Fantasy Football: Some Waiver Wire Options Heading into Week 8

Kevin HansonAnalyst IIIOctober 25, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 23: Running back DeMarco Murray #29 of the Dallas Cowboys breaks free for a 91-yard touchdown run against the St. Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Like many other sites, we listed Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray on our list of waiver-wire pickups heading into Week 7.

With teammate Felix Jones out with a high-ankle sprain and a favorable matchup against the league's worst run defense, it made sense to rank Murray inside our top 20 fantasy running backs for the week. But who could have predicted last week's record-setting performance?

Murray, who rushed for a 91-yard touchdown on his first carry of the game, finished with 253 rushing yards, which breaks the single-game franchise record previously held by Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher.

This week, Murray has another favorable matchup against the Eagles.

If Murray is available in your league(s), add him as soon as possible. As of Tuesday morning, Murray is still available in 40 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Our goal is to bring you new names each week of possible additions to your fantasy squad. We have two criteria for a player to make the cut: (1) he was not on last week's list and (2) he is owned in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues or less.

So players like Murray, Denver's Demaryius Thomas, etc., won't be on this week's list since they were on last week's list, but they are still worth adding.

Here are some other players worth adding (Yahoo! ownership percentage in parenthesis):

QB - Andy Dalton, Bengals (owned in 21 percent of Yahoo! leagues): With Cedric Benson out serving his one-game suspension, which was cut from three games, we suggested last week to pick up Bernard Scott. But considering the Seahawks do a solid job at stopping the run (rank first in NFL in yards per carry), the Bengals may throw it quite a bit this week. In his two games before the bye, Dalton completed more than 70 percent (46-of-65) of his passes, threw for 221.5 yards per game, three touchdowns and one interception.

RB - Roy Helu, Redskins (17 percent): After Tim Hightower suffered a season-ending ACL injury this weekend, Helu moves up the team's depth chart and it may just be a matter of time before he takes over as the team's No. 1 option in the backfield. Not only is Helu more talented than Ryan Torain, but Torain has struggled to stay healthy for a full season himself.

RB - Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball, Broncos (48 and zero percent, respectively): With Willis McGahee out for at least this week with a broken hand, Moreno will likely get the majority of the workload this week. That said, Moreno and Lance Ball split the carries almost evenly with seven and six carries, respectively, in Week 7. If you're in a deeper league, Ball is worth consideration, as well.

RB - Keiland Williams, Lions (three percent): It is likely that Jahvid Best will miss another week with his concussion. Last week, the Lions split carries evenly between Maurice Morris and Williams as each had nine rush attempts. With Williams to get the goal-line work, he has more upside in non-PPR leagues and is available in almost all leagues.

RB - Alfonso Smith, Cardinals (two percent): While Beanie Wells won't need surgery on his knee, there is not a timetable for when he will return. Assuming that Wells is out this week (and perhaps more weeks), Smith would be the guy to benefit. The Cardinals have a tough matchup in Week 8 against the Ravens, but then they face the Rams twice and Eagles once in a four-game span.

WR - Steve Breaston, Chiefs (30 percent): Over the past four games, Breaston has contributed on a consistent basis. In each of his past four games, Breaston has 50-plus receiving yards. During that span, Breaston has 16 receptions for 260 and two touchdowns.

WR - Jabar Gaffney, Redskins (20 percent): Speaking of consistency, Gaffney has finished with more than 50 receiving yards in all six games this season. With the loss of Santana Moss for the next five-to-seven weeks, there should be a few extra opportunities in the passing game for Gaffney although he's been steady all season.

WR - Greg Little, Browns (28 percent): For three consecutive weeks, Little has five-plus receptions. (Little leads the team in receptions (25) this season.) For the first time in three weeks, however, Little finished with less than 57 receiving yards. Against the Seahawks, who lead the league in rushing yards allowed per carry (as noted above), I thought the Browns would have thrown more often. Instead, they decided to give it to Montario Hardesty over and over again. This week's opponent, San Francisco, is even better against the run so maybe the thought was right but a week early.

WR - Greg Salas, Rams (one percent): Salas, the team's slot receiver, is worthy of consideration, especially in deeper point-per-reception leagues. In his past three games, Salas has 14 receptions for 137 yards.

TE - Heath Miller, Steelers (32 percent): In his past three games, Miller has scored in two games and has 11 receptions for 132 yards. This week, the Steelers face the Patriots, who have allowed the most passing yards (322.2 per game) this season.

If you're looking for Week 8 rankings, our rankings will be up later Tuesday or early Wednesday.

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Good luck in Week 8!