Another Sunday has come to a close. And while owners are anticipating a win or a loss after Monday Night Football, lets take a look at those players who are worthy of getting picked up off the Waiver Wire for Week 8.
As the weeks go on, this list will find itself radically changing, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Coaches will continue to search for those hidden gems on their roster, while us owners continue our search for that next big fantasy football option who can be the missing piece to our current rosters. Keep in mind that some of these players must absolutely be grabbed in all league formats, while others are either better off being picked up in deeper leagues or left on the wire for another week.
Carson Palmer - Arizona (YAHOO OWNED 42% / ESPN OWNED 9.6%)
I'm not going into listing players like Colt McCoy or Geno Smith because, quite frankly, neither of these players is all that good. Nor will either be any better than the QB2 you likely already have on your bench. Those guys are 16-team fodder. That's about it. However, I will continue to pump up Palmer because he continues to push QB1 status while continuing to sit the pine in most leagues. That ESPN number is beyond ridiculous. After missing a few games with nerve damage in his shoulder, Palmer has now passed for 4 touchdowns and only 1 pick. He's also averaged over 250 passing yards in those 2 games. With another easy game coming up against the Eagles, expect another multi-touchdown performance again in Week 8. Palmer is a borderline QB1 for another week.
Bryce Brown - Buffalo (YAHOO OWNED 4% / ESPN OWNED 1.3%)
As if the Bills' running game couldn't get any worse, both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller were carted off the field during the team's game against the Vikings. Jackson is already expected to sit out Week 8 with a groin injury, while Spiller will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken collarbone. Anthony Dixon, who rushed for 54 yards off 13 carries, is next in the rotation after Brown, who was a healthy scratch all season. However, the team didn't trade Brown from the Eagles for no reason. Dixon is a plodder much in the mold of a Shonn Greene, while Brown is more versatile as a runner and pass catcher. Brown has already rushed 190 times for a ypc average of 4.6 while playing in Philly. The only reason the Eagles didn't keep him around was because he didn't fit Chip Kelly's system. While others go for Dixon, make Brown your pick up of the week.
Anthony Dixon - Buffalo (YAHOO OWNED 3% / ESPN OWNED .2%)
I expect Bryce Brown to get a majority of the touches in Buffalo, but I also still expect Dixon to get some work since the Bills have yet to run with a one-back system. I don't expect Dixon to get a lot of work, but he could be the short-yardage/goalline back due to his size. He's worth a shot if you have deep running back depth and missed out on Brown, but don't get your hopes up that he will gain big value.
Ronnie Hillman - Denver (YAHOO OWNED 58% / ESPN OWNED 12%)
Hillman has proved the naysayers wrong about him being nothing but a change-of-pace back. After getting the Broncos' running game going last week in a tough matchup against the Jets, Hillman pushed through a tough 49ers running defense with 74 yards and 2 scores. Hillman was in on all endzone packages and left Juwan Thompson scraps with 6 carries. The Denver Post reported Sunday that if Hillman continues to play well, Montee Ball might have a hard time getting his featured duties back. In 4 games, Ball rushed 55 times for 172 yards (3.1 ypc). Through 2 games, Hillman has rushed 38 times for 174 yards (4.57 ypc). Hillman is an RB2 against the Chargers.
Denard Robinson - Jacksonville (YAHOO OWNED 58% / ESPN OWNED 12%)
"Shoelace" did something no other Jacksonville running back has been able to do in 2014: Give the Jaguars an actual running game. After Toby Gerhart and Storm Johnson struggled to find any running room, Robinson swooped in and rushed 22 times for 127 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland. The former Michigan quarterback-turned-running back looked explosive behind a Jags line that couldn't block for anyone. There's no doubt Robinson will keep the starting job going forward, but he has a really tough matchup coming up against the Dolphins. Pick Robinson up, but you may want to sit on him this week.
Tre Mason - St. Louis (YAHOO OWNED 58% / ESPN OWNED 12%)
A Seattle matchup is no longer a scary situation as another running back has been able to run on the once dominant rushing attack. After pushing Zac Stacy for carries in Week 6, Mason took the ball and ran 18 times for 85 yards and a touchdown in the surprise win. Stacy didn't register a touch and Benny Cunningham touched the ball just 8 times (touchdown reception). Mason is shaping up like a bottom-half RB2, with Stacy turning into this year's biggest fantasy bust after being ranked as an RB1 in the preseason.
Travaris Cadet - New Orleans
I won't even list Cadet's owned percentages since it's highly doubtful anyone outside of larger league's actually owned the No. 4 Saints running back. With the news that Pierre Thomas will miss the next 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury, Cadet has a chance to push for playing time as a PPR candidate. He caught 6 passes for 51 yards Sunday against the Lions, and had racked up 9 catches in the prior 2 weeks before that (1 touchdown). With most of the ground work getting split between Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson, Cadet has a chance to make his name as a pass catcher.
Doug Baldwin - Seattle (YAHOO OWNED 22% / ESPN OWNED 19.4%)
With Percy Harvin a Jet, Baldwin turns into Seattles' No. 1 receiver. Russell Wilson made him look like one after giving Baldwin a team-high 11 targets, catching 7 for 123 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. It's easy to get excited about Baldwin after this game, but temper your enthusiasm. This is still a run-first team that spreads the ball around A LOT every game. Baldwin is a very low-tier WR3 moving forward.
Odell Beckham, Jr. - N.Y. Giants (YAHOO OWNED 50% / ESPN OWNED 20.2%)
The Giants have a Week 8 bye, but it would behoove owners to pick up Beckham and stash him away for a week. With Victor Cruz on the shelf, Beckham looked like a first-rounder against the Cowboys as he displayed strong hands and excellent movement. He only caught 4 passes, but made 2 of them count for touchdowns. The Giants also have a tough schedule ahead after their week off, but it's going to be hard to bench Beckham going forward. He's a WR3 with a super high ceiling.
Allen Robinson - Jacksonville (YAHOO OWNED 15% / ESPN OWNED 1.3%)
A WR3 in PPR leagues, Robinson has now racked up 4 catches or more from Week 2 to Week 7, totaling 33 receptions. He also gained his first score of the year against the Browns Sunday. Robinson was always the most talented receiver on the Jags, but injuries slowed down his abilities early in the season. 100 percent healthy, Robinson should continue to blossom as Blake Bortles grows with the offense.
Clay Harbor - Jacksonville (YAHOO OWNED 8% / ESPN OWNED .2%)
Harbor has quietly converted himself into a TE1, albeit a very shaky one. Outside of a Week 5 dud (3/22), Clay has stats of 8/70, 3/91/1 and 6/34. Bortles continues to give Harbor looks as the rookie's safety net, but he should only be started if absolutely needed. He's more of an every week TE2/flex option than a true TE1.
Jermaine Gresham - Cincinnati (YAHOO OWNED 4% / ESPN OWNED 1.2%)
I'm tentatively adding Gresham due to the fact that he has been the main beneficiary from A.J. Green's absence from a toe injury. In the last 2 games, Gresham has accumulated a whopping 16 catches. His previous 4-game total was 8. There is belief that Green could be ready to roll this week against the Ravens. If he doesn't, Gresham could squeeze out one more big game in PPR leagues. But if Green plays, expect Gresham's role to go back to what it was previously. The guy has a very low ceiling in regards to fantasy value.