Each week, I'm tasked with picking the top waiver wire targets for fantasy. That article is a more cursory glance at the waiver wire, helping the countless fantasy players in more casual leagues on NFL.com figure out who is worth adding to their roster.
For those of you in more intense or competitive leagues, this column is where I'll highlight the players you want to be a week early on, as opposed to trying to win them in a waiver-wire bidding war after they've started to produce. Of course, I can't promise anything. Fantasy is far from a guaranteed game, as we know all too well.
Anyway, let's see what else Week 7 has to offer on the waiver wire.
Deep waiver targets for Week 7:
Case Keenum, QB, Los Angeles Rams - 0.3 percent owned
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots - 19.7 percent owned
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 5.5 percent owned
Mike Gillislee, RB, Buffalo Bills - 0.3 percent owned
Mike Davis, RB, San Francisco 49ers - 0.1 percent owned
Rob Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins - 0.1 percent owned
Bobby Rainey, RB, New York Giants - 0.3 percent owned
Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders - 18.7 percent owned
DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders - 14.8 percent owned
Robert Woods, WR, Buffalo Bills - 1.6 percent owned
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins - 29.0 percent owned
Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans - 1.2 percent owned
Chester Rogers, WR, Indianapolis Colts - 0.0 percent owned
Adam Humphries, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 0.7 percent owned
Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings - 1.5 percent owned
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Houston Texans - 0.9 percent owned
Case Keenum is Week 6's second-highest scoring fantasy quarterback heading into Monday Night Football. Just let that sink in for a second. The Rams passing attack isn't one to rely on weekly, and Keenum really shouldn't be started next week against the Giants. However, I wanted to bring him up because his schedule after the team's Week 8 bye is enticing. In Weeks 9 through 12 he plays the Panthers, Jets, Dolphins and Saints, all of which feature secondaries making frequent trips to the burn ward. Owners with space on the bench and quarterback issues might want to either stash Keenum or simply keep him on their radar in the coming weeks.
Dion Lewis is eligible to start practicing this week after beginning the season on the PUP list. However, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com posits that Lewis very well won't see live game action until November. Lewis was a difference maker for the Patriots prior to his injury last year, but James White is filling in fine this year. Keep Lewis on your radar for now and monitor his progress. He could be a game-changer in fantasy come playoff time if he regains his old role.
Jacquizz Rodgers is coming off of a bye after setting career highs in carries (30) and rushing yards (101) against the Panthers in Week 5. He'll be relegated to a back-up/rotational role with Doug Martin set to return, though. That being said, he's worth an add in PPR formats or deeper standard leagues as he figures to inherit Charles Sims' (IR) old pass-catching duties. LeSean McCoy owners had a scare on Sunday when the star rusher left with a knee injury. He later returned to action, but it's a reminder that McCoy owners might want to stash Mike Gillislee if possible for the foreseeable future. Buffalo ranks fifth in the league in rush attempts and first in rushing yards. If Shady were to go down, Gillislee would be at worst an RB2.
Carlos Hyde missed one series against the Bills with a shoulder injury before returning to the game, but that brief window revealed that Mike Davis appears to be the top backup. Hyde's NFL career is marred by injuries thus far, so his owners may want to give Davis a look this week just in case. Rob Kelley flashed on a couple nice runs for Washington but was overshadowed by Matt Jones' big day. Kelley was out-producing Jones for awhile in this game, though, and could be earning more work. He's a nice stash with massive upside if Jones goes down.
Bobby Rainey disappointed in the stat sheet, but still outsnapped Paul Perkins 26 to seven against the Ravens. He's the team's preferred pass-catching back for now, and worth rostering in PPR leagues. Through six weeks, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington continue to be mired in an uninspiring committee in Oakland. They remain fine players to stash. If one emerges as a featured back they'll have a chance for solid fantasy totals.
Over the last four weeks, Robert Woods owns 26.1 percent of the Bills passing targets, averaging five catches and 52.5 receiving yards per game. The Bills are a run-first team, but Woods is the de facto No. 1 wideout with Sammy Watkins sidelined with injury. He's a decent floor play, especially in PPR. Speaking of PPR, Pierre Garcon has rather quietly emerged as a weekly play. He's had four-plus catches in five of six games, and 50-plus yards in four of six. Of course, his 77 yards in Week 6 were a season-high, but his playing time and targets (18 the last two weeks) are trending in the right direction for him to keep producing in fantasy.
Despite only playing on 49 percent of the Titans offensive snaps the last two weeks, Rishard Matthews has been a sneakily productive fantasy player. He caught all seven of his targets in that span for 102 yards and two touchdowns, far outproducing Tajae Sharpe and Andre Johnson in that span. While Matthews' usage is a bit puzzling and tough to count on for fantasy (his production is boosted by a few big plays), he could start earning more snaps and be deployed in a more reliable fashion if he keeps this up. Chester Rogers, not Phillip Dorsett, has been the Colts wide receiver to step up in Donte Moncrief's absence. Since Week 3, they've posted almost identical stat lines (9-126-0 for Rogers and 8-129-1 for Dorsett, both on 15 targets), though Rogers' production has come more recently. Over the last two weeks, Rogers amassed 87 yards on seven catches (10 targets), while Dorsett posted four catches for 38 yards on eight targets. Rogers isn't going to be a week-winner in fantasy, but those in need of a safe floor could scoop him up as the Colts head to Tennessee next week.
Coming off of their byes, Adam Thielen and Adam Humphries deserve a little love here. Thielen has emerged as the No. 2 option for Minnesota in terms of playing time, overtaking Charles Johnson, though that's not necessarily a high-volume role. If Stefon Diggs misses more time with a groin injury that kept him out in Week 5, Thielen will be a strong WR3/flex play. Meanwhile, Humphries still has more receptions and yards than Vincent Jackson, despite seeing one fewer target and playing on just 62 percent of the snaps (compared to Jackson's 83). Both have solid matchups in Week 7 with Thielen drawing the Eagles and Humphries getting the 49ers.
Tight end remains the thinnest, most frustrating position in fantasy, but a new hero could be emerging in Houston. C.J. Fiedorowicz has seen 15 targets the last two weeks (second on the team), hauling in 10 of them for 146 yards and a touchdown. Brock Osweiler's limitations as a passer are forcing him to check down frequently, creating plenty of opportunities for the backs and tight ends in the passing game. That doesn't figure to change anytime soon, and with Will Fuller nicked up right now Fiedorowicz could even see an expanded role moving forward. He'll be a low-end streaming option this week as Houston travels to Denver for Monday Night Football.