Week 7 has been on fantasy managers’ radars since the schedule was announced. This is the week when some of the top teams are on a bye, so a lot of fantasy stars will be out of action.
If you roster players from the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, or Jacksonville Jaguars, you have some work to do.
As we head into one of the biggest bye weeks of the year, we will take a look at the waiver wire. We will consider players who are available in at least 50% of leagues on ESPN.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential waiver wire pickups heading into Week 7 of the NFL season.
Zach Ertz, TE, Cardinals (48.3%)
The Arizona Cardinals made a splash move last week when they traded for Zach Ertz to be their top tight end with Maxx Williams being placed on injured reserve.
Ertz joins a tremendous group of weapons in Arizona that have led them to an undefeated start to the season. Upgraded quarterback play and having more talent around him should lead to a better second half of the season for the veteran.
Williams was averaging four targets per game in the first four weeks of the season before his injury, so it can be assumed that Ertz gets that and more.
Rashod Bateman, WR, Ravens (14.6%)
The Ravens’ first-round pick officially made his NFL debut last week, recording four receptions for 29 yards.
Heading into the game, there was a question about how much Bateman was going to play coming off of a groin injury, but he was thrown right into the mix, playing 65% of offensive snaps.
As time goes on, the Ravens will rely on the rookie more and more, and he may eventually replace Marquise Brown as their top wideout.
D’Ernest Johnson, RB, Browns (1.4%)
If you’re looking for a bye week/injury fill-in, Johnson might be the back for you.
With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt likely both out with injuries this Thursday against Denver, the Browns will probably implement the third-year back in the starting role.
In a game against Dallas last season when Chubb and Hunt were inactive, Johnson rushed 13 times for 95 yards.
Denver’s defense may be a strong one, but they’ve given up 14.6 points per week to lead backs in their last three contests.
Sam Darnold, QB, Panthers (41.9%)
Darnold has had an up-and-down season with the Panthers this year. That seems to be part of the experience with him at quarterback, but he’s still averaging 19.3 points per week.
For streaming purposes, Darnold is going up against the New York Giants in Week 7 who have been in the bottom third of teams against the pass. Through six games, they have given up an average of 24.7 points per week to quarterbacks with their lowest coming against Atlanta.
Head coach Matt Rhule may have said his team is looking to run the ball more, but this shouldn’t take Darnold out of the running as an option this week.
Raiders, D/ST (23%)
The Raiders’ defense has been average throughout the season, as they’ve been holding teams to 24 points per game.
In fantasy, they’ve averaged 4.5 points per game, placing them right in the middle as the 16th-ranked group.
They will be taking on Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7. Their offense isn’t super explosive, and defenses are averaging 7.2 points per game against them which would be a top-five defense.