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.
KC – With Patrick Mahomes (kneecap) facing a multi-week absence,
Moore (0 percent owned) will likely take over starting QB duties
in KC for Week 8 against the Packers. Moore was decent on Thursday
after taking over for Mahomes, completing 10 of 19 attempts for
117 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs could add someone from free
agency or via trade, but Moore gets first crack and should be
a mid-tier QB2 until the team gets their star QB back.
UPDATE: This will be the first
week Moore gets any practice reps with the first unit, and while
the injury to Mahomes could have the star QB back soon, Moore
is likely to be the guy this week.
Jacoby Brissett, IND – Brissett (45-65 percent owned) has
been solid this season and had a huge game in Week 7, completing
26 of 39 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns in Sunday's
30-23 win over the Texans. He added six yards on five rushing
attempts and lost a fumble but has now thrown multiple passing
TDs in five of six games this season, with a 14:3 touchdown to
interception ratio overall. The Colts host the Broncos in Week
8 in another favorable matchup, so Mahomes owners in shallow formats
looking for a temporary fill-in could find what they need in Brissett.
Derek Carr, OAK – Despite missing some crucial offensive
weapons on Sunday, Carr (15-30 percent owned) finished with 293-2-1
on 22-for-28 passing in the 42-24 loss to Green Bay. The stat
line belies a few glaring mistakes, though, as he fumbled out
of the end zone on a pylon-reaching scramble and killed a drive
with an INT on a badly underthrown ball. Still, the matchup with
the Texans in Week 8 could lead to another decent fantasy line,
as the Houston secondary and overall pas defense has struggled
NO – Aside from Week 5 versus Tampa Bay, Bridgewater (20-30 percent
owned) had his best game of 2019 on Sunday, completing 23-of-38
pass attempts for 281-2-0 during the Saints’ 36-25 win over the
Bears. It was a tough road matchup in Chicago, but Bridgewater
– only a temporary solution for fantasy owners since Drew Brees
is nearing a return – completed passes to eight different receivers
while averaging 7.4 yards per attempt. He’s now averaging 278
passing yards over the last three games and looks forward to an
excellent home matchup against the Cardinals next Sunday. He’s
one of many possible streaming options in Week 8 that could make
for some exciting waiver wire action.
UPDATE: Brees (thumb) plans to
resume practicing this week, but with a bye coming in Week 9 and
Bridgewater undefeated this season, it seems silly they’d
rush their franchise QB back into action.
Josh Allen, BUF – The Bills are 5-1 and notched a win,
but Allen (70-80 percent owned) looked a little shaky in the first
half. He finished with 202-2-0 on 16-for-26 passing in the 31-21
Week 7 win over the Dolphins and gets another favorable matchup
at home against the Eagles in Week 8.
Kirk Cousins, MIN – Cousins’ ownership (35-50 percent)
is about half that of Allen’s in ESPN leagues – and
the much-maligned veteran QB had an even better game on Sunday,
completing 24 of his 34 pass attempts for 337 yards and four touchdowns
during the 42-30 win over the Lions.
NYJ – UPDATE: Terrible, just terrible.
Darnold (11-for-32 passing for 86-0-4), who posted a pitiful 1.9
QBR this week, was just chucking the ball into the secondary and
hoping for a good result. He was apparently “seeing ghosts”
as the microphone revealed during a contemplative moment on the
sidelines after one of his four INTs. He was also sacked four
times and lost a fumble.
ARI – We talked about Edmonds’ standalone value last week in the
updates, and while David Johnson got the green light to start
on Sunday, he only had one carry for 2 yards. Enter Edmonds (25-40
percent owned), who responded with 126 yards and three touchdowns
on 27 carries (2-24-0 receiving) during the 27-21 win over the
Giants. We could see Johnson get spelled a little more frequently
in the wake of this performance, so stay tuned as this story develops
leading up to Week 8’s matchup with New Orleans.
UPDATE: Both Spencer Ware and
Jay Ajayi worked out for the Cards this week, which means that
DJ’s back must be pretty bad. Even if they add a free agent
back, the Cards will be looking to Edmonds to carry the load in
Murray, NO – Murray (50-70 percent owned) was included in
my RBs to consider last week and after Alvin Kamara was ruled
out, he passed Sunday’s test against a tough Bears defense with
flying colors – rushing for 119 yards and two TDs and adding 5-31-0
receiving. After a performance like that and Kamara dealing with
multiple injuries, he could be RB2 option against a weak Cardinals
defense in Week 8.
DET – UPDATE: Johnson rushed for
29 yards on 10 carries and added four catches for another 28 yards
in Detroit’s Week 7 loss to the Vikings after Kerryon Johnson
exited the game with a knee injury (week-to-week). We don’t know
much about what's going on with Kerryon, but it’s likely he misses
at least Week 8 against the Giants, and possibly a few more games.
Ty Johnson slides into the lead role on early downs, while the
capable J.D. McKissic will be featured more on passing downs.
Mark Walton, MIA – Walton (just 3.7 percent owned in ESPN
leagues) probably isn’t going to pile up the fantasy points
for you, but I could see a few more decent yardage totals in his
future. He rushed for 66 yards on 14 carries Sunday in the loss
to Buffalo. This was the largest workload of the season for Walton
– who should build on this success and secure a larger role
heading into a Week 8 Monday night matchup versus the Steelers.
He’s approaching must-own territory in 12-team leagues.
Benny Snell, PIT – The Steelers were on a Week 7 bye and
get the Dolphins in Week 8. Stay tuned to the injury updates for
the banged-up Steelers backfield to see if Snell (5-15 percent
owned) sees a more significant role. He could get a he workload
if the Steelers jump out in front and the other RBs need some
HOU – Johnson (60-70 percent owned) rushed for 34 yards on seven
carries and caught two of five targets for 22 yards in Sunday’s
30-23 loss to the Colts. He’s option 1B for the Texans with Carlos
Hyde claiming starting RB duties, but he might see some extra
work this week against the Raiders, who gave up huge chunks of
yardage on passing plays to the Packers RBs in Week 7.
GB – Speaking of Packers RBs, Williams (50-65 percent owned) stayed
involved on Sunday with 4-26-1 receiving on five targets, even
if he wasn’t running the ball much (5 yards on three carries).
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
TEN – Davis (40-60 percent owned) posted season-best marks in
both targets and receptions in Ryan Tannehill’s first start for
the Titans, finishing with 6-80-1 on seven targets. He’s shown
immediate rapport with Tannehill and could be in line for more
consistent production moving forward. The Titans face a weak Bucs’
pass defense in Week 8 and Davis will be a hot commodity on the
NE – UPDATE: Recently acquired
by the Pats from Atlanta for a 2020 second-round pick, Sanu (50
percent owned in ESPN leagues) is a proven offensive performer
who adds another element of versatility to the Pats playbook,
as if they needed it. Sanu should step in right away in Week 8,
though his package will likely be limited to just a few plays
– and then gradually become a regular part of the offense. His
fantasy upside increases with this move, and the Josh Gordon injury
should hasten his immediate impact.
BUF – I mention John Brown below in WRs to consider (since his
ownership is around 65-75 percent and he’s the preferred option
in Buffalo), but I do really like Beasley in deeper formats. The
“Beas” is just 25-40 percent owned and caught his first TD in
Week 8 (3-16-1 on six targets) – and the veteran slot receiver
now has 30-283-1 on 45 targets through six games.
Kenny Stills, HOU – Stills is starting to make his mark
in Houston. He caught four of five targets for 105 yards in Sunday’s
30-23 loss to the Colts and should be a viable albeit boom-or-bust
option with big-play ability moving forward. He may not see a
huge target volume and has plenty of other WRs to compete with,
but he does have upside with the Raiders coming to town in Week
Alex Erickson, CIN – Wow! Erickson caught 8-137-0 on a
ridiculous 14 targets in Sunday’s 27-17 loss to Jacksonville,
and while we must take note of this performance heading into a
Week 8 matchup with the Rams, it could have been because of a
hole in the Jags secondary that Bengals play callers decided to
Zach Pascal, IND – Pascal isn’t always a great play
but he with promising rookie WR Paris Campbell out this week,
he caught six of seven targets for 106 yards and two touchdowns
in the 30-23 win over the Texans. He’s almost universally
available and seems to be improving his rapport with Brissett.
Worth a look in deeper formats.
TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN – Tight end is a thin position this
season, so we have to acknowledge that Rudolph hauled in five
of six targets for 58 yards and a touchdown during Sunday’s
42-30 win over the Lions. He’s about 20 percent owned in
fantasy, so he’s likely available and has a favorable matchup
in Week 8 against Washington.
TE Hunter Henry, LAC – Henry (now almost 90 percent owned
in ESPN leagues after his Week 6 breakout) hauled in six of his
eight targets for 97 yards in Week 7 against the Titans. He’s
now had excellent performances in his two games since returning
from injury and is a must-own in all formats.
NYJ – UPDATE: The Jets were a mess
against the Pats and Anderson came away with just one catch for
8 yards (on 10 targets!) – shut down by CB Stephon Gilmore.
I loved him last week after the win over Dallas, but if Darnold
is seeing ghosts we have to downgrade Anderson.
NYG – Tate caught 6-80-0 on 11 targets in Sunday’s 27-21 loss
to Arizona and appears to be the Giants No.1 wideout in the absence
of Sterling Shepard.
Darius Slayton, NYG – Slayton started alongside Tate at
WR on Sunday but contributed just 2-28-0 on two targets. He’s
probably seen his highest output of the season unless we have
MIA – Just 8.5 percent owned in ESPN leagues, Parker is a talented
WR on a bad team. He saw 10 targets on Sunday and hauled in 5-55-1
and will look to post another strong performance against the Steelers
in a Week 8 Monday night matchup.
Duke Williams, BUF – Now the Bills’ third WR, he
suffered a shoulder injury during Sunday’s win over Miami
but returned a few plays later and was taken for X-rays following
the game. Stay tuned.
TE Dawson Knox,
BUF – Knox caught 2-22-0 on Five targets Sunday and with Tyler
Kroft back in action could see his fantasy relevance seriously
OAK – Jones was inactive in Week 7 (coach’s decision) and the
Raiders went with Hunter Renfrow, Keelan Doss and Trevor Davis
against the Packers with Tyrell Williams out. I like Jones, but
he’s off to a dubious start in Oakland.