Fantasy Football: Seven waiver wire pickups for Week 7


Fantasy Football: Seven waiver wire pickups for Week 7

Hopefully your Week 6 matchup didn't end up like this play.

More than 36 hours and a few odd explanations later, we still don't get how this ended up happening. 

But nevertheless, the Colts tried to outsmart arguably the smartest team in football and it expectedly blew up in their face. 

[MORE: Get all your fantasy football coverage here]

Here's our waiver wire pick ups for the week that will actually allow you to outsmart your opponents going forward:

1. Stefon Diggs, WR, MIN

He might be the receiver we all thought Charles Johnson was going to be. Diggs has posted back-to-back strong performances (6+ catches, 80+ yds). I'd love to see him reach the end zone but it's a great start for the rookie. He's looked better than Johnson and Mike Wallace, who has drawn an Antonio Brown comparison to him. It's no longer a question of what will happen to Diggs when Johnson is healthy. He's earned his spot in the starting lineup going forward and is an intriguing future FLEX play. (John "The Professor" Paschall)

2. James Starks, RB, GB

The handcuff no one talked about finally broke through in Week 6, rushing for 112 yards and a score and adding another receiving score in the Packers' sixth straight victory. Mike McCarthy added after the game that Eddie Lacy is still banged up, and while a bye week will help that injury situation it's to consider Starks more than just an insurance policy for the bruising Lacy. Hell, McCarthy admitted they could have gone back to Lacy but wanted to keep the hot hand in there. As long as Starks produces when he's in, he's got value on just about every fantasy team. He's worth an add, regardless of Lacy's injury status. (Mark Strotman)

3. Christine Michael, RB, DAL

I'm not going to lie. I got really excited when the Cowboys traded for Michael just before the season started. He hasn't done anything (almost literally) this year but the whispers are getting louder than he's going to have a bigger role going forward. It's no secret Joseph Randle hasn't blown anyone away and neither has Darren McFadden. Expect Michael to get many more touches going forward. (Paschall)

4. Landry Jones, QB, PIT

I can't believe I'm writing this but that's the NFL for you. While it's not certain, it seems like the Steelers are going to start Jones this week with Michael Vick and Big Ben out. Jones actually looked pretty good during his time against the Cardinals, who have a solid defense. Luckily for Jones, things get much easier as the Steelers take on the Chiefs next. Jones has all the weapons he needs to succeed and the Chiefs defense has been putrid. He's a nice one-week emergency start if you need it. (Paschall)

5. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, TEN

More rookie wide receivers? You bet. He hasn't posted any huge numbers but his role in the Titans offense is starting to grow. He's arguably the most talented receiver they have (Kendall Wright up there too) but he has the size that every quarterback loves. He's going to be a red zone monster going forward and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see his game gradually pick up. (Paschall)

6. Falcons defense, ATL, DEF

No, Devonta Freeman doesn't play on this side of the ball and can't help you. But consider that before they got run all over by Drew Brees and Co. on a weird Thursday night, the Falcons had compiled 34 fantasy points (and three touchdowns) against sub-par offenses in Houston and Washington. Now they square off against a Titans team ranked 32nd in offense that likely will be without Marcus Mariota? Um, yeah. Give me the Falcons defense all day. This could be the stream of the year.

7. Jordan Cameron, TE, MIA

Owned in just 62 percent of ESPN leagues, this is a simple reminder that if anyone dropped Cameron to go out and snag him if you can. Miami's offense looked entirely different under Dan Campbell, and remember that Campbell was previously the team's tight ends coach. That should mean bigger and better things from Cameron, who caught three passes (on eight targets) for 30 yards and a score last week. Things are only looking up for this Dolphins team, so owners of Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry and now Jordan Cameron can feel better about those picks. I expect Cameron to be back at TE1 status by the end of the year, making him a nice pickup if he can be had.

Bears ’18 offseason dramatically different from ’17 but with difficult money-management issues looming


Bears ’18 offseason dramatically different from ’17 but with difficult money-management issues looming

About this time a year ago the Bears were setting up for the annual NFL beauty pageant in Indianapolis, sitting with the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft and with myriad roster decisions to address with both that draft and free agency. Because of the Bears’ lofty draft position, even more scrutiny and attention swirled around the college prospects (Deshaun Watson, Jamal Adams, Solomon Thomas, not enough on Mitch Trubisky as it turned out, a testimonial to GM Ryan Pace’s ability to keep a secret).

But what was developing in free agency was arguably of even greater significance in what was then the short term, at least for John Fox, as it turned out. And the changed landscape this year bodes considerably better for Pace and the Bears. At least in one important respect.

First, a perspective from last year’s pre-Combine period...

Because of the unsettled quarterback situation – the Bears were working toward Mike Glennon and cutting Jay Cutler two weeks later – and concerns about a possible lame-duck situation for Fox, free agents and their agents were willing to look at the Bears but only if the Bears would pony up excessive guaranteed dollars. The worry any time a coach is heading into a tipping-point year is that if things go badly, the coach and staff are gone, and the resulting changes will alter the job situation of that particular veteran player.

So the likes of cornerbacks A.J. Bouye or Stephon Gilmore opted for less total money from Jacksonville and New England, respectively, because the Bears weren’t offering higher guarantees to compensate for the uncertainty.

(One of the reasons then-President/CEO Michael McCaskey stated to this reporter for firing Mike Ditka after the 1992 season was a concern over the negative pall Ditka cast over playing for the Bears as the NFL prepared for the 1993 start of free agency. A quarter-century later, Pace didn’t fire Fox because of free agents’ aversion to Fox, but the overall wasn’t making Pace’s job any easier.)

Would Alshon Jeffery have stayed if...

On a slightly different tack: Would Alshon Jeffery have given the Bears a more receptive look had the quarterback position been addressed sooner in the Fox/Pace tenure? Jeffery took less from the Eagles in a one-year prove-it deal, not because Philadelphia was so much warmer than Chicago, but in large part because of where the offensive arrow was pointing in Chicago with Fox, Dowell Loggains and an unsettled quarterback situation.

Not insignificantly in the Jeffery case: Jeffery had four choices – Bears, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Philadelphia. The Colts weren’t sure about Andrew Luck, coming off shoulder surgery and ultimately missing all of ’17. The Vikings were resting then on brittle Sam Bradford, whose knee broke down early, and Case Keenum wasn’t CASE KEENUM at that point. The Bears with Loggains and Glennon? Jeffery didn’t go with Philadelphia, Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz only for the money, which did come anyway.

The Bears have “fixed” all of those issues in the year that’s played out since Jeffery signed with the Eagles almost concurrent with the Bears moving on from Cutler. None of that matters now in the least with Jeffery, Bouye, Gilmore or any other options that demanded too much guaranteed money or spurned the Bears back then, but it does matter going into the run-up to free agency over the next couple weeks.

Why this in fact matters more than the draft is that, while sound organizations are grounded in quality drafting, the reality is that in virtually every offseason, more starters for that season are acquired via free agency than the draft. Last year’s draft centerpiece was Trubisky, though he wasn’t supposed to start last season. But free agents Glennon, Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper, Quintin Demps and Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright were.

The money pit

Longtime Bears and NFL personnel chief Bill Tobin once remarked back in the beginning of free agency, “Just because you pay a guy $2 million doesn’t make him a $2-million player.” That still applies, adjusted for inflation. And that could make this free agency dicey for the Bears.

Because price isn’t always determined solely on quality; it’s a matter of supply and demand. And while the Bears are among those with the greatest estimated space under the projected cap of $178 million, the others way up on the list include Cleveland, Indianapolis, the Jets, Houston and Tampa Bay – all teams with five or fewer wins in ’17 and expected to be the most aggressive in using free agency to fix gaping holes. The Bears have a lot of money to spend, but so do a whole lot of others.

Meaning: A lot of dollars will be chasing a select few players, which will make some of them overpaid, not unlike Glennon was last offseason (how many apparently better options were there?) or a couple of others, who will be paid like $2 million players even if they aren’t, adjusted for inflation.

The result is another offseason of brinksmanship for Pace, this time in need of better results than his first three free agencies if the outcome for his second head coach is to be better than it was for his first.

Report: Bears could be a potential landing spot for Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry


Report: Bears could be a potential landing spot for Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry

The Bears are looking for an upgrade at wide receiver this offseason, and there may be one available.

The Dolphins used the franchise tag on wide receiver Jarvis Landry on Tuesday, in a move that many believe signals the team's desire to deal him instead of losing him in free agency for nothing.

Landry put up excellent numbers last season, catching 112 passes for 987 yards and nine touchdowns. He led the league in catches and was fourth in touchdown receptions but was just 17th in yards. His yards per reception ranked 108th of 139 qualifying players.

Still, it's no secret he'd be an upgrade for the Bears at wide receiver. Though they'll get Cam Meredith and Kevin White back from injury, the corps largely struggled and didn't give rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky much help.

Luckily, they may be interested in Landry, per's Ian Rapoport.

"There are a couple teams that we should keep an eye on as far as a potential Jarvis Landry landing spot......the Chicago Bears are looking for receviers," he said.

Rapoport also mentioned the Titans, Panthers and Saints as options for Landry. The franchise tag will pay Landry about $16 million before he becomes a free agent in 2019 (or has the franchise tag used on him again).