We have a rare bye-free week! But with the injuries continuing to roll in, let’s talk about the best streamers for Week 8 while also looking at who you should be stashing for the upcoming bye onslaught.
To keep things simple, we’ll define a streamer as any player you wouldn’t usually start who is a viable option for this week. We’ll define a stash as any player you can probably find on waivers that you should stash for the future, either because they have a favorable match-up coming up, or because they could become a future starter.
I’ll also be reporting my streamer record from the season to date above each section, to give you an idea of what to expect. Strong finishes mean top third of starters at the position, moderate means top half of starters and bust is everyone else.
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QB Streamer (Week 1: 8 strong, 4 moderate, 6 bust):
Tyson Bagent (CHI): With no teams on bye in Week 8, there’s little need for a QB streamer. For that reason, I’m bringing you a Superflex option if one of your starters is out injured. Bagent had a solid debut in an easy win against the Raiders, but the Bears will need to score a lot more points against the Chargers to win. Luckily, the Chargers concede the most fantasy points to quarterbacks (by a large margin), so this could be a match made in heaven.
Deshaun Watson (CLE): The Browns can’t keep a running back healthy, which should mean they lean on their veteran quarterback. Unfortunately, Watson can’t stay healthy either. He’s worth a stash as he has top 10 upside when at his best. Sadly, it’s been a while since we’ve seen his best. If he can find it, though, there’s a ton of upside with some great matchups upcoming.
RB Streamers (Week 2: 18 strong, 4 moderate, 5 bust):
Isiah Pacheco (KC): The Chiefs are finally starting to give Pacheco a pseudo-workhorse role, with their lead running back putting together five consecutive top-14 finishes. Having said that, I’d be wary of starting him in the wrong matchup. Luckily, Kansas City goes to Denver to face a Broncos team that has allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. He’s a high RB2, even with all 32 teams playing this week.
Chuba Hubbard (CAR): The Panthers are yet to get a plus matchup in the running game, but that hasn’t stopped Hubbard from averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He broke out in Week 6 with Miles Sanders absent and should go even better against a Texans side better attacked on the ground.
Devin Singletary (HOU): The Texans unexpectedly gave their backup a large share of the workload against the Saints in Week 6. Coming out of their bye week, it’s possible they hand it all the way over to Singletary, as Pierce has stumbled to 2.9 yards per carry through six games. Singletary is a risky start, even against the generous Panthers’ defense, but he’s a worthwhile pickup in case he explodes in Week 8.
Running backs get injured more than any other player in fantasy, with the average top 36 running back missing two games per season in fantasy. For that reason, your best bet in fantasy is to roster running backs who are an injury away from an every-down role. While I can’t predict who will get injured, I can say who’ll be most effective when given the opportunity. Each week, I’ll be listing my favorite RB backups, only including players you won’t be starting most weeks.
Handcuffs: Tyler Allgeier (ATL), AJ Dillon (GB), Zach Charbonnet (SEA), Joshua Kelley (LAC), Tyjae Spears (TEN), Latavius Murray (BUF), Cam Akers (MIN), Ezekiel Elliott (NE), Rico Dowdle (DAL), Kenneth Gainwell (PHI) and Tank Bigsby (JAC).
WR Streamers (11 strong, 11 moderate, 8 bust):
Drake London (ATL): The Titans have typically been difficult to run on, and when the Falcons are forced to throw, Desmond Ridder passes to London. That makes London a viable starter even without any bye weeks to worry about.
Calvin Ridley (JAC): I know what you’re thinking. I’m not falling for him again! The Jaguars face a Steelers defense that has allowed the third most points to outside receivers so far this year. That gives Ridley far more upside than most. While another dud week is always possible, the Jaguar’s undeniable upside makes him a WR3 for me this week.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA): Something’s not right with DK Metcalf at the moment, and it’s not impossible the Seahawks shut him down to get him right. That would open the door for JSN to break out. This is something we see all too often with rookies, who often just need an opportunity. Stash Smith-Njigba through the next two tough matchups and just monitor how he goes.
TE Streamer (6 strong, 2 moderate, 7 bust):
Dalton Kincaid (BUF): Dawson Knox has been sharing snaps with his rookie teammate, limiting Kincaid to under 30 routes each week. With Knox expected to have wrist surgery this week, Kincaid could become an every-down player, which is enough to make him a must-start in tight end land.
Cade Otton (TB): The Buccaneers tight end has run at least 35 routes in each of the last three weeks. That’s territory usually reserved for the elite pass-catching tight ends of this world. If Otton can increase his target share a little, he could become an every-week starter. That’s a big ‘if’ though.
K/DST Streamers (11 strong, 6 moderate, 9 bust):
Please note I won’t be listing any kicker or DST stashes, as you should never roster more than one of either of these positions.