Top Players to Add in Week 8
A good draft makes a good team, but leagues are won and lost on the waiver wire. Injuries happen, and stars emerge from the ashes. Successfully navigating the waters of the waiver wire will lead to a winning season. Here are my top five targets this week to help you navigate through the wire.
An important thing to consider is there could be some players rostered in over 50% of leagues that are available on waivers. Be vigilant and watch your league’s Free Agency pools looking for names people gave up on too early.
From six byes last week to zero this week, we’re hunting for diamonds in the rough as we’re approaching the halfway point of the season.
1. Darrell Henderson Jr. – Throughout the week it wasn’t clear who the lead back would be in LA after Kyren Williams suffered his injury. This week it was clear: Darrell Henderson Jr. is the guy. Henderson played 39 snaps, 10 more than Royce Freeman. Henderson rushed 18 times for 61 yards and a touchdown while also catching one of two targets for five yards. With Williams on injured reserve, Henderson is set to be the unopposed heir to the throne in this Rams backfield.
2. Josh Downs, IND (35% ESPN, 36% Yahoo) – The leader in targets last week was none other than Josh Downs. Downs made the most of that volume with five catches, 125 yards, and a touchdown. I’ve been singing Downs’ praises the last couple of weeks but I’m bumping him up to top-five status. In fact, Downs is my number-one wide receiver waiver target this week.
3. Emari Demercado ARI – After a disappointing Week 6, Emari Demercado was the clear-cut backfield leader this week for the Arizona Cardinals. Demercado’s 53 snaps severely outweighed fellow backfield mate Damien Williams’s 12 snaps while Keaontay Ingram saw zero action. While Demercado has some tough matchups ahead of him, the volume and opportunities are present, and that’s what we like to see.
4. Kendrick Bourne – I keep mentioning Kendrick Bourne because he deserves to be rostered in more leagues! Bourne again led the Patriots in targets last week (seven) catching six passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. This week the Patriots play the Dolphins who allow above-average points per game to opposing wideouts (22.14).
5. Latavius Murray – With Damien Harris placed on Injured Reserve, Latavius Murray and James Cook have been sharing the workload. Through the first six weeks of the season, Murray has seven carries inside the five-yard line compared to just three for Cook. I like Murray for his touchdown upside.
Others Receiving Votes
Ezekiel Elliott, NE (40% ESPN, 46% Yahoo) – Ezekiel Elliott found the end zone for the second week in a row and actually had more carries than fellow running back Rhamondre Stevenson. While I don’t expect Zeke to find the end zone every week I believe he has the best chance between the two New England running backs to find the end zone. He’s a great play for bye weeks coming up with his schedule being @MIA, vs WAS, and vs IND.
Odell Beckham Jr., BAL (45% ESPN, 27% Yahoo) – Here’s a blast from the past, Odell Beckham Jr. was heavily involved in the offense last week. OBJ played in 59% of snaps and had 77% route participation. All that led to seven targets (season-high) for five catches (season-high) and 49 yards (you guessed it, season-high). Lamar Jackson and the Ravens looked comfortable throwing the ball, I expect more passing volume going forward leading to more opportunities for OBJ.
Pierre Strong Jr., CLE (0% ESPN, 1% Yahoo) – First Nick Chubb, now Jerome Ford. Ford looks to be sidelined for one to two weeks, opening the door for some depth pieces. While I expect Kareem Hunt (who would have been in this article had he not been over the 50% threshold) to still feast I’m expecting Pierre Strong Jr. to be involved as well. Hunt has never been a three-down back and Strong looked solid during his eight carries last week. Over the next two weeks, the Browns play at Seattle, then home against Arizona.
Taysom Hill, NO (6% ESPN, 9% Yahoo) – It’s crazy to imagine T Hill being available in over 90% of leagues! Yes, I know Taysom Hill is the other T Hill, but Taysom’s upside is just as high, if not higher than other tight ends across the league. This was Taysom’s second straight week with a top-six finish (before MNF). Taysom has had at least nine opportunities (targets + rushing attempts) in each of the last two weeks, so you can feel good about his volume. The TE Wasteland is vast this year, Taysom is an exciting dart throw with lots of potential upside.
Dalton Kincaid, BUF (32% ESPN, 42% Yahoo) – After missing Week 6 with a concussion Dalton Kincaid was back and unironically better than ever. Kincaid had his best game of the season catching all eight of his targets (season-high in targets) for 75 yards (season-high in yards). Dawson Knox will also require wrist surgery so that’s a huge bump in targets for Kincaid.
Kyler Murray, ARI (23% ESPN, 42% Yahoo) – The practice window has opened for Kyler Murray. According to Ian Rapoport, it sounds like a Week 10 return is likely for Murray. Even with that being a few weeks away, if you’re someone who’s still playing matchups for quarterbacks or someone who has an open bench slot (a luxury I know) Murray is a great stash.
Gardner Minshew II, IND (19% ESPN, 38% Yahoo) – Minshew Mania is back! Gardner Minshew II was the QB3 this week (before MNF), completing 15 passes for 305 yards and 2 passing touchdowns while also rushing 29 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. With Anthony Richardson being shut down for the year, Minshew is set to start the rest of the Colts’ games. While Minshew surely won’t be rushing for two touchdowns every week, he always has some degree of upside.
New York Jets (51%) face the New York Giants, the team allowing the most points to opposing defenses, 18.64 points per game.
Detroit Lions (38%) face the Las Vegas Raiders and whoever they decide to trot out for QB this week.
(Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire)