We made it through the Week 7 apocalypse of Bye weeks and ill-timed injuries. If you thought that was bad just wait until we get to Weeks 13 and 14. In the most crucial part of the fantasy football season we’ll see eight teams get a week off including the Browns, Packers, Titans, Panthers, Colts, Dolphins, Patriots, and Eagles. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it and focus on the here and now.
As for Week 8, the waiver wire isn’t crawling with many intriguing options. We have so many players returning to our regular lineups that we may not be looking for a replacement. This is the kind of week where I’m looking to possibly see who is dropped by my league mates and from there I’ll make my moves. But if you’re in need of a streamer or looking to improve your squad these are the players I’m looking at this week.
As always, I’ll be in the NFL Seasonal Discord later this evening, but will try to jump in during the day if I can.
Daniel Jones (NYG; FAAB Bid: 5-6%) If you’re missing out on Derek Carr and Lamar Jackson in Week 8, Daniel Jones might be the best streaming option available. Obviously, you hope some of his weapons are back this week against the Chiefs. This game could be ugly, but whether the Giants keep pace or are playing from behind, Jones should put up points. We just saw Ryan Tannehill put up over 20 fantasy points on them and the Chiefs defense has been torched all year long. Hopefully he can get a little going with his legs, which have sort of disappeared since the beginning of the season. Either way, 40+ pass attempts aren’t out of the question next Monday night.
Carson Wentz (IND; FAAB Bid: 5-6%) Wentz is another one of my favorite streamers in Week 8. Tennessee’s secondary is horrendous. Patrick Mahomes had a rough week against them because his offensive line couldn’t stop the pass rush. The Colts have a far better offensive line that can provide Wentz ample time to move the ball down the field. Wentz’s Sunday night performance was mostly salvaged by a rushing touchdown. But the offense still looked fine even in ugly weather conditions and he’s thrown multiple touchdowns in four straight games. He could finish next week as a top 12 quarterback for Week 8.
Deshaun Watson (HOU; FAAB: 1-2%) Rumors are swirling about a few teams looking to trade for Deshaun Watson. Miami, Philadelphia, and Carolina have all been in the mix and with the NFL’s trade deadline coming up next Tuesday we can only expect these rumors to intensify. If you can stash him for cheap, feel free to do so. He hasn’t been suspended by the NFL and his off-field issues could very well be settled out of court in civil suits. He’s available in over 80% of leagues at the moment. If he’s dealt and immediately steps in as that team’s starter then you’ve found a top ten quarterback rest of season on the waiver wire. If a deal can’t fall into place then he sticks with Houston the rest of the year and doesn’t play, in which case you drop him back to the free agency pool for nothing.
Michael Carter (NYJ; FAAB Bid: 13-15%) The running back options on the waiver wire this week are awful. As you can see, I’m leading off the position with a player that is likely only available in shallow leagues so some of you might as well just skip on by. We’ve seen a gradual progression of Carter’s workload and sure it helped that Tevin Coleman didn’t see any action against the Patriots. But his snaps have been increasing weekly and he just received 19 total touches, including eight receptions this past week against New England. The fantasy output hasn’t been great. It’s the Jets, what do you expect? However, a player’s workload is easier to project than touchdowns and Carter could move forward seeing 12-15 touches at minimum each week.
Kenyan Drake (LV; FAAB Bid: 10-12%) He’s only available in about 40% of leagues between Yahoo! and ESPN so he’s mostly a grab in ten-team leagues. But if he’s floating around in your league it might be a good time to grab him. With a new head coach, the offense has made it a point to get Drake more involved and that happened this week, and the injury to Josh Jacobs certainly helped his cause. The only downside to adding Drake is that the Raiders are off next week and Jacobs’ chest injury could be fine by the time the Raiders are back in action in Week 9. But since Rich Bissacia took over as head coach, Drake has scored three times. I’m still not sold on Drake completely, but a huge part of production in fantasy football is founded in volume and Drake’s trending up in that regard.
Kenneth Gainwell (PHI; FAAB Bid: 8-10%) I’m putting my faith in the rookie over Boston Scott although I know it was Scott who found the end zone on Sunday. Both players benefitted from Miles Sanders’ injury. Scott needed three tries late in the game to punch it in so take that for what it’s worth. Gainwell and Scott are both smaller running backs that excel in the passing game but given that Gainwell was the player selected by this coaching staff, we can make a fair prediction that he’d see more work if Sanders needs to miss time. And even in that case, this isn’t a trustworthy backfield given how awful the Eagles have looked this season.
Devonta Freeman (BAL; FAAB Bid: 6-7%) This offense looked completely lost in Week 7. Baltimore couldn’t keep pace with Cincinnati and truthfully, the Ravens offensive line needs help. Ronnie Stanley is done for the year again and Lamar Jackson was running for his life (to the tune of 88 rushing yards luckily). Freeman only totaled 14 yards on four carries, but he did find the end zone and he added three catches as well. I no longer have any interest in Latavius Murray, Ty’Son Williams, or Le’Veon Bell (I didn’t have much interest in Bell to begin with). If I’m looking for a running back to own in this backfield it’s currently Freeman and even then I’m not overly excited about that.
Brandon Bolden (NE; FAAB Bid: 5%) Take this suggestion with a grain of salt, as you should with any New England Patriots running back that is mentioned in a waiver wire column. Bolden was the pass catching back on Sunday with Rhamondre Stevenson inactive. Bolden caught six passes for 79 yards and found the end zone. But let’s keep in mind the circumstances surrounding this game: Stevenson was out, they were playing the Jets, and Bolden doesn’t get too many carries. Is he worth a grab in PPR leagues? Maybe only in leagues with 12 teams or more. And even if you do pick him up, how confident are you in starting him?
Rashod Bateman (BAL; FAAB Bid: 10-15%) The Ravens are on Bye this coming week so it’s unfortunate you won’t get any usage out of Bateman until Week 9 potentially. But he’s looked like the real deal and following the team’s week off we could see more production from him. He only has seven catches to his name but they’ve all gone for first downs and he’s flashed big play potential. It’s hard to imagine he’ll get more looks than Marquise Brown or Mark Andrews, but if opposing defenses are keying in on those two, Bateman could get more targets. A couple big games could be coming for the rookie. And the nice thing about stashing him is that you probably had to add or roster some ugly players for Week 7 and he makes for a nice stash if you’re looking to drop Week 7’s plug-in plays.
Darius Slayton (NYG; FAAB Bid: 6-7%) The Giants appear to be the team that’ll be plagued by the injury bug this season, especially on offense. Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Kadarius Toney, Andrew Thomas, Saquon Barkley, etc. have all been impacted. Most will inquire about Dante Pettis and he’s worth an add in deeper leagues, but I feel like Slayton is the more proven player with the organization. Not to mention he led the team in receiving yards and targets this past week. Slayton should be heavily involved if the Giants are without some of their pass catchers next week as they take on the Chiefs in primetime.
Kalif Raymond (DET; FAAB Bid: 5-6%) Raymond might be better suited in deep leagues because there’s a lot of raw talent here. But in terms of workload and his involvement with the offense, he’s in a good spot right now. Sunday marked his second straight game with six catches and he’s been running the most routes on the team. He does tend to make a few mistakes and he’s undersized. For now, he’s emerging as a reliable weapon for Jared Goff that warrants consideration in deep leagues.
Russell Gage (ATL; FAAB Bid: 3-4%) It’ll be hard to trust Gage on a weekly basis, but in his return from injury he logged four catches on six targets including a fantastic 49-yard touchdown catch to open the second half. He’s probably nothing more than a flex play in 12-team leagues or deeper, but if he’s seeing at least six targets each week then he should be rostered even if it’s just for depth. I know they’re last four games have come against the Giants, Washington Football Team, Jets, and Dolphins but it looks like this offense could finally be hitting its stride with Arthur Smith’s scheme, which is great timing because the schedule does get a little more challenging going forward.
C.J. Uzomah (CIN; FAAB Bid: 5-7%) Here is a perfectly fine streaming tight end if you have Darren Waller or Mark Andrews out this coming week. Uzomah has scored five touchdowns over his last four games on just 14 targets. You read that right. That kind of inefficiency is wildly unsustainable, but he’s caught all but two of his targets on the season. And he’s running routes on a consistent basis. He’s not a top two pass catching option in this offense, but he is active and he’s on the field running routes.
Evan Engram (NYG; FAAB Bid: 5-6%) I feel like “Eyeroll” is a good nickname for Engram among the fantasy community. Anytime he’s mentioned as a waiver acquisition there’s a collective eyeroll among subscribers and even some touts upon hearing his name. He has that first-round pedigree which might mean nothing at this stage of his career. However, with so many injuries on the Giants offense, Engram has been involved in the passing game. He just hasn’t been scoring or producing massive numbers. He’s averaging about six targets per game over his last five appearances, but he hasn’t topped 60 yards receiving. But remember, this is a fairly touchdown dependent position. C.J. Uzomah is a guy finding the end zone on minimal targets. Over the same four-game span that Uzomah has five touchdowns on 14 targets, Engram has 18 catches on 23 targets, but zero touchdowns. So while the Giants continue to play without some of their top receivers, there’s opportunity for Eyeroll Engram.
Pat Freiermuth (PIT; FAAB Bid: 2-3%) Freiermuth was mentioned last week as a tight end worth adding and I’m liking him again this week as the Steelers are coming off their Bye week. In the first full game without JuJu Smith-Schuster, Freiermuth set season highs in snaps (60%), targets and receptions (seven), and yards (58). And I don’t think this is necessarily a fluke because when JuJu was injured in Week 2, Freiermuth saw increased usage in that game as well.
Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals were already an enticing option to stream with their matchup next week against the Jets before Zach Wilson’s injury. Now that Wilson’s going to miss a couple weeks, Mike White will be New York’s starting quarterback. The Bengals are currently favored by about 9.5 points, but you can expect that line to move throughout the week. Cincinnati actually looked decent at times against Baltimore so with an easier matchup on the horizon, we can expect them to return fantasy production as a streamer.
San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers will travel to Chicago this week to face the Bears. It’s a great matchup considering how awful the Bears have looked on offense. But considering they just allowed the Colts to score 30 points in poor weather, I don’t consider this a slam dunk. But given how inept Chicago’s offense looks we can consider the 49ers as a streamer. Vegas has San Francisco favored by a field goal with the over/under around 39.5 points as of Monday afternoon.
Philadelphia Eagles – If the Bengals or the 49ers are not available, then look at the Eagles. Others may love the matchup more than I do, but they’ll dance with the Lions in Week 8. I believe the Lions are better than their 0-7 record indicates. They lost two games due to heart breaking field goals by the opposing team and they didn’t look completely awful against the Rams. I feel like this could be a trap game as far as streaming goes but if you’re in a pinch, the Eagles are basically available everywhere.