2014 Fantasy Football Week 8 Waiver Wire Targets
Another week - another slew of injured players. The Bills unfortunately lost both starting running backs, Calvin Johnson wasn’t able to play for a second straight week and Jimmy Graham was held without a catch. Many more players are undergoing MRI’s to learn the extent of their bumps and bruises. For more information on injuries check over our injury wrap up for the week, but you came here for waiver picks so let’s get to it.
As always, owned percentages are for ESPN and Yahoo leagues respectively. With the 49ers and Giants on byes this week, there are plenty of fantasy starters that will be off. Let's jump in!
Carson Palmer, Cardinals (9.6%/42%): I know many wanted to wait and see if he would stay healthy and be effective. He has done both. He now has thrown for no less than 250 yards in a game while throwing multiple touchdowns in each game he’s played as well. He should be a starter in 2-QB leagues, but if you have either Eli Manning or Colin Kaepernick, Palmer would make a great bye-week fill-in.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (12.7%/36%): Since Jim Philbin said he wasn’t sure who would be the starter in Miami, Tannehill has scored 20, 17 and 23 points in standard ESPN leagues. This weekend he gets a favorable matchup against the Jaguars. He’s also thrown multiple touchdowns in each of those last three games. Everything is aligned for Tannehill to put up plenty of points this week.
Alex Smith, Chiefs (17.1%/41%): He gets a fairly easy matchup this week against the Rams. While the Chiefs aren’t the most pass-happy team (they’re actually the least), Alex Smith is a safe play. He has put up less than 14 points only twice this year. In this green matchup he should be a solid, safe play.
Kyle Orton, Bills (0.4%/5%): With both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller sidelined, the team will look to Orton even more to help this young offense. The Bills take on the Jets this week and they are solid against the run, but not so much against the pass. This is a good recipe for Kyle Orton to fill-in for you and get you a nice stat line.
Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings (9.9%/11%): He hasn’t played very well lately after getting off to a decent start. He has a great matchup this week against the Buccaneers and should exploit it. If he can’t use the matchup to his advantage and end with a good stat line, he’d become very hard to trust in your starting lineup.
Bye Week Fliers: Colt McCoy, Redskins. Brian Hoyer, Browns.
Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (12%/59%): How is he not owned in more ESPN leagues? I admit I was low on him at first but he's proved me wrong. John Fox loves to ride the hot hand who can protect Peyton Manning. Remember last year when Montee Ball was supposed to be the main back until Knowshon Moreno showed he could protect Manning better.
Tre Mason, Rams (2.3%/18%): Against a formidable Seattle defense, it was Tre Mason who out-touched all the other backs in St. Louis. He led Benny Cunningham and Zac Stacy 18-2-0 respectively. He was not used in the passing game at all but he is definitely the running back to own in non-PPR leagues. Brian Schottenheimer has said he’s going to ride the hot hand and that’s Mason. He will most likely be the first waiver selection in the majority of leagues.
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings (11.7%/59%): McKinnon had his breakout performance Sunday by going over 100 yards on 19 carries. He is the better natural running back in Minnesota but Matt Asiata will still likely take some goal-line work from McKinnon. McKinnon will be given more carries than Asiata going forward and he should continue to impress. Get in on him now before he really blossoms.
Denard Robinson, Jaguars (0.5%/11%): He’s not your prototypical running back but was a run-heavy quarterback while at Michigan. Robinson found lanes left, right and center on Sunday as the Jaguars got their first win of the season. He won’t have the holes he was given this past week all the time but given the opportunity he has, he is worth a speculative pick-up. He carried the ball 22 times for 127 yards Sunday so he’s capable of workhorse-like numbers. We’ll see if he can keep up the success he had Sunday.
Benny Cunningham, Rams (1.8%/14%): Cunningham still had a nice day even with Tre Mason getting more touches. He has more value in PPR leagues as Mason doesn’t catch the ball. This makes both of them relevant. Which one will be more valuable depends on your league scoring. His role in the Rams offense will be a lot like Roy Helu’s role in the Redskins offense and depending on the depth of your league, he could be one of the higher upside players available.
“Grab and Stash”
Anthony Dixon, Bills: With Fred Jackson out for about a month and C.J. Spiller the rest of the year, the Bills are forced to try and get the most out of Bryce Brown and Dixon. Since Brown was inactive in Week 7, Dixon came off the bench for the injured Jackson and Spiller and looked good totaling 66 yards on 16 touches. It's likely going to be a committee of Brown and Dixon until Jackson is healthy enough to return to action.
Bryce Brown, Bills (1.3%/8%): Both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller left the game Sunday with injuries. While Spiller is done for the season, Fred Jackson may return in as early as four weeks. I believe Brown will take over the Spiller role in this offense for the rest of the year. When Jackson returns, I think Dixon goes back to the bench while Brown stays involved making Brown the better pickup.
Bye Week Fliers: Isaiah Crowell, Browns. Terrance West, Browns. Anthony Dixon, Bills.
Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (19.4%/24%): He was the No. 1 receiver this week after the Seahawks traded Percy Harvin to the Jets. He played well Sunday, catching almost everything thrown in his direction. Baldwin finished with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Next week he plays the Panthers who gave up touchdowns to three different Green Bay receivers. He’ll most likely continue to lead the Seahawks in targets next week and has a good chance of getting into the endzone.
Odell Beckham Jr., Giants (20.2%/50%): It’s not too late to join the bandwagon. He was in this column last week and while he only caught four balls for 34 yards Sunday, he was heavily involved and scored twice. He is a solid No. 2 for the Giants offense and can even run the ball too. Get in on Beckham while you still can.
Andrew Hawkins, Browns (10.1%/29%): He’s made this list before and he’ll most likely make it again. He’s great for those running into bye week issues especially in PPR leagues. It’s hard to trust in a Browns receiver to give you solid production week in and week out but Hawkins provides the closest thing. He did have a dud in week 6 but this past weekend bounced back and caught five balls for 112 yards. He’s a top-50 receiver in fantasy scoring this year and he hasn’t even scored a touchdown yet. If he can find the endzone soon, he should see a boost in value.
“Grab and Stash”
Stevie Johnson, 49ers (5.9%/7%): Over the last two weeks, he’s caught 10 balls for 132 yards. He’s seen 13 targets so he’s catching almost everything thrown his way. With the 49ers not playing this week, you could try to grab him either this week or keep him on your radar for next week. He’s better for PPR leagues but has also scored three times in the last four weeks.
Allen Robinson, Jaguars (1.3%/15%): He leads the Jaguars in all pass catching categories and falls 18th in the league in receptions with 30. He’ll be more valuable in PPR leagues but he also has only had less than 51 yards receiving in two games so far this season. He’s clicking with Blake Bortles and should continue to see plenty of balls thrown his way in an offense that will find itself trailing more than leading.
Bye Week Fliers: Robert Woods, Bills. Davante Adams, Packers. Jarvis Landry, Dolphins. Brandon LaFell, Patriots.
Dwayne Allen, Colts (28.4%/64%): After not scoring for only the second time this season last week, Allen was back in the endzone this weekend. He caught three balls for 53 yards and added his fifth touchdown. He continues to be a big red zone focus for Andrew Luck. Since Coby Fleener is also catching touchdowns, I can understand why there aren’t more owners high on Allen but since Allen is a much better run-blocker, he will continue to see the field more. He won’t pull away from Fleener so they will continue to eat into each others value but Allen is the one to own.
Jermaine Gresham, Bengals (1.2%/4%): He landed in this column last week and had a productive day (for him) on Sunday. He finished with 10 catches on 12 targets for 48 yards. Obviously since he didn’t rack up yards on those catches he is best in PPR leagues but if you have either Vernon Davis or Larry Donnell on byes this week, Gresham could be a solid fill-in. If A.J. Green plays, Gresham’s value takes a hit so follow that situation if you are going to rely on Gresham this week at tight end.
Owen Daniels, Ravens (22.1%/49%): Did someone drop Daniels after a few bad games? If so, this would be the week to pick him up. The Bengals are the worst defense against tight ends in terms of fantasy points. He gets a huge green light on this one.
“Grab and Stash”
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buccaneers (0.5%/2%): Don’t forget about him after his bye week. He’s not going to get as many looks as fellow rookie Jace Amaro but the Bucs have a fairly easy schedule for tight ends the rest of the way. He could pay off down the road when you need a playoff push. He’s a big target with a lot of potential.
Bye Week Fliers: Charles Clay, Dolphins. Heath Miller, Steelers. Coby Fleener, Colts.
Dolphins D/ST: They travel across the state to Jacksonville to play the last ranked NFL offense.
Browns D/ST: They didn’t win Sunday but that doesn’t matter in fantasy. They gave up 24 points to the Jags but they also had three picks. Look for a similar game against the Raiders this weekend.
Cowboys D/ST: This isn’t a flashy pick after all the injuries to this group over the season. Since DeMarco Murray is controlling the clock and the Cowboys offense is keeping their defense off the field, this unit has quietly had a decent year. They haven’t scored more than 10 points in a week but they haven’t posted any negatives either. Playing Colt McCoy and the Redskins at home in Jerry World should make this group a good play.
Colts D/ST: This group looks like a serious contender and is barely owned in most fantasy leagues. Since starting out posting two straight weeks in the negative, they turned it around and have scored 17, 12, 15, 8, and 12 since. They shut out Cincinnati and now get the Steelers who didn’t look too sharp against the Texans on Monday night.
Kai Forbath, Redskins: 11/11 FG, 16/16 XP
Cairo Santos, Chiefs: 8/10 FG, 16/16 XP
Brandon McManus, Broncos: 6/6 FG, 23/23 XP
Caleb Sturgis, Dolphins: 11/14 FG, 16/16 XP