Fantasy Football Week 8: Waiver-Wire Pickups, Rankings and Stat Projections
At this point in the NFL season, most breakout players who were available on the waiver wire have been added to rosters. But there are still players who develop into worthy waiver-wire targets as the season progresses, including as we head into Week 8.
Some standout players have been injured, creating opportunities for others. Some teams are struggling and will start thinking about evaluating talent for the future, which means unproven young players could starting more playing time down the stretch.
Here's a look at early rankings for Week 8, along with some players to potentially add from the waiver wire this week.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. NYJ)
2. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. SF)
3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (vs. PIT)
4. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (at CIN)
5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)
6. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (vs. NE)
7. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. DAL)
8. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (at DEN)
9. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (at MIA)
10. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (vs. ATL)
Waiver-Wire Target: Carolina Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater
Bridgewater may not be putting up huge numbers any week, but he's turned into a reliable streaming option during his first season with the Panthers. He's thrown two touchdowns in three of Carolina's past four games, and he's passed for at least 235 yards in all but one game.
Available in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues and 69 percent of ESPN leagues, Bridgewater will be one of the better quarterbacks available on most waiver wires this week. And for fantasy managers who have Kyler Murray or Deshaun Watson at quarterback (both of whom have Week 8 byes), Bridgewater would be a great one-week fill-in play.
Not only is Bridgewater coming off a solid performance (254 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints), but the Panthers have a favorable matchup against the Falcons. Through seven games, Atlanta has yet to allow less than 300 passing yards in any week.
In Week 5, Bridgewater passed for 313 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers' win over the Falcons. If he has a similar performance to that (which he should), then fantasy managers who add him should be happy.
Running Back Rankings
1. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (at CHI)
2. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)
3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (at PHI)
4. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (at CIN)
5. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders (at CLE)
6. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns (vs. LV)
7. Todd Gurley II, Atlanta Falcons (at CAR)
8. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (at GB)
9. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. NYJ)
10. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (at DET)
Waiver-Wire Target: New York Jets RB La'Mical Perine
The Jets' offense may not be a great unit, but there are some young players with potential on the field. That includes Perine, who had the best showing of his rookie season during New York's loss to Buffalo on Sunday.
Perine scored his first career touchdown (a 5-yard run early in the second quarter) and had 55 total yards. He had 11 carries, which was the same number as Frank Gore, as well as two receptions. In future weeks, it wouldn't be surprising to see Perine get even more involved as the Jets, who are 0-7, give more time to young players to help evaluate for future seasons.
With Perine available in 84 percent of Yahoo leagues and 89 percent of ESPN leagues, he's worth adding to the bench of a fantasy roster, even if it takes a few weeks for him to become a start-worthy player. Of course, he could build off the momentum from Week 7 and start putting up bigger numbers, so he's certainly worth adding this week.
Wide Receiver Rankings
1. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)
2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (at CAR)
3. Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears (vs. NO)
4. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (at GB)
5. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (vs. SF)
6. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (at CAR)
7. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at NYG)
8. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (at DEN)
9. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (vs. SF)
10. A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (at CIN)
Waiver-Wire Target: New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard
This past Thursday night, Shepard returned from a toe injury for the Giants' matchup against the Eagles, and he scored his first touchdown of the season after missing the previous four games. Not only that, but he showed that he's going to be a key part of New York's offense moving forward.
Shepard had six receptions for 59 yards and was targeted a season-high eight times by quarterback Daniel Jones. Although the Giants' offense has struggled, the return of Shepard could help them put up better numbers, as it gives Jones another strong receiver to throw to.
Over the past few seasons, Shepard has shown he's capable of having breakout games at times, putting up huge numbers. The 27-year-old is rostered in only 28 percent of Yahoo leagues and 36 percent of ESPN leagues, so he's a widely available receiver who is worthy of starting in the flex at this point.
Tight End Rankings
1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. NYJ)
2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (at SEA)
3. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (vs. PIT)
4. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders (at CLE)
5. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (vs. IND)
6. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (vs. LAC)
7. Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. DAL)
8. Evan Engram, New York Giants (vs. TB)
9. Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)
10. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers (at DEN)
Waiver-Wire Target: Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles
With Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert out injured, it's Rodgers' time to be the Eagles' No. 1 tight end. He got off to a strong start this past Thursday, hauling in six passes for 85 yards. Rodgers has yet to get into the end zone this season, but he was targeted a season-high eight times against the Giants, so that could be coming soon.
Rodgers is available in many fantasy leagues, as he's rostered in less than 10 percent of both Yahoo and ESPN leagues. He'll be a strong streaming option in Week 8, as the Eagles have a favorable matchup against the Cowboys' defense. And with quarterback Carson Wentz playing well, he shouldn't have trouble getting the ball to Rodgers for some big gains on Sunday night.