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Hey there, fellow fantasy football fanatics! Welcome to the thrilling universe of Week 7, where the excitement is contagious and the stakes are higher than ever. As we gear up for another round of intense matchups, the waiver wire emerges as our go-to treasure trove, filled with uncut gems waiting to shine on our rosters. In this comprehensive guide, we're not just going to skim the surface; we’re diving deep into the stats, stories, and strategies that can help you dominate your league. Get ready for a journey through player performances, upcoming clashes, and the unsung heroes of Week 7's waiver wire.

Quarterbacks: Masterminds of the Field

Let’s kick off our exploration with the quarterbacks, the masterminds who orchestrate the magic on the field. Here’s a closer look at two quarterbacks who are making waves and should have ample opportunity to prove themselves in Week 7.

1. Brian Hoyer (Las Vegas Raiders)

With quarterback Jimmy Garropolo leaving Sunday’s game against the Patriots due to a back injury, it was Hoyer who stepped up. 2nd stringer Aiden O’Connell was also inactive for this game, and Hoyer performed decently well. Hoyer completed 60% of his passes and threw for over 100 yards. While these numbers aren’t great, they are definitely serviceable and Hoyer should be in line for more work in Week 7 assuming Jimmy G is still out. 

If Hoyer does play in Week 7, the matchup is a juicy one, as the Raiders will take on a Chicago Bears defense that has been atrocious against the pass this year. As a one-week bye replacement, one can do worse than Hoyer. Don’t be afraid to pick him up as a one-week streamer if you’re in need of a quarterback due to injury and/or byes. 

2. Tyrod Taylor (New York Giants)

New York Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor took over the reins on Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills due to Daniel Jones being out with a neck injury and performed admirably. His 200 passing yards without any TD’s or interceptions and 24 rushing yards against a solid Buffalo defense was respectable, and should Jones miss more time in Week 7, Taylor would be a solid bye-week fill in.

In Week 7, the Giants take on the Washington Commanders, who have given up the second-most fantasy points to QBs. Washington’s pass defense ranks 28th in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). Taylor is a viable fantasy spot starter for Week 7.

 

Running Backs: The Ground Game Heroes

Running backs are the backbone of any fantasy team. Let’s dive into the stats of two running backs who are not just carrying the ball but also carrying the hopes of fantasy managers.

1. Craig Reynolds (Detroit Lions)

After rookie Jahmyr Gibbs was ruled out in Week 6 and David Montgomery left the game due to injury, the Lions turned to third-stringer Craig Reynolds. Even though he didn’t have a great game, Reynolds was going up against the Buccaneers run defense, which has been solid this year. If both Gibbs and Montgomery were to miss time in Week 7, Reynolds would have solid value, especially with all of the teams (Panthers, Bengals, Cowboys, Texans, Jets, Titans) on bye and the number of running back injuries that are beginning to mount. 

While the Week 7 matchup against Baltimore isn’t great, the Ravens have occasionally given up some big yardage to running backs, most notably Derrick Henry and Zack Moss a few weeks back. While Reynolds isn’t the sexiest of names, if you’re in a pinch for running back help in Week 7, one could do worse. 

2. Jordan Mason (San Francisco 49ers)

When San Francisco running back Christian McCaffrey went down with an oblique injury, it was Mason who ended up being the more effective running back over incumbent backup Elijah Mitchell. There is the possibility McCaffrey’s injury isn’t too serious, but the 49ers could choose to sit him in Week 7, opening the door for a possible committee between Mitchell and Mason. 

While many project Mitchell to be the starter in case McCaffrey does sit, it is still possible Mason gets some volume. If so, we can’t discount anyone who gets double-digit touches in the San Francisco backfield, as Mason has made his case to be at least somewhat involved. Don't be afraid to take a flier on Mason regardless of the current backfield situation in San Francisco. 

 

Wide Receivers: The Playmaking Maestros

Wide receivers are the playmakers, the heroes who turn receptions into touchdowns. Here are two wide-outs who are not just catching passes but also catching the attention of fantasy managers.

1. Rashid Shaheed (New Orleans Saints)

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Rashid Shaheed had himself a banner day in Week 6, with his 12% target share translating into 85 receiving yards and a touchdown. All season Shaheed has been the deep-threat boom or bust option for the Saints, and it’s time to seriously consider him as a potential WR 2 or 3. It also hasn't mattered who's throwing him the ball, as Shaheed has been able to still post solid numbers as the No. 2 receiver in this offense behind stud Chris Olave. With an upcoming schedule against softer pass defenses in the Jaguars, Colts, and Bears, Shaheed has the potential to put together three straight WR3-worthy performances in a row. 

If you’re in the market for a weekly WR3/Flex with potential upside for more, Shaheed is your guy. 

2. Tyquan Thornton (New England Patriots)

New England Patriots receiver Tyquan Thornton was activated off the IR in time for the team’s Week 6 game against the Raiders yesterday. While he didn’t see massive usage and only ended up with a few targets, Thornton is by far the most explosive and fastest player in the New England receiving corps that is desperately seeking help. When New England drafted him prior to last year, he was a nearly identical prospect to Christian Watson, so he possesses the skillset to succeed at the NFL level. 

He might already be on a roster in your league, but if he isn’t and you have a spot available, he would be a very good stash-and-see pickup, especially in dynasty/keeper formats. 

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Tight Ends: The Red Zone Specialists

Tight ends might not always grab the headlines, but their impact in the red zone is undeniable. Here are two tight ends who are not just catching passes; they are catching the attention of fantasy managers.

1. Zach Ertz (Arizona Cardinals)

Zach Ertz, the veteran tight end, has seamlessly integrated into the Cardinals' offense. In Week 6, he was almost non-existent and was outplayed by teammate Trey McBride. However, prior to that, Ertz was ranked TE15 in all of fantasy, and ranked in the top-5 in targets at the tight end position.  His route-running precision coupled with his ability to find openings in the defense have made him a trusted target for quarterback Joshua Dobbs.

While odds are Ertz is most likely already on a team in your league, if he isn’t, now is the time to capitalize on the dud of the Week 6 game and pick him up. 

2. Luke Musgrave (Green Bay Packers)

Green Bay rookie tight end Luke Musgrave is still an underrated tight end at a position that is a fantasy wasteland. While other rookie tight ends are making more of an impact (Sam LaPorta, Michael Mayer), Musgrave’s ancillary usage metrics all scream that he will be a weekly TE1 at some point this year. Check out these stats: 72.7% route run rate, 17.6% target share, and 1.56 YPRR (per fantasy points data) on the season.

Among 34 qualifying tight ends, those numbers rank 11th, 10th, and 10th on the year. Over the next three weeks, he faces two teams (Broncos and Rams), who have allowed the second and third most fantasy points per game to tight ends. Musgrave is a sleeping giant at the position who’s primed to bust out in the coming weeks. With it getting harder and harder to find consistent fantasy production at the position, fantasy managers need to seriously consider Musgrave if he's available on their league's waiver wire.

Seizing Victory in Week 7

As Week 7 unfolds, the waiver wire becomes a playground of possibilities, where savvy managers can transform their teams and secure pivotal victories. The numbers tell a story of potential, but it's the strategic insight of fantasy managers that truly unlocks this potential.

By diving deep into player performances, understanding the matchups, and recognizing emerging trends, you can make informed decisions that set your team on the path to victory. Trust your instincts, analyze the stats, and don’t be afraid to make bold moves. The fantasy football landscape is ever-changing, and those who adapt and strategize are the ones who hoist the championship trophy at the end of the season.

So, fellow fantasy enthusiasts, go forth into Week 7 with confidence! Armed with knowledge, statistics, and a keen eye for talent, may your waiver wire pickups shine brightly, your starting lineup perform spectacularly, and your fantasy journey be filled with triumphs. Here’s to making the right calls, celebrating unexpected heroes, and experiencing the sweet taste of victory in the exhilarating world of fantasy football. Happy fantasy gaming!