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Every Monday during the season, theScore’s Justin Boone runs down the recommended waiver-wire pickups.
Roster percentages are based on Yahoo leagues. Free Agent Budget (FAB) amounts are based on a $100 salary cap. Only players rostered in less than 50% of leagues are considered.
Kyler Murray, Cardinals
Murray has been a regular in this column as an injured-reserve stash, and he’ll continue to qualify for that until the Cardinals officially activate him in the coming weeks.
At the moment, he’s back at practice and reportedly eyeing a return in Week 9 or 10. With Myles Garrett and the Browns on tap in Week 9, it seems far more likely Murray will make his season debut versus the Falcons a week later.
While his rushing production could take a hit in his first season back from a torn ACL, Murray still has mid- to low-end QB1 fantasy potential if everything goes well. He’s worth stashing as a possible long-term starter for QB-needy teams or as a trade chip for everyone else.
Risky streaming options (if healthy): Jimmy Garoppolo at DET (12% rostered)
Risky streaming options: Baker Mayfield at BUF (33% rostered), Derek Carr at IND (35% rostered), Gardner Minshew vs. NO (8% rostered), Bryce Young vs. HOU (10% rostered), Kenny Pickett vs. JAX (20% rostered)
Desperation streaming options (if starter is out): Tyrod Taylor vs. NYJ (3% rostered), Tyson Bagent at LAC (4% rostered), P.J. Walker at SEA (1% rostered), Aidan O’Connell at DET (1% rostered), Malik Willis/Will Levis vs. ATL (1%/0% rostered)
Desperation streaming options (if healthy): Daniel Jones vs. NYJ (39% rostered)
Desperation streaming options: Mac Jones at MIA (8% rostered), Zach Wilson at NYG (5% rostered), Desmond Ridder at TEN (14% rostered), Josh Dobbs vs. BAL (16% rostered)
Long-term stashes: Taylor Heinicke (0% rostered)
Darrell Henderson/Royce Freeman, Rams
As last week progressed, Sean McVay’s comments made Henderson seem like the most likely candidate to lead the backfield in Week 7. Hopefully, you’re listening to theScore Fantasy Football Podcast where we analyzed those quotes throughout the week and settled on Henderson as the best fantasy option from that group.
After playing 57% of the offensive snaps and delivering 66 yards and a score on 19 touches, Henderson has secured himself atop the depth chart until Kyren Williams returns. Williams is eligible to come back in Week 12, but it’s unclear if he’ll be ready at that point.
The matchup with the Ravens this week will make Henderson more of an RB3/flex, but he’ll be a low-end RB2 or better against most opponents.
Freeman poured in 66 yards of his own on 12 carries, making him flex worthy in most formats.
Emari Demercado, Cardinals
Demarcado was my pick to lead the Cardinals’ RBs two weeks ago when James Conner was placed on IR. However, the rookie was only given three touches in Week 6 compared to 12 for teammate Keaontay Ingram and nine for veteran Damien Williams.
That led me to move on from Demercado despite the fact he outsnapped his teammates in that game. But Arizona’s coaching staff must have liked what they saw from him since they reversed course this past weekend.
Demercado was a workhorse, playing 80% of the snaps and amassing 75 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches, including four receptions. Ingram and Williams totaled just one combined touch in the game.
Now, it looks like Demercado will fulfill my original projection and be the lead back during Conner’s absence – making the rookie an RB3/flex with upside in better matchups.
Devin Singletary, Texans
Singletary was one of the stashes in my Start, Sit, Stash, Quit column last Friday following his best performance of the year in Week 6.
The veteran back racked up 13 touches and 62 yards on a season-high 54% of the Texans’ snaps in that contest, pushing Dameon Pierce down to just 33% of snaps.
It still seems unlikely that Singletary will take over the starting job, but it’s not impossible. At worst, he clearly has earned a role in Houston’s offense – making him an intriguing stash as the team returns from its bye this week.
Chuba Hubbard, Roschon Johnson, Tyjae Spears, and Jeff Wilson Jr.are close to or above the 50% rostered mark but should be rostered in most leagues.
High-upside backups like Zach Charbonnet (40% rostered) and Tank Bigsby (13% rostered) should be rostered in most leagues.
Flex options: Elijah Mitchell vs. CIN (37% rostered), Joshua Kelley vs. CHI (21% rostered), Ezekiel Elliott at MIA (46% rostered), Justice Hill at ARI (41% rostered), Latavius Murray vs. TB (22% rostered)
Risky flex options: Craig Reynolds vs. LV (13% rostered), Kenneth Gainwell at WAS (34% rostered), Jamaal Williams at IND (33% rostered), Samaje Perine vs. KC (27% rostered), Pierre Strong Jr. at SEA (1% rostered)
Dart-throw flex options: Jerick McKinnon at DEN (38% rostered)
Other backups to roster: Zamir White (2% rostered), Cam Akers (49% rostered), Jordan Mason (41% rostered), Kendre Miller at IND (9% rostered), Rico Dowdle (3% rostered), Matt Breida (7% rostered), Salvon Ahmed (11% rostered), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (9% rostered)
Deep stashes: Leonard Fournette (3% rostered), Trayveon Williams (0% rostered), Chris Rodriguez Jr. (0% rostered), Ke’Shawn Vaughn (0% rostered), Cordarrelle Patterson (3% rostered), Michael Carter (1% rostered), Kenny McIntosh (0% rostered)
Josh Downs, Colts
Downs’ playing time has been consistent this season, but his targets and production have increased significantly in recent weeks.
The rookie has at least five catches in each of his last three games, with stat lines of 6-97-0 versus the Titans, 5-21-1 against the Jaguars, and 5-125-1 in the back-and-forth affair with the Browns on Sunday.
Next up is a Saints defense that’s been particularly susceptible to slot receivers. Downs can be considered a fantasy WR3 in that matchup and moving forward.
Jayden Reed, Packers
When Christian Watson missed time at the start of the season, Reed stepped up in the Packers’ offense and was the WR36 over the first month while averaging 10 fantasy points per game in half PPR formats.
Watson appeared to injure his knee in Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, which could open the door for Reed to take on a bigger role once again. Watson downplayed the severity of the injury Monday and suggested he might play in Week 8. But we’ll need to monitor his practice participation leading up to that game to know for sure.
In the meantime, fantasy managers should be adding Reed who can be a flex option even if Watson is in the lineup and would vault into the WR3 mix if his teammate were sidelined.
Rashee Rice, Josh Palmer, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Tank Dell are close to or above the 50% rostered mark but should be rostered in most leagues.
Flex options: Odell Beckham Jr. at ARI (27% rostered), Rashid Shaheed at IND (37% rostered)
Flex options (if healthy): Zay Jones at PIT (24% rostered)
Risky flex options: Wan’Dale Robinson vs. NYJ (25% rostered), Tutu Atwell at DAL (46% rostered), Jameson Williams vs. LV (28% rostered), Brandin Cooks vs. LAR (38% rostered), Tyler Boyd at SF (44% rostered), Michael Wilson vs. BAL (19% rostered), Kendrick Bourne at MIA (26% rostered), Demario Douglas at MIA (0% rostered), Jauan Jennings vs. CIN (2% rostered), Jalin Hyatt vs. NYJ (5% rostered), Jonathan Mingo vs. HOU (6% rostered), Josh Reynolds vs. LV (41% rostered)
Dart-throw flex options: Darnell Mooney at LAC (16% rostered), Rashod Bateman at ARI (22% rostered), Alec Pierce vs. NO (2% rostered), DJ Chark vs. HOU (11% rostered), Rondale Moore vs. BAL (10% rostered), Nick Westbrook-Ikhine vs. ATL (1% rostered), Ray-Ray McCloud vs. CIN (4% rostered), Marquez Valdes-Scantling at DEN (3% rostered), Kadarius Toney at DEN (33% rostered)
Dart-throw flex options (if starter is out): Jake Bobo vs. CLE (0% rostered), Dontayvion Wicks vs. MIN (0% rostered)
Dalton Kincaid, Bills
Kincaid is coming off a career day with eight catches for 75 yards on eight targets versus the Patriots.
Some of that production can be attributed to New England’s defense, which allowed another rookie tight end, Michael Mayer, to post five grabs for 75 yards a week before. However, we know the Bills want to get their first-round pick more involved, and this was clearly a step in the right direction.
With teammate Dawson Knox undergoing wrist surgery, Kincaid could be on the verge of a breakout stretch thanks to a very favorable schedule the rest of the way.
Unlike most tight end pickups, Kincaid actually has a difference-making fantasy ceiling if he can become the No. 2 option in the Bills’ passing game.
Logan Thomas andJake Ferguson are close to the 50% rostered mark but should be rostered in most leagues.
Streamer options (if starter is out): Taysom Hill at IND (9% rostered)
Streamer options: Michael Mayer at DET (28% rostered)
Streamer options (if healthy): Luke Musgrave vs. MIN (36% rostered)
Riskystreamer options: Jonnu Smith at TEN (42% rostered), Cade Otton at BUF (2% rostered), Trey McBride vs. BAL (2% rostered)
Risky streamer options (if starter is out): Donald Parham Jr. vs. CHI (2% rostered), Tucker Kraft vs. MIN (0% rostered)
Dart-throw streamer options: Tyler Conklin at NYG (6% rostered)
Week 8 streamers
Favorable upcoming schedules: Patriots vs. WAS (30% rostered),Colts DEF at CAR (11% rostered), Chargers DEF at NYJ (7% rostered)