Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, RB, SEA - Both of these backs were fantasy relevant just two years ago and neither is past their prime in age. Rawls is still making guys miss and running hot like he did in his rookie campaign, but isn’t getting enough work to matter. Lacy doesn’t look like he did in his prime, but he still could have some life as a LeGarrette Blount type in his second act. The poor offensive line along with a split backfield isn’t really giving either a chance to get going, but if one gets hurt and the Seattle offense improves, there will be value there in the second half. Rawls is the more attractive, but either or both could be free on the waiver wire. The Seattle running game could take a step forward coming out of their bye.
Malcolm Brown, RB, LAR - Brown is free on the waiver wire even though he is a high value handcuff. Todd Gurley deserves a lot of the credit for the Rams running game resurgence, but this is a quality offense and Brown is the only other back of note on the roster. He even looked good catching passes a few weeks ago and we know he can run between the tackles. He’s a redraft and dynasty stash alike.
Rob Kelley, RB, WAS - Maybe next week is the real buy low moment coming off of a matchup against the impenetrable Eagles run defense and going into a matchup with the papier mache Cowboys runs defense, but Kelly might be free on your waiver wire. He’s the clear starter when healthy and this Washington offense can still put points on the board and fuel him to a big game. Kelley looked slimmer and quicker before his injury.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, CLE - Crowell probably hasn’t been dropped in redraft, and he shouldn’t be pursued in a trade by dangling anything of value. In dynasty, the 24-year-old still has a future if he can get out of Cleveland or stay in Cleveland with the offense improving around him. He has been running better, but the Browns can’t create a fantasy friendly game script around him. That might be true for the rest of this season, but Crowell’s best years are still ahead of him.
Rex Burkhead, RB, NE - Keeping with the free on the waiver wire theme, Burkhead should be there after an extended absence with a rib injury. He should be back soon, if not this week, and he’s a versatile talent in a great offense. Mike Gillislee’s hold on goal-line carries has been loosened and while Dion Lewis is there right now, he has a checkered injury history. Burkhead could be the waiver pickup of the week any day now.
Corey Coleman, WR, CLE - Coleman has generally been productive when healthy despite a bad situation. It’s the when healthy that is the problem. The good news that broken hand isn’t a recurrent injury like muscle strains, or prone to deterioration like a catastrophic knee injury. His dynasty value is bottoming out, but it will bounce back when he plays again.
Dede Westbrook, WR, JAX - Westbrook should be ready to play in Week 9 or 10 and frankly he has more to offer a Blake Bortles pass offense than Allen Hurns or Marqise Lee. Lee and Allen Robinson are going to be free agents and Hurns is grossly overpaid. Westbrook will be a starter sooner than later and his deep speed and separation suits Bortles and the game plan very well.
Corey Davis, WR, TEN - Just a reminder to pick up Davis in redraft leagues, he should return after the Week 8 bye.
TY Hilton, WR, IND - Once Andrew Luck is declared out for the year - and it should happen soon - Hilton’s dynasty value will drop again. His owner could be in contention but need another piece to get over the top with inconsistent and sometimes minimal contributions from Hilton. Time to dangle a buy low offer in dynasty, and maybe even in redraft with a worthless matchup against Jacksonville this week. Hilton is still a boom/bust WR3/Flex who can win any week for you.
Sammy Watkins, WR, LAR - Remember when Watkins was a WR1 in dynasty? It was only a few months ago. A trade to the Rams destroyed his value, but more because of his schedule and judicious decisions from Jared Goff to not challenge strong #1 corners. Watkins will face lesser corners about half of the time in the second half of the year. Talent doesn’t just evaporate without explanation. Watkins will impress us again soon.
Brice Butler, WR, DAL - Butler is making plays with a ridiculous efficiency and the Cowboys could re-prioritize him in a bigger role with the perspective that a bye brings. Dak Prescott is playing lights out and will harvest the value Butler is creating with execution downfield.
Josh Doctson, WR, WAS - Doctson’s ball skills and leaping ability were displayed often on the highlight reel at TCU, and it appears that they are in full effect again. He should start to take up more snaps and targets with a long-awaited stretch of good healthy building his momentum. He’s cheap to free in redraft and artificially low in dynasty. The only pitfall in dynasty is the potential that Kirk Cousins moves on next year, but for now he has a good quarterback and he’s in a good offense.
Russell Wilson, QB, SEA - Wilson was warming up going into Week 5, but the offensive line woes and Rams pass rush held him down. We have seen this pattern the last two years, so there’s a good reason to bet on Wilson hitting his stride in the second half of the year. His targets are all going to be healthier coming out of the bye, and the offensive line might start to gel with some time to catch a breather and look at what has been going wrong. Wilson will be a top five fantasy quarterback by the end of the year.
Demarcus Robinson, WR, KC - Robinson didn’t do much in his start against Pittsburgh, but he was open downfield (and missed by Alex Smith). Albert Wilson will be a free agent next year and Chris Conley has an achilles injury that has him on the shelf for the year, so there’s a path for Robinson to be a starter opposite Tyreek Hill in a Patrick Mahomes offense for the long term. The top-end physical talent is free on the waiver wire in a lot of dynasty leagues.
John Brown, WR, ARI - Fantasy gods help me, I just can’t quit Smokey. His combination of speed, hands, ball skills, and toughness is still visible, and he’s getting over his latest health issue. I fear that another problem is right around the corner, but if this just ends up being a blip over the course of this career, this could be the last chance to get Brown cheap.
Jerick McKinnon, QB, MIN - I believe in McKinnon’s talent. He’s a free agent next year, so there’s lasting dynasty value there in PPR leagues. For the short term in redraft leagues, he might not be the RB1 he has been the last two weeks. The team is still giving Latavius Murray about half of the carries and he got his goal-line look before McKinnon against the Packers. McKinnon will remain the #1 receiving back, but he has also been fumbling and could lose carries if that trend continues. If McKinnon isn’t one of your top two backs, it might be time to cash him out.
Will Fuller V, WR, Deshaun Watson, QB, HOU - Fuller and Watson will be fantasy contributors for the rest of the year, but their recent pace is unsustainable. Target the Aaron Rodgers owner in redraft leagues if you have another good quarterback besides Watson. Hold him in dynasty. Fuller can’t keep scoring like this, he’s a good sell in redraft, but like Watson, a hold in dynasty with the chemistry they are displaying.
Matthew Stafford, QB, DET - Stafford’s huge numbers in New Orleans were only due to garbage time starting early. The Detroit pass offense can’t seem to get everyone healthy at the same time, and Stafford isn’t a high ceiling QB1 in most weeks. See if the Aaron Rodgers owner is interested in redraft.
Cameron Brate, TE, TB - Brate has only been looking up at the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz in the tight end rankings. There’s no denying his connection with Jameis Winston in the red zone, but OJ Howard could see his role grow and Brate is unlikely to keep up this pace. He’s worth trading if he’s your #2 tight end, especially in dynasty.
Buy Low and Sell High
Adrian Peterson, RB, ARI - If Peterson is your #3 back or lower in redraft, why not see if you can get a solid starter somewhere else for him? The Buccaneers seemed shellshocked by the Cardinals in every facet of the game, and a more competitive game could make him and the Cardinals running game look very mortal once again. On the other hand, if you need running back help in dynasty, or even in redraft, why not Peterson? He is rested, he is fired up, he has the role and volume he wants with a coach that appears to be instantly committed to him.
Derrick Henry, RB, TEN - League winning upside. Someone who has had Henry incubating value on their bench might not realize what they have in him. Put out a probe offer to see how they value him just in case. In dynasty, he should be untouchable, but never hurts to ask.