Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 8
10/24/16; Updated: 10/25/16 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

With Geno Smith suffering a torn ACL, Ryan Fitzpatrick is back in the saddle as the Jets starting QB.


Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ – Yup, he’s back. After Geno Smith went down with a knee injury, Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a comeback victory over the Ravens, completing 9-of-14 passes for 120 yards and a TD. He’s likely to get another start in Week 8 facing the Browns, who are the worst defense against opposing fantasy QBs according to our Strength of Schedule matrix. He’s still about 5-20 percent owned but will likely be available in your league for a hilarious (but somehow savvy) plug-and-play.

Tyrod Taylor, BUF – The Pats are tough, but Taylor is still only 60-75 percent owned and makes things happen. He’s without huge upside but also without a terrible floor because he can use his legs (at least 25 rushing yards in his last six games and two rushing TDs this season) and doesn’t turn it over that much (nine passing TDs and just two INTs and a fumble on the season). He’s worth considering in his last viable fantasy start until Week 11 or 12 (his next five are NE, @SEA, BYE, @CIN, JAC).

Brock Osweiler, HOU – I’ll update this again tomorrow after he faces his former team on Monday night, but as of right now, Osweiler is about 10-35 percent owned and has the second or third best matchup in Week 8 facing the Lions.

UPDATE: Osweiler was comically unprepared to face his old team, and the memes announcing he’s wanted for robbery (because of his four-year, $72 million contract with $37 million guaranteed) in Houston were priceless. A bounceback seems likely against the Lions, who will struggle to contain the Texans’ multiple offensive weapons.


Eli Manning, NYG – Manning’s dreary 196-0-0 stat line may have helped the team win, but his fantasy owners got the shaft. The Giants are on a bye in Week 8.

Kirk Cousins, WAS – Cousins resurrected a disastrous fantasy outing with a big fourth quarter and finished with 301-1-0, a lost fumble, 19 rushing yards and a rushing TD. He’ll be under a lot of pressure next week against the Bengals but is worth a look in deeper and two-QB formats.

Andy Dalton, CIN – Dalton continued his steady play with 308-2-0 in the win over Cleveland – numbers that were aided significantly by a just-before-halftime 48-yard Hail Mary heave that was pulled down (one-handed) by A.J. Green. He should be fine to start as a second-tier QB1 next week facing Washington.

Colin Kaepernick, SF – Kaep wasn’t any better this week against the Bucs, but he managed 143-1-1 passing and 84 rushing yards. He’s on a bye Week 8.

Landry Jones, PIT – Jones finished with 281-1-1 in the loss to New England but didn’t embarrass himself filling in for Big Ben. He and the Steelers get a well-timed Week 8 bye.

Case Keenum, LAR – Keenum threw for 291 passing yards, completing 32-of-53 attempts. He threw for one TD and four INT. He is also on a Week 8 bye, and the world is a better place because of that.

UPDATE: Fisher is still sticking with Keenum, as of Tuesday morning. Perhaps he will change his mind after the Rams lose by 30 points to the Panthers in Week 9?

Running Backs

Jacquizz Rodgers, TB – I covered him in my Week 6 column and he played very well in Week 7, posting 154 yards on 26 carries and adding 1-9-0 receiving. He failed to get in the end zone, but that could change next week against the Raiders. Keep an eye on the development of rookie Peyton Barber and the imminent return of Doug Martin and his soft-tissue injury (hamstring), but scoop up Rodgers if he’s out there in your league. His ownership is all over the place, ranging from 35 percent in ESPN leagues to almost 90 percent in more competitive formats.

UPDATE: Martin is without a timetable to return, Barber is looking good and I’m estimating Rodgers to get at least 15-20 touches in Week 8 – good enough for a high-end RB2.

Chris Thompson, WAS – I’ve been a fan of Thompson’s for a while, and he had a nice fantasy day on Sunday (12 carries for 73 yards; 7-40-0 on seven targets) after Matt Jones may have fumbled away the starting job. We’ll keep you updated on the depth chart developments, but I really like Thompson’s upside in PPR leagues going forward, and I’ve held onto him in the FFToday Staff League despite a slow start.

UPDATE: Jay Gruden admitted that Jones will likely see his touches go down, but I’d caution against rolling Thompson out in too many non-PPR leagues. The receptions are a big part of his allure.

Devontae Booker, DEN – I’ll be watching Booker closely tonight (Monday) as he’s supposed to get more touches. Update tomorrow. For now, he’s worth adding to your waiver queue because of his upside in the passing game and the favorable matchups over the next few weeks.

UPDATE: Booker out-snapped C.J. Anderson and picked up 83 yards and a TD on 17 carries, while Anderson rolled for 107 and a TD. Booker will be a popular add this week, as he should be, but we were on him heading into Week 6.

Peyton Barber, TB – The Bucs are probably eager to move on from the dubious legacy of Martin, and with the injury to Charles Sims, Barber (universally available) could get more work going forward. He had 84 yards and a TD on 12 carries and might be an excellent dynasty/keeper league speculative addition.

UPDATE: Barber got most of his carries late in the game, but he’ll likely spell Rodgers and pick up 7-10 carries on Sunday. Again, he’s a better dynasty add or deep-league handcuff than standard redraft pickup.

Alfred Blue, HOU – UPDATE: Lamar Miller shuttled in and out of the game following a shoulder injury and Blue (0-1 percent owned) looked quick and explosive during his runs. He finished with 63 yards on 11 carries but lost a crucial fumble. He’s worth adding in deeper formats but you’ll have to follow the injury report and Miller’s status heading into Sunday.


Jay Ajayi, MIA – The Boise State product ran for 200 yards in his second straight game, going for 214 yards and a TD on 28 carries and adding 1-2-0 on his lone receiving target. He’s on a Week 8 bye but appears to be a RB1 going forward, and his 75-98 percent ownership rate means you’re probably (but maybe not) too late to grab him.

UPDATE: Ajayi no longer has Arian Foster to worry about, as the oft-injured back abruptly announced his retirement Monday afternoon. I’ve always enjoyed Foster’s insight and remarkable candor as one of the most “woke” players in the league. It’s been tough to see him struggle with soft tissue injuries. This is great news for Ajayi owners and it was probably time for Foster to call it a career in such a brutal sport.

Jonathan Stewart, CAR – The Week 7 bye and Week 8 matchup against the Cards mean Stewart may still be floating around. I’d like to have him for weeks 11-12.

James White, NE – White got off to a solid start and had 2-32-1 receiving, but LeGarrette Blount’s 127 rushing yards and two scores helped make a high usage unnecessary. I’m not too worried, because Dion Lewis hasn’t returned to practice yet and Brady seems to like the shifty, third-year back from Wisconsin.

Chris Ivory, JAC – Ivory had 48 rushing yards on five carries and 2-3-0 receiving. I’d expect a lot more of him against the Titans in Week 8.

UPDATE: I have a feeling the Jaguars are going to pound Ivory against the Titans on Thursday, so this could become a battle of the RBs. Ivory is seemingly healthy and should get 15-20 carries if the Jags know what’s good for them.

Ty Montgomery, GB – Montgomery had a monster game (even without a TD), catching 10-66-0 on 13 targets and nine carries for 60 rushing yards. It was one of the better performances for the Green Bay offense looked all season, so there’s no little reason to assume he won’t continue to get touches facing Atlanta in Week 8.

UPDATE: He’s an RB in some formats now, so I’m adding him here. Knile Davis might take a few carries away if he’s ready to go, but Montgomery was so good last week I’m betting on another 12-15 touches/targets.

Mike Gillislee, BUF – The Bills pushed LeSean McCoy (hamstring) back despite him clearly not being close to 100 percent, and it limited Gillislee to just 20 rushing yards on five carries. I expected a much bigger workload, and we may see one in Week 8 if McCoy is still hobbled.

UPDATE: The song remains the same for Week 8 against the Pats – McCoy will test his hammy pre-game and Gillislee’s value depends on McCoy’s status.

Rob Kelley, WAS – Kelley could be in line for more looks as well, notching 15 yards on four carries and hauling in his first career TD on a one-yard goal line reception. As I mentioned earlier, Jones may have lost the starting job.

Ka’Deem Carey, CHI – Carey was more effective than Jordan Howard against the tough run defense of the Packers on Thursday, rushing for 48 yards on 10 carries. He’s probably going to split carries with the rookie going forward.

UPDATE: Howard still seems like the better fantasy play, but the more I look at this situation in Chicago, the more it seems unproductive and feckless to play any Bears skill position players.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Davante Adams, GB – I still don’t know how Adams made it back from a Sunday concussion to play on Thursday, but that’s for the doctors to mitigate and the team to cover up. Regardless, Adams’ 13-132-2 (16 targets) came as quite a surprise to fantasy owners, 95 to 98 percent of whom failed to take advantage of his breakout performance. Adams is always a risky play, but this kind of upside makes him intriguing – especially with his ownership ranging from about 15-50 percent.

UPDATE: Lots of questions about the Packers in the comments (thanks!), but this is the week it is safe to resume starting anyone in the offense, from Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson to Adams and newly designated RB Ty Montgomery. Maybe Knile Davis will even get some work.

Brandon LaFell, CIN – LaFell snagged 4-83-1 on five targets from Dalton and now has 14-164-4 in his last three games, and has at least two catches in every game this season. He’s improving as a fantasy option and is owned in just 12.8 percent of ESPN leagues and about 25-50 percent of more competitive formats. He’s got an excellent matchup facing Washington in Cincinnati in Week 8.

Quincy Enunwa, NYJ – I know you don’t want to take a Jet, but hear me out. Enunwa is only about 50-60 percent owned and doesn’t seem like the most exciting player on paper – but his 69-yard catch-and-run TD on Sunday was a thing to behold. He’s the Jets most exciting playmaker and he’s been flashing speed and strength that the Browns will have difficulty containing in Week 8. I’ll be plugging him in a bunch of DFS lineups next week and considering him for a spot start in one or two of my season-long leagues.

UPDATE: I’m still loving the Enunwa factor as a risk-reward play against the Browns.

Marqise Lee, JAC – With Allen Robinson drawing blanket coverage these days, Lee has exploited the open space and is putting together a solid season. His 7-107-0 on eight targets brings him to 29-337-0 on 38 targets over his first six games, and an average of about 5-56-0 makes him a decent WR4 in PPR leagues, despite fantasy ownership well under 10 percent. In his third season after a decent rookie year and injury-plagued 2015, Lee makes a low-ceiling, moderate-floor addition in larger formats.

Russell Shepard, TB – While the world added Adam Humphries, Shepard finished with 5-77-1 (six targets) in the win over San Francisco and had a nice unexpected breakout. This may be his high-water mark for 2016, but he’s worth a look in deeper formats.

TE Gary Barnidge, CLE – Barnidge had 6-66-0 on seven targets in Week 7. He’s about 50-80 percent owned and may be utilized a lot in Week 8 against the Jets, whose solid D-line could force a lot of dumpoffs and quick reads.

UPDATE: I prefer Doyle to Barnidge, but I’m expecting 8-10 targets for the Browns TE.


Kenny Britt, LAR – Britt had just 3-43-0 on eight targets in London Week 7, and while he’s to blame for a portion of the Rams’ poor performance, Jeff Fisher is still inexplicably enthusiastic about Keenum. Fisher said Britt quit on a post route that ended up being intercepted and he’d consider a WR change before a QB change. I guess there really is no cure for Jeff Fisher.

Golden Tate, DET – Tate hauled in 6-93-0 on 12 targets in the win over Washington – and you can all thank me for being the voice of reason while a collective of waiver wire pundits republished his fantasy obituary in a ubiquitous edema of brain-swelling groupthink.

Kendall Wright, TEN – Wright had just 2-12-0 on four targets Sunday, but if you picked him up last week, you should keep him rostered for the next few matchups.

Pierre Garcon, WAS – Garcon was a huge disappointment in Week 7, catching just two balls for 22 yards on five targets. He was expected to pick up more targets with Jordan Reed inactive, but DeSean Jackson had eight targets (5-35-0) and the backs got a lot of dump-offs from Cousins.

Cole Beasley, DAL – The Cowboys were on a Week 7 bye. Dez Bryant is slated to return in Week 8 but that shouldn’t diminish Beasley’s Welker-like role in the slot.

Michael Thomas, NO – Finally, somebody who exceeded my expectations! Thomas had 10-130-0 on 13 targets from Brees, and though he didn’t find the end zone (he secured TDs in his last three games), there’s no reason Thomas shouldn’t be owned in all formats moving forward.

Robert Woods, BUF – Woods missed Week 7 with a foot injury, and Justin Hunter struggled in his first start (2-25-0 on four targets). Marquise Goodwin had a nice game, collecting 4-93-1.

UPDATE: Goodwin actually sustained a concussion Sunday and we could see Hunter’s snaps continue to trend upward.

TE Hunter Henry, SD – Just when you think Henry has accepted the torch from Antonio Gates, he disappears. Henry’s 1-16-0 on three targets killed a handful of my DFS lineups and probably had a hand in thousands of fantasy losses this week. His size and ability still make him a must-own, but it’s disappointing he couldn’t capitalize on such a prime matchup.

TE Jack Doyle, IND – Doyle’s 9-78-1 on 10 targets was tops among TE in PPR leagues and third (to Gronk and Delanie Walker) in standard scoring formats. He’s a must-own in all formats and has clearly earned the trust of his QB.

UPDATE: Doyle looks like a Top 5 TE this week. He’s going to be a hot pick.

TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU – UPDATE: Fiedorowicz (5-35-0 on seven targets Monday night) could see a ton of targets Sunday against the Lions as the Texans go back to basics after the loss to Denver. He’s the clear passing TE in an offense seeking an identity – and that’s a good spot to be in.