Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 8

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Alfonso Smith, Leon Washington and Dezmon Briscoe lead this week's waiver wire pickups.

Alfonso Smith, Leon Washington and Dezmon Briscoe lead this week's waiver wire pickups.

It is Week 8, the fourth week of bye weeks, and some big names go on vacation this weekend, so run to the waiver wire for some much needed help. You need someone to step in and hold down the fort for a week, or maybe more in some cases.

WEEK 8 BYES: Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, New York Jets, Oakland, Tampa Bay

QUARTERBACKS
At quarterback the biggest name in the game is idle as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers take the week off. Also out are Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer and Josh Freeman. Outside of Rodgers, it is unlikely any of the other quarterbacks on a bye this week are the main cog of your fantasy roster.

John Beck, Washington
Beck scored 19.16 fantasy points after throwing for 279 yards an interception and a score and running for another touchdown. The loss of WR Santana Moss (hand) for perhaps the next month doesn’t help, but Beck was able to manage without Moss for much of Sunday’s game against Carolina. The Redskins are at Buffalo (in Toronto) this week — ranked 30th against fantasy quarterbacks at 24.9 points per game — then they get San Francisco and Miami, which are also bottom 12 fantasy defenses against quarterbacks. He is still available in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Tim Tebow, Denver
Tebow is the quarterback you plug into your lineup and then make sure you don’t watch him play. Just check the box score the following day and know that he got it done somehow, someway. His performance against Miami on Sunday was the epitome of fantasy vs. reality. He is not a good NFL quarterback, but he finds a way to get it done. For how long will this go on? We don’t know; I doubt not much past this season, but I am not concerned about next season. He scored nearly 23 fantasy points against Miami. Detroit comes to the Mile High City this weekend. It’s hard to gauge what you will get out of Tebow each week as a passer or runner, but it’s worth noting the Lions have allowed at least 13 fantasy points to the last three running backs and an average of 19.4 points against the last five quarterbacks they have faced. Tebow is still available in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Carson Palmer, Oakland
OK, the debut was terrible. But he was on a couch watching the NFL seven days prior and the next Sunday Palmer was the QB for the Raiders. He gets a bye week to try and get acclimated to the playbook and with the numerous weapons he will have at his disposal. Plus, when the Raiders return in Week 9 they get Denver, the 31st ranked team against fantasy quarterbacks, in the Black Hole. Palmer is still available in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Christian Ponder, Minnesota
The rookie made his first start, and the big TD to Michael Jenkins to start the game certainly helped pad his stats. But Ponder finished with 17.86 points against a Packers team that is third worst in the league against fantasy quarterbacks,. Ponder went 13-for-32 for 291 yards, two scores and two picks and added 31 yards rushing on four carries. Ponder is still available in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Alex Smith, San Francisco
The 49ers travel to Washington this week to take on a Redskins team that has allowed at least 250 yards passing on an average of 18.75 completions against four of the six quarterbacks they have faced. Cam Newton threw for 256 yards on 18-of-23 on Sunday. Smith will have Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter at his disposal in addition to Michael Crabtree, the return of Braylon Edwards and stud TE Vernon Davis. If you are in a bind this week, Smith should be a good play.

WEEK 8 BYES: Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, New York Jets, Oakland, Tampa Bay

RUNNING BACKS
The Nos. 1, 7 and 8 backs in fantasy are idle this week in Chicago’s Matt Forte, Oakland’s Darren McFadden and Atlanta’s Michael Turner.

DeMarco Murray, Dallas
Of course he was easily the No. 1 waiver pick up of the week going into last week’s waivers and he did not disappoint. He posted 31.3 fantasy points on 253 yards rushing and a 91-yard TD. With Felix Jones expected to miss this week at Philadelphia (ankle) as well, the rookie should have another solid week. The Eagles are 29th in the league against fantasy running backs. He is still available in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Delone Carter, Indianapolis
He was the lone bright spot with his 89 yards on 10 carries in a blowout loss to New Orleans. He added a TD and a 42-yard second-quarter run. Now the Colts get a Titans team that cannot stop the run. Arian Foster scored 43.9 fantasy points against them on Sunday; Ben Tate even had 10.4 points. Tennessee, ranked 28th in the league against fantasy backs, has surrendered 382 yards to the position in its last two games. Carter is available in 80 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Knowshon Moreno, Denver
Willis McGahee broke his hand in the win over Miami. Whether he will miss time due to the injury is unknown, but Moreno could be a good replacement in his sted. With Tim Tebow’s affinity to roll out of the pocket and freelance, Moreno could benefit as a pass catcher out of the backfield. The Broncos play host to the Lions this week, and they give up an average of 6.1 receptions for 31.9 yards per game this season to running backs. Moreno is available in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Ryan Torain and Roy Helu, Washington
The Redskins and Mike Shanahan have certainly antagonized fantasy footballers in how they handle the team’s running back situation. Well the situation may have cleared up a bit with the news that Tim Hightower was lost for the year with an ACL. Torain has been a starter this season and the rookie Helu has been used sparingly. Torain should be a good start this week against a Buffalo team that is 27th against fantasy running backs. Keep an eye on how the Skins use Helu against the Bills. Torain is still available in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues, while Helu is available in 85 percent.

Alfonso Smith, Arizona
A bone bruise for Beanie Wells is expected to sideline him for a couple of weeks. Chester Taylor was a healthy inactive against the Steelers Sunday. LaRod Stephens-Howling can’t handle a starting workload. The leaves Smith if you are desperate. He is an inside runner and basically last-man standing of those expected to get consistent touches. Here’s the problem with this week: The Cardinals travel to Baltimore, a run defense they probably won’t crack. But the following week Arizona plays host to the terrible run defense that is the St. Louis Rams. He is available in 99 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Pierre Thomas, New Orleans
The Saints’ backfield is another frustrating one. Mark Ingram left Sunday night’s game with a heel injury after having scored 10.2 fantasy points. Thomas had 57 yards on 10 carries and five catches for 68 yards and 15 fantasy points in the blowout of the Colts. Darren Sproles was also a monster for the Saints, racking up 27.78 fantasy points in a half-PPR format. Now the Saints travel to play a St. Louis team that just allowed a rookie RB on an average running Cowboys team rack up 253 yards. Monitor Ingram’s status (X-rays came back negative on Monday), but even if he plays I would go get all Saints runners this week and reap the rewards against the lowly Rams. Thomas is available in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Leon Washington, Seattle
Marshawn Lynch was a scratch against Cleveland after his back spasms would not subside in pregame warm ups. Washington went on to score 9.38 fantasy points in an ugly 6-3 loss. The Seahawks take on another AFC North opponent when Cincinnati comes to town. Washington had 39 yards on seven carries and 10 yards on four receptions. If you are in leagues that award return yards, Washington is a good play. He had an 81-yard punt return for a score called back in the Cleveland loss. Monitor Lynch’s status this week, and if he goes then you need not go anywhere near Washington. He’s worth a look, but don’t waste any waiver priority on him.

WEEK 8 BYES: Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, New York Jets, Oakland, Tampa Bay
Say good bye to Roddy White, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and the Chicago, Oakland and Tampa Bay flavors of the week as they are all idle for Week 8.

WIDE RECEIVERS
Michael Crabtree and Braylon Edwards, San Francisco
The 49ers are playing well, Alex Smith is playing well and so too is Crabtree. He had 15 targets two weeks ago, catching nine for 77 yards. Maybe he's finally going to emerge as a dependable player. He's still available in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues. Edwards (knee) should be healthy again after the bye. Plus, Josh Morgan is out for the year. It's all about opportunity. Edwards is available in 83 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Jerome Simpson, Cincinnati
He was on a bye last week, and many of us thought he would be on an extended bye after the marijuana-at-the-house incident. Apparently the Bengals are impervious from suspension this season, and Simpson is garnering attention from QB Andy Dalton. He led the team in targets, catches and yards two weeks ago against Indianapolis, scoring 13.1 fantasy points. He’s available in 82 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh
If Hines Ward (ankle) is sidelined then Brown becomes the receiver opposite Mike Wallace. Brown has been a solid playmaker for the Steelers, but the crew of Brown, Ward and Emmanuel Sanders has made it frustrating for fantasy owners. Even if Ward plays this week, Brown might be a good add and play as Pittsburgh travels to a New England team that has certainly been generous to fantasy wide receivers this season worst in the league as a matter of fact. Brown had nine targets on Sunday, catching seven for 102 yards. He is available in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Demaryius Thomas, Denver
Can any receiver be counted on with Tim Tebow freelancing back there? I’m not sure. Thomas, in his season debut, was targeted a team-high 10 times, catching just three of them for 27 yards but one was for a score. So there’s the positive that Tebow looked Thomas’ way the most. That and the fact that the Denver defense is terrible is perhaps a formula for Thomas being successful. Don’t waste this week’s waiver priority on him, but if you have the space then stash and hope, Thomas is available in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Davone Bess, Miami
Man, do the Dolphins stink. But one old PPR favorite re-emerged Sunday. Bess had 12 targets from Matt Moore and caught seven of them for 52 yards. If you are in a full PPR and need a WR this week, look Bess’ way as the Dolphins play a Kansas City team that is 13th worst against fantasy receivers. He is available in 72 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Steve Breaston, Kansas City
If San Diego jumps all over the Chiefs on Monday night, Breaston will have some value. He had scored in double digits before Sunday’s blowout of Oakland (still scored 8.9 fantasy points on nine targets, seven catches for 64 yards). Certainly worth an add if you think the Chargers will make it a passing affair. He is available in 71 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Early Doucet, Arizona
He has scored in double digits the last two weeks and now the Cardinals will travel to Baltimore without their starting RB. Do you see Arizona staying in this game for long? I don’t. The Ravens are middle of the road against defending fantasy receivers and Doucet has the luxury of playing opposite Larry Fitzgerald. He is averaging seven targets, 4.3 catches and 56.5 yards per game with two scores. Doucet is available in 78 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Jabar Gaffney and Anthony Armstrong, Washington
These are strictly matchup and opportunity based. Gaffney will have to step his game up to replace the injured Santana Moss and Armstrong has returned from a hamstring injury and will have to serve as the No. 2. The schedule against the pass is very favorable for the Redskins over the next few weeks. I would not waste a waiver priority against either of these receivers. I would monitor the news on both of these players as the week goes along, see who’s getting the hype and lean his way come Sunday.

Plaxico Burress, New York Jets
That’s the big target we expected Burress to be when he came to the Jets. Mark Sanchez threw for just 173 yards on 18-of-33 passing, but Burress was there to pull down three touchdowns of those 173 yards. Perhaps the bye week will help iron out some inconsistencies in the passing game, and Burress could continue his hot streak. When the Jets come back they get the Bills (currently ranked 23rd against fantasy receivers), Patriots (32nd), Broncos (28th), Buffalo again, Redskins (12th), Chiefs (20th) and Giants (27th). Burress is available in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Dezmon Briscoe, Tampa Bay
Briscoe had 10 targets, catching six for 73 and a score against the Bears in London. The Bucs spread it around too much to depend on a single receiver, but Briscoe was an emerging talent in the preseason and pushing for the No. 2 spot at the start of the year. The Bucs are on a bye this week but get New Orleans, Houston and Green Bay as the first three out of the bye. Those are three games I expect them to be out of early, increasing the chances Briscoe could produce in fantasy garbage time. He is available in 100 percent of Yahoo leagues.

WEEK 8 BYES: Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, New York Jets, Oakland, Tampa Bay

TIGHT ENDS
Gone this week are Tony Gonzalez, Jermichael Finley, Dustin Keller, Kevin Boss and Kellen Winslow. It’s not a killer week for losing the position, but Gonzalez and Finley have been plug and plays that you will need to find a replacement for if you don’t carry two tight ends.

Jake Ballard, New York Giants
Ballard posted has three straight double-digit fantasy weeks, and now he gets a Dolphins team that allowed over 13 fantasy points per game to the position. He’s available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Aaron Hernandez, New England
Since his return in Week 5, Hernandez has scored 8.1 and 15.8 fantasy points. Tom Brady loves targeting those tight ends. So this is more a public service announcement, that if you see someone dropped Hernandez due to the Patriots' bye, go grab him and enjoy the rest of the year.

Fred Davis, Washington
He is not available in as many leagues as he was last week (he went from 58 percent availability to 32) after scoring 17 fantasy points against Carolina. Now with no Santana Moss (hand), no Tim Hightower (ACL) to go along with no Chris Cooley (finger), Davis’ stock is rising rapidly. Now he gets a Buffalo team ranked 12th against fantasy tight ends.

Daniel Fells, Denver
I told you to go get Daniel Fells last week because he was playing the Dolphins and their love for giving up points to the position. It took him a while to get going, but he grabbed a beautiful pass from Tim Tebow to set up the last TD, Fells then scored the touchdown. He finished with two catches for 31 yards and the score. After the great catch near the end and the late TD, plus with Tebow’s lack of accuracy perhaps he starts looking Fells’ way more. He’s available in 99 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota
Rookie quarterback + tight end are usually a good combination, right? Well, in his first career start, rookie QB Christian Ponder helped Shiancoe to his best day of 2011. Shiancoe scored 12.5 fantasy points on five catches for 45 yards and a score. If you need a one-week fix, Shiancoe could be a good one against a Carolina team that allows an average of 4.6 catches for 69.3 yards, including Fred Davis’ 6-for-80 and a score performance on Sunday. He’s available in 81 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Evan Moore, Cleveland
Moore had potential earlier in the year but has been in a time share with Benjamin Watson. Watson suffered a concussion against Seattle Sunday and his status for this week’s game San Francisco is yet to be determined. The 49ers are stout against the run, meaning the Browns will have to find a way to move the ball through the air. The Brown offense is certainly lackluster, but Moore could find some success against a 49ers team that is middle of the road against fantasy tight ends. Plus, he plays with a QB in Colt McCoy that attempts 42 passes per game (of course he produces a paltry 5.5 YPA). He’s available in 98 percent of Yahoo leagues. 

By Corby Yarbrough, @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

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<p> Alfonso Smith, Leon Washington and Dezmon Briscoe lead this week's waiver wire pickups.</p>
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