Waiver Wire Report Week 7
As we head toward Week 7, this may become known as the week of the changing of the guard at quarterback for this season. We already know it’ll now be the Tim Tebow show in Denver, and a broken collar bone to Jason Campbell likely will see Kyle Boller make his first start as a Raider. Two other quarterbacks – Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman could also be benched due to a lack of production. This week will also see a few players become active off the PUP list, making them available in almost every format.
Christian Ponder, QB, MIN – There is no reason why the 1-5 Vikings should keep rolling with Donovan McNabb under center after another dismal performance Sunday night. McNabb has a career-low 6.6 YPA and has thrown only four touchdown passes despite having some solid playmakers in the receiving game. Enter this year’s 12th overall pick, Ponder, and the future should be now for the Vikings. In most standard leagues he’s the type of player with whom to take a wait-and-see approach, but if you’re in a league that starts two quarterbacks, now is the time to roster him.
John Beck, QB, WAS – Sticking with potential quarterbacks to grab in two-quarterback leagues, look at Beck. While there’s no guarantee he’ll be named the starter, Beck was considerably better Sunday than Rex Grossman, who averaged more than two turnovers per game. While it was a small sample size, Beck had a 7.8 YPA against a solid Philadelphia secondary and showed some good mobility with his feet, as well. Again, consider him only in deep leagues as someone who can’t play any worse than Grossman.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN – The Broncos wisely dealt Brandon Lloyd on Monday, which should open playing time for Thomas, who has been sidelined with a finger injury as well as recovering from a torn Achilles’. At 6-foot-3, 230, Thomas has the size and athletic ability to emerge as the No. 1 receiving option for the Broncos. Keep in mind he was drafted to take over the vacancy of Brandon Marshall and was actually drafted ahead of Dez Bryant in 2010. Eddie Royal (an option in PPR formats) will compete for snaps, and it’s hard to know how much chemistry he has with Tim Tebow, but there’s a lot of potential with Thomas.
Mark Clayton, WR, STL – A lot has changed for the St. Louis passing game the last few days. First, Mike Sims-Walker has cut to make room for the latest acquisition, Brandon Lloyd. Second, Sam Bradford has a high ankle sprain that could keep him out of Week 7’s game against the Cowboys. Before injuring his knee last season, Clayton had fantasy scoring weeks of 11, 14, 8 and 7 in standard formats, indicating a good rapport with fellow Sooner Bradford. Throw in 40 targets in those four games and Clayton makes for an excellent add in PPR formats, provided Bradford is on the field.
Jerome Simpson, WR, CIN – Simpson recorded his second 100-yard game of the season in Week 6, busting out for 101 yards on six catches. He’s finding that being teammates with A.J. Green helps one get softer coverage, drawing the No. 2 corner while the safety’s attention will be toward Green’s side. Simpson shouldn’t be viewed as even a No. 2 wide receiver given his inconsistency but could be a sneaky desperation play as a No. 3 with a favorable matchup.
Montario Hardesty, RB, CLE – Things in Cleveland seemed to have gotten stranger and stranger between Browns management and Peyton Hillis. After not getting a new contract in the offseason and sitting out a game based on his agent’s advice, Hillis left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. He returned to the game and was noticeably not 100 percent. If Hillis were to miss any time, Hardesty would instantly be in line for about 20 touches per game. Keep in mind the Browns have the Seahawks, who have given up a league-best 3.1 YPC this season, before plugging Hardesty into your lineup this week.
DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL – In a shocking development of events, Felix Jones once again hurt himself and had to leave Sunday’s game due to an ankle injury. It looks like Jones should miss this week’s tilt with the Rams, which would put Murray in line for the lion’s share of touches in the Dallas backfield. The Cowboys drafted Murray for his speed as his 4.37 40-yard time was tied for the best among running backs at the 2011 NFL Combine. While his 3.0 YPC average is nothing to brag about, he plays in one of the NFL's better offenses, which gives him a high ceiling if he gets enough touches.
C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF – Spiller was only used as a wide receiver Sunday and finished the game with five catches for 39 yards. Chan Gailey was pleased with his performance and indicated that Spiller continue to be used in the passing game with Donald Jones out the next few weeks. With a bye week upcoming, the Bills would be wise to gameplan a way to utilize his speed in deeper patterns. Consider him a player to stash on your bench in PPR formats who could make an impact after the Bills' bye this week.
Maurice Morris, RB, DET – Jahvid Best suffered his second concussion of the season, putting his status for Week 7 in doubt. The concussion issue actually started a few years ago when he was a junior at California. As a result Morris, who is listed next on the depth chart, would likely make the start for the Lions if Best is out. Look for Keiland Williams to also see an increase in touches, especially near the goal line.
Jake Ballard, TE, NYG – Ballard has seen his role increase the last three weeks for the Giants, accumulating 186 receiving yards and two touchdowns over that span. It shouldn’t be surprising given that Eli Manning loves using his tight end after making Kevin Boss a household name. With Travis Beckum showing little offensive upside and a less effective blocker, Ballard should continue to see his fair share of targets for the Giants.
Fred Davis, TE, WAS – Just when it appeared Chris Cooley was getting more involved in the offense, a broken finger sidelined him. This led to Fred Davis receiving a team-high 11 targets in Washington’s loss to Philadelphia. Davis had a strong first two weeks of the season until two poor performances and a bye week likely caused owners to cut bait. He should have more stellar performances in store as long as Cooley is out; consider him a top-8 tight end option.
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