Pick ‘Em Up: Week 8 Fantasy Football Waiver Claims

By Ryan Weisse

For the first time in a long time, maybe since Week 2, there are solid waiver wire prospects at all four positions. Injuries and late-emerging rookies bring some life to the RB position, and WR is as solid as it always has been. Even QB and TE, which are typically streaming positions for me, have some nice plays if you want to get ahead of the curve, though I wouldn’t use more than some small FAAB or a lower waiver priority. As a reminder, all players mentioned below will be available in 50% or more of Yahoo leagues, though I made this rule and have been known to break it about once a week. Need help at QB, RB, WR, or TE? Then it’s time to Pick ‘Em Up!

PRO TIP: Always look at last week’s bye week teams for good players that may have been dropped out of desperation. Week 6 was Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota.

Quarterbacks

Teddy Bridgewater (56% Available)
Only you can stop Teddy Two-Gloves from being my Stream of the Week two weeks in a row. Specifically, 6% of you, because I can only choose them if they are available in more than half of fantasy leagues. Bridgewater recovered from a down Chicago game in Week 6 by throwing for 254 yards and two TDs in Week 7 (as my Stream of the Week) and gets to replay his Week 5 performance (313 yards and two TDs) against the Falcons this week. The matchups are a big part of Bridgewater’s game but he also should get CMC back this week, adding to his TD upside.

Tua Tagovailoa (61% Available)
Look, rookie QBs are BALLING OUT this season and this is your last chance to get a piece. (Yes, this was a shot at Jordan Love.) The schedule is far from easy for the Dolphins, especially with Aaron Donald in town for Week 8, but Fitzpatrick proved that a Miami QB can have fantasy value and Tua could’ve been the QB1 in this draft if he were healthy. If you have an extra bench spot, this might be the best way to use it.

Running Backs

Carlos Hyde (90% Available)
Let me be honest, I almost didn’t include Hyde on my list. He will be #1 on just about every other list, but were you happy you had him as a lead-back last year? And to top things off, Chris Carson might not even miss time. People love to line up to bury Carson but it hasn’t happened yet and won’t any time soon. However, IF Carson misses time, Hyde will be the primary RB for a coach that loves to run the football. His TD upside alone keeps him in the RB2 discussion. Another thing to consider if Carson is out for an extended time — Rashaad Penny is eligible to come off the PUP now and is available in 97% of leagues.

La’Mical Perine (84% Available)
Perine is going to be the primary guy for the Jets soon, probably starting in Week 8, but it’s still the Jets, so expectations are not high. He has tough matchups with Kansas City and New England before the Jets have a Week 10 bye. He’s playing more (and better) than Frank Gore but this team is a mess, plain and simple. There will be plenty of bad weeks but I suspect Perine might help a few people in bye week conundrums moving forward.

Zack Moss (54% Available)
Moss did not look great in his first game back last week, but in Week 7, he played better than Devin Singletary. He averaged 6.7 yards-per-carry and scored 10 fantasy points. His upside is limited but he will have a few RB2 weeks moving forward and isn’t on bye until Week 11.

JaMycal Hasty (79% Available)
Raheem Mostert: hurt. Tevin Coleman: hurt. Jerick McKinnon: MIA. Jeff Wilson: hurt. Hasty has won the battle of attrition and might be the last-man-standing for the 49ers. All the others will be back eventually– Coleman (73% Available) could be back this week but it’s not 100%. So, for Week 8 against Seattle, you could do worse than the guy who just totaled 73 yards on the Patriots.

Damien Harris (53% Available)
This team is a mess but Harris looks like their best running option after averaging 5.8 yards-per-carry against San Francisco. He’s already had a 100-yard game this year and faces Buffalo and the New York Jets over his next two games, neither of which has played great defense this season. He has almost no role in the receiving game but might be their exclusive runner until Sony Michel is back.

Wide Receivers

Sterling Shepard (72% Available)
Shepard immediately commanded eight targets in his first game off of the IR and his role and usage in this offense seem to be safer than any other option. He averaged eight targets-per-game last year and has 18 targets in three games played this year. There are obvious questions about if you want any piece of this offense but Shepard seems like a safe WR3 while healthy.

Brandon Aiyuk (52% Available)
While every RB for the 49ers hits the IR, Aiyuk will become a larger and larger part of this offense. He tied for the team-lead in targets this week with seven, reeling in six balls for 115 yards. While they did not do it this week, the 49ers occasionally get him involved in the running game and he has a dream matchup with Seattle in Week 8.

Corey Davis (72% Available)
Corey Davis has become a bit of a running joke in the world of fantasy football but looked good again in his first game back from COVID. He caught six balls for just 35 yards but added another TD, his 2nd of the season. This is an offense that will not use their RBs in the passing game, no matter how dire the circumstances, so it’s really just Davis, A.J. Brown, and Jonnu Smith competing for targets. Davis had 10 in Week 7 and could see that kind of volume moving forward.

Rashard Higgins (99% Available)
While I have complained about the Cleveland offense not having enough volume to support a WR1 all season long, you aren’t looking for a WR1 in Hollywood Higgins. With Odell Beckham going down and out for the season, Higgins will be the team’s WR2 and in line for about 5-6 targets a game. That is not enough volume for a guy like OBJ but more than enough for a waiver wire WR. Higgins has topped 8 PPR points in each of Cleveland’s last three games and led the team with 17 fantasy points last week. Landry will be the WR1 here, but Rashard Higgins will make some noise to end the season.

Christian Kirk (45% Available)
Yep, broke the rule again. With the level that Kyler Murray is playing at, you need to take a look at your waiver pool for Christian Kirk. He has five TDs in his last four games and should not be available in this many leagues. The Cardinals are on bye Week 8, but Kirk is certainly worth a stash as a WR3 with huge upside.

Cole Beasley (60% Available)
Beasley ranks 15th in the NFL in targets and is as safe a WR3 as there is in fantasy football. He will have big weeks here and there — like Week 7 when John Brown was out and Beasley went for over 100 yards — but his floor is not bad even when Brown plays. The Bills do not use their TEs much and now that all of them have COVID, Beasley is going to remain Josh Allen’s safety blanket for the foreseeable future.

Jalen Reagor (86% Available)
This is more of a speculative add, but the Eagles need firepower wherever they can get it. Philadelphia drafted Reagor in the 1st Round for him to be their leading WR and the table is set for that to happen. It looks like DeSean Jackson is heading to IR and there are no guarantees on Alshon Jeffery’s return. Combine that with the losses of Zack Ertz and Dallas Goedert, plus a Miles Sanders injury — my goodness, this damn team. –and the opportunity is there for the rookie to seize. He will have to overcome the chemistry that Carson Wentz is building with Travis Fulgham to become the WR1 but should have no issue beating out Greg Ward and John Hightower for playing time.

Tight Ends

Harrison Bryant (99% Available)
First Austin Hooper needs an appendectomy and now OBJ is likely out for the year. Things are lining up for the rookie TE to make a huge splash down the back half of the season. Hooper will be back eventually but the Browns have a great matchup with Las Vegas in Week 8 before their Week 9 bye. He may just be a temporary rental but he could also be a big part of an offense that loves to utilize TEs.

Richard Rodgers (92% Available)
It took Rodgers one game to look far better as the Eagles TE than Zach Ertz has looked this year. With Rodgers putting up six receptions for 85 yards on Thursday night against the Giants, a team typically good against the TE, he has made himself a playable option until Dallas Goedert returns in Week 10. That means Rodgers has a dream matchup with Dallas in Week 8, and will likely be my Stream of the Week at TE.

Trey Burton (80% Available)
The Colts are coming off of a bye so most have forgotten about Burton and his 16 targets over the last three games before Week 7. As the Colts WRs continue to disappoint, Burton could see his role grow after the week off. He was the TE3 in Week 6 and, if you are in need of a solid TE for the rest of the season, there is no better option on waivers than Trey Burton.