I won’t go into much detail going into the list of the Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups, just know that there are A LOT of brand new fantasy football choices to be had if you are hurting at almost every position going into the second half of the regular season.
Remember this list is ongoing and won’t be finalized until Tuesday morning.
Andrew Luck – Colts (ESPN Owned 37.4%)
Maybe Reggie Wayne wasn’t crazy when he decided to re-sign with the Colts instead of bailing like everyone else did. Luck didn’t have a great day through the air, passing for only 186 yards against the Browns, but his scrambling reeled in 2 rushing scores. Luck continues to belong in the “solid” QB2 category.
Josh Freeman – Buccaneers (ESPN Owned 69.3%)
Even though Freeman’s owned percentage is fairly high, I’d still like to see that number go up a little bit more. Since his 110 yard debacle against the Cowboys, Freeman has now averaged 349 passing yards over the last 3 games and has two-straight games of 3 touchdown passes and only 1 interception. I highly doubt we’ll start seeing Freeman in the QB1 conversation since these recent numbers have come against really crappy defenses. But with a softer schedule coming up against Minnesota, Oakland and San Diego, we could see Freeman take Sunday’s success and turn it into something special.
Brandon Weeden – Browns (ESPN Owned 6.8%)
While many continue to talk up Luck and RG3 in fantasy circles, fellow rookie Weeden has quietly put together a very nice rookie year, despite the team’s record. Weeden capped off Week 7 with a 264 yard/2 touchdown day, his third-straight 2-TD game. The interceptions will continue to plague him. But if you get 6 points per TD and only 1-2 points per INT, that’s still a positive ratio if you are desperate for help in Week 8.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Bills (ESPN Owned 65.6%)
With Matt Ryan on a bye, I had no choice but to pick Fitz up in a fantasy goldmine of a game. Glad I did. Fitz put up 225 yards with three touchdowns and one interception against a reeling Titans Defense. Fitz will never be a weekly QB1, but he is a strong option in the right scenario as a QB2.
LaRod Stephens-Howling – Cardinals (ESPN Owned 10.5%)
William Powell lost a crucial fumble early against the Vikings and that’s all LSH needed to be the main guy Sunday. Against a stouter Vikings front-seven, Stephens-Howling ran for 104 yards, a rushing touchdown and caught 45 yards off 4 passes. LSH has some problems going forward. The Cardinals offensive line sucks…..bad. So it remains to be seen whether they can keep the momentum going forward. Stephens-Howling is a dwarf at 5’7, so whether his body can hold up after this game is another issue. He’ll be nothing but a very low-end fantasy flex against the 49ers in Week 8.
Rashad Jennings – Jaguars (ESPN Owned 13.6%)
MJD went down early against the Raiders, but it’s not known just how bad his foot injury is. In the meantime, Jennings rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown, while also reeling in another 58 yards off 7 passes. If you are an MJD owner, you might want to pick Jennings up as insurance. If you can stash him as a non-MJD owner, he might be worth some value if the injury is THAT bad. Just remember this is the Jags we’re talking about. UPDATE: MJD has been ruled out for Week 8 and could miss even longer. Jennings’ value has risen quite a bit since this morning.
Jonathan Dwyer – Steelers (ESPN Owned 18.5%)
I am sure most of you didn’t even give Dwyer a second thought against the Bengals. I didn’t blame you after he barely showed us anything before Rashard Mendenhall came back. But with both Mendy and Isaac Redman out, Dwyer rumbled to the tune of 122 yards. His fantasy value should be short lived, however, as the chances of both Mendy and Redman being back for Week 8 look better. Even Redman coming back is a huge blow to Dwyer’s value.
Philip Tanner – Cowboys (ESPN Owned .9%)
So much for Felix Jones having a good fantasy football week in what was supposed to be an excellent matchup against the Panthers. Not only was Jones’ fantasy value saved with his 5 receptions, which did nothing to help non-PPR owners, he is now dealing with a bruised knee that knocked him out of the final two drives Sunday. DeMarco Murray claims he will be ready for Week 8. But if he is out and Jones is hindered by the knee in practice, Tanner could be next in line for a significant role against the Giants. Although, he is about as desperate of an option as you can get.
Josh Gordon – Browns (ESPN Owned 36.7%)
I sent a waiver wire email out yesterday to all fantasy owners who signed up to our system. But for those who didn’t get it, you should make Gordon your No. 1 waiver option if you are desperately hurting at receiver. Over the last 3 games, Gordon has amassed 4 touchdowns and averaged 80 yards in the same span. Some thought Cleveland was nuts for wasting a second rounder on Gordon in the supplemental draft, but his dividends are definitely starting to show. Pick him up and use him as a WR3 going forward.
Chris Givens – Rams (ESPN Owned .7%)
Givens added to his 50+ yards-on-one-catch total, pushing it to 4 against the Packers. He doesn’t have as much talent as Gordon, but is becoming more involved in the offense every week and is a deep threat that needs to be picked up in all fantasy leagues. Givens has now amassed 261 receiving yards off of only 8 catches in the last 4 games. Hell, I’d grab the guy in PPR leagues since he has a chance to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.
Brandon Gibson – Rams (ESPN Owned 29.5%)
While Givens continues to be a big factor in non-PPR leagues, Gibson is still someone worth looking at in leagues where receptions count. Over the last 2 weeks, Gibson has averaged 6 receptions for 75.5 yards. As long as Danny Amendola continues to sit, the Rams receiving corps looks like a bevy of fantasy value.
Titus Young – Lions (ESPN Owned 51.5%)
Young has been a huge disappointment after many of us called on him to have a breakout season. Now that Nate Burleson is out for the year with a broken leg, Young will lock up the No. 2 spot across from Calvin Johnson. Could this be the “break” he needed to finally come through? It remains to be seen. But now that he has the other spot all to himself, and will see plenty of single coverage, Young owners might finally get the fantasy value they desperately needed. Pick him up in all formats.
Jeremy Kerley – Jets (ESPN Owned 22.3%)
I feel weird listing Kerley in this article for the simple fact that the Jets are a make-or-break team this year. But looking at the stats, Kerley could be worthy of a roster spot in your fantasy league. He has topped 5 or more catches in 2-of-the-last-3 games and had his biggest day of the year Sunday, racking up 120 receiving yards against the Patriots. Just remember that Kerley’s value hinges on how well Mark Sanchez plays. That’s a recipe for inconsistency.
Ryan Broyles – Lions (ESPN Owned .2%)
For deep league owners, Broyles could be worth a shot now that he has the No. 3 job locked up. Against the Bears, Broyles was targeted 4 times, catching 3 passes for 51 yards and a score in a little over one quarter’s worth of action. There are a lot of mouths to feed in the Lions’ passing game, so 12 team owners might want to pass.
Dustin Keller – Jets (ESPN Owned 16.9%)
Having dealt with a hamstring injury, Keller showed glimpses of TE1 value he used to have, catching 7 passes for 93 yards and a score against the Patriots. As long as he is healthy, Keller could wind up getting some of that TE1 value back. With Santonio Holmes gone, Mark Sanchez could definitely use another talented pass catcher to throw to going forward.
Chris Cooley – Redskin (ESPN Owned 0.0%)
Just when you thought Cooley would never grace us with his fantasy presence, Cooley is expected to be re-signed after Fred Davis tore his left Achilles’ tendon against the Giants. Cooley may have been a fantasy factor early in his career, but don’t expect him to skyrocket back to a TE1. He didn’t get much attention on the free agent market, so you know he has lost a step or two. He’ll likely start off as the No. 3 behind Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen, and eventually get worked into a rotation. Not a ton of value there.