Week 8 Waiver Wire
There wasn't a depressing amount of injuries in Week 7 like there have been at time this season, but players are still emerging from the free agency pool in fantasy leagues. With four teams on a bye (Washington, Houston, Arizona, Jacksonville), fantasy football players will need to find quality replacements in Week 8 and stash some players for their upcoming playoff run.
Here are Sports Illustrated's top pickups heading into Week 8:
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins: The 3-3 Dolphins made the decision to ride with their rookie quarterback for the rest of the season, giving Tua the starting nod over Ryan Fitzpatrick when the team returns from their Week 7 bye. Fitzpatrick was playing well both from a fantasy and reality standpoint, so the move to make the change is a bit head-scratching, but Tagovailoa’s athleticism makes him a high upside option as a QB streamer.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns: After a slow start in Week 7, Mayfield eventually found his groove. The Browns passer connected on five touchdown passes while throwing for 297 yards against the Bengals. All of Mayfield’s production was without Odell Beckham Jr., who was injured in the first quarter. The Browns play the Raiders in Week 8.
QBs that should already be rostered but if available are a priority: Justin Herbert-Los Angeles Chargers, Joe Burrow-Cincinnati Bengals
Other QBs to consider: Derek Carr-Las Vegas Raiders, Daniel Jones-New York Giants
Tevin Coleman/Jerick McKinnon/JaMycal Hasty, San Francisco 49ers: With Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman on injured reserve, Jeff Wilson Jr. took over in the San Francisco backfield in Week 7. He rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns. But Wilson was carted off the field with an ankle injury after his third score. Jerick McKinnon had just three carries for -1 yards, but Hasty carried the rock nine times for 57 yards and caught one pass for 16 yards. We know running backs in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s system produce quality fantasy points, it’s just a guessing game as to which back will get the touches in their backfield.
Wayne Gallman Jr., New York Giants: Starting running back Devonta Freeman injured his ankle on Thursday night and did not return to action. Gallman found the end zone, caught five passes for 20 yards and picked up 34 yards on the ground. New York will play from behind often this year which could limit Gallman’s early down role but while Freeman is out, Gallman could be considered a borderline flex option.
Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills: Though he’s still playing behind Devin Singletary, Zack Moss had more touches in Week 7. The Bills rookie accounted for 72 yards on just 10 total touches. That type of yards per touch average is something to keep an eye on, especially if Buffalo decides Moss deserves more playing time going forward.
La’Mical Perine, New York Jets: With Le’Veon Bell out of New York, Frank Gore was expected to be the primary back but Perine saw a lot more snaps on Sunday after Adam Gase gave up play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. Gore saw 28% of the team's snaps while Perine saw 70%. Both Perine and Gore saw 11 carries and while Gore picked up 60 yards compared to Perine’s 39, the rookie was the one to hit paydirt.
Carlos Hyde/Travis Homer, Seattle Seahawks: Starting running back Chris Carson was forced out of action against the Cardinals with a foot injury and was unable to return in the 2nd Half. While the injury isn't expected to be serious, Carson has a history of nagging injuries forcing him out of action a handful of times each season. If Carson misses Week 8, Hyde and Home would form a running back by committee in Seattle's backfield.
RBs that should already be rostered but if available are a higher priority: Chase Edmonds-Arizona Cardinals, Gio Bernard-Cincinnati Bengals, Jamaal Williams-Green Bay Packers
Other RBs to consider: Duke Johnson-Houston Texans, Dion Lewis-New York Giants
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants: Back from his multi-week absence due to injury, Shepard picked up where he left off as the top playmaker in the Giants passing attack. New York’s receiver pulled in six of eight targets for 59 yards and a score. With the Giants playing from behind often, Shepard should see plenty of opportunities with New York in passing mode.
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns: Once Odell Beckham Jr. left the game with a knee injury, Higgins started making more and more plays. Higgins finished with six catches and 110 yards, both of which led the team. If Beckham Jr. is forced to miss any time, which appears likely, Higgins could emerge as a weekly fantasy starter, especially with Jarvis Landry also dealing with a rib injury.
Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills: With six straight games of double digit points in the PPR format, it’s very surprising to see Beasley available in 60% of public leagues. His best game of the year came this past weekend where he caught 11 of 12 targets for 112 yards. The Bills face some high tempo offenses the next three weeks with games against the Patriots, Seahawks, and Cardinals, all of which should force the Bills into a heavy passing attack.
Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles: Sidelined with a thumb injury for the last month, the Eagles rookie is expected back in a week or two. With DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, and Zach Ertz all battling injuries, Reagor could emerge alongside Travis Fulgham and one of Carson Wentz’s only options. Better to stay ahead of the competition instead of scrambling last minute in a bidding war.
Other WRs to consider: Scott Miller-Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brandon Aiyuk-San Francisco 49ers, Nelson Agholor-Las Vegas Raiders, Gabriel Davis-Buffalo Bills, Donovan Peoples-Jones-Cleveland Browns
Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts: After scoring two touchdowns in Week 6, Burton and the Colts had a bye in Week 7. That forced some fantasy managers to skip over adding the versatile tight end. Coach Frank Reich raved about Burton leading up to Week 6 and his usage in their last game indicates more involvement moving forward.
Harrison Bryant, Cleveland Browns: Austin Hooper missed Week 7 and is expected to miss Week 8 after undergoing surgery for appendicitis. That opened the door for Bryant to score two touchdowns against the Bengals to go along with 56 yards. The Browns are set to play the Raiders, who have struggled to cover tight ends this season.
Other TEs to consider: Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles Dallas Goedert-Philadelphia Eagles
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