If you’re reading this, it means you survived the Bye-pocalypse. Or you’re just a glutton for punishment. Either way, I’ve got good news for you. Only the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders are on bye in Week 8. For Lamar Jackson managers it still presents a challenge, but it’s more manageable.
The biggest impact of Week 8 is at the tight end position. Mark Andrews and Darren Waller, both top 5 at the position, get the week off. I’ve got some fill-in options for you there, of course, but there are also a few pickups at other positions I think you should consider. Let’s dive in.
Percentages are based on Yahoo! leagues.
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia (22% rostered)
A week after I said he’s a potential drop, Kenneth Gainwell is back on the list due to the Miles Sanders injury. Sanders was carted off the field against Las Vegas. It’s a shame, because he seemed like he was starting to get a little more involved. With Sanders out of the picture, Gainwell finds himself with an opportunity to take the job outright. He’s already been trusted with passing down work this season, so he could reach RB2 value if his role increases as the primary ball carrier. Boston Scott (2%) is also worth a stash in deeper leagues until we see how Philadelphia divvies up the workload, but Gainwell took the backup job from Scotta earlier in the season. The Eagles haven’t been reliable for fantasy outside of Jalen Hurts up to this point, but the potential for a more concentrated role makes Gainwell my priority add for this week.
Other names to consider: In New England, Damien Harris cemented his role as the lead back with a fantastic performance against the Jets, but Brandon Bolden (6%) looks like a lock to stay involved in the James White role. With Josh Jacobs leaving early in Week 7, we’re back to discussing Peyton Barber (2%). Las Vegas is on bye in Week 8 and Josh Jacobs might not miss a game, so Barber is only a speculative stash for those with the luxury of free bench spots.
Potential Drops: Mike Davis (92%), Damien Williams (49%)
Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (32% rostered)
The Ravens are on bye in Week 8, but Rashod Bateman is worth the add. In only two weeks since being activated, the Batman has shown he can be a great Robin to Marquise Brown and/or Mark Andrews in the Baltimore offense. Bateman led the team in receiving yards in Week 7. He figures to get more involved in the offense as the season goes on. There’s always a chance Bateman loses work to Sammy Watkins when he returns, but the talent doesn’t lie. If you didn’t add Bateman last week and he’s still available, go stash him if you can.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (22%)
The next two players are more need-based recommendations or one-week fillers. Darius Slayton is the last man standing for the Giants. He didn’t do much with them, but Slayton drew nine targets in Week 7. In Week 8, the Kansas City Chiefs is a great matchup on paper, and New York projects to be playing from behind for most of the game. As long as better options are unavailable to Daniel Jones, I’m firing up Slayton as a startable flex option.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay (5%)
I already liked Allen Lazard as the second wide receiver in Green Bay while Marquez Valdes-Scantling is on injured reserve. Now that Davante Adams has landed on the COVID-19 list, Lazard should have enough passing volume from Aaron Rodgers to be relevant in Week 8. Keep an eye on Adams’ status, but Lazard is worth the dart throw as an MVS replacement and at least a one-week starter fill-in.
Other names to consider: K.J. Osborn (7%) is coming off a 6/78/1 performance before the bye, and there should be enough passing to go around if Minnesota has to keep up with Dallas in Week 8. It’s hard to know which receiver to trust (if any) in Detroit, but Kalif Raymond (3%) has looked the most capable in recent weeks. Tim Patrick (39%) might have one more week of relevance as Jerry Jeudy knocks off the rust, but his floor practically disappears with Jeudy’s return. As the fourth option in Atlanta’s passing attack, Russell Gage (10%) is no more than a desperation play this week.
Potential Drops: It’s time. Allen Robinson (91%), Brandon Aiyuk (66%), Robby Anderson (61%)
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinatti (19%)
We try not to chase points with tight ends, but I have to pay attention when they keep piling up. First, the Bengals look awesome. Joe Burrow is playing at an elite level and exploiting matchups at the line of scrimmage. Enter C.J. Uzomah. Uzomah is seeing very limited targets (3 in Week 7), but he’s on the field for 83% of offensive snaps (on par with Ja’Marr Chase) and is running routes on most of Burrow’s dropbacks. With five touchdowns in the last four games, Uzomah is an excellent option for managers looking to fill in for Darren Waller or Mark Andrews in Week 8.
Other streaming options: Evan Engram (31%), Robert Tonyan (51%)
Carson Wentz, Indianapolis (37% rostered)
Carson Wentz has looked a lot better over the last two weeks, throwing two touchdowns in Week 7 and adding a rushing score. With Tennessee, the Jets, and Jacksonville coming up for the Colts, Wentz’s upcoming schedule looks tasty. Always a threat to add yards on the ground, Wentz is a multi-week streaming option if he can keep this up.
Other streaming options: Daniel Jones (28%) at Kansas City; Trevor Lawrence (41%) at Seattle.
If you’re looking for DSTs to stream, there are a few matchups to exploit in Week 8. Cincinnati gets a plus matchup against the Jets, who are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. Philadelphia is not a great defense, but a Week 8 matchup in Detroit is too good to pass up. Finally, Seattle has a potential get-right spot against Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars.
(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)