Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups: Available Sleepers in Most Yahoo Leagues

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 24, 2018

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco throws to a receiver in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

For all the attention given to draft preparation and execution, the best fantasy football owners realize that's only the beginning.

In-season roster management is critical to a club realizing its potential, and that's where mastering the waiver wire comes into play.

Just look at the upcoming week, for instance. In addition to navigating around the four teams on a bye—Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys—owners must also account for real-life trades (Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Amari Cooper to Dallas) and injuries (Marshawn Lynch and Ted Ginn going on injured reserve).

That's a lot to unpack, but we're here to help by spotlighting several potential pickups available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

                          

Week 8 Waiver Wire Targets

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Case Keenum, QB, Denver Broncos

Doug Martin, RB, Oakland Raiders

Mike Davis, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders

Chris Ivory, RB, Buffalo Bills

Kenjon Barner, RB, New England Patriots

Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Martavis Bryant, WR, Oakland Raiders

Benjamin Watson, TE, New Orleans Saints

Vance McDonald, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

                                          

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens (41 Percent Owned)

If you're searching for upside on the waiver wire, there's a good chance you aren't looking in Joe Flacco's direction. The 33-year-old signal-caller hasn't topped two touchdowns since the season opener.

But if you're more in the market for stability, it's hard to find a better option who's readily available.

He's second in passing attempts (303) and fifth in passing yards (2,067). He has aired it out at least 40 times in four of his seven outings so far. And it only takes so many tosses to spring loose speedster John Brown, who has hauled in a 40-plus-yard pass in four of his seven contests.

Flacco's Week 8 matchup isn't great, but it's not daunting, either. The Carolina Panthers have surrendered the 14th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and the 7.7 yards per attempt they allow is tied for 22nd with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Three different quarterbacks have burned the Panthers for at least 300 passing yards and multiple scores. Eli Manning was one of them. Flacco's Week 8 ceiling might sit higher than you'd think.

                            

Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers (15 Percent Owned)

While Raheem Mostert's backfield mate, Matt Breida, sits eighth in rushing yards this season, durability has been a constant issue for the second-year back. He's yet to attempt more than 14 rushes in a game and managed a season-low five on Sunday before a nagging ankle injury again forced him off the field.

The 49ers plan to keep a close eye on him going forward.

"That's something we'll have to look into hard," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. "...Hopefully he'll heal up more this week. We'll have to reassess it again."

San Francisco has a plethora of reasons not to rush Breida back, not least of which is the club's 1-6 record suggesting it's headed nowhere fast.

But Mostert is another reason to take it easy on Breida. After barely seeing action the first five weeks, Mostert has enjoyed a mini-breakout the last two, totaling 19 carries for 146 yards (7.7 per attempt) and four receptions for 19 yards.

If Breida is unavailable—or even limited—Mostert is a clear plug-and-play possibility. There hasn't been a more inviting matchup for fantasy running backs than Mostert's Week 8 opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, who rank dead last in rushing yards (1,038) and rushing scores (12) allowed.

                           

Martavis Bryant, WR, Oakland Raiders (5 Percent Owned)

Admittedly, Martavis Bryant isn't the easiest fantasy option to trust. Without diving into his off-field troubles, we can simply point to the fact he's averaging just 2.8 receptions per game over the past five contests.

But with Cooper off to the Cowboys, the Raiders need a top option to take over in their passing game. And none of the candidates can match Bryant's potential.

The 26-year-old has had some fantasy relevance in the recent past, averaging 639 receiving yards and 5.6 touchdowns over the past three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even now, he's showing flashes of contributing with a limited volume. During Weeks 4 and 5, he turned 10 targets into six receptions for 142 yards.

If Bryant seizes this opportunity, he might be worth rostering longer than your typical streamer. His next two opponents—the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers—rank 22nd and 23rd, respectively, in passing yards allowed and have surrendered a combined 26 passing touchdowns.

                                

Statistics used courtesy of ESPN.com and NFL.com. Fantasy scoring info via Yahoo Sports.

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