Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 8 (Fantasy Football)
Stepping away from writing these waiver wire articles for the last two weeks has felt like a breath of fresh air, but I have been eagerly anticipating my return to action. I hope your matchups went smoothly during my brief hiatus from football activities. I would also like to extend a special thank you to Kurt Mullen for his exceptional analysis while I was away. During my delightful two-week honeymoon in California, I had the precious opportunity to recharge and gear up for the pivotal phase of the season that awaits us.
We have reached the point of the season where you can truly begin to secure your golden ticket to the playoffs. I have seen countless teams barely squeeze into the playoffs, only to pull off miraculous victories against higher-seeded teams and embark on an inspiring championship journey. Equally essential is maintaining a strong position for the upcoming weeks to improve your potential seeding. While the season may seem to be aging to Adam Thielen levels, he has shown us firsthand that there is still an abundance of football left to be played. Without further ado, let’s dive into the elite choices to elevate your fantasy teams heading into Week 8.
|CHI||D’Onta Foreman||64%||@LAC / @NO / CAR||15 – 35%|
|LAR||Darrell Henderson Jr.||36%||@DAL / @GB / BYE||15 – 35%|
|CLE||Kareem Hunt||71%||@SEA / ARI / @BAL||15 – 35%|
|MIA||Jeff Wilson Jr.||54%||NE / KC / BYE||5 – 15%|
|LAC||Joshua Kelley||23%||CHI / @NYJ / DET||0 – 10%|
|LAR||Royce Freeman||26%||@DAL / @GB / BYE||0 – 10%|
|HOU||Devin Singletary||20%||@CAR / TB / @CIN||0 – 10%|
|CLE||Pierre Strong Jr.||4%||@SEA / ARI / @BAL||0 – 10%|
|ARI||Emari Demercado||20%||BAL / @CLE / ATL||0 – 10%|
|TEN||Tyjae Spears||50%||ATL / @PIT / @TB||0 – 10%|
|NE||Ezekiel Elliott||50%||@MIA / WAS / IND||0 – 10%|
|CHI||Roschon Johnson||59%||@LAC / @NO / CAR||0 – 10%|
|SF||Elijah Mitchell||45%||CIN / BYE / @JAX||0 – 10%|
|BUF||Latavius Murray||25%||TB / @CIN / DEN||0 – 10%|
|PHI||Kenneth Gainwell||33%||@WAS / DAL / BYE||0 – 0%|
|SF||Jordan Mason||38%||CIN / BYE / @JAX||0 – 0%|
|JAX||Tank Bigsby||23%||@PIT / BYE / SF||0 – 0%|
Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Los Angeles Rams – There was a comical amount of uncertainty regarding who would take the lead in the Rams’ backfield after the unfortunate injury to Kyren Williams. To add to the significance of the situation, later in the week, news broke that Williams would be placed on the IR, forcing him to miss at least four games. The Rams’ running back options heading into the week rivaled the “Island of Misfit Toys,” adding to the chaos and uncertainty. With that said, it was essential to make an informed choice on who to add to your roster prior to the game, given that Williams held the RB4 position for the season prior to his injury. Despite speculation that Zach Evans, Myles Gaskin, and Royce Freeman might step up, it was Darrell Henderson Jr. who emerged as the most valuable of the four in Sunday’s loss to the Steelers. He carried the ball 18 times for 61 yards and a touchdown in that game. Notably, he was the first running back to receive a carry, indicating that he is indeed the team’s preferred choice to lead the backfield. Freeman was the only other back to receive an opportunity in the contest, and he managed an impressive 66 rushing yards from his 12 carries. While both players could find a spot on fantasy rosters, Henderson is the one you should prioritize on waivers if he is still available. In 2020, he ranked as the RB36 on the season, and in 2021 as the RB27 with the Rams. It seems that Sean McVay’s pregame praise for Henderson’s familiarity with his system has turned out to be both genuine and valid. Ballers Recommended FAAB: 15-35%.
D’Onta Foreman, RB, Chicago Bears – D’Onta Foreman? More like TD’Onta Scoreman, am I right? The journeyman running back became both the fantasy hero and heartbreaker of many on Sunday. Following his 15 carries in the previous week, Foreman had an explosive Week 7, finishing as the overall RB1 on the week. He turned 16 carries into 89 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while also contributing through the air with three receptions on five targets for 31 receiving yards and an additional touchdown. Notably, he now boasts two performances with 30+ fantasy points (half-PPR scoring) in the last two seasons, a feat on par with the great Christian McCaffrey. Foreman seems to possess a knack for delivering explosive performances when given the opportunity. Even if the team welcomes Roschon Johnson back from concussion protocol, Foreman should continue to be the primary back in Chicago, with Khalil Herbert sidelined. Feel confident in starting him in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers, unless unexpected breaking news suggests a diminishing role in the coming week. Ballers Recommended FAAB: 15-35%.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns – Just when it seemed that Jerome Ford had solidified his role as the primary running back in Cleveland, he suffered a low-grade, high ankle sprain, forcing him to miss some time. Fortunately for the Browns, they have a seasoned veteran running back with a wealth of experience in a lead role in the NFL. Despite a slow start in his new stint with Cleveland, Kareem Hunt has recently demonstrated glimpses of his former self. Over the past two weeks, he has found the end zone three times, securing consecutive weeks as the RB10. While his season-long rushing average stands at just 3.2 yards per carry on 32 attempts, Hunt is presented with a promising opportunity in Week 8 as the primary back in an appealing matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. If Ford is indeed ruled out, Hunt demands immediate inclusion in your starting lineup. Meanwhile, Pierre Strong is expected to serve as the complementary back and should see an uptick in opportunities. In deeper leagues, he’s worth considering as a potential addition to capitalize on the chances that lie ahead. Ballers Recommended FAAB: 15-35%.
- Complete Waiver Wire Rankings
|LAC||Joshua Palmer||67%||CHI / @NYJ / DET|
|KC||Rashee Rice||66%||@DEN / MIA / BYE|
|IND||Josh Downs||52%||NO / @CAR / NE|
|SEA||Jaxon Smith-Njigba||76%||CLE / @BAL / WAS|
|HOU||Tank Dell||58%||@CAR / TB / @CIN|
|NE||Kendrick Bourne||39%||@MIA / WAS / IND|
|ARI||Michael Wilson||28%||BAL / @CLE / ATL|
|NE||Demario Douglas||2%||@MIA / WAS / IND|
|GB||Romeo Doubs||69%||MIN / LAR / @PIT|
|ARI||Rondale Moore||20%||BAL / @CLE / ATL|
|PHI||Julio Jones||19%||@WAS / DAL / BYE|
Rashee Rice, WR, Kansas City Chiefs – Rashee Rice is swiftly dispelling the notion that all Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers are worthless in the post-Tyreek Hill era. This talented rookie has strung together three consecutive impressive fantasy performances, with three touchdowns to his name this season. In their commanding victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Rice secured five of six targets for 60 yards and a touchdown. Notably, he achieved his highest snap percentage of the season at 59% and was on the field for 65% of routes. Most significantly, he emerged as the most-targeted wide receiver on the roster, indisputably standing out as the most promising among the group. It is also worth noting that this marks the third consecutive week where he has been the second most targeted player on the team, trailing only behind Travis Kelce. With everything falling into place, it appears that the stage is set for a potential breakout in the second half of the season as he continues to build rapport with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense. Ballers Recommended FAAB: 5-25%.
Josh Downs, WR, Indianapolis Colts – Things have certainly been looking up for rookie wide receiver Josh Downs. In the team’s heartbreaking Sunday loss to the Cleveland Browns, Downs made a spectacular impact, snagging five of six targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. This standout performance follows closely on the heels of his game two weeks ago when he had six catches for 97 receiving yards. The young talent is undeniably breaking out and silencing early critics who questioned his smaller stature and ability to excel at the professional level. Notably, he has now received a minimum of six targets in three consecutive games, secured a touchdown in back-to-back weeks, and appears to be a favored target for Gardner Minshew moving forward. Despite some challenging matchups in the forecast before their Week 11 bye, he is poised to continue offering exciting prospects due to his increased involvement and innate knack for making big plays. Ballers Recommended FAAB: 0-15%.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seattle Seahawks – Jaxon Smith-Njigba transcends the typical first-round wide receiver prospects and firmly establishes himself among the elite. His exceptionally unique talent led me to select him as “My Guy” for the 2023 season. I understood that there might be hurdles on his path to attaining immediate success in his inaugural season. Primarily, Smith-Njigba faced a slow start to the year due to stiff competition for targets from DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. However, the team has recently increased his usage and playing time in the games following their bye week. In preparation for Week 7, we received last-minute breaking news that Metcalf would be sidelined due to hip and rib injuries. This set the stage for Smith-Njigba to finally have his breakout opportunity, and he certainly delivered. In Sunday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the rookie secured four receptions out of seven targets for 63 yards and a touchdown. It is worth noting that rookie Jake Bobo had an equally impressive outing in this game, but he is far less intriguing of a prospect. Should Metcalf remain out of action, Smith-Njigba could offer WR2 value for your lineups. Even when all notable wide receivers are active, he still provides intriguing weekly potential given his increased role in the offense. I would advise rostering him in all leagues, and if you manage to acquire his services for your team, consider yourself lucky. Ballers Recommended FAAB: 0-15%.
- Complete Waiver Wire Rankings
|BUF||Dalton Kincaid||41%||TB / @CIN / DEN||0 – 15%|
|NO||Taysom Hill||13%||@IND / CHI / @MIN||0 – 10%|
|HOU||Dalton Schultz||61%||@CAR / TB / @CIN||0 – 5%|
|ARI||Trey McBride||8%||BAL / @CLE / ATL||0 – 5%|
|LAC||Gerald Everett||25%||CHI / @NYJ / DET||0 – 0%|
|WAS||Logan Thomas||47%||PHI / @NE / @SEA||0 – 0%|
Dalton Kincaid, TE, Buffalo Bills – How fitting is it that Dalton Kincaid chose National Tight End Day to execute his rookie breakout performance? While we have already witnessed impressive rookie tight ends like Sam LaPorta, Luke Musgrave, and Michael Mayer shine early in the season, Kincaid, selected with higher draft capital, finally stole the spotlight in a bittersweet loss to the New England Patriots. The intriguing rookie secured all eight of his targets, amassing 75 receiving yards. Despite the offense’s struggles throughout the majority of the game, Kincaid notably led the team in both receptions and receiving yards. With some favorable matchups on the horizon, his continued breakout seems well-supported. Any time a first-round talent who possesses unique athletic traits and is part of a Josh Allen-led offense shows signs of life, it is a situation that demands significant attention. Amplifying the anticipation surrounding the emerging young tight end, it has been reported that Dawson Knox is slated to be sidelined for an unknown period of time due to a necessitated wrist surgery. Having already achieved a breakout performance and with his role steadily expanding, the outlook is exceedingly positive for Kincaid. In my opinion, he stands out as the premier tight end addition this week, and I would feel comfortable starting him immediately if you need help at the position. Ballers Recommended FAAB: 0-10%.
Taysom Hill, TE, New Orleans Saints – Taysom Hill possesses a physique reminiscent of Superman, wields both throwing and running abilities, and is now fulfilling the role of a true tight end by excelling at catching passes. In his last two games, Hill has hauled in 11 receptions out of 13 targets, amassing 99 receiving yards. This marks a significant shift from his previous performances this season, where he hadn’t recorded more than one reception in a single game. The increased involvement in the passing game is as exciting as it is puzzling. In Week 7, Hill demonstrated his versatility by securing four of five targets for 50 yards, while also contributing on the ground with five carries for 18 yards and a touchdown. If this heightened level of involvement in the passing game continues, complimented by his unmatched rushing potential at the tight end position, Hill could evolve into an intriguing starter for your fantasy teams. While it is preferable to wait for at least one more week to confirm the sustainability of this new usage, he is certainly a viable option for Week 8, especially in a favorable matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Ballers Recommended FAAB: 0-10%.
Trey McBride, TE, Arizona Cardinals – How can I discuss the prospect of marriage without mentioning McBride? Jokes aside, the sophomore tight end is starting to make a mark as a valuable asset in fantasy football, particularly in his recent performances. Notably, he outpaced veteran Zach Ertz, with six targets to Ertz’s four in Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Impressively, he has secured seven receptions out of eleven targets, accumulating 91 receiving yards over his last two games. His snap percentage has also seen a noticeable increase compared to his performances in the previous five games to begin the year. McBride was viewed as the most promising tight end prospect in last year’s draft class, backed by an exciting athletic profile that holds great potential for fantasy football purposes. If you are currently struggling to find a reliable starting tight end in deeper leagues, McBride has emerged as a potentially compelling option. Ballers Recommended FAAB: 0-0%.
- Complete Waiver Wire Rankings
|Baltimore Ravens||85%||@ARI / SEA / CLE|
|Kansas City Chiefs||69%||@DEN / MIA / BYE|
|New York Jets||61%||@NYG / LAC / @LV|
|Miami Dolphins||48%||NE / KC / BYE|
|Minnesota Vikings||7%||@GB / @ATL / NO|
|Green Bay Packers||27%||MIN / LAR / @PIT|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||26%||@PIT / BYE / SF|
|Atlanta Falcons||13%||@TEN / MIN / @ARI|
|Houston Texans||4%||@CAR / TB / @CIN|
Boy did it feel good to put pen to paper again, or should I say fingers to keyboard? The fantasy football season can be demanding and grueling, often leaving us feeling drained. Like many of you, I have made it a weekly ritual to watch football from sunrise to sundown every Sunday. However, this past Sunday, I decided to break that habit and spent my day at the San Diego Zoo with my wife, far away from the screen and the usual seven hours of commercial-free football. To my surprise, it turned out to be one of the best fantasy weeks I have ever had, and I secured wins across almost all of my leagues. It was truly a revelation to discover that my team could excel without me anxiously and frantically cheering them on from the couch. While my love for football runs deeper than most, I have come to realize the value of taking a break and touching grass every now and then. Stepping away from the game, even briefly, can offer the much-needed mental rejuvenation as we prepare for the final playoff push. Be great in Week 8, and for those about to rock this week, we salute you.