A bevy of useful running backs look to emerge as we head into week 8, but otherwise a fairly thin week for waiver help. Some rookie WRs continue to impress but remain on the wire. We’re getting into the heart of bye season, so remember to check your wire for ill advised drops that some managers may have been forced to make.
I group the adds by position and then within the position, rank them in order of preference. The sherpa will only advise players who are rostered in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.
NEW FEATURES – I have made the FAAB suggestion a percentage of whatever your budget is instead of raw dollars. I also separated the quarterback section into suggestions for single and multi-QB formats.
This went to press before the Los Angeles/Chicago game.
Single QB – A stud rookie will make his first start in week 8
Tua Tagovailoa (5%) – The 5th overall pick of the Miami Dolphins was named the starter heading into the bye week, despite Ryan Fitzpatrick playing admirably. Although in classic Fitzpatrick fashion he was still turning the ball over a ton (7 INT in 6 games) and is more suited to being a stopgap for a floundering team instead of a future asset. Tua had an elite prospect profile from his days at Alabama, and the sky is the limit from the moment he steps on the field. With rookies Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert regularly throwing for 300 yards, there is no reason Tagovailoa can’t join them. I’d wait a week in standard 12 team leagues but 14 team leagues I would roster Tua now.
Superflex / 2QB – Andy Dalton was concussed, making Dallas roll out their third string rookie
Ben DiNucci (5-10%) – Percentages are tough in multi-QB leagues because while DiNucci is an unknown rookie from James Madison University, there is a chance someone could spend 50% if they’re desperate at QB. The former Duke transferred from Pittsburgh and enjoyed a very good senior season in 2019, completing 71% of his passes for 3,441 yards and a 29/6 TD/INT ratio. He also chipped in 569 yards and 7 scores on the ground. There’s obviously not much to go on, but the rushing is interesting at least. The Cowboys have a must-win date against Philadelphia in week 8 and DiNucci at least has plenty of weapons to utilize.
RB – A smorgasbord of options awaits you in week 8
Giovani Bernard (25%) – Joe Mixon is dealing with a foot injury and was designated “week to week” prior to Sunday. This opens the door for Gio who filled in admirably against the Browns. He had 96 total yards and a touchdown, including 5 receptions. That is actually about his average line when filling in for Mixon over the last few years. He’s a strong RB2 while Mixon is out and gets the exploitable Titans defense in week 8.
Carlos Hyde (15%) – Chris Carson is undergoing an MRI on Monday due to a foot sprain. This is pretty bad news as running backs need feet to do things. I’d consider Carson out for week 8 unless we get a glowing report after the MRI. Hyde looked spry against Arizona, making a house call on a long run. He will be the lead back if Carson misses time, and that’s worth RB2 status in this offense.
Zack Moss (15%) – The Buffalo backfield continues to be a mess for fantasy, but Moss saw his biggest workload since returning from injury with 7 carries and 3 receptions. He also provided the spark the Bills needed in the second half. Devin Singletary is a good back, but he’s limited and I think Moss profiles as more of a 3-down back a team can feature. They will both split time, and Josh Allen will run some as well but Moss can provide FLEX appeal at least and be an immediate RB2 is someone gets hurt.
JaMycal Hasty, Tevin Coleman (10-15%) – Jeff Wilson scored 3 touchdowns and then sustained a high ankle sprain. So, we will go right back to the endless well of San Francisco running backs. Coleman is supposed to be active next week, while Hasty has looked good in limited work. I have never been a big Coleman fan, so I’d prioritize Hasty at the moment. Jerick McKinnon still figures to play some role, although he disappeared against the Patriots.
J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards (10-15%) – Everyone (including me) wants the Ravens to give the ball to J.K. Dobbins 20 times a game. And it appears he was dropped in some leagues through his bye as ESPN has his rostership at 47% now. However, this staff has not seemed willing to do that yet. Edwards continues to be utilized on a weekly basis, logging between 3-10 carries. if Ingram misses time, I think Edwards will see 10-15 carries and probably most goal line work. Losing one man in this backfield does help clear up the usage but either Dobbins or Edwards is probably a FLEX play while Ingram is out. As of Monday, John Harbaugh was not overly optimistic on Ingram saying “we’ll have to see.” Dobbins has easily been the most explosive back on the roster while Edwards has been the most efficient. Ingram is kind of just there. Remember they pulled some shenanigans in Lamar Jackson’s rookie year when an ineffective Joe Flacco developed an injury over the bye week.
La’Mical Perine (10%) – The 0-7 Jets just have no reason to run Frank Gore out there anymore, and Perine showed some juice on a touchdown run where he got to the edge and snuck in past the pylon. He can add some production in the receiving game, so there is some all around upside here.
Cam Akers (1%) – If he’s unrostered in your league, I’d try and pick him up on the sly even if he doesn’t pop in week 7. If he plays well, obviously it will take more than 1%, but otherwise he is one injury away from getting a crack at his league winning upside any given week.
DeeJay Dallas (1%) – Dallas was a prospect guy favorite throughout the summer and drew rave reviews about his pass catching ability. In addition to the aforementioned Carson, Travis Homer missed time last night with a knee contusion. Dallas would conceivably be in line for third down or pass game work, and is likely more explosive than Hyde at this stage of his career. A few things would have to come together for Dallas to be startable, but while he’s second in line for Seattle he’s worth a roster spot.
WR – The receiver group is a little thin this week, but one rookie looks to make a huge leap
Brandon Aiyuk (15-20%) – Going for your first 100 yard game on the road against the Patriots is pretty impressive. The rookie registered a season high in receptions and yards in week 7. He did not get a carry, however with the continued attrition in the Niners’ backfield, that could be back on the table for Aiyuk. As an added incentive to pick him up, Deebo Samuel pulled a hamstring and seems likely to miss a few weeks. San Francisco gets 3 beautiful matchups before their bye: SEA, GB, and NO.
Jalen Reagor (10-15%) – The Eagles’ first round pick was activated off the IR Monday. The Eagles sit at 2-4-1 and atop the NFC East, which means their playoff hopes are fully intact. They have no choice but to feature Reagor and get a premium matchup against Dallas to let the rookie show off. Get him now before he becomes the next Tee Higgins, Justin Jefferson, etc.
Denzel Mims (1-5%) – The much heralded rookie was active for the first time all season and led the Jets in receiving, turning a team high 7 targets into 4-42. The stats aren’t impressive, but simply the fact he came in and immediately led the team is worth noting. Mims is a bench piece for now to see if he can add any life into this New York offense.
Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones (1-5%) – Sadly, Odell Beckham Jr. left Sunday’s contest with a torn ACL. Higgins jumped right in and had a 110 yard day but the explosive DPJ caught the game winner with 11 seconds left. Either one could work their way into fantasy relevance along side Jarvis Landry, although the passing volume in this offense will likely continue to be limited.
TE – Two rookies emerged as go-to options on their respective teams
Harrison Bryant (1-3%) – The rookie out of Florida Atlantic showed up in a big way with Austin Hooper ruled inactive. He caught 4 passes for 56 yards and 2 scores. That makes 3 touchdowns in his first 7 games, which is an impressive start to his young career. That’s all it takes to get on the tight end radar, and if Hooper continues to be out, I’d have no problem firing up Bryant as my starting tight end next week against the Raiders.
Albert Okwuegbunam (1-3%) – The freakishly athletic rookie saw 7 targets even with Noah Fant healthy. He is a weapon and as long as the Denver WRs aren’t impressing, they may turn to both their big, fast tight ends.
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