Next week marks the halfway point of the regular season in fantasy football. It also opens a stretch when most of the NFL is out of action.
26 of 32 teams will have their bye weeks in Weeks 7-12, beginning with four (the Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Seattle Seahawks) in Week 7. If you haven't really had to turn to your bench so far during this fantasy season, you will next week.
With that in mind, here are four flex-eligible players to target on the fantasy-football waiver wire ahead of Week 7. Each is owned in fewer than 45 percent
Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins RB (Owned in 11.8 percent of ESPN leagues, 10 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Age is but a number for the 35-year-old Gore. The former 49ers running back rushed 15 times for 101 yards, and caught a pass for 18 yards in Miami’s overtime win against the Chicago Bears. He also out-carried Kenyan Drake, who's over a decade younger than Gore, for the third consecutive week.
The Detroit Lions, Gore’s opponent in Week 7, entered their bye week giving up the fourth-most points against running backs by Yahoo’s count, and the fifth-most by ESPN’s. There aren’t many other lead backs available on the waiver wire, so keep Gore in mind if you’re desperate for another running back.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR (39.3 percent of ESPN leagues, 44 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Godwin bounced back from a poor performance in Week 4, catching six passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in a close loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He tied Desean Jackson for the team lead in targets (nine), and scored a touchdown for the fourth time in five games.
The 22-year-old surely benefitted from the Bucs playing catch-up in the second half, and he has a tough matchup against the Cleveland Browns next week at home. But with so many high-end wide receivers (Antonio Brown, Juju Smith-Schuster, Doug Baldwin, and Davante Adams, among others) on byes next week, Godwin is a solid streaming option.
Taylor Gabriel, Chicago Bears WR (32.6 percent of ESPN leagues, 22 percent of Yahoo leagues)
A bye week sandwiched Gabriel’s strong outings in Week 4 and Week 6. For the second straight week, Gabriel crossed the 100-yard threshold, catching five passes (on five targets) for a season-high 110 yards. He added 10 rushing yards on one carry.
Gabriel has proven to be an explosive option for a Bears offense that seems to be finding its stride. He’ll have a tough test in Week 7 against a solid Buffalo Bills secondary, but still has as much big-play upside as any available wide receiver.
Chester Rogers, Indianapolis Colts WR (11.7 percent of ESPN leagues, 16 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Rogers scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 6, catching four passes for 55 yards against the New York Jets. For the third straight week, Andrew Luck targeted the third-year pro 10 times, and Rogers once again led all Colts wide receivers in targets.
Headed into Sunday, T.Y. Hilton (chest/hamstring) did not practice, and sat out for the second straight week. There’s no word yet whether or not Hilton will return in Week 7, but if he does not or remains hobbled, Rogers remains a worthwhile waiver-wire option.