Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 8
Dan Malin examines the ownership percentages and recent trends to bring you his top waiver wire adds heading into Week Eight of the fantasy football season!
It was quite the eventful week for fantasy football. Odell Beckham Jr. tore his ACL so finding a replacement for him will be a priority for many fantasy managers this week. Jeff Wilson Jr. suffered a high ankle sprain after a big three-touchdown performance. He joins teammate Raheem Mostert with the same exact injury. The 49ers should just change their team name to the San Fr-Ankle Sprains. And with that we’ve reached our quota for dad jokes in this article. But we’ll turn our focus to Week 8. If you’re at 3-4, 2-5, or even worse you need to consider making some big moves. We’ll help you find options on waivers to fill small voids but if you’re at the bottom of your league’s standings you have to understand you need to be making trades to try and dig yourself out as well as maneuvering your way through waivers. This is also a really good week to see who gets dropped in your leagues. Between yesterday and today I’ve heard people dropping Mike Evans , Ronald Jones , JuJu Smith-Schuster , etc. One of our followers on Twitter mentioned that Adam Thielen was dropped in his league and while I think that may have been an accident we’re seeing good players end up on the waiver wire. So don’t panic if you miss out on this week’s batch. Keep an ear to the ground for players that get dropped. As always I’ll be in the NFL Seasonal Chat Tuesday night from 8:30pm-10:30pm ET taking waiver wire questions. If you feel you may need to pay up a little more than the recommended bids then we’ll hash it out and formulate a plan to get you a win this week.
Carson Wentz (PHI) Wentz is an interesting play because he’s around 61.1% owned in ESPN leagues and 68.6% owned on NFL.com. His weapons are awful and the offensive line is barely better than Dallas’. But Wentz is still providing us with fantasy production. He’s thrown multiple touchdowns in three straight games and he’s scored a rushing touchdown in five of his last six games. That’s absurd and completely unexpected. With that said, in time he will get more weapons back. It may not be DeSean Jackson but Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz will return (Goedert likely before Ertz) and Alshon Jeffery could return soon as well. Philly has the luxury of going toe-to-toe with Dallas this week on Sunday night. Because of the cupcake matchup, Wentz is a top 12 play this week at his position. FAA Bid: 12-14%
Joe Burrow (CIN) When Burrow’s on his game he looks like a natural talent that’s meant to be a professional quarterback. The frustrating part is that he’s had some disappointing performances against good teams. So what, that happens, right? He’s a rookie so we’ll give him a pass. I like that he has some spots where he should smash down the stretch but he also still has two games against the Steelers on the horizon (in Weeks 10 and 15). Even Week 11 against Washington’s pass rush is a little worrisome, but he gets the Giants, Dolphins, and Cowboys in Week 12-14. The Bengals defense is also going to bleed points so passing volume should be there for Burrow and Co. In five of his last six games he’s thrown over 300 yards and he’s found the end zone with his legs in each of the last two games. FAAB Bid: 12%
Teddy Bridgewater (CAR) Need a QB streamer this week with Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson on bye? Then Teddy is your guy. The Panthers host the Falcons on Thursday night and both defenses are pretty sub-par so we’re in a spot to get at least 20 points out of Bridgewater. When these two teams met three weeks ago, Bridgewater completed 75% of his pass attempts for 313 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Beyond this week, Bridgewater could return value as well. Following Atlanta the Panthers play Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Minnesota before their bye week ahead of the fantasy playoffs. Even if you don’t need the long-term play of Bridgewater he makes for a great streamer or Superflex play this week. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) Now that Miami is back in action, Tua will officially make his debut in Week 8 after I incorrectly assumed the Dolphins wouldn’t strip Fitzpatrick of the starting job. Regardless, Tua gets the Rams at home on a short week. Making your NFL debut when Aaron Donald is trying to eat you for lunch is no weekend in the Bahamas, but Tua’s had plenty of time to prepare. I probably wouldn’t start him for this game. I feel like the game to target would be the Cardinals game the following week. But if you’re in a two-quarterback or Superflex league where you can roster three quarterbacks then he’s a must add. We’ve seen great performances from Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow so far this year and while it’s not fair to apply similar expectations to Tua, there is plenty of optimism and excitement if he can stay healthy and get use out of his legs. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Chase Edmonds (ARI) It’s interesting how the opinions in fantasy football change like the wind. Kenyan Drake was terrible for the first few weeks and then popped up for a big game last Monday. Then regressed on Sunday night and suffered an ankle injury. The X-rays came back negative, but the MRI revealed some ligament damage so he’s going to miss multiple weeks. If you’ve read this article this year you know that I feel like Edmonds is a league winner if given the opportunity and it looks like we have that opportunity finally. With Drake sidelined for multiple weeks, we need to run, not walk, to get him if he’s available in any league you play in. Overall Edmonds racked up 145 total yards Sunday night on just 12 touches. He has 18 receptions in his last four games. The Cardinals are off this coming week and they’ll return for a home game against Miami on November 8th. FAAB Bid: 35% but this could be a 40-50% bid with Drake out for multiple weeks and you need RB help.
Jamaal Williams (GB) The running back landscape is pretty interesting this week. You will definitely want to take a look around your league for players like Jamaal Williams . In Williams’ case he took on the lion’s share of the work in the Green Bay backfield and he turned it into over 20 fantasy points in PPR formats. Aaron Jones did travel with the team this past weekend and wanted to play, but the medical staff shut him down and the Packers didn’t miss a beat. This job is still Jones’ to lose, let’s be clear. Even when he’s ready to return in a week or two he’ll assume his normal role. Maybe Williams gets some more snaps, but this isn’t killing Jones’ value too much. So a lot of people jumped on Williams this weekend and pushed his ownership to over 60% in ESPN leagues and about 55% in NFL.com leagues. If he’s available he’s worth an add, but don’t go crazy on the FAAB. If Jones is out again next week against Minnesota then Williams is a must-start in a great matchup especially now that Minnesota dealt Yannick Ngakoue to Baltimore. FAAB Bid: 15% but it could be more based on need.
Boston Scott (PHI) This is a hard guy to ignore if he’s still available on waivers and he may just be a one-week rental depending on Miles Sanders’ recovery. Last Thursday against the Giants he saw 15 touches for 92 total yards and a touchdown. Next week the Eagles and Cowboys face off in primetime Sunday night. I don’t quite know why the NFL keeps handing the NFC East primetime television spots, but such is life. The Cowboys are a mess so if you need a win or a fill-in at running back this is a great option assuming Sanders is going to be inactive once again. Last week the Football Team ran for over 200 yards as a team and Antonio Gibson saw 20 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown. If Scott’s the number-one in Philly next week he’s a Top 24 play which means he’s a RB2 and a must-start next week against one of the worst defenses in the league. FAAB Bid: 14-15% based on the need for a win.
Giovani Bernard (CIN) If you missed on the opportunity to acquire Bernard for free then here’s your opportunity to throw a little coin his way because he could get the start once again versus the Tennessee Titans. Joe Mixon is still nursing a foot injury that has him considered week-to-week. With Cincinnati’s bye week coming up following the matchup against Tennessee, it would make sense for the Bengals to sit Mixon this week to possibly have him ready for Week 10’s tough matchup against Pittsburgh. And if this all comes to fruition then we’re striking gold with Gio once again. The Titans fought a close game that saw them rally against Pittsburgh, but ultimately they still lost. They allowed James Conner to accumulate 82 rushing yards on 20 carries and three catches for 29 yards. Tennessee allows about 130 rushing yards per game and even behind an awful offensive line, Bernard could have another productive week. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Joshua Kelley (LAC) One of my more incorrect calls in Week 7 was picking Justin Jackson over Joshua Kelley. While neither guy found the end zone and neither got to 12 points in PPR formats, Kelley did gain more touches than Jackson. Kelley saw a dozen carries and five catches to Jackson’s five carries and five catches. Justin Herbert actually led the team in rushing yards and wide receiver Joe Reed vultured a rushing touchdown in the first quarter. With Austin Ekeler out we could very well see the workload change every week. But if both players are at least in the area of a dozen or so touches each week they both could have some Flex appeal, and from there you’re just hoping they score. FAAB Bid: 12-13%
Tevin Coleman / Jamycal Hasty (SF) I would prefer to avoid this backfield simply because there are way too many options and they all tend to get hurt. Tevin Coleman is set to return very soon and there is optimism he’ll be ready for Sunday’s game against Seattle. However, that isn’t a guarantee and we probably won’t know by Tuesday night whether he plays or not. He could very well be a game-time decision but we’ll definitely want to monitor the practice reports as the week progresses. As for Hasty, he received a good amount of work on Sunday (ten total touches) and to be honest, when the ball has been in his hands, he’s looked great. He has 18 carries over his last two games for 94 yards. If Coleman is out then that obviously helps his value. But we also cannot forget about Jerick McKinnon . Kyle Shanahan was quoted as saying the team planned on resting McKinnon in Week 7 since he had such a heavy workload earlier in the year. This would’ve been useful information for fantasy managers prior to the slate locking. McKinnon had just three carries against the Patriots, but if we’re holding Shanahan to his word then maybe he gets more carries next week. I’m doing my best to avoid this backfield. I don’t want any part of it if I can avoid them. But for some of you, this may be your only option. FAAB Bid: 12%
Carlos Hyde / DeeJay Dallas (SEA) Chris Carson has a “mild mid-foot sprain” so while the injury isn’t serious it doesn’t seem like he’ll play in Week 8. This was supposed to open the door for Hyde, but now he’s dealing with a hamstring injury. Hyde came in and had 18 touches (three of which were catches) and he found the end zone. This is being published early Tuesday morning so we cannot confirm the status of Hyde or Travis Homer, who suffered a knee contusion. The only healthy running back in Seattle is rookie DeeJay Dallas. What was looking like a promising waiver acquisition is now clouded in uncertainty. Hopefully there are other options on waivers with more certainty for you, but targeting Hyde is a big gamble this week. FAAB Bid: 8-10% for Carlos Hyde ; 2-4% for Dallas
Zack Moss (BUF) ESPN saw a lot of fantasy managers start dumping Zack Moss the last couple weeks. His ownership is now down to 36.9% on ESPN and down to 30% on NFL.com. Moss saw ten touches on Sunday against the Jets and turned it into 72 total yards. It was nice to see him get a little action in the passing game with three receptions and he’s catching up to Devin Singletary in snap counts. On Sunday, Singletary was on the field for 40 snaps while Moss managed to see 35. The ownership dips while the stock rises. FAAB Bid: 6%
La’Mical Perine (NYJ) Fortunately the Jets are smart enough (we think) to know they need to feature Perine more. This isn’t a great offense, but he saw more snaps than Frank Gore on Sunday and he found the end zone in the first quarter. He’ll have his struggles and you might only be starting him in deeper leagues if you’re desperate. But hopefully the Jets get him going enough to regularly give him 12-14 touches each week. The Jets have a very difficult matchup next week where they opened as 20.5-point underdogs to Kansas City. It’s not a great narrative, but the Jets will at least be chasing points. FAAB Bid: 4%
Brandon Aiyuk (SF) Who says you necessarily need to grab a Cleveland wide receiver to replace Odell? Brandon Aiyuk stands to benefit greatly from Deebo Samuel’s most recent injury. With Samuel likely out a couple weeks Aiyuk could steadily see seven-to-eight targets each week as the season progresses. On Sunday against New England he caught six-of-seven targets for 115 yards. He’s also found the end zone three times in six games this year. With San Francisco also hurting at running back it’s possible we see Aiyuk get utilized on more end-around plays. With a fantastic matchup against Seattle coming up, Aiyuk is shaping up to be a high upside Flex play in most leagues. FAAB Bid: 12-15%
Cole Beasley (BUF) Admittedly I’ve never been a huge Cole Beasley fan. I’ve never been able to get a read on him as a player, but he’s catching my eye now. Beasley’s coming off a game where he caught 11-of-12 targets for 112 yards. In six of Buffalo’s seven games this year he has at least six targets and he’s rolling off six straight games with double-digits points in PPR formats. And the one time he didn’t hit that floor he posted 9.8 points and that was in Week 1. The schedule may be a little tough this weekend but New England will likely scheme to take Stefon Diggs away, which should open up some opportunities for Beasley. And to be honest, the New England defense has been beatable lately so we shouldn’t put them on a pedestal. If you ever get a touchdown out of him, be thankful. He’s getting enough volume to carry value in PPR formats. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Sterling Shepard (NYG) Shepard definitely wasn’t eased back into the swing of things. Rather he was thrown right into the deep end and he didn’t disappoint in his first game back. The toe injury seemed a thing of the past and he caught six-of-eight targets for 59 yards and a late score. I much prefer Brandon Aiyuk as the wideout to grab this week. Shepard has a difficult matchup this coming week against Tampa Bay and there are still concerns regarding the quarterback play for the Giants. Either way if he’s getting seven or eight targets each week then he shouldn’t be sitting on waivers. If Carlton Davis covers Darius Slay ton then we might see a few more looks for Shepard. Last week Slayton was covered heavily by Darius Slay and that limited Slayton’s performance to just two receptions. FAAB Bid: 10%
Jalen Reagor (PHI) Reagor may not make a huge impact right away since he’s coming off IR, but he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery and he could start practicing this week. It was noted up above how desperate the Eagles are for weapons on offense. He hasn’t played since Week 2 but he’s versatile and the Eagles used a first-round draft pick on Reagor so they could easily get some use out of him when he’s ready. FAAB Bid: 6%
Nelson Agholor (LV) It’s hard to imagine a sane person putting in any sort of bid on Nelson Agholor . However, he has scored a touchdown in three straight games and the Raiders are utilizing him as a deep option. In his last three games he has 11 receptions on 15 targets for 218 yards. That’s 14.53 yards per target and the schedule lines up nicely for the Raiders to throw more in the second half of the season. FAAB Bid: 6%
Rashard Higgins (CLE) If looking to find a quick short-term replacement for Odell, look no further than his teammate. When Beckham departed on the team’s first drive, Higgins stepped in and caught all six of his targets for 110 yards. The long-term appeal isn’t there with him though. Once Jarvis Landry ’s rib injury heals and Austin Hooper returns, Higgins will likely see less work, but he won’t go away entirely. And he could prove me wrong. If he makes the most of his opportunity, then they could consistently feed him five or six targets each game. For now, I’m not going crazy running to get this guy. FAAB Bid: 5%
Marquez Callaway (NO) Similar to Higgins I’m not that enthralled with Marquez Callaway of New Orleans either, but the Saints love him more than I do. After all they employ him and not me. He made the absolute most of his opportunities on Sunday after he caught eight-of-ten targets for 75 yards. It took both Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders being declared out for that opportunity to present itself to him, but he didn’t disappoint. The Saints practices will be worth keeping an eye on throughout the week. Obviously if Thomas is forced to miss another game then this will bode very well for Callaway’s fantasy prospects. FAAB Bid: 3-4%
Mike Gesicki (MIA) Gesicki’s been very difficult to get a read on. He’s had two very productive games for fantasy, but then he’s also had some duds as well. A lot of owners jumped ship this past week with Miami on bye. He’s available in about one-third of NFL.com leagues and almost half of ESPN leagues. DeVante Parker got a little banged up in Miami’s last game against the Jets with a groin injury and that’s following an ankle injury he suffered about three weeks ago. The bye week likely helped his recovery process so monitor his status through the week. But I’m of the mindset that we normally see young, rookie quarterbacks lean heavily on tight ends. They’re bigger reliable targets available over the middle and we could see Gesicki get some added targets with Tua under center. There will be risk with this play especially since Miami has been getting other tight ends involved, but Gesicki still remains at the top of the depth chart for the Fish. FAAB Bid: 8%
Trey Burton (IND) Hopefully nobody forgot about what Burton did in Week 6. We shouldn’t expect him to register a rushing touchdown each week, as Jonathan Taylor owners will be at our throats. But in the games he’s been active he’s seen at least five targets in each game. This week the Colts will visit the Lions who have been pretty good against opposing tight ends, but they did let Hayden Hurst catch six passes for 68 yards in Week 7. Philip Rivers has been getting his tight ends more involved so Burton is worth a grab if he continues to see five targets every week. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Harrison Bryant (CLE) Austin Hooper missed Sunday’s game after having an emergency appendectomy. Appendectomies are zero fun. I once e-mailed a college professor that I had to undergo this procedure and they told me to take two weeks off (Spoiler Alert: I didn’t have appendicitis). So assuming Hooper needs another week to recover it’s possible he isn’t available for Sunday’s game against Vegas. Bryant caught four-of-five targets on Sunday in Hooper’s place with two touchdown catches. David Njoku also caught one, but with Odell Beckham Jr. done for the year it’s likely we see Cleveland run more two-tight end sets this week. The Raiders have allowed Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce to score against them their last two games so there’s a window here for fantasy points. After Cleveland’s bye week, it’s possible we see Austin Hooper come back in and assume more targets with Beckham out. So we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, but Bryant is shaping up to be a solid streamer this week after a fantastic performance against the Bengals. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Richard Rodgers (PHI) Rodgers strikes me as a tight end we can look to possibly stream this week. Most people might forget this, but he had eight targets last Thursday against the Giants. It seems unlikely that the Eagles will have either Dallas Goedert or Zach Ertz back this week for Sunday night’s game against Dallas. So we can lock and load Rodgers as a streamer. Dallas has allowed opposing tight ends to score in four of seven games this year and the Eagles are still missing pieces on offense. As a one-week streamer, Rodgers is in play and he’ll likely make many Showdown lineups for DFS next Sunday night. Don’t go overboard with a FAAB bid because this may be just a one-week rental. FAAB Bid: 4-5%
Kansas City Chiefs – So a lot of folks jumped the gun this passed week and started stashing the Chiefs for this week’s matchup against the Jets. They’re coming off a dominant performance over the Broncos to the tune of 16 points allowed, three sacks, four turnovers, and two touchdowns scored. They’ve held six of their seven opponents to under 21 points and this week should be no different. The Chiefs opened as 21-point favorites which is incredibly insulting to the Jets, but they’ve earned it. This is a layup where the Chiefs D/ST should easily return double-digit fantasy points so get them in your lineup if you can.
Philadelphia Eagles – If the Chiefs aren’t available then target the Eagles. In this week’s Hot Takes column I noted that people should be targeting the defenses playing the Cowboys, not the Jets. And I truly do believe in this though but the Eagles aren’t as available as the Chiefs. But if they are this is a juicy matchup. The Cowboys offensive line is broken and they gave up six sacks on Sunday and Dallas may have to start Ben DiNucci in Primetime against an Eagles pass rush with 20 sacks in their last five games. The Chiefs and Eagles are the two best streaming options this week.
Green Bay Packers – Normally I wouldn’t suggest streaming a defense against a team that is well rested coming off their bye week, but in deeper leagues I think the Packers are in play this week. They possess one of the brightest defensive backs in the game in Jaire Alexander who should be able to shut down Adam Thielen . According to Pro Football Focus, Alexander played 48 cover snaps last week and was only targeted once. That’s how talented he is. Will Fuller had three catches and a touchdown in the game, but Alexander didn’t cover him on those routes. Adam Thielen had a big game against Green bay in Week 1, but Alexander has broken out since and even in that Week 1 contest, Alexander still forced an interception and a safety so he came up with two huge plays. Dalvin Cook should be returning so that will keep the defensive front busy but I’m reading this as a great opportunity for the Packers with multiple interceptions off of Kirk Cousins .