Week 8 Waiver Wire: Injuries Open the Door for a Ton of Worthy Pickups
Injuries are unavoidable. They happen every year to some of the best players in the league. Even though they can suck the life right out of your team, you deal with them and move on because, hey, this is fantasy football, not fantasy badminton.
Week 7 gave us another crop of injuries to thin out an already depleted league even more, so with another bye week upon us yet again, what do you do? Hopefully you stashed a little depth on your squad that you can just plug right in there...but what if you didn't?
This is where the all-important waiver wire comes in handy and why you need to know exactly who to pick up...and who to drop.
Pickup: QB Shaun Hill (Detroit Lions)
Lions starting QB Matthew Stafford had an MRI on Monday for the ankle and knee injuries he sustained late in the game against the Falcons.
They turned out to be nothing, but just the sight of him limping to the sidelines probably scared his fantasy owners and immediately made Shaun Hill a "must-have" as his backup.
Hill did well enough filling in for Staff last year to be a borderline starter in most fantasy leagues, averaging 18.1 points in the 10 games he started.
Do yourself a favor and scoop him up while you still can.
Pickup: RB Phillip Tanner (Dallas Cowboys)
Tashard Choice not only came out of the game on Sunday with an injured left shoulder, but he lost another fumble (second week in a row) and was completely ineffective yet again.
In the meantime, DeMarco Murray decided to break a few records on his way to solidifying the starting job while Felix Jones is out.
Basically, with Choice's days numbered and Felix being out at least another couple/few weeks, the backup job is all Tanner's...which really isn't too bad of a job to have, knowing Dallas.
Pickup: RB Alfonso Smith (Arizona Cardinals)
If Alfonso Smith was dropped at some point over the last couple of weeks because Beanie Wells was back in the lineup, go back out and get him now as Wells will be out again for at least one week with his knee injury and possibly two or more.
With the Cardinals playing two of the worst rush defenses in the league in Weeks 9 and 10 (St. Louis and Philly), believe me, you'll want the starting Arizona RB going for your team.
Pickup: RBs Roy Helu, Knowshon Moreno, Pierre Thomas and Michael Bush
It's pretty unlikely these guys are still available in your league, but if they are, go get any one of them immediately.
Roy Helu - RB - Washington Redskins
With Tim Hightower done for the year with a torn left ACL and considering Ryan Torain's own injury-riddled past, you'll want to grab Roy Helu now if he's still available.
Knowshon Moreno - RB - Denver Broncos
Willis McGahee has a fractured hand and though it's not known how long he'll be out just yet, it will at least be for Week 8 against the Detroit Lions and possibly Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders as well. Moreno will immediately take on the lead-back role and could end up a solid RB2 for whomever picks him up.
Pierre Thomas - RB - New Orleans Saints
If it turns out that Mark Ingram misses any time with his bum heel, Pierre would see a significantly increased workload in his absence and would certainly garner a start as your RB2 against the lowly Rams in Week 8.
RB Michael Bush - RB - Oakland Raiders
Bush is on a bye in Week 8, but if McFadden's sprained foot ends up keeping him out longer than one week, you simply have to grab him...if he's still available, of course.
Pickup: WR Jabar Gaffney (Washington Redskins)
Santana Moss looks like he'll be out for at least four weeks, if not up to seven, after undergoing surgery on his fractured left hand.
Jabar Gaffney was already seeing just as many targets as Moss and actually had more yards than him going into Week 7, so now that he'll be given an even larger role in this offense, you have to snatch him up from a dwindling pool of players that can still help your team.
Pickup: WR Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Sanders was a guy a lot of people had pegged as a sleeper coming into the 2011 season, but offseason injuries ended up dropping him out of the Steelers starting lineup and into the "wait 'til next year" crowd...until now.
Hines Ward had been starting and playing the majority of snaps this season but will now lose playing time because of the sprained ankle he suffered on Sunday. He may not miss any time, but his being hobbled gives Sanders the perfect opportunity to jump in and finally make good on his sleeper status.
With the limited time he saw on the field after Ward's injury, Sanders put up a healthy line of five catches on seven targets for 46 yards and a TD.
Grab him now while you still can.
Pickup: WR Michael Jenkins (Minnesota Vikings)
Jenkins was tied for the most targets on the team (eight) this past weekend, when he had 111 yards and a touchdown against the Packers.
Rookie QB Christian Ponder seems to enjoy throwing to a guy with his type of size (6'4", 215 pounds), so with Percy Harvin maybe missing a week to clear up his rib injury and Bernard Berrian possibly being released, Jenkins could be in line for some real nice numbers the rest of the season.
Pickup: WR Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos)
The guy's talent is undeniable (Denver's first round pick before Tebow in 2010), as is his size (6'3", 229 pounds), but most importantly...Tim Tebow loves him.
Thomas saw 10 targets from Tebow this past weekend, more than double any other player on the Broncos squad, and scored a touchdown from five yards out. Not too shabby of a season debut, eh?
With Brandon Lloyd jettisoned out of town, someone will need to step up into the WR1 role because frankly Eric Decker, though he's a nice player, is more of a WR2.
Go get him and see if he fulfills his first-round draft status.
Pickup: TE Visanthe Shiancoe (Minnesota Vikings)
It was going to come sooner or later, but guess who Christian Ponder's first NFL TD pass went to? Yep, Mr. Visanthe Shiancoe.
Quarterbacks never forget that first TD, so in that second when Shiancoe handed him that ball amidst their end zone celebration, you can bet they developed some sort of life-long bond that gives Shiancoe a little bit of steam heading into the second half of the season.
Yes, I know, Shiancoe has basically been nonexistent since his 2009, 11-TD campaign. However, like with Michael Jenkins, Ponder continued to look to his bigger targets as Shiancoe saw eight balls thrown his way while catching his first TD of the season.
If you're hurting at tight end right now, you might want to take a look here.
Drop: QB Charlie Whitehurst (Seattle Seahawks)
WOW, did Whitehurst look bad against the Browns this last weekend!
You know you're pretty much worthless when your teammates can't wait to get Tarvaris Jackson back under center.
Drop him and go grab someone who can actually contribute to your team.
Drop: RB Tashard Choice (Dallas Cowboys)
Choice has been given every chance in the world to take on some sort of role in this offense and has failed more miserably each time.
Like I stated earlier, Choice left the game this past weekend with an injured left shoulder, he lost another fumble and was completely ineffective yet again.
Drop: WR Devery Henderson (New Orleans Saints)
In a game where the Saints scored 62 points and set records all over the place, Henderson was only able to catch one ball for nine yards on a measly two targets.
That just about says it all.
Drop: WR Brandon Gibson (St. Louis Rams)
Gibson was a healthy scratch this past weekend with Brandon Lloyd joining the team, so with WR Mark Clayton also close to returning, his future doesn't look all that much better.
Drops Due to Injury: RBs Tim Hightower (Was) and Earnest Graham (TB)
Tim Hightower - Washington Redskins
Word came out today from the Redskins that Hightower does indeed have a torn left ACL and is done for the year.
Earnest Graham - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It has not been confirmed yet, but Graham is said to have torn his Achilles tendon and will be placed on IR and be done for the season.
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