Be on the lookout for a full waiver-wire column from the SI Fantasy team each week. Every Sunday night, however, I will take an early look at a few options that could help you in the upcoming week or on a rest-of-season basis.
[Note: All players referenced in this post are available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues as their ownership levels are all below 50 percent.]
With that said, here are a few waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 8 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):
Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals (47% owned)
One of five players listed on last week’s early waiver-wire column, Edmonds is still owned in less than half of Yahoo! leagues although that is certain to change when waivers run. Despite David Johnson getting the start today, it was Edmonds that dominated the ball with 29 touches for 150 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday.
It’s unclear if Johnson (ankle) will play his normal allotment of snaps in Week 8, but it’s clear that Edmonds needs to be owned in all league formats. Edmonds has scored more than 13 fantasy points (half-PPR scoring) in three consecutive games. During that three-game span, the second-year player out of Fordham has rushed for 228 yards on 40 carries (5.7 YPC) with 75 receiving yards on seven receptions, and has scored five total touchdowns.
Arizona is on a three-game winning streak and has faced three consecutive defenses—Bengals, Falcons and Giants, respectively—that are generous to opposing running backs. Even though more challenging matchups—Saints and 49ers twice over the next four weeks—are on the horizon, Edmonds will be an RB2, at worst, in weeks where Johnson is limited or out.
Mark Walton, RB, Miami Dolphins (21% owned)
Like Edmonds, Walton is a holdover from last week’s list as his ownership level jumped from only four to 21%. After getting an uptick in playing time and opportunities last week, Walton led Miami’s backfield this week in touches—Walton (15), Kenyan Drake (nine) and Kalen Ballage (three). Walton gained 66 rushing yards on 14 carries and lost eight yards on his lone reception.
One major concern for any Dolphins running back will be the potential for negative game scripts to limit carries, but the reports that Drake is “available for a draft pick” before the Oct. 29 trade deadline could mean less sharing of the overall pie for Walton and Miami’s backs. A positive for Walton, who has averaged 4.57 YPC this season, is that Miami has already had its bye.
Ty Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions (1% owned)
Kerryon Johnson (knee) left Sunday’s game in the first half and didn’t return. With Kerryon sidelined for most of the game, Ty Johnson had a team-high 14 touches—10 carries for 29 yards and four catches for 28 yards. While it wasn’t an efficient performance, the team gets the same Giants defense next week that allowed Edmonds to rush for 126 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. If Kerryon is unavailable for Week 8, Ty Johnson will be in the RB2/flex range in next week’s rankings.
Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams (32% owned)
Less efficient this week (2.82 YPC) than last week (6.5 YPC), Darrell Henderson had 11 carries for 31 yards and added an eight-yard reception in today’s blowout win over Atlanta. Perhaps Malcolm Brown (ankle) returns next week, but Todd Gurley, Henderson and the Rams get an incredibly soft matchup against the Bengals in Week 8.
The Bengals entered Week 7 with the league’s worst-ranked run defense on a per-game (184.5) and per-carry (5.3) basis and allowed Leonard Fournette to rush for 131 yards. Assuming that it’s another blowout win for the Rams, it’s possible that a non-Gurley back gets a significant workload in Week 8. (Brown is only owned in 29% of leagues and worth a look as well.)
Auden Tate, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (38% owned)
While Alex Erickson had a big week (eight catches for 137 yards), Auden Tate continues to string together consistent performances. Tate had three catches for 65 yards on six targets on Sunday. Over his past five games, Tate has a minimum of six targets every week with either 50-plus yards or a touchdown. During that five-game stretch, Tate has converted his 39 targets into 21 receptions for 320 yards and a touchdown. A.J. Green is not expected to return before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2019 season. His fantasy rankings have placed him in the Top 20 in each of the past two seasons among all the industry experts tracked by FantasyPros.com, and he has been in the Top 25 in six of the past eight years.