After an eventful Week 7 in fantasy football filled with breakout players, disappointments, and injuries, it’s time to look ahead. With four teams on bye in Week 8, fantasy owners will need to scramble on putting in replacements as we are close to the mid-point of the season. So who are some of the early waiver wire pickups to target in Week 8 for your fantasy lineups? Let’s look at who is deserving of those priority claims.
Early Week 8 Waiver Wire: Quarterback pickups to target for your fantasy team
Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns)
After throwing for a combined 366 yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions over the last two weeks, Mayfield came back in a big way with 297 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception in Week 7. That is also without Odell Beckham Jr. for most of the game (and potentially beyond Week 7). He was able to throw for three touchdowns to Harrison Bryant and David Njoku combined while continually making big plays to help them to a 5-2 record on the season. Even with Beckham potentially out for a while, Mayfield has top-12 quarterback appeal in a Week 8 matchup against the Raiders, who were shredded by Tom Brady in Week 7 to the tune of 369 yards and four touchdowns.
Mayfield has one of the best offensive lines in the league and still has reliable pass-catchers to throw to in Jarvis Landry and Kareem Hunt, for example. For those without Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray, or Gardner Minshew in Week 8, Mayfield represents a terrific streaming option and an appealing waiver wire target.
Teddy Bridgewater (Carolina Panthers)
Bridgewater rebounded in Week 8 after struggling against a strong Bears defense. He finished with 254 yards passing and two touchdowns on 23 of 28 attempts, including a big 74-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Moore. Bridgewater now faces the Falcons on Thursday Night Football in Week 8. This is the same Falcons that Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns in Week 5 against. Bridgewater continues to keep improving his chemistry with his wide receiver duo of Moore and Robby Anderson. On top of that, he could potentially have All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey back in the lineup, which would only improve his solid floor.
Derek Carr (Las Vegas Raiders)
After holding Aaron Rodgers to only 160 yards passing and two interceptions in Week 6, the Buccaneers struggled to replicate their success against Carr. Carr extended his now five-game streak of at least 250 yards passing and two touchdowns despite a rather depleted wide receiver group. It’s time to accept that Carr is fantasy football relevant and deserves to be a waiver wire target if you need a quarterback.
Whether it be Nelson Agholor, Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs, or another skill player, Carr can make it work with anyone. He now faces a Browns defense that allowed rookie Joe Burrow to throw for over 400 yards, three touchdowns, and run for 34 yards and a score in Week 7. He represents a very safe floor in a plus matchup in Week 8.
Running backs to target in Week 8
La’Mical Perine (New York Jets)
While the notion of having a Jets running back on a fantasy football roster seems crazy, Perine has slowly seen his workload increase following the release of Le’Veon Bell. After seeing nine touches in Week 6, Perine had 13 touches in Week 7, even more than Frank Gore. Perine would score his first career touchdown and accumulate over 50 scrimmage yards against a tough Bills defense. Perine isn’t necessarily someone who will have weekly FLEX value, but his volume is increasing, and he could be useful in the right matchup. You could do worse with your RB4 spot than Perine, who was a solid prospect coming out of the University of Florida.
Ja’Mycal Hasty (San Francisco 49ers)
With Raheem Mostert going back on injured reserve, it was expected to be a mix of Hasty, Jerick McKinnon, and Jeff Wilson rounding out the running back group for the 49ers. Wilson had a huge game to the tune of 112 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries but did leave late in the game on a cart due to an ankle injury.
Hasty was expected to see an expanded role and he saw the second-most touches of any 49er running back with 10 for 73 total yards. Even more surprising was seeing McKinnon only get three carries for negative one yards. Assuming Wilson misses Week 8, Hasty looks in line to receive the majority of touches at this point and is one of the top Week 8 waiver wire pickups regardless of position.
As we’ve seen this season with any starting running back for the 49ers, they almost immediately become fantasy football relevant in that sort of a role. Hasty has done well over the last couple of weeks and is looking at a larger workload for a juicy matchup against a weak Seahawks defense in Week 8.
Zack Moss (Buffalo Bills)
After dealing with injuries for a good portion of the early season, Moss finally appears healthy and has become more involved in the Bills run game. He had a season-high 47 yards rushing on only seven carries, which is good for just under seven yards a carry. Granted, it was against the Jets, but Moss’ involvement is the most encouraging part. He finished with 10 offensive touches for 72 yards while Singletary had the same number of touches but for 47 yards. Singletary has four straight games of averaging less than four yards per carry and has only one rushing touchdown this season.
Moss’ arrow is shooting up while Singletary’s is going in the opposite direction. We could see Moss become more of a 1B to Singletary’s 1A as soon as next week and potentially even have their roles reversed before long. Now is the time to have Moss on your team with weekly FLEX consideration – he’s a guy that is worthy of a pickup in this week’s waiver wire run.
Wide receiver waiver wire pickups in Week 8
Cole Beasley (Buffalo Bills)
Believe it or not, Beasley has six straight games of double-digit points in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues. He is coming off his best game of the season with 11 catches and 112 yards on 12 targets. John Brown and three of the team’s tight ends were unavailable in Week 7, which led to Beasley’s increased usage.
Brown has struggled with injuries this season, and he may need to sit for another week or two after trying to unsuccessfully come back multiple times. Plus, with the three tight ends potentially out, it’s hard to say whether any of them could be available next week. With the Bills coming up against a suddenly struggling Patriots team, we could see Beasley operate as their number two target yet again alongside Stefon Diggs. This makes him an attractive waiver wire target this week.
Nelson Agholor (Las Vegas Raiders)
Once an afterthought, Agholor has exceeded expectations for the Raiders. He is playing very well as of late with at least 44 yards receiving and a touchdown in each of the last three games as one of Carr’s most trusted targets. With the injuries to Tyrell Williams and Bryan Edwards, Agholor has and will continue to operate as one of the Raiders’ top wide receivers.
He and the Raiders go into Week 8 against a Bengals defense that gave up over 400 yards receiving and two strong performances by Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Much like with Carr, it’s time to recognize Agholor’s value in fantasy football and consider him as a pickup in this week’s waiver wire.
Brandon Aiyuk (San Francisco 49ers)
Brandon Aiyuk is coming off his best performance of the season with 115 yards receiving on six catches against the Patriots. Known for his ability to pick up yardage after the catch, it was on full display in Week 7. He has played better as of late now that Jimmy Garoppolo is back under center and playing well. Aiyuk operates as the team’s number two wide receiver but may find himself in a larger role for Week 8 as Deebo Samuel left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. Knowing Samuel’s injury history, it’s far from a sure thing to see him on the field next week, especially with a soft-tissue problem.
Plus, the 49ers play the Seahawks in Week 8, who have given up more receiving yards to opposing wide receivers than any other team in the league. Regardless of Samuel’s status, Aiyuk needs to be on your Week 8 waiver wire pickup list as he has top-end FLEX value at the very least.
Early Week 8 tight end pickups
Harrison Bryant (Cleveland Browns)
After Austin Hooper was forced to sit due to emergency appendectomy surgery and Beckham exiting with a potentially serious knee injury, Bryant stepped up in the Browns’ big Week 7 win. He got the start over David Njoku in Hooper’s place and reeled in four catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns. While Njoku also caught a touchdown in that game, it’s clear that Bryant will have the bigger role of the two.
Plus, with a Week 8 game against the Raiders who gave up 62 yards and a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski in Week 7, Bryant could see himself not only with a larger role but a plus matchup. He is one of the top Week 8 waiver wire pickups to target.
Logan Thomas (Washington Football Team)
After pulling in 37 yards and a touchdown in his Week 1 debut for Washington, Thomas struggled to put together solid numbers until recently. Over the last two weeks, he has at least 42 yards receiving and a touchdown as he has firmly established himself as the number two target in this Washington offense behind Terry McLaurin. Thomas certainly doesn’t lack in the talent department but was rather limited by Washington’s below-average offense.
But with Washington seemingly performing better as of late on offense, Thomas has directly benefited from that. He’s garnered enough value to be a low-end TE1 and needs to be on every fantasy manager’s pickup list for the Week 8 waiver wire. Thomas also has a Week 8 match-up against the Giants who gave up six receptions and 85 yards to Richard Rodgers in Week 7.
Richard Rodgers (Philadelphia Eagles)
Speaking of Rodgers, he has stepped up as of late in light of Dallas Goedert’s injury and now Zack Ertz’s multi-week ailment as well. He played well in Week 7 with six receptions for 85 yards on eight targets. The Eagles have dealt with numerous injuries between Ertz, Goedert, DeSean Jackson (again), Miles Sanders, and Jalen Reagor, to mention a few.
Rodgers has capitalized on that and is expected to continue not only starting at tight end but be one of the featured pass catchers in that offense. Rodgers and the Eagles face the Cowboys in Week 8, who have been decimated by opposing offenses all season and just gave up a touchdown to Thomas this past weekend.
Want more fantasy football analysis and news?
Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.
Doug Moore is a fantasy football writer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter at @DMooreNFL.