Week 7 is now over, and the picture is becoming a little bit clearer on whether or not your fantasy team has a chance to get to the playoffs. Regardless of where you sit, though, you need to pay close attention to the waiver wire in order to get better. One big issue I always see is a fantasy owner who thinks his team is great as they are and never makes any changes. Perhaps your tight end has underperformed every single week this year but you’ve been able to win in spite of him. It won’t happen when you get to the playoffs. Better to deal him now, or drop him, in favor of a tight end who is actually producing, for example. And with six teams on a bye this week, now more than ever you need to choose your waiver selections wisely.
In order to best help you find the gold on the waiver wire, I will be running an article each week aimed at giving you the best chance to shore up your bench, and telling you who is good enough to grab and start right away. Here’s to Walking the Wire…
Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals (QB)
For the earlier part of this season, it seemed like Dalton was content to be merely a game manager, along with his buddy, Russell Wilson, but both have come around in the past couple of games and both have become difference makers for their teams instead of just the ones who hand the ball off or get mediocre fantasy stats while their teams win anyway. The numbers are starting to show it with both quarterbacks, and both have great matchups this week (Dalton against the Jets, and Wilson against the Rams). The difference is that Wilson is owned in a majority of fantasy leagues and Dalton is not. If both are available on your league’s waiver wire, though, grab Dalton. He throws to A.J. Green.
Thad Lewis – Buffalo Bills (QB)
This game is against the New Orleans Saints who can put up points in a hurry, and they’re angry after having lost a close one against New England in the waning seconds. Plus they’re coming off a bye and they always play better in those situations. So, Thad Lewis will probably be throwing a lot in this game. Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods will get a lot of work, especially once the Bills get down, and Lewis could definitely help your fantasy team if your main quarterback is on a bye in week 8.
Roy Helu – Washington Redskins (RB)
If the Redskins are going to have any chance in their game this week against Denver (which they really won’t) they will have to convert down near the goal line. They have shown lately a willingness to go away from Alfred Morris in those situations and rely on Helu, who had three touchdowns in week seven. If your running back is on a bye, Helu could definitely vulture a couple of touchdowns against a Denver defense that has given up a lot of points lately. He could make a good flex play.
Peyton Hillis – New York Giants (RB)
I can’t believe I’m even championing Hillis here, and only because of his touchdown possibilities. He didn’t really show me much in the Monday night game against the Vikings, and if he can’t exploit their defense he won’t be exploiting the suddenly revived Eagles’ D. He may, however, get a touchdown to save his fantasy value, and catch a few balls out of the backfield and turn them into a few points. I would use him as a flex this week with so many runners either hurt or on a bye.
Jeremy Kerley – New York Jets (WR)
Geno Smith has to throw it to somebody, and Kerley has turned into his top target in recent weeks. I say keep rolling with him even in the matchup against the Bengals’ defense. Kerley will get a ton of yardage regardless, even though he may not score, but if he does score that will help you even more, and it will be a bonus.
Kris Durham – Detroit Lions (WR)
With Calvin Johnson getting double and triple coverage most weeks, it’s easy to pick someone like Durham who seems to have picked up the slack from Nate Burleson being out, and could possible have even replaced him as the number two target in Detroit, even when Burleson’s arm has healed. I like Durham to get at least 75 receiving yards this week as well as a touchdown. Pick him up and use him as a solid #3 wide receiver or flex option in week 8.
Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals (TE)
Eifert has yet to come into his own but he had flashes of brilliance last week, and I say he keeps it up here. Along with his quarterback, Dalton (above), he will benefit from the matchup against the Jets. They haven’t been great against tight ends and the trend continues on Sunday. My money is on Eifert scoring at least one touchdown.
Zach Miller – Seattle Seahawks (TE)
When Miller scores touchdowns he has a great fantasy day and when he doesn’t, he can’t seem to get yards enough to make up for it. It’s an all or nothing proposition with Miller, but I think he scores this week and has a good line in fantasy. The Rams’ defense gives up points to tight ends, and I think Miller will be a strong recipient of some passes from Russell Wilson this week. He is a potential steal off the waiver wire for week 8.