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

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2019

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill plays against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)
James Kenney/Associated Press

In 2019, fantasy football has been about as exciting as it has at any point in recent years—and, of course, exciting means unpredictable.

Injuries have been a major theme this season, as players such as Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara have all missed time. Meanwhile, surprising names like Jacoby Brissett, Terry McLaurin and Darren Waller have become unexpected fantasy stars.

Injuries will likely again play a role in Week 8, with Adam Thielen and Will Fuller V both having hamstring issues. Matt Ryan is dealing with an ankle problem, and Kamara is not guaranteed to return.

In addition, the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys are on bye, meaning guys like Ezekiel Elliott, Lamar Jackson and Amari Cooper will also be unavailable. Between injuries and byes, there's a good chance you'll need a fill-in player at some position in Week 8.

Here, we'll examine some of the top waiver-wire options and sleeper plays for the week.

         

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans

If you own Ryan, Jackson or Dak Prescott or are just desperate for a streaming option, Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is worth a look in Week 8. 

The 31-year-old took over for Marcus Mariota as the Titans starter in Week 7 and had a respectable game. He passed for 312 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. He didn't sling the ball around the field, but the Titans offense was in rhythm with him under center. Expect them to open things up a bit more against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week.

Speaking of the Buccaneers, it's worth noting they provide an excellent fantasy matchup for Tannehill—provided the Titans offensive line can keep him upright. When the Buccaneers' pass rush doesn't hit home, their pass defense overall is laughable.

No team has allowed more than the 304.5 passing yards per game that Tampa is allowing this season.

Tannehill should be in store for a second consecutive strong fantasy outing. He is currently owned in just five percent of Yahoo leagues, according to FantasyPros.

         

Benny Snell Jr., RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Steven Senne/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell Jr. had a breakout game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6. He rushed 17 times for 75 yards while catching one pass for 15 more yards. Expect the Steelers to utilize the 21-year-old more—he had just six carries before the Chargers game—moving forward.

Starting running back James Conner had a good overall game against the Chargers—119 total yards, two touchdowns—but he was less effective running the ball. While Snell averaged 4.4 yards per carry, Conner averaged just 2.6. For the season, Conner is averaging 3.2 yards per carry. Snell is averaging 4.6.

This could lead Pittsburgh to lean more heavily on Conner and Jaylen Samuel—who missed Week 6 with a knee injury—in the passing game while giving Snell more early-down work. That sets the rookie up for a good fantasy outing against the Miami Dolphins this week.

Miami has allowed an average of 160.8 rushing yards per game, second-most in the league. The Dolphins have also allowed 4.6 yards per carry.

Snell is owned in just five percent of Yahoo leagues, according to FantasyPros.

        

Kenny Stills, WR, Houston Texans

Because of Fuller's injury, fellow Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills immediately becomes a premium waiver-wire add.

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Fuller is expected to miss several weeks:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Texans WR Will Fuller, who exited yesterday’s game early, has a rather significant hamstring pull, source said. Based on recent tests results, he’s expected to miss several weeks.

This likely means Stills will be Houston's No. 2 receiver for the duration of his teammate's injury.

"Kenny is an excellent player," head coach Bill O'Brien said, per Avery Duncan of Texans Wire. "We need Kenny. Kenny does a lot of great things for us."

Even if Fuller were healthy, though, Stills would be a solid sleeper play in Week 8. He's caught four passes in two of his last three games—he missed Weeks 5 and 6—and he's coming off a 105-yard performance. 

Stills also has a favorable matchup against an Oakland Raiders defense that allows an average of 289.8 passing yards per game, second-most in the NFL. He is available in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues, according to FantasyPros.

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