Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

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Week 7 was a rather ugly slate overall, though folks who didn’t bail on Ezekiel Elliott were handsomely rewarded (as were all Dallas-player stocks) and many might feel that “no news is good news” after we’ve seen several top players go down these past few weeks. That said, Carson Palmer will miss at least eight weeks with a broken arm and we need to downgrade all Arizona pass-catchers as a result. That feeling you get when you think about Jordy Nelson now could apply to Larry Fitzgerald very soon. That also hurts Adrian Peterson, as we saw.

Below are my Week 8 waiver wire pickups, or free agents to consider adding to your fantasy football teams. I provide information on players that are owned in roughly 35% of Yahoo leagues or less so that you can make an educated decision about who to add to your squad.

Now let’s look around the league at many names who are worth mentioning as Week 8 approaches.

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Quarterbacks - Week 8 Waiver Wire

Josh McCown (QB, NYJ) - 12% owned (1% FAAB)

While McCown’s fantastic Week 7 -- 17-of-27 passing for 209 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, as well as a rushing TD -- wasn’t enough to pull out a win against Miami, but it was enough to make him a QB1 for the second week in a row. He looks to be getting more comfortable with his receivers on a team that pretty much defines “cobbled together” and will take some real momentum into a Week 8 home date with the Falcons. Atlanta was just embarrassed by the Patriots and are a bottom-six defense per overall DVOA. Those who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to scoop up Andy Dalton against the Colts should look McCown’s way (if they didn’t already heed last week’s advice and roster him against Miami!)

Teddy Bridgewater (QB, MIN) - 3% owned (1% FAAB)

Bridgewater apparently felt good at practice this past week and should be able to take the field in 2017 at his current pace. After being handed what was thought to be a career-threatening knee injury at first back in the preseason of 2016, Teddy Two Gloves could once again rejoin the ranks if Minnesota decides to add him to their active roster or give him the full year with a season-ending IR move. They have three weeks to decide, for what it's worth, and these positive indications point to the former (though that's purely speculative). Case Keenum isn’t going to stave off any competition (though is 9% owned and does face the Browns this next week, which despite their efforts against Tennessee, is still a plus matchup -- they entered Week 7 with the worst pass defense per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric) and Sam Bradford is no bastion of health and doesn’t offer Bridgewater’s long-term upside. Those in 2QB leagues should make the stash now.

 

Running Backs - Week 8 Waiver Wire

Latavius Murray (RB, MIN) - 40% owned (10% FAAB)

Just when it looked like Murray’s ankle was never going to get quite to the point where he could move like he used to, he ripped off the chains and bolted for 113 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. He still wasn’t involved in the passing game, ceding those snaps to Jerick McKinnon, but this was Murray’s game with Minnesota in the driver’s seat. Murray would notch a 35-yard scamper and a 29-yard touchdown run that saw him pump the brakes and change direction on a poor defensive back in the open field. He’s not suddenly elite and McKinnon isn’t going anywhere, but this reads somewhat like a LeGarrette Blount/James White situation with gamescript. With Minnesota facing the Browns at home next week, Murray’s chances of once again putting the game to bed with 15-18 touches look good.

Jalen Richard (RB, OAK) - 11% owned (8% FAAB) & DeAndre Washington (RB, OAK) - 3% owned (8% FAAB)

After Marshawn Lynch decided to go make contact with an official after a late hit on his quarterback to earn an ejection (and now one-week suspension,) it was Richard and Washington forming a committee for Oakland. They looked more effective than Lynch has for most of the season, with Richard’s 26 snaps just edging out Washington’s 25, though the latter was the one who found paydirt. This is likely to be a one-week rental for each of them -- both dart throws, really -- in a matchup with Buffalo -- a top-12 run defense per DVOA -- in Week 8. Not ideal, but those in a bye-week bind should definitely open the wallet. Personally, I’d throw an extra buck at Washington in case he’s earned the goal-line nod, but Richard would be my PPR lean.

Dion Lewis (RB, NE) - 28% owned (2% FAAB)

Despite New England being able to run out the clock against Atlanta with Mike Gillislee as the late hammer, it was Lewis who led all NE RBs in snaps with 26. That was double Gillislee and Burkhead’s respective tally and just beat out White’s 23, and the snaps came with good reason. Lewis once again ran well, gashing the Falcons for 76 ground yards on 13 carries with a six-yard catch mixed in. It’ll be tough to lean on him as anything more than a gamble flex play, but he’s now put up at least 50 yards or a touchdown in each of his last four games. And now the Patriots will host the Chargers, who are riding high off of a trouncing of Denver but are still a bottom-five rush defense. Lewis should carry this hot streak into New England’s bye in Week 9.

 

Wide Receivers - Week 8 Waiver Wire

Corey Davis (WR, TEN) ­- 20% owned (7% FAAB)

I don’t like repeating myself, but some situations simply require it. Plus, I feel bad that the RB garden is so barren and I want to ramble! Without any huge WR add to throw into this article, Davis remains the most widely-available wideout who can sniff WR2 value for those in both standard and PPR formats. I know, that feels a bit high but top-25 upside when discussing ceiling is reasonable for a guy who could step out of Tennessee’s Week 8 bye with Delanie Walker’s targets up for grabs after Walker suffered a sprained ankle against the Browns on Sunday.

Regardless of who is suiting up around him, Davis should line up to face Indianapolis, Houston, Arizona (with Peterson on Matthews, most likely), San Francisco, and the Rams in Weeks 12-16 to help fantasy owners into and through the playoffs. The man saw 10 targets in his first professional game and Marcus Mariota looks like he could use a friend out there.

Kenny Golladay (WR, DET) - 14% owned (5% FAAB)

Remember this guy? He stole our hearts in Week 1 with a 4-69-2 line to follow up on his preseason hype and then promptly fell off the map and suffered a hamstring injury. Well, after missing three games and being held out through Detroit’s bye, the rookie appears likely to return at the perfect moment to make another fantasy splash.

Golden Tate’s Week 8 status is up in the air after he hurt his shoulder and so Golladay should be able to slide right in across from Marvin Jones Jr. and defend his home field against Pittsburgh. The Steelers defense is no joke, but Matthew Stafford isn’t afraid to sling it and Golladay has shown himself to fly for the big play. In an especially unexciting waiver week, Golladay is a sharp buy.

Kenny Stills (WR, MIA) - 20% owned (3% FAAB)

With DeVante Parker once again sidelined, it was Stills who balled out alongside Jarvis Landry for a Miami comeback victory. Stills would set season-highs in catches (six), yards (85), and touchdowns (2) with both TDs coming in the fourth quarter from backup Matt Moore. While Moore doesn’t inspire anyone to greatness, he’s one of the more serviceable backups in the NFL while Jay Cutler has been one of the worse starters. The gap is negligible at this point, but at least we know the connection works.

The good news for those who have been on Stills already is that Miami turns around quickly to play on Thursday against Baltimore, meaning Parker doesn’t have a full week to heal up. Even if he does play, Stills would be on flex radars thanks to his plus speed and big-play ability.

Paul Richardson (WR, SEA) - 16% owned (2% FAAB)

I wish this guy was on basically any other team. Seattle just doesn’t have much room to embrace his ceiling given Doug Baldwin’s target share on an offense that doesn’t really feature perimeter wide receivers. Still, Richardson turned his two targets into two big catches for 61 yards and a crazy, wrestling touchdown grab. He’s only seen 29 targets in six games, catching 16 of them for 269 yards and three scores, but can simply make huge plays when given a shot.

Seattle may need him to make a few of those plays in order to keep pace with DeShaun Watson and the Texans in Week 8 at home, especially with their ground game still in shambles. His floor is painfully low, but the Seahawks seem to at least recognize his talent and Wilson isn’t missing his timing as often as he was earlier in the season with P-Rich.

Demarcus Robinson (WR, KC) - 0% owned (1% FAAB)

We all saw Albert Wilson’s broken-play TD against Oakland on Thursday night and are likely leaning his way for the WR2 duties in KC, but did you know that Wilson played on only 53% of KC’s snaps? Of course, that big TD showcases his raw talent and the breakaway speed, but it was also his only catch of the game. Meanwhile, it was actually Robinson who led all KC RB/TE/WRs with 61 snaps (98%) en route to five catches for 69 yards on eight targets.

Now, you’re not leaning into this play for Week 8 with a date against Denver’s DBs on deck, but do file his name away. For the record, I do think that Wilson will play on more snaps moving forward since this was his return from a mild knee injury and is worth a minimal FAAB bid, but this situation requires some context.

Chris Moore (WR, BAL) - 0% owned (1% FAAB)

So, you’re even more desperate than I thought. Well, those in dire straits could look to Moore after he hauled in two of his eight targets for 36 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against Minnesota. Moore has stepped up with Jeremy Maclin out, collecting a combined 15 targets over the last two games, but saw a further bump with Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman both dealing with concussion symptoms.

Just like Stills’ status with Parker, Moore benefits from the short week not allowing those guys a full week to get healthier. It’s not ideal to have this version of Joe Flacco being the one to target you (he’s only caught five of those 15 targets) but the opportunity could be there for 8 or more looks against a vulnerable Miami secondary.

 

Tight Ends - Week 8 Waiver Wire

Tyler Kroft (TE, CIN) - 15% owned (2% FAAB)

Kroft’s third touchdown of the season was a nice little route coming off of a playaction pass, though he did end up behind Brandon LaFell when it came to being the Prince of Targets to A.J. Green’s “King.” Still, Kroft caught all four of his looks for 23 yards and the score as he continues to establish himself as a solid TE2 in Tyler Eifert’s stead. He’s certainly on the TD-dependent side without any real breakaway speed but will be on the TE1-streaming radar for Week 8 with a date against the Colts at home.

O.J. Howard (TE, TB) - 12% owned (2% FAAB)

.After seeing just 12 targets over his first five games, Howard broke out with a lovely 6-98-2 line in a losing effort against the Bills. Much like his first career touchdown back in Week 4 against the Giants, his big score came on a designed rollout for Jameis Winston where Howard bled out on the backside and ran up the opposite sideline. Once again, he was completely alone. While one can’t rely on plays like that to continue falling into Howard’s lap, the guy is much more athletic than he’s been able to show in the NFL thus far.

I assume many of you are familiar with him from his days at Alabama, but the point is that he’s much more than just a blocking tight end. Cameron Brate is a steady presence for Tampa Bay and won’t fade away, but the Bucs are now 2-4 and while Howard can’t help their defense, they may lean on him more in lieu of Adam Humphries’ slot role. Howard’s 69% of snaps played this week is a career-high and should continue to trend upward if they are thinking at all down on that pirate ship.

Jonnu Smith (TE, TEN) - 1% owned (1% FAAB)

The aforementioned Delanie Walker sprained ankle would not only boost the existing value of all Tennessee pass-catchers if Walker were to miss Week 9 against Baltimore (and possibly beyond,) but it would thrust Smith from nobody to somebody. High words of praise, I know. Smith was a third-round pick this year and stands at 6’3” with 248 pounds on his frame. His official NFL Draft Profile Player Comparison was Delanie Walker, though the biggest knock on him was his hands. He caught two of his four targets against Cleveland on Sunday and if Walker leaving the stadium on crutches is any indication, he could get a chance to see five-plus targets and be a threat in the red zone come Week 9.

 

Early Defensive Streaming Candidates

  • NO (v. CHI) - 44% owned
  • CIN (v. IND) 23% owned
  • MIA (@ BAL) - 28% owned

 

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Analysis