Welcome to Fantasy Football’s “Fringe Week.”
Every season, we are treated to a week filled with marginal players making fantasy impacts. Whether it’s rookies getting their first shot, veterans returning from injury, or just a random big game, we are left trying to decipher whether these showings are meaningful.
The Week 8 waiver wire is one of our deepest of the season, with a balance of actionable performances and non-relevant outbursts.
Which players should we actually pay attention to during the second half of the season?
Here are my top waiver wire choices for Week 8.
Note: We’ve limited recommendations to players owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. All data as of Monday.
Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups
Damien Harris, Patriots
Harris’ touch volume will get lost in the shuffle of New England’s embarrassing 33-6 home loss to San Francisco. He was the clear lead running back with 10 carries for 58 yards. Harris even added one reception for 12 receiving yards.
With quarterback Cam Newton getting benched, the Patriots will likely skew even more run-heavy in upcoming weeks.
New England has consecutive road games at Buffalo and the Jets. Harris should received a ton of rushing work and could serve as a low-end RB2 if you are needy at the position.
Zack Moss, Bills
Moss was the best rusher for Buffalo in their 18-10 win at the Jets.
He tallied 47 yards on 6.7 yards per carry and added two receptions for 25 yards.
Buffalo has three difficult upcoming games against New England, Seattle, and at Arizona before a bye in Week 11.
Moss is only a bench stash, but with RB2 upside if he starts getting the majority of rushing work.
Joshua Kelley, Chargers
The Chargers offensive line continues to limit running back production. Kelley led Los Angeles with 12 rushes but for only 39 yards. He did see a huge uptick in passing game work, catching all five of his targets for 24 yards. Kelley continued to split touches with Justin Jackson.
After a Week 8 game at Denver, the schedule opens up for the ground game. The Chargers face the Raiders, Dolphins, and Jets in Weeks 9-11.
Kelley still serves as the goal-line running back. If quarterback Justin Herbert can simply limit his long touchdown passes, Kelley could serve as a useful low-end RB2 until Austin Ekeler returns.
JaMycal Hasty, 49ers
Those that believed in Hasty’s Week 7 fantasy value were disappointed, but there is now hope for Week 8.
Running back Jeff Wilson left Sunday’s 33-6 victory over the Patriots in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Early reports are that he will miss several weeks with a high-ankle sprain.
Hasty entered the game and was impressive, rushing nine times for 57 yards with a 16-yard reception. Teammate Jerick McKinnon was given limited work as a precaution, leaving the door open for Hasty.
With three decent matchups against Seattle, Green Bay and New Orleans upcoming, Hasty’s fantasy projection is looking up. If he ascends to the lead running back role for the 49ers, the undrafted rookie enters fantasy nirvana.
Hasty should be the top running back waiver claim this week, regardless of format.
La’Mical Perine, Jets
Perine’s Week 7 performance should earn him an increase in touches rest of season. The fourth-round pick from Florida scored the Jets’ only touchdown along with two receptions for 16 yards.
With veteran Frank Gore still a presence in the backfield, Perine’s fantasy upside is unfortuntely limited. He is an RB4/5 moving forward, unless the Jets were to trade Gore.
Carlos Hyde, Seahawks
Seattle leading-rusher Chris Carson left Sunday’s game with a foot injury, opening the door for Hyde.
Despite missing the last two games with a shoulder injury, Hyde produced 63 yards (6.3 yards per carry) and a rushing touchdown.
Unfortunately, Seattle has a rough Week 8 matchup against a 49ers team that ranks first in fewest fantasy points allowed to running backs.
If Carson remains out for a significant amount of time, Hyde would be worth a claim as a low-end RB2.
If you need an RB for next week? Better to look elsewhere.
Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers
The explosive rookie impressed in San Francisco’s dominating 33-6 win at New England.
Aiyuk led the team in targets (seven), receptions (six), and receiving yards (115).
With leading wideout Deebo Samuel leaving the game with a hamstring injury, Aiyuk ascends to the leading receiver role with an incredibly favorable upcoming schedule.
San Francisco faces Seattle, Green Bay, and New Orleans before their Week 11 bye.
Aiyuk is a priority waiver target as high-end WR3 with WR2 upside over the next three weeks.
Cole Beasley, Bills
The diminutive slot receiver took advantage of John Brown’s inactive tag, and led Buffalo in targets (12), receptions (11), and receiving yards (112).
Brown is likely to return in Week 8, but Beasley now has 50 yards or a touchdown in every single game this season.
With great upcoming games against New England, Seattle, and Arizona, Beasley could be a sneaky WR3 play. If Brown is out again, he is a must-start next week, especially in PPR formats.
Corey Davis, Titans
Corey Davis is the much less heralded wide receiver in a consolidated Tennessee target share.
He returned from the COVID list to garner a team-high 10 targets, converting into six catchers, 35 yards, and a touchdown.
Davis is an attractive waiver option with an upcoming game at Cincinnati before home games against Chicago and Indianapolis.
While A.J. Brown is the clear alpha in this passing game, Davis can serve as a complementary WR3 over the next few weeks.
Sterling Shepard, Giants
Shepard returned to the field for the first time since Week 2, and tallied an impressive six receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown.
His ability to operate in the short to intermediate range of the field provided a reliable option for erratic QB Daniel Jones.
With upcoming games against Tampa Bay, at Washington, and Philadelphia, Shepard should be a priority wide receiver pickup.
As the Giants likely continue to face negative game scripts, Shepard should see enough target volume to serve as a WR3/Flex play over the next three games.
Tim Patrick, Broncos
A disappointing day by the entire Broncos offense means that Patrick will be an under-the-radar Week 8 waiver value.
After posting consecutive 100-plus receiving yard performances, Patrick finished with just three receptions and 44 yards in Denver’s 43-16 loss to Kansas City.
While quarterback Drew Lock inspires little confidence, the Denver upcoming schedule should keep Patrick’s fantasy value afloat. The Broncos host the Chargers, followed by road games at Atlanta and Las Vegas, before a fantastic home matchup with the Dolphins.
I would have confidence starting Patrick over the next month as a WR3/Flex play.
Russell Gage, Falcons
Gage returned to the game after suffering a first half head injury to grab six receptions for 54 yards.
He has 50 or more receiving yards in each of the past two games.
Residing in the high passing volume offense of Atlanta, Gage has WR4/5 possibilities against Carolina and Denver before Atlanta’s Week 10 bye.
Denzel Mims, Jets
The second-round rookie from Baylor made his Jets debut in New York’s 18-10 loss to Buffalo.
Mims impressed with four receptions and 42 yards on seven targets. Even with leading WR Jamison Crowder out, Mims did enough to earn consistent weekly target volume.
Worth noting, Breshad Perriman left this game with a concussion, potentially placing Mims as the starter alongside Crowder against the Chiefs in Week 8.
With incredible athleticism, Mims is a great bench stash with breakout potential, especially if Perriman is out.
Nelson Agholor, Raiders
Fantasy owners may not believe in Agholor, but a touchdown in three consecutive games is worth mentioning. His nine targets, five receptions, 107 receiving yards and first-quarter touchdown was the primary highlight of the Raiders 45-20 loss.
It is hard to trust Agholor on weekly basis, but it would be foolish to completely dismiss him given the recent production.
Agholor is a decent WR4/5 play as needed.
Marquez Callaway, Saints
The UDFA from Tennessee was the best receiver on the field for the Saints in Week 7.
With Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders out, Callaway led the team in targets (10), receptions (8), and receiving yards (75), before rolling his ankle in the fourth quarter.
Callaway is not worth a wavier claim unless his ankle is fine, and Thomas/Sanders both remain out.
Marcus Johnson, Colts
Don’t forget about Indianapolis’ Marcus Johnson.
The fourth-year speedster posted the overall WR18 performance in Week 6 with five receptions and 108 receiving yards in the Colts’ 31-27 comeback win against the Bengals.
With T.Y. Hilton continuing to underperform, Johnson could very well be the WR1 in Indianapolis. He has five 20-plus receptions on the season, and faces an exploitable Detroit defense in Week 8.
Johnson’s upside remains capped in the run-heavy Colts’ offense, but he is at least worth a stash on your bench as a future bye week WR replacement.
Rashard Higgins, Browns
Higgins shined in the absence of Odell Beckham’s first quarter injury, tallying six receptions and 110 yards.
With Beckham likely to miss time, Higgins is a fine WR3/4 start in Week 8 at home against the Raiders.
Jalen Guyton, Chargers
The UDFA from North Texas has shown deep-ball chemistry with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert.
Guyton had two receptions for 84 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown catch in the Chargers 39-29 win.
He is too feast or famine to trust on a weekly basis, but is certainly worth monitoring if Mike Williams or Keenan Allen are injured.
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Trey Burton, Colts
If Burton was left on waivers over the Colts bye week, he is a great waiver add at a shallow tight end positions.
Burton had a fantastic Week 6 performance in the Colts 31-27 comeback win over the Bengals. He totaled four receptions, 58 receiving yards, and two total touchdowns en route to the overall TE1 stat line.
It’s possible that league mates ignore Burton, given the Colts Week 7 bye. However, at the thinnest fantasy tight end position, he should be a priority waiver as a TE1 for the remainder of the season.
Irv Smith, Vikings
Similar to Burton, Smith returns from his bye week coming of a season-best performance. Smith has seen ten targets over the Vikings last two games for a combined eight receptions, 119 yards, and a two-point conversion.
Smith remains a third receiving option on the run-heavy Vikings, but is a great addition in two TE leagues.
Harrison Bryant, Browns
The 6-foot-5 rookie from FAU nabbed two touchdowns in Cleveland’s 37-34 win at Cincinnati.
With fellow tight end Austin Hooper out with appendicitis, Bryant’s big frame became a huge goal line weapon for quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Bryant now has three touchdowns on the season, but is best left on waiver wires unless Hooper fails to return.
Albert Okwuegbunam, Broncos
Using his college connection with quarterback Drew Lock, Okwuegbunam has seen 13 targets over the past two weeks.
His Week 7 line of seven receptions and 60 yards is impressive, but probably not sustainable with the presence of tight end Noah Fant.
A great name, but not worth a Week 8 waiver pickup.