Pick these guys up before the games start! Seriously, they could still be out there.
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Below are some waiver wire pickups and sleepers for Week 8 who can have a potential impact for your teams. My (Edward Gorelik) piece won’t cover all waiver wire adds and targets each week, as there are just too many with all the league types out there, but I’ll be highlighting and prioritize the biggest impact players. Additionally, be sure to check out many more great RotoBaller articles and waiver wire analysis pieces at each position throughout the week, including risers/fallers, deeper league sleepers, rankings and more.
Week 8 Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups
Jay Cutler (QB, CHI)
39% Owned on Fleaflicker
Jay Cutler is returning from a bye-week, just in time to cover yours. Cutler hasn’t been killing it this year but has been able to put together some high end QB2 performances since returning from injury. This week he’ll face the Vikings defense, one that’s been gashed by big, strong #1 WRs all year long. Alshon Jeffery is looking at a big plus matchup and that means his quarterback is looking at one too. If injuries or byes have you in need- Cutler is still one of those guys who could put up a huge game when things go right.
Other Quarterback Options:
- OAK QB Derek Carr - 42% owned - Criminally under-owned, Carr’s going to have a rematch against his first ever opponent, the New York Jets. It’s a suffocating defense that’s prone to gathering turnovers making Carr a risky play. However, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are a pretty good duo that could make some offensive noise.
- NYJ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - 30% owned - Carr’s opponent will be Fitzpatrick- who’s had two touchdowns in all but one game this year.
- HOU QB Brian Hoyer - 21% owned - I bring up Hoyer every single week, but he’s in a matchup that is harder than most people might anticipate against the Titans.
Week 8 Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups
Darren McFadden (RB, DAL)
55% Owned on Fleaflicker
With Joseph Randle suffering a lower back injury, it was Darren Mcfadden who stepped in instead of Christine Michael. Although I still want to own the lottery ticket, if you’re in a league where McFadden is on the waivers, he’s a lottery ticket all his own. It’s easy to forget that McFadden was once one of the most dangerous running backs in the league and at times was the biggest rival to Adrian Peterson in terms of physical dominance at the RB position. It’s possible McFadden turns it all back on.
Alfred Blue (RB, HOU)
48% Owned on Fleaflicker
Arian Foster’s 2015 is unfortunately over much earlier than anticipated and that makes Blue the next man up. Blue was decently ineffective his first time around as the starter, but the offense has changed since then and being optimistic about his potential to perform now that Hopkins has truly broken out is reasonable. I’m not rushing to spend all my waiver budget on Blue, but i’ll give him a shot. He should be owned in all leagues.
Orleans Darkwa (RB, NYG)
1% Owned on Fleaflicker
I was really interested in Darkwa entering this season, listing him constantly in my version of the running back depth charts as a player to watch. Last year he saw limited action but in his one game where he got some real carries against the Rams there were traits of a capable NFL runner in there. With Andre Williams being worse at power running than Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings being inconsistent with effectiveness, Darkwa has a long shot chance of carving out a role on this offense. He’s mostly a pickup in very, very deep leagues- but he’s a player to stay aware of. He’s only 23 and full of potential.
Other Running Back Options:
- NYJ RB Zac Stacy - 9% owned – First Bilal Powell got injured. Now Chris Ivory hurt himself. Stacy was the next in line yesterday after Ivory’s injury.
- NYJ RB Stevan Ridley – 11% owned - I’m surprised he’s owned in the double digits. Ridley is about ready to be re-activated and if Ivory’s injury is serious, he’s also a candidate to pick up.
- KC RB Chacandrick West – 42% owned - He should already be owned in your league but if he’s not- you better go get him fast.
- SD RB Branden Oliver - 22% owned - Oliver was more effect than Melvin Gordon on Sunday and things may remain that way.
- IND RB Ahmad Bradshaw - 16% owned – Still trying to build his role in the offense, he should eventually be valuable this year.
- TEN RB David Cobb - 34% owned – There’s a chance that when he returns from injury he’ll gain the starter role in this offense. That’s still some weeks away though.
- NO RB Khiry Robinson – 17% owned - You may feel the need to add Robinson this week but he’s been unable to carve out a role all season. He’s a very deep league add only.
- HOU RB Chris Polk – 15% owned - The other Houston running back, Polk has a shot at gaining some additional time too with Foster out. Don’t think that’s a given though.
Week 8 Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups
Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN)
38% Owned on Fleaflicker
He was the #1 priority waiver last week and it’s going to be no different this week. Diggs is on his way to being the waiver WR breakout for the 2015 season and should be owned. Against the Detroit Lions Diggs managed to rack up 6 receptions, 108 yards, and 1 touchdown; placing himself amongst the top 10 performers for week 7. I can’t tell you to expect that every week, but expect startable FLEX numbers week in and week out. He’s worth using a large percentage of your waiver budget on.
Danny Amendola (WR, NE)
16% Owned on Fleaflicker
I don’t believe any notion that Amendola is breaking out all over again but the situation might be a lot more positive than we’re assuming. Julian Edelman is hurting with drops, Dion Lewis is injured and may continue to stay injured, and Rob Gronkowski is the player every team gameplans against. That means someone else has to appear in his offense and in the last two weeks that player has been Danny Amendola. Back-to-back weeks of fantasy relevance might be giving us the illusion of momentum for Amendola’s Patriots role, but he’s been making some seriously hard catches ever since leaving the Rams and being reliable throughout. With so many other players struggling on the Patriots, there’s a chance Amendola just becomes forced into targets.
Other Wide Receiver Options:
- CIN WR Marvin Jones - 52% owned - I can’t believe we live in a world where Marvin Jones is owned this little. The 2013 breakout is breaking out again and must be had.
- KC WR Chris Conley - 5% owned – He was an under-the-radar hype type during the draft process and was the man who replaced Maclin when he went down. Hard to see what his role is in the future, but worth looking at.
- HOU WR Nate Washington - 2% owned – I can’t say I endorse Nate Washington, but someone should be able to put up points opposite coverage-hog DeAndre Hopkins.
- BUF WR Robert Woods - 13% owned - Robert Woods had a lot of hype on him when he entered the NFL. it’s never really materialized, but as long as Watkins or Harvin are out, Woods becomes the next man up here. He’s blown up in bursts and might be able to keep it up.
- SEA WR Tyler Lockett- 13% owned - Lockett has the most fantasy potential of this Seahawks core but passing isn’t in their blood.
- TEN WR Dorial Green-Beckham - 30% owned - He’ll be here every week until the near end of the season. The upside is too worthwhile to let him sit on the waivers.
- TB WR Dontaa Dye – 0% owned – Vincent Jackson‘s injury opens the door for Dye to maybe walk through. Probably not though.
- ATL WR Roddy White – 58% owned - Certainly he’s owned this much because of name value, but Leonard Hankerson is dealing with injuries and might miss some time. That boosts White value, but who knows by how much?
- WAS WR Jamison Crowder – 12% owned - Crowder’s coming off a weaker game than normal but he still has a lot of PPR potential.
- SF WR DeAndre Smelter – 3% owned - Long shot add here, but Smelter might be able to find playing time in an underwhelming WR grouping. Don’t expect anything, just keep him in mind.
Other Options: Rishard Matthews, Brandon LaFell, Michael Floyd, Michael Crabtree, Kamar Aiken, Tavon Austin, Cecil Shorts, Leonard Hankerson, Jamison Crowder, Rueben Randle, Doug Baldwin, Jeff Janis, Eddie Royal, Lance Moore, Bryan Walters, Albert Wilson, Dwayne Harris, Torrey Smith, Marquess Wilson, Malcom Floyd
Week 8 Tight End Waiver Wire Pickups
Jordan Reed (WAS, TE)
45% Owned on Fleaflicker
Jordan Reed returned to the Redskins with the top scoring performance amongst TE’s, putting together 11 catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns. As the only special target on the Redskins, Reed is going to demand targets and continue to produce numbers. He must be owned in all leagues.
Eric Ebron (DET, TE)
33% Owned on Fleaflicker
There was a lot of hype about Eric Ebron when he entered the draft. Some people even believed he’d have first year value at a position that has almost never had first year value. Obviously, that didn’t happen- but now Ebron might actually be having his quiet coming out party. In the five games he’s played, he’s averaged 50 yards per game and a touchdown in every other contest. He’s starting to become nearly acceptable as an every week starter, and perhaps we should look at him that way. He should be owned.
Other Tight End Options:
- SD TE Ladarius Green - 52% owned - Gates MCL Sprain might continue to hinder him for more than just a week, and Green becomes a must own in that case.
- PHI TE Zach Ertz – 44% owned - Ertz has had at least 7 targets in the last three weeks. He might be on the upswing.
Week 8 Defense (D/ST) Waiver Wire Pickups
15% Owned on Fleaflicker
You want a crazy punt play? Here’s as crazy as it can get. Bryan Hoyer isn’t immune to throwing INTs. He also has the 10th highest sack rate in the league right now. The Texans just lost Arian Foster for the season, putting the entire offense back on Hopkins shoulders. Although Hopkins is by all means amazing, having only one target on the field helps with garbage time stats but it’ll also help the Titans play defense against the Texans.
Other Defense (D/ST) Options:
- New Orleans Saints - 7% owned - Another crazy punt play, Eli is another QB who is prone to INTs. This is a play of pure desperation where the only saving grace is that the Saints are so heavy on running- that the clock in this game might go faster than expected, leading to some low scores.