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Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups - Fantasy Football Adds for QB, RB, WR, TE

Taysom Hill - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

With seven weeks in the books, we are officially halfway through the regular season of fantasy football. If you're 2-5, it's time to make some moves and mix up your roster. That includes trades and through the waiver wire. If that's your situation, you need to prioritize players who can help you win right now. All the upside in the world won't solve your problems if the losses continue to pile up. It's challenging to make this article relevant to all the different kinds of leagues out there. There are different league sizes, scoring settings, and roster requirements, which can make things difficult. As a general rule of thumb, I'll only be looking at players with a rostership percentage of 50% or lower, according to Yahoo! rostership percentages.

One thing I'll be adding this year is a category distinction for all players. This should help you figure out which players to add based on what your waiver wire goals are. Keep in mind that players can qualify for multiple distinctions. Those distinctions will be as follows:

  • BC: Breakout Candidate – This is a player who may not be startable yet, but has a good chance of breaking out and becoming a weekly starter at some point in the season. If you're not in need of a starter this week, these are the players you should be targeting off the waiver wire.
  • WS: Weekly Streamer – This is a player who is not a weekly starter or even someone you cannot drop, but rather they are someone you can target if the matchup is right or if you're desperate for a one-time starter. This is likely to be a quarterback or tight end.
  • DP: Depth Player – This is a player who reminds me of a quote from Bad Santa, "They can't all be winners, now can they?" Obviously, we'd all love to have breakout players, but it's also important to have quality depth players who can be started during bye weeks and be decent injury-replacement players.
  • DL: Deep League Add – This is for competitive 12-team leagues or larger.
  • IF: Injury Fill-In – This is a player who will be a weekly spot starter during the starter's absence due to injuries.
  • MA: Must Add – This is a player who due to any number of circumstances, now finds himself as a weekly fantasy starter and is someone fantasy managers should be adding to their teams.
  • UH: Upside Handcuff – This is reserved for our running backs who could become prominent players if the primary starter gets hurt.

If you have any specific waiver wire questions, give me a follow on X @RobFFSlayer, and don’t be afraid to reach out. I’ll be completing the waiver wire column all year here at RotoBaller and I hope to help as many of you as possible win your fantasy football league.

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!


Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals – 43% Rostered 

The Cardinals have been surprisingly competitive through seven weeks with Joshua Dobbs at quarterback. Arizona made Murray one of their team captains this season, an act that would seem to indicate he's likely to play in 2023. You'll find a few players who have a higher ceiling than Murray on your waiver wire.

We are currently playing fantasy football in the age of the quarterback. Years ago, the strategy of waiting on a quarterback was excellent because there were so few that were true difference-makers. Those days are gone. Quarterbacks are putting up video game numbers and they’ve never been as valuable as they are today. Murray is one of those quarterbacks.

It's no mystery why he wasn't drafted and remains a free agent in so many fantasy football leagues. He’s recovering from a torn ACL. He's currently on the PUP list but is eligible to return at any time. The team understandably seems to be taking a cautious approach with him, but it still seems unlikely he will sit out for the whole season.

When he does return, he may not run as much as he used to right away. As a waiver wire add, I’m not so much adding him for Week 7, but rather for Week 15. The previous tweet (what do we call them now?) showcased his weekly upside. Simply put, he’s been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks of all time on a PPG basis.

If your league has an IR, Murray needs to be there. He’s got top-five upside and is one of the few quarterbacks who can compete with the Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Lamar Jacksons of the world. He was named a team captain, solidifying the belief he'll return and play this season.

Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons – 14% Rostered (WS)

Over the past three weeks, Ridder has scored 13.8 (Week 7), 16.1 (Week 6), and 26.1 (Week 5) points. While the 13.8 looks disappointing, he did lose three fumbles. It's highly unlikely he's going to continue having three lost fumbles. If we take two of them away, he'd have finished with 17.8 points, which looks far more appealing. Obviously, that's not how it works, but we're looking at what's most likely moving forward. Is it likely he has three fumbles lost? It's not.

Ridder has been better as of late. He's completed almost 69% of his passes over the last three weeks and has thrown for 886 yards. He has thrown for 300 or more passing yards in two of the last three weeks and has at least 250 in all three. He's also found the end zone as a runner on two occasions. While he needs to clean up the turnovers – six in the past three games – Ridder is performing well and his rushing offers fantasy managers some upside. Through seven games, he has three rushing scores, which has helped him score more than 20 points in two contests. He plays the Titans in Week 8, who have allowed the seventh-most passing touchdowns this season.

Others to consider: Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 33% Rostered, Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints – 35% Rostered, Joshua Dobbs, Arizona Cardinals – 16% Rostered, Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts – 8% Rostered, Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders – 12% Rostered, Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers – 19% Rostered, Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers – 10% Rostered


Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams – 24% Rostered (MA, IF)

Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers are both on IR and will miss the next three weeks. The team clearly does not trust sixth-round rookie, Zach Evans. They opted to sign Henderson off the street and signed Royce Freeman from their practice squad. Despite not having been with the team, Henderson came in and functioned as the team's 1A starter. He played on 39 of the team's 68 snaps and ran 13 routes on 32 dropbacks. He earned two targets and 18 carries, which both paced the team's running backs. He finished with 61 rushing yards, one reception of five yards, and a rushing score.

Despite not having been on an NFL team just a few days ago and playing on such short notice, Freeman was able to rack up 66 yards and 13.1 half-PPR points. This makes him a priority add for any team hurting at running back. It's unknown exactly when Williams and Rivers will be back, but they'll for sure miss the next three weeks. During that time, Henderson should be viewed as an RB3 with RB2 upside.

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears – 50% Rostered (MA, WS)

With as well as D'Onta Foreman has played over the past two weeks, the breakout potential for Johnson seems to have evaporated. With the production Foreman has provided, fantasy managers shouldn't expect a workhorse role for Johnson once he returns from his concussion, a possibility that seemed entirely possible once starter Khalil Herbert went on IR.

Still, fantasy managers have seen just how well Foreman has played and that has to be enticing. The Bears are in the midst of a lost season and Foreman is signed to just a one-year contract. Meanwhile, Johnson is a rookie and the organization may prefer to get Johnson some experience. That could lead to Johnson operating as the 1A to Foreman and maybe even Herbert once he returns.

Over the past two weeks, Foreman has 31 carries, 154 yards, and two touchdowns. He's also chipped in with six targets, four receptions, 33 receiving yards, and one touchdown. Backup Darrynton Evans has also handled 25 carries and four targets. That number is somewhat inflated by a blowout win this past weekend against the Raiders, a game script fantasy managers shouldn't expect from this Chicago team.

The production from Foreman might make it less appealing to add Johnson and on some level, that's true, but it also shows fantasy managers the upside Johnson possesses if the team prefers to give him the primary role to give some much-needed playing time.

Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers – 37% Rostered (UH, IF)

By all accounts, it seems as though Christian McCaffrey is going to play tonight. Based on recent reports, there is very little doubt about that. However, he is reportedly dealing with a slight tear to one of his oblique muscles. Considering the running back position and how much they're tackled and hit, it's possible CMC will end up missing a game.

It's more likely his workload will be somewhat scaled back. Based on head coach Kyle Shanahan's comments about Mitchell and fellow running back Jordan Mason, Mitchell seems like the most likely beneficiary. If CMC's role even just drops 25% as he nurses this injury for the next few weeks, Mitchell could see 8-12 touches per game. There's also always the chance the 49ers get so far out ahead of their competition and end up leaning on Mitchell in the fourth quarter as opposed to giving CMC additional work.

Royce Freeman, Los Angeles Rams – 29% Rostered (DP, IF)

As previously mentioned, Williams and Rivers, the team's starting and backup running backs, are both on IR and will miss the next three weeks. The team opted to lean on Freeman and Henderson to lead their backfield. Freeman played second-fiddle to Henderson in all four categories – snaps played, routes run, targets, and carries – but with Henderson unlikely to operate as the same workhorse back that Williams did, Freeman is likely going to be good for 8-12 touches each game.

Henderson's hold on the 1A role is likely not very strong and if he falters or doesn't perform well, it's quite possible Freeman is able to leapfrog him as the team's primary running back. As of right now, Freeman should be viewed as an RB4 with RB3 upside. He'll for sure be a useable commodity for the next three weeks and if Williams/Rivers are out longer or if he's able to outperform Henderson, his value could increase.

Latavius Murray, Buffalo Bills — 22% Rostered (DL, UH)

Damien Harris currently finds himself on IR, which leaves the Buffalo backfield to just James Cook and Murray. Through the first six weeks of the season, Murray has seven carries inside the five-yard line compared to just three for Cook. Harris also has three of his own. With Harris on IR, Murray has the best chance of either running back to score a touchdown.

This past weekend, Cook and Murray split the snaps and routes almost 50/50. Cook played 37 snaps compared to Murray's 32. Cook also ran 21 routes compared to Murray's 19. However, Murray only handled four carries compared to Cook's 13. Murray is the 1B on a really good offense behind a running back who has yet to fully take command of his team's backfield. In fact, since Week 1, Cook's role has only gotten smaller. Murray is a touchdown-dependent RB3, but he's one injury away from being a weekly starter. He's also not strictly a handcuff as he's likely to see 6-10 touches per game, all while handling most of the running back carries inside the five-yard line on a top-five scoring offense.

Devin Singletary, Houston Texans – 14% Rostered (DP)

What in the world happened with the Houston backfield in Week 6? Singletary finished with 34 of the team's 63 snaps. Assumed starter Dameon Pierce played just 21. Singletary also finished with 12 carries to Pierce's 13. Singletary ran 18 routes and Pierce ran only seven. Singletary ended up out-targeting Pierce, 2-0. It wasn't just the snaps and the number of touches. Singletary also finished with 58 rushing yards to Pierce's 34 despite receiving one fewer carry. Was this just a one-week blip? Is this a sign of things to come? Fantasy managers really don't know.

The Houston running game has been one of the most ineffective attacks in the league. Most assumed that was due to the insane number of offensive line injuries the team has sustained, but maybe the Houston coaching staff felt Pierce had more to do with the inefficiency than fantasy managers were led to believe. Either way, this backfield looks like a 50/50 split, which makes Singletary a quality add. If Pierce were to get hurt, Singletary would turn into one of the biggest bell-cows in the NFL. They were on bye in Week 7, so it'll be interesting to see how this backfield shakes out in Week 8.

Pierre Strong Jr., Cleveland Browns – 1% Rostered (IF)

Kareem Hunt came into the Browns' Week 7 game nursing a hamstring injury. Due to the injury, Hunt ended up playing just 20 of the team's 75 snaps. Strong actually out-snapped Hunt, finishing with 22 snaps played. Jerome Ford left the game and there are concerns he may have suffered a high ankle sprain. Following the game, Ford was seen in a walking boot, which puts his Week 8 availability severely in doubt.

Considering Hunt was able to suit up and there have been no reported setbacks, fantasy managers should assume Hunt will be the lead back next week with Ford likely out. Even if that's the case, Strong could be looking at 8-12 touches, moving into Hunt's previous role. If Hunt isn't fully healthy yet, his role could be even bigger. If you're in a pinch for help at the running back position, Strong could provide that for as long as Ford is out. The walking boot could be completely precautionary, but with reports of it being a high ankle sprain, Strong could be looking at 2-3 weeks of being the team's second back with Ford potentially out.

Emari Demercado, Arizona Cardinals – 14% Rostered

He was a waiver wire darling last week, but the team opted to go with Damien Williams as the lead back. However, this past weekend they moved back to Demercado. He led the team's backfield in snaps, playing 53 of the team's 66 snaps. Williams played 12. Based on playtime, Demercado was a bell-cow. He ran 28 routes on the team's 38 dropbacks and earned five targets. No other Arizona running back earned a single one. He also led the backfield in carries with 13. Williams finished with just one. He had a stranglehold on the snaps, routes, targets, and carries in the backfield this weekend. He finished with 58 rushing yards, four receptions, and 17 receiving yards.

It's hard to trust this backfield moving forward considering the 180 they made over the past two games. After being the primary back in Week 5 after starter James Conner left with an injury, Demercado operated as the No. 3 back behind Williams and Keaontay Ingram in Week 6. Now that Demercado was the clear lead back this past weekend, it's hard to know what the rotation will be next weekend. However, assuming this rotation continues, Demercado should be viewed as an RB3 with RB2 upside due to the heavy workload he received this past weekend.

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans – 41% Rostered (DP, UH)

Spears isn't just an elite handcuff, although he is that without question. Spears is quietly becoming a player that fantasy managers should be valuing as an RB3 on a weekly basis. He's played over 50% of the snaps in five out of six games. He has four games this season with at least four targets, giving him good value in any PPR scoring league.

In fact, Spears has registered at least three catches in half of his games this season. He is currently on pace for 57 targets, 43 receptions, and 315 receiving yards. Considering how poorly the Titans have played this season and that it's likely they find themselves behind on the scoreboard most weeks, Spears should continue to see excellent utilization in the passing game.

His role as a receiver and the fact that he's received 5-8 carries per game gives him flex status during upcoming bye weeks and due to injuries at the running back position. Providing RB3 value with top-15 contingency value if Derrick Henry gets hurt or traded makes him one of the more appealing waiver wire additions.

Others to consider (Pure Handcuffs): Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles – 34% Rostered (UH, DP), Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens – 41% Rostered (DP, UH), Tank Bigsby, Jacksonville Jaguars – 13% Rostered (UH, DL), Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks – 40% Rostered (UH, DL), Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions – 13% Rostered (IF), Jordan Mason, San Francisco 49ers – 41% Rostered (UH, IF), Damien Williams, Arizona Cardinals – 1% Rostered (DL, IF), Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs – 38% Rostered (DL), Keaton Mitchell, Baltimore Ravens – 8% Rostered (DL), Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers – 20% Rostered (UH, DL), Leonard Fournette, Free Agent – 3% Rostered (DL)


Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts – 36% Rostered (MA, BC, WS)

If he's still available in your league, he's one of the best waiver wire additions. He's scored 12.7, 10.6, and 21.0 in his last three games in half-PPR scoring. In seven games this season, Downs has had at least five targets in six of them. He's had four receptions or more in four of them. He's better suited in any PPR scoring league, but Downs is a must-add and a breakout rookie candidate.

After seven weeks of the 2023 season, he's currently on pace for 112 targets, 80 receptions, and 973 receiving yards. The Cleveland defense has been the best in the NFL this year and the fact that the rookie had five receptions, 125 yards, and one touchdown against this stout of a defense is incredibly encouraging. Not only has Downs made Alec Pierce, their 2022 second-round pick, completely irrelevant, but he's producing side-by-side with fourth-year veteran Michael Pittman Jr. He's a major buy.

Tank Dell, Houston Texans – 48% Rostered (MA, BC, WS)

Dell has played in just three games with a snap share higher than 50%. He left Week 5 early due to a concussion, missed Week 6 entirely, and was on a bye in Week 7. During those three games where he played 50% of the time, he scored 16.7, 23.0, and 3.4 half-PPR points. He averaged 6.6 targets per game, a pace of 113 over 17 games. Houston is currently in the top 10 in pass attempts per game and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has been fantastic.

Fellow receiver Nico Collins is in the midst of a breakout third-year campaign, but Dell, when healthy, has operated as the second option. Considering the volume this team is currently operating with and the productiveness Dell displayed in Weeks 2 and 3. If anyone dropped him over the last two weeks, he should be a priority add. He should be valued as a WR3 moving forward.

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots – 26% Rostered (WS)

Bourne played on 56 of the team's 60 snaps and ran 34 routes on 37 dropbacks in Week 6. He operated as their top receiver in terms of snaps and routes after weeks of a dreadful passing attack. The team sought to change up their receiver rotation in hopes of creating a spark. He finished with 10 receptions and 89 yards. Prior to Week 6, he had three games with a snap share higher than 85% and three games with a snap share less than 55%. In Week 1 when Bourne played 91%, he finished with 11 targets, six receptions, 64 yards, and two touchdowns.

That utilization and playing time continued this past weekend. He played on 57 of the team's 60 snaps and operated as their only full-time player on offense. He ran 31 routes on 33 dropbacks. Once again, Bourne delivered. He finished with seven targets, six receptions, 63 yards, and one touchdown. Considering just how productive he's been with a full workload, there's no reason the Patriots do not continue to feature him in their passing attack. As long as that continues, Bourne should be valued as a WR3 moving forward.

Wan'Dale Robinson, New York Giants – 25% Rostered (DP)

Since returning to action in Week 3, Robinson has seen at least five targets in four straight contests prior to this past weekend. He's also had at least four receptions from Weeks 3-6. He's a slot receiver and because of this, his volume is better suited for PPR leagues because in Weeks 3-5, he had not gone over 40 yards. However, Robinson appears to be an important part of their offense. This past weekend, he ran a route on 22 of the team's 36 dropbacks. However, the Giants were able to play with a lead for the vast majority of this game. This is unlikely to occur most weeks. In weeks where the Giants are chasing points – which will be most weeks – Robinson will have a larger role.

While tight end Darren Waller leads the team in targets, Robinson looks like the best bet to be the second target-earner on any given week. Due to his average depth of target, lack of air yards, and his team's putrid offense, Robinson doesn't have much upside, but he appears to have a consistent and stable role. He's someone fantasy managers can depend on for 6-8 targets per game with 4-5 receptions. The yardage won't be very high and his touchdown chances are low, but he's a decent PPR bench player asset.

Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys – 38% Rostered (DP, WS)

I was high on Cooks coming into the season and through six games (the Cowboys were on bye in Week 7), Dallas played very few "normal" games. They've played just one game that finished with a score differential of 10 points or less and just two games where the score difference was less than 20. That's made it difficult to get a good read on this offense or Cooks' role in it.

Not to mention, he missed Week 2 and was somewhat limited in Week 3, which was one of only two games decided by less than 20 points. The other such game came in Week 6 against the Cowboys when Cooks had four targets, four receptions, 36 yards, and one touchdown. Moving forward, I expect him to compete with Jake Ferguson for Dak Prescott's attention for the No. 2 role in this passing offense. That role should give him WR4 value most weeks with WR3 upside.

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars – 24% Rostered (DP, WS)

Jones has struggled with a knee injury this season and has only appeared in three games. However, in those three games, he's earned at least five targets in all three games. That's even more impressive considering he left one of them early due to injury. In that contest, he failed to catch any of his six targets. In the two other contests, he scored 14.0 and 9.8 half-PPR points, finding the end zone in both contests.

While many expected fellow receiver Calvin Ridley to dominate targets, that hasn't been the case. The Jaguars do not seem to have a true WR1, which means it's likely that this offense will operate with a receiver-by-committee type of approach. When he's been healthy, he's been a full-time player who has maintained a regular and consistent role in the offense. Jones should be valued as a WR4.

Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers – 6% Rostered (DL, DP)

Mingo has yet to have that one big game, but his snap share, route participation, and target total indicate that the game is coming. He left Week 3 early due to a concussion, but in Weeks 1-2 and Weeks 5-6 (he was inactive in Week 4), Mingo's route participation has been above 85% in all four games.

It has been over 95% in three of those four games, with the lone non-95% game coming in Week 5 in his first game back to action following his concussion. His snap share has been over 85% in all four games he was able to start and finish. Prior to Week 6, he had recorded at least five targets in each game except his Week 3 contest cut short by his concussion.

Mingo has the opportunity and through six weeks, he's on pace for 99 targets. While the production hasn't come yet, some of that is understandable. For starters, Mingo is a rookie and a rather raw one at that. Quarterback Bryce Young is also a rookie. Young also missed one game, which meant a quarterback change to veteran Andy Dalton. For a rookie getting this much opportunity and receiving that many targets, it's a reasonable bet to expect the production to come. The Panthers were on bye in Week 7, so it's possible coming out of the bye that Mingo will have a larger role.

Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions – 49% Rostered (BC, DP)

Williams only played 16 of the team's 70 snaps (fourth on the team among receivers) and ran just nine routes on 48 dropbacks (fifth on the team among receivers) in Week 6, but made a big splash catching two of his three targets for 53 yards and a touchdown. This Detroit offense could desperately use an X receiver and Williams profiles as someone who could fulfill that role. The question would be if the coaching staff would ever give him the opportunity to do so.

This past weekend, Williams's role grew, but not nearly as much as fantasy managers would have liked. He played 33 of the team's 75 snaps and ran 26 out of 58 routes. While his role grew, it wasn't nearly enough. However, on the bright side, Williams did finish with six targets on his 26 routes. The bad news is that he didn't catch a single one of his six targets. Williams likely isn't a player teams with a losing record can target, but if you're in a good place in the standings and can afford to stash someone like Williams for his upside, it could be worth it. That said, it doesn't seem like Williams will be anything more than a boom-or-bust WR4.

Demario Douglas, New England Patriots – 0% Rostered (DL, DP)

He was inactive in Week 6 and from Weeks 2-5 never topped 33% of the team's offensive snaps. However, this past weekend, he played 37 of the team's 60 snaps and ran a route on 25 of the team's 33 dropbacks. He earned five targets and caught four of them for 54 yards. He also received one carry, which he took for 20 yards.

Douglas was incredibly productive in the offseason and while it's taken him six weeks to get really involved in the offense, he provided the offense a spark when very few receivers for the Patriots have. Fantasy managers shouldn't be adding him as a weekly streamer, but rather as a deep league stash right now. Over his final two seasons at Liberty from 2021-2022, he racked up 1,800 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns. He's a small receiver, weighing just 165 yards, but he was productive in the preseason and performed well in his first extended action. He's nothing more than a deep league stash, but he's an interesting player.

Others to consider: Michael Wilson, Arizona Cardinals – 19% Rostered, Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers – 16% Rostered Robert Woods, Houston Texans – 13% Rostered, Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions – 42% Rostered, Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints – 37% Rostered, Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals – 9% Rostered, Mecole Hardman Jr., Kansas City Chiefs – 17% Rostered, Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants – 5% Rostered, Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs – 33% Rostered, D.J. Chark, Jr., Carolina Panthers – 14% Rostered


Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills – 42% Rostered (BC, MA, WS)

When it comes to tight ends, big plays and touchdowns play such a large part of who ends up being successful. In that regard, Kincaid has a major advantage compared to other tight ends across the league because he's on the Buffalo offense with Josh Allen at quarterback. This gives him a better chance than most at creating those big plays and catching a touchdown.

Buffalo's offense is top-five in the NFL and Allen will end up being top-five in passing touchdowns. On top of that, Kincaid has a very appealing talent profile. He's a first-round rookie who amassed 70 receptions, 890 yards, and eight touchdowns in his final season at Utah. He's also incredibly athletic, which just adds to the upside.

Buffalo doesn't have a true second on their offense. They have Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis, but Davis has never proven to be much more than a boom-or-bust type of player. He lacks week-to-week consistency. Due to this, Kincaid has the opportunity of being the team's second option in their passing game on any given week, and in Buffalo, that's some major upside. Fantasy managers saw that this past weekend when Kincaid finished second with eight targets and caught all eight for 75 yards. The tight end position is filled with boring options and Kincaid is someone who could offer a spark.

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints – 9% Rostered (MA, WS)

For the past few years, Taysom Hill had a tight end designation even though he was arguably more quarterback and running back than tight end. From 2021-2022, Hill combined for 19 targets, 13 receptions, and 129 receiving yards. Over that same time, he’s had 166 carries and 949 rushing yards to go along with 91 pass completions, 153 pass attempts, and 1,218 passing yards. Definitely more running back and quarterback than tight end.

Then something weird happened in Week 6 – the Saints actually used Hill as a tight end. A legit tight end. He finished with eight targets, seven receptions, and 49 yards. Starting tight end Juwan Johnson was still out with a calf injury, which likely played a role. That said, Hill finished with a 16% target share and a 63% route participation rate. He also handled one carry for two yards.

In Week 7, he played 54 of the team's 90 snaps and ran 44 of the team's 59 dropbacks. Folks, we might have something here. Granted Johnson was inactive and we don't know what the rotation will be once he returns, but for as long as he's out, Hill is close to a must-start tight end. He finished this past week with five targets, four receptions, and 40 yards. He also received five carries, which resulted in 18 yards and one touchdown. As long as he continues to run routes at around a 70% clip and receives 3-5 carries per game, most of which are around the goal line, Hill possesses upside that most tight ends can't compete with.

Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys – 46% Rostered (WS)

Ferguson hasn't been a full-time player until recently, but that hasn't stopped him from averaging 4.8 targets and 3.5 receptions per game. The Cowboys do not have a true second option in their passing game, which gives Ferguson the opportunity to operate in that role on any week. He's done that on three separate occasions where he's finished with seven targets.

He has two games with five or more receptions and four weeks with at least three catches. He also leads all tight ends in red zone targets. He's only scored one touchdown this season, but considering his involvement in the team's offense the closer they get to the goal line, Ferguson is a good candidate for some touchdown progression in the second half of the season.

Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders – 28% Rostered (MA, BC, WS)

We're still adding Mayer this week despite a step back this past weekend. In Week 6, he ran a route on 67% of the team's dropbacks, but that fell back down to 54% this past weekend. While the lack of production can easily be written off due to the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo was out, to make matters worse, the team went from backup Brian Hoyer to rookie third-string quarterback Aidan O'Connell. That's not exactly a recipe for big numbers. We're not going to stress about that. The fact that he ran fewer routes is certainly not ideal. However, compared to his route participation early in the season, fantasy managers should still be buying here because of his talent profile.

He was insanely productive in college, finishing with 204 targets, 138 receptions, 1,649 yards, and 16 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Notre Dame. He led his team in receiving in all four categories for the 2022 season and led in all but receiving yards in 2021. He posted a 22% target share in 2021, which increased to 31% in 2022. His role over the past three weeks has expanded exponentially compared to the first four weeks.

With very few options behind Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers, Mayer shouldn't have a problem seeing 4-6 targets per game as long as his route participation stays above 65%. Considering his performance last week, it certainly was odd to see his role diminish in some regard. Especially considering the team was down on the scoreboard. Still, his evolving role and talent profile make him a worthwhile add, even if fantasy managers can't start him with confidence quite yet. It should be noted the blowout nature of the game likely impacted his playing time and routes run.

Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders – 44% Rostered (WS)

Thomas has played in four full games this season. He missed most of Week 2 due to a concussion and was inactive in Week 3. In four games this season, he has six or more targets in three of those contests. He's also caught four or more receptions in three games. He has more than 40 yards in four games. In six games that he's appeared in, he's scored five or more half-PPR points in five of them. He's been a very dependable tight end asset. Despite missing 1.5 games, Thomas is Washington's third pass-catcher on the season.

Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans – 55% Rostered (WS)

Schultz got off to a very rough start. In the first three weeks of the season, he was held to under 10 receiving yards in two contests and never surpassed 35 yards. Over the past three weeks, however, Schultz has finished with more than 40 receiving yards in each contest. He's also found the end zone every week since Week 4. After averaging just 2.7 half-PPR PPG from Weeks 1-3, he's averaged 13.9 from Weeks 4-6.

In the last two weeks, Schultz has been much more involved, earning 17 targets over that timespan. Schultz is being incorporated into the offense more and quarterback C.J. Stroud has been looking his way much more frequently. Schultz has earned seven or more targets in three contests this season and has four or more receptions in three weeks. The Texans have a bye in Week 7 but return to action in Week 8 against the Panthers, who have allowed the 11th-most points to opposing tight ends this season.

Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals – 2% Rostered (BC, WS)

Week 6 was the first time McBride out-targeted (5-4) and out-snapped (44-35) Zach Ertz. While Ertz ended up running more routes (24-21), this was also the closest it's been all season and McBride made the most of his opportunity. He led the team with four receptions and 62 receiving yards. Considering how heavily the team has used Ertz this season, if McBride takes over as the team's top tight end, he has plenty of upside.

This past weekend, the rotation between Ertz and McBride stayed very similar to what it was in Week 6. McBride and Ertz each played 35 of the team's 66 snaps. Ertz ran 20 routes to McBride's 19, but McBride out-targeted Ertz six to four. Not only that, but McBride was more effective with his targets. McBride finished with three receptions and 29 yards compared to Ertz's three for 19. Ertz is almost 33 years old and coming off a torn ACL and MCL injury in 2022. With the Cardinals racking up losses, it would make more sense to give McBride a full-time role. Ertz is not a long-term solution or player for the club, while McBride might be.

In his junior season (2021), he finished with 34 targets, 22 receptions, 330 yards, and four touchdowns. Due to an injury, he only appeared in four games. He did, however, have an elite 29.3% target share. If we extrapolate his per-game stats over a typical 12-game collegiate season, he would’ve finished with 102 targets, 94 receptions, 1,402 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Obviously, it’s unlikely he would’ve finished with those numbers, but it does give us a better idea of just how good he was playing in those four games before getting hurt.

As a senior, he finished with 134 targets, 90 receptions, 1,121 yards, and just one touchdown in 12 games. He had a 34.0% target share. McBride, like Mayer, has an elite collegiate profile and was selected in the second round. This is the exact type of player fantasy managers should be betting on. He was an elite producer in college, was drafted early, has performed well in the NFL on a small sample, and has an expanding role. If you needed any more reason to pull the trigger, Arizona just designated Kyler Murray to return. McBride could be a waiver wire darling down the stretch.

Others to consider: Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers – 36% Rosteres, Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons – 42% Rostered, Tyler Conklin, New York Jets – 6% Rostered, Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 2% Rostered

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