The quickest way to fall behind in a fantasy football league is to become complacent and rely on the team you drafted, neglecting the all-important waiver wire. As managers make numerous waiver claims for Week 8, hoping to strengthen their roster, should Los Angeles Chargers WR DeAndre Carter be a priority addition off the waiver wire?
DeAndre Carter Stepped up on Sunday When the Chargers Needed Him the Most
There’s a reason the phrase next man up has stuck around this long in the NFL. The Chargers’ Carter is just the latest example of someone needing to step up in a critical situation for their team.
With all three of their top wide receivers injured, Carter was thrust into a significant role on Sunday. Typically only active in three-wide sets, Joshua Palmer saw a bulk of his action in two-wide looks while playing alongside Keenan Allen, who was “fake active.”
I’m still shocked Allen suited up but not surprised by the result. He played on 23 of the Chargers’ snaps and drew only two targets, as he was merely a decoy. This is why I was saying not to start him even if he was active, as we’ve seen this same song and dance before.
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On the other hand, Carter was busier than anyone else, playing on 94% of the snaps with a 93% route participation. He finished fourth on the team and targets with seven, catching three passes for 37 yards, with 22 of those coming on a single play.
With Palmer out with a concussion, the last thing the Chargers needed was another injury, but unfortunately, Mike Williams is likely to miss multiple weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Seahawks.
Williams was on pace to have a monster game, catching seven of nine targets for 86 yards and a touchdown before his exit. Luckily, the Chargers have a bye in Week 8, which gives them a chance to get healthier as they attack the second half of the season.
They’re still in the divisional hunt, and fantasy managers need the players they invested so heavily in at the start of the year to carry them into a deep run in the playoffs.
Is Carter’s Potential Fantasy Upside Worth Stashing Off the Week 8 Waiver Wire?
The waiver wire in 2022 has been hit or miss. Some weeks, there are big names that every manager needs to take a shot at acquiring, and others, not so much. I’d put Week 8 somewhere in the middle.
For one, they have more upside at the moment. Edwards and Foreman looked fantastic, taking over lead roles in their backfield. Robinson is who I expect to become the Giants’ No. 1 option, and Campbell has put together probably one of the best two-game stretches of his career.
Carter would be right up there if LA didn’t have a bye in Week 8. Unfortunately, by the time the Chargers get back on the field, I expect them to have Allen and Palmer ready to go.
This would push Carter back into a slot role at best in three-wide sets. Even if Williams misses multiple weeks, the additional targets to Austin Ekeler and Gerald Everett likely make Carter the fifth option in the red zone, which drastically limits his ceiling for fantasy.
Unless you have a roster with really deep benches and can stash Carter, with no guarantee that he sees your starting lineup, go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose. But if you’re making waiver wire claims in Week 8 and need someone you could potentially put into your lineup, I would look at other directions.