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Well, we've reached the point where the waiver wire is thinning out, and more and more teams are on byes. All told, there are six teams taking a break in Week 8 (Ravens, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers, 49ers), putting fantasy owners in a bit of a pickle. That being said, I've scrounged up 19 players unowned in the majority of NFLleagues who could provide some help in Week 8. If none of these players are available in your league, be sure to check out my weekly "Deep Dive" waiver column (published Mondays) for some high-upside players to aim for heading into Week 8. And for those who use the Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) system, I provide a suggested spend for each player at the end of their analysis. If you have more specific FAAB questions, hit me up on Twitter.
After setting a career-high in rushing yards with 101 in Week 5, Rodgers blew that out of the water in Week 7. He saw 26 carries in a blowout Buccaneers win, racking up 152 yards and adding nine more on a reception. With Doug Martin's status still in doubt after suffering an injury setback this past week to his already ailing hamstring, Rodgers has the featured back role in Tampa Bay on lock down. He's a must-add this week if he remains available as the Bucs welcome the Raiders to Florida next week. FAAB suggestion: 35 percent.
The Packers acquired Davis via trade last week after Eddie Lacy landed on IR, but the former Chief barely saw the field (five plays) with only a couple days to learn the offense. However, he'll have more than a week to get up to speed on the playbook and prepare for a featured-ish role against the Falcons in Week 8. The 15 carries the Packers gave their wide receivers last week simply isn't sustainable, and they'll need a running back to step up. Davis looks like the best candidate and should be a priority add if he wasn't already scooped up before Thursday night. FAAB suggestion: 20 percent
Gillislee popped up on the waiver-wire radar late last week when LeSean McCoy suffered a hamstring injury, but lost a little luster when McCoy seemed likely to play. Shady did see some work in Week 7 against the Dolphins, but aggravated his already sore hammy. Now, we'll have to wait and see how he recovers and if he'll be ready for a Week 8 rematch with the Patriots. Hamstrings are fickle, which leads me to believe Gillislee will at least have a big role for Buffalo this week, if he doesn't outright start over McCoy. He's worth a decent percentage of your FAAB or a high waiver priority if you own McCoy. FAAB suggestion: 25 percent.
The drumbeat for Booker is reaching a crescendo in Denver, and fantasy owners need to add him before it becomes deafening. Head coach Gary Kubiak has been hinting that Booker will see more playing time, starting this week against the Texans. We don't yet know how much of an increase that will be (this column is published Sunday night), but fantasy owners really need to make a move here just in case he overtakes the struggling C.J. Anderson as the lead back in a run-first offense. FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent.
Asiata had been a deeper league play for weeks thanks to his touchdown-upside as the Vikings' preferred goal-line back. However, "lead" back Jerick McKinnon injured his ankle in Week 7, leading to Asiata seeing 55 snaps (to McKinnon's 16). The Vikings play on Monday night next week (at Chicago), so McKinnon will have more time to heal. Nevertheless, Asiata is a capable pass-catcher and could be in line for a full complement of touches against an average Bears defense if McKinnon sits or is less than 100 percent. FAAB suggestion: 10 percent.
White didn't see any carries against the Steelers in Week 7, but saw five targets for the third consecutive game and found the end zone for the second consecutive game. He'll be game script-dependent and should be started in games where the Patriots' opponents will be more competitive. A banged-up Buffalo team doesn't really fit that bill in Week 8, but White is still a name to target on waivers, especially in PPR formats. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.
Matt Jones fumbled twice in Washington's loss in Detroit, helping set up Thompson's career day. The shifty back led the team in rush attempts (12) and rushing yards (73), while adding 40 receiving yards on seven catches (seven targets). Thompson played 60 percent of the snaps in Week 7, his second-highest total of the year (Week 1, 67 percent), and his playing time could be trending up with Jones struggling. He's a must-add in PPR formats and a decent grab to roll out in the flex next week when Washington travels to Cincinnati. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.
As the season wore on, we chuckled at the fact that Adams had three touchdowns in the Packers' first five games. Then Week 7 happened. Adams broke out as he led the team in targets (16), receptions (13), receiving yards (132) and receiving touchdowns (two) against the Bears. Now, this is an outlier game for Adams and we shouldn't expect him to repeat this regularly. His route tree was limited primarily to comebacks and curls, though he made the most of his targets and was consistently open. We're now past the point of ignoring his scoring ability in a busted Packers offense, though. He's worth an add and probably flex play this week as the Packers prepare for what figures to be a shootout with the Atlanta Falcons. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.
With basically every running back in Green Bay hurt, the team turned to Montgomery to serve as a hybrid wide receiver/scat back, and the second-year pro thrived in that role. The team is using Montgomery on short passes from the backfield to replace the running game, which is how he has 25 targets and 20 catches over the last two weeks for 164 yards. Overall he's taken 73.6 percent of his snaps out of the backfield the last two weeks. His ability as both a receiver and rusher (5.5 yards per carry, 12 attempts) gives him an excellent floor each and every week in this new-look Green Bay offense. He's a borderline WR2 in PPR at this point. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.
It's starting to look as if Williams, and not Travis Benjamin, is the new No. 1 wide receiver for the Chargers. Williams leads the team with 285 receiving yards over the last three weeks, but trails Benjamin in targets. To be fair, Benjamin wasn't 100 percent in Week 7 which could have contributed to Williams racking up 140 yards, but the big speedster now has two 100-plus yard receiving days in his last three weeks. The Chargers have to travel to face the Broncos for the second time in three weeks this Sunday, which isn't an ideal matchup for Williams. However, his upside is big in an offense that continues to move the ball and score points. Grab him if he's still available. FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent.
Crowder hadn't seen more than five targets since Week 3, but with Jordan Reed (concussion) sidelined again Kirk Cousins turned to his small slot receiver as a safety net. The result was seven catches for 108 yards on nine targets as Crowder carved up the middle of Detroit's defense. With the team already essentially ruling out Reed for Week 8 against the Bengals, Crowder will have flex appeal as a mismatch for the Bengals linebackers, many of whom are liabilities in coverage so far in 2016. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.
All season, fans and fantasy players have been lamenting the lack of a second receiving option for the Bengals after Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones left in free agency. However, it appears Brandon LaFell was just, uh, waiting for a chance to prove himself? Believe it or not, LaFell has seen 21 percent of Dalton's pass attempts over the last three weeks and hauled in four touchdowns over that span. With Tyler Eifert still working his way back to full health, LaFell will be worth rolling out in the flex against a Washington secondary that saw its top two corners (Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland) suffer injuries this week. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.
Beasley has been PPR gold in 2016, as he's had four-plus catches in five of his six games, with 53-plus receiving yards in every game. The return of Dez Bryant shouldn't sap Beasley of his value, as he'll still be Dak Prescott's outlet target when under pressure, as well as a dynamite red-zone threat out of the slot. PPR owners shouldn't leave Beasley on the wire any longer, and with six teams on byes in Week 8 standard leaguers should add him as well. FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent.
Over the last two weeks, Doyle trails only T.Y. Hilton in targets (21 to 14) and receiving yards (182 to 131) for the Colts, though he leads the team in touchdowns (two). As long as Dwayne Allen (ankle) is out, Doyle will be a top-10 tight end as the Colts lack pass-catching talent behind him and Hilton. Next week's matchup with the Chiefs isn't ideal, but with the tight end position remaining a fantasy wasteland we have to look to volume like Doyle sees and hope for the best. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.
Brate only saw three targets in Week 8, but that was partly because the Buccaneers were almost always maintaining a comfortable lead against the 49ers. He's a big target in the red zone, and with Vincent Jackson on IR one of the top targets for Jameis Winston, period. Brate gets a dream matchup against the Raiders in Week 8, a team that should put up tons of points on the Buccaneers and also struggles to cover tight ends. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.
So far, so good for Vernon Davis filling in for Jordan Reed as the team's starting tight end. The veteran followed up his 50-yard, one-touchdown performance last week with a six-catch, 79-yard effort against Detroit. That type of consistency looks to be reliable as long as Reed remains out, and every indication is that he'll miss Week 8. Davis will hold streaming value as a low-end TE1 next week, and deeper into the season if Reed continues to miss time. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.
Fiedorowicz has yet to play in Week 7, but heads into Monday night on a bit of a roll. Over the last three weeks he leads the team in receiving yards (194) and receiving touchdowns (two), while trailing only DeAndre Hopkins in targets (20) and receptions (14). Brock Osweiler is checking down to his tight ends and backs more than ever, and Fiedorowicz is his favorite target in that space. He could be jumping from a streaming option to an every-week starter in no time at all. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.
Over the last two weeks we're 1-for-2 on attempts at streaming Smith, with the victory coming this week thanks to his 17.26 fantasy points against the Saints. Next up for Smith is a road trip to face the Colts, who are bleeding fantasy points to opposing passers each week. There's risk (as always) with Smith, as the Colts run defense is worse than their pass defense and running the ball is the Chiefs' strength. However, when looking for solid quarterbacks on the waiver-wire, our options are wearing thin. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, they'll be a viable streaming option with six quarterbacks on byes. So far in 2016 Cleveland has allowed six top-13 fantasy performances in seven weeks, with Joe Flacco the lone outlier as the QB19 in Week 2. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.