If there is one positive about six teams all having a bye week at the same time, it is that you get to start fresh the following week with the satisfaction that nightmare is now out of the way. Hopefully, with some new-found roster space after the first wave of bye weeks, you can begin to set your sights on players who will power your team in the second half of the fantasy football regular season. This week’s featured streamers include a mix of short-term and long-term options, with two potential season-long holds already past their bye week. Stay active, stay hungry, and may your Week 8 preparation flow as smoothly as the melodies from Kenny G’s jazz saxophone.
* Players marked with an asterisk below can also be found in the priority waiver wire adds article referenced at the end. If anyone featured below is at risk of not playing or is relegated to a bench role late in the week, I will do my best to keep you all updated on Twitter (@BrandonMillerFB). All players below are under 65%-rostered as of 10/27/21.
* Kenneth Gainwell (RB, Philadelphia Eagles)
With usual Philly RB1 Miles Sanders listed as “week-to-week” with a low-ankle sprain, Gainwell makes his return as a featured streamer; this time, as the likely starter for the Eagles in a solid spot against the winless Lions. Simple math says to trust in the increased workload and matchup, but if you are really looking for a wet towel to throw on Gainwell’s fantasy prospects, you could point to the fact that he is still learning/ developing as a rookie, will cede some touches to Boston Scott, or the fact that the Eagles will still have their leading rusher active on Sunday. But Brandon, you literally just said “usual Philly RB1 Miles Sanders” will likely be out this week; is he not their most productive runner?!
Despite Sanders’ place atop the RB depth chart, QB Jalen Hurts is one of three signal-callers currently leading their team in rushing yards (Lamar Jackson and Daniel Jones being the others). Even if the elusive Hurts continues to eat up yards on the ground in place of a “traditional” run game, I still feel Gainwell will see enough work overall to be start-worthy. He has the team’s second-most targets (31) thus far in spite of his limited workload, opening up multiple avenues to produce. If Sanders is ruled out on Sunday, as expected, “Kenny G” will be a viable play in leagues of all sizes and formats as a dual-threat RB2/ high-end Flex option with somewhere in the neighborhood of 15+ touches.
Michael Carter (RB, New York Jets)
Although Gainwell is my preferred play this week, fellow rookie and returning featured streamer Michael Carter is someone I am looking to acquire in every league for the stretch run. With double-digit carries in four of the Jets’ last five games, Carter has already set himself up to produce a weekly floor that will not hamper your scoring even when he does not find the end zone. Perhaps even more encouraging than the stable rushing attempts is his increased involvement in the passing game as he hauled in eight-of-nine targets for 67 yards through the air last week alongside 11 carries for 37 yards; his first career game of 100+ total yards.
The Jets have not exactly turned heads with their play so far and will be without touted rookie QB Zach Wilson for multiple weeks, so many will likely continue to fade this offense as a whole. However, I think there is a lot of value to be had in a player who is already past their bye, will be leaned on as a primary weapon in their team’s offense, and (don’t laugh!) now has a veteran QB in Joe Flacco who has never been shy to check down to his RBs for high-percentage completions. Currently rostered between 64-68% of leagues (as of 10/27/21), Carter is someone to add now as a prospective low-end RB2/ Flex as long as this volume sustains.
Other names to consider (in order): Devontae Booker (64% ESPN), Alex Collins, J.D. McKissic, Tony Pollard (59% ESPN), Devin Singletary (58% ESPN), Jamaal Williams, AJ Dillon (60% ESPN), Boston Scott, D’Ernest Johnson, Nyheim Hines, Mark Ingram II, David Johnson, Samaje Perine, Ty Johnson, Sony Michel, Rashaad Penny, Damien Williams, Alexander Mattison, Brandon Bolden, Jerick McKinnon, Salvon Ahmed, Darrynton Evans (handcuff), Ronald Jones II, Giovani Bernard, Phillip Lindsay, J.J. Taylor, Marlon Mack, Kenyan Drake (bye, stash), Devonta Freeman (bye – stash), Ty’Son Williams (bye – stash).
Kenny Golladay/ Darius Slayton (WR, New York Giants)
That’s right, we have two “Kenny G’s” among this week’s featured streamers! Considering the WR2-level expectations that many had for Golladay coming into the season, seeing his name mentioned in a streamer article likely evokes feelings of fleeting preseason hopes and disappointment, but such has been the Giants’ season so far. I am not here to dogpile, however, because I genuinely think the Giants would be a solid offense for fantasy purposes if all their playmakers were healthy. Right now, though, they are very much the opposite of healthy.
Although injuries have taken some of the luster off of the rangy Golladay’s star over the past couple seasons, he is still in just his fifth year and already has two 1,000-yard+ campaigns under his belt. Less than a month ago (Week 4), he caught six-of-seven balls for 116 yards, so the talent did not just suddenly “poof!” into thin air. There will be plenty of ugly moments for this team in 2021, but I am willing to bet that Golladay is a silver lining once he gets back onto the field. If Golladay and multiple other injured NYG playmakers are once again out on Sunday, Darius Slayton would be a great contingency stream in Kansas City.
Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR, Jacksonville Jaguars)
A popular sleeper during draft season, the second-year wideout out of Colorado has now seen his rostered percentage drop below 65% coming out of the Jaguars’ Week 7 bye, making him once again an intriguing option for the second half. The efficiency and receiving yardage totals could certainly stand to improve with 60+ yards in just one contest this year, but PPR gamers will take the seven-or-more targets in over half of Jacksonville’s games so far. If Trevor Lawrence is able to more consistently flash the “generational” skills that made him the #1 overall pick, Shenault is worth scooping up as a speculative WR3/ Flex while monitoring if this volume-heavy role begins yielding more proficient results.
Other names to consider (in order): Jarvis Landry (65% Yahoo, #2 priority WR add), Christian Kirk, Sterling Shepard (53% Yahoo), Cole Beasley, Darnell Mooney, A.J. Green, Kadarius Toney (check status), Robby Anderson (57% Yahoo), Marquez Callaway, Mecole Hardman, Randall Cobb, Tim Patrick, Van Jefferson, Rondale Moore, T.Y. Hilton, K.J. Osborn, Kalif Raymond, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (check status), Amon-Ra St. Brown, Nelson Agholor, Russell Gage, Michael Gallup (check status), Darius Slayton, Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor, Jamison Crowder, Zach Pascal, DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Elijah Moore, Brandon Aiyuk, Adam Humphries, Josh Gordon, Gabriel Davis, Henry Ruggs III (61% Yahoo, bye – stash), Hunter Renfrow (bye – stash), Rashod Bateman (bye – stash), Will Fuller V (IR – stash).
Robert Tonyan (TE, Green Bay Packers)
Not that you needed another reason to watch the highly-anticipated Packers-Cardinals game on Thursday night, but Robert Tonyan profiles as the type of streamer that could get your team off to an excellent start this week. There will be a mass of vacated targets for Green Bay without Davante Adams or Allen Lazard (both COVID list), so stick with Big Bob at this thin position and trust in the QB who threw him 11 touchdowns over 16 games just two seasons ago. Any hesitancy that I would have about starting Tonyan against the #1 defense vs opposing TEs is put to rest by what I expect to be an uptick in volume and red zone looks.
Other names to consider (in order): Zach Ertz (69% ESPN, #1 priority TE add), Hunter Henry (67% ESPN, #2 priority TE add), C.J. Uzomah, Ricky Seals-Jones, Jared Cook, Evan Engram, Mo Alie-Cox, Tyler Conklin, Dan Arnold, Cole Kmet, David Njoku, Gerald Everett, Austin Hooper, Jonnu Smith, Anthony Firkser, O.J. Howard, Pat Freiermuth, Ross Dwelley, Blake Jarwin, Donald Parham Jr., Cameron Brate, Adam Trautman, Hayden Hurst, Tommy Tremble, Ryan Griffin, Will Dissly, Jack Doyle, Dawson Knox (67-69% rostered, injured, #3 priority TE add, stash), Logan Thomas (IR – stash).
Accountability is everything, so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
D’Ernest Johnson (RB, Cleveland Browns): Johnson was everything you could have asked for and more last Thursday with an impressive 22 carries for 146 yards and a TD on the ground along with two catches for 22 yards. Although Johnson will likely not crack the weekly top-five overall RBs again once Nick Chubb returns, he proved that he is a more than capable fill-in when provided the touches. Even once Chubb is back, I have to think Johnson will factor into a change-of-pace role as the Browns attempt to keep their RB1 healthy for the stretch run. Hold until Kareem Hunt returns.
Alex Collins / Rashaad Penny (RB, Seattle Seahawks): It was nice to see the 17 total touches Collins received on Monday Night Football after entering the game as questionable. Unfortunately, those touches amounted to 44 total yards against the Saints’ stout run defense. As long as he is active this week, look for Collins to bounce back in a plus-matchups vs Jacksonville. Penny is a bench lottery ticket in case he finally starts to flash his skills as a professional.
Christian Kirk (WR, Arizona Cardinals): Kirk finished with a solid stat line in a game where Kyler Murray once again spread the ball all over the field, targeting six different players on just 28 pass attempts (four catches on five targets for 50 yards and a TD). There will be some down weeks due to how much the Cardinals break up targets, but he is a good player on a great offense, making him Flex-worthy on any given week.
Marquez Callaway (WR, New Orleans Saints): Last week I mentioned that it is possible that Alvin Kamara just continues to pace the Saints in targets without a true WR1 until Michael Thomas returns from a lingering ankle issue. Considering that Kamara hauled in 10-of-11 while Callaway received seven targets (three catches for 32 yards), I will now amend “it is possible” to “it is probable”. I still think Callaway is a talented role-player who will scatter in some solid weeks, but not someone you can rely on for consistency at this point.
Ricky Seals-Jones (TE, Washington Football Team): Unless you are satisfied with your current TE situation, Seals-Jones should be rostered as a back-end TE1 until Logan Thomas returns. He collected six-plus targets for the third straight week, turning seven targets into six catches for 51 yards. The combination of volume and athleticism this former WR provides will make you not despise the TE position.
Make sure to check out AJ Passman’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 David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire)