With six teams on a bye heading into Week 8 of the NFL, it is time to start digging in the waiver wire for some hidden treasures. The frenzy is even more chaotic after some of the league’s top players went down with injuries last weekend.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reported that St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is out for the year with a torn ACL. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will be out for at least four weeks with a groin injury.
According to ESPN.com's Tania Ganguli, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster suffered a hamstring injury. ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas reported that Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin has a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Both running backs have a chance of returning to play this season.
Michael Silver of NFL.com noted that the magnitude of injuries last Sunday was more than usual.
I'm very bummed about Reggie Wayne's torn ACL. One of the worst NFL injury days I can remember. Rough sport.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) October 21, 2013
The combination of teams on a bye and injuries is sure to shake up everyone’s fantasy rosters. Here’s a look at some players to fill the holes.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer has had a rough season, which is never a good way to sell a player. NFL on ESPN reported that he has more interceptions than touchdowns while targeting Larry Fitzgerald.
Carson Palmer has more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4) when targeting Larry Fitzgerald.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 18, 2013
He has eight touchdowns and 1,741 yards but 13 interceptions. While he has had his moments, he has never been able to deliver.
During Week 8, with many star quarterbacks down for the count and Atlanta being the fifth worst team against quarterbacks in fantasy, it is Palmer’s time to shine. He can be a sleeper against the Falcons and Matt Ryan this week, and it will be the ultimate surprise.
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams
Stacy has been a consistent offensive force for St. Louis, and with Bradford down, the Rams will rely on the running back. He did not put up phenomenal numbers against the Panthers with 53 yards and 17 carries, but he did his best against the strong Carolina defense.
Now he has taken over as the lead back for the Rams. It is going to be a tough week for him against the Seattle Seahawks, but with limited running back options available in fantasy, he is one of the best pickups, especially considering the weeks ahead.
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Green Bay Packers
Boykin did not look like the greatest replacement for Randall Cobb early in the season, but he turned his game around last weekend, leading Green Bay’s attack with eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns. He is a must-add and must-start during this bye week, and you might even want to keep him around afterward.
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
Reed had a breakthrough week with 134 yards, a touchdown and nine receptions against the Chicago Bears. If his strong performance and passing prowess stay consistent, he will be a key part of the Redskins' game plan for the remainder of the season.
He is perfect to fill a hole at tight end with the undetermined degree of injury for Jermichael Finley and the gaps from the bye week.