Fantasy Football Week 8 - Top Waiver Wire Adds

Fantasy Football Week 8 - Top Waiver Wire Adds

Every Tuesday afternoon I'll send this sheet out to the interwebs, highlighting this week's top waiver wire pick-ups.
Criteria to Make this List:
  • All players must be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo Leagues.
  • FAAB is based on $100 budget. Y'all can do the simple math if your league isn't $100... The first bullet for each player is how much I would recommend spending on your league.
  • Is this FA Worthy of your top waiver wire claim?​ The second bullet is whether or not I would recommend spending your #1 WW claim on this player.

Sorry for any typos, I'v g0t no tyme to proophread.


    Josh McCown (12% Owned) - Jets 

    • $1-3 ($8-15 if you owned A-Rod)
    • I would NOT use #1 claim.
    • McCown has officially taken this szn into his own hands. The Jets were had a ton of people, including myself, in serious belief that they'd wind up 0-16 this year and would put up between 6 and 11 points a game. Far from the case, the goddamn Jets are sitting at a respectable 3-4 led by the 38-year old journeyman.
    • McCown has thrown for 8 scores over gang green's last 3 outings adding a rushing touchdown on Sunday as well. He's sitting as QB9 in fantasy right not, albeit they haven't had their bye yet.
    • McCown has thrown for multiple touchdowns in 3 straight weeks and plays a mediocre pass defense at home against Atlanta. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is looking every bit the TE1 he's producing like and is becoming the Jets' Gary Barndige from McCown's magical Cleveland days. Both Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson have proven to be much better than expected on the outside as well. He also has a competent, if not great pass-catching tandem in Matt Forte and Bilal Powell out of the backfield. 
    • He's a 1-week fill-in for fantasy owners desperate at QB, after Atlanta they face off against Buffalo's stingy (up until Sunday) pass-d. McCown threw for 187 yards, 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in their Week 1 battle at the Ralph.

      Running Backs

        Marlon Mack (41% Owned) - Colts

        • $30-50
        • I WOULD use #1 claim.
        • I can't believe Mack is still up for grabs in 59% of leagues outchere. Say what you want about him not being efficient consistently, or only breaking off big plays, yadda yadda shhh. Mack is easily the best back in the backfield at this point, shit ain't close b.
        • Mack was the only bright spot in the Colts Week 7 27-0 shutout loss to Jacksonville. He rushed for 26 yards on 5 carries and added 40 yards through the air catching 4-of-6 targets. The 66 total yards was a team-high and made him the only one wearing a horseshoe on his helmet to surpass 45 total yards on Sunday.
        • For the first time this year, Mack out-snapped backfield mate Frank Gore 32-22. Josh Ferguson also got in on 13 snaps. These numbers could very well have to do with the deficit they found themselves in early in this game, but nonetheless, Mack is taking over this backfield in front of our eyes.
        • On 32 carries, Mack leads the Indianapolis backfield in ypc (4.9), yac (3.5), tackles avoided/carry (0.25) and it's not particularly close for any of them. His 4.9 ypc on just 32 carries destroys the combination of any RB not named Mack in Indy, with Gore, Turbin, Ferguson and Matt Jones combining for a 3.2 ypc average on 123 carries.
        • Mack should being to split early down work evenly with Gore and handle the majority of passing-down duties sooner rather than later. Mack has also out-carried Gore 3-1 inside the opponent's 5-yard line on the szn. I'm not quite ready to throw him in my lineup yet, but he'll be showcasing 3-down ability, Mack will soon be a plug RB2 before we know it with RB1 upside down the stretch.

        Wendell Smallwood (40% Owned) - Eagles

        • $3-6
        • I would NOT use #1 claim.
        • Smallwood returned from his two-week abscence on MNF against the Redskins to his role as the pass-catching back in Philly after neitther Corey Clement or Kenjon Barner were able to produce much while the Wood was gone.
        • Smallwood started received the 3 carries compared to Blount's 1 in the first half. WS totaled 8 carries on the night and caught both of his targets for a total of 39 yards. Blount received the majority of clock-killing work which is why the box score will show him out-carrying Smallwood 14-8 in their victory, but seeing as how well this offense is rolling under breakout sophomore QB Carson Wentz, something tells me the pass-catching RB in this offense will be much more valuable ROS.
        • Since the Sproles injury in Week 2, Smallwood has seen double digit touches in every game, averaging 10 carries per + receiving work, and that should continue to be the case going forward. No other RB in Philly not named Sproles even has more than 3 targets on the szn. He's a flex play in PPR formats going forward.

        DeAndrea Washington/Jalen Richard (3%/11% Owned) - Raiders 

        • $3-6/each
        • I would NOT use #1 claim.
        • It's no secret, Lynch is struggling to do just about anything in Oakland and I think the Raiders coaches can finally see it. It's basically anti-American to bench BeastMode which is probably they haven't yet, but after throwing down with the refs in Week 7, Lynch was ejected and has been suspended for the Raiders Week 8 game against Buffalo, meaning the sophomore duo of Washington and Jalen Richard will handle almost all of the backfield werk. This will open the door for one, if not both of them to take over.
        • I'm not going to say Lynch has been terrible, but the 3.7 yards per carry aren't inviting. They simply aren't giving him enough work on the ground and he only has 4 catches through 7 games, so he's a non-factor on 3rd downs. Following Lynch's ejection, Richard had one more touch (13) than Washington did (12) and out-gained him 76-40, although D-Wash got the goal-line carry and TD. Worth noting, last season D-Wash had 2 carries inside the opponent's 5-yard line. Richard had 0. They're used nearly evenly and ran about the same number of routes.
        • On the szn, Richard has been the best RB in Oakland from a statistical/efficiency standpoint, with 158 rushing yards on 35 carries (4.5 ypc) and adding 153 yards through the air on 12 catches & 2 total TDs. D-Wash hasn't eclipsed 75 yards through the air or ground.
        • It'll be nearly impossible to predict who'll put up the better fantasy day between the two backs, but I think both are very usable plug-in flex plays regardless of league format. Unless Oakland decides to ride the hot hand, which they rarely do between these two, they should both see 12-15 touches and be involved on 3rd downs.

        Charcandrick West (6% Owned) - Chiefs 

        • $0-1
        • I would NOT use #1 claim.
          • Clear Kareem Hunt handcuff. 
          • Possibly in concussion protocol.

          Matt Forte (30% Owned) - Jets 

          • $3-6
          • I would NOT use #1 claim.
          • It's an ugly situation for fantasy in the Jets backfield but they're not shying away from Grandpa Forte and he's probably the safest play here given how heavily involved in the passing game he is.
          • Coming back from his toe injury in Week 6, Forte has caught all 13 of his targets over the last two weeks. That reception total is the 2nd most in the NFL among RBs (McCaffrey - 17) over that span. It's back-to-back games with at least 5 catches and he's averaging 4/game on the szn.
          • With Powell back in the lineup, it was a close splits, with the veteran out-snapping Powpow 28-21 while the one-hit wonder rookie Elijah McGuire went back to an afterthought role playing in just 7 snaps. Powell out-carried Forte 9-7 but the latter caught 5 passes compared to only 2 for the "2nd string" back.
          • Given the amount of passing work being thrown his way, Forte has proven himself worthy enough of flex consideration in PPR formats. The Jets get Atlanta in Week 8 who have given up the 6th most FPs to the RB position in 2017 and are especiialy inept to pass-catching RB success.

          Dion Lewis (29% Owned) - Patriots 

          • $8-14
          • I WOULD use #1 claim, after Marlon Mack.
          • Even with the return of Rex Burkhead, Lewis proved that he's in control of this 4-way RBBC. After seeing 29 snaps a piece in Week 6, Lewis led James White (23) with 26 snaps in Week 7.
          • Zamn, remember when Mike Gillislee was a thing byke in Week 1?
          • Lewis has now led the backfield in carries and overall touches in back to back weeks. He's not being used in the passing game as much as he should, but he's taken over goal-line duties for the most part, seeing 3 carries inside-the-10 in as many games.
          • He's yet to have a signature breakout game, but he was tackled inside the 5 in Week 7, before Gillislee came in and was stuffed on the 1-yard line...
          • Lewis and the Pats will stay in Foxborough to take on the Charges in Week 8. LA is 31st in the NFL in ypc allowed to opposing rushers (4.9) and are allowing the 2nd most rushing yards per game (140.6) to opponents. Lewis is a flex play in Week 8.

          Latavius Murray (42% Owned) - Vikings 

          • $2-5
          • I would NOT use #1 claim.
          • We know the story here. Murray's not good, but there's opportunity. Despite his best efforts, McKinnon simply isn't going to be fed like a workhorse on a consistent basis in Minnesota.
          • Murray broke out in a big way in Sunday's 24-16 win over Baltimore, rushing 18 times for 113 yards and a touchdown. Murray's carry totals (12-15-18) have risen in 3 consecutive weeks and he hasn't seen less than 14 touches in any of those games.
          • It's not an ideal situation given Murray's low floor and capped ceiling, but you could do worse in standard leagues. Minnesota will face off against an underrated Browns run defense in Week 8 before going on their bye.

          Wide Receivers

              Josh Doctson (13% Owned) - Redskins 

              • $8-12
              • I WOULD use use #1 claim, after Mack and Lewis.
              • The promising rookie finally got the nod on MNF in Week 8. The nod meaning the start. Yes, Terrelle Pryor rode pine will Doctson ran around on grass at 8:30 last night.
              • "We drafted Doctson to be our #1 guy" - words from HC Jay Gruden. Now that he's healthy, he'll get a chance to prove if he can be that guy in Washington.
              • Doctson played in 54 snaps last night (84.4%), which was a career-high. He trailed Jamison Crowder (58) by 4, but was well ahead of Terrelle Pryor (30). Docston didn't do much with his opportunity, securing just 3-of-5 targets for 39 yards, but he was targeted in the endzone and Cousins overthrew him. Doctson has 2 touchdowns in his last 4 games but is continually getting targets from Cousins down by paydirt.
              • The play volume is encouraging and Cousins has been red hot it should eventually translate into a breakout game for the Skins 2016 1st round pick. Doctson was a ridiculously talented prospect coming out of school, standing at 6-2 while running a 4.5-40, ranking in the 97th percentile for bust score, 96th in catch radius and 86th in SPARQ. Without a real running game in Washington, I'd expect them to start leaning on Doctson more and more down the stretch.

              Mohamed Sanu (38% Owned) - Falcons 

              • $2-4
              • I would NOT use #1 claim.
              • Well this isn't fun, but coming off a hamstring injury that sidelined Sanu for a couple of weeks, he returned to normal form, catching 6-of-10 targets for 65 yards. Sanu's ceiling is very capped with Julio lining up across from him and the regression we're seeing from Matt Ryan, but he's a high-floor PPR play during bye weeks.
              • As per Graham Barfield over at Fantasy Guru, "Sanu has now finished four games this year, and he's had 6 or more targets in all four and has been over 10 points in all four while averaging 12.3 PPG in those four games he's finished."

              Kenny Golladay (15% Owned) - Lions 

              • $3-4
              • I would NOT use #1 claim.
              • The early szn fantasy beloved otherwise known as BabyTron will finally return from a hamstring injury that's sidelined him for the Lions past 3 outings and their Week 7 bye. 
              • Golly should be healthy and ready to roll coming off of their bye. What's more intriguing is Golden Tate not practicing this week and remaining in a sling after dropping an elbow on theEarth after scoring a TD...
              • Without Tate, Marvin Jones should dominate passing work but Golladay should be heavily involved. In the games that KG has played, he far out-snapped and out-played the Lions WR4 T.J. Jones so I'm not worried about his snap count coming off the injury.
              • The Loins are attempting the 5th most passes per game (37.5) in the NFL. With Tate sidelined, Golly should get plenty of opportunity, although it's a real tough MNF matchup with the stingy Pittsburgh pass d.

              JuJu Smith-Schuster (14% Owned) - Steelers 

              • $2-4
              • I would NOT use #1 claim.
              • JuJu was already outplaying "superstar" Martavis Bryant prior to Bryant crying this weekend, requesting a trade than calling out the rookie on social media for the whole world to see. It's only a matter of time for the cancerous Bryant is out of Pittsburgh.
              • Right now JJSS is really just a role player. He hasn't surpassed 58 receiving yards in a game yet, but he's averaging 0.5 TDs per game (games he's targeted at least once in), and is continually seeing just as many, and in most instance way more, snaps than Martavis Bryant.
              • If my assumption holds correct in that Bryant will be off the East coast sooner rather than later, JJSS should see a big bump in usage and targets. He's a long-term play, not someone you want in your lineup just yet.

              Corey Davis (25% Owned) - Titans

              • $4-7
              • I would NOT use #1 claim.
              • For the 41st time this szn, uhhh I think Corey Davis is going to return next week?
              • The ultra talented top-10 pick in this years draft, Davis struggled all offseason with a hamstring injury and has missed the Titans last 5 games for the same reason.
              • But, we saw in Week 1 exactly what Davis is capable of when he's healthy. That is, mesmerizing plays, a chain-moving, game-breaking wideout. He went 6-69 on 10 targets in their opener and tweaked his hammy in Week 2 and hasn't seen the fiueld since.
              • Reports say that they were waiting for the team's Week 8 bye for Davis to return. And that's where we are. The Titans have had their struggles as a team on offense, but Davis' return will be a big boost to Mariota who has gotten almost no production from his WRs outside of Rishard Matthews.
              • Davis, if healthy, should jump right back into starter number snaps. In Week 1 he played in 66% of their snaps, a number he should surpass given Decker's donut of production in 2017.
              • They get a tough slate of pass defenses out of the bye with BAL, CIN, @PIT, but Davis should be very usable down the stretch as they get IND, HOU and ARZ before a Week 15 fantasy playoff matchup with San Fran.

              Tight Ends

              Jack Doyle - Colts (43% Owned)

              • $2-5
              • I would NOT use #1 claim.
              • I'm not thrilled about Doyle's projection ROS, but he's proven to provide a safe PPR floor, catching 13 balls in the two games since returning from concussion on 18 targets. Those 18 targets are the single most targets by any TE in the NFL over the last two weeks. 
              • He'll get a tougher matchup versus Cincy in Week 8 who have allowed the 4th fewest FPs to the TE position this year, but with Brissett locked in as the Colts starting QB for the foreseeable future, Doyle should continue to be his safety valve as T.Y. Hilton, or anyone for that matter continue to lack consistency.

                Tyler Kroft - Bengals (15% Owned)

                • $2-5
                • I would NOT use my #1 claim.
                • Well, I'll say this - Tyler Eifert is still more owned in Yahoo leagues (19% owned) than Kroft is. Eifert is on the I.R. after szn ending back surgery... hmm...
                • Kroft has filled Eifert's role nicely, catching his 3rd TD pass of the szn on Sunday. Only Zach Ertz, Mercedes Lewis, Gronk and Cameron Brate have more TDs among TEs in 2017.
                • Since Kroft took over as the starting TE in Cincy during Week 3, he’s been TE8 in fantasy, both PPR and STD, and he's played in over 91% of the team's snaps.
                • With Eifert gone, and no clue as to when John Ross is going to step back on the field, Dalton will continue to feed his tight end, something he's always done. Eifert, C.J> Uzomah, slide right in their Mr. Kroft. Mr. Kroft has caught at least 4 passes in each of their least 3 games and gets a ridiculously TE friendly stretch of matchups starting immediately against Indy (8), then @JAX (13), @TEN (21), @DEN (5) and home versus CLV (2). Number in parenthesis is rank versus fantasy TEs I.E. Indy has given up the 8th most FP to TEs in 2017.
                • Kroft is a borderline TE1 for ROS based on his situation.

                  Nick O'Leary - Bills (3% Owned)

                  • $0-2
                  • I would NOT use my #1 claim.
                  • A guy you found on my WW sheet last week as well, O'Leary put up a decent game, catching both of his targets for 58 yards. I figured he would be leaned on a bit more by Taylor, who, as per John Daigle (@notJDaigle on Twitter), "Tyrod Taylor had 25 attempt without Charles Clay on Sunday (Week 6 not 7). Nick O'Leary led #Bills with 7-of-25 targets (28%)."
                  • Clay is projected to be out two more weeks, so O'Leary will be the main beneficiary against two softer opponents in OAK and NYJ over Buffalo's next 2. He played in 80% of the Bills snaps in Week 7.

                  A.J. Derby - Broncos (2% Owned)

                  • $0-1
                  • I would NOT use my #1 claim.
                  • After a terrible Week 6 (1-10) against the NFL's worst fantasy pass defense vs. TEs (NYG), Derby had a real solid outing against the Chargers who are the 3rd toughest team against fantasy TEs.
                  • Derby's now gone over 65 receiving yards in 2 of his last 3 games and should continue to play an increased role if Emmanuel Sanders is out. It's still a little alarming he's playing in just 50% of their snaps, but he's becoming the best pass-catching option at TE and he led the Broncos in receiving on Sunday. 
                  • He gets a Chiefs d in Week 8 that just got roasted like some pork by Jared Cook for a 107 spot.

                  Jonnu Smith - Titans (1% Owned)

                  • $0-1
                  • I would NOT use my #1 claim.
                  • This is only based on the severity of Delanie Walker's ankle injury that occurred Sunday's 12-9 overtime versus the Browns. Walker came into the game questionable with a hamstring but ended with a strong 7-63 line before leaving. Luckily they have their bye week in Week 8, but it's possible Walker will be less than 100% coming out of it while dealing with multiple lower body injuries.
                  • Smith has gotten a lot of hype as of late and I was planning on starting him in the ETGD had Walker been inactive. Smith is a highly athletic talent whose measurables are off the charts. Standing 6-3, 248, Smith runs a 4.62 40-yard dash, placing him in the 78th percentile for weight-adjusted speed score. His burst score is in the 93th percentile while he sits just below that in the 92nd percentile for SPARQ score, as per 
                  • He's a legit playmaker with the ball in his hands. If the Titans need him to step up, my bet is that he would in Walker's absence. Delanie leads the Titans in receiving yards (324) through 7 games and is just a target behind Rishard Matthews for tying the team-lead (45). He's not someone to spend money or a waiver on just yet until we have further word on Walker but it's worth keeping an eye out for Smith. 


                  New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears (44% Owned)

                  • $0-1
                  • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                  • A ridiculously chalky stream in Week 7, NO disappointed from a fantasy perspective but should bounce back at home versus Chicago in Week 8.
                  • Chicago has given up the 4th most FPs to fantasy defenses in 2017, allowing double digit performances in 4 of their last 6, including 33 points over their last two games allowing 8 sacks in that span.
                  • Their lack of trust in rookie QB Mitch Trubisky has led to defenses stacking the box and the Bears not being able to put up points.
                  • The Saints are 9 point favorites in this tilt.

                  Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts (24% Owned)

                  • $0-1
                  • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                  • The Bengals' defense is mediocre, but the Colts offense is worse. 
                  • Cincy has put up 7 fantasy points or more in 4 of their 6 games in 2017 and their big games have come against predictable opponents - Houston, CLV, BUF .. also GB?
                  • The Colts have allowed the most FPs to opposing fantasy defenses on the year while not having given up a defense TD which is really hard to do.
                  • The Jaguars sacked Brissett literally 10 times last week..
                  • "Healthy" & coming off their bye as 10 points favorites at home with a low over/under (42), I like Cincy's front 7 to put tons of pressure on Brissett through their leaky o-line. The Bengals have multiple 6-sack games already this year.

                    Additional Notes

                    • Teddy Bridgewater has already been ruled out for Week 8, but still an add in 2QB and deep leagues and those very desperate at QB. Tyrod Taylor and Andy Dalton should be owned as well, but are both owned in over 50% of Yahoo leagues.
                    • Players above 50% owned that might be available in your leagues: Jermaine Kearse (53%), Ted Ginn (52%), Marvin Jones (62%), Aaron Jones (73%).
                      Back to blog


                      How come MIA isn’t on your waiver wire for defenses? I think they’re a great streaming defense this week ( I picked them up because my Jags defense in on a bye). Even though they’re on the road vs the Ravens this week, the Ravens have proved that they can’t do shit on offense because of the injuries that have totally depleted them


                      Hey Nick – Been following your analysis for a while now. Any comments on the Dallas backfield now that Rod Smith also proved to be somewhat decent? Think Zeke gets suspended this year? If he does, McF, Alf or Rod Smith?


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