With Week 7 and six teams on a bye in the books, it’s time for fantasy managers to look ahead to Week 8. Thankfully only two teams are on bye (Baltimore and Las Vegas) and while there were still injuries in Week 7, not nearly as many as in prior weeks.
It is the midpoint of most fantasy seasons, and it is time to take stock of your teams. If you drafted someone that has warmed your bench for seven weeks, it’s time to drop them and move on. If your kicker or defense/special teams (DST) already had their bye week, no need to carry two (it’s up for debate that you should ever have two kickers on your roster). Anyway, take a hard look at your team and get rid of the dead weight. Including extra kickers.
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Las Vegas
Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts (37 percent rostered)
Wentz was downright awful in 2020, but in 2021, even in a deluge, he came through for his team and his fantasy managers on Sunday night. In Week 7, he had 150 passing yards, two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. He’s thrown for two TDs in each of the past four games. While the Colts do face the Titans in Week 8, Wentz is a solid fantasy option that isn’t going to singlehandedly win you a week, but he likely won’t lose it for you either.
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos (20 percent rostered)
At the beginning of the year, it seemed that the Broncos would be something of a fantasy wasteland. Yet, Bridgewater is actually a fantasy option heading into Week 8. The Broncos face the Washington Football Team, which can certainly be beaten through the air. Bridgewater gets Jerry Jeudy back, which should help as well. He does have a foot injury, but since the Broncos played on Thursday, he has extra time to recover. Bridgewater has thrown multiple touchdowns in the past three weeks and is a streaming option for Week 8.
Kenneth Gainwell (22 percent rostered) and Boston Scott (2 percent rostered), Philadelphia Eagles
Even though Miles Sanders has been ineffective, he was still getting the most touches and it seemed that the game plan was focusing more and more on him in recent weeks. However, he suffered an ankle injury on Sunday, which may cost him a few games. In his absence, both Gainwell and Scott had a role. Gainwell was more of the pass-catching back (4/41/1) and Scott was the between-the-tackles back with 24 rushing yards and a touchdown. Gainwell actually saw eight targets and should be picked up in PPR formats, but Scott could be the better bet for carries.
Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (34 percent rostered)
Penny has been on injured reserve but was activated before Week 7. He played on Monday night, and gained nine yards on six carries (with no targets) with Alex Collins (16 att., 35 yds.) ahead of him on the depth chart. It’s hard to tell what Penny’s role will be moving forward, but he is worth stashing. Keep in mind that Penny is quite injury-prone, so don’t rely on him for the rest of the season.
Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (6 percent rostered)
Fantasy managers were high on rookie Rhamondre Stevenson heading into the season. He was a healthy scratch in Week 7 after a questionable “punishment” by Bill Belichick. While Stevenson was out, Damien Harris had a great game and Bolden stepped up in the passing game. Bolden had six receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. It’s going to be hard to trust him (the Patriots don’t get to play the Jets again this season) but if he assumes more of a James White (pass-catching) role, Bolden could emerge as a potential fill-in. Right now, he's more of a desperation option.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (36 percent rostered)
Hilton started the season on IR and it was reported he was contemplating retirement. However, he returned for Week 6 and promptly injured his quad, forcing him to miss Week 7. While it is too early to tell if he will be on the field this Sunday, Hilton is someone that fantasy managers should look to add if they have room. In the one game he played, he had 80 receiving yards on four targets. The Colts don’t have a bye until Week 14, so once he returns, he'll be an option for a while. If he can stay healthy, he has a chance to be the No. 1 receiver.
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams (9 percent rostered)
In deeper formats, Jefferson is worth adding. Matthew Stafford has been looking to him and Jefferson is actually challenging Robert Woods for targets each week. In Week 7, Jefferson had seven targets. He caught four of those for 43 yards and a touchdown. For comparison, Woods had six targets, but he caught all of them for 70 yards. Jefferson is worth looking at in leagues that have to start three or more wide receivers.
DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (36 percent rostered)
Parker has been injured so he’s been dropped in many leagues and off the fantasy radar. He played in the first four games of the season before injuring his hamstring. In those four games, he had at least seven targets in each one and at least four receptions. He had two games with 42 yards and two games with more than 75 yards. He did have one touchdown in those games. When he’s healthy, he’ll return and be the Dolphins' No. 1 target, and a WR3 for fantasy.
C.J. Uzomah, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (19 percent rostered)
Uzomah was drafted in some fantasy leagues and got off to a slow start. He gave managers a goose egg in Week 3 and was subsequently dropped en masse. Since that game, he’s had five touchdowns. He has two games with more than 90 yards and two games with less than 20. Uzomah is going to be hard to trust on a weekly basis, but Joe Burrow is clearly looking to him in the red zone (and Uzomah also has had some long catch-and-runs). He’s worth adding as a second tight end.
Foster Moreau, TE, Las Vegas Raiders (3 percent rostered)
When Darren Waller was listed as questionable on Saturday with a new injury, fantasy managers started to get a little nervous. Savvy managers added Moreau to their team, just in case. Those who did ended up being the smart ones. Waller was ruled out for the late Sunday afternoon game, and Moreau started in his place. Moreau had six targets. He caught all of them for 60 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders will use their tight end, and if Waller misses Week 9 (the Raiders are on a bye in Week 8), Moreau should be added. Keep an eye on Waller's progress, but don’t rush to add Moreau just yet.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Cincinnati Bengals (18 percent rostered)
The Bengals face the Jets in Week 8. The Jets were just trounced by the Patriots in Week 7 and New England isn't having as good a season as Cincinnati to this point. Additionally, quarterback Zach Wilson is expected to miss at least two games with a sprained knee, which means Mike White is expected to start (Jets did acquire Joe Flacco in a trade with Philadelphia). While this is obviously a downgrade for New York's offense, it is also an upgrade for the Bengals DST's Week 8 outlook.
— 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.