Bears

Wk 7 Waiver Wire Madness: WR & TE

by Ryan Skolrud

Wide Receivers

Dede Westbrook – 37% Owned in ESPN Leagues

Westbrook is currently WR31 in PPR Leagues and could a solid bye week fill in as we move toward the middle of the season. While there are a lot of receivers in Jacksonville, the Jags’ run-to-pass ratio has gone from 52/48 to about 35/65 since Leonard Fournette went down with his hamstring injury. Dede is on pace for a 72/1032/5 line and although there are some other talented receivers in Jacksonville, Dede is a first or second round talent that was drafted in the 4th round because of some off the field issues. Westbrook may be a little boom-or-bust but could be a big help to your fantasy team.

Chris Godwin – 39% Owned

Let’s see how many weeks in a row we can put Chris Godwin on the waiver wire list. After having only a single game to this point with less than 4 targets or 3 catches, Godwin is very involved in the Buccaneers’ offense. His pace is for a 67/800/13 season in which the TDs may not be sustainable, but being behind Desean Jackson who has been prone to miss time most seasons with ailing leg injuries, Godwin has a lot of upside as well. The second year receiver has also already been on his bye week, so even though he is WR50 in total scoring for PPR, his is #33 in terms of points per game for wide receivers.

Taylor Gabriel – 32% Owned

This addition to the waiver wire list was a surprise even to me, as I have tried to avoid suggesting players in which I believe it would simply be chasing points (ie Albert Wilson and Cole Beasley. Seriously, you don’t need to be chasing these points unless you are devastated by injuries or love dealing with mass frustration from lack of consistency). However, Gabriel has quietly become the WR43 and with already having his by, ranks as WR28 in terms of points per game. What has really made the veteran WR even more fantasy relevant is the emergence of Mitchell Trubisky and the mass improvements he has shown as a quarterback over the last couple games. Gabriel has become his deep threat target and has a very exploitable matchup against the Patriots (just ask Mahomes and Hill, Luck and Ebron, Bortles and the entire Jags receiving corpse, etc).

Tight End

O.J. Howard – 36.5% Owned

I was fully confident that Jameis Winston‘s return would mean that Cameron Brate was going to be the guy at TE for the Buccaneers, even though Howard would still get some work. Brate scored a TD on the first possession. Turns out that was his only target on the game as well. Howard finished with 4 catches, 62 yd and a TD and is proving, as he did last year, that he will be a productive part of this offense even with Cameron Brate on the field. Howard currently teeters on the TE1/TE2 edge as TE #12 in PPR. As long as he stays healthy, look to Howard to continue to put up productive numbers at a position that is becoming a wasteland of season ending injuries.

Vance McDonald – 49.7% Owned

Vance fits just under our regular 50% owned threshold for waiver wire content. McDonald has shown big play ability for the Steelers and, other than the one big week for Jesse James, has outperformed his TE counterpart. I do not usually advocate for TEs in a Ben Roethlisberger offense, let alone ones that are currently on bye weeks. This is more of a move for those who are looking for more production from the TE position but also have a roster spot to burn for the week. I would NOT put a waiver claim in for McDonald but would instead wait until the claims have all been processed to see if he is still a free agent. That way you do not lose your waiver priority and you can figure out if you want to hold him though his bye week. 

*All stats provided by StatRoute, your #1 site for fantasy stats research.

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