Week 8 Waiver Wire Targets
It is crazy to think we are nearly at the halfway point of the NFL season. Even more important, the landscape of your fantasy football leagues is likely established. As we make our push towards the playoffs, you are probably on the lookout for some difference makers off the waiver wire. I have 3 players that you can start immediately and perhaps end up on your fantasy team for the rest of the season.
Kenneth Gainwell – Philadelphia Eagles (22% Rostered)
Head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters yesterday that Miles Sanders is week to week. Meaning that the team could be without him for a stretch of a few weeks. This leaves the door open for rookie Kenneth Gainwell. With Sanders getting knocked out of the game after just 12 snaps, Gainwell was up to over 50% of snaps. He did split time with Boston Scott in the rushing game but PFF grades him as the 7th best pass catching back on the season.
On Miles Sanders 19 receptions, his average depth of target was -2.5 yards and he racked up nearly 200 yards after the catch. Gainwell didn’t see these types of targets so far this season, I’d expect this to be added to his game for as long as Sanders is out.
Best of all, Gainwell and the Eagles go up against two of the worst tackling defenses in the NFL the next two weeks in the Lions and Chargers. The Chargers are among the worst in the NFL against the run as well. The Eagles running back could be an instant flex play once you pick him up off the wire.
Tua Tagovailoa – Miami Dolphins (47% Rostered)
Since returning from a rib injury in week 6, Tua Tagovailoa is looking like a must roster player in 1QB leagues. The Dolphins don’t need to win football games for Tagovailoa to be a viable fantasy asset. Miami ranks 1st in the NFL in passing play percentage, as a result Tua has thrown the ball a combined 87 times the last two weeks.
There are also plenty of other underlying numbers that are showing progression as well, his completion percentage is nearing 70% and his yards per attempt is up to 7.1 yards. He’s also added 20+ yards on the ground in each of his last 2 games.
If Tagovailoa continues to have this type of passing volume week in and week out, he could be a top-12 QB on a per game basis. I’d rather have him over Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill or Trevor Lawrence.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Green Bay Packers (5% Rostered)
The Packers head into the biggest game of their season without both Davante Adams and Allen Lazard. Good news for Packers fans is that Valdes-Scantling is expected to be activated off the IR in time for their Thursday matchup with Arizona.
Before his injury the wide receiver was a serious boom or bust play for fantasy managers. He has a ridiculous average depth of target of 21.6 yards. He was averaging 4.5 targets per game in the three games he played. Without Adams, Rodgers will still be using Valdes-Scantling as a deep target but he should see more volume as well.
In the last game he played this season, he had 59 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers even told the media that he wanted to get him the ball more and admitted that he needed to be more accurate when throwing him the ball. This is Rodgers most established pass catcher that should have no problem reacquainting himself. If you manage to get him off the waiver wire he is a must start player for week 8.
Randall Cobb (4%) – Another one of Aaron Rodgers pass catchers that you can play in a pinch this week.
Josh Palmer (0%) – Mike Williams is dealing with a knee injury similar to the one he dealt with last season, Palmer was drafted to be his replacement in 2022.
Boston Scott (3%) – Another deep league add, Scott is likely to be involved with Miles Sanders sidelined.
Kalif Raymond (3%) – The Lions wide receiver has 15 targets in his last two games and recorded 115 yards in week 7.