Those of you who have played Fantasy Football before know this has been one of the strangest seasons in recent memory. Every week has sent owners scrambling for waiver wire pickups to get players who never would generally see a starting roster in most leagues. However, don’t get too cute here chasing points while adding players during the Week 8 waiver wire period.
Will there be someone who comes from nowhere to have a Flex-worthy day? Sure, but it’s not predictable, and unless you are in the deepest of leagues, I can’t sit here and recommend going after guys like that. Olabisi Johnson is a player who fits the example. After fellow WR Adam Thielen left the game with a hamstring injury, Johson went on to post season-high numbers. Owned in 0.1% of fantasy leagues, he should only be stashed in the deepest of leagues or dynasty leagues if you have a roster spot available.
Teams on a Bye in Week 8: Dallas Cowboys & Baltimore Ravens
Ownership percentages are from ESPN.com as of 10/22
Auden Tate 41.2% owned
Auden Tate has steadily worked himself into a role that shouldn’t go anywhere, even when A.J. Green makes his return from his ankle injury. With 6+ targets and nine or more PPR points in each of his last five games, Tate deserves Flex play consideration. Currently owned in less than 50% of leagues, Tate’s 6’5″ frame gives him a size advantage against almost any cornerback he faces.
While Andy Dalton has not been the most efficient QB in the NFL, this hasn’t stopped him from trying. Dalton currently leads the NFL in passing attempts (286), meaning that even when Green returns, there should be plenty of targets to share between Green, Tate, and Tyler Boyd. If Tate is on your waiver wire, feel free to pick him up in Week 8 before they play the Los Angeles Rams.
Chase Edmonds 31.7% owned
Last week, the Arizona Cardinals gave us probably the most frustrating moment of the Fantasy Football season so far. After declaring David Johnson active, owners felt safe to start him and leave Edmonds on their bench. Johnson went on to only see a couple of plays and was pulled with an apparent “back” injury. If I’m honest, I don’t buy this at all. I understand the competitive advantage of not declaring Johnson out for the Cardinals, but for Fantasy Football, it’s brutal. Edmonds went on to have a career day, scoring 3 times and doing it all on most of our benches.
Three straight weeks of 14.5 points in a row for Edmonds makes him a must-own in Fantasy Football. If he is still on your waiver wire in Week 8, I wouldn’t feel bad using the top priority claim on him. The Johnson owner should have already rostered him, but if they hadn’t yet, make sure to be the one to do it. Moving forward, Edmonds has a Flex play floor every week.
Corey Davis (44%) & A.J. Brown (11.2%)
The Tennessee Titans making the switch at QB to Ryan Tannehill looks to be exactly what both Davis and Brown needed. A.J. Brown led all players in targets with eight, Corey Davis just behind him with seven. These were season-best numbers for targets for both players. Week 8 has the Titans in a favorable matchup against a weak passing defense in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game script might very well have Tannehill throwing close to 40 times, making both wide receivers worthy of a start in Fantasy Football.
Mark Walton 4.3% owned
It’s hard to recommend picking up a Miami Dolphins off waivers, but Walton’s case is a bit different. Trade rumors are gaining a lot of strength, and there is a seemingly good chance that RB Kenyan Drake will be traded very soon. The Detriot Lions could be a potential spot for this with RB Kerryon Johnson suffering a knee injury in Week 7.
Kalen Ballage has shown the team and Fantasy Football owners nothing to put any faith in him, leading us to think Walton would become the starter once Drake is gone. Week 8 looks to be the time to get ahead of this a grab Walton before any news comes out, and you are fighting other players in your league for the claim. The Dolphins play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football, giving them an extra day to get a deal done.
Kenny Stills 15.4% owned
Will Fuller dealing with a “significant” hamstring issue opens the door for Stills to see an increased target share with DeAndre Hopkins getting the majority of attention. Five catches for 105 yards give prospective Fantasy owners hope to grab a starting WR off waivers this week.
Ty Johnson 1.6% owned
Kerryon Johnson is headed to the IR and set to miss an extended period of time. Should the Lions choose not to make any moves, Ty Johnson will take over the lead RB duties. I would look to add him even if just as a handcuff but has the ceiling to see 12-18 touches a game if given the starting job.
This same handcuff philosophy can and should be used for other teams as well when working the Week 8 waiver wire. Given the amount of contact running backs take, players are only one hit away from seeing playing time shoot up. Depending on how deep your league is, check on guys like Darrell Henderson and Benny Snell too. Todd Gurley and James Conner have both missed time this year already and make their backups must-own pieces in Fantasy Football.
Kareem Hunt 55.7%
Even though he is just over the 50% owned threshold, Hunt is worth checking on. Hunt practiced Monday for the first time since undergoing sports hernia surgery and is set to come off his eight-game suspension in a few weeks. Adding him off waivers before he comes back is the smart play here and can give you some added RB depth leading into the final weeks.
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Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.