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. I’ll
also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous
NYJ – White (nearly universally available), pushed into
starting duties following a Week 7 injury to Zach Wilson, staged
an epic comeback over the Bengals in which he completed 37 of 45
passes for 405-3-2, adding a two-point conversion reception. White
has also been confirmed as New York’s starter for the Thursday night
game with the Colts, and could be worth a look in leagues where
your starter is on a bye or nursing an injury.
Tagovailoa, MIA – Tua (35-40% owned)
was mediocre on Sunday against a tough defense, as he completed
21 of 39 passes for 205 yards with no touchdowns and one interception
in the 26-11 loss to the Bills. He also rushed four times for
10 yards and a touchdown, threw a two-point conversion pass and
gets a much better matchup in Week 9 facing the Texans.
Jones, NYG –UPDATE:
Jones completed 22-of-32 passes for 222 yards, two touchdowns,
and one interception (adding 12 rushing yards) in the Giants’
20-17, Week 8 loss to the Chiefs. He remains a QB2 with weekly
upside in the right matchup and should be on your radar during
your main QB’s bye weeks.
SF – Jimmy G stole the show and ran in a couple TD runs,
relegating Lance to an emergency role that never transpired. It
was a bad week to acquire him.
Lawrence, JAC – Lawrence completed
32 of 54 pass attempts for 238-1-1 against Seattle on Sunday,
carrying the rock just three times for 11 yards. The outlook remains
bleak for a Week 9 tilt with Buffalo.
Taylor, HOU – Davis Mills got another
start but we could see Tyrod as soon as Week 9 at Miami.
Carter, NYJ – It’s not often we
start out our QBs and RBs with Jets players, but Carter went nuts
on Sunday (77 yards and a touchdown while adding nine catches
for 95 yards on 14 targets in Sunday's 34-31 triumph over the
Bengals) and makes for a solid RB2 play on TNF. He’s owned in
about 70 percent of fantasy leagues but could be available in
Peterson, TEN –UPDATE:
Peterson will be signed to the practice squad and eventually elevated
to the active roster once it’s deemed he’s ready and in shape.
With Henry undergoing foot surgery that will sideline him through
the end of the regular season, they Titans felt they needed to
make a big splash acquisition with a RB of a similar skill set.
Peterson projects to earn the bulk of the early-down snaps once
up to speed, but his last go-round was with the Lions in 2020
and resulted in 604 hard-earned yards (3.9 yards per carry). A
prospective shift toward the passing game could actually give
the biggest boost to A.J. Brown in fantasy, though Peterson should
be able to post RB2/3 numbers as the recipient of loads of carries
on an efficient team with a solid O-Line.
McKissic, WAS – The Washington Football
Team is still peppering McKissic with looks and Sunday was no
different as the 28-year-old veteran carried the ball three times
for 10 yards and caught all eight of his targets for 83 yards
in Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Broncos. He’s on a Week 9 bye but
is still available in about 40-45% of leagues.
Gore, KC –UPDATE:
Universally available heading into Week 8 because he had only
played a handful of snaps this season, Gore came out of nowhere
and rushed 11 times for 48 yards and a TD in Monday night’s 20-17
win over the Giants. Starter Darrel Williams still racked up 110
scrimmage yards on 19 touches, Gore likely did enough to keep
himself in the mix should Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee) not be
able to return in Week 9 versus the Packers. The UL Monroe product
could steal goal line touches and short yardage carries moving
McNichols, TEN – If the foot injury
suffered by Derrick Henry Sunday is season-ending, McNichols (just
2% owned) might be the top add of Week 9. McNichols recorded three
receptions on three targets for 33 yards in Sunday’s 34-31 win
over the Colts and is the clear handcuff for Henry.
UPDATE: The addition of Adrian
Peterson complicates McNichols’ role, which could be limited
to passing game work and change-of-pace if AP settles in nicely.
Scott, PHI – Scott was the surprise
starter over Kenneth Gainwell and rushed 12 times for 60 yards
and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 44-6 blowout win over the Lions.
He was unable to haul in his only target but should remain a big
part of the offense heading into a Week 9 matchup with the Chargers
and their sad-sack run defense.
Hyde, JAC – Stay tuned on the injury
to James Robinson, since it could vault Hyde into the fantasy
conversation for Week 9 against the Bills. Hyde is not an exciting
option but he did run for 32 yards on nine carries and caught
six receptions for 40 yards on eight targets against Seattle on
Hasty, SF – Hasty (1-2% owned) rushed
just three times for 4 yards and caught both of his targets for
29 yards in Sunday’s 33-22 win over the Bears. He’s not much of
an option in Week 9 facing the Cards, though we could see some
Penny, SEA – Seven carries, 7 yards.
It was all the Seahawks passing game and some ancillary runs from
Alex Collins on Sunday in the Seattle win.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
BUF – Before my one-week hiatus, I recommended adding Beasley,
who came through with flying colors this past week as the favored
third-down and possession option for Josh Allen, securing 10 of
13 targets for 110 yards in the victory over the Dolphins on Sunday.
Still available in about 30-35% of fantasy leagues, Beasley has
taken on a larger role with teams doubling Stefon Diggs and Dawson
Knox on the shelf. He’s always a risk-reward play but gets a decent
matchup against the Jags in Week 9.
Wilson, DAL – Wilson’s huge TD made
his fantasy day (3-84-1), but because Amari Cooper is always nursing
an injury and we don’t know Dak’s status for Week 9 yet, I think
he’s still on the radar for his excellent mojo with Cooper Rush.
Cobb, GB – The Packers will get
their other WRs back in Week 9 against the Chiefs, but Cobb has
shown he has plenty left in the tank and in the red zone. He brought
in three of five targets for 15 yards and two TDs in the Packers’
24-21 win over the Cardinals on Thursday and should get a handful
of looks facing KC.
Engram, NYG –UPDATE:
His usage in the Giants’ offense is puzzling, but Engram played
okay on MNF (3-15-1 on four targets) and could be on the move
to Green Bay, who have expressed an interest in the largely disappointing
TE following the loss of Robert Tonyan (IR). Perhaps a change
of scenery, a better QB and a playoff run could elevate his game
to the next level and provide the low-end TE1 value we hoped Engram
would garner in 2021. Stay tuned.
Crowder, NYJ – Another Jet! Crowder
is available in over 80 percent of fantasy leagues and now has
some hope for his 2021 fantasy outlook. He had a wild game Sunday,
catching eight of nine targets for 84 yards, tossing a two-point
conversion and losing a fumble in the surprising 34-31 win over
Raymond, DET – Raymond was targeted
once but he did not record a catch during Sunday's 44-6 loss to
the Eagles. Not good after a promising week.
Moreau, OAK – Moreau was on a Week 8 bye and we’ll
have to stay tuned to see Darren Waller’s status for the next
couple of weeks.
Gallup, DAL – Perhaps recommending
Gallup this week was a bit premature, but he’s a talented WR with
the ability to separate and what we said about Wilson goes even
more for him. He’s worth an add in 12-team leagues.