Week 8 Pickups: Waiver-Wire Targets to Replace Injured Stars

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2013

Aug 30, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jarrett Boykin (11) celebrates a touchdown catch during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field.  The Packers defeated the Chiefs 24-3.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy football owners are scrambling to the waiver wire before Week 8 begins after a few of the league's top stars went down with injuries on Sunday.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was carted out of the stadium with a groin injury that could be serious, as noted by Michael C. Wright of ESPN and Michael Silver of NFL.com:

Houston Texans star running back Arian Foster left his game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter after carrying the ball just four times. He suffered a hamstring injury in the game, as noted by the team's Twitter account, and injuries like this tend to linger:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin was also injured this Sunday. He hurt his shoulder during the game and was seen wearing a sling afterward, as noted by Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Bay Tribune:

These three injuries alone will cause plenty of consternation throughout fantasy land. All three players are key offensive weapons for their respective teams, and it will be tough to find replacements while they recover from their injuries. 

Here are a few players you should consider for the job.


Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 20:  Jake Locker #10 of the Tennessee Titans throws a pass in the first half against the San Francisco 49ers at LP Field on October 20, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Sure, most of Locker's 21 fantasy points came in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but he looked comfortable and played well throughout the contest.

Locker finished the game with 365 total yards and two touchdowns, picking up right where he left off before suffering the hip injury that kept him out of the lineup for the past three games.

For the season, Locker has thrown eight touchdowns while throwing just one interception. He's a viable starter for your fantasy team, and he's still available in over 97 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.

The Titans have Week 8 off, which means many owners won't likely want to pick up Locker this weekend. However, a wise owner will see the value in beating the crowd, as Tennessee's next two opponents—St. Louis and Jacksonville—provide Locker with some tasty matchups he'll exploit. 


Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 6: Zac Stacy #30 of the St. Louis Rams rushes against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Edward Jones Dome on October 6, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Jaguars 34-20.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

For the third weekend in a row, Zac Stacy has produced at a high level for the St. Louis Rams.

Going against the always tough Carolina defense, Stacy totaled 87 yards and a touchdown in a losing cause, earning 14 points for his fantasy owners. Unbelievably, he's still available in nearly 90 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was carted off the field on Sunday with a knee injury, and a source told Silver the team is 90 percent sure it's not good:

With the injury, the Rams will have to rely even more on Stacy than they did before with Kellen Clemens behind center.

St. Louis returns home for Week 8, when the Seattle Seahawks come to town. Seattle features one of the league's top run defenses, but so did Carolina before Stacy's big game on Sunday. 


Jarrett Boykin, WR, Green Bay Packers

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 13: Jarrett Boykin #11 of the Green Bay Packers avoids the tackle of Jimmy Smith #22 of the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter during a game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDer
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Many were cautious about pinning their fantasy football hopes on Jarrett Boykin before Week 7 against Cleveland. He only caught one pass on six targets last weekend and didn't look comfortable replacing Randall Cobb in the starting lineup.

However, after the slot specialist led Green Bay's passing attack with eight receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown against the Browns, it's clear he's a must-own, must-start player for your fantasy team.

Rodgers loves targeting his slot receivers. Cobb was one of the team's most heavily targeted receivers before he was injured, and Boykin was targeted three time more than any other Packers player on Sunday.

Heading into Week 7, Boykin was still available in more than 98 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues. Rest assured, he won't last long on the waiver wire when it opens up in the middle of the week. Grab him while you can. 


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