Writing this article mid-week will always present challenges in terms of injury designations and hasn’t gotten any easier this season with the sudden and unknown COVID factor poised to flip projections on their head. The best you can do is monitor practice reports throughout the week and “shoot your shot” when it comes to speculating which player(s) will be active come gameday. In Week 8, projecting RBs will be a particularly fickle process. Among backfield situations to monitor are the 49ers (start JaMycal Hasty if no Tevin Coleman), Bengals (start Giovani Bernard if no Joe Mixon), Seahawks (start Carlos Hyde if no Chris Carson, start Deejay Dallas if no Hyde), Packers (start Jamaal Williams if no Aaron Jones), and Ravens (start Gus Edwards if no Mark Ingram). Still with me so far?
Although it seems like a bit of a headache at first glance, you will earn your keep as a fantasy manager in Week 8 if you’re diligent about monitoring breaking news with the names above. It would be wise to make use of available bench spots by picking up any of these potential replacements, especially if you roster the starter. Buckle up, keep an eye on player notes, and try to view this madness as a positive, because there’s a chance one of these players could unexpectedly win you the week. Here are my top RB/WR/TE streamers for Week 8.
* Players marked with an asterisk below can also be found in the priority waiver wire adds article referenced at the end. All players below are under 65%-owned as of 10/28/20.
*JaMycal Hasty (RB, San Francisco 49ers)
As I mentioned in the introduction, the utility of this week’s featured RBs is highly contingent on the injury status of others in their team’s backfield. That said, I feel that Hasty and Carlos Hyde (below) have the best chance to be their respective team’s lead back on Sunday (and they just so happen to play against each other). Taking a shot on Hasty this week doesn’t come without some risk. There’s a chance that Tevin Coleman (activated from IR) could return this week and the 49ers still have Jerick McKinnon on-hand, both of whom could eat into Hasty’s workload if active. What you’re betting on is San Francisco’s potent rushing attack (regardless of who the RB is) and the prospect of 15+ touches. I think Kyle Shanahan hands the keys to the rookie from Baylor in Week 8 and rewards fantasy managers with Hasty in their lineup.
*Carlos Hyde (RB, Seattle Seahawks)
On the other side of the 49ers-Seahawks matchup is Carlos Hyde who, like the other RBs mentioned so far, is not yet a sure-thing starter for Week 8. I am also exercising extreme caution because I recommended Hyde leading into Week 4 with reports that starter Chris Carson would likely be out… Then Carson used super-healing powers to overcome his ailments and not only start, but perform well, while Hyde was ultimately inactive with an injury of his own. This time, I feel more confident that Carson (foot) will be out, although Hyde is dealing with what Pete Carroll deemed a “not major” but “tight” hamstring. For now, let’s operate with the assumption that Hyde is the lead back on Sunday. After Carson exited in the second quarter last week, Hyde registered 18 touches (three receptions) for 76 total yards and a score. The 49ers’ stout defense won’t make things easy, but as a trusted option who should receive 15-20 touches in an elite offense, Hyde is capable of producing RB2-level numbers this week. If Hyde’s hamstring isn’t fit to play on Sunday, rookie Deejay Dallas is the next man up for backfield touches and would be a Flex option.
Other names to consider (in order): Chase Edmonds (bye, absolute must-add if available), Giovani Bernard (monitor Joe Mixon), Justin Jackson (priority add if available), Phillip Lindsay (concussion protocol, add/stash if available), Jamaal Williams (monitor Aaron Jones), Deejay Dallas (monitor Carlos Hyde), Josh Kelley, Gus Edwards (monitor Mark Ingram), Latavius Murray (high-end handcuff), Lamical Perine, Frank Gore, Alexander Mattison (high-end handcuff), James White, Adrian Peterson, Malcolm Brown
*Sterling Shepard (WR, New York Giants)
It’s completely understandable if you prefer to stay away from the Giants offense altogether, but WR-needy teams should give Shepard a look for his potential this week and rest of season. He doesn’t often dazzle you with gaudy yardage totals or long, highlight-reel touchdowns, and I don’t expect that to suddenly change now. However, if it’s consistent targets and receiving yardage you seek, Shepard would be a nice addition to your roster. In his first week back from an almost five-game absence, he turned eight targets into six catches for 59 yards and a score. Darius Slayton has emerged as the Giants’ primary deep-threat and “priority cover” for opposing secondaries this season, opening up the short-to-intermediate routes for Shepard to operate. I believe he’s a WR3/Flex rest of season and a great depth piece for your roster at worst, with added value in PPR leagues.
Cole Beasley (WR, Buffalo Bills)
This is another midsize sedan of WR streamers: safe, reliable, not built for high-octane racing but gets you from Point A to Point B. If you’re sick and tired of me speaking in “what-ifs” and just want points, Beasley is your guy. I realize it might seem like I’m just “chasing points” by recommending Beasley after his huge Week 7 (11 catches on 12 targets for 112 yards), but the truth is he has been steady all season with four-or-more catches and six-or-more targets in six out of seven games. Even if John Brown (knee) is back at full-strength this week, Beasley is likely to see a handful of high-percentage throws from Josh Allen as the primary short-area receiver since the Bills rarely make use of their tight ends. He does have two games over 100 receiving yards this season, but I would expect the yardage total to be closer to his average of just over 67 yards-per-game against the Patriots. Beasley is a safe-floor Flex play and gets a boost in PPR formats.
Other names to consider (in order): Brandon Aiyuk, Mike Williams, Christian Kirk (bye-stash), TY Hilton, Marvin Jones Jr, Jerry Jeudy, Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-stash), John Brown (monitor status), Preston Williams, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Tim Patrick, Nelson Agholor, Rashard Higgins, Henry Ruggs III
*Richard Rodgers (TE, Philadelphia Eagles)
Although Rodgers could very well turn out to be a one-week fill-in on your team (the Eagles have a Week 9 bye and you may need to drop him to open up a roster spot), I really like his setup in Week 8 against the Cowboys. With countless Philadelphia pass-catchers injured, Rodgers stepped up last week to the tune of six catches on eight targets for 85 yards. Sure, you could make the “It was against the Giants!” argument, but the Dallas defense hasn’t exactly been world-beaters this season. In fact, they’re ninth-worst in fantasy points-per-game to opposing TEs and have yet to face any premier TEs who may otherwise inflate those numbers. If you need a TE streamer this week, don’t overthink it: the Eagles pass-catchers are an injury-depleted group, the opposition isn’t slowing anyone down, and Rodgers has already shown the ability to produce when provided with ample targets.
Other names to consider (in order): Robert Tonyan (top streamer if available), Trey Burton, Irv Smith Jr, Jimmy Graham, Mike Gesicki, Eric Ebron, Dalton Schultz, Austin Hooper (injured-stash), Dallas Goedert (IR-stash)
Accountability is everything, so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Chase Edmonds (RB, Arizona Cardinals): I figured the Cardinals-Seahawks matchup would be a high-scoring affair, leading to increased involvement and a decent game for Edmonds, but he exceeded expectations with an ultra-efficient five carries for 58 yards and seven catches for 87 yards (12 combined touches for 145 all-purpose yards). Edmonds has consistently produced when called upon and there’s still a chance he will fly under the radar this week since Arizona has a Week 8 bye. Bottom line: Edmonds is an absolute must-add if available and will have multiple weeks as the undisputed lead back with Kenyan Drake (ankle) out of the lineup.
J.D. McKissic (RB, Washington Football Team): I expected the Cowboys to trend down without Dak Prescott, but thought they would still be able to stay afloat against teams rebuilding teams like Washington. That was not the case, as the WFT played from ahead throughout the game, significantly limiting the pass-catching McKissic’s role. He didn’t blank you and still remains a PPR floor-play, as he finished with five carries for 35 yards and two carries for 16 yards.
Tim Patrick (WR, Denver Broncos): The Broncos heavily targeted their tight ends against the Chiefs (seven apiece for Albert Okwuegbunam and Noah Fant), leaving Patrick with just four targets that he turned into three catches for 44 yards. He left the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring ailment and is not a must-hold if there are more exciting options on the wire.
Henry Ruggs III (WR, Las Vegas Raiders): Whether or not we afford most of the credit to Tampa Bay’s defense for containing Ruggs’ game-breaking ability, it was surprising to see him collect just three targets in a game the Raiders trailed throughout. He finished with two catches for 35 yards and one rush for 10 yards, meaning that teams won’t be rushing to pick him up next week. At the end of the day, the Raiders are finished with their bye week and I still believe in Ruggs’ talent to provide some “boom” weeks this season, however inconsistent those weeks may be.
Jimmy Graham (TE, Chicago Bears): Jimmy Graham basically did what Jimmy Graham does these days. He collected a handful of short-yardage targets (six), caught a high percentage of them (five), and didn’t produce many yards (31). The only thing missing from making this a true “Jimmy Graham Special” was the lack of a red-zone score, but you’ll take the predictable, albeit boring floor.
Make sure to check out Myles Nelson’s priority waiver wire adds article every Tuesday for more insights on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday. Good luck in Week 8!
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)