By Jack Thomason–
(CBS) Here are my top 10 waiver adds for 10- and 12-member fantasy football leagues with Week 7 upon us.
1. Orleans Darkwa (RB, New York Giants) – That’s right, Darkwa is back in the top-10 waiver adds and this time sitting atop the ranks. Darkwa looked like a man possessed Sunday night against what was the league’s best rush defense in the Broncos. The Giants’ shuffling of their offensive line paid massive dividends, and this has to be Darkwa’s backfield moving forward with Wayne Gallman as a change-of-pace back. In the last game-and-a-half that Darkwa has been the lead runner, he’s tallied 29 carries, two receptions, 202 total yards and a score.
2. Dion Lewis (RB, New England Patriots) – It wasn’t long ago when we were all salivating over Lewis as an RB1. Now, maybe we’re heading back to some sort of fantasy world in which Lewis is relevant again. He has both rushing touchdowns for the Patriots in the last three weeks, and he’s trending upward in snaps and touch percentage. Last week, he led the team in touches with 11 and looked every bit as explosive has he was in 2015. I’d make Lewis a priority add and see how it unfolds from here. I’d rather be early or wrong than miss by being a week late.
3. John Brown (WR, Arizona Cardinals) – Back to health in the past two weeks, Brown has the second-most snaps among Cardinals receivers, behind only Larry Fitzgerald. He’s seen 18 targets over the last three weeks and has touchdowns in back-to-back games. The way the Cardinals offense looked with Adrian Peterson taking pressure off the passing game was positive news, as it was dramatically more balanced and efficient than the four games before he arrived. There will be fewer pass attempts going forward, but Fitzgerald and Brown should see the bulk of them.
4. Darren McFadden/Alfred Morris (RB, Dallas Cowboys) – I’ve struggled with this one since the news about Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension resuming. At this point, it seems as though the suspension should be enforced and Elliott will miss six games. Now, who’s the right running back to pick up? I wish I knew, but I’m going to go with McFadden because of his pass receiving ability and the fact the Cowboys used him all preseason, then made him a healthy scratch during the regular season. It’s almost as if they were saving him if this were to happen. I wouldn’t add both unless you absolutely have the space.
5. Alex Collins (RB, Baltimore Ravens) – While Collins continues to play fewer snaps than Javorius Allen, he’s seeing the touches. With 15 carries for 74 yards, Collins led the way for the Ravens on the ground Sunday. It sounds like Terrance West will be missing multiple games, so Collins is worth a flex play as we go through the byes. He isn’t worth more than that at the moment, because he’s splitting reps in a backfield for a bad offense.
6. JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers) – We’re now at four consecutive weeks in which Smith-Schuster has out-snapped Martavis Bryant. Now, news has broken that Bryant may be asking for a trade. Without knowing what’s on the horizon, I’d still like to have a potential primary piece of the offense if anything were to happen with Bryant. All the while, you’re still getting a player in Smith-Schuster who you can start in a bye week or injury pinch.
7. George Kittle (TE, San Francisco 49ers) – Tight end is an ugly position in fantasy football, and it seems worse this year. The top three TE1s seem light years ahead of the rest of the group, and you’re left trying to piece together points weekly. Kittle may help, as he has been targeted 17 times in the last two weeks and ranks third on the 49ers for the season in that department. Kittle’s college quarterback, C.J. Beathard, is now starting for the 49ers. There’s always the typical rookie quarterback-to-tight end connection as a safety blanket, and these two may have the spark necessary to find fantasy relevance.
8. Taylor Gabriel (WR, Atlanta Falcons) – We’re still unsure about Mohamed Sanu’s injury, so why not grab Gabriel? He’s a the speedster who can take any play to the house. This week, he faces off against a Patriots secondary that been burned relentlessly by every quarterback it has faced this season — six games and six 300-plus-yard passers. This could be a nice “get well” spot for the Falcons offense.
9. Samaje Perine (RB, Washington Redskins) – Perine had 12 touches for 46 yards and scored a touchdown, but it was Chris Thompson who stole the show with Rob Kelley out again. That being said, the Redskins haven’t given much clarity to when Kelley will return, and they’ve said they won’t continue to pile a workload on top of Thompson. So Perine should continue to be involved in the offense. Perine hasn’t quite forced his way to the top yet, but the talent is there and the opportunity keeps presenting itself to create a nice one-two punch with Thompson if Kelley can’t get back on the field quickly.
10. Chris Ivory (RB, Jacksonville Jaguars) – We know the Jaguars want to hide Blake Bortles as much as possible with their run-heavy attack. Well, that goal almost took an enormous step backward when Leonard Fournette pulled up with what looked like an ugly hyper-extended knee. Fortunately, it sounds like he’ll be fine moving forward. That being said, it’s a quick reminder for how fast we could find ourselves clamoring over Chris Ivory if anything were to happen to Fournette. Pick him up, stash him and still get some flex-worthy days out of him like Sunday, when he played 41 percent of the snaps and caught nine of 10 targets for 74 yards and a score.
Just missed: Marlon Mack (should’ve been picked up last week), Matt Forte, D’Onta Foreman, Wayne Gallamn, Thomas Rawls, Jermaine Kearse, Chris Moore, Roger Lewis, Kenny Stills, Bennie Fowler and Zach Miller.
Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert and co-host of “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today,” which can be heard every Sunday during football season from 8-9 a.m. CT on WSCR-670 and 670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter@jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.