With six teams having a bye in Week 8 and a slew of injuries to key players around the league, scouring the waiver wire is the only option for replacing lost players at this point in the season.
Granted, you may not get a starter's production out of a waiver-wire player, but a mere contribution beyond zero is always a lift. It's all about matchups, as some players who aren't normally effective can become effective thanks to favorable matchups.
Let's take a look at some waiver-wire targets who will cure your bye-week blues.
|Chicago Bears||San Diego Chargers|
|Tennessee Titans||Baltimore Ravens|
|Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans|
Riley Cooper, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Riley Cooper is becoming more and more involved in the Eagles offense of late, with 10 catches for 208 yards and one touchdown in his last two games. Those numbers look more impressive when you consider they top what Cooper did in all of his previous games combined.
Week 8 looks like another solid opportunity to give Cooper a look. Philly will be going up against the New York Giants, which are ranked No. 20 in passing yards allowed per game. Cooper threw up a bagel against the Giants in the teams' last meeting, but don't expect that to happen again.
The Eagles passing attack ranks No. 11 in the NFL this season, so this isn't a team that is shy to throw the ball. Plus, quarterback Michael Vick will be returning to the field after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Mike James, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The running back cupboard is bare at this point in the season, so you have to stretch it a bit in order to fill the void for a lost ball-carrier, whether it's the result of a bye or an injury.
Mike James will be the new No. 1 man in Tampa Bay until further notice. That happened when starting back Doug Martin suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder last week. He will be forced to miss time, although the injury isn't likely to end his season, per Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune.
Despite that shred of good news, it's highly unlikely Martin plays Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers, per Jeff Darlington of NFL.com.
Bucs still holding out hope Doug Martin (shoulder) isn't done for year. He's almost certain to Thursday game but hasn't yet been ruled out.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) October 22, 2013
That means James will get the go, but approach with caution, as he will be up against the Panthers fourth-ranked run defense. Even with that being the case, there are few to no options at running back right now, so any starter owners can get their hands on has some value.
James finished last week's game against the Atlanta Falcons with 14 carries for 45 yards and three catches for eight yards. If James cannot get going on the ground, he does have the ability to add extra points by catching passes.
Philadelphia Eagles Defense/Special Teams
It might sound crazy, but the Eagles defense is a solid option to start this week. The Eagles are allowing the seventh-most points per game in the NFL (28), but you have to consider the matchup here.
Philly is playing the New York Giants, the most mistake-prone team in the NFL. The Giants' 24 giveaways are tops in the NFL—seven more than any other squad.
In their last meeting, the Eagles picked off quarterback Eli Manning three times, recovered a fumble lost by running back Brandon Jacobs and even notched a sack.
New York's lackluster offensive line has allowed 18 sacks this season and routinely allows opposing defenders into the backfield. The same will happen once again this week, and even if the Eagles don't sack Manning, they will force him to commit turnovers.