However, for those of you degenerates ... err I mean "die-hards," in more intense leagues, this is the column for you. As the season progresses, this is where I'll highlight the players you want to be a week early on, as opposed to trying to get in on the waiver-wire bidding war post-breakout. Many of these players will hopefully graduate to the main waiver wire column, and if you're smart they'll already be on your roster. Of course, I can't promise anything. Fantasy is far from a guaranteed game, as we all know all too well, and we're reaching the point in the season where there aren't many stones left unturned at this point. But who knows, maybe we'll find a few gems in the process.
Any way, enough blathering. On to the "Deep Dive" waiver wire targets for Week 7.
I've been waiting patiently for this moment all year. Cobb was one of my favorite offseason sleepers, and when he started making noise in the preseason I was giddy for what we could see in the regular season. Unfortunately, a calf injury forced him onto the short term IR, meaning he'd be ineligible to play until Week 9. Well, we're only two weeks away from him returning to the field, and there's a good chance he can come right in and take over this backfield. The Titans have been making due with an uninspiring committee of Antonio Andrews, Bishop Sankey and Dexter McCluster, who have collectively rushed the ball 61 times over the last three weeks for 174 yards (2.85 ypc). That's abysmal. Cobb, if given the opportunity, should run away with this backfield. That of course means we have to trust in Ken Whisenhunt, which for years has been a dangerous fantasy proposition. Either way, now is the time to think about stashing Cobb on your bench, as all it will take is one decent game after he returns for him to become one of the hottest names on the waiver wire.
When Melvin Gordon took a seat on the bench after fumbling and suffering a foot injury, Oliver swooped in to pick up a fair amount of work. He was only on the field for 29 percent of the Chargers' offensive snaps, but saw 11 touches and looked pretty good against a tough Packers front. Gordon's foot injury will need to be monitored, but for those in need of a potential flex play next week Oliver could hear his number called a lot if Gordon sits.
The Raiders went into their bye week planning to refocus on the running game, which could spell big things for Latavius Murray in the future. Murray was benched in the second half of back-to-back games due to ineffectiveness and a lingering shoulder injury. It's more likely that Murray returns to the feature back role for Oakland, but Reece and Helu are worth a look in deeper leagues in case he sputters on Sunday against the Chargers.
Thompson didn't play a snap last week, as he was inactive, but I'll keep him on this list until the Denver backfield situation becomes clearer. I'm not buying 100 percent into the Ronnie Hillman as a feature back narrative (we've seen this story before), so Thompson is worth a stash in deeper leagues..
The Colts worked Bradshaw in slowly on Sunday night, as he only saw the field for 19 offensive snaps, getting five touches on the night. This is still Frank Gore's backfield, but as Bradshaw gets up to speed it seems like the team will be inclined to use him more. He had a ton of success in this offense last year, and could become a solid change-of-pace back for the team. Stash him on your bench for now if you have the space.
I wrote about Ty Montgomery in this space recently, but after the rookie suffered an ankle injury on Sunday, that opened the door for Janis. Few players have the internet cache of Jeff Janis, despite never really doing anything in an actual NFL game. Janis was a #DraftTwitter favorite last year, as his size/speed/athleticism measurables were off the charts. However, Janis entered the league from Saginaw Valley State as a raw athlete, and that's still mostly what he is today. He did show off his big-play ability against the Chargers, catching one deep pass and taking another short dump off for 33 yards. Aaron Rodgers makes all of his pass-catchers look even better, and with Janis getting the benefit of the bye week to study up and make the most of extra practice reps he could be ready to go in Week 8 when the Packers face the Broncos. That's not an ideal matchup, but Janis should be rostered in deeper leagues just in case.
Harris has yet to play in Week 6 as of the writing of this column, so I'll just remind you now that he's caught 11 of his 14 targets over the last two weeks for 123 yards and a touchdown. He'll be shooting up waiver priority lists if he has another solid outing against the Eagles on Monday Night Football. Stay tuned.
The Chargers have been without Steve Johnson for a couple weeks now, and Keenan Allen suffered a hip injury on Sunday against the Packers. Allen's injury isn't believed to be serious, but we won't know until later in the week. That makes both Floyd and Inman options on waivers this week. The Chargers get a juicy matchup with the Oakland Raiders next week, and Philip Rivers is coming off a game where he threw for over 500 yards against a tough defense. If Johnson and Allen aren't able to play or are even limited because of their injuries, Floyd and Inman will have WR3/flex-upside.
Carrier played solidly the last two weeks filling in for Jordan Reed. He caught all four of his targets for 39 yards on Sunday in a game where the Washington offense struggled as a whole against the Jets defense. If he remains the starter, Carrier will have a nice matchup in Week 7 against the Buccaneers, and could be deployed as a tight end streamer once again.
Wright got the start for the Lions on Sunday with Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew sidelined with injuries, and did pretty well. He saw six targets, catching three for 17 yards and a touchdown. If Ebron and Pettigrew are out again next week, Wright could be a streaming option for owners whose tight end is on his bye. Wright's week-to-week ceiling is quite low, but given the volatility at the position, getting a starter in a high-volume passing offense is better than nothing.
Those who streamed Fitzpatrick in Week 6 were richly rewarded with a 25.22-point outing. And the Amish Rifle could be worth hanging on to for one more week. His next opponent, the Patriots, has been attacked through the air this season, allowing big days to Ben Roethlisberger, Tyrod Taylor and Andrew Luck. Fitzpatrick has thrown multiple touchdown passes in four of his five games this year, and once again has a healthy Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall at his disposal. Whether the Jets keep this interesting, or are playing catch up, Fitzpatrick could be in line for a solid outing.
This is the deepest of the deep streaming option for Week 7. If Ben Roethlisberger is forced to sit for one more week as he recovers from his knee injury, it seems that the team will roll out Landry Jones, who was far more effective than Mike Vick against the Cardinals. Jones gets to face the Chiefs secondary that continues to bleed points to wide receivers and quarterbacks, plus he now has Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown on the field together. Look, you're not going to feel great about having Landry as your starting QB, but there are plenty of less-appetizing options on waivers for Week 7. Landry will also be a total steal in DFS, as he'll allow you to load up the rest of your roster with studs.
Wake up and watch with the world. The NFL is live on Yahoo. For the first time ever the NFL is streaming a live game on Yahoo. Bills vs. Jaguars live from London, Sunday October 25th 9:30 am ET.
-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy football writer and editor for NFL.com, and the producer of the NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast. He's eagerly awaiting the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer tonight, and plans on buying too many tickets once they go on sale. Hit him up on Twitter @AlexGelhar for movie/book recommendations or fantasy advice.