Monday, October 18, 2021

Week 7 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Rankings

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be rostered in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some tight end waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 7 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

Ricky Seals-Jones, Washington Football Team (29%)

Seals-Jones had four catches for 58 yards and a score on six targets (31.58% share) against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. With Logan Thomas (hamstring) on IR, RSJ had a second-consecutive solid performance. With a target share of at least 20% in back-to-back games, Seals-Jones now has nine catches for 99 yards and a score on 14 targets over the past two weeks.

Assuming the every-down presence that Thomas had, Seals-Jones has played 99% and 100% of the team's offensive snaps in the past two games, respectively. Next up for WFT are the Green Bay Packers, who have been middle of the road in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends. That said, they did although three consecutive top-five fantasy TE performances to start the season against Juwan Johnson (Week 1, TE5), T.J. Hockenson (Week 2, TE3) and George Kittle (Week 3, TE4).

As we head into a week with six teams on bye, RSJ will be a viable streamer for at least one more week.

Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars (9%)

With the Jaguars returning home from their "home" game in London, they are on bye so this is more for those looking ahead. It was a relatively quiet performance across the pond for Arnold, who finished with two catches for 27 yards on five targets.

Given that the Jaguars traded a first-round cornerback for Arnold, he will figure heavily into their offensive plans the rest of the way. Excluding his first game as a Jag on short notice (Thursday Night Football) following the trade, Arnold has a minimum of a 24.24% target share in his other two games with the Jaguars.

I've moved Arnold into my top-16 fantasy tight ends for the rest of the season and it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up as a top-12 option from Weeks 8-18.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers (6%)

Like Arnold, Freiermuth is on bye this week. That said, the rookie is coming off a season-high 60% snap rate in addition to highs in receptions (seven), receiving yards (58) and target share (23.33%). With JuJu Smith-Schuster injured, the second-round rookie out of Penn State should continue to become more involved in the passing offense as the season progresses.

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Week 7 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Rankings

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be rostered in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 7 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (44%)

Good news first, here are Mooney's per-game target shares this season: 17.5%, 34.78%, 20.0%, 41.18%, 25.0% and 32.0%. On the year, the second-year wideout has a team-high 26.9% target share. In addition, Mooney leads the Bears in all receiving stats -- receptions (25), yards (306) and touchdowns (one).

So, what's the bad news?

Only the Saints (120, 24.0/G) have fewer pass attempts this season than the Bears (149, 24.83/G). While Mooney has a couple of strong performances (WR13 in Week 4 and currently WR18 heading into MNF), he's also finished as fantasy's WR107 and WR68 in Justin Fields' two other starts.

With a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on tap in Week 7, the Bears are nearly two-TD underdogs. Could that lead to a significant uptick in pass attempts, especially given how stout the team's run defense is?

If the game script leads to more pass attempts and Mooney maintains a target share north of 20%, it's possible that he has another solid outing in a top-eight fantasy matchup.

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (28%)

The first of Baltimore's two first-round picks in 2021, Bateman made his NFL debut in Sunday's blowout victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. It's unclear how things may have been different had it not been a blowout and had Sammy Watkins played, but it was encouraging to see Bateman tie Mark Andrews for a team-high six targets.

Based on talent, Bateman should be a top-50 performer the rest of the way. The biggest concern with Bateman is the same general concern that applies to all of the team's pass catchers -- a run-dominant offensive philosophy that leads to low volume overall.

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Week 7 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Rankings

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be rostered in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 7 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

D'Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns (2%)

Demetric Felton, Cleveland Browns (9%)

Not only was Nick Chubb (calf) already out in Week 6, but Kareem Hunt left Week 6 with an injury of his own that puts his status for Week 7 in doubt, especially as the Browns face a short turnaround. If neither Chubb nor Hunt are available for Thursday Night Football against the Denver Broncos, both Johnson and Demetric Felton (RB/WR) will assume larger roles.

I expect Johnson to get the larger share of the carries and overall workload, but Felton should be more involved as a receiver. Given that fantasy managers will have to deal with six teams on bye and a number of high-profile running backs (Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Chubb, etc.) dealing with injuries, both Johnson and Felton could be viable streamer options in Week 7 despite a challenging matchup against the Broncos.

Denver has allowed 3.75 YPC (ninth-lowest) to opposing RBs and only a league-low 48.48% catch rate to the position as well.

Devonta Freeman, Baltimore Ravens (2%)

Including quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Ravens had four players with 8-9 carries including Freeman. That said, Freeman did lead the team with 53 rushing yards and a touchdown on his nine carries. Latavius Murray (9/44/1, 4.9 YPC) was more efficient than he had otherwise been this season. On the season, Murray is still averaging a career-low 3.59 YPC.

With Ty'Son Williams a healthy scratch again, Freeman seems to be the back most likely to assume the largest workload if a back is to overtake Murray at a future point this season. Of course, Freeman isn't a viable streamer yet, but he's at least worth adding as an end-of-your-bench stash in the event he eventually emerges as the lead back in one of the league's most run-heavy offenses.

J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (42%)

With Antonio Gibson continuing to deal with his shin injury, McKissic had eight carries for 45 yards and caught eight-of-10 targets for another 65 yards on Sunday. McKissic currently ranks top eight in both receptions (21) and targets (28) at the position.

Facing the 5-1 Packers in Week 7, WFT are double-digit underdogs. With the potential of a negative game script and Gibson continuing to deal with his shin injury, it could lead to another healthy dose of targets for McKissic this weekend.

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Week 7 Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire QB Rankings

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be rostered in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 7 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (16%)

Tagovailoa returned to the field and proceeded to throw it 47 times for 329 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and added 22 rushing yards. If you're looking for a streamer, Tagovailoa could be a viable option as the Dolphins return from their trip across the pond to face the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

The Falcons have allowed three top-six weekly quarterbacks in their five games played this season. In those three games, they allowed a total of 11 passing touchdowns with zero interceptions.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (32%)

Going into Sunday's matchup against the Green Bay Packers, Fields was about as bad as it could get as a fantasy quarterback. After all, he had finished the week as the QB34, QB32 and QB31, respectively, in his first three weeks as the starter.

Not great, but things were a little better in Week 6. Fields finished 16-of-27 for 174 yards, a touchdown and an interception to go along with six carries for 43 yards. It was good to see him use his legs more, which could help create a fantasy floor in games where the passing numbers are mediocre.

Fields isn't someone that I'd want to stream against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7 even though the matchup is favorable, but the potential for increased utilization of his rushing ability on a more regular basis makes him a stash consideration.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Week 6 Fantasy Football TE Start'em, Sit'em

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Dawson Knox is listed below as a "start" for Week 6. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 6 with him as my starting tight end.

Then again, Knox may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you roster both Travis Kelce and Knox, you should start Kelce and, in turn, bench Knox.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 6 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (at TEN)

The former Ole Miss tight end is having a breakout season. Other than Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews, no tight end has scored more fantasy points this season than Knox.

Targeted only four times against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, Knox had three catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. That performance extended Knox's streak of games with a score and top-12 weekly finishes to four weeks in a row. During that stretch, he has finished as fantasy's TE11, TE8, TE2 and TE4, respectively.

Once again, the Bills have one of the week's highest implied totals. While the Tennessee Titans have been one of the stingiest defenses to opposing tight ends, Knox remains one of the top options at the position this week.

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots (vs. DAL)

While preseason ADPs meant that Jonnu Smith was off the board before Hunter Henry in the majority of fantasy football drafts, Henry has emerged as the team's TE1 over Smith.

Targets and target shares may not be very different between Henry (26, 13.9%) and Smith (23, 12.3%), but Henry has done much more with his targets. Henry has turned his 26 targets into 20 catches for 216 yards (10.8 Y/R) and two touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (at JAX)

Since being a complete non-factor in Week 1, Gesicki has a minimum of three catches, six targets and 41 yards in four consecutive games. During that four-game span, he has a total of 22 catches (third-most among TEs), 31 targets (third-most), 227 yards (fifth-most) and a touchdown.

Given the injuries to the receiving corps, Gesicki should remain heavily involved in the passing game in a plus matchup this weekend. The Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (at NE)

Entering Week 6, Schultz has scored the fourth-most fantasy points among tight ends regardless of scoring format. While his weekly upside isn't very high, his week-to-week consistency has exceeded all expectations. The former Stanford Cardinal has exactly six receptions in three consecutive games and in four of five games this season.

The Patriots are top four at limiting opposing tight ends in fantasy points. As the Patriots focus their defensive efforts on slowing the Cowboys running game or their talented wideouts (Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb), Schultz should once again be the recipient of plenty of targets from Dak Prescott to keep his fantasy floor high.

Week 6 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (at CHI)

The Chicago Bears are one of the eight most difficult matchups for opposing tight ends this season. Given Tonyan's relative lack of involvement in the offense, those that drafted him as a back-end TE1 can no longer trust him in their lineups even in easy matchups.

Tonyan has eight receiving yards (or less) in four of five games this season. After a hyper-efficient 88.1% catch rate in 2020, Tonyan has a career-low 52.9% catch rate and is averaging only 4.8 yards per target, also a career low.

Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots (vs. DAL)

As noted above, Smith's target share isn't much different than Henry. That said, the tight end tandem hasn't been much of a dynamic duo.

Smith has parlayed his 23 targets into a 15/115/1 stat line. His 7.7 Y/R is the lowest of his career. The Cowboys offer a good matchup to opposing tight ends, but I'd much rather start Henry over Smith if given the choice.

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (vs. ARI)

The Browns scored 42 points in their loss to the Los Angeles Chargers last week, but outside of a two-point conversion, Hooper wasn't targeted despite logging 52 snaps (72%) in Week 5. Over the past three weeks, Hooper has eight targets, three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown.

At this point, I'd actually prefer David Njoku over Hooper. That said, the Arizona Cardinals have allowed a league-low 4.04 fantasy points per game to the position this season.

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Tennessee Titans Week 6 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Tennessee Titans rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 11.4 (11th)
  • Best ranking: 10th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 13th (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 6 roundup for the Titans in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 11

Most improved player: CB Kristian Fulton

How they've improved: Fulton didn't play much last season as a rookie because of a knee injury, but this season he has settled in nicely as the Titans' starting right cornerback. He has one interception and six passes defensed through five games. Fulton's best performance was in Week 2, when he held Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf to one reception for 8 yards. The second-year CB has gained confidence, and it shows in his consistent play on the field. -- Turron Davenport

NFL.com -- Rank: 12

The Big Dog is still The Big Dog. Any attempts to fade The Big Dog will result in the stern reminder that The Big Dog is not to be disrespected under any circumstances. Derrick Henry rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns, another mighty performance in a 37-19 win over the lowly Jaguars. Henry is on pace to set the NFL record for carries and rushing yards this season, and it's hard to imagine an otherwise ordinary Titans team turning away from the one thing that makes it special. This stat, from CBS: Henry just completed the most productive 40-game stretch by a running back in NFL history. His 4,792 yards over the span is just ahead of Jim Brown (4,759). Jim Brown.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 10

They got back on track against Jacksonville after a bad loss to the Jets. Now comes a big Monday night game with the Bills. The defense needs to tighten up.

USA Today -- Rank: 11

Lots of wild Derrick Henry stats out there, and he's currently averaging a career-best 128.0 rush yards per game -- putting him on pace for a single-season record 2,176. But consider this nugget from Elias: Henry has run for 4,792 yards over the past 40 games, eclipsing Jim Brown's record (4,759) for the best stretch in league history.

The Athletic -- Rank: 13

Breakout players: Derrick Henry is running over 10-man fronts but are you really surprised? Only two players are clocking in and going to work on defense and that's safety Kevin Byard and linebacker Harold Landry. Byard is having a bounce-back season and had 10 tackles, an interception and a fumble return for a touchdown against the Jaguars. Landry had two sacks, increasing his total to 4 1/2 for the season.

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Week 6 Fantasy Football WR Start'em, Sit'em

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Chase Claypool is listed below as a "start" for Week 6. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 6 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

Then again, Claypool may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you roster Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp and Claypool and start only two receivers, you should start Adams and Kupp and, in turn, bench Claypool.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 6 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. SEA)

In his two most recent games, Claypool has 9/96 on 15 targets and 5/130/1 on six targets in Weeks 3 and 5, respectively. With JuJu Smith-Schuster out for the season, fantasy managers can rely on consistent volume for Claypool to be a viable WR2 every week.

The Seattle Seahawks offer a favorable matchup for Claypool, Diontae Johnson and the Steelers receivers. Through Week 5, the Seahawks have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to the opposing wide receivers.

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (vs. LV)

The Las Vegas Raiders have limited opposing receivers to the fourth-fewest fantasy points this season, but Sutton has been productive with Jerry Jeudy sidelined. Over the past four weeks, Sutton has two games with double-digit targets and 120-plus yards. In a challenging matchup against the Steelers last week, Sutton finished with seven catches for 120 yards and a score on 11 targets.

Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (vs. LAC)

Few receivers have been as productive as Brown this season. Heading into Week 6, the third-year receiver ranked top-six in all fantasy football scoring formats. With the exception of a drop-laden Week 3, Brown has scored in four of his other games played this season.

In those four games, Brown has a minimum of 16.4 half-PPR fantasy points each week. Even in Baltimore's run-heavy offense, Brown has been able to make the most of his opportunities. Rashod Bateman, the first of two first-round picks by the Ravens in 2021, will make his NFL debut this week, but Sammy Watkins will be out this week as well.

Continue to fire up Brown as a high-upside WR2.

Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (at DET)

It might have taken some time in the offseason for Joe Burrow and Chase to get on the same page, but the former LSU teammates have hit the ground running in the regular season. Chase set career highs in Week 5 with 10 targets and 159 yards.

Chase has a minimum of 54 yards in every game this season and he has a total of five touchdowns through five weeks. Chase has scored at least 10.7 fantasy points in every game and has gone over the 20-point mark in two of his past three games.

Perhaps the Bengals lean heavily on Joe Mixon, given how generous the Lions have been to opposing running backs, but no team has allowed more yards per reception to opposing wide receivers than the Lions (16.18 Y/R). In addition, their WR catch rate allowed (69.51%) is sixth-most in the NFL.

Week 6 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (vs. MIN)

Glass-half-full view: Anderson had 11 and seven targets, respectively, in the past two weeks. Those games were without Christian McCaffrey, who will now miss at least three more as the Panthers have placed him on Injured Reserve. With CMC, Anderson had only 11 targets in the first three games of the season.

While it's certainly possible that Anderson is once again more featured this week than he was early in the season, he has not been very productive the past two weeks. In those games, he finished with 5/46 (WR55) and 2/30 (WR79), respectively. Given his struggles to connect (41.38% catch rate) with Sam Darnold, Anderson is an upside WR4 or a GPP dart throw in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS).

Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (vs. GB)

Only the Houston Texans have a lower implied total this week than the Bears. Perhaps the Bears will throw a little more often as six-point underdogs to the Green Bay Packers and it's a positive for Robinson that Jaire Alexander (IR) is out.

That said, Robinson has 35 receiving yards or less in four of five games this season. In addition, here are his weekly half-PPR finishes this season: WR67, WR46, WR79, WR51 and WR66, respectively. Until we see more from A-Rob, he likely deserves a spot on your bench.

Bust alert: Odell Beckham, Cleveland Browns (vs. ARI)

Given the talent, it wouldn't surprise me if Beckham had a big week, but I wouldn't expect it. After a decent performance in his season debut, OBJ has back-to-back two-catch outings with a total of 47 receiving yards in those two games. Add in some less-than-ideal weather conditions (wind), Beckham slides into our rankings in the 30's, which makes him a low-end WR3 in 12-team formats.

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