Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups (2020 Fantasy Football)
Last week reminded all fantasy football gamers that the waiver-wire hunt never stops.
Among the players highlighted last week, Boston Scott, Travis Fulgham, and Christian Kirk particularly made their presence felt in Week 7. However, three of the top adds didn’t emerge until later in the week.
A Joe Mixon foot injury opened the door for Giovani Bernard to register 96 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and five catches for the Bengals. Already rostered in 59% of Yahoo leagues, he needs to be added everywhere else since Mixon may not be ready to return this Sunday.
After days of uncertainty, the Packers officially ruled out Aaron Jones hours before kickoff. In his place, Jamaal Williams watched over Green Bay’s backfield with 114 yards and a touchdown on 23 touches. Although Jones’ calf injury doesn’t appear to be a long-term issue, his understudy is a clear starting option when pressed into duty.
Finally, speculation of an Antonio Brown signing prompted managers to stash him before he agreed to join the Buccaneers. He’s already rostered in 78% of Yahoo leagues, and that will only inch closer to 100% before he’s eligible to play in Week 9.
This goes to show that your work isn’t done after submitting waiver claims on Tuesday. Keep monitoring the wire throughout the week for injuries or any other developments that could offer an unexpected jolt to your roster. Of course, it also helps to be prepared to start the week.
Note: Rostered percentages provided via Yahoo leagues.
Top 5 Waiver Targets of Week 8
Carlos Hyde (RB – SEA): 12% Rostered
Chris Carson left Sunday night’s contest early with a foot injury. Filling his shoes in an overtime nail-biter, Hyde carried the rock 15 times for 68 yards and a touchdown. Although they only went eight yards, three catches represented his highest regular-season game tally since Week 4 of last season.
While Carson avoided a major injury, he may miss some action with a mid-foot sprain. Even with Russell Wilson cooking, Hyde would immediately ascend into viable RB2 status, starting with a Week 8 “Revenge Game” against the 49ers. He’s especially this week’s top waiver-wire priority for Carson’s managers.
UPDATE: See what I mean about plans changing throughout the week? Hyde has a hamstring issue that could also take him out of action in Week 8. With Travis Homer also dealing with a knee injury, rookie DeeJay Dallas could be the last running back standing in Seattle. He’s a high-priority add for managers needing an immediate option.
JaMycal Hasty (RB – SF): 21% Rostered
Jeff Wilson Jr. was poised to headline every waiver-wire column across the land. With Raheem Mostert out of action and Jerick McKinnon apparently receiving a rest day that Kyle Shanahan kept secret, Wilson received all the early work in San Francisco’s blowout over New England. Unfortunately, Wilson injured his ankle on his third touchdown. The 49ers confirmed that a high ankle sprain will send him to the IR alongside Mostert.
After Wilson went down, Hasty received nine carries for the second straight week. With the 49ers clearly concerned about not overextending McKinnon, the undrafted free agent could see far more touches going forward. Wilson just showed what a leading back can accomplish in Shanahan’s prolific ground game.
Tevin Coleman (RB – SF): 27% Rostered
Hasty had the rug pulled out from underneath him when Wilson returned last Sunday. Could the same thing happen again? On Saturday, Shanahan said there’s an “outside chance” of Coleman coming back in Week 8. He’s been sidelined with a knee injury since gaining 12 yards on 14 carries in Week 2, so he’s far from guaranteed to immediately reclaim a substantive role. However, he could make Hasty redundant as the lead-runner complement to McKinnon. Someone perched comfortably up the standings should first try to stash Coleman over Hasty, the better instant addition who may not necessarily cease any newly gained playing time.
Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF): 49% Rostered
The 49ers also lost Deebo Samuel in their costly rout over the Pats. Without his fellow wideout, Aiyuk took top billing with a career-high 115 receiving yards. The last time Samuel missed a game, Aiyuk amassed 101 yards (70 receiving, 31 rushing) and a touchdown in Week 3. Even in three full games playing alongside Samuel, the rookie deposited two touchdowns while logging a snap rate of 85% or higher each week. Samuel is going to miss at least the next two games, starting with a Week 8 clash against Seattle’s NFL-worst passing defense. Aiyuk is an instant add and start whose ceiling significantly elevates with Samuel sidelined.
Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG): 29% Rostered
After missing four games with turf toe, Shepard caught six of eight targets for 59 yards and a touchdown in his return last Thursday night. Injuries remain a long-term concern, as the receiver has also endured multiple concussions during his career. Yet when healthy, he’s a worthwhile option. Dating back to last year, he has at least five catches in 10 of his last 13 games. Shepard played 10 of those contests alongside Daniel Jones, submitting 558 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 76 targets. Four of Big Blue’s remaining opponents rank among the bottom 10 of fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, so Shepard should reclaim his status as a worthy WR3/4 if he stays on the field.
Notable Players 35-50% Rostered
Zach Moss (RB – BUF): 46%
It’s hard to take away too many positives from an 18-10 victory over the winless Jets in which the Bills failed to find the end zone. The game may have merely confirmed that Devin Singletary and Moss are back in a messy committee unlikely to yield any winners from a fantasy perspective. That said, Moss should now at least be rostered in most leagues. In his second game back from a toe injury, the rookie matched Singletary’s 10 touches on only five fewer snaps. He made a case for more reps, recording 72 yards to Singletary’s 47. The 5’9″ bruiser could get the goal-line looks when the Bills actually get there, and they next play a Patriots running defense that just got shredded by the 49ers.
Teddy Bridgewater (QB – CAR): 44%
Three weeks ago, Bridgewater was in this same spot as a popular streamer against an abysmal Atlanta defense. He delivered the lowest output (20.8 fantasy points) of any quarterback to face the Falcons prior to Matthew Stafford (18.4) last Sunday. Carolina’s signal-caller nevertheless got the job done, going 27-of-37 for 313 yards and two touchdowns in Week 5’s 23-16 win. No other Falcons game has gone under 45 combined points, with four topping 55, so there’s more upside with a high floor for Bridgewater in this Thursday Night Football rematch.
Cole Beasley (WR – BUF): 41%
Let’s give the season’s WR22 (half-PPR) some long-overdue recognition. Available in 60% of Yahoo leagues, Beasley is on pace to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards on 89 catches. His lowest weekly output of the season is 7.8 half-PPR points. In PPR formats, he’s hit double-digit points in each of his last six games. A lack of upside was the only thing keeping the 31-year-old slot receiver under the radar. He addressed those concerns by catching 11 of 12 targets for 112 yards in an otherwise ugly Week 7 victory over the Jets.
Notable Players 10-35% Rostered
Derek Carr (QB – LVR): 29%
The Buccaneers had just embarrassed Aaron Rodgers — who promptly bounced back to resume his MVP-caliber campaign — in Week 6, improving to third in fantasy points allowed against quarterbacks. However, an undeterred Carr emerged from the Raiders’ bye to compile a respectable 284 yards and two touchdowns. This marked his fifth straight game with multiple touchdown passes and third consecutive contest with at least 20 fantasy points. He’ll get a far friendlier Week 8 matchup against the Browns, who got demolished by Joe Burrow for the second time this season. Consider Carr another high-floor streamer to replace the idle Kyler Murray or Deshaun Watson this week.
Corey Davis (WR – TEN): 28%
Davis’ post-hype breakout was the talk of the fantasy community in September. Three weeks into the season, the 25-year-old posted 206 yards and a touchdown before getting placed on the COVID-19 list. Despite his absence, Davis was not forgotten. Ryan Tannehill targeted the returning wideout 10 times in Week 7’s 27-24 loss to Pittsburgh. They connected on six of them for 35 yards and a score. That gives Davis 11.7 fantasy points (half-PPR) per contest, narrowly more than CeeDee Lamb and Mike Evans. He has a 21.6% target share when healthy, lending Davis a major role in the NFL’s fifth-ranked offense.
Tennessee Titans D/ST: 27%
The top matchups all belong to widely rostered defenses, and none of the four teams with a Week 8 bye (Washington, Arizona, Houston, and Jacksonville) have a defense rostered in more than 25% of Yahoo leagues. As a result, more managers than usual may be best served standing pat. Yet those needing a streamer can turn to the Titans. Despite putting up points behind Burrow, the Bengals led opposing defenses to the sixth-most opposing fantasy points per game prior to Week 7. Tennessee has allowed 64 points in back-to-back games against the Texans and Steelers, but this unit has offered at least two sacks or interceptions in each of the last five games.
Trey Burton (TE – IND): 21%
Just a friendly reminder that Burton scored two touchdowns in Week 6 before the Colts’ bye week. Even with Jack Doyle back on the field, Burton is emerging as Philip Rivers‘ top target at tight end. That designation makes him a borderline TE1 going forward.
La’Mical Perine (RB – NYJ): 16%
True to his word, Adam Gase got Perine more involved. In the Jets’ second game since jettisoning Le’Veon Bell, Perine played 70% of their snaps. While matching Frank Gore’s 11 carries, the 22-year-old punched in a five-yard touchdown and received the only two backfield targets. Most of this came before they forgot the object of football during a four-yard second half. But even on the Jets, a featured running back poised to see double-digit touches can’t be ignored.
Curtis Samuel (WR – CAR): 15%
Samuel’s first touchdown of the season came on the ground last Sunday, and he also set a season-high with six receptions in as many targets. Although he hasn’t done much behind D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, he’s averaging 49.8 yards per game and has seen his role slowly ascend in time for a savory matchup against the Falcons. Matt Rhule has toyed with the idea of using the speedy receiver in the backfield, so perhaps he’ll get a few more carries if Christian McCaffrey can’t return Thursday night.
Notable Players <10% Rostered
Richard Rodgers (TE – PHI): 9%
Zach Ertz missed his first of what’s expected to be multiple games with an ankle injury. Dallas Goedert, meanwhile, is working toward a Week 10 return. That makes Rodgers the starting tight end for Week 8’s (sadly) monumental showdown between the Eagles and Cowboys. Last Thursday night, Rodgers secured six of eight targets for 85 yards. The 28-year-old has made the most of his limited opportunities, snagging 15 of 18 targets with 72 of his 184 yards coming after the catch. Rodgers is a nice streamer against the Cowboys, who have allowed a touchdown to an opposing tight end in five of seven games.
Nelson Agholor (WR – LVR): 4%
Carr has targeted a dozen pass-catchers this season, but only Darren Waller has received more than 30 looks. Despite this group mentality, Agholor has blossomed as the Raiders’ most productive wideout. The former Eagle accrued his fourth touchdown of the season and his third in as many weeks. More importantly, he received nine targets after mustering just 11 total through Week 6. He’s tallied more receiving yards in each of the last four contests, peaking at Sunday’s 107. Agholor has Carr’s attention deep, as he leads the Raiders with five receptions of 20-plus yards and 13.8 air yards per target. Although he’s far from a reliable weekly starter just yet, it could be worth riding the hot hand at Cleveland.
Rashard Higgins (WR – CLE): 3%
While Higgins had crossed pay dirt in consecutive weeks, six targets all season made him an afterthought entering Week 7. Then everything aligned perfectly for a breakout party. In addition to Hooper missing the game, Odell Beckham Jr. left in the first quarter. That suddenly made Higgins Cleveland’s No. 2 wide receiver in a 37-34 victory. Higgins didn’t account for any of Baker Mayfield’s five touchdowns, but he led the club with six catches (on as many targets) for 110 yards. He merits adding in most formats following news that Beckham is out for the season with a torn ACL.
Wayne Gallman (RB – NYG): 2%
Devonta Freeman recorded just eight yards on 12 snaps before exiting Thursday’s game with an ankle injury in the third quarter. Gallman stepped in his place to turn 10 carries into 34 yards and a goal-line touchdown. In addition, he caught all five of his targets for 20 yards. Maybe it’s time to give him more work; it marked the first time Gallman played the majority of New York’s snaps since tallying 118 total yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 last year. Only deep-league managers should mess with either him or Freeman against a terrific Tampa Bay run defense, but it’s possible the 26-year-old gets more involved for the 1-6 Giants down the stretch.
Harrison Bryant (TE – CLE): 1%
Austin Hooper‘s usage was on the rise prior to undergoing an emergency appendectomy last week. Stepping into a favorable matchup at Cincinnati, Bryant caught four of five targets for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Following a 1,007-yard, seven-touchdown season at Florida Atlantic, Cleveland drafted the 6’5″, 243-pound tight end in the fourth round despite already trading for Hooper and rostering David Njoku. Bryant may get another chance to shine, as Hooper’s Week 8 status remains uncertain.
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