With top fantasy players like Victor Cruz, Stevan Ridley and Knowshon Moreno suffering season-ending injuries, Week 6 definitely took a toll on your lineups. Luckily, with every injury in the NFL, there is plenty of waiver wire additions ready to help your fantasy squad.
Here are my week 7 waiver wire pickups. Keep in mind that all of these players are owned in less than 55 percent of leagues.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals, 31 percent owned: Palmer might be one of the best options this week as a replacement for a struggling quarterback or bye week fill-in. Although he isn’t the same guy he was early in his career with Cincinnati, he is still a good veteran quarterback that can produce.
Palmer is a good value when you consider the weapons around him, such as Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Andre Ellington. Also, in the two games he has made appearances in this season, he has averaged 277 passing yards, two touchdowns and has yet to throw an interception.
Plus he has a matchup against Oakland Sunday, which is sure to be a high scoring affair in favor of Arizona most likely.
Other options: Kirk Cousins (WAS) and Joe Flacco (BAL)
Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns, 20 percent owned: Crowell is a high-risk but potential high-reward pickup. Crowell’s value right now is primarily as a handcuff for Ben Tate. Tate is a back that has a history of injury problems, and has already missed two games this season.
Although Tate is healthy now and running well since his return, Crowell would assume that role if Tate were to get injured again. However, Crowell has began to out perform Tate as of late, as he averaged nearly seven yards per carry last week against Pittsburgh. But against Jacksonville, the third worst fantasy defense against running backs, there should be plenty of points to go around for the Browns running game.
The Jaguars have averaged a porous 30 points a game against fantasy backs this season, so Crowell might be worth a start this week. Plus, you always have the option of stashing him away in case Tate gets injured.
Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos, 46 percent owned: Hillman is a no-brainer pickup, but is not a must-start this week. If you read my column last week, Hillman was a top option that was listed. Hillman carried the ball 24 times for an even 100 yards, and even added three catches for 16 yards.
Admittedly, it’s not a great matchup this week against San Francisco. The Broncos seem willing to run the ball in their pass-heavy offense, and Hillman was given a large majority of the carries. San Francisco has given up the fourth fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. But, if you need someone to replace either LeSean McCoy or Moreno, this could be a low-ceiling pickup for you.
Players to Watch: Antone Smith (ATL), Tre Mason (STL), Storm Johnson (JAX)
James Jones, Oakland Raiders, 38 percent owned: It’s been said numerous times in these columns, but Jones is the best option at wide receiver on the lowly Raiders team. Although that’s not saying much, Jones has averaged seven targets and five receptions a game this season.
This is pretty good fantasy value for a plug-and-play receiver. With rookie quarterback Derek Carr showing improvement, Jones could be on the rise in coming weeks. Oakland also gets the pleasure of facing the worst fantasy defense against wide receivers in Arizona this week. Expect Jones to be a sneaky plug-and-play this week.
Cecil Shorts III, Jacksonville Jaguars, 39 percent owned: Shorts is the number one receiver in a young but promising Jacksonville offense. The Jaguars started six rookies on offense last week, so there are bound to be growing pains.
However, Shorts is the most reliable fantasy option for Jacksonville when healthy. Shorts secured 10 of his 16 targets last week, and amassed 106 receiving yards. Shorts should be a relatively safe fantasy option when he’s healthy, given he is the most proven veteran target for the Jaguars.
Players to Watch: Malcom Floyd (SD) and Brandon Lafell (NE)
Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams, 29 percent owned: Cook might just be seen as nothing more than a one-week option, but certainly deserves a look for this week.
Cook takes on the fifth worst defense against tight ends this year, the Seattle Seahawks. Yardage might be hard to come by, but in a PPR format, Cook becomes especially valuable because of Austin Davis’ tendency to check the ball down. Seattle is also giving up, on average, nearly a touchdown and a half (1.4) to tight ends this season.
Players to Watch: Jace Amaro (NYJ) and Clay Harbor (JAX)
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