Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Week 8 Waiver Wire: Rebuild


Mid-season trades don’t happen very often in the NFL. It’s even rarer that a trade can have such an impact on the Fantasy season. No, I’m not talking about Josh Gordon (yet) but about the other, more recent Browns trade. Cleveland traded the newly-signed Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville in an attempt to give standout rookie Nick Chubb more carries. The real debate is whether the trade was John Dorsey‘s way of forcing Hue Jackson to finally give Chubb the ball.

Chubb’s first start was very productive, racking up 80 rushing yards (4.4 YPC) and punching in a goal-line touchdown. Chubb out-touched Duke Johnson 18-5 and is the clear backfield leader in Cleveland. Grab this possible league-winner if he is somehow still available.

Now, for Flash Watch 2018. Gordon finished Sunday’s game with four catches for 100 yards in what may have been his most impressive game as a Patriot. Tom Brady trusted him on a crucial 4th down throw in which Gordon skied over the cornerback for the catch. He racked up most of his yards on a 55-yard catch and run in the fourth. It was the ultimate tease for owners when the Bears tackled Gordon at the one-yard line. A 5-101-1 line looks much better, doesn’t it? Big games are coming for Gordon as he continues to build chemistry with Tom Brady.

As always, I will focus on discussing players owned in under 35% of Yahoo! Leagues.

2018 Fantasy Football Week 8 Waiver Wire

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Case Keenum, Denver Broncos (20% Owned)

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This pickup is not for the faint of heart. Keenum is one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks around but he can put on a show when he’s on. He has three games of over 300 yards and multiple touchdowns this season. He also has two games with under 200 yards passing. Matchups play a big role in Keenum’s performance and I’m betting a rematch with the Chiefs will put him back on track.

Despite crushing Andy Dalton on Sunday night, the KC defense still ranks 25th in DVOA. Keenum struggled against the Chiefs in their last meeting and will have the chance to turn it around in Week 8. The Chiefs have scored 113 points in three home games this year. If that trend continues, I’m willing to bet Denver will be in catch-up mode very quickly.

Game-script will likely be in Keenum’s favor this week and I would expect him to throw the ball around 40 times. He will likely throw an interception or two, but owners desperate for a quarterback could do worse.

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (27% Owned)

It’s difficult to find useful quarterbacks under 35% owned at this stage of the season. Quarterback pickups at this level of ownership will solely be about the matchups. The strategy did work for Eli Manning this week (399 yards, 1 touchdown against Atlanta) so it can work for anyone.

Following a week of rest, Carr and the Raiders will host the Colts on Sunday afternoon. The Colts defense ranks 30th in DVOA, which should help Carr kickstart a struggling offense. Carr will be without wide receiver Amari Cooper, who was traded to the Cowboys on Monday. Despite his talent, Cooper’s inconsistency and drops are better off away from the team.

Without Marshawn Lynch in the lineup (see: Below) Carr will need to throw more than ever to keep the offense moving.

Other Options: Brock Osweiler (3% owned)

Running Backs

Doug Martin, Oakland Raiders (26% Owned)

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Here we are again debating whether the good or bad Doug Martin will show up next week. It’s difficult to make any judgments based on his 27 carries with Oakland, but running back needy teams can’t afford to wait before adding the Raider’s new starting running back. Marshawn Lynch went on IR earlier this week, leaving Martin with the majority of early-down carries.

We know that Martin will struggle to efficiently run the ball. Over his last two years in Tampa Bay, Martin averaged just 2.9 YPC and is only averaging 3.7 YPC with Oakland. Jalen Richard becomes a target monster when the Raiders are trailing so owners will need to be aware of negative game-scripts affecting Martin’s volume.

Overall, he is in line for 15-20 carries per night and volume should be good enough to put him in the FLEX conversation.

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers (14% Owned)

Mostert is one of two players on this list who made headlines because of Matthew Berry’s incredible rant. Mostert was an unknown commodity before Kyle Shanahan decided to give the undrafted Mostert a prominent spot in the offense. He has rewarded his coach by averaging 6.3 YPC and filling in for the Matt Breida.

Breida left last week’s game after aggravating his sprained ankle. Breida is proving himself as a very injury-prone player, whose backup should be owned in all leagues. Mostert has run circles around Alfred Morris (3.6 YPC) and the offense looks far more dynamic with Morris on the bench.

Mostert out-snapped the veteran in Weeks 6 and 7, receiving 23 touches to Morris’ eight. If Breida misses any time, Mostert will be the running back to start for the 49ers.

Other Options: Nyheim Hines (40% owned), Frank Gore (29% owned), Jalen Richard (25% owned)

Wide Receivers

Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (17% Owned)

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I expected a bigger rush for Smith when Ted Ginn Jr. went on IR. Without Ginn in Week 5, Smith led the team in air yards (132) and played in 64 percent of snaps. His Week 7 role increased, but it didn’t result in the desired production.

Despite catching just three passes for 44 yards, Week 7 was a very positive outing for Smith. He tied for second on the team in targets (six) and played on 73 percent of snaps. He was the clear WR2 behind Michael Thomas, as Cameron Meredith played on just 18 percent of snaps.

Smith is the third receiving option on the Saints third-ranked pass offense, behind Thomas and Alvin Kamara. He will continue to be a big part of the offense and needs to be owned before he has another blow-up game.

Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (15% Owned)

I swear I’m not point chasing with Williams. He made headlines last week as another target of Matthew Berry’s rant. However, Williams should make your Fantasy roster based on his performance over the last two weeks.

In his last two games, Williams has caught seven passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns. Phillip Rivers has targeted Williams on plenty of deep balls, as his 16 air yards per target ranks seventh in the league. Williams doesn’t waste his opportunities either, as his catch rate is 11th among all wide receivers.

Williams will be added in fewer leagues than he normally would be because the Chargers are on their BYE. If you have a spot on your bench, Williams makes for a medium-risk, high-upside FLEX play in Week 9 against the Seahawks.

Other Options: Robbie Anderson (47% owned), Geronimo Allison (37% owned), Christian Kirk (26% owned)

Tight Ends

Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints (40% Owned)

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Yeah, I’m gonna cheat a bit and discuss a player that’s over 35% owned. Have you seen who’s available after the 35% threshold? Injured players and complete dart throws litter the wire. Watson is as solid as they come and he gets the added bonus of playing with Drew Brees.

With the Saints big three commanding a high percentage of the targets, Watson will see inconsistent volume on a weekly basis. This past week, he caught all six of his targets for 43 yards and a TD, good enough to rank TE7. Watson is averaging 38 yards per game and is ranked TE17 for the season.

His spot in a good offense keeps him in the discussion as a low-end option during BYE weeks and as an injury fill-in.

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (5% Owned)

Goedert is one of the aforementioned dart throws that comprises the tight end position. He has two games scoring a combined 23.60 standard fantasy points and four games scoring a combined four points.

Week 7 was one of Goedert’s “on” weeks, where he caught four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. Goedert is a talented receiver and produces well if given the targets. Grab him if you need a high-risk, high-reward tight end.

Deep League Special

Kenjon Barner, RB, New England Patriots (1% Owned)

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Thankfully, Sony Michel‘s knee injury will not take him out for the season. Until he returns, Barner will likely split carries with James White. Neither RB is a good option to run between the tackles as both are better as change-of-pace players.

Barner carried the ball 10 times in Michel’s absence and will see around the same volume if the Patriots don’t add another running back. The Patriots face the Bills this week, so expect New England to run the ball once the game gets out of hand. I don’t see Bill Belichick running White into the ground to kill the clock, so Barner will be the default option.

Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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