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Through The Wire - Week 8

By Mike Krueger | 10/26/21 |

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 week.

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

Daniel Jones


Daniel Jones, NYG – Jones (28% rostered in Yahoo! leagues) is barely hanging on to QB2 value but does have a date with forgiving Chiefs defense in Week 8 before playing at home against the Raiders in Week 9. KC has given up the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks and is having trouble righting the ship on defense. Jones becomes a better play if he can get at least one of Kenny Golladay (knee), Sterling Shepard (hamstring) or Kadarius Toney (ankle) back on the field.

Trey Lance, SF – Lance (sprained knee) was Inactive in Week 7 and may have been dropped (21% owned in Yahoo! leagues) as fantasy owners were scrambling to fill a starting lineup. In difficult conditions, Jimmy Garoppolo was underwhelming against the Colts finishing with a 181-2-2 line and HC Kyle Shanahan seems to be hedging on Garoppolo as the starter. The 49ers travel to Chicago in Week 8 which is a middling matchup, but if you have the bench space, it won’t be surprising if hear Lance named the starting quarterback sooner rather than later.

Trevor Lawrence, JAX – Lawrence (41% owned) has thrown more than 1 TD in a game just once this season (Wk1) and has more INTs (8) than TDs (7) which quite frankly isn’t great. He does provides some value with his legs (2 rush TDs) and does get a middle of the road matchup @SEA in Week 8. He’s a desperation option this week for Lamar (bye) or Carr (bye) owners.

Tyrod Taylor, HOU – UPDATE: Taylor is expected to practice Wednesday and could play this week, albeit in a slightly difficult matchup against the Rams. It’s difficult to expect him to be at full strength coming off a serious hamstring injury but QB2 value is realistic.

Other QBs to consider (Week 8 opponents in parentheses): Deshaun Watson (trade?), Tyrod Taylor (LAR), Ben Roethlisberger (@CLE), Taylor Heinicke (@DEN), Teddy Bridgewater (WAS), Mac Jones (@LAC), Case Keenum (PIT)

UPDATE (players recommended last week):

Matt Ryan, ATL – Ryan posted 336-2-1 against the Dolphins and sits as the QB11 heading into Monday night. With Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts and RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson in the mix, Ryan has three legitimate playmakers to help bolster his fantasy totals. The Falcons’ quarterback gets CAR and @NO the next two weeks.

Tua Tagovailoa, MIA – Without DeVante Parker and Will Fuller, Tua has 6 TD passes and 620 passing yards the last two weeks. He’s not pushing the ball downfield as much as we would like, but the short and intermediate passing game works just fine for Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki in PPR leagues. With @BUF, HOU, BAL and @NYJ on the upcoming schedule Tua will be a viable low-end QB1 over the next four weeks.

Jameis Winston, NO – UPDATE: Winston went 19-of-35 for 222 yards, 1 TD but did add 40 rushing yards on 8 attempts to push him into mid-range QB2 territory for the week. He seemed out of sync with his wide receivers and spent most of the night dumping off to Alvin Kamara who had a monster game through the air (10-128-1). He’ll get Tampa Bay in Week 8 which on paper is a decent matchup but given the lack of playmakers on the outside, Winston isn’t trustworthy.

Running Backs

Kenneth Gainwell / Boston Scott, PHI – Miles Sanders was taken off in a cart yesterday with an ankle injury. We’re still waiting on MRI results but it appears he’s going to miss some time. In his absence, we can expect Gainwell to be used in the majority of passing situations with Scott receiving some early-down work. Gainwell (21% owned) is the priority add, especially in PPR leagues. He saw 8 targets yesterday as the Eagles were in comeback mode. The Eagles travel to Detroit this week who are giving up the 5th most fantasy points to RBs.

JaMycal Hasty, SF – Fresh off the IR list, Hasty (4% owned) played in front of Trey Sermon and was thrown into a backup role behind Elijah Mitchell on Sunday night. He was mostly used on passing downs (6 targets) and in the two-minute drill. We know the 49ers running back room is a revolving door but Hasty is worth considering in PPR leagues with deep benches. The 49ers get the Bears in Week 8.

Rashaad Penny, SEA – UPDATE: Penny (6 carries, 9 yards) got some run in the first half but gave way to Alex Collins (16 carries, 35 yards) in the second half. Seattle couldn’t run the ball in this game… actually, they couldn’t do much of anything outside of a big play to DK Metcalf in the first quarter. Penny remains a bench stash in case Collins gets injured. This entire offense needs Russell Wilson back soon.

Other RBs to consider (Week 8 opponents in parentheses): Brandon Bolden (@LAC), Samaje Perine (@NYJ), Salvon Ahmed (@BUF), Kenyan Drake (BYE, @NYG, KC) Darrynton Evans (@IND), J.J. Taylor (@LAC)

UPDATE (players recommended last week):

Rhamondre Stevenson, NE – We know to expect the unexpected from a Belichik backfield and so it should be no surprise that Stevenson (healthy) was Inactive in Week 7. That allowed for J.J. Taylor (9 carries, 21 yards) to get some run and Brandon Bolden (6 rec, 79 yds) to operate as the pass-catching back. The only semi-sure thing we can count in is Damien Harris handling early-down work in most contests. Stevenson remains a deep league bench stash if you have the room.

Demetric Felton, CLE – It was the D’Ernest Johnson show (22 carries, 146 yds, 1 TD) on Thursday night against the Broncos which left nothing but scraps for Felton (2 carries, 13 yds; 3 rec, 21 yds). Felton is best suited for a James White type of role and with the Browns playing from in front, there was little opportunity for Felton to shine. There’s a good chance Nick Chubb will return in Week 8 which means Felton will have little to no fantasy value in the near future.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Kalif Raymond, DET – Raymond (3% owned) has seen 15 targets the last two weeks and is fresh off a 6-115 day against the Rams. The Detroit passing game isn’t desirable but he’s a full time starter that can work in a pinch. The Lions face the Eagles in Week 8.

TE Foster Moreau, LV – I’ll mention Moreau (3% owned) here even though the Raiders are on Bye this week. He got the start for the injured Darren Waller (ankle) and delivered 6-60-1 on 6 targets against the Eagles for a top five TE finish in Week 7. If Waller is out for an extended period of time, Moreau will be very viable in a weak position group with games upcoming against the Giants and Chiefs.

Michael Gallup, DAL – In case Gallup (40% owned) is still floating around as a free agent in your league, he’s worth a speculative add as he gets closer to returning from the IR.

Other WRs/TEs to consider (Week 8 opponents in parentheses): Russell Gage (CAR), Van Jefferson (@HOU), Adam Humphries (@DEN), TE C.J. Uzomah (@NYJ)

UPDATE (players recommended last week):

Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE – DPJ (0 targets) suffered a pre-game groin injury and had his value sucked dry by the return of Jarvis Landry (8 targets) and Odell Beckham Jr. (6 targets) who gutted out Week 7 despite a shoulder injury. In a run-heavy offense, the Browns can really only support one fantasy receiver. As a result, DPJ can be moved to the end of your bench or dropped.

TE Hunter Henry, NE – Henry only saw 4 targets (2-23) in Week 7 but did find the enzone on his way to TE13 finish in PPR leagues. Fellow tight end Jonnu Smith left the game with a shoulder injury. If he misses time, Henry will remain a viable starter in Week 8 against his former team, the Chargers.

Kendrick Bourne, NE – Bourne saw 4 targets against the Jets and caught all of them for 68 yards and also tossed a TD pass on trick play. He delivered WR2 value if you were forced to start him in the bye-heavy Week 7.

A.J. Green, ARI – Green only saw 3 targets but did catch all of them for 66 yards as the Cardinals cruised by the Texans 31-5. His firmly entrenched as a starter in this offense but sits on WR3/4 line given the amount of weapons (including Zach Ertz) Kyler Murray has to choose from.

Rashod Bateman, BAL – Bateman delivered 3-80 on 6 targets in a blowout loss to the Bengals. He’s clearly the No.2 receiver on this team with Sammy Watkins out and is a weekly Flex consideration.

TE Ricky Seals-Jones, WAS – Another solid outing from RSJ (6-51) on 7 targets, finishing the week as the TE9 as he’s become a full-time player with Logan Thomas (hamstring) on the IR. Thomas could come of the IR in Week 8 so pay attention to Football Team reports as the week progresses.