Fantasy Football Week 7 Waiver Wire: Replacing Big Ben

Week 7 Rankings: Standard | PPR

Ben Roethlisberger , as you would expect, is owned in 100 percent of leagues on CBS Sports. And now every owner has to replace him for at least the next two weeks -- and maybe more -- because of a knee injury.

Roethlisberger underwent surgery Monday to repair a slight tear in his left meniscus after he was injured in Week 6 at Miami. He won't play in Week 7 against New England, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a bye in Week 8 and hopefully he will return in Week 9 at Baltimore.

Based on Roethlisberger's career of playing through injuries, we'd expect him back against the Baltimore Ravens , but nothing is guaranteed. And that leaves Fantasy owners who don't already have a capable backup for Roethlisberger in a potential lurch trying to find a replacement.

We'll get into the quarterbacks who are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports below, but the first name to search for on the Waiver Wire should be Marcus Mariota (72 percent ownership). If he's still out there, he should be added in all leagues.

And he's not just a great replacement for Roethlisberger, but Cam Newton and Dak Prescott are on a bye. This week, Mariota is also potentially worth starting ahead of Aaron Rodgers , Carson Palmer and Russell Wilson, among others, because he's playing well and has a great matchup against the Indianapolis Colts .

Some other quarterbacks owned in more than 65 percent of leagues who can help you this week are Joe Flacco (70 percent) at the New York Jets and Tyrod Taylor (70 percent) at Miami. But Mariota is a priority at the position, and he should be great in Week 7.

Along with Mariota, two other players we should mention here that are owned in more than 65 percent of leagues include James White (72 percent) and Golden Tate (68 percent). White should be added in all leagues after his performance against Cincinnati in Week 6 with seven carries for 19 yards and eight catches for 47 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets.

He now has 12 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns in two games with Tom Brady , and he's scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in both outings. White could lose value when Dion Lewis (knee) comes off the PUP list, but that could still be Week 10 before we see Lewis active.

As for Tate, we've mentioned him here for several weeks as a drop candidate, but he finally delivered a quality stat line in Week 6 against the Rams with eight catches for 165 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. The Lions have said for the past two weeks that getting Tate involved was a huge priority, so that's worth buying into after we see a game like this. But you also have to take into account that he came into Week 6 with 17 catches for 134 yards and no touchdowns in his first five games combined.

I would add Tate where he's available, but he would be third at best based on the wide receiver priority list below.

Quarterbacks

Names of note on bye: Cam Newton and Dak Prescott

Injuries of note: Ben Roethlisberger (knee) and Carson Palmer (hamstring)

Priority list

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Brian Hoyer QB / Chicago Bears (Week 6 stats vs. JAC)
CMP %: 61.2 YDS: 302 TD: 0 INT: 0
39 percent ownership

Everything was great for Hoyer against the Jaguars except for the lack of touchdowns, which ended his three-game streak of scoring at least 22 Fantasy points in a standard league. He did throw for at least 300 yards in four games in a row, and he has a great matchup against the Green Bay Packers and their beat-up secondary in Week 7. The concern is playing in Lambeau Field on Thursday night, but Green Bay has allowed at least 23 Fantasy points to three of the past four opposing quarterbacks, including two at home with Matthew Stafford and Prescott. I don't like Hoyer as much as Mariota, but he would be my second choice to replace Roethlisberger or Newton this week. Hoyer is worth about 5 percent of your remaining FAAB budget.

  • Alex Smith (51 percent): He failed to have a big game in a great matchup last week at OAK, but he does get NO at home this week. And 4-of-5 quarterbacks vs. NO have scored at least 22 FPTS.
  • Colin Kaepernick (16 percent): He had 19 FPTS at BUF behind 66 rushing yards, and he gets a good matchup this week vs. TB. And 3-of-5 quarterbacks vs. TB have scored at least 21 FPTS.
  • Trevor Siemian (34 percent): He faces HOU this week in a game where DEN would love to show up Brock Osweiler . It helps that the HOU secondary is falling apart due to injuries.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Blake Bortles (96 percent): He only has two games this season with more than 20 FPTS, and he'll be hard to trust even with a good matchup in Week 7 vs. OAK.
  • Carson Wentz (89 percent): You can't start him this week vs. MIN, and he's not worth stashing in re-draft leagues after he scored just seven FPTS at WAS last week.

Running backs

Names of note on bye: Ezekiel Elliott and Jonathan Stewart

Injuries of note: Doug Martin (hamstring), Theo Riddick (hamstring), Dwayne Washington (ankle) and James Starks (knee)

Priority list

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Jay Ajayi RB / Miami Dolphins (Week 6 stats vs. PIT)
ATT: 25 YDS: 204 TD: 2 YPC: 8.2
56 percent ownership


There are plenty of positives and negatives with Ajayi moving forward, and we hope he maintains his role as the starter for the Miami Dolphins even though Arian Foster was active in Week 6 for the first time since Week 2 when he hurt his groin. He's now scored four touchdowns in his past three games, and he's averaged more than 4.0 yards-per-carry in three outings over that span. You can say he did this against an injury-riddled Steelers defense, but this was also the first game Miami had its entire offensive line healthy with center Mike Pouncey , left tackle Branden Albert and left guard Laremy Tunsil playing together for the first time. This could be a sign of things to come, as long as the Dolphins stay committed to Ajayi over Foster. We know coach Adam Gase has preferred a committee approach this year, even using four running backs in a rotation in the same game, but he should realize Ajayi is his best bet running the ball. Let Foster play on passing downs, and leave Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams on the bench. Ajayi is worth at least 15 percent of your remaining FAAB budget.

  • Jacquizz Rodgers (54 percent): Martin didn't practice Monday coming off a bye week, and if he remains out in Week 7 at SF then Rodgers would start in a dream matchup. Add him in all leagues.
  • Devontae Booker (56 percent): C.J. Anderson remains the starter, but Booker continues to get more work and is a dream lottery ticket if Anderson ever got hurt. He could even be a flex vs. HOU.
  • Bilal Powell (49 percent): Like Booker, Powell is a lottery ticket if Matt Forte got hurt, but Powell is already outplaying Forte for the past four games. The Jets should make Powell the starter.
  • Zach Zenner (2 percent): With Riddick and Washington out in Week 6 vs. LAR it was Zenner who got the majority of touches and had 77 total yards. The job would be his again if everyone is out in a great matchup vs. WAS, and he'd be a flex option.
  • Matt Asiata (41 percent): He was better than Jerick McKinnon in Week 5 with 101 total yards and a touchdown, and he has five catches in his past two games. He could be a flex in Week 7 at PHI.
  • Knile Davis (0 percent): I don't expect Davis to do much while Eddie Lacy is healthy, although he's dealing with an ankle injury. But with Starks out, Davis could become the short-term handcuff.
  • Rob Kelley (4 percent): Matt Jones was a star in Week 6 vs. PHI with 135 rushing yards and a touchdown, but Kelley also had five carries for 59 yards. He's worth stashing in deeper leagues.
  • Dion Lewis (45 percent): Like we've said for the past few weeks, it's not a bad idea to stash him if you have an open roster spot. If he takes the job from White there's tremendous upside in PPR leagues.
  • Robert Turbin (3 percent): He supplanted Josh Ferguson as the No. 2 running back behind Frank Gore in Week 6 and delivered four catches for 22 yards. He's worth stashing in deep PPR leagues.
  • Mike Davis (0 percent): Carlos Hyde left Week 6 with a brief shoulder injury, and Davis took over ahead of Shaun Draughn . Davis is a stash candidate in deeper leagues and potential lottery ticket.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Thomas Rawls (68 percent): Pete Carroll said Monday that Rawls (leg) is still a couple weeks away from being cleared. Christine Michael is the starter, and Rawls is only worth a stash in deeper leagues.
  • Cameron Artis-Payne (62 percent): When Stewart is active, the Panthers put Artis-Payne on the inactive list. That's all you need to know, and he's not worth stashing in most formats.
  • Justin Forsett (53 percent): We thought he had a chance when Riddick and Washington were ruled out against the Rams, but Zenner dominated touches. Riddick and Washington could play this week.

Wide receivers

Names of note on bye: Kelvin Benjamin , Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley

Injuries of note: Terrelle Pryor (hamstring), Sammie Coates (finger), Will Fuller (hamstring), Jordan Matthews (knee), Stefon Diggs (groin), Davante Adams (concussion), Eddie Royal (toe) and Philip Dorsett (hamstring)

Priority list

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Cameron Meredith WR / Chicago Bears (Week 6 stats vs. JAC)
TAR: 15 REC: 11 YDS: 113 TD: 0
51 percent ownership

Meredith has been great the past two games with 27 targets, 20 catches, 243 yards and a touchdown against the Colts and Jaguars. He's dominating targets for the Chicago Bears over that span ( Alshon Jeffery has 19 in two games), and Hoyer has leaned toward that side of the field since he's taken over with Kevin White (14 targets in Week 3 and nine targets in Week 4) also getting plenty of looks. Meredith has a great situation against the Packers, who are banged up in their secondary. He has a tough matchup in Week 8 against Minnesota and then a bye in Week 9, but the schedule isn't formidable after that. He could be a borderline starter for the rest of the year, and he's worth at least 15 percent of your remaining FAAB budget.

  • Kenny Britt (17 percent): His game in Week 6 isn't the only reason to run out and get him after he had seven catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets. He has at least seven FPTS in four of his past five games in standard leagues.
  • Robert Woods (44 percent): We've been mentioning him for weeks since Sammy Watkins (foot) went down, and he has at least eight FPTS in a standard league in two of his past three games. MIA is also banged up in the secondary and has struggled with No. 1 receivers this year.
  • Ty Montgomery (1 percent): Adams is hurt, and Montgomery just had 12 targets for 10 catches and 98 yards against Dallas. He should see increased playing time and has a good matchup vs. CHI.
  • Adam Thielen (9 percent): If Diggs is out, Thielen could be considered a starter this week against PHI. He had eight targets, seven catches, 127 yards and a touchdown in Week 5 vs. HOU when Diggs was out.
  • Kendall Wright (4 percent): Let's hope what we saw from Wright in Week 6 is a sign of things to come when he had nine targets for eight catches, 133 yards and a touchdown vs. CLE. We hope he continues to get featured, and the schedule coming up is fantastic.
  • Torrey Smith (36 percent): Smith is going to be boom or bust now that Kaepernick is starting, and he had three catches for 76 yards and a touchdown at BUF in Week 6. But his touchdown came on broken coverage for 53 yards, and he'll be inconsistent, so that's why he's not higher on this list.
  • Donte Moncrief (62 percent): We'll keep saying to add him and stash him until he's back from his shoulder injury, which could be Week 8. He should be a must-start option when healthy.
  • Corey Coleman (44 percent): Like Moncrief, he's worth stashing, and the Cleveland Browns could need him if Pryor's hamstring is bad. He also could return in Week 8 from his broken hand.
  • Mohamed Sanu (38 percent): The schedule starts to get better for ATL, and he's coming off a solid game in Week 6 with 10 FPTS at SEA but more importantly 10 targets. We hope that continues.
  • Jamison Crowder (32 percent): He could be relevant as long as Jordan Reed (concussion) remains out. He now has three games in his past five with at least nine FPTS in a standard league.
  • Anquan Boldin (31 percent): He's touchdown dependent but does have at least eight FPTS in three of his past five games and should benefit as long as Eric Ebron (ankle) is out.
  • Chester Rogers (0 percent): The Colts are banged up in their receiving corps, and Rogers just had four catches for 63 yards at HOU on four targets. He's worth a look in deeper leagues.
  • Kamar Aiken (8 percent): With Steve Smith out, Aiken had his best game at NYG with four catches for 64 yards on six targets. If Smith is out again then Aiken could be a low-end starting option in PPR.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Steve Smith (75 percent): We hope he's healthy, but if he's not playing then there's no reason to keep him on your roster. He also has a bye in Week 8.
  • Tavon Austin (62 percent): Britt and Brian Quick have been better than Austin this year. There's no upside for him in this passing game.
  • Phillip Dorsett (62 percent): He's hurt now, and Moncrief should return soon. He also hasn't gotten more than three catches in any game since Moncrief got hurt in Week 2.
  • Victor Cruz (59 percent): He's averaging under five FPTS in a standard league in his past five games, and you're not starting him this week against the Rams. Then he has a bye in Week 8. Move on.
  • Tyler Lockett (50 percent): He was supposed to get more targets in Week 6 vs. ATL and instead had five for three catches and 23 yards. The expected breakout year will be put on hold until 2017.

Tight ends

Names of note on bye: Greg Olsen and Jason Witten

Injuries of note: Jordan Reed (concussion) and Dwayne Allen (ankle)

Priority list

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Hunter Henry TE / San Diego Chargers (Week 6 stats vs. DEN)
TAR: 8 REC: 6 YDS: 83 TD: 1
63 percent ownership

Henry should be the No. 1 priority for owners off waivers this week at any position if he's still available because he looks like a difference maker at a thin position, which is shocking given the history of rookie tight ends. He has a touchdown or 70-plus receiving yards in four games in a row, and he's scored in consecutive games even with Antonio Gates active. Philip Rivers is leaning on Hunter with at least seven targets in two of his past three outings, and he has an excellent matchup in Week 7 at Atlanta. Hunter is worth at least 25 percent of your remaining FAAB budget.

  • Jack Doyle (13 percent): With Allen out he should see an uptick in targets, and he just had four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown at HOU on four targets. He's a top streaming option this week.
  • Vernon Davis (7 percent): Davis scored in Week 6 against PHI with Reed out, and Reed could miss extended action with his latest concussion. He has a good matchup in Week 7 at DET.
  • C.J. Fiedorowicz (2 percent): He's quietly had some good production the past three games with 20 targets, 14 catches, 194 yards and two touchdowns. It's a tough matchup in Week 7 at DEN, but keep an eye on him for the rest of the year.
  • Charles Clay (50 percent): I like Clay better than Fiedorowicz this week, and he has a good matchup in Week 7 at MIA, especially if safety Reshad Jones (shoulder) is out. He could score his first touchdown this year against his former team.
  • Cameron Brate (34 percent): He's been quiet in his past two games, but he should have the chance to be relevant this week at SF. The San Francisco 49ers have allowed the 11th-most FPTS to tight ends this season.
  • Ladarius Green (10 percent): Green says he's healthy from his ankle and headache woes from the preseason, which put him on the PUP list. Now is the time to stash him in case he returns soon.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Jesse James (72 percent): With Roethlisberger out and a bye coming, there's no reason to trust him at this point or keep him on your roster.
  • Jason Witten (76 percent): He's been mediocre at best in standard leagues with an average of 4.2 FPTS per week. Since he's on a bye you can say bye-bye if he's still on your roster.
  • Dwayne Allen (67 percent): He's hurt and wasn't producing at a high level when healthy. He only has two games with more than three FPTS this year.

DST streamers

* - If you need a DST for this week, these teams have favorable matchups and are worth starting.

  • Cincinnati Bengals (48 percent) vs. CLE
  • Ravens (59 percent) at NYJ
  • New York Giants (17 percent) at LAR

K streamers

* - If you need a kicker for this week, these guys have favorable matchups and are worth starting.

  • Matt Bryant (58 percent) vs. SD
  • Mike Nugent (43 percent) vs. CLE
  • Connor Barth (3 percent) at GB
Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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