Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Our favorite players are broken down in Top Targets and the best secondary options are in our Going Deeper sections. We’ll also list any players at the top of each position who are above the 50% threshold — or are household names — and are still widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.
Be sure to check out our weekly Waiver Wire podcast and our Waiver Wire Livestream for more analysis. We’ll also have Streaming articles every Tuesday that focuses on the top quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses for the upcoming week(s).
Note: The initial Waiver Wire article writeup will be posted every Monday night, followed by in-depth updates Tuesday, and continued additions/updates Wednesday.
Teams on Bye in Week 8
Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Football Team
Joe Burrow (Cin, 64%)
Derek Carr (LV, 20%) — Carr has an improved cast around him, and he’s posting better numbers so far this season with multiple TDs in five straight games. He completed 24/36 passes for 284 yards, two TDs, and one INT and he added 2/19 rushing in a loss to the Buccaneers in Week 7. Carr was playing a bit undermanned earlier in the season, but Henry Ruggs’ returned to the lineup in Week 5 and his downfield speed has opened up the entire offense. The Raiders will also get impressive rookie Bryan Edwards back at some point soon, and they have also breathed new life into Nelson Agholor. With Ruggs on the field, Carr’s willingness to stand in the pocket for downfield plays to develop has seemingly improved, and that’s one of his biggest negatives throughout his career. Carr has a solid slate of matchups coming up (@Cle, @LAC, Den, KC), and he’s firmly in the high-end QB2 range with 20+ FP in four of his last five games.
Teddy Bridgewater (Car, 43%) — Bridgewater has been a pretty steady mid-QB2 this season, especially over the last month with multiple TD passes in three of his last four games. He’ll be one of the top streaming options at the position this week going against a porous Falcons secondary. He completed 27/37 passes for 313 yards and two TDs in Carolina’s 23-16 victory over the Falcons back in Week 5, which helped him to the QB12 finish that week with 20.8 FP. Keep in mind Teddy will likely get Christian McCaffrey back very soon, likely Week 9, as CMC was not expected to go Week 8. Starting Week 9, CMC will improve Teddy’s upside due to his big-play potential in the passing game. UPDATED: 10/29
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 30%) — Jimmy G got pulled early back in Week 5 in his first game back from his high ankle injury, but he’s been much more efficient the last two weeks by completing 74.1% of his passes and averaging 9.4 YPA. He completed 20/25 passes for 277 yards without a touchdown and two INTs in a blowout victory over the Patriots in Week 7 — one of his INTs was on a desperation heave at the end of the first half. He has a chance to put up production every week throwing to George Kittle, but Deebo Samuel did leave Week 7 early with a hamstring injury and will miss Week 8 and possibly Week 9, which certainly hurts. On the bright side, Brandon Aiyuk has consistently made plays and is getting better and better by the week. Jimmy G will be one of the best streaming options next week against the Seahawks, and the 49ers should be playing in some high-scoring affairs over the next month. (@Sea, GB, @NO, bye). UPDATED: 10/27
Kirk Cousins (Min, 31%) — Cousins is teetering on the edge of disaster these days, but, thanks in large part to his team’s bad defense, he has now topped 245+ passing yards in five of his six games. Cousins threw three first-half interceptions against a lowly Falcons pass defense, which ended up helping him to throw for 343 yards and three touchdowns playing in catch-up mode in the second half. Cousins has three pivotal NFC North matchups (@GB, Det, @Chi, Dal), which will determine the direction of Minnesota’s season and potentially his future in Minneapolis. Cousins will be a boom-or-bust QB2 going forward, but with Justin Jefferson already proving to be a brilliant pick and with Irv Smith finally emerging, he does have some high-end weapons to throw to. He can certainly be used with some confidence against GB, Det, and Dal, but we would not use him against the Bears.
Baker Mayfield (Cle, 32%)) — Odell Beckham injured his knee early in Week 7 against the Bengals, which turned out to be the best thing that could’ve happened for Mayfield and this passing attack. Mayfield threw an INT on his first attempt of Week 7, which was his only pass to OBJ. He then went on to complete 22/27 passes for 297 yards, five TDs, and one INT against the Bengals. Mayfield went from being benched in Week 6 to throwing for five scores in Week 7 so he’s not exactly the easiest guy to trust right now. Still, he’s back on the radar in two-QB formats, especially with his beatable upcoming schedule (LV, bye, Hou, Phi). And as crazy as it sounds, all the data points to Baker being better off with Rashard Higgins as top wideout, which will be the case with OBJ headed to IR. Mayfield should also get a boost by rookie TE Harrison Bryant, who has been fantastic.
Tua Tagovailoa (Mia, 6%) — It’s Tua Time in Miami! The Dolphins elevated Tua to the starting spot during their bye week and the fact that they benched a smoking hot Ryan Fitzpatrick means they must feel good about where he’s at so we should also have some optimism. The Dolphins have some tough spots on the schedule, including this week against the Rams, but their schedule looks relatively friendly for the rest of the season. It will be interesting to see if Tua clicks with anyone in particular — they aren’t particularly loaded at receiver — but he really needs DeVante Parker to be available to have a chance. Tua looks like a guy who'll be in the 20-25 range at the position for the rest of the season. Still, don’t be afraid to stash Tua for the next week or two if you’re QB needy just in case he exceeds expectations like Justin Herbert has already done this season.
Drew Lock (Den, 9%) — Lock hasn’t played particularly well the last two weeks since returning to the lineup off of his throwing shoulder injury. He’s failed to throw for a touchdown while throwing four INTs against the Patriots and the Chiefs in Weeks 6-7. Lock will be in a better position to succeed in the future as he didn’t have his full crew available in Week 6 and he had to play in sloppy conditions in Week 7. Lock clearly needs to be helped by his matchups, and he does have some spots to get his fantasy season rolling over the next month (LAC, @Atl, @LV, Mia), but he needs to put together a strong performance before he can be used with any kind of confidence as a low-end QB2.
Nick Foles (Chi, 10%) — Back in Week 3, and Foles promptly came into the game and threw three touchdowns in Chicago’s improbable comeback victory over the Falcons. Foles had his best fantasy performance since then in Week 6 with 17.3 FP against the Panthers as he threw and ran for a touchdown, but his upside is clearly capped. We saw that again in Week 7 against a good Rams defense, as Foles threw it 41 times but for only 261/0 with 0 rushing attempts. The Bears may use Foles as their option when inside the 1-yardline, since no RB gets stymied more than David “Stonewall” Montgomery, but asking for consistent rushing TDs from Foles is unrealistic. The Bears will continue to stick with Foles with their 5-2 record, but he’s an uninspiring low-end QB2 option even with some solid matchups looming (NO, @Ten, Min, bye). Also, Allen Robinson was concussed late in Week 7, and Foles would be unusable if A-Rob were out. UPDATED: 10/27
Jake Luton (Jac, 0%) — Mike Glennon may get a look initially if they start another QB in the near future, but on the very low-end or for deep 2-QB leagues, Luton might be worth picking up this week. Starting QB Gardner Minshew iffy to play with a thumb injury on his throwing hand, and the 1-6 Jags need to evaluate Luton to see if he has a chance to be their future at the position. A Greg Cosell favorite in the 2020 NFL draft, Luton has excellent size and a strong enough arm to make all the necessary throws, plus more than functional movement ability. Our John Hansen said Luton was fantastic when he interviewed Luton at the combine and Luton 100% agreed with Cosell’s assessment of his game, so he’s also very smart. UPDATED: 10/30
Chase Edmonds (Ari, 63%), Jamaal Williams (GB, 62%), Justin Jackson (LAC, 64%), Giovani Bernard (Cin, 59%) J.K. Dobbins (Bal, 53%), Zack Moss (Buf, 46%), Joshua Kelley (LAC, 45%), Damien Harris (NE, 47%)
JaMycal Hasty (SF, 16%) and Tevin Coleman (SF, 27%) — San Francisco running backs are dropping like flies this season with Jeff Wilson (ankle) picking up an ankle injury in Week 7 after gashing the Patriots for three touchdowns. HC Kyle Shanahan has recently buried Jerick McKinnon down the depth chart, or he’s been afraid to overexpose him to injury, which left Hasty as the top runner at the end of the Patriots game. The UDFA rookie finished with 9/57 rushing and 1/16 receiving (and 23% of the snaps) while McKinnon lost a yard on three carries against the Patriots while playing only 18% of the snaps. Shanahan said last week there’s an “outside chance” Coleman could return to the lineup this week as he’s been out since Week 2 with a knee injury. Shanahan said after the game that they rested McKinnon in Week 7 after a heavy workload in recent weeks, so McKinnon could go back to having a bigger role with all their injuries. Still, Hasty and Coleman, to a lesser extent, need to be priority pickups this week with Raheem Mostert (high ankle, IR) out for the foreseeable future and with Wilson on IR and out at least three games. This 49ers backfield consistently pumps out fantasy production and Hasty and Coleman could be the next players in line to help your fantasy team. As of Thursday morning, though, Coleman was not yet elevated to the active roster. UPDATED: 10/29
La’Mical Perine (NYJ, 18%) — Perine is now legitimately getting a chance to show what he can do, and he does have a three-down skill set. He’s competing with Frank Gore and Ty Johnson for snaps and touches, but the Jets are looking to get Perine more involved going forward since they used a fourth-round pick on him this spring. Perine had his best game to date with 11/39/1 rushing and 2/16 receiving against the Bills in Week 7, playing a healthy 70% of the snaps and scoring the game’s only TD from five yards away. Adam Gase did say last week that he’d get Perine more involved and he actually kept to his word! Perine is going to be a volatile option playing in the league’s worst offense with Gase calling the shots, but his role should be the least of the concerns right now. Perine should be owned in 12-team leagues and deeper since he has the potential to see 15+ touches a game going forward. It would be great for him if they traded Gore, which isn’t out of the realm of possibly. The trade deadline is next Tuesday. UPDATED: 10/27
Wayne Gallman (NYG, 2%) — Gallman’s stock is on the rise this week after Devonta Freeman left Week 7 early with an ankle injury, but the Giants appeared to give him a bigger chance even before Freeman’s injury. Dion Lewis continues to be a major disappointment after he lost a fumble late in the second quarter. The Giants decided to play Gallman with the starters on the opening drive of the second half before he gave way to Freeman on the second series when Freeman got injured in pass protection. Gallman led the backfield the rest of the way, which he turned into 10/34/1 rushing and 5/20 receiving against the Eagles. He wound up playing 53% of the snaps. Freeman will have 10 days to get ready for a nasty Buccaneers defense in Week 8, but he was working only on the side on 10/28, so he’s in danger of missing the game. No matter what, it appears that Gallman will have a more regular role next to Freeman going forward after a solid performance in Week 7. Gallman would be a flex option against Tampa Bay if Freeman can’t recover in time for Week 8, but it’s a nasty matchup against the Buc. Long-term this season, he has a speck of upside on the chance they want to hand him the primary role to evaluate him over the veteran Freeman, who is not long for the roster. UPDATED: 10/29
Malcolm Brown (LAR, 20%) — Darrell Henderson has clearly played his way ahead of Brown and rookie Cam Akers through the first seven weeks of the season, but Brown is still very much in the mix. He played on 45% of the snaps in Week 6 while Akers saw just a single snap against the 49ers with the Rams playing from behind. In Week 7, Akers played only 3 snaps while Brown played 40% of the snaps and put up 10/57/1 rushing with 1 target. They run the ball a lot, or at least they would like to, so Brown’s in the mix for 7-10 carries every week, and he’s their primary hurry-up back when they are facing negative game scripts. You’re guaranteed nothing with Brown, but he’s usually in the mix to produce something decent. UPDATED: 10/27
Carlos Hyde (Sea, 11%) — Chris Carson suffered a mid-foot sprain in the first half of Week 7 and he never returned to action against the Cardinals. Hyde stepped into the lineup for Carson and he finished with 15/68/1 rushing and 3/8 receiving on four targets. Hyde played on 49% of the snaps in Week 7 while Travis Homer (19%) and DeeJay Dallas (14%) were limited factors behind Hyde, mostly in the passing game. Much like Joe Mixon, Carson is week-to-week with his mid-foot sprain, but he has yet to be ruled out for Week 8. We won’t know the deal with this backfield until Friday at the earliest, though, as Hyde tweaked a hammy in the game and looks iffy to play. If it turns out that Hyde’s healthy enough to play but Carson isn’t, the Seahawks are leading the league with 33.8 points per game so Hyde figures to get a couple of cracks at touchdowns with the Seahawks scheduled to play the 49ers, Bills, and Rams over the next three weeks. UPDATED: 10/29
Deejay Dallas (Sea, 0%) — With Chris Carson (foot) very iffy Carlos Hyde dealing with a hammy injury from Week 7 and probably even iffier, the rookie 4th round pick is definitely on the radar and should be picked up early this week if possible if you’re worried about Hyde’s status. Dallas has good size and versatility, has flashed, and they are high on him. He’s even very good in pass protection. It’s possible Dallas is the guy in Week 8. UPDATED: 10/29
J.D. McKissic (Was, 41%) — He’s a real pest when it comes to Antonio Gibson, but that doesn’t look to be changing in the near future. McKissic has been operating as the 1B in Washington’s backfield, and the Football Team didn’t have much use for him in Week 7 as they played with a lead the entire game. He finished with just 5/35 rushing and 2/16 receiving against the lowly Cowboys, which was his first game without double-digit FP since Week 4. He did still play 1 more snap than Gibson (34 vs. 33). The Football Team likes him in the passing game, and in Week 7 they gave Gibson a whopping 20 carries, despite appearing previously to be hesitant to put too much on his plate. McKissic is clearly dependent on a negative game script, which won’t be a problem most weeks in Washington since they’re one of the worst teams in the league. McKissic doesn’t offer much upside, but he’s good for about 8-to-12 FP most weeks because of his passing game production if you’re looking for a flex option in PPR formats.
Gus Edwards (Bal, 5%) — Mark Ingram left Week 6 early with an ankle injury, which could open up a few extra carries for Edwards in the near future if the veteran RB misses some time going forward. The Ravens were on bye in Week 7, but Ingram missed their first practice of the week on 10/29, which is a bad sign for his availability this week. Edwards turned his extra work into 14/26/1 rushing against the Eagles in Week 6 while J.K. Dobbins turned his 11 touches into just 29 yards. Dobbins did play a solid 30 snaps or 41% of their snaps, but Gus beat him 32 snaps or 42%. Edwards is worth an add to grab a piece of this Ravens backfield, which would be a bit thinned out without Ingram. The Ravens rushing attack has a tough matchup with the Steelers this week, which limits Edwards’ appeal if Ingram isn’t looking at an extended absence.
Matt Breida (Mia, 21%) — The Dolphins made Jordan Howard a healthy scratch the last two weeks, leaving this backfield to Myles Gaskin and Breida. Gaskin served as the workhorse back in Week 6 with 22 opportunities while Breida posted 6/15 rushing and 2/7 receiving in a shutout victory over the Jets. If Howard continues to be a healthy scratch going forward, Breida could be looking at 10-12 touches per game going forward, which gives him some standalone value with bye weeks setting in. He would also likely take over the majority of the work if Gaskin missed time so Breida is worth an add if he’s been dropped in your leagues.
Best Handcuff Stashes
Tony Pollard (Dal, 22%) — Pollard ran for 455 yards on just 86 carries (5.3 YPC) as Ezekiel Elliott’s primary backup last season, and there’s a chance he could have more standalone value if he’s given a bigger role as a sophomore. Pollard would immediately be an RB1 if he’s thrust into a bell-cow role at any point this season.
Alexander Mattison (Min, 57%) — Mattison is the top back when Dalvin Cook misses time like he did earlier this season with his groin injury. We did learn in Week 6, though, that OC Gary Kubiak will use Ameer Abdullah in passing situations so Mattison isn’t a bell-cow back when Cook is out of the lineup. It looks like Cook will return for Week 8, as well. UPDATED: 10/29
Brian Hill (Atl, 17%) — Hill has emerged ahead of Ito Smith as the #2 RB in this backfield behind Todd Gurley. The Falcons would likely use a committee between Hill and Smith if Gurley missed time, but Hill is the preferred handcuff for anyone looking to grab the backup to the mediocre Gurley.
Jordan Wilkins (Ind, 0%) — Wilkins has been getting weekly touches as the primary backup to lead runner Jonathan Taylor after Marlon Mack (Achilles, IR) went down for the season. Wilkins would handle the early-down duties with Nyheim Hines mixing in as a change-of-pace back and as a receiver, if Taylor missed time.
Devontae Booker (LV, 0%) — The Raiders have built a large part of their offense around stud RB Josh Jacobs, and they also use Jalen Richard as a hurry-up and change-of-pace back. However, Booker is likely the handcuff for the early-down work in Las Vegas if Jacobs misses time.
Devine Ozigbo (Jax, 2%) — James Robinson has earned the right to be the team’s workhorse back with his play in the first half of the season, but Ozigbo would be the next man up since Chris Thompson would stick in a passing-back role (and Thompson went on the Covid-19 list on 10/24). Ozigbo is currently banged up, keep in mind, as he aggravated his hamstring that forced him out of the lineup to open the season last week. UPDATED: 10/29
Jalen Reagor (Phi, 14%) — Reagor could be returning to the lineup as soon as this week after the Eagles activated him from the injured reserve on Oct. 26, and the Eagles would love if he could play in a pivotal matchup against a shaky Cowboys secondary in Week 8. He was initially given a 6-8 week timetable for the thumb surgery he underwent after suffering the injury on Sept. 23 injury. The Eagles are dying at WR with DeSean Jackson (ankle, IR) and Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc) unable to stay or get healthy, and they’ve also been playing without Dallas Goedert (ankle, IR) and Zach Ertz (ankle, IR). Travis Fulgham has been a real success story the last couple of weeks, but our money is on the more talented Reagor being as big of a factor at some point this season. Reagor is an upside add off the waiver wire with the potential to be a fantasy difference-maker in the near future. UPDATED: 10/29
Cole Beasley (Buf, 40%) — Beasley is always at least a strong deeper option in PPR formats, but he’s been more than that this year, as he’s posting steady WR3 production every week in Buffalo’s spread attack. He’s posted at least nine FP in every game this season, including 11+ FP in each of his last six games after recording 11/112 receiving on 12 targets against the Jets in Week 7. Beasley has been a solid but unspectacular PPR option in the past, but he has more upside than ever before because of Buffalo’s spread attack, especially with defenses making Josh Allen stay patient and dink and dunk in the short passing game. He’s also been helped by John Brown’s struggles to stay on the field with his leg injury. Beasley can be added and used with some confidence in shallower formats now.
Rashard Higgins (Cle, 0%) — Odell Beckham injured his knee early in Week 7 against the Bengals, which turned out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to this passing attack. Higgins and rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones stepped up in his absence. Higgins posted 6/110 receiving and Peoples-Jones finished with 3/56/1 receiving, which included the game-winning 24-yard touchdown with little time remaining. OBJ is done for the season with a torn ACL so Higgins is first and foremost going to have a big role next to an ailing Jarvis Landry, who hasn’t looked completely healthy after off-season hip surgery. Between Peoples-Jones and Higgins, Higgins is the safer pickup since he’s shown some chemistry with Baker Mayfield when he’s been given the chance to play over the last few seasons.
Sterling Shepard (NYG, 29%) — Shepard spent a month on the injured reserve with a foot injury, but he didn’t look rusty in his return against the Eagles. He immediately stepped into the #1 WR role for Daniel Jones in Week 7, posting 6/59/1 receiving on nine targets (26.7% share) while playing a healthy 77% of the snaps. Jones clearly has a long way to go but it was no coincidence that he had one of his best games of 2020 with Shepard inserted back into the lineup. Shepard is in the low-end WR3 conversation for now with Jones mostly struggling, but there’s a chance Jones continues to play better with arguably his best receiver back in the lineup, and he’s definitely clicked well with Shepard when they've played together the last two seasons.
Corey Davis (Ten, 27%) — The Titans activated Davis off of the COVID-19 list before Week 7, and Davis didn’t look any worse for the wear in his first game action since Week 3. He saw a team-best 10 targets (32.3% share) against the Steelers, which he turned into 6/35/1 receiving with his touchdown coming from four yards out. The fifth overall pick in 2017 is having a mini-breakout campaign in his fifth season as he’s now posted 11+ FP in each of his four games played this season. Ryan Tannehill is back to playing like one of the league’s best QBs, which will give Davis a chance to maintain his production, even with A.J. Brown now back in the mix.
Nelson Agholor (LV, 3%) — Agholor right now is starting WR for the Raiders, and in Week 7 he led all WRs with 78% of the snaps. He is starting to blossom out in the desert as he’s reeled off touchdowns and 14+ FP in three straight games. He led the Raiders in receiving in Week 7 as he posted 5/107/1 receiving on nine targets (25% share) in a blowout loss to the Buccaneers. Agholor had just 11 targets (with three TDs) heading into Week 7 so Carr and HC Jon Gruden are clearly starting to warm up to Agholor with more targets starting to come his way in Week 7. Agholor’s track record suggests he won’t be able to keep up his strong play, but there’s a chance he’s finally starting to live up to his first-round draft status from back in 2015 if you want to give him a chance in deeper formats. Henry Ruggs has been used more like a shot-play specialist through the first seven weeks of the season so there’s a chance Agholor is developing into the #1 WR for Derek Carr. If you’re looking to catch lightning in a jar, Agholor is one of the better options to pick up this week. UPDATED: 10/27
Michael Pittman (Ind, 7%) — Pittman could return to the lineup this week against the Lions. The initial timeline reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport back in late September had Pittman returning to action out of their bye week after he needed surgery for compartment leg syndrome in his calf. Pittman was starting to get more involved in this passing attack when he suffered his injury back in Week 3, and Philip Rivers could certainly use some additional help with T.Y. Hilton’s career is trending downward. Pittman has a chance to be the #1 receiver in this passing attack by the end of the season so now is the time to stash him.
Tim Patrick (Den, 25%) — Patrick had posted 14+ FP in three straight games and 100+ yards in two consecutive games until he ran into the Chiefs in Week 7 in sloppy conditions. He finished with 3/44 receiving on four targets and he left the fourth quarter early with a hamstring. Assuming he’s healthy, Patrick will stick in the X receiver spot going forward with Sutton done for the year, and he’s actually the most-seasoned receiver for Drew Lock in his fourth season at 26 years old. He’s playing well enough to stick in the WR4 conversation as he’s become the most trusted WR in this passing attack with Sutton out of the lineup. HC Vic Fangio called Patrick day to day at the start of the week so we’ll see about his availability against the Chargers in Week 8. He’ll do as well as Lock will allow him to do, but he’s shown that if Lock is playing well, he can get it done most weeks. Their schedule is solid the next month or so, too. Patick is dealing with a hamstring issue this week so he’s no lock for Week 8, keep in mind. UPDATED: 10/29
Scotty Miller (TB, 9%) — With Chris Godwin expected to miss Week 8 (hand) and Antonio Brown not eligible to play until their ninth game, Miller’s role will increase considerably this week against the Giants on MNF. Miller’s chemistry with Tom Brady is getting better and better these days, and his 35-yard TD catch was a brilliant play by both players. Even with Godwin having a good game in Week 8 with 9/88/1 on 8 targets, Miller outdid him with 6/109/1 on 9 targets. Miller also averaged 18 yards a catch to Godwin’s 9.7. Also, Mike Evans is clearly not himself, so Miller could be looking at 7-8 targets or more again this week. UPDATED: 10/29
Preston Williams (Mia, 22%) — Williams has been slow out of the gates in his first month of action coming back from his ACL injury, but he’s shown some signs of life in recent weeks. He went off for 4/106/1 receiving against the 49ers in Week 5 before posting 2/18/1 receiving on three targets against the Jets in Week 6. It’s worth noting that DeVante Parker has had a lot of issues staying healthy in the first half of the season after picking up a groin injury in Week 6 after he dealt with an ankle injury earlier this year. It wouldn’t be surprising if Williams improves as the season goes along, and they could look to get him more involved coming out of their Week 7 bye. We don’t know if he’ll click with Tua Tagovailoa, but the QB change may help since Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t looking for Williams much. It might be time to give Williams another look if he’s been dumped to the waiver wire during his bye week.
Randall Cobb (Hou, 15%) — Cobb has seen a steady diet of targets in the middle of the field from Deshaun Watson most weeks. The veteran slot WR saw a team-high 10 targets (25.6% share), which he turned into a team-best 8/95 receiving against the Packers in Week 7. Cobb should stay active and he should get more comfortable with Watson as they work together longer for those looking for help in deeper PPR formats. It’s also only a matter of time before Will Fuller and/or Brandin Cooks misses time with an injury, and his role would grow in that scenario, and they don’t have a TE of note for the middle of the field.
Denzel Mims (NYJ, 4%) — The Jets are an absolute dumpster fire but, to be fair to Sam Darnold, he has been playing with the deck completely stacked against him. Mims made his professional debut in Week 7 against the Bills after missing the first six weeks of the season with a hamstring injury. With Jamison Crowder (groin) out of the lineup and with Breshad Perriman leaving early with a concussion, Mims led the passing attack with seven targets (30.4% share) and 4/42 receiving while playing a healthy 79% of the snaps. It’s tough to get too excited about Mims playing with Darnold on this completely broken team, but there are worse stashes than the second-round pick since he should see a healthy dose of targets each week. Perriman is suffering some sort of injury almost every week at this point, so Mims has a real chance to emerge. Perriman cannot be counted on at all right now.
Kendrick Bourne (SF, 3%) — Deebo Samuel left Week 7 early with a hamstring injury, which means Bourne could go back to having an active role in this passing attack. He saw 5+ targets in each of his first four games before Deebo returned to the lineup and took on a bigger role. Bourne won’t be a sexy option this week, but he has a chance to reach double-digit FP for the fourth time this week in a juicy matchup against the Seahawks. He’s a major red zone target for them, and the attention TE George Kittle commands in tight usually helps him. Samuel may also miss Week 9. UPDATED: 10/27
Greg Ward (Phi, 7%) — Ward has reeled in 4+ passes in four of his last five games, including 5/42/1 receiving against the Giants in Week 7, playing an active 95% of the snaps. The Eagles are still dying at receiver right now with both of their TEs on the IR and DeSean Jackson (ankle, IR) is hurt once again so Carson Wentz is going to continue to target his slot WR Ward. He’s a plug-and-play option in Week 8 with a beautiful matchup against the Cowboys looming, but he may be less involved in 1-2 weeks with #1 pick Jalen Reagor returning. Ward does have a very good matchup this week against Dallas, though. UPDATED: 10/29
Laviska Shenault (Jax, 38%) and Keelan Cole (Jax, 39%) — The Jaguars are rolling with D.J. Chark, Shenault, and Cole as their top-three WRs every week. Shenault and Cole combined for just 4/56 receiving on five targets against the Chargers in Week 7 with Minshew throwing for just 173 yards on 14 completions. The Jaguars could make a switch at quarterback over their Week 8 bye to Jake Luton or Mike Glennon, or they may be forced to do it with Minshew dealing with a thumb injury on his throwing hand. That’s not the best news for this passing attack even with Minshew’s play declining in recent weeks. Shenault and Cole are in the WR4/5 range when they return to action against the Texans in Week 9.
Mecole Hardman (KC, 45%) and DeMarcus Robinson (KC, 1%) — Hardman has really needed an injury in front of him to have a better chance of producing for fantasy, and it happened with Sammy Watkins suffering a hamstring injury and missing the last two weeks. Unfortunately, it hasn’t helped him as he has just 2/57 receiving on three targets and a 13-yard carry over the last two games. Robinson hasn’t been much better with 6/73 receiving on seven targets in the last two weeks, but he was the guy over Hardman Weeks 6-7. Robinson is the safer play at this point since he’s Watkins’ actual backup — Hardman is Tyreek Hill’s backup — but Hardman is still the better swing-for-the-fences play if Watkins can’t play against the Jets in Week 8.
Donovan People-Jones (Cle, 0%) — With Odell Beckham done for the season, DPJ will need to earn snaps and targets over Rashard Higgins, who is certainly not a world-beater. Higgins and Peoples-Jones stepped up in his absence as Higgins posted 6/110 receiving and Peoples-Jones finished with 3/56/1, which included the game-winning 24-yard touchdown with little time remaining. OBJ is done for the season with a torn ACL so Higgins and Peoples-Jones are going to have big roles next to an ailing Jarvis Landry, who hasn’t looked completely healthy after off-season hip surgery. Peoples-Jones is the more talented option, so he’s the upside play. But he’s an extremely raw rookie who never had a ton of success at Michigan (although he suffered from poor QB play). But Higgins is the safer pickup and he’s shown chemistry with Baker Mayfield dating back to 2018.
Tre’Quan Smith (NO, 29%) and Marquez Callaway (NO, 0%) — Smith and Callaway operated as the team’s starting WRs in Week 7 with both Michael Thomas (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19 list) out of the lineup. Callaway led the way 8/75 receiving on 10 targets (27% share) and Smith added 4/54 receiving on four targets against the Panthers. Callaway did leave the game late with an ankle issue, which is something to monitor this week. It’s looking like both Thomas and Sanders could miss Week 8, as well, and Smith and Callaway would be less than appealing options going against a tough Bears defense.
Curtis Samuel (Car, 15%) — Samuel has been mostly a disappointing fantasy asset through his first four seasons, but he’s shown some signs of life with 11+ FP in his last two games. He caught all six of his targets for 48 yards, and he lined up at running back and scored on a five-yard carry against the Saints. Samuel has now posted 35+ receiving yards and 3+ catches in four straight games and he has emerged as Teddy Bridgewater’s go-to guy on third down, plus he’s been getting some carries. He has a nice matchup against the Falcons if you’re looking for help in deeper PPR formats.
Russell Gage (Atl, 16%) — Gage is only as good as Matt Ryan is playing, and Ryan is back to playing well the last two weeks with Julio Jones back in the lineup. After posting three straight games with five or fewer FP in Week 3-5, Gage bounced back with 10/119 receiving on 11 targets the last two weeks. Gage will compete with Hayden Hurst for targets behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley most weeks but at least Ryan is going to be throwing it plenty most weeks. Gage is worth a look in deeper PPR formats whenever Julio is in the lineup, but Gage did take a nasty shot in Week 7 and is dealing with a knee issue, so he’s a shaky play this week. UPDATED: 10/29
Darnell Mooney (Chi, 2%) — He’s yet to make a big play, but he’s been used as the #2 WR behind Allen Robinson and ahead of Anthony Miller for most of this young season. Mooney has seen 5+ in each of the last five weeks, but he hasn’t hit double-digit FPs in any of those games after posting 3/36 receiving on five targets against the Panthers in Week 6. The Bears have been high on him and they’ve been blown away with his speed and how quickly he’s picked things up, but his lack of strength and physicality has been apparent. Mooney will continue to get big-play chances, so if he and Foles can improve chemistry, Mooney could be viable. UPDATED: 10/27
Dez Bryant (Bal, 1%) — He’s been signed to the Ravens practice squad, so he can be activated to the roster at any time. No one can expect much from the veteran, but he must be in good enough shape for Baltimore to sign him. He’d be a possession option, and he can play inside or outside, but his value will come down to his red zone work and ability to score TDs. But he’s a stash only in leagues where there’s nothing on the WW. UPDATED: 10/27
Logan Thomas (Was, 26%) — Thomas has seen exactly four targets in four straight games, and he’s made his looks count the last two weeks with 7/102/2 receiving against the Giants and Cowboys. Thomas won’t help any teams this week since he’s on bye, but he gets another date with the Giants when they come out of their bye in Week 9, whom he posted 3/42/1 receiving against the back in Week 6. But it’s no coincidence that he’s doing well the last two weeks because Kyle Allen has their offense heading in the right direction. Allen could make Thomas a thing in the second half of the season, so he’s a nice pickup for depth with starter potential as long as Allen or Alex Smith is at QB.
Harrison Bryant (Cle, 1%) and David Njoku (Cle, 4%) — Austin Hooper underwent an appendicitis surgery before Week 7, and he’ll likely miss at least through their Week 9 bye. That left the rookie Bryant and Njoku to split up the work against the Bengals, and they both came through with big days. Bryant finished with 4/56/2 receiving on five targets while Njoku also came through with 2/20/1 receiving on three targets. Cleveland is much higher on Bryant, and he’s our top priority if you’re looking to stream a Browns TE against the Raiders in Week 8. Charlie Weis (whose son Charlie Jr. coached Bryant at Florida Atlantic) has been raving about Bryant to our John Hansen for the last year, and he’s a player that should be added in Dynasty formats. Even before his big game in Week 7, we had Bryant as our TE16 in our Keeper/Dynasty rankings. With Odell Beckham headed to IR, these TEs become weekly features in this passing attack even when Hooper does return to the lineup. Njoku, a 2021 free agent, is also a possible trade candidate if Hooper is healthy enough to return. The trade deadline is 11/4 coming out of Week 8.
Trey Burton (Ind, 21%) — Burton has emerged as the top receiving TE in Indianapolis since coming off the injured reserve in Week 4. He had his best game yet in Week 6 with Mo Alie-Cox inactive, posting 4/58/1 receiving on five targets against the Bengals. He also scored on a one-yard rushing TD after lining up as the QB in the Wildcat formation — he played QB for a stretch in college at Florida. Burton has the most upside in this tight end room going forward, and the coaching staff is featuring him in the offense so we can use him with some confidence as a high-end TE2 option going forward. The one issue is Alie-Cox and Jack Doyle when healthy are still involved, but they do like Burton a lot. He played for HC Frank Reich in Philly, which is why he’s there.
Irv Smith (Min, 7%) — OC Gary Kubiak has gone out of his way to finally get the talented second-year TE more involved over the last two games. He’s posted double-digit FP in consecutive weeks with four catches and 55+ yards in each game. Mike Zimmer ideally wants his team to be a low-volume passing attack every week so we’re at least a bit skeptical Smith’s role will carry over to the future since Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are going to command targets week. Still, Smith has shown he deserves to see a steady diet of targets every week and it’s not like the Vikings can dominate opponents with their running game and their defense like they have in the past. Smith is certainly worth an add if you’re looking for a player with upside potential at a position that’s sorely lacking for quality upside options.
Gerald Everett (LAR, 8%) — #1 TE Tyler Higbee was fairly surprisingly inactive in Week 7 (hand), but Everett has been coming on for several weeks, posting 11/145/1 now the last three weeks on 13 targets. He’s not reliable, but he’s in the mix for sure and has upside if Higbee (who was out of practice 10/29) misses more time. UPDATED: 10/27
Richard Rodgers (Phi, 0%) — Rodgers paid off for anybody who streamed him Week 7 against the Giants. He finished with 6/85 receiving on eight targets to give him 14.5 FP with Dallas Goedert (ankle, IR) and Zach Ertz (ankle, IR) both out of the lineup. Goedert has a chance to return to the lineup this week, but Rodgers showed in Week 7 that he should be considered as a streamer if Goedert is unable to play this week against the Cowboys. Rodgers certainly isn’t an appealing option, but he could help in a pinch this week since he has a pulse, which certainly helped him against the Giants. And the early word this week is Goedert will NOT be back Week 8.
Rodrigo Blankenship (Ind, 32%) - Blankenship is coming off a bye week and yet he is still ranked tied for third in the NFL with 18 field goal attempts. He has missed two field goals with one of them coming from the bonus range. A third of his made field goals have come from the 40-49 yard bonus range.
Ryan Succop (TB, 30%) - The way the Buccaneers are putting points on the board is reason enough to wonder why Succop is rostered only 30%. He has made 25 extra points and 11 of 13 field goals through seven games. His two missed field goals have been from the bonus range. This week, he gets the Giants on Monday night football.
Jason Myers (Sea, 30%) - We listed him here last week and he did not disappoint us with as many field goals in Week 7 as he had in his previous five games combined. A huge division game in which both defenses should give up over 50 points combined. Myers should get two to three field goal attempts in this one.
Cody Parkey (Cle, 3%) - Last week, our sleeper pick was Tyler Bass of Buffalo. This week, we see the Browns and Raiders having a shootout in the Dawg Pound. Parkey only has eight field goals in six games played, but he could get two or three chances in this one. Keep in mind, WR Odell Beckham Jr. is out with a torn ACL. While the offense should move the ball against Las Vegas, it may stall enough times to give Parkey field goal opportunities.
Daniel Carlson (LV, 28%) - His game against the Browns could supply fantasy owners with five or six total field goal attempts as both defenses allow over 30 points per game thus far in 2020. Carlson has made 13 of 14 field goals with six attempts coming from the bonus range area.
Chargers (LAC, 75%)
Titans (Ten, 27%) — The Titans held their own against a 5-0 Steelers team, including picking off Ben Roethlisberger 3 times. Their secondary is one of the best units in the game, and now has at least 2 INTs in five of their last six games. They now face a stretch of turnover-happy opponents where they should be favored (@Cin, Chi, Ind).
Packers (GB, 19%) — Mentioned here last week as a defense to grab sooner rather than later, the Pack held Houston to 20 points while adding 3 sacks and a fumble recovery on their way to victory. They face two top-10 teams for DST scoring for the next two weeks (Min, @SF), then continue their stretch of vulnerable offenses (Jax, @Ind, Chi, Phi, @Det) through Week 15. Having a hot offense with a dominant Aaron Rodgers also helps a defense play with aggression.