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Fantasy Football: Week 7 Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football: Week 7 Waiver Wire

Whether you're dealing with injuries, schedule issues or just in the hunt for more fantasy football help, here's a look at some likely free agent options for Week 7.

Quarterbacks -- Because Cam Newton is on a bye or you're out on Landry Jones as Ben Roethlisberger's replacement.

1. Marcus Mariota, TEN -- Expect some ups and downs ahead, but the second-year passer is maturing quite nicely while benefiting his owners. Six touchdown passes, one rushing plus 124 yards on the ground works just fine. He's a streamer, but with a winnable schedule over the next month starting with the Colts. Mariota might be more than a one-week fling.

2.  Brian Hoyer, CHI -- Though he didn't throw a TD pass last week, snapping a streak of at least two in three straight games, Hoyer had his fourth consecutive game with at least 300 yards. Green Bay gave up three TDP to Dallas rookie Dak Prescott last week.
Others: Alex Smith, KC (vs. Saints), Colin Kaepernick (vs. Buccaneers)

Running Backs -- Because  Ezekiel Elliott leaves you for a week 

1.  Jay Ajayi, MIA -- Well, how about that?? Ajayi, at least for one week, showed he was more than a tease thanks to 204 yards and two touchdowns against Pittsburgh. That this production cam with Miami's offensive line finally intact bodes well for future results. That Arian Foster remains a thing does not. The Dolphins should feature the young kid over the older option. If you've been hoarding those auction dollars, this isn't a bad spot to jump in.

2. Knile Davis, GB -- The Packers traded with the Chiefs Tuesday and not just for depth. The NFL Network reported starter Eddie Lacy could miss several weeks with an injury. This news comes after backup James Starks underwent surgery. Davis shined at times for Kansas City, but he's a mystery now. Buy the opportunity and hope.
3.  Devontae Booker, DEN -- The rookie keeps eating into C.J. Anderson's lead back status. If CJA ever goes down...
Others: Jacquizz Rogers, TB (at 49ers),  Zach Zenner, DET (vs. Redskins), Matt Asiata, MIN (at Eagles), Robert Kelley, WAS (at Lions),
Wide Receivers -- Because Stefon Diggs, Will Fuller and Terrelle Pryor are uncertain with injuries and your pre-draft self can't believe such thing matter now.

1.  Cameron Meredith, CHI -- Not on anybody's radar to 20-243-1 over the last two games. The Bears haven't been great about feeding Alshon Jeffery, which means more work for Meredith, who received a staggering 27 targets the past two games. Look for more against a beat up Green Bay secondary.
2.  Kenny Britt, STL -- Raise your hand if you knew Britt ranked among the NFL leaders in receiving yards. The Rams will have more success throwing on the Giants than running.
Others: Adam Humphries, TB (at SF), Robert Woods, BUF (at Dolphins), Jamison Crowder, WAS (at Lions), Ty Montgomery, GB (vs, Bears)

Tight Ends -- Because you can't replace Greg Olsen's production, but you must replace him in your lineup

1. Hunter Henry, SD -- The rookie looks legit and it's hard imagining Antonio Gates holding up all season are things I wrote about Henry in this pace last week.  Then he had 83 yards and a touchdown on six receptions against the Broncos. Look for more goodness against a Falcons defense that's struggled against tight ends this season. It's cool to bid heavy.
2.  Vernon Davis, WAS -- We don't know for sure if Jordan Reed (concussion) will miss another week, but good bet the Redskins let their top receiving threat rest another week. Davis looked the part of fantasy starter against the Eagles with his first touchdown since 2014. Detroit allows the third most fantasy points to tight ends through six weeks.
Others: Charles Clay, BUF (at Dolphins), Jack Doyle, IND (vs, Titans)

Defenses -- Because you stream this position

1. Bengals (vs. Browns)

2. Ravens (vs. Jets)

3. Giants (at Rams)

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Wide receiver Willie Snead thriving with Ravens as man in the middle


Wide receiver Willie Snead thriving with Ravens as man in the middle

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Willie Snead has a knack for weaving through a row of linebackers in the middle of the field before making a clutch catch for the Baltimore Ravens.

Such was the case last Sunday against Tennessee, when Snead squeezed between two defenders for a 24-yard gain on a third-and-17 from the Baltimore 15.

"He's on the ground, he makes the catch, he's getting pushed back to the ground, stepped all over, and he just gets up and gives the first-down signal right there in the guy's face," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "That's the kind of competitor he is. He's all ball, all the time."

Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome rarely chases restricted free agents, but he made an exception with Snead this past offseason after it became apparent that the receiver's three-year run in New Orleans was done. One of Drew Brees' favorite targets in 2015 and 2016, Snead began last season with a three-game suspension for violating the NFL personal conduct policy. He then fought a hamstring injury and finished with just eight catches for 92 yards and no touchdowns.

Armed with a two-year, $10.4 million contract, Snead was delighted to arrive in Baltimore last April.

"Last year just left a really bitter taste in my mouth, the organization and how everything was handled," Snead said Tuesday. "To be a part of this organization was just a breath of fresh air. I wanted to go somewhere where I'm wanted."

It couldn't have worked out better for Snead -- and the Ravens.

"To see that you were right, to see all that come together and him play so well, being exactly what you thought you were going to get, is very rewarding," Harbaugh said.

Snead was one of three free agent receivers signed by Newsome in an effort to enhance a passing game that sputtered in 2017. Snead is the possession receiver, Michael Crabtree provides an outside threat and John Brown is the speedster.

Snead and Crabtree are tied for the team lead with 30 catches. Brown has 21 receptions for a team-high 424 yards and three touchdowns.

"I don't have the physical ability like John Brown to run by you, and I'm not big and strong like Michael Crabtree," Snead observed, "so I have to work harder than everybody else just to stand out."

That's how it's always been for Snead, who finally finds himself in a place where his talent is acknowledged and appreciated.

"This is a guy that's been doubted his whole career -- high school, college and the NFL," Harbaugh said. "So I'm fine if they keep doubting him."

After starring as a quarterback at Muskegon Heights in Michigan, Snead played three years as a receiver at Ball State before going undrafted in 2014. He finally made it to the NFL the following year.

"Coming out of college, (people said) I left too early, I wasn't ready to play in the NFL," Snead recalled. "And in the NFL, it was, `Is he fast enough to separate? Can he make those plays in clutch situations?' I've always been doubted."

Not anymore.

"I'll tell you one thing, Willie comes Sunday ready to play," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. "He's one of the toughest guys I've been around."

This Sunday, the Ravens (4-2) host the Saints (4-1). Snead insists this wasn't one of those games that he circled on the calendar.

"This is another team. I have to approach it that way just to stay focused," Snead said.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton has seen enough of Snead this season to know he's a threat with the ball, and without it.

"He has a tremendous amount of grit. You see him making plays on third down," Payton said. "He's an outstanding blocker. He'll come across in motion, he'll get to the point of attack in the run game, but he'll also find the holes in the zone and man-to-man coverages."

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Snead has no problem mixing it up with anyone, large or small, at any spot on the field.

"He can go inside or outside, but man, he makes some -- scouts call them blood area -- catches," Harbaugh said. "In the middle, that's where he thrives."


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Dominant defense earns Ravens' Za'Darius Smith AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors

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Dominant defense earns Ravens' Za'Darius Smith AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors

The defensive performance on display by the Baltimore Ravens Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in a 21-0 shutout win was flat out historic. So historic that it's earned linebacker Za'Darius Smith AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

A franchise-record 11 sacks were laid on quarterback Marcus Mariota during the Week 6 matchup, with Smith leading the way with three of them.   

So far this season the 26-year-old has 20 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. As someone who is in the final year of his rookie NFL contract, he's certainly proving he is worthy of getting paid this offseason. 

"It feels great, man. It's big," Smith said of the honor during media availability Wednesday. "I know when I first found out I called my mom and she was already looking at it. But I called her and she was trying to congratulate me and was like 'who would've ever thought the guy that played one year of high school football would be where he at now and making so many goals.'"

But earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week isn't the only goal Smith has in mind. His performance through the first six weeks and assisting the No. 1 ranked scoring defense is just a stepping stone to the ultimate honor.

"I was telling her, 'Ma you know this is a good self-goal but my main goal is to get us to the Super Bowl.'" 

The road to the Super Bowl for Smith and the Ravens continues this Sunday vs. Drew Brees and the Saints.