Waiver Wire: Week 8
Here at Fighting Chance Fantasy, we will have a collective effort to bring some options to improve your team. Seth Quinn (@SethFQuinn) will cover quarterbacks, Michael Chasco (@ChascoFCF) will cover running backs, tight ends, and defensive streamers. Matt Miles (@DirtyAirFC) will cover wide receivers, and Leo Grandio (@smooth1074) will be back next week.
Quarterbacks (Seth Quinn)
Check to see if these Wide Receivers are available to add first: CJ Stroud 66%, Sam Howell 58% Rostered, and Russell Wilson 51% Rostered.
Kyler Murray | Cardinals
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 43%
If you didn't already have Kyler Murray stashed, now is the time to get him. He likely won't be back for another couple of weeks, but given how good he has been when playing throughout his career, scoop him up now while you still can. The Cardinals don't have the greatest weapons, but Murray has the rushing upside to succeed regardless. Worst case, pick him up as a backup, see how he does, and then try to trade him to a QB-needy team, or do that now even. Either way, Murray's upside is undeniable.
Daniel Jones | Giants
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 38%
Daniel Jones is an interesting case, because he showed he could be a good fantasy option at QB last season, but this season he has struggled behind a terrible offensive line. With his ownership dropping, it may be worth it to take a flyer on him to see if his play will improve, and if his rushing ability will keep him afloat. If you feel like rostering a backup QB with upside, then he's an intriguing add this week.
Tyrod Taylor | Giants
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 3%
Tyrod Taylor had a good game last week with over 20 fantasy points, utilizing his solid passing and running combination. With both Giants QBs not owned much, for a fantasy desperate for a QB, you can do worse than the combination of Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor. I put Taylor on this list last week, and he delivered, so while Jones may be back this week, its worth potentially rostering both QBs to ensure you have a starting QB with decent upside ready to go.
Running Backs (Michael Chasco)
Darrell Henderson | Rams
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 24%
We hope you didn't spend too much FAAB on a player who didn't play a single offensive snap on Sunday. Instead of featuring rookie Zach Evans, the Rams used a combination of veterans Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman to fill in for injured starter Kyren Williams. Hopefully, the late pivot didn't leave you starting a weak option such as Antonio Gibson, like a fantasy writer who will remain nameless.
Don't feel bad if you did because nobody knew how head coach Sean McVay was going to utilize his backfield. According to The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue, the Rams didn't inform Henderson of his starting role until right before game time on Sunday. A true game-time decision without any injury designation. Henderson and Freeman combined for 127 rushing yards against Pittsburgh. The duo did a fair job filling in for Williams, who won't be eligible to return until Week 12. Williams accounted for 72% of the running back touches entering Sunday, and it was Henderson who saw 61% of the touches against the Steelers.
We also saw a true 60/40 split between Henderson and Freeman. Henderson played 58% of the snaps to Freeman's 42%. Henderson took 60% of the rush share to Freeman's 40%. It will be interesting if this trend continues in Los Angeles. Assuming it does, Henderson should be one of the top waiver additions heading into Week 8.
Devin Singletary | Texans
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 14%
Devin Singletary was featured here last week and only saw a 1% bump in Yahoo! roster ownership. It will be curious how the fantasy community treats Singletary now that Houston is coming out its bye week. Singletary was as involved in the offense as he had been all year against New Orleans. He saw season-highs in snaps (52%), rush share (40%), and route participation (50%).
New offensive coordinator Bobby Slowki has brought a new run scheme to the Texans' offense, which may explain some of the struggles from starter Dameon Pierce. Pierce has totaled 281 yards rushing on the season with just one touchdown. Pierce also hasn't contributed much in the passing game with nine receptions for 84 total yards. Pierce experienced a season-low in snaps (35%), rush share (43%), and route participation (23%) in Week 6. With Carolina playing host to Houston this week, most of the attention will be paid to the top two selections in the NFL draft. But pay close attention to how Houston treats its backfield because Singletary could continue to carve out a long-term role in Houston's offense.
Zach Charbonnet | Seahawks
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 40%
Last week, Zach Charbonnet barely made the cutoff for players featured in this article, sitting just above 50% owned in Yahoo! leagues. Fantasy managers were forced to make tough roster decisions with so many teams on bye in Week 7 and sent Charbonnet to the waiver wire. As much as Charbonnet was hard to drop (hopefully not for Zach Evans), he was not startable right now. On the season, Charbonnet has only played in 25% of the offensive snaps in this Seattle offense. With so few opportunities, Charbonnet has only averaged four PPR points per game. The proverbial nail in the coffin came when he didn't participate in any practices due to a hamstring injury heading into the matchup against the Cardinals last week.
Despite what the fantasy community thinks of Charbonnet right now, the fact that the Seahawks love him should keep him on fantasy rosters far more than 40%. Seattle spent the 52nd overall pick on Charbonnet to complement Ken Walker III's running style. Even with minimal usage so far this season, he should continue to factor in Seattle's offense. This may ring true when we get into the second half of the season. Walker is elite with his lateral movement, which leads to broken ankles and long, highlight-worthy runs. Charbonnet is more of a north-south runner who will cut into contact and finish runs with his shoulder pads. In Week 3, we saw a glimpse of what Charbonnet can bring to the table. In that game against Carolina, Walker and Charbonnet combined for 143 yards on 27 attempts and two touchdowns (both to Walker). Charbonnet had season-highs in snaps (44%), rush share (27%), and route participation (42%). Fantasy managers may stay away due to the nature of hamstring injuries. But if we're not starting Charbonnet anyway, what difference does it make? If all Charbonnet needs to be an every-week fantasy contributor is more usage, then he's a perfect guy to have stashed away on fantasy benches before an extra quarterback, tight end, or defense.
Tyjae Spears | Titans
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 41%
Tyjae Spears is still under-owned as he has been a dynamic complement to Derrick Henry. Spears has been featured here multiple weeks despite showing flashes he can sustain standalone value. Going into the season, Spears was speculated to have a third-down role with some creative looks to get him involved in the passing game. On the season, Spears has respectable usage percentages such as snaps (50%), rush share (23%), and routes participation (49%). Spears is averaging eight PPR points per game so far and could easily be a top-15 play if Henry were to miss time for any reason.
Emari Demercado | Cardinals
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 15%
If you didn't notice, Emari Demercado is back in our good graces. Demercado was second only to Ken Walker III for running back touches (94.4) in Week 7 and kept last week's starter Keaontay Ingram to special teams snaps. October is a month to watch scary movies, but this usage was a horror show for anyone who picked up Ingram this week. Demercado expanded his role as a pass catcher on Sunday. He received 78% of the offensive snaps, 54% of the rush share, and ran a season-high in route participation (68%). Demercado's role may have an expiration date as James Conner is set to return to action soon. But for now, he may be a sneaky fill-in for teams looking for any running back help - especially in PPR leagues.
Wide Receivers (Matt Miles)
Check to see if these Wide Receivers are available to add first: Tutu Atwell 45% rostered, Tank Dell 48% rostered, and Romeo Doubs 65% rostered.
Josh Downs | Colts
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 37%
Last week, I proclaimed "This is your last call to grab Josh Downs." Gardner Minshew is the starting quarterback for the rest of 2023 for the Indianapolis Colts, and Minshew Mania is Down for some Downs. As a PPR Slot Machine, Minshew looked Down's way for six targets. Downs hauled in five of them for 125 yards and a touchdown. With a floor of serviceable WR2 numbers with Minshew at the helm, this makes Downs a must-add this week.
Brandon Powell | Vikings
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 2%
Coaches lie. KJ Osborn has definitely not taken the Justin Jefferson role since Jefferson's hamstring landed him on IR. Jordan Addison's big night in taking over the Jefferson role overshadowed the emergence of Brandon Powell. Powell stepped in a big way when Addison sat out with cramps for a stint, hauling in four catches for 64 yards during a few crucial 3rd down plays. Powell can be a solid WR3 add for deeper leagues.
Tight Ends (Michael Chasco)
Dalton Kincaid | Bills
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 43%
Opportunity knocks for rookie Dalton Kincaid now that the Bills lost Dawson Knox for the foreseeable future. There is no timetable for Knox's return, as the tight end will have to undergo surgery to repair his ailing wrist. It's just another blow to a team that has suffered injuries to key defensive standouts in Tre'Davious White, Matt Milano, and DaQuan Jones.
Offensive Coordinator Ken Dorsey had envisioned using more 12-personnel (2 TEs sets) with both Knox and Kincaid on the field at the same time. In Week 1, Buffalo ran a league-leading 63.2 percent in 12 personnel. In its Week 7 loss to New England, that number came down to 21.2 percent. Kincaid played 44 snaps total last week, 28 of those snaps came when he was the only tight end on the field. So Kincaid was already trending to be more involved in the offense, and the injury to Knox might have knocked the training wheels off Kincaid. He broke out with eight catches for 75 scoreless yards in an offense that has been surprisingly struggling this season.
Since 2020, the Buffalo offense has been one of the most electric units in the NFL, led by perennial MVP candidate Josh Allen. However, this season, especially in the last three weeks, we haven't seen the same Bills team we have been accustomed to. The offense has experienced slow starts, as it has scored just 10 points combined in each of the team's first halves against Jacksonville, New York, and New England. In London, the Bills struggled to get anything going until it scored a touchdown right at the end of the first half. Buffalo surprisingly went scoreless in the first three quarters against a struggling Giants squad in Week 6. Last week, the Bills went into the first half with a meager three points against a Patriots team that won only one game all season. With the injury to Knox, Kincaid has the potential to be the No. 2 target behind Stefon Diggs. Kincaid now has a clear role to help this offense in the short to intermediate parts of the field. Something Gabe Davis doesn't bring to the table. Most fantasy managers are desperate for any consistent play from its tight ends. If you don't have Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson, Mark Andrews, Sam LaPorta, Dallas Goedert, George Kittle, Darren Waller, or Evan Engram you should be very aggressive trying to acquire the rookie tight end.
Logan Thomas | Commanders
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 44%
If you missed out on Dalton Kincaid you might have to pivot to a streaming option in Logan Thomas. Quarterback Sam Howell has been looking for the 6'6'' tight end in high-scoring situations and even found Thomas over the middle to catch one of his two touchdowns against the Denver Broncos. On the play, he impressively held on to the ball despite taking a cheap shot to the helmet from Kareem Jackson, who was flagged on the play for unnecessary roughness.
Yes, Howell has taken a ton of sacks this season. He's on pace to 97 sacks and will obliterate the record 76 sacks David Carr suffered in 2002. But also consider Howell has scored under 15 fantasy points in just two games all season and had 18 plus fantasy points per game in four games. He's a lot like a young hitter in MLB who takes a lot of strikeouts. Instead of throwing the ball in coverage, he's willing to take a sack and live to play another down. He would rather strike out than hit into a double play - if you will.
Jake Ferguson | Cowboys
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 47%
It's not surprising Jake Ferguson is experiencing some growing pains as the starting tight end as a rookie. Ferguson has been trending in the right direction in recent weeks and looks to come out of the Dallas bye as a consistent option for quarterback Dak Prescott. Ferguson has only participated in 65% of routes this season but ran a season-high 84 percent in Week 6. Unfortunately for fantasy managers, Ferguson's only impact was on his cardio apps. He had a season-low in targets with a team of just three percent. Ferguson has averaged just seven points per game so far this season, and we would be overjoyed if he could crack double-digits against the Rams this week.
Defense (Michael Chasco)
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 13%
The Falcons have been a surprisingly solid defense this year. Atlanta ranks 5th in pressure rate, 8th in explosive plays allowed, and 12th in passes defended. The Tennessee offense went into its bye week with a huge question mark at quarterback. Starter Ryan Tannehill left early in Week 6 with a leg injury and is trending to miss at least this week against Atlanta. The Titans could be forced to start an inexperienced Malik Willis or give rookie Will Levis a shot. If Tannehill is officially ruled out, then Atlanta should be in play as a premiere streaming option in Week 8.
Los Angeles Chargers
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 8%
With no teams on bye this week, the Chargers' defense most likely will be left on the waiver wire where it belongs. Brandon Staley's unit is 22nd in pressure rate, 27th in scoring rate, and 31st in explosive plays allowed. But if you're looking for an alternate streaming option, you can do worse than a Justin Field-less Chicago offense. Rookie Tyson Bagent will get his second career start this week after making his professional debut against Las Vegas in Week 7. Los Angeles could (or should) be a top-10 option this week with a matchup against an inexperienced quarterback. But Staley and the Chargers find a way to underperform, so buyer beware.
New York Giants
Yahoo! Roster Ownership: 3%
The Giants have been playing solid defense as of late. As mentioned above in the tight end section, it kept Josh Allen and the Bills off the scoreboard in the first three quarters. It played well enough to win the game, only to see a late surge by Buffalo to nearly upset the struggling Bills. The Giants now rank 11th in passes defended, 15th in opponents' scoring rate, and 21st in pressure rate. It's not an ideal profile that highlights an elite defense, but it's a unit that's at least trending in the right direction. This week's matchup against the Jets is appealing as quarterback Zach Wilson and Co. have given up the 10th most fantasy points to opposing defenses.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further feel free to reach out to us at @FCFantasySports.