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Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

Kenneth Gainwell - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

If you survived the first byepocalypse and emerged with a victory, congratulations. The coming week brings only two teams on bye, so reliance on waivers should be far less and the options slightly more enticing.

As always, I will identify as many noteworthy waiver wire targets as possible at every position with a brief explanation of each player's current path to fantasy relevance.

All rostered percentages are taken from Yahoo and players are listed in descending order, not in order of priority. Only players who are rostered in approximately 40% or fewer leagues are considered.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles - 21% rostered

It was already a rough season for Miles Sanders but Week 7 added injury to insult. He was carted off the field with an ankle injury, leaving the tandem of Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott to handle the backfield. There isn't much of a rushing attack in this offense outside of QB Jalen Hurts but Gainwell's value has always been as a pass-catcher. He out-targeted Scott 8-2 in this game and is now the second-most targeted player on the Eagles this season. Gainwell has barely been used as a runner and can't be considered more than a low-end RB2 for PPR leagues only. Still, that makes him worth a top waiver claim in the current fantasy climate.

Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals - 7% rostered

Is the Cincy backfield a timeshare? It sure looked that way in Week 7 when Samaje Perine carried 11 times and Joe Mixon 12 times with similar production. Perine caught one pass while Mixon had none, so they wound up with equal touches and Perine slightly edged him in total yardage. Perine missed last week with COVID but took 11 carries the week before, so his involvement in the offense has grown to the point it should somewhat concern Mixon stakeholders. Perine may have standalone Flex value in Week 8 when the 5-2 Bengals take on the Jets, who are dead last in fantasy points allowed to running backs this year.

Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots - 6% rostered

The great thing about Bolden is you never know when he'll strike. Actually, that's the worst thing about him. As a running back whose value strictly comes as a receiver, he looked like a strong play in Week 6 when the Patriots faced the Cowboys. Didn't happen. He didn't appear to be a strong play against the Jets because game script would favor the run rather than the pass. So naturally, he went for 79 yards on six catches including a touchdown. The Chargers are nearly as bad against the run as the Jets but are far stronger on offense, so perhaps Bolden will be involved again. He's a risky flex play as always.

Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles - 2% rostered

The aforementioned Gainwell is the top back to consider in Philly now but Scott may have value in deeper PPR leagues. He had only seen offensive action in one game before Week 7 but was the primary backup to Sanders last year, carrying the ball 80 times and catching 25 passes. It's hard to recommend him outside of the most desperate situations with the way this offense has ignored the RB position but any back with a path to touches bears mentioning.

J.J. Taylor, New England Patriots - 1% rostered

Taylor scored his first NFL touchdown in Week 7. Then he scored his second. He got that opportunity because the Pats made Rhamondre Stevenson a healthy scratch yet again. It's possible that Taylor earned more snaps and touches with his showing in a romp over the Jets. It's also possible that he is the one on the sidelines next week while Stevenson gets a shot. You just never know with Bill Belichick's backfields. One thing is clear - Damien Harris is the lead dog here and any other RBs will be left only scraps.

Others to consider: Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (33% rostered); Giovani Bernard, Tampa Bay Bucs (19% rostered); Elijah Penny, New York Giants (0% rostered)


Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts - 36% rostered

Hilton was 50-50 to play in Week 7 and ultimately scratched due to a quad issue. He has a good chance to play in Week 8 as long as he doesn't experience a setback in practice. This offense is suddenly rolling behind Carson Wentz and he gets a favorable matchup with the Titans secondary.

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens - 32% rostered

The Ravens are one of only two teams on bye next week, so this is purely a stash recommendation. Bateman tallied 80 yards on three catches in a loss to the Bengals. He has seen six targets in each of his first two NFL games and should remain an integral part of this passing attack going forward after a strong debut. If Sammy Watkins returns after the bye, that could hurt Bateman's snap share but Watkins' health is not something to count on.

Darius Slayton, New York Giants - 15% rostered

No Sterling Shepard or Kenny Golladay meant Slayton served as the WR1 in his return after a three-week absence. He predictably saw the most targets on the team with nine and was able to bring down five catches for 63 yards. There's no telling who will be on the field next week but Slayton and company all have upside when they face the Chiefs next week.

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons - 10% rostered

It's hard to put much stock in Gage's performance against the Dolphins after he's done little all year but to be fair, he's only been on the field for three games. His 67 yards and a TD rewarded practically nobody in fantasy but it's worth seeing if he remains one of the top targets for Matt Ryan.

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots - 6% rostered

Whether throwing the ball as he did against the Jets, or catching a deep pass as he did against the Cowboys, Bourne has shown a knack for turning in big plays in New England.

This isn't the most dynamic or consistent passing offense but Bourne is emerging as a regular flex option with weekly upside.

Tre'Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints - 3% rostered

We haven't seen Smith in the Jameis Winston-led offense yet, as he's spent the season on IR thus far. He has been designated to return and may do so in Week 8. He's likely to provide what Deonte Harris has to this point - the occasional big play but not much else.

Kalif Raymond, Detroit Lions - 3% rostered

It's time to give Raymond his due credit. After an unremarkable early career with four teams, Raymond now has more catches in 2021 than he did in his first four seasons combined. In Week 7, he served as the team's leading receiver with 115 yards on six receptions. It's the third time in the last five games that he's caught six balls and fourth time he's seen at least six targets. If he can manage to avoid Darius Slay in Week 8, Raymond could have a productive game once again.

Nico Collins, Houston Texans - 2% rostered

It looks like the Collins breakout will be delayed another week. He only caught two passes for 28 yards yet wound up leading Houston in receiving since Davis Mills threw for a total of 135 versus Arizona. If/when Tyrod Taylor returns to the starting lineup, Collins' value could take off. That probably won't be the case next week regardless, since the Texans face another menacing matchup with the Rams, but he's stash-worthy if you have the space.

Jamal Agnew, Jacksonville Jaguars - 1% rostered

Don't forget, Urban Meyer hates your fantasy team and wants to make kick returner Agnew, not Laviska Shenault, the primary receiver in this offense. The Jags, coming off their bye week, take on the Seahawks in Week 8.

Others to consider: Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (40% rostered); Jamison Crowder, New York Jets (23% rostered); Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams (9% rostered); K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings (7% rostered)


Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Evan Engram, New York Giants - 31% rostered

We never know which receivers will be on the field for the G-Men on a weekly basis but Engram managed to skirt his questionable tag to play against Carolina. He led the team with six receptions on the day but managed just 44 yards and is still without a touchdown on the season. The ceiling isn't high but Engram gets a great matchup next week with Kansas City which is bottom-five against tight ends defensively.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears - 26% rostered

As disastrous as Chicago's offense was in Week 7, Kmet had one of his most productive games of the season. He tied his season-high with five receptions and came away with 43 yards. Not too exciting but considering he hasn't cracked 50 yards in a game yet this year, it's a good showing for him. Kmet also hasn't reached the end zone yet and, like Engram, is more of a floor play for PPR leagues where you need a few points to get by without Darren Waller or Mark Andrews this week.

C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals - 6% rostered

The Bengals' tight end made his monthly appearance on the leaderboard with a blowup game after being mostly absent the last couple of weeks. Just like Week 4, Uzomah went off for two scores and 90+ yards. In the other five games, Uzomah has 70 yards combined with one score. You never know when he'll do this sort of thing but at least we've seen it in his repertoire multiple times. With the Jets on tap, the Bengals might not need to throw it too often but he's a worthwhile streamer nonetheless.

Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts - 17% rostered

Make that four touchdowns in the last four games for MAC. He hasn't gone over three receptions or 50 yards in a game this season but if you're looking for a tight end who can turn in a TD, Alie-Cox is always a good bet. The Colts' Week 8 opponent, Tennessee, has only allowed two touchdowns to tight ends this season and shut Alie-Cox out the last time they played, so don't bank on it.

Others to consider: Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks (30% rostered); Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars (4% rostered)


Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts - 37% rostered

Despite playing in extremely wet conditions (a.k.a. heavy rain), Wentz had another solid outing against a tough defense. Wentz threw two touchdown passes for the fourth game in a row and also ran in a score. The Colts are averaging 28 points over the last four games and seem to have found their mojo (a.k.a. give Jonathan Taylor the damn ball and stand back). Indy gets a rematch with Tennessee this coming week, which on paper is good for Wentz. He didn't fare well against them in Week 4, throwing for 194 yards with no touchdowns. This could be a battle of the running backs but Wentz still makes for a decent high-end QB2 if you're in a pinch.

Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos - 20% rostered

After a fourth straight loss for Denver, the play of Bridgewater has come into question. During that streak, Bridgewater is completing 65% of his passes but has five interceptions to go with eight touchdowns. He's been boom or bust for fantasy purposes and is hard to trust but luckily this should be a boom week with Washington on the schedule. The Football Team is allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks with a 19-4 TD-INT rate; no other team has allowed more than 16 passing touchdowns and only one team, Miami, has allowed more yards. Bridgewater is the top option for QB streamers.

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans - 18% rostered

I hate to do this but in the game of fantasy football, there are few quarterbacks as valuable as Watson when he plays. There is increasing smoke around the Watson trade rumors this week and some reports make it sound like a foregone conclusion that he'll be moved before the deadline. He hasn't been suspended by the league and would be eligible to play immediately for a new team. One would think that any sane franchise wouldn't mortgage their future for a QB midseason if they didn't think they could use him.

Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks - 5% rostered

Regardless of how he performs on Monday night, Smith will be on the streaming radar in Week 8 because he faces the Jaguars. They allow an average of 306 passing yards per game and aren't suddenly a good defense simply because they managed to win a game.

Others to consider: Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team (14% rostered)


Team Defense (D/ST) - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Pittsburgh Steelers Defense - 51% rostered

They are still widely-rostered but coming off a bye, they were dropped in many leagues. Pittsburgh will face Cleveland without Kareem Hunt, possibly Nick Chubb, and either Case Keenum or a gimpy Baker Mayfield. It's not a smash spot based on the way the Browns looked last week in similar circumstances and it will take place in the Dawg Pound. This recommendation is more based on the rest of the season as you could grab a top-10 DST that has already taken its bye.

Cincinnati Bengals Defense - 15% rostered

Is it possible that the Bengals' defense is actually... good? They held the Ravens to 17 points and managed to sack Lamar Jackson five times. They haven't allowed more than 25 points in a game all season. This squad isn't heavy on turnovers but facing the Jets, possibly with Mike White as starting quarterback, makes them an easy pickup recommendation for Week 8.

Atlanta Falcons Defense - 8% rostered

The Falcons didn't do anything great defensively against Miami other than haul in two interceptions. They aren't a great defensive unit, which is why they are barely on fantasy rosters. This is more about the state of the Carolina Panthers and Sam Darnold, who suddenly looks a lot like the player we remember from his days with the Jets. The Panthers mustered three points against arguably the Giants with Darnold taking six sacks, a safety, and throwing a pick. Those in deeper leagues who need a DST streaming option might take a chance on the Dirty Birds.

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