Luckily it seems for the most part we avoided big injuries this week (though we did get a weird sickness for Bijon) and there are no byes in Week 8, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to build up our bench depth. Now is the time for 7-0 and 6-1 teams to start stashing players who could be late-season bloomers, while teams that are 4-3 or 3-4 need players that can help them win now to find a way into the playoffs.
Also, don’t forget to use trades if you don’t get what you need off the waiver wire. Whichever situation you find yourself in, you will find the player your team needs below. Happy shopping!
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Week 8 players to add
Pickup of the week – Rashee Rice
This will be the third and more than likely final time featuring Rashee in this weekly waiver article, but after seeing him have his best fantasy game of the year this week (5 catches for 60 yards and a touchdown), it’s clear he can be a league winner down the stretch for your team.
With matchups against Denver and Miami in the next two weeks, Rice is set to explode, and then the Chiefs have their bye week, which is the perfect opportunity to get the rookie more incorporated into the offense. Coming out of that getting the post-rookie bump, I expect Rice to be a full-fledged weekly starter at that point as a solid WR2 for the rest of the season. If Rice is on your waiver wire and you need WR/flex help, spend up to get him.
Top pick – Jared Goff: Goff had a really rough week against the Ravens but we’ll go right back to him with a matchup against the Raiders at home (where Goff plays much better). With Montgomery still set to be out, Goff should be expected to throw more, hopefully leading to more fantasy points. The only negative here could be if the Lions get up big and run the clock out, but hopefully, if that’s the case, Goff already has a good game anyway. Forget about the dud of a game last week and start Goff with confidence against the lowly Raiders.
Next – C.J. Stroud: The matchup isn’t the best, but coming out of a bye week, I expect Stroud to have a very good game. Bye weeks are most important for rookies as it gives them an extra week just to work on themselves instead of game planning for the next team. The Texans will also get Tank Dell back, giving Stroud his speedy deep threat. He cooled off a little before the bye, but expect Stroud to bounce back nicely this week.
Stash – Kyler Murray: Kyler was officially activated off the IR and is back practicing. He should be back within the next couple of weeks, as the Cardinals have 21 days to add him to the active roster. Add him to your IR spot if you have it or the bottom of your bench if you need QB help.
Check to see if available – With his top two running backs down and Cooper Kupp at full health, this seems to be the time for Matthew Stafford to have better games; tough Cowboys match-up this week though. Gardner Minshew had his best game of the season in a wild shootout with the Browns. He had some rough turnovers but if you are in a real pinch, he’s an option as a spot start.
Top pick – Kareem Hunt: With news of Jerome Ford’s ankle injury, Hunt shoots up to the top of the waiver rankings. He was already going to be a good add splitting work with Ford for the run-heavy Browns but now, with Ford out, he should be the starter and see the bulk of the touches. While Pierre Strong will see some work, it should mostly be as the backup. Grab Hunt as someone who you can
Next – Darrell Henderson Jr.: Darrell Henderson came right off his couch and into the Rams starting lineup. While he didn’t do anything mind-blowing, he did look solid for not playing all year and got the first reps at the start of the game and at halftime. If you need a fill-in RB2 spend up on Henderson as he should be the starter for the next couple weeks until Kyren Williams is back. Royce Freeman also split touches with Henderson, so is worth an add for RB-needy teams; while he’s not the starter, he got enough snaps to see how the Rams backfield shakes out going forward.
Stash – Kenneth Gainwell: Gainwell vulture a TD this weekend from Swift, showing that the coaching staff still believes in him and wants to get him touches. Add in that Swift hasn’t been healthy a full season of his career, and Gainwell is an easy option to store at the end of your bench. It could come in real handy towards fantasy playoff time.
Check to see if available/others of note – Gus Edwards, at the very least, seems to be the short-yardage and goal-line back for the Ravens; as the Ravens offense starts to take off, Gus can be a valuable asset to your team. Tyjae Spears looks like the real deal, and who knows…maybe Derick Henry gets traded at the deadline. Latavius Murray has taken over as the sole backup running back in Buffalo with Harris’s neck injury, a solid bye-week replacement with upside.
Top pick – Josh Downs: Downs dominated with 125 yards on 5 catches this weekend, including exploding for a 59-yard TD run on broken coverage. Downs has proven to be a weekly starting option with Minshew as QB, which should last all season now. Grab him while you can as a solid WR 3 or 4 for your squad.
Next – Joshua Palmer: Palmer had a huge day against the Chiefs, posting 133 yards on 5 receptions showing just how explosive a player he can be in this offense. Quintin Johnson only had one catch showing Palmer is the clear number 2 target behind Keenan Allen. With a matchup in primetime against Chicago this week, pick up Palmer as a very solid WR2/flex option. Also has season-long appeal, so he is worth adding even as a bench piece.
Stash – Jaxon Smith-Njigba: He seemed to have his breakout game this week with 63 yards and a touchdown. It’s still in the stash category as this breakout came with DK Metcalf sidelines; very interested to see how the post-breakout looks once DK is back. He’s a must-roster player going forward, as rookie wideouts tend to break out in the second half of seasons.
Check to see if available/others of note – Tank Dell was on a bye and hurt before that but should be back this week and has a nice schedule moving forward. Kendrick Bourne has had a couple of nice weeks in a row and has a nice schedule coming up. Romeo Doubs has another nice game, even though one TD went through his hands into a teammate’s; even though the Packers’ offense looks rough, he’s getting enough targets to be rostered as a low-end flex.
Top pick – Dalton Kincaid: Kincaid was our stash TE last week, so hopefully, you were able to get him on your bench before his breakout game last week. With Dalton Knox set to miss time, Kincaid becomes a must-add TE. I expect the 8 catches for 75 yards he had last weekend to become his norm going forward.
Next – Taysom Hill: Taysom has really morphed into part TE and part goal-line RB, which makes him a viable starting TE option in fantasy. While his 4 catches for 50 yards look like any other junk drawer TE stat line, his 5 carries, including one for a touchdown, are what makes him stand out. It will be interesting to see if he can keep his goal-line role with Jamaal Williams back, and he might lose some TE snaps if Juwan Johnson comes back but until then, he’s worth rostering to see how this experiment all shakes out.
Stash – Trey McBride: With Zach Ertz going on the IR, McBride becomes the new young TE to watch out for. He only had 3 catches for 29 yards last week but did garner 6 targets. He has the Ravens and Browns as his next two matchups, which is brutal, but while you can’t start him, he is someone to watch out for later in the year. If you can afford to stash him to see if his targets rise, I think it’s a solid move for TE-needy teams; he should also get Kyler back soon at QB, which should only make the Cardinals’ offense better.
Check to see if available/others of note –Jonnu Smith continues to get work and is a solid bye-week replacement for the rest of the season. Dalton Schultz is coming off a bye, so check to see if he was dropped, he should be rostered in all leagues.
Top pick – Chiefs D/ST: The Chiefs’ defense is playing amazingly, and get to see the Denver team they just dominated two weeks ago. I don’t think this is enough time for the Broncos to make this second matchup end up any different with adjustments; start the Chiefs D with confidence.
Next – Lions D/ST: The Lions’ defense will be looking forward to this one after getting embarrassed by the Ravens this past Sunday. Getting a Raiders team at home with potentially a backup QB again (Check for Jimmy G’s health status) makes for a must-start defense.
Stash – Colts D/ST: Looking ahead a week, the Colts will match up with the Carolina Panthers, who have been a very nice matchup for opposing defenses. If you find yourself in a bind for next week, the Colts should be a nice spot start.
Check to see if available – Texans D/ST: They were on a bye last week, so they should be dropped but come out of the bye week facing the Panthers, great spot start. Chargers D/ST will get the Bears this week; while Tyson Bagent looked solid in his debut, the Chargers will try to force him into some rookie turnovers on Sunday Night Football.
Top pick – Jake Elliott: Always my favorite kicker
Stash – Don’t ever stash a kicker, ever.
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