Welcome to Fanball FAAB, our weekly analysis of players who may be available on your league’s waiver wire.
Words by Christian Peterson. Rankings and blind bid recommendations by Paul Charchian.
Week 6: 22-31, 316 yards, 3 touchdowns passing, 8-47 rushing
Week 7: vs. Patriots
Still owned in just one-third of fantasy leagues, Trubisky should be on rosters as we continue to navigate the bye weeks. Trubisky followed his six touchdown Week 4 outburst with another impressive outing. He’s now completed over 68% of his pass attempts in four straight weeks and, in addition to his passing stats, has rushed for 100 combined yards in his last two games. A possible shootout against the Patriots looms in Week 7. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 20%. In QB-heavy leagues, 30%.
Baker Mayfield, Browns
Week 6: 22-46, 238 yards, 1 touchdown passing, 2-8 rushing
Week 7: at Buccaneers
Mayfield played his worst game as a pro in Week 6, failing to complete 50% of his passes in a losing effort against the Chargers. The Browns receiving corps is an unhealthy mess right now, but the matchup with the Buccaneers keeps Mayfield on the radar as a streaming option this week. The Bucs have allowed the second-most passing yards and the most passing touchdowns despite playing one fewer game than most other teams. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 20%. In QB-heavy leagues, 30%.
Sam Darnold, Jets
Week 6: 24-30. 280 yards, 2 touchdowns passing
Week 7: vs. Vikings
Darnold has now tossed five touchdown passes in the last two games, but those performances should be taken with a couple of massive grains of salt. Two weeks ago, he benefitted from a couple of big plays by Robby Anderson and a Broncos defense that couldn’t stop the run, and last week he faced the injury-ravaged Colts secondary. Things get significantly more difficult in the coming weeks with the Vikings and Bears (both top-10 pass defenses) in consecutive weeks. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%. In QB-heavy leagues, 3%.
Brock Osweiler, Dolphins
No. Just no.
Peyton Barber, Buccaneers
Week 6: 13-82 rushing, 4-24, 1 touchdown receiving
Week 7: vs. Browns
Barber continues to run clearly ahead of rookie Ronald Jones, and he just posted his best game of the season in Week 6, averaging 6.3 yards per carry and accumulating a season-high four receptions while adding a receiving touchdown. Playing the porous Falcons defense will tend to help any runner’s numbers, but Barber has re-established himself as the back to own in Tampa with Jones being worked in very slowly behind him. The Week 7 matchup with the Browns is a juicy one; Cleveland just let Melvin Gordon go for 132 yards and 3 touchdowns, making Gordon the third running back to top 130 rushing yards against them, and also the third back to score multiple touchdowns. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 30%.
Frank Gore, Dolphins
Week 6: 15-101 rushing, 1-18 receiving
Week 7: vs. Lions
The impressive Week 6 line is a little deceiving, as Gore played in a near-even split with Kenyan Drake (Drake had one more touch) and did most of his damage in overtime (47 rushing yards). Still, it’s obvious that Gore isn’t going away any time soon, and you can do worse than a back whose floor is 10-12 touches every game, and who theoretically should get opportunities to score – though even that isn’t a guarantee, given that neither Gore nor Drake have a carry inside the 5-yard line and both have two attempts inside the 10. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 25%.
Marlon Mack, Colts
Week 6: 12-89 rushing
Week 7: vs. Bills
Mack returned to action for the first time since Week 2, operating as the clear lead back for the Colts and racking up 7.4 yards per carry. His 13 touches were more than twice those of backups Nyheim Hines and Robert Turbin, and at this point there is no reason to believe Mack won’t continue to be the lead dog as long as he stays healthy. The Bills are a middle-of-the-road opponent. They’ve held opposing backs to just 3.8 yards per carry, but they’ve also surrendered seven running back touchdowns in six games. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 20%.
Ito Smith, Falcons
Week 6: 11-22 rushing, 1 touchdown rushing
Week 7: vs. Giants
With Devonta Freeman surprisingly hitting IR on Tuesday, Smith suddenly becomes priority No. 1 on the waiver wire this week. The rookie runner hasn’t been great while filling in for Freeman in recent weeks, but he has scored in three straight games and could now be more than just a goal line option – truth be told, Tevin Coleman hasn’t been spectacular as the lead back for the Falcons, so there’s a not-that-far-fetched scenario in which Smith carves out a much larger share of this backfield. The fact that he averaged just 2 yards per carry against the moribund Buccaneers in Week 6 doesn’t bode well for an increased workload, but stranger things have happened. In the near term, the Giants have allowed seven running back scores in six games, so at the very least there’s a chance Ito’s scoring streak continues for another week. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 20%.
Doug Martin, Raiders
Week 6: 0-0 rushing, 1-8 receiving
Week 7: bye, then hosting Indy in Week 8
Media reports on Tuesday say that Marshawn Lynch is dealing with a groin injury serious enough to potentially plague him the rest of the season. He’s on bye this week, which helps, but if the reports are true, he’ll need more than a week to get right. Groin injuries are particularly devastating for runners, and any attempt to play through it could worsen the condition. Many people are jumping on Jalen Richard, but we believe that he will retain his role as the team’s third-down back, and Doug Martin would likely turn into the starter. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%.
Duke Johnson, Browns
Week 6: 2-36 rushing, 4-73 receiving on 5 targets
Week 7: at Buccaneers
Coming off his best game of the season, the criminally under-used Johnson is worth dusting off for a tasty Week 7 matchup with the Bucs. The Browns are almost completely bereft of talent at wide receiver beyond Jarvis Landry, and Baker Mayfield would be well-advised to look Duke’s way more frequently. In 5 games, the Bucs have allowed the following RB receiving lines: Alvin Kamara (9 catches – 112 yards – 1 touchdown), Corey Clement (5-55), James Conner (5-34), Tarik Cohen (7-121-1). Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers
Week 6: 12-87, no receptions, no touchdowns
Week 7: vs. Rams
To the anguish of Alfred Morris owners, Kyle Shanahan used Raheem Mostert as the backup to Matt Breida on Monday night. It was a wise decision. Mostert ran with a level of power and determination Morris hasn’t displayed since his rookie year. It certainly looks like he’s permanently displaced Morris, and finds himself in an enviable spot as a rotational back behind a constantly-injured starter. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%.
Nick Chubb, Browns
Week 6: 3-25 rushing, zero receptions on the year
Week 7: at Buccaneers
For the second time in three weeks, Browns head coach Hue Jackson has vowed to get Nick Chubb more involved in the offense. His previous edict resulted in the exact same usage for Chubb, so we’ll believe it when we see it. Chubb has posted either two or three carries in every game this year. But the reason it feels more promising now is because Carlos Hyde has been garbage. He’s topped 3.7 YPC just one time all year, and he’s averaging just 3.4 YPC on the season. Meanwhile, Chubb is averaging a whopping 10.8 YPC. Keep in mind, though, Hue was the guy who was resisted playing another rookie, Baker Mayfield, until he had no choice. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%.
Rashaad Penny, Seahawks
Week 6: 9-43 rushing, 2-27 receiving
Week 7: bye
The head-scratching game of running back roulette continues in Seattle, where Penny saw his most extensive action of the season while erstwhile waiver wire All-Star Mike Davis got just 7 touches. It’s tough to glean much from Week 6 as most of Penny’s action came during mop-up duty with the Seahawks up big over the Raiders. Still, going into the Week 7 bye there is at least an outside chance that Penny has improved his odds of being a contributor during the second half of the season. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%.
Marquise Goodwin, 49ers
Week 6: 4-126, 2 touchdowns receiving on 5 targets
Week 7: vs. Rams
Goodwin battled a variety of leg ailments throughout the first five weeks, and also endured the fantasy value-killing injury to Jimmy Garoppolo. Fantasy owners (rightfully) bailed on Goodwin, to the point where he is now owned in less than half of all leagues. Now free from the shackles of your previously high fantasy expectations, Goodwin looked fast and healthy while repeatedly torching a beleaguered Green Bay secondary on Monday night. Stewbeard, Jr. (C.J. Beathard) has now tossed multiple touchdown passes in three straight games, and Goodwin proved he can still take the top off a defense. What’s more, the resurgence couldn’t have come at a better time; this week the 49ers face a Rams secondary that has allowed three 100-yard receivers and 10 wide receiver touchdowns (including two each to Mike Williams, Aldrick Robinson, and David Moore) in the last four games alone. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 17%.
Taylor Gabriel, Bears
Week 6: 5-110 receiving on 5 targets
Week 7: vs. Patriots
Gabriel followed up his breakout Week 4 performance (7-104-2) with another 100-yard effort in Week 6. He’s caught every one of the 12 targets tossed his way by Mitch Trubisky and has to be taken seriously at this point. The Bears Week 5 bye likely depressed Gabriel’s ownership, as he’s still available in two-thirds of all fantasy leagues. Up next is the Patriots, who have allowed the sixth-most wide receiver touchdowns to date (9) and who just got torched for three scores by the similarly speedy Tyreek Hill a week ago. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 15%.
Chester Rogers, Colts
Week 6: 4-55 receiving on 10 targets
Week 7: vs. Bills
Rogers has been the obvious beneficiary of T.Y. Hilton’s absence and has now been targeted at least 10 times in three straight games. He scored a garbage time touchdown and was comically inefficient with his 10 targets in Week 6, but as one of the only healthy wideouts in a high-volume passing attack, Rogers needs to be owned in PPR formats. Hilton didn’t practice all of last week and is considered week to week with chest and hamstring injuries. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%
Albert Wilson, Dolphins
Week 6: 6-155, 2 touchdowns receiving on 9 targets
Week 7: vs. Lions
Wilson single-handedly did the impossible in Week 6 – he made Brock Osweiler look like a competent NFL quarterback. Wilson secured touchdown receptions of 43 and 75 yards, going over 100 yards receiving for just the second time in his career. Wilson now has four touchdowns this season and has seen increasing usage in each of the Dolphins last three games. With preseason darling Kenny Stills slumping and Devante Parker a complete non-factor, Wilson has established himself as a vital cog in the Dolphins passing game. That’s not saying much in the grand scheme of things and there will likely be a bidding war that far out-paces Wilson’s true value this week, but if you can snare him for decent value he’ll probably provide the occasional big game in the second half of the season. He’s startable this week in a favorable matchup with Detroit. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 2%
Cole Beasley, Cowboys
Week 6: 9-101, 2 touchdowns receiving on 11 targets
Week 7: at Redskins
At some point, someone had to catch some passes for the Cowboys. That it happened to be Beasley, and that it happened against the Jaguars, was unexpected. Problem is, Beasley has now used up two of his annual allotment of 4-5 touchdowns, and he’s just as likely to go on another 12-game scoreless streak as not. Anyways, Beasley will always have some appeal in PPR leagues for his possession-receiver tendencies, but don’t expect consistent production. This week, he draws one of the league’s worst slot corners, Washington’s Fabian Moreau. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 2%
Jermaine Kearse, Jets
Week 6: 9-94 receiving on 10 targets
Week 7: vs. Vikings
Quincy Enunwa left Week 6 with an injury that could be the dreaded high ankle sprain. In Enunwa’s stead, Kearse stepped in and promptly saw 10 targets from a suddenly potent Sam Darnold. Just remember that Kearse’s Week 6 breakout came at the expense of the Colts – one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Things won’t be as easy in Week 7 against a Vikings defense that has tightened up since being embarrassed by the Rams a few weeks ago. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%
O.J. Howard, Buccaneers
Week 6: 4-62, 1 touchdown receiving
Week 7: vs. Browns
A surprising game day activation in Week 7, Howard performed admirably just two weeks after suffering a reported sprained MCL. Howard scored and amassed 62 yards on four targets during a shootout with the Falcons, but the most encouraging sign for Howard owners was that Cameron Brate – previously a favorite of Jameis Winston’s – had just one target (although he did score on that target). In any case, Howard has huge upside in a suddenly potent passing attack and should be on far more than 37% of rosters. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 30%, because half your league is looking for tight end help.
C.J. Uzomah, Bengals
Week 6: 6-54 receiving on 7 targets
Week 7: at Chiefs
A repeat on this list from last week, Uzomah continued his ascension as the tight end du jour in Cincinnati in Week 6, amassing 7 targets and cementing his status as a legitimate piece of the Bengals passing attack. Through six weeks, the Bengals Week 7 opponent – the Chiefs – have allowed the most tight end receiving yards in the NFL, including 138 to Jesse James, 79 to George Kittle, 65 to Niles Paul, and 97 to Gronk. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 10%
Welcome to Monday morning. Before you get into the swing of the work week, check out what you might have missed from Week Six. Here’s what you need to know from the Sunday games this week.
Cooper on Trade Block, Knocked Out
Prior to the Raiders game in London, reports surfaced that the team was entertaining the idea of trading former first-round WR Amari Cooper, who has struggled through the past year. Things then got even worse for Cooper, who took a hard hit from a Seahawks defender and was apparently knocked out cold. Cooper was able to leave the field on his own but did not return after being diagnosed with a concussion.
The Panthers got TE Greg Olsen back on the field after missing multiple games with a foot injury. At the time, there was concern Olsen would not be able to return at all this season considering he suffered the same injury a year ago. Olsen caught four passes for 48 yards in his first game back. With so many other injuries to the tight end position, Olsen’s return is a welcome sight.
Thielen on Record Pace
Sunday was not a banner day for the Vikings pass offense as the team focused on building their running game but that didn’t slow WR Adam Thielen. The Vikings top receiver caught 11 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. He’s now on pace for 154 receptions on 216 targets, both of which would be NFL records.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill was a surprise inactive, leaving backup QB Brock Osweiler to lead the way. Expectations were low to say the least. Facing one of the league’s top defenses in Chicago, Osweiler posted a career-high 380 yards along with three passing touchdowns as he led his team to an improbable overtime win. We shouldn’t be ready to label this as a quarterback controversy but it’s not out of the question.
Gordon Runs Wild
The Chargers went into Cleveland and dominated from start to finish. QB Philip Rivers and the passing game once again played well but the game was won with the running game and RB Melvin Gordon, rushing for a season-high 132 yards and three touchdowns. Gordon remains underrated in fantasy circles but is on pace for his best season as a professional. Gordon’s role also continues to grow as backup RB Austin Ekeler tied his season-low with only seven touches.
Starting his first game of the season after a suspension to open the year, Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston racked up the yardage and ranks as the fantasy QB1 entering Monday Night Football. As usual, Winston’s fantasy performance was better than his actual performance due to multiple mistakes, including a pair of interceptions. Winston finished with 395 passing yards and four touchdowns. With no running game and a league-worst defense, Winston should remain in the QB1 conversation for the remainder of the season.
Ridley Suffers Injury
Fantasy players wanted as much exposure to the high-scoring Falcons/Buccaneers game as possible and rookie WR Calvin Ridley was a popular choice in fantasy lineups in Week Six. Unfortunately, Ridley suffered an early-game ankle injury and was unable to return to the lineup. Ridley is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his suspected high ankle sprain and the injury could cost him more game time.
The Tennessee Titans offense was shut out by the Baltimore Ravens, losing 21-0. QB Marcus Mariota threw for 117 yards and the entire offense struggled beyond belief. RBs Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis combined for just 30 rushing yards on 12 carries and projected breakout WR Corey Davis was limited to just one reception. The struggling offense is made worse considering the high expectations for the Tennessee offense entering the season.
Gurley’s Record Day
Rams RB Todd Gurley set a new career-high with 208 rushing yards, marking the second consecutive game the Broncos defense had surrendered a 200-yard rushing game. This is a first in NFL history. Gurley also scored a pair of touchdowns and caught two passes for 17 yards.
Sunday Night Showdown
The weeks’ most anticipated game did not disappoint as the Patriots outlasted the previously undefeated Chiefs, kicking a game-winning field goal as time expired. QB Tom Brady racked up 340 passing yards and a touchdown while rookie RB Sony Michel rushed for 106 yards and two scores. It was Michel’s third consecutive game with over 100 total yards. For the Chiefs, QB Patrick Mahomes passed for 352 yards and four scores with WR Tyreek Hill leading the way. Hill bounced back from a slow couple of weeks to post a 7/142/3 line. RB Kareem Hunt totaled 185 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) is a freelance contributor for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.