Another week of NFL action, another slew of injuries. 2020 has been rough in many ways and a seemingly extraordinarily rough batch of injuries is one of them. If you caught our last installment and went with Boston Scott, Christian Kirk, or even went bold and played Sterling Shepard you certainly came away happy. Teddy Bridgewater and Kyle Allen also delivered usable performances.
This week’s first look has some long-term solutions at wide receiver and at least one running back that could turn his upcoming audition into a permanent gig. We’ll also take another swing at a tight end position that has been as volatile as ever. Remember, we lose a lot of firepower this week. The Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Washington Football Team are all on bye.
Week 8 Waiver Wire
What does the first-overall pick have to do to get another win? It’s been three weeks (and losses) since Joe Burrow last led his team to victory. They got blown out by Baltimore but blew a 21-0 lead against the Colts and allowed the Browns to go on a game-winning, 75-yard scoring drive in five plays. Through it all, Burrow has been slinging the rock and leads the league in passing attempts.
The rookie is currently QB10 so his wide availability is a bit surprising. He’s only had one bad performance; the game against Baltimore. He’ll take on the Tennessee Titans 21st-ranked pass defense in Week 8 who have allowed 15 touchdown passes, tied for fifth-most in the NFL. He’ll then face the Steelers in Week 9. That game could be a struggle but he should continue chucking it more than 40 times a game.
You might have forgotten with all that went on over the weekend. But Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth-overall pick in last April’s draft, is set to make his NFL debut in Week 8. He’ll try to notch his first win against the Los Angeles Rams who are coming off a short week. Starting a rookie is always sketchy but his running ability is a bonus. What more could you ask for in a streaming option? Tua’s first opponent could be much better.
The Rams have Aaron Donald leading one of the top pass-rushes in the NFL and Jalen Ramsey anchoring a stingy backend. Tagovailoa could be running for his life but if he’s able to break contain and find the edge that could end up being a good thing. This is obviously more a move for the future. Ryan Fitzpatrick led the 12th-ranked scoring offense, was QB16 on the season and threw multiple touchdowns in four of six games. If Tua can approach that plus add value with his legs he could be a top-12 quarterback from here on out.
Chris Carson is the RB8. He’s seeing a career-low 11 carries per game but averaging career-highs in targets and receptions. Carson left Monday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinal and is set to miss some time with a foot injury. In steps Carlos Hyde who feels like he has been around forever but is only 30. Hyde took the rock 15 times for 68 yards and a score. He also caught three of four targets for just eight yards.
Seattle hosts the San Francisco 49ers in Week 8, a daunting task for any back. The 9ers rank ninth in yards per carry allowed and have given up just four rushing scores. The Seahawks are among the dregs in the NFL in terms of rushing attempts and yards. But Carson was still productive. Keep an eye on the injury reports, but if Carson misses time, Seattle could lean on the run game to take some pressure off of their porous defense.
New York Giants
The New York Giants lost another running back this weekend when Devonta Freeman went down with an ankle injury Thursday against the Eagles. Freeman had been a relative revelation as a bright spot on an awful team. He was RB25 from Weeks 4-6. Wayne Gallman entered Thursday’s contest and proceeded to carry the ball 10 times for 34 yards and a touchdown while catching all five of his targets for 20 yards. The former fourth-round pick could be busy if Freeman misses Week 8.
Unfortunately for Gallman and the Giants, they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8. They’re second in total rushing yards allowed and lead the NFL in allowing just 3.0 yards per tote. Fret not, though, as Gallman has another path to fantasy production. Tampa has seen the fourth-most targets to running backs, is allowing the third-most catches, and has given up the fifth-most receiving yards to opposing backs.
Las Vegas Raiders
No, it isn’t 2017. But we are entertaining getting excited about the prospects of Nelson Agholor in fantasy. At what point do you generally consider a player’s production to be legit? Agholor scored for the third-straight week on Sunday but went beyond the most volatile aspect of fantasy football. He finally saw adequate volume, garnering nine looks. He caught five of them for 107 yards and the aforementioned score, his fourth on the year.
He’ll see the Browns in Week 8 and they just gave up at least five catches and 70 yards to the Bengals top three wideouts. Cleveland is allowing the third-most yards to wide receivers and the second-most receiving touchdowns. Bryan Edwards cold return and hamper things. They also lean heavily on the run and tight end Darren Waller. But the former 20th-overall pick has earned some extra attention from his quarterback going forward.
Odell Beckham was already having a career-worst year with lows across the board. It got substantially worse on Sunday. He tore his ACL making a tackle following quarterback Baker Mayfield’s interception. Rashard Higgins stepped into the Browns 37-34 comeback win over the Bengals and chipped in six catches and 110 yards. The outing surpassed his catch and yardage totals from all of 2019.
Cleveland is ideally a run-heavy team; even without stud runner Nick Chubb. But their defense is suspect and will have them in more shootouts than they’d prefer. You’re still behind Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper in the pecking order, but he and Mayfield have shown a strong connection in the past. Higgins had nine-plus fantasy points in six of 13 games back in 2018. Facing the Raiders in Week 8, he’ll see a defense that’s pretty middle-of-the-road against receivers but has allowed seven touchdown receptions to the position already.
San Francisco 49ers
Another rookie on the list, Brandon Aiyuk has dabbled with fantasy relevance several times already this season. First, he caught five balls for 70 yards and ran three times for 31 yards and a touchdown against the Giants in Week 2. Then he turned three touches into 56 yards and another score. And he just caught six passes for 115 yards in Sunday’s undressing of the New England Patriots.
Aiyuk, who caught his first touchdown two weeks ago, could be in for a big week against the Seahawks non-existent secondary. Deebo Samuel left the 49ers Week 7 contest with a hamstring injury and could miss some time. San Francisco is a running team first, second, and fourth. The third is the pass but even that is headed by all-world tight end George Kittle. Still, just as with Samuel, the 49ers get Aiyuk the ball in a variety of ways. San Fran plays the Packers and Saints after facing Seattle.
How did you get here? Nobody supposed to be here. Stop if you’ve heard this already, tight end is a wasteland this season. Injuries have knocked top performers like Zach Ertz out of commission. Even the 49ers Kittle missed time with injury. The Philadelphia Eagles, even down Ertz and Dallas Goedert, maintained their healthy involvement of the tight end position in the offense. Richard Rodgers repaid their trust by catching six of eight targets for 85 yards in last Thursday’s comeback win over the Giants.
Ertz and Goedert are still on IR and the Dallas Cowboys are limping into town. They just got pelted by the Washington Football Team 25-3. Dallas couldn’t stop a JV squad at this point and even got called out by tv analysts for quitting after no one came to Andy Dalton’s aide following a vicious hit from Jon Bostic. One thing we know about the Eagles is they won’t quit. Pick up Rodgers for this week but monitor Goedert. He was reportedly close to coming off IR last week.
Washington Football Team
If “trust the process” was a football player, it would be Logan Thomas. There might not have been worse production in comparison to the opportunity in the history of fantasy football. Thomas has at least four targets in every game and has three-plus catches in five of seven. He’s finally started finding the endzone, scoring his first touchdowns since the opener in consecutive weeks.
The Football Team will see the Giants in Week 8. They allowed Eagles backup Richard Rodgers to be TE6 last week. Thomas was Week 7’s TE5 so it’s not a stretch to think he could extend his streak of production, though New York has only allowed one touchdown to tight ends. The beauty (using the term loosely) of Thomas is Washington in thin on playmakers beyond Terry McLaurin. So Thomas’ role is pretty secure as long as he keeps producing.