Waiver Wire: Week 8
More bye weeks, more patches to hole up on our fantasy football rosters, but luckily, quite a few options popped up here for you intrepid fantasy managers to stash away and use as needed. Unfortunately, many of them were due to injuries by incumbents, but that's the name of the game when it comes to football and especially, fantasy football.
Here at Fighting Chance Fantasy, we're taking a four-pronged approach with Leo Grandio covering quarterbacks and tight ends, Steve Rapin covering the running backs, Kevin Tompkins covering the wide receivers, and Corey Heitpas covering the dynasty portion!
Quarterbacks (Leo Grandio)
First of all, check to see if these quarterbacks are available and are floating around in your league's waiver wire. I would prioritize them in this order:
- Justin Herbert, LAC (69.0% rostered)
- Ryan Tannehill, TEN (68.6% rostered)
- Carson Wentz, PHI (61.0% rostered)
On to our list!
Joe Burrow, CIN
How many fantasy managers given up on Joe Burrow over the last couple of weeks because he faced two of the toughest defenses and he didn’t have good outings? Raise your hands. Well their displeasure in the rookie has led to an opportunity to get a stud on your roster for the rest of the season. Burrow exploded in Week 7 for 406 yards passing, three touchdowns and one interception. Burrow also added 34 yards and a touchdown on ground. The rookie has another favorable match-up this week as he faces the Titans who are giving up the sixth-most fantasy point this season. Burrow should be owned in all formats.
Teddy Bridgewater, CAR
Two weeks ago versus Chicago, Teddy Bridgewater’s momentum was stopped by the Bears, like Neo stops bullets in the Matrix. Teddy B had his worst outing of the season. But thankfully a trip to N’awlins tends to get players moving in the right direction this year. Bridgewater passed for 254 yards and two touchdowns with no interception this past week, after tossing a couple the previous week. For Week 8 he plays the Falcons once again who are giving up the most points to quarterbacks. When he played at Atlanta three weeks ago he threw for over 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Expect more of the same this week at home. Bridgewater should be a great addition for 12-team leagues.
Tua Tagovailoa, MIA
"Tua Time" has officially arrived in Miami. Before last week’s bye, Coach Brian Flores named Tua Tagovailoa the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. For a young team like the Dolphins, this is the best time to get him in there as they have had two weeks to prepare for this week’s opponent, the Los Angeles Rams. Tagovailoa walks into a situation that has two legit wide receivers in DeVante Parker and Preston Williams waiting to unlock the southpaw’s game. Mike Gesicki, Myles Gaskins, Matt Brieda are also ready to rock n’ roll as additional weapons for the young quarterback. Tua may be involved in a shootout in his starting debut. Tagovailoa should be added in 12-team leagues and is a must-own player in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues.
Other QB in Consideration:
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF (21.1%) - Jimmy Garoppolo is going to have to air it out in Week 8 in order to keep up with Mr. Unlimited Russell Willson and the Seahawks. Great streamer option with plenty of teams on bye and the Seahawks give up the second-most points to quarterbacks.
Jared Goff, LAR (41.1%) - Jared Goff just passed for 219 yards and two touchdowns against a tough Bears defense and now heads to the 305 to face the Dolphins for a possible shootout. He should be owned in 12-team leagues.
Philip Rivers, IND (8.3%) - Prior to last week’s bye, Philip Rivers threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns. He has a favorable match-up this week against the Lions who has allowed every quarterback this year to score at least 22 fantasy points this season. If you're living that streaming life, Rivers may be your man.
Derek Carr, LV (25.9%) - Coming off the bye, Derek Carr will face the Browns this week who just got lit up like a Christmas tree by Joe Burrow and the Bengals. He's another great streaming option this week.
Running Backs (Steve Rapin)
Before we get to the running backs that are below 50% rostered, make sure that none of these that are slightly above that threshold are floating around out there. I would rank them in this order.
- Chase Edmonds, ARI (63% Rostered) - Even with the Cardinals on a bye next week, Chase Edmonds should be your top waiver claim with Kenyan Drake likely to miss a few weeks.
- Leonard Fournette, TB (66% Rostered)
- Jamaal Williams, GB (63% Rostered)
- Gio Bernard, CIN (59% Rostered)
- Boston Scott, PHI (69% Rostered... Nice)
Carlos Hyde, SEA
Not only did Chris Carson suffer a mid-foot sprain in the Sunday Night thriller against the Cardinals, but Travis Homer also left the game with a knee injury. Carson is considered week to week and that could mean Carlos Hyde could see a huge workload in his place. This Seahawks offense is on fire and Hyde could really light a spark in your fantasy team while Carson is sidelined.
La'Mical Perine, NYJ
If you look at the box score, you will see that both La'Mical Perine and Frank Gore each had 11 carries, but when you look a little deeper, you will see that Perine was one the field for 70% of the Jets offensive snaps while Gore was only on the field for 28% of them. He also had three targets compared to zero for the ageless Gore, and with the Jets likely to be playing from behind this season, it makes sense that they will try to feature the rookie to see what they have.
Zack Moss, BUF
In Zack Moss' first game back from injury (last week), he only played on 14 snaps compared to 41 snaps for Devin Singletary. This week he assumed a much larger role as he played on 35 snaps compared to 40 for Singletary, and outproduced him as well, as he rushed for 47 yards on seven carries versus 29 yards on eight carries for Singletary. I see this being a pretty even split in carries going forward, and you always need to worry about Josh Allen stealing the goal line work, but Moss has an opportunity to be in flex consideration as long as he stays on the field.
Other running backs in consideration:
Wayne Gallman, NYG (2%): Devonta Freeman left the game with an ankle injury which could give Wayne Gallman an opportunity to shine.
Tevin Coleman, SF (27%): Tevin Coleman could be back as soon as Week 8, but this backfield is a wreck. We don't know when Raheem Mostert will be back, Jeff Wilson Jr. is now injured, and we still have Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty hanging around. With that said, Coleman could have the most trust of the coaching staff and could be a flex play in the second half of the season.
Wide Receivers (Kevin Tompkins)
First of all, check to see if these receivers are available and are floating around in your league's waiver wire. I would prioritize them in this order:
- Mike Williams, LAC (66% rostered)
- Henry Ruggs, LV (62.6% rostered)
- Christian Kirk, ARI (55.9% rostered)
On to our list!
Nelson Agholor, LVR
Nelson Agholor is first in my wide receiver waiver priority? In this economy?
Well, Agholor has scored a touchdown in his last three games and while he’s been moderately targeted the two previous weeks, he busted out with nine targets, catching five for 107 yards. Derek Carr is completing over 70% of his passes and the Raiders’ passing game is looking pretty solid even without Bryan Edwards and only modest contributions from anybody not named Darren Waller.
As long as Agholor is being targeted and involved here, I’m happy to stash him even in 12-team leagues as a “break glass in case of emergency” flex option that could have a bit more upside. It looks as though some of the stink from his time in Philadelphia is off of him, so go scoop him up.
Sterling Shepard, NYG
Sterling Shepard is an easy guy to forget about this week. He played on Thursday in Week 7, he just came off of a toe injury, and he plays in the middle of a bunch of solid, yet unspectacular talents in New York for a losing Giants team.
That said, he came back into a 6/59/1 line on eight targets and while healthy, Shepard should be on everybody’s radar. If you need a plug and play WR3 in PPR formats, here’s your guy. Between him and Darius Slayton, one of them is likely to finish as the top targeted option in the Giants offense on a weekly basis.
Cole Beasley, BUF
He’s being rostered more than I’d like for this article, but this is a guy in Cole Beasley (channeling my inner Cris Collinsworth here) that never gets the respect that he deserves and his fantasy football rostership suffers in the process.
He’s freaking WR19 in PPR, people.
The biggest slight on Beasley is his “lack of upside” but when the floor is so high, that doesn’t matter as much. Beasley hasn’t scored below 9.8 points in a given week, and outside of that 9.8 in the opening week of the season, he has double-digit fantasy points in every other game played, with a huge 11-catch game for 112 yards in Week 7.
Stop letting him dangle in the breeze, go get him! He’s guaranteed points and even moreso with John Brown popping up on the injury report seemingly every week.
Brandon Aiyuk, SF
We could be looking back at our processes at the end of the season and wondering just how the heck we glossed over Brandon Aiyuk in favor of "sexier" options. Aiyuk has just flat out produced since he’s been healthy and now, his running mate, Deebo Samuel is back on the shelf with the hamstring injury that could keep him out multiple weeks which could lead to increased opportunities and consistent ones at that.
Aiyuk paced the 49ers’ pass-catchers with six receptions for 115 yards on seven targets, so at worst going forward, he’s the second passing game option outside of all-world tight end George Kittle. I’d say that’s a good spot to be in, so if you haven’t picked up Aiyuk, go ahead and put in your claim for him and print some money!
(Editor's note: Please don't actually print money, that's a federal crime.)
Rashard Higgins, CLE
Unfortunately for Odell Beckham Jr., his season is over, dunzo, etc. with an ACL tear, so the old “next man up” adage applies here.
Rashard Higgins stepped up in the absence of Beckham and came down with all six balls thrown to him for 110 yards. While the Browns do not throw the ball a ton (second-lowest pass percentage in the NFL), there will be many opportunities for Higgins to make his mark on the offense. Don’t overspend on Higgins, but he’s worth stashing as an intriguing option with a condensed target tree in Cleveland.
Corey Davis, TEN
Was I ready to write off Corey Davis after he came off of the COVID list last week? Yes.
Was I a bit too hasty in doing that? Potentially.
After missing two games from being on the COVID list, Davis didn’t have a blow-up game by any means (like teammate A.J. Brown did) but Davis did catch a touchdown and received 10 targets. In an offense buoyed by efficiency and a good ball distributor in Ryan Tannehill, those are things you can’t ignore.
We know Tennessee is going to be hard-pressed to support multiple pass-catchers in their offense aside from Brown each week, but Davis can certainly be a key contributor and at the very least, worthy of your flex spot going forward.
Other WR in Consideration:
Jalen Reagor, PHI (11.8%) - Now off of injured reserve stemming from a torn ligament in his thumb and into his Week 8 bye, Jalen Reagor is somebody we need to get back in our conscious as a late-season add worthy and capable of propelling teams into the playoffs. Reagor was set for volume from the get-go knowing the injury states of the veteran pass-catchers in the Eagles’ offense and sadly, nothing has changed there.
Obviously much more banged up now, Reagor (if healthy) can be a breath of fresh air to this offense and add a much needed surge of talent to early-season surprise Travis Fulgham.
Even if you don’t have the room on your roster, make the room for this first-rounder as he works his way back into the fold for the Eagles. You’ll be glad you did.
Denzel Mims, NYJ (4.2%) - Apparently, I'm going to keep recommending Jets' receivers until one hits. Denzel Mims stepped right into the fire for the Jets and came away with seven targets, four catches and 47 yards. Very encouraging for a rookie in his first game but let’s also assess the landscape of the 0-7 Jets. There was no Jamison Crowder (groin) or Breshad Perriman for some of the Week 7 contest (concussion) so the targets were either going to him or the “JAGs” in that offense.
The Jets may be hitting a hard reset at some point to change the luck of their moribund franchise, but Mims is likely a piece that will be around for a while. The Jets are going to get the ball to him early and often, so as a volume play, he could find his way into your flex spot. Just expect growing pains with any terrible team throwing the ball to rookie pass-catchers like Mims. The talent is there though.
Marquez Callaway, NO (0.2%) - An undrafted rookie from Tennessee, Marquez Callaway has been recently involved in the Saints’ passing game, notching eight targets per game the last two weeks. While the Bears, Buccaneers, and 49ers are on tap for the Saints, the passing game could be defensively tested in all three matchups. While we’re tempering expectations for Callaway, his involvement is certainly noteworthy, especially in the event that the veteran pass-catchers continue to miss time.
I’d be more inclined to pick up Callaway if my receiver situation is pretty stable, just on the upside and offense alone.
Tight Ends (Leo Grandio)
Check to see if these tight ends are available in your league's waiver wire first. I would prioritize them in this order:
- Jared Cook, NO (72.4% rostered)
- Hayden Hurst, ATL (70.1% rostered)
- Eric Ebron, PIT (50.7% rostered)
On to our list!
Trey Burton, IND
Trey Burton was on a bye last week, making fantasy managers forgetful that he scored over 21 fantasy points in his last contest against the Bengals. Burton has averaged just over five targets per game over his last three games, and has started taking over the tight end target share for the Colts. With Mo Allie-Cox still questionable and Jack Doyle not being targeted, has allowed Burton to rise in the offense pecking order. Burton is the best receivers of the three and he continues to stay healthy, he should stay in Phillip Rivers's list of favorites going forward. Must add in all formats.
Dallas Goedert, PHI
Dallas Goedert is progressing well from his fractured ankle and is slated to hopefully be back the latest by Week 10 after the Eagles bye. Coach Doug Pederson has confirmed that Goedert is progressing well in his rehab so far. The tight end is a must add in all formats and stash in your IR as he will be a TE1 down the stretch for the playoff run, with Zach Ertz sitting in IR as well.
Richard Rodgers, PHI
With Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert both currently on IR, Richard Rodgers has all the tight end targets for himself until one of they return. He produced six receptions for 85 yards in their absence. Rodgers is more of a streaming option because next week is the Eagles bye in Week 9 and Goedert is expected to return for Week 10.
Other TE in Consideration:
Logan Thomas, WAS (8.5%) - Logan Thomas had another solid performance last week as he caught four receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys. He is on a bye this week but is a must own tight end going forward.
Irv Smith Jr., MIN (4.3%) - Coming off a bye, some fantasy managers may have forgotten that Irv Smith Jr. had back-to-back double-digit fantasy points games and is a solid add in deeper and tight end premium leagues.
Harrison Bryant, CLE (0.9%) - With Austin Hooper out it allowed for Harrison Bryant to spread his wings and fly. On five targets, he brought in four receptions for 56 yards and two touchdowns. A must add in 14-team or deeper leagues.
Gerald Everett, LAR (1.8%) - With Tyler Higbee out on Monday Night, Gerald Everett got targeted five times and brought in four receptions for 28 yards and a touchdown. Monitor Higbee’s status leading up to this week's contest because if he sits out again, Everett may be TE2 this week versus the Dolphins.
Albert Okwuegbunam, DEN (0.2%) - Can the Broncos sustain having two possible stud tight ends in the offense. Well Drew Lock's college teammate Okwuegbunam appears to think so. Albert O had seven receptions for 60 yards and is a must add in 14-team or deeper leagues.
Dynasty Adds (Corey Hietpas)
Donovan People-Jones, WR, CLE
With injury comes opportunity. Sadly, Odell Beckham Jr. tore his ACL this past week, and Donovan Peoples-Jones benefited majorly from this terrible situation. Peoples-Jones played 68% of snaps and caught 3 passes on 3 targets for 56 yards and a game-winning TD. Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins are expected to be the two starting WRs with Peoples-Jones moving up to the number 3 role, but this still brings plenty of opportunities to impress and earn a larger role in the offense. If he’s up to the challenge, this could be a perfect opportunity for Peoples-Jones to jump Higgins on the depth chart and earn a permanent role in the Browns’ offense. Peoples-Jones’ stock can only go up from here, and he’s a must-add if available.
Eno Benjamin, RB, ARI
Kenyan Drake is likely to miss a few weeks with a slight tear in an ankle ligament, and this opens up a huge opportunity in the Arizona backfield for both Chase Edmonds and Eno Benjamin. Edmonds will be the starter and receive most of the work out of the backfield, but that doesn’t mean Eno won’t have a chance to get involved. Edmonds was playing about 30%-40% of snaps when Drake was healthy, and I expect Eno to get a similar, but slightly lesser, workload as Edmonds slides into the starting role. Still, Eno has a chance to show what he can do and attempt to earn a bigger role in the Arizona offense with the workload to come. This would be an add and hold as we may get a glimpse of what life after Drake could look like for Arizona.
Dalton Keene, TE, NE
The Patriots TEs have been a wasteland since Gronk decided to “retire”, and they will be for at least a few more weeks. There’s a reason for optimism when looking at Dalton Keene though. The Patriots decided to draft Keene (101st overall) and Devin Asiasi (91st overall) in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft in an attempt to fortify the TE position. Neither of these rookies has done much of anything this season yet as Keene was injured for most of the season and Asiasi has barely seen the field. Keene is now healthy and made his NFL debut in week 7 playing 46% of snaps and catching 1 pass on 1 target for 8 yards. The stat line is one to forget, but it is promising that Keene played almost half of the offensive snaps while Asiasi was a healthy scratch. Adding Keene is a forward-thinking move since he will not be heavily involved soon, but it appears he has the inside track of taking over the starting role in the future which would come with a healthy number of targets if he proves to be trustworthy.