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Week 8 Review
Here’s a look back on my Top 5 picks from this week. Check out last week’s waiver wire article to see how the “Other Adds” panned out:
- It only hurts when I run: Gus Edwards left Thursday Night Football with a knee injury, allowing Kenyan Drake to recapture fantasy relevance. With Baltimore’s bye coming in Week 9, I won’t be surprised if Edwards (and/or Mark Andrews) sit out.
- One, two, three times a TD: D’onta Foreman crushed against a weak Falcons defense; his fantasy dominance was no doubt aided by Chuba Hubbard’s absence, but he currently represents the best option in Carolina (and the last sliver of hope for Cam Akers truthers)
- Better to be lucky than good: Isaiah McKenzie ended up ok, but not for the reasons I thought. A touchdown run salvaged an otherwise disappointing performance. He’s only a stash at this point until he can string a few performances together.
- QB on (Matty) ice: Parris Campbell ended with a flex-worthy day (9.1 fantasy points), but Alec Pierce had a more encouraging stat line. Neither are trustworthy starting options with Sam Ehlinger replacing Matt Ryan.
- Hold the line: Kyren Williams was not activated from injured reserve and remains a priority stash, especially considering undrafted rookie Ronnie Rivers, not Darrell Henderson Jr., was the Rams’ backfield leader in Week 8’s loss to the 49ers.
Top Players to Add in Week 9
Teams on Bye: Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, New York Giants Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers
Yes, you read that right. Six teams are on bye this week, while only the Chiefs and Chargers had last week off. I don’t have the energy to make sense of it, but here we are. We’re halfway through the fantasy season, so roster strategy and league position start coming into play here. This list exists in a vacuum by necessity, but your mileage may vary on the priorities of each position. Generally, here’s how I’m approaching the waivers:
If you’re a lock to make the playoffs: Prioritize stashes, insurance, and playoff matchups. You don’t get extra points for an undefeated regular season, so look for players who are going to help you get through the playoffs. The first-round bye is a big deal, so keep aiming for that if it’s within reach (only 10% of teams fit into this category).
If you’re mid-table: You need to win. Prioritize your starting roster over managing your FAAB, especially in heavy bye weeks. If there’s a player you need, don’t be afraid to spend up for him.
If you’re bottom of the table: It’s now or never. You need wins even more than the mid-table guys, so you should be open to almost anything on the trade market or the waiver wire. Trade for players who have already had their bye week, and hunt for rookies who could explode in the second half.
UPDATE: Jonathan Taylor exited Week 8 with an ankle injury but returned. Ankle injuries are weird. In the event Taylor misses any time, Deon Jackson should be added to this list.
Romeo Doubs (47% Yahoo, 60% Sleeper) – Doubs has had an up-and-down season. First, he’s a rookie. Second, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers have been disappointing. I considered several wide receivers for the top spot in my waiver claims this week, but Doubs presents the most upside. Sammy Watkins and Allen Lazard continue to deal with injuries, and the Detroit Lions are a fantastic matchup for a big fantasy day. If Lazard remains out or limited, Doubs could finish as a WR1 in Week 9.
Kenyan Drake (31% Yahoo, 39% Sleeper) – Gus Edwards burst back onto the scene in Week 7, relegating Kenyan Drake to the backup role in Baltimore. However, Edwards left the game against Tampa Bay with a hamstring injury. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Edwards’ injury “doesn’t seem too bad,” but I could see the Ravens looking at Week 9 and their Week 10 bye as a chance to allow Edwards to recover. Drake presents another excellent spot start against New Orleans if Gus Edwards is inactive.
Rondale Moore (35% Yahoo, 50%, Sleeper) – I’ll admit it: I gave up on Rondale Moore last week. Arizona’s offense has been incredibly frustrating, and I didn’t think it would ever click. I unironically sent this to my home league text thread: “Serious question: Do we think Kyler can see Rondale?” With apologies to all the #shortkings out there, Week 8 was a look at Moore’s potential. I don’t want to chase his first touchdown since Week 2 of 2021, but the upside is tantalizing in a week with so many teams on bye.
Kyren Williams (45% Yahoo, 29% Sleeper) – I recommended Williams as a stash last week, so not much has changed. The amount of work Ronnie Rivers received over Darrell Henderson bodes well for Williams’ workload whenever he is activated.
Isiah Pacheco (34% Yahoo, 46% Sleeper) – Pacheco was named the starter for Kansas City in Week 7, but he split the work with both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon. The committee approach is a killer for fantasy value, but I’m stashing Pacheco in case Andy Reid used the bye week to transition more to the rookie.
Other Players to Consider
Garrett Wilson (48%) – The Jets were much more pass-happy with Breece Hall done for the season. Will it continue?
Terrace Marshall Jr. (1%)– What if PJ Walker can keep the Panthers’ offense respectable?
Treylon Burks (17%) – Stash for leagues with IR spots.
Chuba Hubbard (43%) – Despite Foreman’s breakout, he should be involved when healthy.
Jaylen Warren (5%) – Stash. He’s outperformed Najee Harris when given opportunity. Will the workload increase?
Latavius Murray (40%) – He looks like the leader of a two-back committee with Melvin Gordon III.
James Cook (22%) – Stash.
Greg Dulcich (42%) was a hot pickup in Week 8 and came through. I know, I know: we don’t stash tight ends! But he might be worth it. Dulcich is a “champagne problems” stash for the managers who can afford to hold two tight ends in Week 9. Elsewhere, there are several streaming options at the position that come with the usual risk/reward. Evan Engram (43%) is ever-present on this list and is an excellent option against a Raiders team giving up the fourth-most points to the tight end position. Tyler Conklin, Cole Kmet, and Hunter Henry are all stream-worthy this week, but my favorite tight end pickup for Week 9 is Isaiah Likely (5%). If Mark Andrews (shoulder) is given an extra week to get healthy before Baltimore’s bye, Likely is a TE1 for me.
Justin Fields (41%) will be the top quarterback off the wire this week, so you may have to drop a few dollars to secure his services. Miami gives up the fifth-most points to the quarterback position, and Fields’ rushing ability gives him an upside that other streaming options don’t have. Elsewhere, Taylor Heinicke provides a high ceiling and low floor in a decent matchup against Minnesota.
I love Kansas City coming off their bye this week, as the Chiefs will be facing rookie Malik Willis or Ryan Tannehill (who isn’t 100% healthy). If you can’t get KC, take a shot at Minnesota against Heinicke and the Commanders.
(Photo by Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire)