Week 7 fantasy football waiver-wire targets

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As many of you probably know from reading my work or following me on Twitter, I grew up in Wisconsin and am a life-long Packers fan. So today's news about Aaron Rodgers breaking his collarbone was brutal. But while it stings Cheeseheads the most, Rodgers is a singular talent and one of the finest football players in the world. He elevates all of those around him for fantasy purposes and just makes the game more fun to watch. In a season where we've seen several of the biggest names and best talents go down with injuries, this one might sting the most. Yet, as is the case every week in the NFL, teams (both real and fantasy) must pick up the pieces and get ready for the challenges the next week presents. With that in mind, below are 14 players to target on the waiver wire for Week 7. If these players are unavailable in your league, be sure to read the Deep Dive and Streaming articles written by Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich when they come out on Monday. Both will be linked at the top of this piece sometime Monday afternoon.

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1

Adrian Peterson, RB, Cardinals


Yes, I know, Adrian Peterson is probably owned in your league. Congratulations, there's no need to angrily tweet at me. This note is purely meant for those in more casual leagues, or in leagues where Peterson may still be available (he was dropped in plenty of leagues this past week). We saw what volume and the right scheme can do for Adrian Peterson, who still has plenty left in the tank now that he's in Arizona. His 134-yard, two-touchdown performance has him as the RB2 for the week, pending Monday Night Football. The Saints ran nearly 34 shotgun plays per game while Peterson was on their team, and that's historically not a formation he thrives in. In their Week 6 win, the Cardinals ran 10 shotgun plays. If he's for some reason still available in your league, strike quickly to add him. (Percent owned: 80.4, FAAB suggestion: 50 percent)

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2

Orleans Darkwa, RB, Giants


Don't look now, but the Giants may have found an answer in the backfield in Orleans Darkwa. Darkwa led the way last week against the Chargers with 69 yards and a touchdown but had to leave early with an injury. All he did next was travel to Denver and rush for 117 yards against one of the best run defenses in the league. He was used on 50 percent of the Giants' offensive snaps, too, far out-pacing Shane Vereen (25 percent) and Wayne Gallman (26 percent). This is still some sort of committee, but Darkwa is clearly in the lead for touches and opportunities. He should be among the top adds this week and will be in the RB2/flex mix moving forward. (Percent owned: 0.6, FAAB suggestion: 25 percent)

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3

Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots


For the second week in a row Dion Lewis ran the ball well for the Patriots. He saw extra work this week after Mike Gillislee lost a fumble at the end of the first quarter, out-carrying Gillislee eight to six following that gaffe. The Patriots aren't likely to turn over 20 carries a game to Lewis, but he's certainly making a case for more work and should be added in fantasy. His ceiling is lowered for now with James White remaining the high-volume passing back (28 targets the last three weeks), but Lewis is a capable pass-catching back and if his role expands, he'll be in the weekly flex mix. (Percent owned: 3.7, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)

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4

Marlon Mack, RB, Colts


We've yet to see Marlon Mack and the Colts play in Week 6, but after a breakout performance last week (91 rushing yards, touchdown) head coach Chuck Pagano said he'd look to get his talented rookie "more involved." Frank Gore remains the workhorse, but Mack could find his way into a larger role soon. A slight increase in touches would put the explosive rookie into weekly flex consideration. Grab him if you can before Monday Night Football, or prepare to sink a high waiver claim/heavy FAAB percentage into him if he delivers again. (Percent owned: 8.8, FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent)

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5

Alfred Morris, RB, Cowboys


The Ezekiel Elliott suspension saga rolls on. We really don't have any clarity on if or when his league-imposed suspension (currently slated for six games) will be enforced. Until we do, both Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden should be added in all fantasy formats. Opinions differ as to which back will take over "lead" duties if/when Zeke is suspended, so add whichever you can and hope for the best. (Percent owned: 13.1/14.3, FAAB suggestion: 15-20 percent)

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6

D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texans


Lamar Miller remains the workhorse back in Houston and is seeing the field more than D'Onta Foreman, but the rookie bruiser has seen 10-plus carries in three of the last five games. The Houston offense is one of the league's most potent with Deshaun Watson behind center, so the running back(s) will continue to have fantasy value. Foreman and the Texans are on their bye in Week 6, but this could be a nice time to stash him for the future if bench space allows. (Percent owned: 5.1, FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent)

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7

Chris Ivory, RB, Jaguars


Leonard Fournette dodged what looked to be a serious knee injury, but the scare was a reminder as to how valuable his backup could be in fantasy. Chris Ivory is the clear-cut secondary option in the Jacksonville backfield, and he saw an expanded role as a pass-catcher this week, tying for the team lead with 10 targets and finding the end zone on a screen pass early in the game. Fantasy managers with Fournette on their squads may want to make Ivory a priority this week on the waiver wire just in case. (Percent owned: 1.8, FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent)

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8

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles


The Nelson Agholor breakout season is real, folks. With four touchdowns in six games, the third-year pro is quickly erasing the "bust" label plenty were throwing around last year. He's gone for 50-plus yards in each of his last three games, with touchdowns in the last two. Next up for the Eagles is a Washington Redskins team that could once again be without Josh Norman. That game could be a high-scoring affair on Monday Night Football, which would set Agholor up well to continue his hot streak. He's also closing in on weekly starter consideration, though it'd be nice to see his target share increase a bit to a more consistent, comfortable level first. (Percent owned: 23.5, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)

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9

Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Saints


Apparently we've reached the part of the NFL season where Ted Ginn bursts back into the fantasy scene. Willie Snead is back from his suspension but an injured hamstring is limiting the underrated receiver, and perhaps contributing to Ginn's increased playing time. He out-snapped Brandon Coleman (and Snead) for the first time all year against the Lions, catching all four of his targets for 66 yards and a touchdown. Next up for Ginn and the Saints is a trip to Lambeau Field to face the PackIRs, I mean Packers, who continue to endure injuries in the secondary. Drew Brees & Co. should be able to move the ball on the Pack, with Ginn having solid upside as a bye-week or injury fill-in. (Percent owned: 16.2, FAAB suggestion: 5-10)

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10

Taylor Gabriel, WR, Falcons


With Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) out, Taylor Gabriel saw a season-high eight targets come his way in Week 6 against the Dolphins. Sanu may need more time to heal up, which could keep Gabriel's involvement up next week as well when the team travels to face the Patriots. That figures to be a high-scoring affair, with Matt Ryan and Tom Brady likely trading blows through the air. Gabriel only had 39 receiving yards last week, but could find space for a big play against a Patriots secondary that continues to be gashed by opposing passing attacks ( Josh McCown just threw for 354 yards and two scores against them). (Percent owned: 14.3, FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent)

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11

Cole Beasley, WR, Cowboys


After a breakout 2016 campaign, Cole Beasley has largely disappointed for fantasy players. However, he did find the end zone twice in Week 5 against the Packers, and now comes out of his bye into a juicy matchup with the 49ers. On the year the 49ers have conceded nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns to wide receivers lined up in the slot, both of which are near the bottom of the league. Beasley has five-plus targets in four of five games this year, with six in each of the last two before his Week 5 bye. Those in a pinch due to injuries, byes or matchups could roll the dice with Beasley and hope the Cowboys exploit this weakness. (Percent owned: 17.5, FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent)

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12

Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants


While Roger Lewis was a popular add last week, I'd give a look across the waiver wires in your leagues this week for Sterling Shepard. It's entirely possible he was dropped in as someone needed to fill gaps in their lineup from injuries or bye weeks. He was one of the most dropped wide receivers on NFL.com, for what it's worth. Shepard's timetable for return is still uncertain, but he said the severity of this ankle sprain is similar to one he suffered in training camp. Per NJ.com, Shepard was a full participant in practice just 10 days after missing the Giants' first preseason game with that injury. The Giants offense has many issues, but with Eli Manning focused on throwing the ball quickly, Shepard could see a ton of volume the rest of the season. The Giants face the Seahawks next week, who frequently give up solid games to slot receivers. (Percent owned: 23.6, FAAB suggestion: 15 percent)

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13

Austin Hooper, TE, Falcons


With Mohamed Sanu injured, Austin Hooper has seen his role in the offense grow. Over the last two weeks he's caught 12 passes off 16 targets for 98 yards. Up next for the talented young tight end is a matchup with the New England Patriots' generous defense. Four of the last five tight ends to face the Patriots have scored a touchdown, while three of the five have gone for 60-plus yards. The Patriots are at home and figure to put up points, which will force Atlanta to keep throwing the ball. As far as streaming tight ends go, Hooper's looking pretty solid for Week 7. (Percent owned: 13.0, FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent)

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14

Brett Hundley, QB, Packers


You can call me a homer, but I feel there's a legitimate case for Brett Hundley as a streaming option this week at home against the New Orleans Saints. Box score scouts will look at Hundley's numbers from the Week 6 loss to the Vikings and pass him up, but let's look at that all a bit closer. For starters, Hundley was put in the unenviable spot of coming in cold with no starter's practice reps on the road against an elite defense. He also had three linemen leave the game with injuries against one of the fiercest front sevens in football. His first interception was tipped, his second was an outrageous play by Harrison Smith, and his third was in desperation time while he was getting hit. This coming week he'll have had a whole week of practice and preparation to face a Saints defense that is improving, but can still be beaten. He's playing at home with a full complement of weapons in the passing game, and adds some Konami Code appeal with his rushing ability (averaged 43.7 rush yards per game in college). Hundley has been in Mike McCarthy's system for three years now and should be capable of running the offense efficiently. Those looking for a streamer or immediate Aaron Rodgers-replacement should add Hundley. At worst he'll be a value for daily fantasy players. (Percent owned: 0.1, FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent)

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