Week 8 of the 2018 NFL season is in the books, and that means it’s time to look at waiver wire pickups. Most leagues’ waivers process on Wednesday, so this article will be posted every Tuesday. The percentages next to a player’s name explain what percentage of an FAAB budget should go toward that player in a 12-team PPR format.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (TB, 1-2%)
Jameis Winston’s benching thrusts Ryan Fitzpatrick back into the starting role. Fitzmagic scored over 25 fantasy points in each of his first three starts this season, so he is immediately in the QB1 conversation. He is a high-risk, high-reward option because he has shown flashes of greatness paired with episodes of terrible play.
Peyton Barber (TB, 6-8%)
Ronald Jones’ injury means Peyton Barber is the lone wolf in the Tampa Bay backfield for the next few weeks. Under Fitzpatrick, the Buccaneers were one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league, so there will be plentiful scoring opportunities for Barber if Fitzpatrick turns into Fitzmagic. Jacquizz Rodgers will vulture passing-down work, but Barber has flex appeal for the next few weeks while Jones nurses a hamstring injury.
Ito Smith (ATL, 6-8%)
Ito Smith has out-touched Tevin Coleman in the red zone this season and Devonta Freeman’s injury opens up a lot of volume. Coleman is the lead dog in Atlanta, but the Falcon’s partiality toward a committee approach means multiple mouths can be fed.
Courtland Sutton (DEN, 16-18%)
The Denver Broncos traded Demaryius Thomas to the Texans before the trade deadline on Tuesday, so second-round rookie Courtland Sutton will join Emmanuel Sanders in two-wide sets. Sutton has the size to be a bona fide WR1 and elite red zone threat, so owners with the No. 1 spot in the waiver order should target him this week.
D.J. Moore (CAR, 4-6%)
First-round rookie D.J. Moore totaled 129 yards last Sunday and marked his third consecutive game with at least five targets. Moore’s college dominator rating and breakout age are both above the 95th percentile, indicating he is an elite prospect just waiting to break out. His usage may not allow that this season, but his upside warrants an add.
DeVante Parker (MIA, 2-4%)
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: DeVante Parker has breakout potential this year. Okay, we’ve heard that every year since he came into the league, but he sits atop the Dolphins’ depth chart right now and had nine targets on Sunday. Still, he’s had four years to break out and hasn’t done it yet, so the chances are slim, but he is worth an add just in case this is the year.
Vance McDonald (PIT, 2-4%)
Vance McDonald is splitting time with Jesse James at tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he has topped 47 yards in four of six games this season and the Steelers’ high-octane offense provides a plethora of scoring opportunities.
Jack Doyle (IND, 1-3%)
It wasn’t that long ago that Andrew Luck supported both Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener as fantasy-relevant options, with both scoring eight touchdowns. With a dismal wide receiver depth chart after TY Hilton, Doyle and Eric Ebron can both be fantasy-relevant. Doyle was out-snapping and out-targeting Ebron before an injury cost him a month of the season, so he is worth monitoring over the next few weeks.