Jared Goff among top last-minute pickups for fantasy football Week 7

Taylor, Bortles among best available fantasy QBs (1:28)

Mike Golic Jr. says the top quarterbacks available in at least 50 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues are Tyrod Taylor, Blake Bortles and Andy Dalton. (1:28)

Each week of the NFL campaign we will sift through the deeper options at each position with an eye on identifying streaming fantasy commodities with valuable matchups to consider.

Do you need replacement options for injured players? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues, especially during these bye weeks? We have some choice names to consider for those seeking widely available options at each position.


Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

If you are looking for an opponent to stream a quarterback against, the Arizona Cardinals make a world of sense. The average quarterback has thrown for more than 250 yards and two scores against the Cardinals. Those numbers are bad without context, but when you consider they've played Jacoby Brissett in his first game as a starter for the Indianapolis Colts, and journeymen Brian Hoyer and Ryan Fitzpatrick (who entered as a sub for Jameis Winston), it's apparent that as long as you aren't throwing at Patrick Peterson, there's plenty of room for fantasy success.

Goff gets the opportunity this week as his Los Angeles Rams host the Cardinals. He is better than you may think, specifically in his efficiency, as he trails just Alex Smith, Kirk Cousins and Tom Brady in yards per attempt this season. Goff is protecting the ball well, too, as he's thrown just three picks through six games. Look for Goff to find his secondary receivers often and to score at least 20 fantasy points. -- Daube

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills

He's been a popular add in ESPN leagues this week following his team's Week 6 bye, but is still available in more than 40 percent of leagues. Taylor is poised to produce QB1-caliber results against a reeling Tampa defense that is allowing the fourth-most points per drive (2.16) and the second-most touchdowns per drive of any defense in the NFL. We all know Taylor has what the cool kids call the Konami Code for quarterbacks -- an ability to drive fantasy value with his legs. Taylor is second among quarterbacks in rushes per game, so he could do damage as a dual-threat weapon against what has been one of the best matchups for signal-callers this season. -- McCormick

Running back

Dion Lewis, New England Patriots

It can be really frustrating figuring out which New England Patriots running back is the right one to start each week, but if anyone can emerge as a clear weekly fantasy starter, it's Lewis. During his career with the Patriots, Lewis has averaged more than 16 fantasy points per game when he's received at least 25 snaps. Since the Patriots have averaged 67 offensive plays per game, he needs to play only a little more than a third of the offensive snaps to expect fantasy starter-worthy numbers.

In Week 7, the Patriots will host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night. The Falcons' defense hasn't lived up to preseason expectations. They've allowed 4.25 yards per rush, which ranks 20th in the league and is a main contributor to why they've allowed the eighth-most points to opposing running backs, despite allowing just two rushing scores. Expect Lewis to get his fair share of touches in a high-scoring affair. -- Daube

Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens

Apparently leading the NFL in yards per carry through a sizable sample of games is beginning to earn Collins more trust from the Baltimore staff. Early-season ball security issues slowed his ascent, but Collins led the team in rushes in Week 6 and has averaged 73.25 yards from scrimmage on just 11.25 touches per game in the past four outings. The Vikings claim an undeniably stout front seven, but given the landscape's eroded and shallow running back market, Collins' elite per-touch efficiency merits interest as a flex play with notable upside. -- McCormick

Wide receiver

Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams

See Goff, Jared. Avoid Peterson, Patrick. Goff is going to throw the ball against a Cardinals' defense that looks better on paper than it really is. The Cardinals are likely to shadow Sammy Watkins with Peterson, which leaves Woods as the receiver most likely to see the highest number of targets. Look for Woods to post similar numbers as Nelson Agholor, Brice Butler, Torrey Smith, Kenny Golladay and Aldrick Robinson, who took their average of six targets and turned them into an average line of 75 yards and a score. -- Daube

Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars

Lee leads the Jags with a respectable 24.2 percent market share of the team's targets, making him the rare streaming addition with high-floor appeal as a flex in PPR formats. The Colts have allowed the fourth-most yards and the most yards per catch to opposing wideouts while also ceding huge gains on play-action passes this season. With Lee due a sizable share of attention this week, he's a worthy streaming commodity for those facing injuries and bye-week issues. -- McCormick

Tight end

Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals

The pickings are slim at the tight end position when looking at players rostered in less than 20 percent of leagues. Kroft, however, stands out. He has emerged as a capable receiver after Tyler Eifert was lost to injury yet again. QB Andy Dalton appears to trust the 6-foot-6 inch, 260-pound target, which has enabled Kroft to make 13 catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns in three games since sliding in for Eifert. This deep on the waiver wire, you are hoping for a score, and Kroft's frame and Dalton's propensity to look for his tight ends in the red zone make it worthwhile to take your flier here. -- Daube

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

For the second straight week, we find Kittle worthy of mention in this space, especially as the market continues to sleep on this emergent high-percentage target. We don't know how C.J. Beathard will respond in his first professional start, but it's likely he'll lean on Kittle between the painted numbers. With a target on a robust 25.8 percent of his routes and nearly 12 yards per catch over the past two weeks, it's easy to appreciate Kittle's fantasy stock facing a Dallas defense ceding the seventh-most yards per catch and more than 11 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. -- McCormick

Defense/Special teams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I'm a firm believer in streaming defenses against teams that are at or near the bottom of the NFL. The Buffalo Bills and their 3-2 record might not seem to fit this bill, but they definitely do. The Bills have gained more than 281 total offensive yards just once this season, in their Week 1 contest against the New York Jets. They've also averaged just 14 points per game. Then there's Tyrod Taylor, who has taken more sacks per game (3.6) than anyone not named Matthew Stafford. Look for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to easily post low double-digit fantasy points, which could skyrocket if Taylor begins to turn the ball over. -- Daube

Miami Dolphins

While the focus has been on the team's languid offense and league-worst passing production, it's interesting to note the Dolphins have yet to allow an opponent to score more than 20 points. It's also relevant to note Miami has compiled eight sacks over the past two showings. We'll make this an all-Florida endorsement for streaming defensive commodities, as the Fins face a Jets offense that features a veteran quarterback in Josh McCown, who has the ninth-highest interception rate and the fourth-highest sack rate in the league. -- McCormick

Individual defensive players

Defensive line

Alex Okafor, New Orleans Saints

Only nine other defensive ends are averaging more fantasy points per game than Okafor (using ESPN's standard IDP key). No relation to Jahlil, this Okafor has been uniquely productive in providing at least four tackles in three showings and with sacks in two of the past three games. The Packers have allowed one of the league's higher sack rates, setting up Okafor for another solid showing. -- McCormick


Ray-Ray Armstrong, San Francisco 49ers

Not only do you get to roster a dude named Ray-Ray, you can get stellar tackle production from this emerging linebacker. With NaVorro Bowman now across the bay in Oakland, Armstrong should feast on tackle opportunities against the Cowboys' balanced offense. For an even sneakier addition, the Patriots' Kyle Van Noy has racked up 3.5 sacks and 21 tackles over the past three weeks and should be on the field throughout as one of the rare playmakers on New England's front seven. -- McCormick

Defensive back

Micah Hyde, Buffalo Bills

The scoring officials in Buffalo have long been generous in doling out tackles to the guys in blue, while Hyde also delivers a bit of big-play upside to the field. The Bucs could be without Jameis Winston in Orchard Park this Sunday, but no matter who is taking snaps behind center, there is real fantasy upside found in Hyde's every-down playmaking presence. -- McCormick