Fantasy Football FAB Report: Week 7
Free agent budget waivers (FAB) are, without a doubt, the way to go. While some leagues are still sticking to the ancient ways of rolling list waivers (yuck) or waiver priority determined by the reverse order of standings (barf), many of the savvy ones are moving over to budgets. It makes sense -- why not give every manager an equal shot at every player. Do you really want to reward people for sucking at fantasy? Okay...rant over.
Every Tuesday evening, I (along with most managers in leagues with FAB waivers) spend countless hours trying to figure out how much to offer for the week's top available players -- which so happens to be exactly what this piece will cover.
Let's get to this week's top players and how much of my budget I'd be willing to offer to acquire them.
(The suggested offers are for 12-team, half-PPR leagues.)
Depending on your scoring and roster formats, how much you should spend at quarterback varies from league to league. If you're in a traditional, four-point-per-touchdown, one-quarterback league, there is rarely an occurrence where you should be spending a big chunk of your budget on the position. However, if you're in a superflex or straight up two-quarterback league, that story changes entirely. With that in mind, let's look at this week's top streaming options.
The suggested salaries in this piece will be for standard scoring leagues.
Teddy Bridgewater (45% rostered) - Bridgewater posted a dud in Week 6 against the Chicago Bears, but we did see that coming. In Week 7, Teddy will get the "streamer's delight" in the New Orleans Saints. To date, New Orleans has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. In fact, they've allowed at least 21.3 fantasy points to every passer they've faced in 2020. That'll do. As of Monday morning, the Saints rank sixth-worst In Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. Let me remind you, prior to the Week 6 dud, Bridgewater had back-to-back games with more than 20 fantasy points. But that's not all. Streamers should be delighted to know that Teddy gets the Atlanta Falcons again in Week 8. The Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing passers, including 20.8 to Teddy in Week 5. However much of your budget you dedicate to streamers each week, double that for Bridgewater.
Suggested offer: 6-7%
Andy Dalton (32% rostered) - As of writing, Dalton should still be a free agent in most leagues -- he'll go on waivers tonight. Go scoop him up before you need to spend your budget on him. In Week 7, Dalton will square off with the Washington Football Team, who have surrendered the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. A lot of the damage done against them by signal-callers has been on the ground, which isn't necessarily Dalton's forte, but he will be one of the better streamers next week. I'll update with a suggested bid once tonight's game concludes.
(Update: After Monday night's performance, save your budget and don't offer anything.)
Unlike quarterback, running back is a premier position in almost every format. For that reason, this is a position you'll want to be generous with. Of course, some backs have more value in PPR (point-per-reception) leagues than they do in standard, so be sure to keep that in mind.
This week, there are two running backs rostered in under 50% of Yahoo leagues who are worth any sort of significant investment.
Boston Scott (14% rostered) - If you're struggling with byes and a need a short-term fill-in, Boston Scott will do just fine. With Miles Sanders expected to miss one or two games, Scott should step in and get a large portion of the touches for the Philadelphia Eagles. With Sanders out in Week 1, Scott saw a 56% snap share and garnered 11 touches -- he struggled to do anything against an elite Washington front, but the snap share was encouraging. In the three games Scott played at least 40% of snaps in 2019, he totaled 21.8, 10.0, and 33.8 half-PPR points. In Week 7, Scott will have a date with the New York Giants, who have surrendered the ninth-most fantasy points, seventh-most receptions, sixth-most receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns to opposing running backs.
Suggested offer: 13-15%, 22-25% if you're desperate.
Justin Jackson (46% rostered) - I suggested adding Jackson last week, and those who waited are going to have to dish out a bit more to get him this week. Fresh off a bye, Jackson, who totaled 20 touches in Week 5, will get an absolutely delicious matchup. The Los Angeles Chargers will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. This is the team that just allowed 123 yards and 2 touchdowns to D'Andre Swift and 58 yards and a touchdown to Adrian Peterson in Week 6. This is also the team that let Joe Mixon drop 39.1 half-PPR points in Week 4. Depending on how long Austin Ekeler is out, it's very plausible that you can get three or four start-worthy weeks from Jackson.
Suggested offer: 15%
Other options: As long as Washington continues to inexplicably give J.D. McKissic (12% rostered) run over Antonio Gibson, he'll be a decent fill-in for PPR formats. If you need someone for one of your running back spots, put in a 3-5% offer for McKissic ... Gus Edwards (3% rostered) won't help you in Week 7, but he could get some run in the following weeks if Mark Ingram were forced to miss any time. It doesn't look like Ingram has a long-term injury, and Edwards will be sharing the pie with J.K. Dobbins, so anything more than 3-4% is too much.
While it may vary based on scoring (standard versus PPR), wideouts are generally valued at similar rates in most formats. However, leagues that require you to start at least three wideouts could see inflated offers at the position.
Just like in Week 6, waivers are ripe with startable receivers. Let's take a look.
Chase Claypool (49% rostered) - I'm not entirely sure how it's possible, but Chase Claypool is somehow still rostered in under 50% of Yahoo leagues. If he's available in yours, be prepared to spend. Among receivers with at least 20 targets, Claypool ranks second in Reception NEP per reception and first in both Reception NEP per target and Target NEP per target. The fact that he's totaled more than 16 fantasy points in three of his five games should only surprise those in the 51% of leagues where he's not rostered. In Week 6, he led all Pittsburgh wideouts with a 78% snap share (12% higher than the next-closest receiver). Even when Diontae Johnson returns, Claypool should be here to stay.
Suggested offer: 30-40%
Travis Fulgham (31% rostered) - After garnering a whopping 13 targets in Week 5, Fulgham should have seen his roster percentage jump to more than 31%, but alas, he's a free agent in a very nice 69% of Yahoo leagues -- that needs to change...now. In Week 6, Fulgham received 10 looks from Carson Wentz, turning them into 6 receptions for 75 yards and a tuddy. Granted, a decent amount of that production came in quasi-garbage time, but he is undoubtedly the top dog in Philly at the moment. The 25-year-old has seen snap shares of 78% and 81% in his last two games. And, among wideouts with at least 20 targets, Fulgham ranks third in Reception NEP per reception and second in Reception NEP per target and Target NEP per target. Fulgham gets matchups with the Giants and Dallas Cowboys the next two weeks, and he'll be on the WR2/WR3 line for those matches. Don't be stingy here.
Suggested offer: 20-25%
Mike Williams (45% rostered) - Despite posting a line of 5 receptions for 109 yards and 2 scores in Week 5, Williams remains under-rostered. Williams posted that line while playing through a hamstring injury, and the bye likely helped with that. Even though Keenan Allen looks like he'll be fine after leaving Week 5's match with back spasms, Williams is still one of the premier adds for Week 7. When healthy, Williams is flat out one of the most talented receivers in the game. Among the 69 (nice) receiver to garner at least 60 targets in 2019, Williams ranked first in Reception NEP per reception and fifth in Reception NEP per target -- that was after finishing first and second in those respective categories in 2018. After facing four teams that are among the 12 stingiest to opposing wideouts in 2020, Williams doesn't have a single such matchup for the rest of the season.
Suggested offer: 15%
Tim Patrick (18% rostered) - It might be time to start taking Patrick seriously. Patrick has now recorded at least 12.1 half-PPR points in three consecutive games after totaling 101 yards against the New England Patriots in Week 6. Patrick has garnered 15 targets over his last two games and at least 5 targets in four of his five games, so it's not as if this is entirely flukey. Among wideouts with more than 25 targets this season, Patrick ranks ninth in Reception NEP per reception and seventh in Reception NEP per target. The Kansas City Chiefs present a tough test in Week 7, but the schedule eases up for Patrick considerably after that.
Suggested offer: 8-10%
Other options: There's a receiver available in more than 70% of leagues that has totaled at least five of his six games, has seen five-plus targets in every game, has scored in three different outings, and just posted 143 yards in Week 6 -- his name is Keelan Cole (29% rostered). In half-PPR formats, Cole has posted 13.2 or more points in three of his six games. He's worth a 7-9% offer in most formats ... If you're willing to embrace volatility, go out and get Henry Ruggs (47% rostered). Ruggs only caught two passes in Week 5 (on three targets), but those went for 72 (a touchdown) and 46 yards. His big-play ability is tough to match. Offer up to 5% if he's available ... Christian Kirk (39% rostered) is starting to get looks in one of the league's most explosive offenses. In the last two weeks, Kirk has totaled 12 targets and has turned them into 8 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. He's worth a 2-3% offer (update: Given how Kirk looked on Monday night, I'd be willing to offer up to 7% for him).
Dallas Goedert (41% rostered) - It's rare -- especially given how thin the position -- that we can get a potentially mid-to-high-end TE1 on waivers in nearly 60% of leagues, but that's the case here with Goedert. Now, I should preface this by saying that while Goedert is eligible to return off IR in Week 7, he might not be back until Week 9. However, savvy fantasy managers should use this opportunity to look ahead. Zach Ertz will miss three to four weeks with an ankle injury, and he hasn't been effective even when he has been healthy. There is a real opportunity for Goedert to take this job by the horns when he returns. Stash Goedert this week before he becomes even costlier down the line.
Suggested offer: 8-10%.
Other options: Jonnu Smith left Sunday's game with what is being deemed to be a "minor" ankle injury. Anthony Firkser (1% rostered) played 55% of the snaps in his stead and garnered 9 targets, which he turned into 8 receptions, 113 yards, and a touchdown. Smith could be back in Week 7, but if the reports are looking glim when you're putting in your waiver offers, you can spend up to 5% for Firkser as a one-week filler ... Richard Rodgers (0% rostered) should get some run as Philly's starting tight end in Week 7. Even as a bye week filler, I wouldn't spend more than 2-3% ... Darren Fells (5% rostered) is worth a look after posted 142 yards and 2 touchdowns in his last two contests, but a Jordan Akins' return from injury would damper his prospects significantly. Like Frisker, Fells is worth up to a 5% bid if you're desperate.