It’s already week 8, where oh where has the time gone? Just looking at the available players on your league waiver wires this week is more than enough to be wistful for the beginning of the season. Everywhere you looked to begin the season you could find a player to help you steal a win. Now, I’m going to be honest with you, it’s not pretty. The players I’m telling you to pick up might not help you much, if at all. But such is the life of a dynasty owner I suppose. As a whole, dynasty league owners already have a deeper Rolodex of players than redraft owners so it’s hard enough finding hidden gems. Add the fact that we’re now in week 8 with two upcoming weeks with 6 teams on bye and well, well you’ll see below.
But there is a ray of sunshine in the darkness, as I mentioned above in Weeks 8 and 9 six teams will be on bye. This might present you with an opportunity to snag a player or two you have on your personal watch list that resides on another roster at the moment. Make sure you keep an eye on what players shake free from rosters during these bye weeks. As the saying goes “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Thank you to DFF’s Shane Manila @DFF_Shane and KJ Hanna @DFF_KJ for their contributions this week and thank you for checking us out too.
QB: Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (1.5%)
So that Brian Hoyer run was fun, wasn’t it? Sadly, that run concluded Thursday night when Hoyer broke his arm against the Packers. Luckily for fantasy owner’s Hoyer’s injury coincides with Cutler’s recovery from a sprained thumb. Cutler is pegged to get the start this coming Monday night. You know the pro’s and cons of Mr. Cutler so I’m not going to sell you on him. But know at worst Cutler is a streaming option for the remainder of the season.
QB: Josh McCown/Kevin Hogan, Cleveland Browns (.5% & 0%)
I actually feel sorry for the Browns at this point. I can not recall any other team going through the amount of QB’s they have in a season, let alone half a season. Cody Kessler recovered from one injury only to be injured again and be knocked out of Sunday’s game with a concussion. Kevin Hogan came on in relief against the Bengals and threw for a modest 100 yards but he excelled rushing the ball with 104 yards, including a TD on 7 carries. If Kessler can’t clear the concussion protocol prior to Sunday than Hogan would be the Browns’ starter this week. Well, Hogan would be the starter if Kessler is out AND Josh McCown isn’t cleared to return from his shoulder injury. So pick Hogan and/or McCown up if you’re desperate for a QB this week with 6 teams on a bye.
WR: J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals (<1%)
At 5’10’ and 160 lbs., Nelson is a tiny little man. But he can make big plays as evidenced by his 40-yard reception Sunday night against the Seahawks. With uncertainty surrounding John Brown having the sickle cell trait and how that may affect him going forward, Nelson might be able to slide into the big play role JB occupies, if only briefly. In addition to the uncertainty of John Brown’s situation, the Cardinals also lost Jaron Brown for the season to a torn ACL sustained Sunday night. Add the injuries to Michael Floyd’s weekly disappearing act and Nelson has a chance to be on the receiving end of one or two big plays every week.
WR: Russell Shepard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0%)
As with most of this week’s adds, Shepard has an opportunity due to an injury. In Shepard’s case, an uptick in snaps is available due to the IR designation of Vincent Jackson. Although Mike Evans is going to get a large number of targets every week someone else besides him and Cameron Brate should be able to garner some targets as well. This past week Shepard showed well with 77 yards and a TD on 5 receptions. At one time this year, it looked as if Adam Humphries had carved out a role as the third option in the Bucs offense but that time has seemingly passed. Since week 3 when he posted a 100 yard game on 9 receptions Humphries hasn’t eclipsed 17 yards or 4 targets. Humphries loss could very well be Shepard’s gain.
RB: Dujuan Harris, San Francisco 49ers (0%)
With Carlos Hyde out due to injury, Mike Davis was expected to receive the lion’s share of the workload against the Bucs. But it was Harris who actually led the backfield with 11 carries to Davis’ 7 and out-rushed Davis 39 yards to 21. For good measure Harris also had 2 receptions converting them into 18 yards. Based on the usage it would appear that Harris is ahead of Davis at this point.
RB: Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (3%)
Last season Draughn had a 4 game stretch where he carried a large number of teams into the fantasy playoffs. He’s an excellent receiving back with a track record of proven NFL success, even if only in small doses. While Dujuan Harris was the primary rushing back last week Draughn was easily the primary receiving back with 5 receptions, on 7 targets, for 37 yards. Why Draughn hasn’t received this level of work up until last week is not something I can say I fully understand. Carlos Hyde has had a very good year but is not nearly the dependable or accomplished receiving threat that Draughn is. If Hyde is out for any extended period of time I’d expect Draughn to continue to receive 5-7 targets weekly.
RB: Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (6%)
IF he’s still available in your league, he is your #1 priority this week. The Bills continue their bad player management by pushing their stars out on the field when they are clearly injured (Watkins & McCoy) and unfortunately, it continues to backfire. McCoy is supposedly ‘questionable’ for week 8 but honestly, the Bills must do the right thing if they believe they are true competitors this year and sit McCoy 1-2 weeks. Gillislee is more than capable to take the reins, especially with the soft schedule. Grab him now while you still can!
RB: Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (33%)
Another RB we’ve written about in recent weeks, Booker is supposedly going to be used more, much to the chagrin of CJA owners. For those who need a bye week fill-in, trade bait or just a wait and see stash, Booker is extremely important to have on your bench. This will be the last week you’ll be able to get him cheap.
RB: Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (26%)
My RB adds seems to be like Groundhog’s Day. Asiata is yet another handcuff (I’m using that loosely) to own. MA is looking like the more stable of the 2 Vikings’ RBs as we thought he’d get the GL carries but is also now involved in the passing game. SIGN ME UP! In week 7, Asiata led the Vikings in carries and yards with 12/55 and 6 catches (8 targets) for an additional 25 yards. Unfortunately, he did not score but the Vikings offense was off-kilter so I’m expecting good things to come.
RB: Knile Davis, Packers: (34.5%)
Newly acquired by the Packers due to the rash of injuries to Lacy and Starks, Davis was in uniform only days after being traded. This translated to only a few snaps late in the 4th quarter due to an injury to practice squad RB Don Jackson, but he at least got some game time. Although I’m not a big fan of Davis (also as a Packers fan) I anticipate Davis to see 10-12 carries per game but with TY Montgomery getting the majority, ala the Theo Riddick role. However, once Starks is back, I can see Davis being the full-time backup and losing his value. But, for the immediate bye weeks, you could do worse for a fill-in as the Packers will face the Falcons and Colts in the upcoming weeks.
RB: Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (14%)
Matt Jones did himself NO favors this weekend by fumbling twice and losing one in the end zone. Enter the mess of a potential triple headed monster with Jones-Thompson-Kelley. I was a big fan of the preseason darling, Rob Kelley, but he’s since seen very little action for some reason. Thompson is not a 3 down back by any means, like Riddick he doesn’t have the size to handle that kind of work, however, he is a nice PPR RB to own. In week 7 Thompson saw season highs with 103 total yards (73 rushing, 40 catching) and 19 touches. I like Thompson as a bye week start in Week 8.
RB: Damien Williams, Miami Dolphins (.2%)
Who doesn’t want an RB on their roster with the name Damien? It just screams intimidation. With the shocking retirement of Arian Foster on Monday, Williams gets an immediate uptick as the backup and at times GL vulture in Miami. He’s been getting the #2 back work in recent weeks so this should solidify his role, as long as he can hold Kenyan Drake away. Not a bad add for Ajayi owners and those in standard leagues looking for a bye week fill-in.
DEEEEEP LEAGUES ONLY:
RB: Terron Ward, Atlanta Falcons (0%)
Ward is the next in line RB in Atlanta, although he’s still on the practice squad. With Tevin Coleman expected to miss time, Freeman will need someone to spell him from time to time and Ward seems to be that someone. He knows the system and if you have the room, could be a silver ticket if Coleman is out for an extended period or if Freeman gets banged up.
WR: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (17.5%)
How did Adams get through a concussion to have a historical game? As a Packers fan, I was reluctant to own Adams after his drops in 2015 but something has indeed clicked. I don’t expect Devante to be fed 16 targets every week but he sure did a lot with them. On 13 of 16 targets, Adams had a 132/2 line and made some bad passes from Rodgers look routine. Maybe Adams is becoming the new James Jones as he’s scored in 4 of 6 games this year. Now, if you are an owner, as much as I love him as an add, he’s also a sell high candidate, depending on what your team needs.
WR: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins: (39%)
With recent injuries to the Redskins, Crowder has been playing consistent ball and a bit under the radar. His last 3 weeks in PPR leagues look like this: 12, 14 and 18. This from a WR who’s only 40% owned and that’s an uptick of 5% from the wk prior? Receiving season highs in receptions and yardage with 7/108, Crowder has solidified himself as a PPR WR3/FLEX for those in need. Hell, I actually added him and started him over Nuk in a deep league for week 7. Yup.
WR: Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings (1%)
Patterson is starting to carve out a real role in Minnesota and finding a groove with Bradford. Cordarrelle had the 2nd most snaps among all Vikings receivers in week 5 and 7, led the team in receiving yards (67) and scored the team’s only TD on Sunday. Getting 19 targets over the past 3 games has his value in the Vikings’ offense trending upward, the time to stash and stream is now with his upcoming schedule vs the Bears, Lions (twice) in the next 5 weeks isn’t too shabby.
TE: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (15%)
O’DOYLE RULES!!!! Need I say more? Yes, well, how about this, in his last 2 weeks he’s had a combined line of 13/131/2. This equates to 15 points and 22 points in PPR leagues for weeks 6 & 7 respectively. Sure, Allen could come back and take a few targets away but the rapport that Doyle and Luck have right now cannot be denied and neither should his ownership. Add him this week.
TE: Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (28%)
It truly is Halloween season because Vernon is back from the fantasy grave. Early reports are stating that Jordan Reed isn’t cleared by their neurologist yet for week 8 and I honestly believe Washington should hold him out until after their week 9 bye. In the case that Reed IS out again, Davis will continue to get to play the Reed role and receive a serviceable amount of targets. In week 6 Davis played in 96% of the offensive snaps and turned them into a 6/79 line. Not too shabby in a PPR league.
QB: Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (40%)
The Chiefs have been primarily a run-first offense, especially of late and to the detriment of Maclin and Kelce owners, however, Smith has the talent around him to make him a viable QB streamer. Not only does Alex possess the ‘game manager’ sensibility but can provide some rushing yards as well, which gives him a slight uptick for a streamer. Again, with a ton of teams coming into their bye weeks, you could do worse than marching Smith out there vs the Colts, Jags, Panthers and Bucs in the next 4 weeks.
QB: Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (1.5%)
The brooding one is back and Jeffrey owners couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, Brian Coyer suffered a broken arm in week 7 after putting up fantastic numbers since Cutler went down with a thumb injury, which re-opens the door for Cutler. We all know who Cutler is and what he is and is not capable of, which makes him a HUGE gamble vs the Vikings in Week 8, however, after the Bears BYE in wk 9, they face the Bucs, Giants, Titans, 49ers, Lions, and Packers. It’s a fairly juicy schedule, so if he truly wants to stay in Chicago or wants a starting job elsewhere, he’ll need to prove it.
TE: Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (28%)
Each week as we do this, I’m shocked by a few players’ ownership percentages. Davis’ 28% mark clearly show that people love to hang onto the past. He worth an add only if Jordan Reed is still missing time with yet another concussion. Nile Paul was thought to be the guy to step up and fill in if anything happened to Reed, but that hasn’t been the case.
TE: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (15%)
Dwayne Allen is out with an injury and it looks like it’ll be a few weeks until we see him again, leaving the door open for Doyle. Last week as the Colts’ TE1, Doyle caught 9 balls for 78 yards and a touchdown. Continue to expect similar numbers as long as he’s getting the bulk of the work.
RB: Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (34%)
‘Quizz is putting up some respectable numbers in Doug Martin’s absence. As a Charles Sims truther, this makes me sick to my stomach, but it is what it is. As the Bucs’ lead back, he’s been averaging 28 carries for 127 yards. While Martin is out, he’s becoming one of the most heavily used backs in football. Reread that last sentence … wow.
RB: Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (<1%)
(see Rodgers, Jacquizz; above) Rodgers has never carried the load like he has been asked to do thus far this season, and last week the Bucs finally started getting rookie Peyton Barber involved. He carried the ball 12 times for 84 yards and scored a touchdown. If Martin continues to miss time, I suspect we’ll see Barber take over as the early down back and Rodgers to take over the change of pace role.
RB: Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins (1%)
Matt Jones’ fumbling problems have resurfaced and the coaches are none too pleased. Expect Kelley to see an increase in work as a result and if he can perform as well as he did in the pre-season, don’t be shocked if he wrestles this job away from Jones as the season progresses.
RB: Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (6%)
Ugh … Rex Ryan is stupid. There I said it. He foolishly played a slightly injured LeSean McCoy last week and turned him into a more injured LeSean McCoy. Just dumb. So, now it’s likely that McCoy misses some time and expect Gillislee to pick up the bulk of the touches left behind in his absence.
WR: Devante Adams, Green Bay Packers (17%)
Don’t look now, but the guy every Jeff Janis truther loves to hate has turned into one of Aaron Rodgers most reliable targets this season. With the corpse of Jordy Nelson doing nothing the packers have had to look elsewhere for WR production and Adams has stepped up admirably. He’s already got 5 TDs on the season, and thus far looks like he might be the best receiver on the Packers for fantasy purposes.
WR: Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (1.5%)
Jacksonville has been terrible. A team that most had high hopes for this offseason has regressed in every way possible. Even their good players like Allen Robinson suck. However, with a slightly injured Allen Hurns making a few extra snaps per game available, Lee has been a bit of a breakout player thus far. Consistently seeing 6-7 targets per game, he’s finally turning those into something and he gashed the awful Raiders’ defense for over 100 yards last week. Yet to get into the end zone, Lee is worth a grab if you need help at WR due to injuries or bye weeks.
WR: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (39%)
Crowder is slowly becoming a decent lil football player. He seems to have great chemistry with Kirk Cousins and either piles up the catches or squeezes into the end zone each week making him a decent option, especially in PPR leagues. On pace for about 7 TDs and in the 70+ reception range, he should be more highly owned than 39%, grab him if he’s available and thank me later.
WR: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (<1%)
I recommend him almost every single week. If you’re in a dynasty league- stop reading and grab this kid right now. His week-to-week production isn’t much right now, but the Chiefs are passing more than in years past and I predict by the end of the season Hill is their #2, and in another year or so he’s a legit WR1 in this league. A super talented guy who has made some poor decisions off of the field, he seems to have his life back on track and is poised to be a breakout star in the NFL. If your redraft league gives you points for return yardage, he’s worth adding.
We’ve crossed the halfway point in the season and hope that our waiver suggestions have been helpful thus far. NFL bye weeks are now in full swing and although not as bad as years past, injuries are starting to build up a bit. Being active on the waiver wire will make a huge difference for your team over the next few weeks and can greatly impact your team’s chances from now until season’s end. Good luck to you this weekend, hope to see you back here next week and as always thank you for reading. Please feel free to give us a follow and hit us up with any questions on Twitter @dibari22, @DFF_Shane and @DFF_KJ.