With Alvin Kamara literally being the only contributing member of the Saints offense, leading them to the Monday night win over the Seahawks, Week 7 is officially in the books. Now is that glorious time of the week when we turn our attention to Week 8 and attack the fantasy football waiver wire.
Here are my top targets with their rostered percentage (via Sleeper) and the percent of your FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) I’d recommend spending on said player.
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (38% rostered, 25% FAAB)
Gainwell is the clear and obvious top waiver target this week. With Miles Sanders likely week-to-week with his ankle injury, Gainwell is all set for an increase to what’s already been a solid workload. It’s actually rather surprising Gainwell is as widely available as he is given the fact he’s the RB44 in .5PPR sharing a backfield with Sanders.
When Sanders went down against the Raiders, it was Gainwell who took over the bulk of the backfield work. He played over 50% of the snaps and had 9 touches for 61 yards and a touchdown. Boston Scott is still a good consolation prize (more on him later) but Gainwell is easily the back you want in Philly right now.
Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (52% rostered, 15% FAAB)
I am going to highlight Rashod Bateman here every damn week if that’s what it takes to get his rostered % above 65. Bateman for the second game in a row saw 6 targets, this time catching 3 for 80 yards. It’s clear that the Ravens trust him to be an important part of this passing game even just two games into his NFL career. That level of confidence is great news for fantasy managers.
With the Ravens passing the ball more than they have in recent years, no longer do managers need to worry about a narrow passing tree. Lamar Jackson is on pace for the most passing attempts and completions of his career, meaning there’s plenty of work to be had for Baltimore’s receivers. The Ravens are on bye this week, but after that they face the 12th-easiest pass schedule based on NEFF rating, with games vs the Vikings, Dolphins, Bears, Steelers, and Bengals.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers (10% rostered, 8% FAAB)
Lazard has emerged as a reliable No. 2 receiver for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in recent weeks. He’s seen at least five targets and caught a touchdown in back-to-back weeks. With a shootout looming on the horizon Thursday night, Lazard is worth adding simply for those reasons. He becomes a must-add with the news that Davante Adams is on Green Bay’s COVID list.
The timing of Adams being placed on the Packers’ COVID list makes it close to impossible for him to suit up Thursday night. This means that Rodgers will be without his No. 1 man facing off against the undefeated Cardinals. The developing chemistry we’ve seen over the last few weeks makes Lazard a good shot at being Rodgers’ defacto WR1 this week. Randall Cobb is also not a bad dart throw if you’re in a deep league given the two’s history together.
Update: Allen Lazard has also been placed on the Packers’ COVID list meaning he’ll be out Thursday as well. This means Randall Cobb, Robert Tonyan, and Amari Rodgers are the healthy receivers for Green Bay. I expect Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon to be heavily featured with Cobb and Tonyan sprinkled in.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (23% rostered, 5% FAAB)
The Giants’ passing core has been ravaged by injury throughout this season. I should really just have a section of this column that is “add the healthy Giants’ pass catcher”. That’s what you’re doing with Darius Slayton.
Slayton returned to action against the Panthers after missing three games with injury, and immediately saw nine targets. Part of that has to do with the team missing Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Kadarius Toney (and Saquon Barkley mind you), but also because Daniel Jones and Slayton do have chemistry together. Slayton has proven to be a pretty talented deep threat and certainly has fantasy WR2 runs in him. With the Giants’ receiving core still injury riddled, and a matchup against the Chiefs’ putrid pass defense looming, Slayton is a great streaming option for Week 8.
Boston Scott, Eagles (6% rostered, 5% FAAB)
Like I said above in the Kenneth Gainwell blurb, Scott is a great consolation prize for those who miss out on Gainwell. Scott was the Eagles’ primary rushing back, carrying the ball 7 times for 24 yards and scoring a touchdown of his own. Against the Lions, a team that can’t defend the run, Scott is a great streaming option as the Eagles might get up early and look to run the clock. That being said, the Lions have been frisky this season and if they turn this into a game, Gainwell’s work in the passing game might cap Scott’s ceiling.
Against a run defense that’s giving up the fourth-most points to running backs, there’s room for both backs to produce solid fantasy outings.
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (50% rostered) — Gallup is set to return from IR this week and rejoin the dominant Cowboys’ passing game. We haven’t seen Gallup play since Week 1, but he saw 7 targets, catching 4 for 36 yards that game. Seven targets go a long way in Dallas’ offense.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (27% rostered) — In his first game since Week 2, Gage saw 6 targets, catching 4 for 67 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons’ offense is now fully healthy which might finally mean we can see all it’s pieces perform at their top level.
Cincinnati Bengals Defense (12% rostered) — The Bengals defense just came off shutting down the Ravens offense and now get to face the Mike White led Jets. There’s no better D/ST to stream for Week 8.
Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (10% rostered) — Bolden had his best game of the year for the Patriots, catching 6-of-7 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown. He’s now seen at least four targets in four of the last five games for New England. He’s worth stashing in deep leagues.