We are approaching the halfway point of the regular season, with injuries and the trade deadline providing another shakeup to the fantasy landscape. Several players have returned from extended absences to have successful fantasy performances in recent weeks while a few potential long-term contributors could be on the cusp of making their own mark on the 2022 campaign. A great time to stash players with upside, particularly rookies and/or those recovering from an injury, is during their bye week or once they are designated to return [from IR].
These players often get dropped when teams in your league have a roster crunch, opening an opportunity to beat the rush before they return. In addition to the highlighted players each week, make sure to keep an eye on the impact backups/ injury stashes section throughout the season if you have open roster spots. Good luck in Week 8!
Week 8 Byes: Chiefs, Chargers
Article Overview/ How to Use:
- Analysis: Highlight a variety of RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered on ESPN and/or Yahoo) who I feel could produce fantasy value, either that specific week as a replacement in your lineup or as a bench/ stash option.
- Ranking RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered) in order. Please note that the players who are highlighted in the article are not always my top-ranked streamers. These rankings & notes could be useful for teams in deeper leagues or as a means to fill out your “Watch List”.
- List of Impact Backups or players who would gain significant fantasy value if the starter was inactive. These names would make excellent stash candidates, but likely not worthwhile streamers due to lack of usage as the backup.
- Although base rankings tend to skew toward 12-team, half-PPR leagues, I will provide clarifications if a player is best used in a specific scenario or league type.
- Recap the performances of the previous week’s highlighted players.
* Any players marked with asterisk below have been featured in previous articles this season. If anyone discussed 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 10/26/22.
D’Onta Foreman/ Chuba Hubbard (RB, Carolina Panthers)
I will start by saying that Gus Edwards is the priority RB to add anywhere he is available. He is a potential rest-of-season RB2 on a talented, run-focused Ravens offense and should maintain a fantasy-relevant role even after J.K. Dobbins (IR, arthroscopic knee surgery/ ACL recovery) returns. Meanwhile, the tandem of Foreman and Hubbard will now lead the way in Carolina’s backfield with Christian McCaffrey being traded to the 49ers last week.
Foreman has slightly outpaced Hubbard in total snap count this season (58-53) and the same held true in Week 7 (27-23). While the overall sample is not large due to their backup roles through the first six weeks, both players have displayed the efficiency to be productive moving forward as a duo. Foreman has seen more volume with 27 carries for 155 yards (5.7 yards/carry) while Hubbard, a solid 6.5 ypc of his own (15 attempts for 97 yards), has the edge so far in the passing game. Both players are worth an add as RB3s ahead of Sunday’s contest in Atlanta.
RB Streamers (ranked): Gus Edwards (must add! – 44% ESPN, 70% Yahoo), Tyler Allgeier*, D’Onta Foreman* (53% ESPN, 66% Yahoo), Brian Robinson Jr* (67% ESPN, 75% Yahoo), Chuba Hubbard*, Khalil Herbert*, Melvin Gordon III (69% ESPN, 79% Yahoo), Latavius Murray*, Rachaad White*, Dontrell Hilliard*, Caleb Huntley, Nyheim Hines*, Chase Edmonds, Rex Burkhead, Alexander Mattison, James Cook, Matt Breida, Samaje Perine*, J.D. McKissic*, DeeJay Dallas, Mark Ingram, Kenneth Gainwell, Brandon Bolden, JaMycal Hasty, Kenyan Drake*, Jaylen Warren*, Jeff Wilson Jr, Isiah Pacheco (bye), Jerick McKinnon* (bye), Sony Michel (bye), Cam Akers (trade deadline stash).
Wan’Dale Robinson (WR, New York Giants)
The Giants are a bit of an anomaly in the modern NFL as a 6-1 team that is bottom-three in passing. While part of that can be contributed to some tough luck with their receivers, Robinson seems to have finally arrived to provide some weekly consistency for this unit. He led the team with eight targets in Week 7 (six catches for 50 yards) and typically lines up as a slot receiver, setting up high-percentage throws and a solid weekly PPR floor even if the yards or touchdowns are not there.
Van Jefferson (WR, Los Angeles Rams)
For those familiar with the work of the incredible Nick Pollack and our PitcherList baseball staff, this could be considered a “Still ILL” week for Van Jefferson. Although he is slated to return from Injured Reserve for a Week 8 debut, the safe play is to wait and monitor his health/ performance before considering him in your lineup in weeks to come. I am not here to pile on, but Allen Robinson simply has not found any sort of consistency as Los Angeles’ WR2 so far. I feel the Rams’ coaching staff will give Jefferson every opportunity to work his way into a prominent role in this passing attack which has underwhelmed outside of Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee this year. Again, I would keep him on the bench this week, but Jefferson averaged an impressive 16 yards/catch in 2021 and could quickly regain his deep-threat role once proven healthy.
WR Streamers (ranked): Curtis Samuel (76% ESPN, 62% Yahoo), Tyler Boyd (63% ESPN, 73% Yahoo), Romeo Doubs*, Wan’Dale Robinson*, George Pickens*, Josh Reynolds*, Robert Woods*, Darnell Mooney (69% ESPN, 53% Yahoo), Michael Gallup*, Van Jefferson* (stash – injury return), Darius Slayton, Hunter Renfrow (66% ESPN, 61% Yahoo), Marquise Goodwin, Mack Hollins, Elijah Moore, Zay Jones*, Noah Brown*, Isaiah McKenzie*, Rondale Moore*, Parris Campbell, Sammy Watkins (stash – injury return), Corey Davis (monitor status), Chase Claypool (trade deadline stash – 73% ESPN, 59% Yahoo), DeVante Parker, Allen Robinson II, Tyquan Thornton, Alec Pierce*, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Olamide Zaccheaus, Devin Duvernay*, Marquez Callaway, Terrace Marshall, Robbie Anderson, K.J. Osborn, Jahan Dotson (monitor status – stash), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (bye), Mecole Hardman (bye), Joshua Palmer* (bye), Kadarius Toney (inj-stash).
Mike Gesicki (TE, Miami Dolphins)
With his receiving yardage production growing each year thus far, the fifth-year Gesicki had some juice coming into the 2022 season. That quickly changed after he registered just six total targets through the first three weeks. Things may be finally starting to align with preseason expectations as Gesicki now has seven targets in each of the last two games, turning those looks into nine catches / 96 yards/ two TDs over that span. In a TE position that lacks few consistent options behind the elite tier, Gesicki is a solid speculative add.
TE Streamers (ranked): Taysom Hill* (56% ESPN, 75% Yahoo), Robert Tonyan*, Hayden Hurst, Mike Gesicki*, Irv Smith Jr*, Cade Otton, Juwan Johnson, Evan Engram, Dawson Knox (62% ESPN, 66% Yahoo), Harrison Bryant, Greg Dulcich, Tyler Conklin*, Hunter Henry, Will Dissly, Austin Hooper, Mo Alie-Cox, Cole Kmet, Foster Moreau (I would rank just behind Otton if Waller is out).
Impact Backups/ Injury Stashes
Although this article’s primary focus is to rank and discuss RB/WR/TEs who are fantasy-relevant and 65%-rostered or less, I also believe it is extremely important to plan ahead by stocking your roster with contingency options if/when adversity strikes. Not many things in the fantasy sports universe are worse than having a successful regular season undone by gut-wrenching injury luck. That said, below is my list of Top Impact Backups and Injury Stashes, in order, regardless of position.
Top Impact Backups: Alexander Mattison, Kyren Williams, Khalil Herbert, Rachaad White, Samaje Perine, Jaylen Warren, Dontrell Hilliard, Jeff Wilson Jr, James Cook, Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, Nyheim Hines, Matt Breida, Isiah Pacheco/ Jerick McKinnon, JaMycal Hasty.
Graduated (add if available): Gus Edwards (44% ESPN, 70% Yahoo), Darrell Henderson Jr (70% ESPN, 85% Yahoo), Michael Carter (79% ESPN, 83% Yahoo), Eno Benjamin (70% ESPN, 73% Yahoo).
Top Injury Stashes: Kyren Williams (likely to factor into Rams RB mix, returns from injury this week), Elijah Mitchell, Treylon Burks (talented rookie may have been on the verge of a breakout pre-injury), Jameson Williams (talented rookie but also will need to climb depth chart past other Detroit WRs), Kadarius Toney (lots of talent but also may be something going on behind the scenes other than injury).
Accountability is everything, so here is a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Kenyan Drake (RB, Baltimore Ravens): Gus Edwards had a productive return from injury while Drake took on a secondary role. He still received 11 carries and one target, but produced just five yards on the night. Go get Edwards and do not feel bad about dropping Drake.
Latavius Murray (RB, Denver Broncos): The Broncos offense has dealt with injury attrition nearly every week and the newcomer Murray just might have fallen into a role, similar to how he fell into the end zone last week with eight carries for 24 yards and a score. He is a low-end RB4 type for now if you are in a deeper league and need RB depth.
Robert Woods (WR, Tennessee Titans): The good: Woods led the Titans in targets last week (four). The not-so-good: they passed just 20 times and he only had 26 yards. This team is built to run and Treylon Burks should be returning in the coming weeks, but Woods is still capable of producing WR3 numbers when the Titans have to air it out.
Josh Reynolds (WR, Detroit Lions): The Lions got blown out by the Cowboys yet did not pass much last week. Reynolds had just two targets and one catch for eight yards. Unless D.J. Chark remains out, there are likely better options out there.
Robert Tonyan (TE, Green Bay Packers): Tonyan caught three-of-four targets for 32 yards last week against the Commanders. We will not always see amazing volume, but the Packers’ pass-catchers are beat-up right now and he is a serviceable, fringe TE1/TE2.
Make sure to check out our weekly priority waiver wire adds article and waiver wire podcast for more insights on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday; it is a great way to get a head start on acquiring players often discussed in this article. Good luck in Week 8!
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)