A name jumps out at me as I write this article: DeAndré Washington.
This time of year, you always need to think back to the waiver wire players who not only won weeks, but also won leagues. Last year, that player was Washington.
Week 8 of last season, he was an afterthought. He was well behind starting running back Josh Jacobs, and was considered to be behind third-down specialist Jalen Richard, as well. One month later, Washington took an opportunity by the horns, filling in for an injured Jacobs and absolutely crushed as a two-way running back for the artists formerly known as the Oakland Raiders. He was a league-winner.
Injuries happen. New usage patterns develop. Guys are phased-out and other players are phased-in. This is why we always grind. Waivers may seem unnecessary at times, but the continual churn of the bottom of your roster can produce championship teams.
Ask any experienced or successful fantasy player and they will have their own Washington-type story. It happens every year. Sometimes, a player may be added a week or two early. But adding the potential of high-usage can be just as important as instant gratification. We love winning in October and November, but wins in December bring home the trophies and the cash.
Week 8 is not a great waiver week by any means, but there are a number of players who can help you in both the long- and short-term.
As always, our threshold is players rostered in less than 20% of Yahoo! Leagues.
Carlos Hyde RB Seattle (12%)
Chris Carson is dealing with a foot injury. The severity of the injury is still not known, but it is bad enough that he is receiving an MRI. Hyde should see the majority of the work if he is healthy enough. Before you go blowing FAB, check and see if he practices on Tuesday; Hyde has a hamstring issue. If he practices, then it is not a big deal, but if he is held out entirely, tread lightly.
Editor’s Note: Hyde may miss Week 8. Continue to monitor closely.
DeeJay Dallas RB Seattle (0%)
The arbitrage play to Hyde, Dallas had a very positive preseason camp. If you are in a deeper or more competitive league, add Dallas. He can be had for very little FAB and if Carson and Hyde (both) have injury concerns as the season progresses, you could end up with a starting runner for the best offense in the NFL. Speculative only at this point, but a name to monitor.
Editor’s Note: Hyde may miss Week 8. Continue to monitor closely — and add Dallas.
JaMycal Hasty RB San Francisco (21%)
Hasty was on this list last week and also made our Dumpster Dive article. I fully expected a high usage game last week, but Kyle Shanahan went and flipped the script and Jeff Wilson dominated Week 7 with three scores. After back-to-back weeks with 9 carries, Hasty should finally see his touches rise as Wilson is now headed to IR — but you never know with young Shanny.
La’Mical Perine RB NY Jets (17%)
Hopefully you added Perine already. He is a repeat name to this list, but is still available in 83% of Yahoo! leagues.
Last week, he overtook Frank Gore, and saw the majority of snaps and touches for the Jets’ backfield and found the end zone on a very nice run. The Jets are terrible, but Perine should have a locked in role every week moving forward. He can be used as a bye week fill-in and depth piece.
Tony Pollard RB Dallas (20%)
We have seen Nick Chubb, Miles Sanders, Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler and now Kenyan Drake all go down to injury. Starting backs miss games, it is simply a part of the game. There may not be a more talented handcuff right now in all of football than Tony Pollard.
If anything were to happen to Elliott, Pollard would be a 50% + type add. If you have room on your roster for a speculative add, roster Pollard. The Cowboys season looks to be in a tailspin, and I cannot imagine Elliott playing hurt if he were to take a knock. Pollard is a baller, and all he needs is an opportunity.
Wayne Gallman RB NY Giants (2%)
Devonta Freeman took a hit last week and Gallman filled-in and found the end zone. This week against Tampa Bay, neither Gallman or Freeman would be a great start, but with bye weeks and injuries both playing a part this time of year, backs like Gallman should be monitored to see if their usage increases. If Freeman misses, (Gallman) should see 15-touches.
Jalen Reagor WR Philadelphia (14%)
We wrote about Reagor in previous Waiver Wire articles: He has been injury-riddled this season, but now comes off of IR and should see an immediate role in a Philadelphia passing game that has shown signs of life.
Reagor is a mega-talented first-round draft pick with speed and big play ability. He should be rostered, and if his role increases as the season progresses, it is not out of the realm of possibilities that Reagor could help teams win fantasy titles.
Scotty Miller WR Tampa Bay (9%)
While the entire fantasy football world awaits the arrival of Antonio Brown, we cannot dismiss Scotty Miller. Miller has had four games with over 70 yards this season, including a terrific 6-109-1 game last week. If you need a wideout this week, in a pinch, Miller can be used as a WR3 or FLEX against the Giants.
Rashard Higgins WR Cleveland (4%)
Hollywood Higgins is a favorite of mine: He has shown a nice connection with Baker Mayfield and is coming off of a 6-110-0 game; Odell Beckham is out for the year. While Higgins is by no means a Beckham-level player, he should fill-in snap wise. He is in a good spot and could provide sneaky production for the rest of the season.
Nelson Agholor WR Las Vegas (5%)
Who would thought that Agholor would be a consideration in 2020? He has now found the end zone four times this season, and in a post bye week game, saw 9 targets and produced with 5-107-1. Agholor needs to be monitored.
Denzel Mims WR NY Jets (4%)
Mims is a repeat name to Waiver Grabs: The talented second-round draft pick from Baylor finally came off IR last week. He immediately saw a team high 7 targets and produced a 4-42-0 stat line. The Jets are a train-wreck, but Mims should see solid targets every week.
The Jets have injuries throughout their wide receiver depth chart, and have an overall lack of weapons, expect Mims to be highly-utilized in a bad offense.
Marquez Callaway WR New Orleans (1%)
The rookie is coming off of a 10-target game with an 8-75-0 line. Michael Thomas and Manny Sanders both could miss this week. If you are in need of a one week, spot-starter, consider Callaway.
Harrison Bryant TE Cleveland (1%)
Last week, when Austin Hooper, went down, many expected David Njoku to step up in terms of usage. Cleveland then announced that the rookie Bryant, last year’s John Mackey Award-winner, would be the starter. He produced in a big way with a 4-56-2 line.
Hooper could miss again. If you need a tight end this week, it’s Bryant.
Irv Smith TE Minnesota (7%)
Smith has appeared in our Waiver Grabs article multiple times, and has been on the Dumpster Dive, as well. It just hasn’t quite happened yet.
Coming off of a bye, rational coaching would be to get the second-year player more involved in the offense. Smith has had two solid games in a row now with at least 4 catches and 50 yards in each. If he takes a slight uptick in targets, he could be usable. The Vikings now have three straight NFC North games in a row, it would be wise for them to have Smith be a part of the game plan.
Best of luck in Week 8, and keep grinding!