2017 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups

NFL Week 8 Injury and Bye-Week Replacements
 
***WEEK 8 BYE WEEK TEAMS***
Arizona Cardinals
Green Bay Packers
Jacksonville Jaguars
Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants
Tennessee Titans
 
RUNNING BACK (RB)
 
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots (currently owned in 20.4% of all ESPN leagues):
Lewis looks like he's established himself as the lead running back taking handoffs out of the Patriots backfield.  Gillislee put himself in the doghouse in week 6 by losing a fumble, which opened the door of opportunity.  Lewis carried the ball 13 times for 76 yards and got involved in the passing game by catching 1 pass for 6 yards.  Lewis is the back to own in standard leagues, but is a deep league acquisition only due to his low use.
 
Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets (currently owned in 49.9% of all ESPN leagues):
Forte has been a gem in PPR formats.  He's been the most consistent receiving option on a Jets team that lacks standout wideouts.  He should continue his involvement in the passing game, at least until a better option develops.  Grab him in PPR formats.
 
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (currently owned in 47.4% of all ESPN leagues):
Bernard has struggled against tough defenses the last couple of weeks, but has a place as the pass catching back in Bill Lazor's offense.  He could return to form this week against a soft Colts defense and continue his contributions.  He scored 2 touchdowns in road matchups against Cleveland and Green Bay prior to his strugges against the Steelers and Bills.
 
STREAMING OPTION
 
Oakland Raiders Running Backs
 
Deandre Washington (ESPN 3% owned) & Jalen Richard (ESPN 5% owned) will likely continue a committee approach this week while Marshawn Lynch serves a 1-game suspension this week.  Both have had limited success with limited touches.  Both will take on a Bills defense that has allowed just 3.4 yards per carry this season. 
 
DEEP LEAGUE FLIER
 
Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts (currently owned in 26.5% of all ESPN leagues):
Although Gore still gets a large volume of work, Mack is clearly the more explosive back.  The rookie 4th rounder out of Central Florida is averaging 4.9 yards per carry to Gore's 3.4 and has just as many touchdowns as the veteran.  Robert Turbin may be out for an extended period, giving Mack more opportunities.  Unfortunately, opportunities may not translate into production because the Colts' run game and their offensive line face some pretty stout fronts the rest of this season.  Mack might still be a good PPR target in deep leagues since he'll probably get all of Turbin's targets.  
 
WIDE RECEIVER (WR)
 
Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins (currently owned in 15.4% of all ESPN leagues):
Stills could rise to low-end WR2 in the coning weeks.  He's caught at least 1 touchdown in 5 straight regular season games dating back to last season in which Matt Moore has taken snaps for Miami.  Stills not exactly boom or bust either, averaging 4 catches and over 60 yards in addition to more than 1 touchdown per game through those 5 games.  He should get even more work if Parker is still unable to go.
 
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints (currently owned in 44% of all ESPN leagues):
This boom or bust commodity was supposed to fall to the fantasy wayside with the return of Willie Snead.  This hasn't been the case.  In 2 weeks since Snead has been back, Ginn has caught 11 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown.  The Saints have said that they were planning on bringing Snead along slowly.  Unfortunately, Snead has been hampered by a hamstring injury.  Ginn is worth a grab and stash or start in most leagues, depending on league format, until Snead gets up to speed.
 
Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (currently owned in 62.9% of all ESPN leagues):
For those thinking Agholor doesn't get enough usage to be rostered, his targets have been trending in the right direction and has continued developing his connection with Wentz.  His targets have gone from just 3 in week 3, topping out at 7 starting in week 6.  He has 5 touchdowns this season, which is 4 more than Julio Jones.  He's finally begun looking like the former 1st round pick the Eagles expected him to be.  Roster him now.
 
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Baltimore Ravens (currently owned in 65.5% of all ESPN leagues):
Maclin's fantasy stock has declined in recent weeks due to tough matchups, an injury, and inconsistent quarterback play.  However, he could be a good target for Flacco as well as  for fantasy owners due to the injuries to Perriman and Wallace.  He  was ultimately ruled out as a game time decision in week 7.  He has some favorable matchups against Miami, Tennessee, and Green Bay in the coming weeks.  Buyer beware: his shoulder injury may hinder him again this week in a Thursday night showdown, and he still has a bye week in week 10.
 
DEEP LEAGUE FLIER:
 
Deonte Thompson, WR, Buffalo Bills (currently owned in 0.2% of all ESPN leagues):
A week after he was cut by the Bears, Thompson caught 4 passes for 107 yards as a Buffalo Bill.  With Jordan Matthews struggling with the offense and a thumb injury, the Bills are desperate for a true receiving threat other than McCoy.  O'Leary has shown flashes, but was limited by a Buccaneers defense that has done well against opposing tight ends.  Thompson's schedule looks good and he already had his bye week.
 
Bennie Fowler, WR, Denver Broncos (currently owned in 10.3% of all ESPN leagues):
Demaryius Thomas gets most of the coverage, which means Fowler could get added looks with Emmanuel Sanders out.    The Chiefs have struggled against good wideouts, making Fowler a match-up based, low-floor, high-ceiling deep league flier this week.
 
Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (currently owned in 7.7% of all ESPN leagues):
Whatever Martavis Bryant is doing is cementing Smith-Schuster's role as WR2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Bryant has underperformed and has not met expectations since returning from a year-long suspension.  Bryant's recent actions are also making it tough for the Steelers not to get rid of him.  Smith-Schuster can be a real fantasy asset if he leapfrogs Bryant in the pecking order and continues to get looks from Big Ben.  
 
TIGHT END (TE)
 
Tyler Kroft, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (currently owned in 10.7% of all ESPN leagues):
Despite going up against a tough Steelers pass defense, Kroft caught 4 passes for 23 yards and a touchdown.   He has 14 catches for 129 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 3 games since Eifert went down to injury again.  His targets should continue trending up and he could begin challenging LaFell for more work.  He's a solid pickup in all leagues.
 
Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers (currently owned in 66.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Even with all of the mouths to feed, Henry has gotten plenty of looks.  He has 12 catches for 205 yards and a touchdown in his last 3 games.  While it's tough to trust Henry in standard formats due to his lack of touchdowns, he has a solid rapport with Philip Rivers and is a solid PPR candidate.  
 
DEEP LEAGUE FLIER
 
A.J. Derby, TE, Denver Broncos (currently owned in 0.7% of all ESPN leagues):
Derby has also seen an uptick in usage with the loss of Emmanuel Sanders.  He's reeled in 11 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown in the last 3 games.  It's worth noting that 10 of those catches for 141 yards and the touchdown came in 2 of those games.  Derby struggled against the Giants' coverage.  Even though the Chiefs play at home this week, Derby could have a decent day against a defense that has struggled to generate a pass rush this week.
 
QUARTERBACK (QB)
 
Matt Moore, QB, Miami Dolphins (currently owned in 0.1% of all ESPN leagues):
It's mostly forgotten that Matt Moore took the Dolphins into the post-season in 2016.  He won 3 of Miami's last 5 games, including 2 tough wins against the Cardinals and division rival Bills.  He threw for 188 yards, 2 scores and a pick after he took over for Cutler in the third quarter, putting him on pace for well over 300 yards.  He knows the system has some nice matchups, and already had his bye so he's worth a pickup.  
 
Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers (currently owned in 69.6% of all ESPN leagues):
Rivers has thrown for 8 touchdowns and has turned the ball over just twice in his last 4 games.  While this may be disappointing for some fantasy owners, he's worth a pickup if he's available.  He has a great matchup against one of the worst passing defenses in the league.  New England may have just lost defensive signal caller Dont'a Hightower again, making Rivers a must-start.  
 
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (currently owned in 32.9% of all ESPN leagues):
Dalton is a legitimate streaming option this week.  He's available in roughly 2/3 of all ESPN leagues, and he faces a Colts defense that just gave up 330 yards and a touchdown to Blake Bortles.  
 
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS (D/ST):
 
Chicago Bears (currently owned in 2.8% of all ESPN leagues):
Something is going on with Chicago's defense.  Trevathan is healthy and disruptive, and a young, defensive backfield is flying around the field making plays on the ball.  They even forced a coverage sack (the defensive backs cover all receiving options long enough for the defensive line to sack the quarterback).  They've scored 3 defensive or special teams touchdowns in the last 2 weeks and the play of Bears defensive backs Prince Amukamara and Eddie Jackson cannot be ignored.  Buyer beware: the Bears' defense takes on their first truly elite offensive unit of the New Orleans Saints this week.
 
Philadelphia Eagles (currently owned in 42.8% of all ESPN leagues):
The 49ers struggled to put up just 10 points against a revitalized Cowboys defense.  The Eagles' defensive unit is arguably better and should have a good outing against a 49ers offense that's still struggling to move the ball and searching for an identity.
 
Cincinnati Bengals (currently owned in 35.5% of all ESPN leagues):
The Bengals take on a Colts offense that has struggled to move the ball all season.  Expect Gino Atkins to create havoc in the Colts backfield.  The Bengals are a decent streaming option this week.  

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