-ankle sprain. Anderson has history with Walker from their time together at Temple, which could mean more targets.
Walker may not be the Panthers’ starter for the rest of the season, as the team may turn back to Sam Darnold. Anderson also has a rapport with Darnold as the two overlapped on the Jets.
Anderson could be a nice deeper league stash in the hopes that the Panthers offense can improve even slightly with the change at QB.
TE Robert Tonyan, Packers (39%)
Tonyan found the end zone for the first time in Week 4 against the Patriots and finished as the TE12 in half PPR — his only top-12 finish this year. He was a dud in Week 5 against the Giants when he caught all four of his targets for 23 yards.
Tonyan’s target share is less than impressive, but he has undeniable upside catching passes from four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers. He has a nice two-game stretch coming up against the Jets and Commanders, and he could be a worthwhile streaming option for Knox, Higbee or Goedert managers in Week 7 when the Packers take on Washington’s middle-of-the-road pass defense.
TE Cade Otton, Buccaneers (7%)
With Cameron Brate sidelined against the Falcons, Otton tallied career highs in all receiving categories in Sunday’s win. He caught 6-of-7 targets for 43 yards and was the TE14 in half PPR.
Brate is likely to return this week, though it’s worth noting that Otton moved up on the depth chart ahead of Kyle Rudolph and behind Brate after his Week 5 performance.
Otton was a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft and stands at a towering 6-foot-5, 250 pounds. He was used conservatively from a production standpoint at Washington and only tallied 250 yards and one touchdown in his senior season.
That said, any tight end playing with Tom Brady has some appeal. Otton is a deep-league sleeper who could emerge as a major weapon for the Buccaneers.