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We are officially 35% of our way through the regular season, and Keelan Cole is 62nd in overall scoring. Tell me, why he isn't on your roster? (Douglas DeFelice/USA Today)

Week 7 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups

Working the waiver wire each week is crucial if you’re going to make it in your fantasy football league. Guys rise up depth charts because of injuries or benchings, some have mid-season breakouts, and others are still available just because they’re flying under the radar. Whatever the case, there are always valuable contributors waiting for you to claim. I’m giving you guys who are owned in under 50% of ESPN leagues as of writing. So, check your Week 7 waiver wire right after reading this and pick up a difference-maker for your fantasy squad.

J.D. McKissic (32.4% owned)

I told you to “marry” Washington’s lead running back Antonio Gibson in Week 5. The past two games? Gibson tallied a combined 106 total yards and no touchdowns on 29 touches. The Washington “We’ll Come Up With Something Eventuallys” are dead last in both rushing yards and rushing yards per attempt. If you want one of their running backs, it’s the top receiving option from out of the backfield.

While opposing defenses have been shutting Gibson down, McKissic has been racking up check downs, picking up 19 catches over the past three weeks. He only recorded 129 receiving yards over that span, but that’s still three consecutive weeks of double-digit PPR performances. And as long as Kyle “dink-and-dunk” Allen remains Washington’s quarterback, McKissic has some fantasy value.

No, an undrafted fifth-year pro who has never recorded 500 total yards in any season isn’t a high-upside add. What can I tell you is running backs aren’t the hot commodity on the Week 7 waiver wire. It’s not like mid-season breakout stars like Chase Claypool are a regular occurrence. Plus, this season is weird. You never know which players are going to go on the COVID list or what games will get postponed. If you’re in a 12- or 14-team PPR league, it’s worth stashing McKissic with a low-priority claim and potentially cashing in on an eight-catch game if you have to dig deep on the bench one week.

Tee Higgins (56.9% owned)

The Bengals brought back four wide receivers from 2019 who had over 500 receiving yards and had A.J. Green coming back from injury. That’s why most everyone thought Higgins was a long shot to make an impact in his rookie season. Well, he made the most of that shot. Now, he’s at the top of the depth chart alongside Green and Tyler Boyd.

In his last five games, Higgins averaged 7.6 targets, which he turned into 4.4 catches and 67.8 receiving yards per game. Higgins was Cincy’s second-most targeted receiver between Weeks 3 and 5, while A.J. Green looked like he had either lost a step or fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. A big Week 6 changed that narrative, but there’s still some simmering drama and trade rumors as the November 3 deadline approaches.

I don’t always list guys available in under half of ESPN leagues, but when I do, it’s because that guy averaged 93 yards over the past three weeks. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Higgins broke the 50% threshold I set for guys to qualify for this column, but I couldn’t leave him off. So, if he’s still available in your league, pick him immediately. And if he isn’t, figure out what it’ll take to get him in a trade. He has “high-floor, high-ceiling” potential over the rest of the season. If the Bengals keep Green, fine. Higgins will keep his role as a highly involved third option in one of the most pass-happy offenses in the league. But if Cincinnati gets a Godfather-type offer for the seven-time pro bowler, Higgins becomes a WR 2/3 for the rest of the season. This is the must-add of the Week 7 waiver wire.

Corey Davis (24.1% owned)

Davis hasn’t impressed anyone since Tennessee drafted him fifth overall in 2017, never getting more than 65 catches or 891 receiving yards in any season. But there’s reason to think he’s finally taking that step forward. He’s missed some action due to a hamstring injury and COVID, but in the three games he’s played in, he’s averaging five catches and 68.7 yards per game. In PPR, he’s scored no fewer than 11.9 points in any game.

I get why you might have your doubts—the Titans love to feed Derrick Henry, and Davis is playing second fiddle to A.J. Brown in the passing game. There are still plenty of targets to go around though. Ryan Tannehill is averaging 274 passing yards per game in Tennessee’s top-three offense. Moreover, in the one game Davis played alongside A.J. Brown this season, Davis had 101 yards on seven catches. He also saw the same number of targets as Brown in that Week 1 contest against Denver (eight). Davis’s target share will only increase if the ankle injury tight end Jonnu Smith suffered in Week 6 ends up costing him a few games.

The Titans are playing the Steelers on Sunday, and Pittsburgh is in the top 10 for most points allowed per game to wide receivers. This is the time to buy low on Davis. Particularly for PPR.

Keelan Cole Sr. (22.5% owned)

Of the top 20 wide receivers in fantasy after six weeks, 19 are rosters in more than 80% of leagues. Cole is number 20. And he’s on waivers in almost 80% of leagues. That’s right. Thanks to a 6-catch 143-yard performance in Jacksonville’s loss to Detroit, Keelan Cole is now a WR2.

He’s technically the third-string WR on the depth chart behind D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr., but it’s the Kentucky Wesleyan alum who’s leading the Jaguars in targets and receiving yards. The only potential snag going forward is Gardner Minshew’s inclination to spread the wealth. Five of Jacksonville’s guys are averaging over 30 receiving yards per game. If that kind of balance keeps up, it might bring Cole back down to earth. I’m willing to overlook that though because I’m loving his consistent output. The fourth-year wideout is Jacksonville’s only receiver to see five or more targets in every game. He also has five games with over 40 receiving yards while no one else on the roster has had more than three.

By virtue of almost always playing from behind, the Jaguars are dead last in rushing attempts per game and fourth in pass attempts per game, so Cole will keep getting the targets to remain fantasy-relevant for the rest of the season. He doesn’t quite have Higgins’s upside, but he’s not too far behind.

Richard Rodgers (1.9% owned)

With Zach Ertz slated to miss 3-4 weeks after he hurt his ankle in the Eagles’ loss to the Ravens, Rodgers will take over as Philly’s starting tight end for the next few weeks.

He never even came close to living up to the potential he flashed with Green Bay in 2015, but hey, maybe this is the big break he needed. If there ever was going to be an opportunity for Rodgers to give his career a second act, it’s the one he has right now.

Don’t worry about missing your blocking assignment, Richard. Chances are, Carson Wentz was going to end up taking a sack anyway. (Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer)

The Eagles’ offense is a total mess right now. Almost every starter has been hurt at one point or another, Carson Wentz’s passer rating is barely better than Sam Darnold’s, and their starting left tackle didn’t even know the rules until a few years ago. And through it all, someone will catch passes and put up fantasy points. Moreover, Head Coach Doug Pederson leans on his tight ends more than anyone else in the league, so Rodgers will have every chance to ball these next few weeks when the Eagles play the Cowboys in between a couple of games against the Giants.

You need to be pretty desperate to take a chance on Rodgers, let alone start him, but if that is the case, then pick him up and wait to see how this week goes. It wouldn’t be the craziest thing ever if he slides in as Carson Wentz’s safety blanket and soaks in 7-8 targets per game while Ertz sits. This is the tight end you want on the Week 7 waiver wire.