Week 8 brings another week with four teams on bye. Fantasy owners are going to be scouring the waiver wire to find replacements for players on the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans. In addition, as with every week, injuries affect starting rosters.
With the trade deadline approaching next week, fantasy owners need to keep an eye on the news. Already, two fantasy-relevant players (Carlos Hyde, Amari Cooper) have been traded, changing the value of those players and others. Keep an eye on any other trades that may occur. DeVante Parker (10 percent owned) is a likely trade candidate whose value may improve depending on where he ends up.
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (41 percent owned)
Unfortunately the quarterbacks available in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues are slim pickings. Hopefully Matt Ryan fantasy owners already have a backup on their bench. If not, Mayfield is available in some leagues. He had a great matchup in Week 7, but only managed 215 yards and two touchdowns. It was his highest point total of the season, but it still was not as high as streaming fantasy owners were hoping for. The Browns face the Steelers in Week 8, and Mayfield will be ranked as a QB2.
Doug Martin and Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders (26 and 24 percent owned)
Marshawn Lynch has been added to the injured reserve with a groin/core muscle injury. This paves the way for Martin and Richard to take over the running back duties. So far this year, Martin hasn't yet to accumulate 100 rushing yards. It’s hard to recommend him as a must-add fantasy option. Richard is the better back to add from Oakland. He has been valuable in PPR formats, with at least three receptions for 38 yards in each of the past four games. He should be added in all PPR formats, as he’ll continue to be involved in the passing game while Martin will take some of the between-the-tackles work.
Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers (13 percent owned)
Even though Alfred Morris was the backup to Matt Breida, Mostert has kind of stolen that job away from him. Breida is banged up, as he keeps trying to play through an ankle injury. It seems that he may end up missing a game to get the ankle right, which would put Mostert in a position to be the lead back. He’s proven he’s better than Morris, but he will continue to be a backup to Breida. In the past two games, he has 19 carries for 146 yards. He should be owned in all formats.
Chris Ivory, Buffalo Bills (8 percent owned)
In Week 7, LeSean McCoy left the game with what was classified as a head injury (although the replays showed that he may also have suffered an ankle injury). The Bills face the Patriots on "Monday Night Football" in Week 8. If McCoy is out, the backfield will belong to Ivory. While Ivory did suffer an ankle injury in Week 7, he was able to play through it and should be fine for Monday night. It will be tough with the timing, but McCoy owners should absolutely roster Ivory, if they haven’t already.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers (37 percent owned)
The Packers were on a bye in Week 7, but Allison has been out since Week 4. He’s the No. 2 option in the passing game with Randall Cobb out, but he hasn’t been healthy either. First he was dealing with a concussion, and then it was a hamstring injury. Allison’s status for Week 8 is unknown, as hamstring injuries do linger. Cobb also has been out with a hamstring injury, and it’s unclear if he will be returning. Allison is a speculative add, assuming that Cobb is out and he is going to play in Week 8.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints (17 percent owned)
After Ted Ginn Jr. went on IR, someone needed to step up to fill that role. That person is Smith. While he’s a deeper league play, he did get the targets in Week 7. Smith is someone to keep an eye on as a WR4 in an offense that will use him. Ginn wasn’t a great fantasy option from week to week, and that’s where Smith fills in. However, when Michael Thomas gets the tougher coverage (potentially Xavier Rhodes in Week 8), that will leave a receiver open — and that just may be Smith. In Week 8, he’s going to flirt with WR3 value.
Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (15 percent owned)
Prior to Week 6, Williams had 192 total receiving yards and one touchdown. In Weeks 6 and 7, he had 236 yards and three scores. He hasn’t had more than five targets in a game, and in Weeks 6 and 7, he only had four targets in each. He caught three of those in Week 6 and four in Week 7. Williams is clearly a boom-or-bust type of player. He is just as likely to have two receptions for 22 yards as he is to have four receptions for 118 yards. The Chargers are on a bye in Week 8, so he may not be worth a waiver wire claim, but perhaps a free agency add.
Danny Amendola and Jakeem Grant, WR, Miami Dolphins (10 and 7 percent owned)
The Dolphins' receiving corps is kind of a mess, but fantasy owners might find value in Amendola and Grant. With Brock Osweiler at quarterback, Amendola has had 18 targets over the past two games. In that span, he’s caught 14 of them for 143 yards and a touchdown. Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are going to be out for Thursday night, so that leaves Amendola and Grant. While Grant hasn’t done much so far this season, the lack of receivers gives him a boost in value.
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys (6 percent owned)
Before the Amari Cooper trade, Gallup would have been an appealing waiver add. He saw a season-high five targets in Week 7, catching three of them for 81 yards and a touchdown. It seemed that he was getting more and more involved in the passing game. However, with the addition of Cooper, he will again take a back seat. In deep leagues, he may be worth adding, just to see if his usage continues to increase.
Martavis Bryant, WR, Oakland Raiders (4 percent owned)
The Oakland Raiders traded Amari Cooper, leaving Jordy Nelson (65 percent owned) and Martavis Bryant as the primary wide receivers. It’s tough to trust any of these pass catchers, given how bad the Raiders' offense has been and how poorly Derek Carr has been playing. However, Nelson should be owned in all leagues and Bryant is worth a deeper league stash.
Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers (40 percent owned)
McDonald is coming off a bye, but the last game he played, he had a season-high seven receptions for 68 yards. He’s had at least five targets in four out of the five games he’s played in. While he has only scored one touchdown this year, he is still a big target for Ben Roethlisberger. McDonald is a TE2 for Week 8 and the rest of the season for those needing a tight end.
Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints (40 percent owned)
In Week 7, Watson caught all six of his targets for 43 yards and a touchdown. While it wasn’t a great outing, it’s enough to give him TE2 value moving forward. The touchdown was his first of the year. With Ted Ginn Jr. out, Watson might have slightly more value, but odds are he stays at TE2 level for the rest of the season.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Washington Redskins (18 percent owned)
The Redskins' defense has actually been decent, with double-digit fantasy points (depending on league scoring) in four of six weeks. They’ve recorded at least one sack in every game and a fumble recovery in every game but one. In Week 8, they face the New York Giants, who typically don’t put up a lot of points and allow plenty of sacks. This is a solid streaming DST for Week 8.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.