With six teams on bye last week, the best players currently available on the fantasy waiver wire might have just been dropped because their teams didn’t have a game over the weekend.
If that doesn’t help you bolster your roster, then you may find your choices rather limited this week. We didn’t see any major breakout performances in Week 7, and some of the skill players who are injured are being replaced by more than one backup.
© Cary Edmondson, USA TODAY Sports
Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught a touchdown pass in Week 3 before missing the last four weeks with a hamstring injury.
Complicating matters, a pair of Green Bay Packers wide receivers are most likely out this week because of COVID-19 protocols.
From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.
Recommended bids based on a free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) of $100 for the season.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers ($12). With Davante Adams and Allen Lazard on the COVID list, someone has to catch passes from Aaron Rodgers at unbeaten Arizona. Valdes-Scantling has been out since Week 3 with a hamstring injury, but he’s looking good to return for Thursday’s game. If so, he’ll be Rodgers’ top target.
If MVS isn’t activated, veteran Randall Cobb ($8+) becomes a valuable one-week option and Equanimeous St. Brown ($1) a desperation pickup in what could be an offensive shootout.
WR Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons ($10). Gage seems to have recovered fully from an ankle injury that sidelined him for three games earlier in the season. He caught six passes on Sunday for 67 yards – 49 of them coming on a long TD pass from QB Matt Ryan. Calvin Ridley is still the Falcons’ clear No. 1 wideout, but Gage gives them a legitimate threat from the slot.
RB Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles ($9). Starter Miles Sanders left early in Week 7 with an ankle injury. If that should linger, Kenneth Gainwell could get the start, but he’s likely rostered in most leagues. Scott (seven carries, 24 yards, TD) saw increased time with Sanders out and could take over as the primary back with Gainwell keeping his change-of-pace role.
Boston Scott scores for the @Eagles! #FlyEaglesFly
📺: #PHIvsLV on FOX
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/CbgNGViSDN
— NFL (@NFL) October 24, 2021
RB Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals ($7). Perine returned from a week on the COVID list and broke off a 46-yard touchdown run in a blowout win over the Ravens. In his previous game with starter Joe Mixon ailing, Perine had a receiving TD. With the Jets up next, he could see plenty of playing time again.
Samaje Perine goes all the way for a 46-yard TD run!@Bengals can smell first place in the AFC North.
📺: #BALvsCIN on CBS
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/vrNwXu6a3h
— NFL (@NFL) October 24, 2021
WR Darius Slayton, New York Giants ($7). Injuries have each of the Giants’ top three wide receivers questionable for this week. Slayton had nine targets and caught five for a team-high 63 yards vs. Carolina. The Giants travel to Kansas City this week.
TE C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals ($6). Uzomah is making the most of his limited targets. He had three passes thrown his way on Sunday, catching all of them for 91 yards and turning two into touchdowns. He’s now scored five times in four weeks, but his TD efficiency is unsustainable.
RBs Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor, New England Patriots. Both seem to have moved ahead of Rhamondre Stevenson in the Patriots’ backfield. Bolden led the team with six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown, while Taylor had a pair of short-yardage scores in a blowout win over the Jets. However, a tougher matchup awaits in Week 8 at the Chargers.
Also, be sure to check last week’s waiver wire picks (D’Ernest Johnson, Rashaad Penny) to see if any of those players are still available in your league.
Follow Steve Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner.
32. Texans (previously: 31): Welp, maybe they’re at least about to emerge from Deshaun Watson’s very long shadow. 31. Jets (27): NOW they trade for 2020 QB2 Joe Flacco when they could’ve just re-signed him to be their Plan B QB, not to mention a steady resource for now-injured rookie Zach Wilson? The faces change here, but the results never seem to. 30. Lions (32): Another missed opportunity in Week 7, but Sunday brings a feasible opportunity – a home date against the Eagles — to finally shatter prospect of an 0-17 campaign. 29. Dolphins (29): Despite what Ja’Marr Chase is doing in Cincy, credit Miami WR Jaylen Waddle, whose 44 receptions are nine more than any other rookie. 28. Jaguars (28): Trevor Lawrence seems to be quietly figuring out pro game, completing 66.3% of his passes and posting 93.8 QB rating over his past three outings. A date with Seattle’s secondary should keep the arrow trending up. 27. Panthers (15): They’ve devolved from losing to being non-competitive Sunday against Giants. Crucial five weeks ahead with Arizona the only squad Carolina will face that’s currently above .500. 26. Giants (30): OLB Azeez Ojulari might be the steal of 2021 draft. The 50th overall selection leads all rookies with 5.5 sacks. 25. Falcons (26): Appears they’ve figured out how to leverage Kyle Pitts’ estimable talents. After exploding for 282 receiving yards over the past two games, he’s on pace for 1,335 over the full season — which would obliterate Hall of Famer Mike Ditka’s rookie record for tight ends, 1,076 in 1961. 24. Washington (25): Since start of 2020 season, they have five wins against NFC East teams and four against everybody else. Bummer WFT won’t play another divisional game until Week 14. 23. Eagles (24): No defense is getting targeted more through air than this one … and that’s because Philadelphia allows league-worst 74.4% completion rate. 22. Seahawks (19): They’re 2-5 for first time in Russell Wilson era, and injured QB will miss at least one more game. Already five games out of NFC West lead, midnight might’ve already struck in Seattle. 21. Patriots (23): Before you get overly excited about their 41-point shellacking of the Jets, understand New England is the first team in the Super Bowl era to notch its first three wins against rookie QBs. If the pattern holds, the Pats’ next victory will come in Week 17 against Trevor Lawrence’s Jags. 20. Broncos (21): Inexplicable that this team ran 14 times in Week 7 at Cleveland. If any offense should be 4.5 yards and a cloud of dust, it might be this one. 19. Bears (16): QB Justin Fields coughed the ball up five times Sunday, the first five-turnover game in the league in two years and first time a Chicago QB has been guilty of such shenanigans since the immortal Matt Barkley in 2016. It’s getting ugly in the Windy City. 18. 49ers (20): Their bevy of pass interference penalties Sunday night is indicative of carelessness, San Francisco pacing NFL with 81 penalty yards per game. 17. Colts (22): QB Carson Wentz has one INT after hoisting league-high 15 in 2020, and he’s also sporting career-best 102.8 passer rating. This whole Frank Reich reunion apparently is just what the doctor ordered. 16. Steelers (18): Save OLB T.J. Watt, who has seven sacks, no one else on Pittsburgh’s previously vaunted defense has more than two. That’s gotta improve for Steelers to avoid missing postseason for third time in four seasons. 15. Vikings (14): Hope your bye week was restful, gents. A horror show begins Halloween night with a visit from Dallas … followed by matchups against Baltimore, the Bolts and Green Bay. 14. Browns (12): Don’t forget Kevin Stefanski was Case Keenum’s QB coach in Minnesota in 2017 when the Vikings won the division and reached the NFC title round. This just might work … 13. Chiefs (10): Going back to Super Bowl 55, they’ve been torched for 29.3 points per game while averaging 24.6 and are -12 in turnover differential during that eight-game stretch. Time to get back to fundamentals, fellas. 12. Saints (11): Wasn’t pretty, but RB Alvin Kamara and Co. might just be a playoff team without retired QB Drew Brees. Kamara is the fastest player (66 games) to record 3,000 yards both rushing and receiving. 11. Raiders (17): They’re humming post-Gruden, all the way to the top of the AFC West, averaging 33.5 points and 434 yards past two weeks. And with six players already exceeding 300 yards from scrimmage, this crew’s on track to be best Las Vegas team in NFL history. 10. Chargers (9): Last time they hosted Patriots in Los Angeles, New England won 45-0. We’ll assume a better outcome this Sunday at SoFi. 9. Ravens (5): Bye would be good time to reset a defense that’s permitted at least 33 points and at least 490 yards three times. No such tinkering required for QB Lamar Jackson, who’s besting his career average through the air by more than 100 yards per game. 8. Bengals (13): All the chatter about Cincinnati’s (current) No. 1 seed and rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase’s record-setting start is warranted. But props to TE C.J. Uzomah, who’s rebounded from last year’s torn Achilles and has already hauled in a career-best five TD grabs. 7. Bills (8): A bitter loss and the bye in the rear view, Buffalo returns to a three-week murdered row against Miami, Jacksonville and the Jets, who are a combined 3-16 (.158). Great opportunity for Buffalo to create breathing room on AFC pack. 6. Titans (7): All-Pro RB Derrick Henry is leading the NFL in rushing yards (869) and TDs (10). Yawn. He’s a legit MVP candidate because he’s also tops in touches (209) and yards from scrimmage (1,023) and already has 18 receptions — one off his career high. And now he’s throwing TDs? This could get epic. 5. Packers (6): The first team to win six straight after losing the opener by at least 35 points, they head to desert for enticing matchup with Arizona — which will mark the highest combined winning percentage (.929) of opponents in a post-September Thursday night game during Super Bowl era (since 1966). But pandemic is already putting a damper on showdown, All-Pro WR Davante Adams going to the COVID/reserve list Monday. 4. Cowboys (4): After resting his calf strain during bye week, is QB Dak Prescott ready to help set a Dallas record by leading “Dem Boyz” to a fifth consecutive game with at least 35 points? 3. Buccaneers (3): Seems Tom Brady, uh, overcame his fourth-down issues from 2020 against Chicago. Next up, he tries to solve New Orleans in regular season after getting decisively swept last year … before the playoffs. 2. Rams (2): Update, they’re now 40-0 under Sean McVay when leading at halftime. That will tick up to 41-0 given the Rams’ next stop is Houston. 1. Cardinals (1): Don’t believe in the league’s only unbeaten team? Arizona also boasts the NFL’s largest point differential (+111), is the toughest team to score on (16.3 points allowed per game), is getting defensive reinforcements off the COVID-19 list — including OLB Chandler Jones — and is already effectively integrating new TE Zach Ertz, the first player to catch a TD pass in successive weeks … for different teams. Oh yeah … and Kyler Murray.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fantasy football waiver wire: Packers need backup wide receivers to step up
Internet Explorer Channel Network