“Family, Football & This Adventure We Call Life” is a year-round column by Nate Polvogt that shares a Colorado dad’s outlook on life and his weekly advice for fantasy football waiver wire pickups. Nate enters the Week 7 waiver wire run in his third season of writing and with the pride of being hot on 2021 league-winner Rashaad Penny early.
“There’s no such thing as being too busy. If you really want something, you’ll make time for it.” – Unknown
It’s weeks like this one that can test a person’s mettle.
It’s no secret our family leads a hectic existence. In addition to the mountains of content creation and editing we attempt to conquer during the week, we are also managing a household and trying to keep a rambunctious five-year-old boy happy, healthy and active.
Right On Time
The timing of our son starting full-day Kindergarten couldn’t have been better. It gave us a two-week running head start to get things in line for Week 1 of the NFL season. We knew it would test our patience and abilities, as we had taken on a significantly larger workload for 2022. But, it seemed possible because Jackson would be gone, Monday through Friday, from 8:40 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. So, we would have an entire workday to accomplish the many tasks we had signed ourselves up for.
I’d be lying if I said we didn’t miss him, but it’s worked out well. We have time to conquer our mountain, and Jackson is growing and learning so much in school. The weekends are still hectic with soccer, grandparents and football Sundays (for work!), but we always enjoy our “time off.”
When I was growing up, “Fall Break” was always over the Thanksgiving weekend. But that wasn’t enough for my generation, as they have implemented an additional extra-long weekend on the school calendar. So, as luck would have it, it lands this week – one where we are busier than we’ve been all season.
I know what you’re thinking, and I’m thinking it too.
We signed up for this.
It’s true. Neither of us would change anything, including getting additional time with our buddy. However, if you’ve had or even been in the presence of a five-year-old, you know they can be little tornadoes. It’s generally a harmless tornado – more dust devil than F5.
Yet, imagine trying to work with “Guess what, mommy,” “Hey daddy, look over here,” and old reliables “I’m hungry” and “I’m thirsty” raining down on your concentration all day. Writing and editing require a focus that becomes near impossible in the presence of a young kiddo.
Now, let’s throw in the podcasting and streaming, laundry, cooking, dishes, errands, etc.
Managing a day off from school is a daunting task in our household, as it is in most. But the good thing is, we’ve all been practicing for this moment.
Practice Makes Perfect
Parenting is an ongoing study of patience and time management. However, the longer you go on, the better you get at both. We are no longer intimidated by being left alone with a tired child for an hour and a half while the other is occupied with work. Jackson is also starting to want to be more helpful with tasks around the house.
Additionally, his mess radius has reduced considerably in the last two months. He also understands what we do now, which makes it easier to get him to listen to us – the holy grail of parenting.
We will pick up our little dude from school this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and be left to care for him for four straight days. Instead of stressing out about it, we’ve moved appointments around, pushed up personal deadlines and as I write this, I am taking breaks to finish folding laundry and doing dishes ahead of the long weekend.
We know Thursday and Friday are destined to be less productive, but that’s OK. We’re working ahead – thanks to Jen because we all know she’s the brains – and looking forward to a fantastic break.
Now, On To Football
Speaking of breaks, bye weeks started in the NFL last week, further muddying the fantasy football landscape. But six weeks into the season, we’ve had plenty of practice as fantasy football managers that will guide us through.
Week 6 gave us more shocking outcomes, impactful injuries and newsworthy notes.
• Patriots rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe continued to impress in place of the injured Mac Jones, netting 18.4 fantasy points and finishing Week 6 as the overall QB10.
• Pittsburgh wideout Chase Claypool seems to be amid a mini-breakout, scoring 23.4 Point Per Reception (PPR) points on his way to being the overall WR6.
• In his second career appearance, Giants’ rookie receiver Wan’Dale Robinson had three catches on four targets for 37 yards and a touchdown, giving hope to the New York wide receiver corps.
• The “frisky” New York Jets continued the improbable start to their season, efficiently handling the Green Bay Packers in a 27-10 victory in Lambeau Field.
• In related news, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been putrid to start the 2022 season and is currently the overall QB20 and falling. Is it time to be worried about the aging signal caller?
Every week we hope that things will start to regress to the mean of normalcy in the fantasy football landscape. And every week, without fail, we are massively disappointed. It’s time to accept the madness; neigh, embrace it.
It’s not getting any easier, but there’s still value on the waiver wire. Let’s find it in this week’s edition of “Hot, Medium & Mild: Week 7 Season Savers.”
Hot, Medium & Mild: Week 7 Season Savers
It’s a long NFL season; every week is as important as the next in your push to glory. You win and lose seasons in the trenches.
It might seem like all hope is lost and you’re better off just not looking at some of your lineups. However, all is not lost. As players go down with injury or see a continually declining role in their offense, new players earn more opportunities and deserve a spot on fantasy rosters. This week, I have a quarterback returning to a familiar role, a rookie receiver who appears to be impressing his coach and a recently-traded wide receiver I’m off. So, let’s get down to it.
HOT — Madame Jeanette Pepper
Taylor Heinicke (Quarterback, Washington Commanders) week 7 waiver wire
The Washington Commanders have been terrible this season. Quarterback Carson Wentz has been a big part of the problem. He has been unable to put together consistent production, leaving the Commanders’ offense sputtering and sitting at 2-4 on the season. He was awful this past week against the Chicago Bears, throwing for just 99 yards in a 12-9 victory.
We learned after the game that Wentz suffered a broken finger on his throwing hand, requiring surgery. He will now be sidelined for at least four weeks, leaving the Commanders offense in the hands of backup Taylor Heinicke. Some view this as a slight downgrade, which may be fair given Wentz was the overall QB9 through the first six weeks of the season. However, Heinicke is no stranger to this offense, having started 16 games for this team last season.
When the Commanders faced off against their Week 7 opponent, the Green Bay Packers, Heinicke turned in a solid performance, amassing 18.2 fantasy points. While the Packers’ defense is giving up the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks (11.3), they haven’t had much competition. Vikings’ Kirk Cousins put on a clinic against them in Week 1, scoring 19.1 points. But none of the other quarterbacks they have faced are in the top 12 at the position.
What To Do
The quarterback position has been unusually erratic this season. Marcus Mariota, Geno Smith and Trevor Lawrence are all currently a QB1s. Conversely, Russell Wilson, Rodgers and Matthew Stafford are mid-to-low-end QB2s. Heinicke is rostered in .1 percent of ESPN leagues, so if you need a quarterback, he’s available.
He will likely be a hot commodity on this week’s waiver wire, specifically in Super Flex or 2QB formats. So if you want to roster him in those formats, be OK with spending some Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) or use a higher waiver priority on him. In 1QB leagues, he’s likely available after waivers run.
MEDIUM — Rooster Spur Pepper
Tyquan Thornton (Wide Receiver, New England Patriots)
If you read our weekly “In The Scope” article here at In-Between Media, you know I said you should go out and acquire rookie Patriots wide receiver Tyquan Thornton for free. If you listened, you were the beneficiary of a breakout week from Thornton. He caught four of his five targets for 35 yards and a touchdown on his way to 21.3 PPR points.
Thornton was more involved in the Week 6 New England offense than I expected. He almost doubled his snaps, going from 25 to 40, 32 out wide. It’s fair to note that fellow wide receiver Nelson Agholor was inactive, and Kendrick Bourne went down early with a turf toe injury. However, he was efficient with his opportunities, which will always find favor with head coach Bill Belichick. He averaged 9.3 Yards Per Reception (YPR) with an Average Depth of Target (aDOT) of 4.4 yards.
What To Do
Thornton is only rostered in .6 percent of ESPN leagues, but that is about to change. The options at wide receiver available on the waiver wire are thin. However, despite the solid turnout last week, most still don’t have him on their radar. So take advantage of that now and grab Thornton before the rest of the pack notices. You shouldn’t spend more than a low percentage of your FAAB or use a low waiver wire priority to get him on your team. In all likelihood, he’ll clear the early week waiver run, and you can get him for free.
MILD — Piquillo Pepper
Robbie Anderson (Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals)
Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to help a player get out of a funk. We saw it happen for Titans’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill when he left Miami, if only for one season. Amari Cooper seems to have also reawakened as the WR1 in Cleveland. So, could the Carolina Panthers’ trade of embattled wide receiver Robbie Anderson to Arizona do the same for him?
The trade of Anderson to the Cardinals came on the heels of the news wideout Marquise Brown was due to miss time with a foot injury. It seems he will have an immediate role in this offense, even with star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins returning from a six-game suspension. The upgrade at quarterback also has many fantasy managers higher on Anderson than before the trade. However, that might be fool’s gold.
Kyler Murray has indeed been markedly better for fantasy than Baker Mayfield this season. Murray is the QB6 through Week 6, while Mayfield is QB26, albeit in one fewer game. However, Murray has the 16th-highest turnover-worthy play rate (3.1 percent) versus Baker, who is at 20 (2.7 percent). In addition, Anderson has a contested catch success rate of just 20 percent, 78th amongst receivers with a minimum of 14 targets.
What To Do
Poor quarterback play and inept coaching have been a part of the problem for Anderson. While Murray is undoubtedly an upgrade for him, this Arizona offense has been slow to start in games and was unable to get things going last week against a mediocre Seahawks defense. It’s also debatable that Kliff Kingsbury is much of an upgrade at head coach.
You’ll see a fair amount of managers dropping Anderson in the coming weeks; don’t let it tempt you to add him. He is currently the PPR WR73, and it is unlikely he will climb much higher.
I hope you find my spicy and not-so-spicy Week 6 waiver wire pickups and notes useful. Until next time!
This week’s #DadJoke stays in line with my Halloween theme for the rest of October. Here’s a nod to our “dying” fantasy rosters:
Where does a mummy go on vacation?
The Dead Sea.
As always, thanks for reading. For more fantasy and life content, find me on Twitter @NatePolvogt.