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Jalen Richard
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Waiver Wire: Week 8

by Raymond Summerlin
Updated On: November 13, 2018, 4:58 am ET

Welcome to the 8th edition of Waiver Wired for the 2018 season. It was a tough injury week for running backs, even those who did not have a game. Marshawn Lynch was sent to injured reserve with a groin injury, Melvin Gordon did not play in London because of a hamstring issue, Sony Michel picked up a knee injury, LeSean McCoy left early with a concussion, Royce Freeman injured his ankle, Bilal Powell suffered a neck injury, and Peyton Barber appeared to pick up an ankle issue. All of that is without mentioning the Amari Cooper trade or both Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills going down for the Dolphins and Keke Coutee aggravating his hamstring injury. It is shaping up as an odd week on the wire.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-roster assets in shallow leagues, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worth monitoring, and deep cuts are players rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

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The Drop List
QB: Alex Smith
RB: Devonta Freeman, Marshawn Lynch
WR: Corey Davis, Nelson Agholor, Kenny Stills
TE: Cameron Brate

Smith is for some reason still rostered in 45 percent of Yahoo leagues. He does get the Giants, Falcons, and Buccaneers the next three weeks, but he is dealing with a banged-up receiver corps and has not shown many signs of life to this point this season. He is currently the QB26 in per-game scoring. Teams with an open IR spot can stash Freeman and Lynch, but it does not make sense to keep them around if that is not an option. Freeman is not eligible to return until Week 15 at the earliest, and it is not a given he will be back then. Lynch will have to wait one more week than Freeman, and it seems even more unlikely he will return this season. While the offense had been holding him back, Davis only has himself to blame for the poor showing in London. He remains a hold in deeper leagues just based on volume, but he is a cut candidate for teams in need of space. Agholor has averaged 40 scoreless yards the last five games and that is with some uncharacteristic big plays thrown into the mix against the Giants. Stills was already on the brink of drop-ability, and now he is out at least one game. With O.J. Howard back healthy, Brate returns to the touchdown-or-bust bin.

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1. Baker Mayfield
2. Joe Flacco
3. Case Keenum

Running Backs
1. Jalen Richard
2. Doug Martin
3. Raheem Mostert
4. Ronald Jones
5. Nyheim Hines
6. Chris Ivory
7. Mike Davis
8. Trenton Cannon
9. Kenjon Barner
10. Kapri Bibbs

Wide Receivers
1. Tre’Quan Smith
2. Randall Cobb
3. Robby Anderson
4. Geronimo Allison
5. Chris Godwin
6. Christian Kirk
7. Danny Amendola
8. Tyrell Williams
9. Martavis Bryant
10. Courtland Sutton

Tight Ends
1. Vance McDonald
2. C.J. Uzomah
3. Ben Watson
4. Chris Herndon
5. Ed Dickson

Defense/Special Teams
1. New England
2. Arizona
3. Pittsburgh
Looking Ahead: Carolina

1. Mason Crosby
2. Dan Bailey
3. Ka’imi Fairbairn
Looking Ahead: Robbie Gould

1. Baker Mayfield, Browns – Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues

It is an ugly week for streaming quarterbacks, which is bad news with both Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers on bye. Even coming off a disappointing performance in Tampa, Mayfield looks like the best of the bad options because at least he has some theoretical upside. Flacco offers the better floor for the more risk-averse.

2. Joe Flacco, Ravens – Rostered in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
In this bad a week, it could make sense to just take the floor option. Flacco has been a middling fantasy option for the last five weeks, and the Panthers have been allowing that kind of game to opposing quarterbacks.

3. Case Keenum, Broncos – Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
Keenum is a bottom-of-the-barrel type option, but he does get to face the Chiefs in a game where he almost certainly will be forced to throw – the Broncos are 10-point underdogs. Kansas City’s pass defense has actually been pretty good this season, but they have given up big games because they face so many attempts. The same thing could happen here.

Watch List: Derek Carr probably would have been an option, but Marshawn Lynch’s injury and the Amari Cooper trade creates too much uncertainty against a Colts Defense which has played well when healthy this season…Eli Manning had a good fantasy day on Monday night, but he will face a tougher test against a Washington defense which has limited passing aside from their trip to New Orleans…Blake Bortles has a pretty good matchup against the Eagles in London, but it is impossible to trust him both because of his play and the risk of an in-game benching…C.J. Beathard had his first bad game against the Rams, and now he has to travel to face Arizona’s underrated defense, although it has to be noted he threw for 349 yards and two scores against them in Week 5…Sam Darnold took a big step back against the Vikings, and now he has to travel to Chicago…Brock Osweiler is going to get another start and has played shockingly well. If the Dolphins were not so banged up at receiver and this game was in Miami, he might be worth a look…Josh Rosen has a good matchup this week against the 49ers, but he threw for just 170 yards and one score against them in Week 5.

1. Jalen Richard, Raiders – Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
2. Doug Martin, Raiders – Rostered in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues

With Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve, the big question on the wire this week will be Richard or Martin. It is a tough one because Martin is more likely to “replace” Lynch as the early-down back – he got more work than Richard when the Raiders were actually hanging in games earlier this season – but he also has not been good since 2015. Also, the Amari Cooper trade strongly suggests the Raiders are in full-tank mode, making it even more likely they will be playing from behind most weeks. As Lynch’s up-and-down carry totals can attest, those types of games are a much better fit for Richard, who is already on pace for 83 catches. Both should be added in all leagues, but Richard is the preferred option, especially in PPR.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

3. Raheem Mostert, 49ers – Rostered in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
Apparently related to Wolverine, Matt Breida can never be counted out of a game because of injury. That said, he played just five snaps against the Rams and aggravated his troublesome ankle twice before ultimately exiting for good. In his place, Mostert once again was explosive, gaining 78 total yards on 11 touches despite the 49ers for some reason handing the ball off nine times to Alfred Morris. Perhaps Breida keeps playing through his injury and the 49ers continue to use Morris, but Mostert has been too good to leave on the wire, especially in a week with no clear-cut options.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

4. Ronald Jones, Bucs – Rostered in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues
Information is scarce, but coach Dirk Koetter did confirm Peyton Barber suffered an injury against the Browns which prevented him from touching the ball for most of the fourth quarter and all of overtime. That did not matter much for Jones as Jacquizz Rodgers handled most of the passing-down work, but that would change if Barber is forced to miss this week’s game against the scuffling Bengals. Perhaps even more important than the injury, Jones was mixing in more than he did in Week 6 even before Barber went down. His rest-of-season outlook is pointing up, and he will be in the FLEX conversation this week if Barber sits.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

5. Nyheim Hines, Colts – Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
Marlon Mack’s explosion has taken some considerable shine away from Hines, but it is not yet time to completely throw in the towel. Mack dominated work in the blowout win, but Hines played more snaps against the Jets in a game which has been more the norm for the Colts this season. Perhaps it is all Mack from here on out, but it is worth seeing what happens in a normal game before cutting the cord on Hines.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. Chris Ivory, Bills – Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
Ivory would be higher if it was certain LeSean McCoy was going to sit out Monday night, but that is not the case and Buffalo’s offense has scored a total of 31 points the last four games. Ivory did look good against the Colts and had a big game in his one start against the Vikings, but he will be an RB3/FLEX guy even if McCoy is not able to play.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

7. Mike Davis, Seahawks – Rostered in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues
Like with Hines, it is not time to bail on Davis completely. He disappointed with just seven touches in the blowout win before the bye, but he lost eight garbage-time touches to Rashaad Penny. Considering he registered 14 touches including a touchdown against the Rams the week before, Davis is worth holding to see how things shake out in a competitive game.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

8. Trenton Cannon, Jets – Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
Assuming Bilal Powell is forced to miss some time, it will be interesting to see how the Jets use Cannon. Powell had more carries and targets than Isaiah Crowell heading into Week 7, and Cannon ended the game with just 10 fewer snaps than Crowell despite Powell playing deep into the second quarter. It is likely Crowell, who is dealing with injuries of his own, takes on a bigger share of the early-down work if Powell sits, but Cannon’s five targets against the Vikings suggest he will at least get Powell’s passing-down work with the upside for more. That makes him worth a speculative add in most formats, but that role could be short-lived. Elijah McGuire returned to practice last week and is eligible to return in Week 9. 
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

9. Kenjon Barner, Patriots – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Coming off a 10-carry game in relief of Sony Michel, Barner would move much higher if the Patriots do not add anyone this week, but it seems likely they do – Mike Gillislee is currently a free agent. That said, perhaps the good news about Michel’s injury causes the Patriots to stand pat. Barner is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues to see what happens. Gillislee is also an option in extremely deep leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

10. Kapri Bibbs, Redskins – Rostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
Filling in for Chris Thompson for the second week in a row, Bibbs led Washington with 43 yards and a touchdown through the air. Thompson has practiced each of the last two weeks, but it remains unclear when he will return. Bibbs will be a deep-league option until he does.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Alfred Morris ended up with more carries than Raheem Mostert against the Rams, but it has become clear Mostert offers much more as a runner. Morris should get work if Matt Breida sits, but he will need to fall into the end zone to return real fantasy value…Rashaad Penny recorded nine carries and two catches before the bye, but eight of those touches came on the meaningless final drive of the blowout. He is likely still third in the pecking order…Lamar Miller had a good game and D'Onta Foreman does not look particularly close to returning…Frank Gore recorded 11 more touches against the Lions and is certainly not going away, but he is a relatively low-upside option who is probably rostered in all the leagues he should be…Jamaal Williams had just 15 touches total in the two games before the bye. Ty Montgomery ended up finding the end zone against the 49ers, but he was used even less. Aaron Jones is the only back worth rostering in this backfield, and that could change if this three-way split continues…It appears as if LeGarrette Blount will continue to vulture touchdowns from Kerryon Johnson, but he will not offer much fantasy value when he does not find the end zone.

Deep Cuts: Likely to serve as the passing-down complement to Chris Ivory if LeSean McCoy is forced to sit, Marcus Murphy could be in a pretty good spot with the Patriots coming to town. That said, he was easily out-touched by Ivory despite the Bills getting blown out by the Colts on Sunday…Elijah McGuire returned to practice last week and is eligible to return Week 9. If Bilal Powell lands on injured reserve, he could take over as the No. 2 ahead of Trenton Cannon...Spencer Ware looked pretty good on Sunday night closing out the blowout, but he remains nothing more than a handcuff. He leads a group of them which includes Malcolm Brown, Rod Smith, Chase Edmonds, and, for now, Mark Walton…If Royce Freeman is forced to miss time, Devontae Booker could get enough snaps to be an option in deep PPR leagues…Josh Adams got four carries against the Panthers. With Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement struggling, perhaps he gets more work moving forward…DeAndre Washington has yet to be active this season, but that could change with Marshawn Lynch on the sidelines…It seems like Melvin Gordon will return following the bye, but Justin Jackson will get another crack at the No. 2 job behind Austin Ekeler if Gordon is not able to play.

1. Tre’Quan Smith, Saints – Rostered in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues

Smith catching just three passes for 44 yards against the Ravens is great news for those who failed to scoop him off the wire last week. More important than those totals, Smith was tied for second on the team with six targets, ran more routes than everyone except Michael Thomas, and played 34 more snaps than Cameron Meredith. With Ted Ginn on the shelf, Smith looks like the clear No. 2 receiver in an offense led by Drew Brees. Considering what he can do down the field, that is a high-upside fantasy spot.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Randall Cobb, Packers – Rostered in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues
Cobb was extremely difficult to rank, and that would be true even without the injury questions. He is a high-volume – 27 targets in the first three games – member of a passing attack led by Aaron Rodgers, so it is not difficult to see his upside. All of that was true the first three games, however, and he struggled to create fantasy points. A 75-yard touchdown against the Bears makes his overall numbers look okay, but he averaged 7.4 yards on his other 16 catches with 30 and 22 yards in Weeks 2 and 3. He was playing with a hobbled Rodgers, so perhaps we will see better moving forward, but it is not a slam dunk Cobb will be a reliable fantasy option even if he returns this week.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

3. Robby Anderson, Jets – Rostered in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues
Anderson might have only caught three passes again, but he saw a promising 10 targets and was just inches away from a few big plays despite Sam Darnold playing poorly in a tough matchup. With the Jets extremely banged up at receiver, it would not be surprising if Anderson returned to the high-target role he filled last season when he finished as the WR21 in per-game scoring.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

4. Geronimo Allison, Packers – Rostered in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues
Like Cobb, Allison is tough to value even without the injury concerns. He consistently produced even with Cobb active early in the season, averaging 70 yards a game with two touchdowns over the first three weeks, but that production came on relatively limited usage – he had a 14.6 percent target share the first three games. Those points count, however, and as mentioned above, Cobb was not the most efficient target when healthy earlier this season. Allison can return value now could develop into an even better option if he takes on more work moving forward.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

5. Chris Godwin, Bucs – Rostered in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
Godwin failed to score a touchdown for just the second time this season, but his usage was promising. Sharing time with DeSean Jackson while Adam Humphries dominated slot snaps, Godwin had been playing closer to 50 percent of the snaps, but he played nearly 70 percent of the plays against the Browns. He still finished tied for fourth on the team with six targets, and that uncertain target share will make him volatile week-to-week. Even so, he is a prominent red-zone threat in a good passing offense who has FLEX value now and would be a weekly starter if his usage stabilizes. He needs to be rostered in most formats.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. Christian Kirk, Cardinals – Rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Cardinals disappointingly gave Chad Williams eight targets against the Broncos, but Kirk was still able to come through with a solid three-catch, 57-yard game. He has now been the target on 19.5 percent of Josh Rosen’s throws and is averaging 67 yards over the last five weeks. If new OC Byron Leftwich can get the offense moving, Kirk appears poised to take advantage.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

7. Danny Amendola, Dolphins – Rostered in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
Both Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills have already been ruled out for Thursday night, and DeVante Parker appears to be at odds with his head coach. That does not leave many options at receiver for the Dolphins outside of Amendola, who has recorded 14 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown in the last two games with Brock Osweiler.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

8. Tyrell Williams, Chargers – Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues
I remain unsold on Williams considering he has not caught more than four passes in a game this year, but back-to-back 118-yard games with three total touchdowns demand attention. He has also topped 45 yards or scored in all but one game this season. He will be a deep-league option after the bye and is worth a stash in shallower leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

9. Martavis Bryant, Raiders – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Amari Cooper trade has created a void opposite Jordy Nelson, and Bryant seems like the best option to fill it. He only saw three targets against the Seahawks before the bye, but he played a season-high 72 percent of the snaps and has obvious upside if he gets the targets.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

10. Courtland Sutton, Broncos – Rostered in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Sutton is a notch above the upside stashes listed below because of the trade rumors surrounding Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Especially if Thomas is moved, Sutton will become an immediate option even in shallow leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

Upside Stashes: My thoughts on these guys have not changed, but listing them all at the end of the pickups every week was starting to seem ridiculous…Michael Gallup would have been an add if not for the Amari Cooper trade…D.J. Moore continues to look good when given the opportunity…Cameron Meredith was well behind Tre’Quan Smith in the pecking order with Ted Ginn on injured reserve…Anthony Miller saw seven targets and would have had a touchdown if Mitchell Trubisky made a better throw…Taywan Taylor continues to work behind Tajae SharpeJames Washington just need an opportunity…D.J. Chark has been getting more involved as of late and has three scuffling receivers ahead of him on the depth chart.

Watch List: DeVante Parker is going to play this week, but trusting him in a starting lineup days after he called out the head coach seems like a bad decision. Jakeem Grant should also see more work on Thursday…Investing in Buffalo’s passing attack is not recommended, but Kelvin Benjamin did set season-highs with 71 yards on four catches in his first game with old pal Derek Anderson – the pair played together in Carolina…Keke Coutee is a hold where possible, but it is tough to recommend him as an add when he has already been ruled out for Week 8…Washington’s receiver corps remains a fade spot, but at least Josh Doctson is healthy. Jamison Crowder and Paul Richardson cannot say the same…Already a volatile trio, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, and Donte Moncrief are even less reliable with the uncertainty at quarterback…It was worth a gamble, but Cole Beasley returned to his Cole Beasley ways in against Washington. Now Amari Cooper is coming to town, making him and Allen Hurns even less appealing…Willie Snead had a down game against the Saints, but he should be good for right around 50 yards again this week…Tajae Sharpe went off for 101 yards, but he remains a secondary option in a bad passing attack...Antonio Callaway could not do anything with his targets, and now he is not even getting them…Chester Rogers only saw four targets against the Bills with T.Y. Hilton back, but he will likely get more work in games the Colts actually have to throw…Jermaine Kearse will likely have better days as long as Quincy Enunwa is sidelined, but that goose egg is tough to swallow…With both Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison expected back, Marquez Valdes-Scantling will likely struggle for opportunity.

Deep Cuts: It is difficult to imagine the No. 3 option in a low-volume passing attack carving out consistent fantasy value, but David Moore has three touchdowns in the last two games…John Ross returned and then almost immediately aggravated his groin injury. It does not seem like it is going to happen for him this season…Even with Cooper Kupp sidelined, Josh Reynolds managed just one catch against the 49ers…He was only targeted three times against the Bucs, but Damion Ratley has proven a much more efficient receiver than Antonio Callaway to this point. Now he just needs to hold off Breshad Perriman, who caught a pass in his Browns debut…Chad Williams has been one of the least efficient receivers in the league, but the Cardinals keep giving him targets. Perhaps that changes under a new coordinator…Seth Roberts has 13 targets in the last two games and played 73 percent of the snaps before the bye. With Amari Cooper gone, he should be able to build on that.

1. Vance McDonald, Steelers – Rostered in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues

It is tough to trust McDonald fully considering he saw just two targets against the Falcons and then ceded seven to Jesse James against the Bengals, but he has topped 60 yards in three of his last four games and appears to be the No. 1 option in the passing game despite the looks James received before the bye. That makes him a good fantasy option.

2. C.J. Uzomah, Bengals – Rostered in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues
Uzomah almost face-planted along with the rest of the offense in Kansas City, but he saved his day with a touchdown. Working as the clear No. 1 tight end – no other Bengals tight end has run more than five routes in the last two games and Tyler Kroft does not appear close to a return – Uzomah will once again be a back-end TE1 against the Bucs.

3. Ben Watson, Saints – Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues
Watson has not been an exciting fantasy option, surpassing 45 yards just once this season, but he did catch six passes and found the end zone against the Ravens while the Vikings have struggled against tight ends this season. Watson is the safest of the desperation options.

4. Chris Herndon, Jets – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Herndon almost made this list after catching a touchdown against the Colts, but he did all his damage on just two targets and seven routes. Those totals jumped to seven and 12 against the Vikings, and he could see a bump in playing time again after contributing 42 yards and another touchdown in that game. He is a good stash for tight end needy teams.

5. Ed Dickson, Seahawks – Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
Expected back this week, Dickson is another potential stash for desperate squads. Seattle’s run-first approach limits his upside, but he essentially has just Nick Vannett to compete with for targets. He could develop into a usable option.

Watch List: Dallas Goedert got five targets on his way to a nice game, but his snap share was not that much higher than normal. He should have spike weeks like this the rest of the season, but he will be difficult to trust as long as Zach Ertz is healthy…Jack Doyle remains worth a stash if possible, but the tight end group is starting to get a bit deeper… Michael Roberts has four catches this season. Three of them have been touchdowns. Perhaps he earned himself a bigger role, but it will be tough for him to return fantasy value in an offense dominated by receivers while playing 30 percent of the snaps…His zero target game looks bad, but Jeff Heuerman had a touchdown called back because of a penalty. He is a more interesting dart throw than usual against the Chiefs…Ricky Seals-Jones could be an option this week, but the extent of his injury remains a mystery….Jesse James did see seven targets before the bye, but he had four total the three games before that…Mike Gesicki had a nice game with 44 yards, but he is playing behind Nick O’Leary…The Ravens could support a fantasy-viable tight end if they would pick one, but they are giving four guys meaningful snaps right now…Gerald Everett did not see any extra work even with Cooper Kupp sidelined…Charles Clay has yet to top 40 yards and has 20 or fewer in four of his last five…Considering the injuries at receiver, it was shocking Vernon Davis saw zero targets against Dallas. He should get more work against the Giants, but he will not be a reliable fantasy option with Jordan Reed healthy.

1. New England Patriots – Rostered in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Bills have turned the ball over 12 times in the last four games and have scored 31 total points over that span.

2. Arizona Cardinals – Rostered in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
C.J. Beathard has not been terrible, but he has thrown seven interceptions in four starts while the team has turned the ball over 14 times during that stretch.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers – Rostered in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues
Baker Mayfield has taken five sacks in each of his last three games, and the Steelers got to Tyrod Taylor seven times when these two teams met in Week 1.

Looking Ahead: Tampa Bay has a good offense, but they have turned the ball over at least twice in every game since Week 1 and have six turnovers in the last two weeks. The Panthers will be a fine play at home in Week 9.

1. Mason Crosby, Packers – Rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues

Crosby exorcized his Week 5 demons before the bye and now gets to kick in what should be good weather and a game with a 56.5-point total.

2. Dan Bailey, Vikings – Rostered in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues
Bailey is averaging three and a half kicks per game over the last four and gets to kick indoors against the Saints.

3. Ka’imi Fairbairn, Texans – Rostered in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues
He is a little over the limit, but he has been money all season and gets a great matchup at home against the Dolphins on Thursday night.

Looking Ahead: The Raiders have been friendly to kickers this season, and Robbie Gould has multiple attempts in all but two games.

Raymond Summerlin
Raymond Summerlin is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter at @RMSummerlin.