No matter your record, it’s important to look at every waivers period as a chance to improve your team, be it in the short-term or the long-term. That could mean focusing on players coming off big weeks (La’Mical Perine, Cole Beasley, Nelson Agholor, Sterling Shepard, Harrison Bryant) or ones who will get bigger workloads because of injuries (Carlos Hyde, Brandon Aiyuk, Rashard Higgins). You could also focus solely on streaming for your upcoming matchup (Teddy Bridgewater, Richard Rodgers) or stashing guys for further down the road (Tua Tagovailoa, Dallas Goedert, Tevin Coleman). Whatever your situation, you should take advantage of the opportunities in front of you. That doesn’t mean completely blowing your FAAB budget by overbidding on short-term contributors, but you need to scour your wire for any and all potential free agent pickups who could help.
As we’ll do every week this season, let’s break down the top pickups and project how much of your FAAB budget you should bid on them.
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Week 8 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire QB pickups
Teddy Bridgewater (CAR). Need a QB streamer this week with Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson on bye? Teddy is your guy. The Panthers host the Falcons on Thursday, and given that Atlanta allows the most fantasy points per game to QBs, Bridgewater has a good chance at at least 20 points. When these two teams met three weeks ago, Bridgewater completed 75 percent of his pass attempts for 313 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Beyond this week, Bridgewater could return value, as well. Following Atlanta the Panthers play Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Minnesota before their bye week ahead of the fantasy playoffs. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA). Now that Miami is back in action, Tua will officially make his debut in Week 8 after I incorrectly assumed the Dolphins wouldn’t strip Ryan Fitzpatrick of the starting job. Regardless, Tua gets the Rams at home on a short week. Making your NFL debut when Aaron Donald is trying to eat you for lunch is no weekend in the Bahamas, but Tua’s had plenty of time to prepare. He’s probably not worth starting this week, but he should have value soon. We’ve seen great performances from rookies Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow so far this year, and while it’s not fair to apply similar expectations to Tua, there is plenty of optimism and excitement if he can stay healthy and get use out of his legs. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Week 8 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire RB pickups
Joshua Kelley (LAC). One of my more incorrect calls in Week 7 was picking Justin Jackson over Joshua Kelley. While neither guy found the end zone and neither got to 12 points in PPR formats, Kelley did gain more touches than Jackson. Kelley saw a dozen carries and five catches to Jackson’s five carries and five catches. However, Justin Herbert actually led the team in rushing yards, and wide receiver Joe Reed vultured a rushing touchdown in the first quarter. With Austin Ekeler (hamstring) out, we could very well see the workload change every week, but if both players are at least in the area of a dozen or so touches, they both could have some flex appeal. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-13%
Tevin Coleman/JaMycal Hasty (SF). I would prefer to avoid this backfield simply because there are way too many options — and they all tend to get hurt. Coleman (knee) is set to return soon, and there is optimism he’ll be ready for Sunday’s game against Seattle. However, that isn’t a guarantee and we probably won’t know by Tuesday night whether he plays or not. He could very well be a game-time decision, but we’ll definitely want to monitor the practice reports as the week progresses. As for Hasty, he received a good amount of work on Sunday (10 total touches), and to be honest, when the ball has been in his hands, he’s looked great. He has 18 carries over his last two games for 94 yards. Of course, we can’t forget about Jerick McKinnon. Kyle Shanahan was quoted as saying the team planned on resting McKinnon in Week 7 since he had such a heavy workload earlier in the year. (This would’ve been useful information for fantasy managers prior to the slate locking.) McKinnon had just three carries against the Patriots, but if we’re holding Shanahan to his word, then maybe he gets more carries next week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 8-10% for Coleman/6-8% for Hasty
Carlos Hyde/DeeJay Dallas (SEA). Chris Carson has a “mild mid-foot sprain,” so while the injury isn’t serious, it doesn’t seem like he’ll play in Week 8. This was supposed to open the door for Hyde, but now he’s dealing with a hamstring injury. Hyde came in and had 18 touches (three of which were catches) and found the end zone. Both Hyde and Travis Homer were also banged up last week, so it’s possible the only healthy running back in Seattle is rookie DeeJay Dallas. What was looking like a promising waiver acquisition is now clouded in uncertainty. Hopefully there are other options on waivers with more certainty for you, but targeting Hyde is a big gamble this week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 8-10% for Hyde/2-4% for Dallas
Zack Moss (BUF). ESPN saw a lot of fantasy managers start dumping Moss the past couple weeks. His ownership is now down to 36.9 percent on ESPN and 30 percent on NFL.com. Moss saw 10 touches on Sunday against the Jets and turned it into 72 total yards. It was nice to see him get a little action in the passing game with three receptions, and he’s catching up to Devin Singletary in snap counts. On Sunday, Singletary was on the field for 40 snaps while Moss managed to see 35. The ownership dips while the stock rises. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6%
La’Mical Perine (NYJ). Fortunately, the Jets are smart enough (we think) to know they need to feature Perine more. This isn’t a great offense, but he saw more snaps than Frank Gore on Sunday and found the end zone in the first quarter. He’ll have his struggles and you might only be starting him in deeper leagues if you’re desperate, but hopefully the Jets get him going enough to regularly give him 12-14 touches each week. The Jets have a very difficult matchup next week where they opened as 20.5-point underdogs to Kansas City. It’s not a great narrative, but the Jets will at least be chasing points. Proj. FAAB Bid: 4%
Week 8 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire WR pickups
Brandon Aiyuk (SF). Who says you necessarily need to grab a Cleveland wide receiver to replace Odell Beckham Jr.? Aiyuk stands to benefit greatly from Deebo Samuel’s recent hamstring injury. With Samuel likely out a couple games, Aiyuk could steadily see seven-to-eight targets each week as the season progresses. On Sunday against New England he caught six-of-seven targets for 115 yards. He’s also found the end zone three times in six games this year. With San Francisco also hurting at running back, it’s possible we see Aiyuk get utilized on more end-around plays. With a fantastic matchup against Seattle coming up, Aiyuk is shaping up to be a high upside play in most leagues. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-15%
Cole Beasley (BUF). Admittedly, I’ve never been a huge Beasley fan. I’ve never been able to get a read on him as a player, but he’s catching my eye now. Beasley’s coming off a game where he caught 11-of-12 targets for 112 yards. In six of Buffalo’s seven games this year, he has at least six targets and he’s had at least 9.8 PPR points in every game this year. The schedule may be a little tough this weekend, but New England will likely scheme to take Stefon Diggs away, which should open up some opportunities for Beasley. And to be honest, the New England defense has been beatable lately, so we shouldn’t put them on a pedestal. If you ever get a touchdown out of him, be thankful. He’s getting enough volume to carry value in PPR formats. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Sterling Shepard (NYG). Shepard definitely wasn’t eased back into the swing of things. Rather, he was thrown right into the deep end, and he didn’t disappoint in his first game back. The toe injury seemed a thing of the past as Shepard caught six-of-eight targets for 59 yards and a late score. Shepard has a difficult matchup this coming week against Tampa Bay, and there are still concerns regarding the quarterback play for the Giants; however, if he’s getting seven or eight targets each week, then he shouldn’t be sitting on waivers. If Carlton Davis covers Darius Slayton then we might see a few more looks for Shepard this week. Last week, Slayton was covered heavily by Darius Slay and that limited Slayton’s performance to just two receptions. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10%
Jalen Reagor (PHI). Reagor (thumb) may not make a huge impact right away since he’s coming off IR, but he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery and could start practicing this week. The Eagles are desperate for weapons on offense. He hasn’t played since Week 2 but he’s versatile, and the Eagles used a first-round draft pick on Reagor, so they could easily get some use out of him when he’s ready. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6%
Nelson Agholor (LV). It’s hard to imagine a sane person putting in any sort of bid on Agholor. However, he has scored a touchdown in three straight games, and the Raiders are utilizing him as a deep option. In his last three games he has 11 receptions on 15 targets for 218 yards. That’s 14.53 yards per target, and the schedule lines up nicely for the Raiders to throw more in the second half of the season. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6%
Rashard Higgins (CLE). If looking to find a quick short-term replacement for OBJ, look no further than his teammate. When Beckham departed on the team’s first drive, Higgins stepped in and caught all six of his targets for 110 yards. The long-term appeal isn’t there with him, though. Once Jarvis Landry’s rib injury heals and Austin Hooper (appendix) returns, Higgins will likely see less work, but he won’t go away entirely. And he could prove me wrong. If he makes the most of his opportunity, then they could consistently feed him five or six targets each game. For now, I’m not going crazy running to get this guy. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5%
Marquez Callaway (NO). Similar to Higgins, I’m not that enthralled with Callaway, but the Saints love him more than I do. He made the absolute most of his opportunities on Sunday after he caught eight-of-10 targets for 75 yards. It took both Michael Thomas (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID) being declared out for that opportunity to present itself to him, but he didn’t disappoint. The Saints practices will be worth keeping an eye on throughout the week. Obviously, if Thomas is forced to miss another game then this will bode very well for Callaway’s fantasy prospects. Proj. FAAB Bid: 3-4%
Week 8 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire TE pickups
Trey Burton (IND). Hopefully, nobody forgot about what Burton did in Week 6. We shouldn’t expect him to register a rushing touchdown each week, but in the games he’s been active, he’s seen at least five targets each time. This week, the Colts will visit the Lions, who have been pretty good against tight ends, but they did just let Hayden Hurst catch six passes for 68 yards. Philip Rivers has been getting his tight ends more involved so Burton is worth a grab if he continues to see five targets every week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Harrison Bryant (CLE). Austin Hooper missed Sunday’s game after having an emergency appendectomy. So, assuming Hooper needs another week to recover, it’s possible he isn’t available for Sunday’s game against Vegas. Bryant caught four-of-five targets and hauled in two touchdowns last week, while David Njoku also caught a score. With Odell Beckham Jr. done for the year, it’s likely we see Cleveland run more two-TE sets this week. The Raiders have allowed Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce to score against them their past two games, so there’s a window here for fantasy points. After Cleveland’s bye week, it’s possible we see Hooper come back and assume more targets, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Bryant is shaping up to be a solid streamer this week after a fantastic performance against the Bengals. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Richard Rodgers (PHI). Rodgers strikes me as a tight end we can look to possibly stream this week. Most people might forget this, but he had eight targets last Thursday against the Giants. It seems unlikely that the Eagles will have either Dallas Goedert (ankle) or Zach Ertz (ankle) back for Sunday night’s game against Dallas, so we can lock and load Rodgers. Dallas has allowed tight ends to score in four-of-seven games this year, and the Eagles are still missing pieces on offense. As a one-week streamer, Rodgers is in play, and he’ll likely make many Showdown lineups for DFS next Sunday night. Don’t go overboard with a FAAB bid because this may be just a one-week rental. Proj. FAAB Bid: 4-5%
Week 8 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire D/ST pickups
Green Bay Packers (vs. Vikings)
Tennessee Titans (@ Bengals)
Dallas Cowboys (@ Eagles)
There aren’t many D/STs worth streaming this week, so don’t pay much for these one-week rentals (especially the Cowboys). Proj. FAAB Bid: <1%
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