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Fantasy Football NFL Week 8 Waiver Wire Candidates

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Welcome to the early-week look at the Week 8 waiver wire run. With few exceptions, players need to be rostered in fewer than 50.0% of Yahoo! and ESPN fantasy football leagues to qualify for this list. Enjoy!

Quarterbacks

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Rostered in 40.0% of Yahoo! leagues and 28.7% of ESPN leagues

  • Jones is fantasy football’s QB9 (121.22 fantasy points) entering Week 8.
  • Jones, working under new coach Brian Daboll, has done an excellent job of playing it safe through the air. Among quarterbacks with at least 100 pass attempts, Jones’ two interceptions are tied for the second-lowest sum, and his 3.00 touchdown-to-interception ratio is tied for No. 6 overall.
  • Jones has unlocked his dual-threat potential this year and currently sits No. 2 across the board in quarterback yards rushing (343), quarterback yards per rush attempt (5.91) and quarterback rushing touchdowns (three). 
  • Jones’ 29 first-downs gained rushing is tied with Lamar Jackson for the position’s top spot, and Jones’ 2.57 yards after contact per rush attempt have him safely inside the top five.

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

Rostered in 4.0% of Yahoo! leagues and 15.2% of ESPN leagues

  • The Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen (29.48 fantasy points per game) and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts (24.64 fantasy points per game) are two of the top three quarterbacks in fantasy scoring, and both just had their byes in Week 7. Few quarterbacks could ever hope to replicate Allen and Hurts’ production, should one of them miss time, but the Cleveland Browns’ Deshaun Watson is one of them. 
  • Fantasy managers should cut whichever quarterback they used as a fill-in for Week 7 and stash an elite quarterback insurance plan in Watson.
  • Watson is set to return from suspension in Week 13. 
  • Cleveland backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett has managed to return mid-tier QB2 value in Watson’s stead while facilitating a top-12 season for wide receiver Amari Cooper and top-three seasons for running back Nick Chubb and tight end David Njoku. 

Wide Receiver

Wan’Dale Robinson, New York Giants

Rostered in 14.0% of Yahoo! leagues and 13.5% of ESPN leagues

  • Robinson boasts a 29% targets per route run rate and a 2.09 yards per route run rate on 44 total routes run this year. As detailed in the Five Fantasy Football Takeaways from NFL Week 7 article, his target-based efficiency metric ranks No. 1 among all NFL rookies with at least 12 targets this year, and his yard-based efficiency metric ranks No. 2.
  • He’s registered 17-yard receptions in back-to-back contests after returning from a four-week absence thanks to a Grade 1 knee sprain suffered early in Week 1.
  • Stud rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger suffered an eye injury on Sunday. The length of his impending absence is unknown, leaving Robinson with no real target competition outside of running back Saquon Barkley. 
  • Robinson already looks the part of a yards-after-catch maven, averaging 4.90 yards after the catch per reception, fourth overall among rookie wide receivers with at least 12 targets.
  • Robinson gets a to-die-for matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8, whose defenders are surrendering the league’s 10th-highest yards after the catch per reception rate. Robinson should be treated as a fantasy football WR2 against Seattle.

Tyquan Thornton, New England Patriots

Rostered in 11.0% of Yahoo! leagues and 4.65 of ESPN leagues

  • Consider this a pre-Monday Night Football bonus pick. Add Thornton before kickoff while you still can.
  • Thornton made his NFL regular season debut in Week 5 after missing the first four weeks of the season with a broken collarbone.
  • The 6-foot-2-inch, 182-pound pass catcher bears all the markings of a truly explosive athlete with a blazing 4.28-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Thornton also registered a long 10-foot-10-inch broad jump, and a DeAndre Hopkins-Esque 36.5-inch vertical.
  • Coach Bill Belichick eased Thornton into the lineup in Week 5, setting him loose on just 14 routes. Thornton parlayed the small sample size into a respectable 21.4% targets per route run rate.
  • It is fair to note Nelson Agholor (hamstring) missed Week 6 and Kendrick Bourne (toe) exited the game after just three routes, but Thornton operated as a fully featured member of New England’s offense. 
Tyquan Thornton Week 6 Total Snaps – Routes Rec./Tgt. – Yards Rec. – TD Per Routes Run Rates: Targets – Yards Rush Att. – Yards Rushing – TD
Statistics & Usage 36 – 26 4/5 – 37 – 1 19.2% – 1.42 3 – 16 – 1
  • Two of Thornton’s carries came from inside the opponent’s red zone, as did two of his targets.
  • Both Agholor and Bourne are firmly questionable to play on Monday night.
  • New England’s Monday night foe, the Chicago Bears, is allowing 127.00 yards receiving per game to opposing wide receivers, which is third most in the NFL. 

Running Backs

Michael Carter, New York Jets

Rostered in 66.0% of Yahoo! leagues and 68.7%

  • Players with roster rates over 60.0% are rarely included in a waiver wire column. But exceptions must be made after a notable injury.
  • New York Jets rookie phenom running back Breece Hall was well on his way to a Pro Bowl nomination. But, he tragically suffered what is believed to be a torn ACL in Week 7. Carter is set to resume lead-back duties if Hall is out for the remainder of the year.
  • At 5-foot-8-inches, 200-pounds, Carter leans to the smaller side of the running back spectrum. Despite his size, Carter regularly sheds contact for significant gains and routinely converted on third down last year.
  • The table below shows Carter ranked, in parentheses, among 2021 NFL running backs with at least 100 carries. 
Michael Carter 2021 Rushing Data Yards After Contact per Rush Att. Third-Down Conversion Rate Rushing
2021 Statistics 3.37 (No. 8) 71.4% (No. 8)
  • Carter has never fumbled on an NFL rush attempt.
  • His yards after contact per rush attempt has decreased to 2.42, and his third-down conversion rate rushing has petered out at 33.3%. That said, Carter has improved his yards before contact per rush attempt, taking it from 0.98 yards to 1.02. 
  • Carter’s passing game abilities have remained stable. The table ranks Carter among NFL running backs with at least 30 targets in 2022 and 15 targets in 2022. Rankings are shown in parentheses.
Michael Carter Passing Game Usage Targets per Route Run Rate Yards per Route Run
2021 25.0% (No. 8) 1.48 (No. 14)
2022 20.0% (No. 21) 1.26 (No. 14)
  • On third and fourth down, with three or more yards to go, Carter had logged 22 snaps to Hall’s 39 in Weeks 1-6. 
  • In Weeks 1-6, Carter led Hall in two-minute drill snaps, 38-to-25.
  • Carter is a capable running back and was managing to hold his own in the passing game against Hall, who is also an impressive dual-threat running back. 
  • Carter must be rostered in more than 99.0% of leagues after Week 8’s waivers run.

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens

Rostered in 42.0% of Yahoo! leagues and 13.1% of ESPN leagues

  • Edwards came off the Reserve/Physically Unable to perform list on Saturday (ACL, LCL, hamstring). 
  • He led the backfield in total snaps but ceded passing down work to Justice Hill and Kenyan Drake, as covered here in Five Fantasy Football Takeaways from NFL Week 7.
  • Edwards’ 66 yards rushing handily outdid both Hill (26) and Drake (five). 
  • He scored twice while Hill lost a fumble.
  • Edwards read his blocks well and averaged 1.56 yards rushing before contact, which led all Ravens running backs by a margin of 2.16.
  • Baltimore’s lead back, J.K. Dobbins, underwent a cleanup procedure on his knee (ACL, LCL, and hamstring surgery in early 2021) and was placed on Injured Reserve earlier in the week. Dobbins will miss four to six weeks.
  • The Ravens will likely be favored in their next five games, which should help secure a big workload for Edwards. Baltimore’s bye comes in Week 10. 

Tight Ends

Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos

Rostered in 11.0% of Yahoo! leagues and 7.6% of ESPN leagues

  • It took exactly one week for Dulcich to play Albert Okwuegbunam out of a job. 
  • Dulcich missed the first five weeks of the season with a hamstring injury but made a triumphant debut as the PPR TE11 in Week 6 with 12.4 PPR fantasy points. Dulcich caught two-of-three targets for 44 yards receiving and one touchdown.
  • He followed that up with an 11.1-PPR fantasy-point performance in Week 7, earning him the TE6 spot. Dulcich caught six-of-nine targets for 51 yards receiving. Dulcich’s nine Week 7 targets were tied for first among tight ends.
  • Dulcich is No. 2 on the team in both receptions (eight) and yards receiving (95) during the last two weeks. He is also the only Denver Bronco to catch a touchdown during that span. 
  • Denver’s Week 8 foe, the Jacksonville Jaguars, does a decent job defending against tight ends in the passing game. However, their 6.88 yards after the catch per reception allowed is the third-highest rate in the league.

Defense/Special Teams

The Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST play comes from a recommendation by The 33rd Team’s Ryan Reynolds.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • The Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST is No. 13 in fantasy points per game (7.1). They play the Denver Broncos in Week 8.
  • It is unknown whether Denver quarterback Russell Wilson (hamstring/Latisimus Dorsi) or Brett Rypien (awful) will be under center. 
  • Wilson has absorbed 20 sacks already this year, which is tied for the sixth-most despite missing Week 7.
  • While Wilson has kept his interception total in check (three), Wilson’s five passing touchdowns are tied for 26th in the league. 
  • Playing in relief of Wilson, Rypien posted Week 7’s second-worst completion percentage, 52.2%, en route to 225 scoreless yards passing. He added one interception and one sack for good measure. 
  • Jacksonville’s 1.00 interception rate per game is tied for sixth-best in the NFL. 
  • While Jacksonville’s 11 sacks are tied for 26th in the league, their 95 quarterback pressures are tied for a top-five sum. 

WATCH MORE: Which Team is the NFL’s Best?

 

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