It's Week 8 of the NFL season, thankfully. Week 7 was brutal in terms of injuries. Cutler, Bradford, Foster, Tate, Martin, Wayne, Finley... on and on in Week 7. It was an epic fail in terms of the health of players. That makes what you do on the waiver-wire in Week 8 pretty darn important. Let me see if I can help you all out in your attempt to add some depth.
A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE
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BYE: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee
FAAB THOUGHTS (Assuming a $100 Budget)
Casey Keenum, Texans
The Texans are on a Bye in Week 8 so it's quite possible that it will be Matt Schaub under center during the Texans next game if his foot/ankle issue is cleared up. HC Gary Kubiak said that Schaub is his starter, but he also added that he will be evaluating the position during the Bye week. Keenum looked sharp in Week 7 completing 60 percent of his passes for 271 yards and a score, but he also lost a late fumble, is in an offense that would prefer to run, and one that has it's top two backfield horses injured (Foster and Tate both say they will be back from injury after the Bye week, and the teams needs that after Cierre Wood was releaased after getting caught puffing on the Magic Dragon). Don't extend yourself for a player who might be holding a clipboard for the next game. FAAB BID: $2-3
Kellen Clemens, Rams
If you're in a two QB league and desperate I guess you can consider adding him, but really? In his career he has a 52 percent completion percentage and has thrown for seven scores against 11 interceptions. Oh yeah, he also faces the Seahawks in Week 8. Good grief Charlie Brown.
FAAB BID: $5
Josh McCown, Bears
Jay Cutler is penciled in to miss four weeks with a groin injury – at minimum. McCown actually looked sharp completing 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards an a score, but it was against the Redskins who are poor in pass defense. McCown gets another tasty matchup in the Bears next game against the Packers. The Bears also have a Bye this week so McCown can get some much needed first team reps, but let's be honest with who he is. Since being drafted in 2002 he's made all of 48 appearances, and the last time he was out there for more than three games was 2007. He's not someone to look at unless you're in a two QB league. Let's just hope he doesn't kill the value of the Bears' skill players.
FAAB BID: $5
Roy Helu, Redskins
The Redskins top runner is still Alfred Morris and he's averaging more than 15 carries a week. That said, he isn't a good pass catcher and Helu is taking a crap ton of the 3rd down and hurry up offense work (the 'Skins call it their “turbo” package, and it's all Helu when they go that route). Helu isn't going to take over the backfield unless Morris is hurt, so that means he's more of a weekly flex option than someone you should be looking at as a lock-down RB2 each week. Still, he's averaged 12.3 touches the past three weeks and he can catch the football very well. The three scores in Week 7 were a mirage, and he's only caught four passes once this season, so add him for depth but don't bid on him like he's suddenly become a top-15 running back – he hasn't.
FAAB BID: $15-20
Chris Ivory, Jets
Long one of my favorites, Ivory had been hurt and underutilized in his first season with the Jets as he totaled 34 carries for 115 yards in five games. What did he do in Week 7? How about 34 carries and 104 yards. The workload is massive and certainly should grab your attention. On the down side he only picked up 3.1 YPC, though it was against an underrated Patriots defense. He also has a matchup with the Bengals this Sunday, and they are a tough defense to make waves against. Bilal Powell wasn't hurt in Week 7, the Jets just thought Ivory matched up better with the Pats, so does that mean that Powell might match up better against the Bengals and Ivory might go back to 12 carries in Week 8? It's certainly possible as the club isn't clarifying things for us. Hopefully you were just a frustrated Ivory owner who now has a piece you could play or deal. If you're adding him off waivers this week you're likely going to have to overpay for his services since his role is far from certain moving forward.
FAAB BID: $15-20
Mike James, Buccaneers
Doug Martin has carried the ball 75 percent of the time for the Bucs in 2013, the second highest mark in football (AD is at 83 percent). It's still unclear how much time Martin will miss with his shoulder issue, though we know he won't be playing in Week 8 because the Bucs play on Thursday. James, a 6th round pick out of Miami, is stocky and is tough runner. He's not a burner but he can break a tackle. Also it's quite possible that he will be able to catch 3-5 passes a week making him a strong add in PPR setups. His value though, of course, is totally dependent on how much time Martin misses.
FAAB BID: $20-25. However, if Martin is announced as done for the year, you could easily double that initial bid amount (you might still have to go higher to add him to your roster).
Cole Beasley, Cowboys
Some are comparing him to Wes Welker. I prefer not to get too caught up into that hype train other than to point out that Beasley is 5'8”, 180 lbs and plays the slot like Welker. With Terrance Williams ascending rapidly, and Miles Austin falling out of favor cause of his balky wheels, Beasley is gaining some serious traction in the 'Boys offense. Beasley has only one score, and that's not likely to change much, but in a PPR setups he's worth a look after 3-straight games of at least four receptions (including 10 the past two weeks).
FAAB BID: $10-15
Jarrett Boykin, Packers
Have a day kid. Stepping into the lineup due to injuries to Randall Cobb and James Jones, Boykin played very well in his first NFL start. OK, that's an understatement. He was great catching eight of 10 targets on his way to 103 yards an a score. He only averaged 12.9 yards a catch, and isn't anywhere near as dynamic as Cobb, but he catches what is thrown to him and has a big role in the Packers offense. Jones is likely out at least another week, Cobb until Week 15, and at this point we're just happy that Jermichael Finely (neck) isn't paralyzed (there's no telling when he will be back in action), so Boykin is about as good an add that you will find at the position this week (hopefully you ladded him last week as I recommended for much less money).
FAAB BID: $20-25
Mike Brown, Jaguars
When a rookie goes out and catches five balls for 120 yards people love to get all excited. Temper that enthusiasm. The undrafted rookie out of Liberty had all of five catches before Week 6, and the only reason his role was as big as it was in Week 7 was because of the less than 100 percent nature of Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts. When both are healthy it's pretty much a lock they are going to be getting 20-25 targets each week, and that doesn't leave a bunch of passes to go around for support players like Brown. Don't overbid.
FAAB BID: $5
Riley Cooper, Eagles
Last week I said not to buy into the hype after he went for four catches, 120 yards an a score. I'm still saying the same thing after he caught six balls for 88 yards in Week 7. He's still not a gifted pass catcher. He still doesn't have great jets. He still doesn't have great hand. He's still not very good. You should be selling high on Cooper if you own him not emptying out your pockets to try and add him to your club.
FAAB BID: $5
Brandon Gibson, Dolphins
For some reason the Dolphins paid Mike Wallace all that dinero just to be one of the guys. Meanwhile, Gibson's role in the offense seems to be set. However, few were taking note because until Week 7 he had failed to record a touchdown. After scoring twice against the Bills everyone knows who he is now. He's obviously not a big time scoring threat making him a moderate non-ppr option given that he's averaging just 53.7 yards a game. Still, in PPR setups he's a nice depth play. Not only has he caught at least four passes in his last four games, in five of the six games he's played he's caught at least five balls. He still hasn't reached 80 yards in a game, and isn't a huge red zone threat, but he's moving the chains and catching the football.
FAAB BID: $10
Darrius-Heyward Bay/LaVon Brazil, Colts
Reggie Wayne's knee injury knocks him out for the year. The Colts will be forced to go with perpetually underachieving T.Y. Hilton and DHB as their starters out wide. Given the way they've run the offense this season, it's probably a good bet that we'll see a lot of two wideout sets so look for Brazil to fill the role Hilton was previously – i.e. his target total is likely to be real hit or miss from week-to-week. Neither DHB or Hilton is capable of replacing Wayne who caught at least five balls on eight targets in six of seven games this season. Look for DHB to creep into potential WR3 territory in the fantasy game if for no other reason that Andrew Luck has to throw the football to someone whereas Brazil will be nothing more than a risky WR4 until proven otherwise.
FAAB BID for DHB: $10-15
FAAB BID for Brazil: $5
Marvin Jones, Bengals
Mohamed Sanu has 24 receptions but he's also failed to get into the end zone and is averaging a mere 9.6 yards per carry. At this point it certainly seems like Jones has caught and likely surpassed Sanu to be the starter across from A.J. Green. Jones went to California, and you know how I love to support my Bay Area brethren (if you didn't know, I'm born and raised in the Bay Area, and my grandparents met at CAL in the early 1930's). Jones has scored in back-to-back games, has three scores in four weeks, and he's averaging 15.4 yards a catch. He's yet to get to five catches in a game though, but his role in the offense is certainly growing.
FAAB BID: $10-15
Jordan Reed, Redskins
He's improved so much, so quickly, that the 'Skins are trying to trade Fred Davis cause they know they no longer need him. Reed is 6'2”, 245 lbs of athletic talent, and it jumps out at you when he's on the field. The third round rookie has gone for at least four receptions and 50 yards each of the past three weeks, and he blew up in Week 7 against the Bears with nine catches for 134 yards an a score. Hopefully you already scooped him up off the waiver-wire. If you didn't, you're going to have to pay a king's ransom to get him this week, but he has the look of a rest of the way TE1 so it might still be worth doing.
FAAB BID: $20-25
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
- Mo Williams will not play on Wednesday
- Gerald Henderson will start on Wednesday
- Bradley Beal will start on Wednesday
- J.R. Smith will start Wednesday
- Jameer Nelson will not play on Wednesday
- Brandon Jennings will not play on Wednesday
- Tobias Harris will play and start Wednesday
- DBacks sign Yasmany Tomas 6-yr, $68.5M deal
- Arian Foster (groin) practiced on Wednesday
- Herron will continue to start at RB over T-Rich