NFL Waiver Wire: Week 8 Deep Dive

NFL Waiver Wire: Week 8 Deep Dive

This article is part of our NFL Waiver Wire series.

We're no longer early in the season, which means trades and injuries have started to pile up and shake up depth charts. There's also been a number of changes in roles based on performance, so there's plenty in this week's edition of the deep waiver wire.

Quarterback

Justin Fields at Cowboys (25 percent ESPN)

Fields has posted at least 20 fantasy points in three consecutive games. There's no reason he shouldn't be rostered in more leagues given the way veterans such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and even Matthew Stafford have struggled this season.

Andy Dalton vs. Raiders (two percent ESPN)

Dalton has been announced as the Saints' starter and will take on a Raiders defense that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. For those who have Patrick Mahomes or Justin Herbert, Dalton represents an ideal bye-week streamer.

Kenny Pickett at Eagles (nine percent ESPN)

This isn't the week to turn to Pickett as the Eagles have been among the stingiest teams to opposing QBs this year. However, the Steelers have shown little interest in hiding him, and he's also chipped in rushing production. If Pickett can shed some of his rookie mistakes, he could become a decent option down the stretch.

Taylor Heinicke at Colts (eight percent ESPN)

We know what Heinicke is based on his 2021 performance, and we got glimpses of both the good and bad he offers in Week 7 against the Packers. The Colts are a fairly imposing

We're no longer early in the season, which means trades and injuries have started to pile up and shake up depth charts. There's also been a number of changes in roles based on performance, so there's plenty in this week's edition of the deep waiver wire.

Quarterback

Justin Fields at Cowboys (25 percent ESPN)

Fields has posted at least 20 fantasy points in three consecutive games. There's no reason he shouldn't be rostered in more leagues given the way veterans such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and even Matthew Stafford have struggled this season.

Andy Dalton vs. Raiders (two percent ESPN)

Dalton has been announced as the Saints' starter and will take on a Raiders defense that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. For those who have Patrick Mahomes or Justin Herbert, Dalton represents an ideal bye-week streamer.

Kenny Pickett at Eagles (nine percent ESPN)

This isn't the week to turn to Pickett as the Eagles have been among the stingiest teams to opposing QBs this year. However, the Steelers have shown little interest in hiding him, and he's also chipped in rushing production. If Pickett can shed some of his rookie mistakes, he could become a decent option down the stretch.

Taylor Heinicke at Colts (eight percent ESPN)

We know what Heinicke is based on his 2021 performance, and we got glimpses of both the good and bad he offers in Week 7 against the Packers. The Colts are a fairly imposing defense, but not as stiff a test as the Packers and that means he could once again perform decently.

PJ Walker at Falcons (one percent ESPN)

Walker showed some significant improvement in Carolina's recent win. He'll now face a Falcons' D that has been very generous to quarterbacks this season and is viable in two-QB or superflex leagues.

Running Backs

Rachaad White vs. Ravens (20 percent ESPN)

Leonard Fournette is only averaging 3.5 yards per rush and has no carries over 20 yards. White already has a consistent role of seven-to-10 touches per game. And if the Buccaneers are interested in making their offense more explosive, that number should increase.

Kyren Williams vs. 49ers (10 percent ESPN)

Williams has gotten some helium with Cam Akers currently – perhaps permanently – out of the picture. He also returned to practice this week and is likely to be activated from injured reserve prior to this weekend. Darrell Henderson has never been trusted for long stretches as the lead back, so a 1A/1B backfield setup is very realistic.

JaMycal Hasty vs. Broncos (one percent ESPN)

The Jags' running situation has rightfully been the focus in the aftermath of the James Robinson trade, but Hasty appears to be in line to take over as Travis Etienne's backup. Etienne has become a workhorse in recent weeks, but coach Doug Pederson went out of his way to say Hasty would receive an increase in carries.

James Cook vs. Packers (26 percent ESPN)

Cook is probably rostered in a lot of leagues. But if not, now's the time to pick him up. Zack Moss was a healthy scratch in Week 6, so Cook seems to be trusted as the backup to Devin Singletary. That will be a valuable role to step into if Singletary is forced into an absence.

Keaontay Ingram at Vikings (one percent ESPN)

James Conner is likely to be back this weekend, but both Eno Benjamin and Ingram made a strong impression when he was out against the Saints in Week 7. Conner has been forced to miss games fairly regularly throughout his career, so Ingram could get another chance to work as a complementary back later in the season.

Marlon Mack at Jaguars (two percent ESPN)

Denver loves inefficient running backs beyond their prime, so Mack was the perfect addition. The backfield was a three-way split in Week 7, and Mack has the chance to enter the rotation with Mike Boone out.

Wide Receivers

DeVante Parker at Jets (16 percent ESPN)

It's difficult to make much sense of the Patriots' wide receiver corps or passing game in general. Nevertheless, Parker's produced double-digit PPR fantasy points in four of his last six games - with 9.8 on another occasion - and operates as the team's big-play threat with eight receptions of at least 20 yards.

Donovan Peoples-Jones vs. Bengals (11 percent ESPN)

Peoples-Jones is another deep threat, but he's shown some consistency in recent weeks with more than 11 PPR fantasy points in three of his last four outings. Harrison Bryant is likely to soak up many of the targets opened in the absence of David Njoku, though Peoples-Jones is also a candidate to benefit.

Marquise Goodwin vs. Giants (three percent ESPN)

Chasing Goodwin's two-TD performance in Week 7 isn't a great idea, but playing him when targets are likely to open up in the absence of DK Metcalf makes sense. If Metcalf is surprisingly available Sunday, you can scratch Goodwin off the list of potential adds/starts.

Van Jefferson vs. 49ers (nine percent ESPN)

The Rams' offense hasn't been on track to the degree we expected at this point of the season. The primary reason for that is the lack of reliable offensive weapons behind Cooper Kupp, so Jefferson could step into a significant return as soon as he's healthy. He was designated to return from injured reserve Monday and looks likely to make his season debut Sunday.

Ben Skowronek vs. 49ers (one percent ESPN)

Skowronek's best chance to make an impact in the LA attack has likely already passed, but he got six touches in each of the team's two games prior to the bye week. Only one of Jefferson or Skowronek is likely to be fantasy relevant on a consistent basis.

Mack Hollins at Saints (seven percent ESPN)
 
Hollins has as regular of a role in the Raiders' offense as Hunter Renfrow, but he's been more explosive. The return of Darren Waller could change the dynamics of the offense, which adds more risk to a boom-bust player.

Darius Slayton at Seahawks (one percent ESPN)

The Giants' offense doesn't offer consistent pass volume, but Slayton has managed at least six targets in two of his last three games. Both the Giants and Seahawks are likely to be willing to run the ball and play at a slow pace, so this may not be the best week to use Slayton. He's still worth keeping in mind.

Christian Watson at Bills (six percent ESPN)

Watson has done very little early in his NFL career, but he returned to practice Wednesday and could be in line for his first game action since Week 5. Despite the underwhelming returns to this point, the Packers could be without both Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard against the Bills. Romeo Doubs appears to have fallen out of favor, so perhaps Watson can step in to provide a boost.

Khalil Shakir vs. Packers (one percent ESPN)

There's nothing in Shakir's performance to this point that says he should be a waiver target, but Isaiah McKenzie has been inconsistent while functioning as the Bills' third receiver. It's possible Shakir could overtake that role, particularly coming off a bye week. And anyone with a potential role in Buffalo's offense is worth speculating on. 

Tight Ends

Greg Dulcich at Jaguars (21 percent ESPN)

Dulcich was among the most added players this week, so there's a good chance he isn't available. He lists a healthy 17.1 percent target share in his first two games as a pro. He's also been incredibly efficient - likely to an unsustainable degree – but offers the potential to be a top-12 tight end the rest of the season.

Juwan Johnson vs. Raiders (five percent ESPN)

Adam Trautman appears to be missing his second consecutive game and Johnson has filled in admirably when given the chance. The two touchdowns last week may not be repeatable, but Johnson has five and six targets in his last two games. Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry also failed to return to practice Wednesday, so that volume could keep him in contention to produce this weekend.

Harrison Bryant vs. Bengals (two percent ESPN)

Bryant is another tight end stepping into a larger role in the absence of David Njoku. He doesn't boast the same athleticism as Njoku, but should have a sizable role in the Cleveland offense. And the Browns will likely have to take to the air plenty against the Bengals.

Tyler Conklin vs. Patriots (18 percent ESPN)

Conklin has seen his offensive role decrease since Zach Wilson has returned under center, but the Jets could be without Corey Davis and Elijah Moore. They don't want to throw much and New England isn't likely to score enough to force them to the air, so volume could still be underwhelming.

Will Dissly vs. Giants (seven percent ESPN)

Targets in Seattle are generally spread out, so it's harder to make the case Dissly will benefit from the absence of DK Metcalf. For those desperate at the position, he's safe enough not to provide zero points.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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