By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston)- As Week 7 approaches, we have officially reached the midway point of the fantasy football season.
Most fantasy playoffs kick off in Week 14, which means the time to solidify your spot in the postseason will be here before you know it. Each week gains even more importance than the last, and as many of us have come to realize the hard way, every point matters.
The players listed on this week’s list may not be the flashiest names, but that is what you should come to expect once you reach this time of the season. This time of year is more about taking chances on backups that have looked good in limited opportunity, and could blossom into a star if given the opportunity.
With that said, here are the top waiver wire adds for Week 7 of the NFL season.
QB Sam Darnold, New York Jets- In his first game back after missing a month with mono, Darnold helped lead the Jets to a big upset win over the Dallas Cowboys. The second-year QB completed 71.9% of his passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against the Cowboys, and has a strong outlook for the rest of the season. Following a tough Week 7 matchup against the Patriots and a Week 8 contest against the Jaguars, Darnold will see the Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, Raiders, Bengals and Dolphins again from Weeks 9 through 14. Any capable quarterback should be able to put up huge numbers with that schedule. Pick Darnold up now and stash him on your bench until it’s time to face the easy stretch of defenses.
QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants- Speaking of young New York quarterbacks, sign me up for some Daniel Jones. Following his explosion in his first career start against Tampa Bay, Jones’ numbers have dipped. It doesn’t help that he’s gone up against the Vikings and Patriots over the last two weeks… On a similar note to Darnold, the Giants’ remaining schedule is far from daunting. New York still has games against the Cardinals, Jets, Eagles (twice), Dolphins and Redskins. Jones should have no trouble picking these defenses apart, making him a solid streaming option for those needy at quarterback.
RB Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings- I spoke about Mattison last week, and he followed that up with a performance of 14 carries for 63 yards (4.5-yard avg.). Dalvin Cook is clearly the lead back in the Minnesota backfield, and barring an injury, that is not going to change. However, Mattison has proven to have some standalone value with three games over 50 rushing yards. If anything were to happen to Cook, Mattison would instantly become an RB1. Whether or not you have Cook as a starting running back, Mattison is 100% worthy of a spot on your bench.
RB Mark Walton, Miami Dolphins- Starting anyone on the Dolphins comes with a ton of risk, but over the last three weeks, Walton has carved himself a growing role in Miami’s offense. Against Washington in Week 6, the second-year back carried the ball six times for 32 yards (5.3-yard avg.) while adding five receptions for 43 yards. His 75 yards from scrimmage led the Dolphins offense, out-gaining Kenyan Drake by five yards on five fewer touches. Starting him would certainly be a roll of the dice, but Walton appears like he may be the running back to own in the Dolphins’ backfield.
RB Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals- Just like Mattison, this is not the first time Edmonds’ has found himself on this list. But until his ownership numbers increase, I will continue to beat this drum. Edmonds had a strong game in Week 6, taking five carries for 34 yards (6.8-yard avg.) while catching two passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. Edmonds now has at least 65 total yards and a touchdown in each of the last two games, and is beginning to look like more than just David Johnson’s handcuff. With a matchup against the Giants on deck, Edmonds could land on the FLEX radar this week. With him looking like the most valuable handcuff to own in all of football, Edmonds should be on your roster, even if you don’t own Johnson.
RB Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams- We spent all offseason worrying about Todd Gurley’s health, and it only took until Week 6 for him to miss some time due to an injury. With Gurley sidelined, Malcolm Brown led the Rams’ backfield while Henderson split some of the touches. Despite Brown receiving more touches, it was Henderson who was more efficient, picking up 48 yards on seven total touches. Henderson hadn’t done anything prior to Gurley’s injury but maybe this last performance showed enough to Sean McVay to earn the rookie more playing time. The Rams offense will see better days and Henderson could play a part in that moving forward.
WR Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals- There is no other way to put it- the Bengals are not a good football team. Sitting at 0-6, Cincinnati will be playing from behind almost every week for the rest of the season, which is encouraging if you own any Bengals receivers. Tate is coming off his best game of the season after catching five passes (on 12 targets) for 91 yards. While A.J. Green appears to be nearing a return, it is unclear if he will be on the field this weekend. As long as Green is out, Tate is worth firing up as a FLEX as he should continue to see an ample number of targets.
WR Jaron Brown, Seattle Seahawks- Brown enjoyed his best game of the 2019 season Sunday, catching three of five targets for 29 yards and two touchdowns. While the yardage is hardly something to write home about, Russell Wilson’s tendency to look towards him in the red zone definitely is. The Seahawks lost tight end Will Dissly for the season after he tore his Achilles meaning there are more red zone targets up for grabs in Seattle’s offense. Dissly’s backup, Luke Wilson, is not known for his pass-catching abilities, which makes me think a lot of those looks could go in Brown’s direction.
WR Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots- Due to the injuries to Philip Dorsett and Josh Gordon, Meyers saw the first extended action of his career against the Giants last Thursday. And the rookie did not disappoint. Meyers caught all four of the balls thrown in his direction for 54 yards, including two catches for first downs. While Dorsett looks like he could be back for Week 7, it is unclear if Gordon will be able to make it back on the field in time for New England’s matchup against the Jets on Monday night. If Gordon is out, Meyers will continue to play in three-receiver sets, which should continue to provide solid fantasy value.
TE Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Just like each of the last few seasons, Brate has somehow found his way onto this list yet again. With O.J. Howard failing to produce, Brate may have played himself back into fantasy relevance. During the Buccaneers’ Week 6 London game against the Panthers, Brate reeled in two of four targets for 47 yards and a touchdown, his second of the season. For those keeping track at home, that is two more than Howard has on the year. Brate has a scary-low fantasy floor due to Howard’s presence, but the tight end seems to always have a solid chance at finding the end zone. In a year where the tight end position is thin, Brate could be worth a flier.
TE Darren Fells, Houston Texans- Fells’ presence on this list shows how shallow the tight end class is in fantasy this year. While normally unreliable, Fells has now posted two consecutive strong games. In fact, the sixth-year tight end has put up solid numbers in three of his last four games. Against the Chiefs in Week 6, Fells was targeted seven times and caught six of them for 69 yards. In Weeks 3 and 5, Fells found the end zone three times. But in Week 4, he caught his only target for 12 yards. Such is the problem with relying on the Texans tight end. But with few consistent options at the position this season, Fells is another guy worth taking a chance on.
Matt Citak is a contributing writer for CBS Local. Follow him on Twitter here for all things fantasy football, New York Giants and more.