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Add Kenneth Gainwell, Drop Allen Robinson on Week 8 Waivers

Kenneth Gainwell

Kenneth Gainwell

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome to the Week 8 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2021 season. Another chaotic slate of injuries has moved a few more backup running backs to the top of the food chain ahead of Sunday. Fortunately, only the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens leave us with minor gaps to fill before four more teams go on bye next week.

As a refresher, The Drop List consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended additions are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the Watch List contains in-depth notes on fringe waiver adds, and Deep Cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

The Drop List

QB: Sam Darnold

RB: Mike Davis, Alexander Mattison

WR: Allen Robinson

TE: -

Another terrific matchup is a moot point for Sam Darnold, who has completed 56.3% of his passes for 5.6 yards per attempt and eight total turnovers over his last four games. Currently bereft of the surrounding talent necessary to provide a ceiling in any game, Darnold can be dropped for the prioritized streaming options listed below...Mike Davis’ share of backfield touches has progressively decreased in every game, peaking in out-touching Cordarrelle Patterson 18-9 (66.6%) in Week 1 and bottoming out this past week with a season-low four touches (19%) against the Dolphins. I prefer Kenneth Gainwell over Davis for the rest of the season...Reminder Dalvin Cook returned at full strength before the bye, out-touching Alexander Mattison 31-3 despite the latter’s 153-yard performance in the interim the week prior. Strictly a contingency player for as long as Cook is healthy, Mattison, a league-winning stash in 10-team leagues, may not be able to stay rostered on shallower benches while patching for injuries...Even with 18 of the Top 50 receivers in fantasy points per game either injured or on bye in Week 7, Allen Robinson finished as the overall WR69 with a season-low 12.5% target share on Justin Fields’ season-high 32 passes. Assuming Kenny Golladay (knee), Kadarius Toney (foot), and Sterling Shepard (hamstring) remain out, Darius Slayton (see below) is an outright better play than Robinson in Week 8.

Overall Top 5

1. Kenneth Gainwell
2. Samaje Perine
3. Darius Slayton
4. Boston Scott
5. Randall Cobb

High-Stakes Top 5

1. Darius Slayton
2. Boston Scott
3. Brandon Bolden
4. Salvon Ahmed
5. Michael Gallup

For those looking to roster the best available player(s) regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus players’ actual positions for both recreational and high-stakes (FFPC, NFFC, etc.) formats, the latter which have far fewer viable players available with every passing week. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in those leagues ahead of Week 8. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster — touches, high-upside bench stashes, targets, one-week spot-starters, etc.

Contingency Top 10

1. Alexander Mattison
2. Sony Michel
3. D’Ernest Johnson
4. Samaje Perine
5. Ronald Jones
6. Chris Evans
7. Jermar Jefferson
8. Carlos Hyde
9. Trey Sermon
10. Ty’Son Williams

For those looking to stash the best available backup(s) with minimum standalone value, the rankings above were designed to help prioritize direct backups in the event a player in front of them were absent. These are listed in the precise order I would stash them ahead of Week 8. Presumed targets, touches, environment, remaining schedule, etc. are included in the process.


1. Trevor Lawrence
2. Tua Tagovailoa
3. Daniel Jones
4. Carson Wentz

Running Backs

Myles Gaskin rostered in 79 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 RB add if available.

Khalil Herbert rostered in 59 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 RB add if available.

J.D. McKissic rostered in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 3 RB add if available.

1. Kenneth Gainwell
2. Samaje Perine
3. Boston Scott
4. Brandon Bolden
5. Salvon Ahmed

Wide Receivers

Cole Beasley rostered in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 WR add if available.

1. Darius Slayton
2. T.Y. Hilton
3. Randall Cobb
4. Dante Pettis
5. Jamal Agnew
6. Michael Gallup
7. Kalif Raymond

Tight Ends

Robert Tonyan rostered in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 short-term TE add if available.

1. Evan Engram
2. Pat Freiermuth
3. Dan Arnold
4. Mo Alie-Cox

Defense/Special Teams

1. Cincinnati Bengals
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. New York Giants


1. Evan McPherson
2. Jake Elliott
3. Greg Joseph
4. Randy Bullock



1. Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars — Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 2-3% FAAB Bid)

Lawrence had been clicking on all cylinders prior to Jacksonville’s bye week, completing 66.3% of his passes for 8.1 YPA with 5.7 scrambles per game in his last three starts. Seattle’s defense, currently facing a league-high 72.1 plays per game, is also due for regression given its 22 sacks (eighth-overall) on the league’s sixth-lowest pressure rate. Lawrence is the best short- and long-term addition among this group.

2. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins — Rostered in 47 percent of Yahoo Leagues (1-2%)

The Dolphins have shied away from running the ball in Tagovailoa’s return to the lineup, calling 87 passes (67.4%) to 42 running back carries in his last two games. His seven rushes in that stint (and 11 total in three full games this year) also provide a cushy floor in case Buffalo’s defense lives up to the hype of their No. 1 pass defense in advanced metrics across the board. Bid scarcely as Tua could be playing with significantly weaker talent in Houston next week.

3. Daniel Jones, Giants — Rostered in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues (1%)

What’s there to say about Kansas City’s defense that you don’t already know? Not only have the Chiefs been tagged for a league-high 6.6 yards per play this year, their front-seven has struggled to contain mobile quarterbacks to the tune of 6.1 carries and 34.4 rushing yards per game. Dimes, averaging 5.9 rushes per contest, checks every box as a high-floor streamer whether Kenny Golladay (knee), Sterling Shepard (hamstring), and Kadarius Toney (foot) are all available or not.

4. Carson Wentz, Colts — Rostered in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues (1%)

Tennessee was pasted by Zach Wilson (297 yards), Trevor Lawrence (273), and Josh Allen (353) before whatever the hell the Chiefs are fell into their laps for 4.9 yards per play and three turnovers. Although this matchup between Wentz and the Titans’ defense is a rewind from Week 3, the former has fully healed and averaged 3.3 carries with multiple touchdowns in every game since. This total has correctly increased two full points (49.5) since initially opening at 47.5.

Watch List: You want to know whether to pick up Deshaun Watson, and I want to help. The roadblock is King Coward Roger Goodell, who said the league does not have the “necessary information to place [Watson] on the exempt list” at this time. As always, the NFL will only interfere if the ensuing chain reaction affects their bottom line, which I assume would be affected if an individual with 22 civil cases pending trial until February is traded and plays. If you’ve picked up Josh Gordon, Le’Veon Bell, and other wastes of space to this point, there’s no difference in shooting another arrow at Watson in hopes it shatters Plutarch’s forcefield. If you’ve come here for my personal opinion, though, I would imagine the league steps in due to the PR travesty on the horizon. P.J. Walker would be a SuperFlex stash in that instance since Sam Darnold already has one cheek on the pine...As first mentioned by my good friend J.J. Zachariason, Trey Lance, whether he starts in the next month or not, is still a tremendous stash behind those we expect to get benched — Jimmy Garoppolo, Jalen Hurts, Sam Darnold — in that span. In a perfect world, managers would then be able to drop their former starter (and immediately plug in Lance) for a wide receiver or running back for their fantasy postseason run...Tyrod Taylor, expected to return to practice on Wednesday, averaged 9.4 YPA through six quarters against Jacksonville and Cleveland as Houston’s starter. He’s a tremendous SuperFlex add if struggling through injuries.


1. Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles — Rostered in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 25-30% FAAB Bid)

Coach Nick Sirianni labeled Miles Sanders (ankle) as “week-to-week” but we should expect a lengthy absence after the latter was carted off the field following 12 snaps on Sunday. Gainwell out-snapped Boston Scott (see below) 35-23 in the interim, registering a season-high 23.5% target share (partly due to negative game script) on 24 routes to Scott’s 12, and clearly offers the higher ceiling in running 97 routes to the latter’s 16 all year. Having out-carried Scott 26-7 through Week 7, Gainwell should be considered a long-term answer rather than a bye-week filler.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Samaje Perine, Bengals – Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)

Sunday provided evidence that Perine remains well ahead of Chris Evans in the pecking order, seeing the rookie keep glued to the bench as Perine handled 12 touches in Sunday’s blowout. Considered more than a league-winning stash given his double-digit touches in back-to-back appearances, Perine’s short-term value can also be leveraged since opponents are averaging a league-high 36 backfield touches per game against the Jets (per Sharp Football’s Rich Hribar).

Recommendation: Should be stashed in 12-team leagues

3. Boston Scott, Eagles – Rostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues (6-8%)

Even in being out-snapped 35-23 on Sunday, Scott quietly handled three of Philadelphia’s four backfield touches inside the 10-yard line. Only one injury away from having this backfield all to himself, there’s a chance Scott carves out a touchdown-or-bust role for standalone value a la James Conner for however long Miles Sanders (ankle, week-to-week) remains out.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. Brandon Bolden, Patriots – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

Ninth in targets (18) among running backs since replacing James White in Week 4, Bolden has averaged 5.8 touches and 9.2 fantasy points with a position-high six targets inside the 20 in that time. Bump him ahead of Scott if you’re simply churning the wire for a one-week filler. I would drop Rhamondre Stevenson outright for Bolden.

Recommendation: Both should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues

5. Salvon Ahmed, Dolphins - Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Myles Gaskin out-snapped Ahmed by a wide margin (46-22) once Malcolm Brown (quad, IR) exited on Sunday, handling a season-high 19 touches to Ahmed’s nine. Although it’s possible the latter carves out a singular fantasy-viable role, that should not be assumed since he’s handled just one touch inside the 10 (to Gaskin’s six) all year. Reminder Ahmed averaged 21 touches in three games without Gaskin last year if it came to that.

Recommendation: Should be stashed in 12-team leagues

Watch List: Sony Michel remains a league-winning contingency option but may see additional run on Sunday if the Rams, currently favored by three scores (-14.5) over Houston, build an early lead. That was the plan in Detroit before the Lions threw the kitchen sink at coach Sean McVay... Marlon Mack and David Johnson are among the names I’m throwing darts at in deeper leagues ahead of the November 2 trade deadline, which occurs before waivers run in Week 9...Even with Rashaad Penny activated for his first game since Week 1, Alex Collins, apparently healthy enough to play, handled 16 of Seattle’s 23 running back carries over Penny (6) and DeeJay Dallas (0) on Monday. I still expect Dallas to have a large role if Collins is ever sidelined, but the hierarchy is obviously Collins > Penny > Travis Homer > Dallas while Chris Carson (neck, IR) is out...As expected, JaMycal Hasty returned to the lineup Sunday night and saw all six of San Francisco’s backfield targets as the team’s primary receiving back over FB Kyle Juszczyk. Like Demetric Felton, Hasty was purely a product of the few names available to help cover for injuries (and a six-team bye week) on Sunday. He can continue to be stashed until Jeff Wilson returns in (reportedly) late November since he is only an Elijah Mitchell injury away from leading this backfield in touches.

Deep Cuts: I feel confident in saying Jaret Patterson would never out-touch J.D. McKissic if Antonio Gibson (fractured shin) were ever sidelined, but the rookie is still worth stashing just in case he earns a goal-line role in that scenario. Patterson has logged three total snaps over the last two weeks...Darrynton Evans returned on Sunday, running three routes to Derrick Henry‘s 15 and Jeremy McNichols’ six. There’s still a chance Evans is the backup to roster if Henry, an alien himself, were ever injured...Josh Jacobs reportedly “avoided a serious chest injury” and may be able to turn around after Las Vegas’ bye. Consider Jalen Richard (seven touches on Sunday) and Peyton Barber stashes just in case that’s too optimistic.

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1. Darius Slayton, Giants – Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues (5-8%)

With Kenny Golladay (knee), Sterling Shepard (hamstring), and Kadarius Toney (foot) ruled out, Slayton returned to the lineup for a team-high 27.2% target share and 63% (134) of New York’s air yards, the highest mark of any player across the league in Week 7. I would be more aggressive with your FAAB if Golladay, Shepard, and Toney begin trending towards being scratched; Slayton is a better play than Allen Robinson and Brandon Aiyuk (among others) in that scenario given the former’s elite matchup against Kansas City.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. T.Y. Hilton, Colts – Rostered in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues (4-6%)

Hilton (quad) was unable to practice ahead of Week 7 and swiftly ruled out. If cleared to turn around for Sunday’s divisional game against the Titans, though, he’s the strongest option among Indy’s group of receivers as proven by his 20% target share on 24 snaps (50%) in his only appearance prior to injury. Note that Indianapolis’ team total against Tennessee, which has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts, has already increased a full point (24.2) since initially opening.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

3. Randall Cobb, Packers – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 2-3% FAAB Bid)

There’s reportedly “hope” Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring, IR) will return on Thursday night — a blessing in disguise with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard (COVID list) expected to sit. That leaves Equanimeous St. Brown, Amari Rodgers, and Cobb in three-wide sets with Malik Taylor and Juwann Winfree available off the bench. Since Green Bay’s personnel has historically equaled whatever Aaron Rodgers desired, I rank them Robert Tonyan > Cobb > ESB > MVS > Amari for re-draft pecking order. I would also start Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, and other low-end QB1s over A-Rod in Week 8.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues for Week 8

4. Dante Pettis, Giants – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Pettis has stepped in for Sterling Shepard (hamstring) the past two games, producing on 16 targets (18.3%) whether he’s been in the slot (5/54/1) or out wide (5/33) as New York’s No. 2 receiver. Kansas City has quietly permitted 8.8 YPA to opposing wideouts despite ranking 18th-overall in fantasy points allowed to that position simply because opposing tight ends (fifth-most points allowed) have had their way instead.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues if Sterling Shepard is ruled out

5. Jamal Agnew, Jaguars – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

Coach Urban Meyer referred to Agnew as Jacksonville’s “best separator”, which suggests an increased role from the slot, where Agnew registered 9-of-12 targets without D.J. Chark (fractured ankle) the past two games, out of the team’s bye; it is Urban, after all. Agnew had also seen his routes on Lawrence’s dropbacks increase in consecutive starts (67.4% < 73.9%), earning a 19.4% target share with Laviska Shenault being pushed primarily to the boundary in that stretch. Agnew offers legitimate appeal as a high-floor FLEX in PPR leagues.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. Michael Gallup, Cowboys – Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

Dallas opened Gallup’s 21-day window to return on Monday, presumably prepping for his return in Sunday’s matchup against the Vikings. He’s purely a long-term speculative add since Dak Prescott‘s season-high in pass attempts (58) occurred in the only game Gallup was available for this year. There’s an easy bear case to make against his ceiling if the Cowboys continue running the ball at the league’s 11th-highest rate in neutral game script upon his return.

Recommendation: Should be stashed in 12-team leagues

7. Kalif Raymond, Lions – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

Raymond has accrued at least six targets in four of his last five games in place of Tyrell Williams (concussion), leading Detroit’s wide receivers room in targets (15) in the two games Quintez Cephus (shoulder, IR) has recently missed. Raymond is an play strictly for deeper leagues over Gallup if looking to hide Marquise Brown‘s bye week on Sunday.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

Watch List: I understand the Ravens are on bye but Rashod Bateman, who has averaged an 18.2% target share through two career performances, should be rostered universally. He’s the best long-term option among over any of the receivers listed above...Among the (potential) free agents that would benefit in any deal for Deshaun Watson, I rank them Will Fuller < Preston Williams < Terrace Marshall/Keith Kirkwood, the latter who ran a route on 50% of Carolina’s dropbacks in place of Marshall (concussion) on Sunday. Reminder Watson, who has a no-trade clause and thus complete control over where he’s dealt to, already nixed heading to Philadelphia this year.

Deep Leagues: Zach Pascal garnered a 23% target share without Parris Campbell (foot) and T.Y. Hilton (quad) Sunday and could reasonably be FLEXed in 12-team leagues if both are out again...Will Bills OC Brian Daboll turn to Tommy Sweeney or Gabriel Davis in more four-wide sets without Dawson Knox (broken hand) in the interim? The question alone makes Davis worth stashing wherever possible.


1. Evan Engram, Giants — Rostered in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Engram, averaging four catches and 34.2 receiving yards since returning in Week 3, gets a nod of approval this one time since the Chiefs have allowed a league-high 575 receiving yards and 11.5 YPA to enemy tight ends. Afforded a season-high 24.2% target share without Kenny Golladay (knee), Sterling Shepard (hamstring), and Kadarius Toney (foot) on Sunday, Engram can be slid behind C.J. Uzomah if Shepard is able to return Monday night.

2. Pat Freiermuth, Steelers — Rostered in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 2-4% FAAB Bid)

Friendly reminder Pittsburgh ran a season-high rate of 12 personnel (23%) in its first game without JuJu Smith-Schuster before the bye, allowing Freiermuth to record season-highs in snaps (45, 60%) and targets (7, 17.5%) against Seattle. I would prioritize him over every tight end listed here if planning for the rest of the season.

3. Dan Arnold, Jaguars — Rostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

Arnold, gifted 10 days to learn the playbook between his debut with Jacksonville and their ensuing loss, unsurprisingly saw his snaps increase from 32% in Week 4 to 67.5% in his last two games. Note that the Seahawks allowed an opposing tight end to score in four consecutive games prior to Monday night’s matchup against the Saints.

4. Mo Alie-Cox, Colts — Rostered in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

Alie-Cox has not experienced a usage change in the last three games — he’s run 35 routes to Jack Doyle‘s 49 in that span — but has garnered 10 targets to Doyle’s three in those contests for being the more explosive option between the two. Move Alie-Cox ahead of Arnold if T.Y. Hilton (quad) is ruled out since that would leave the Colts no choice but to follow up last week’s season-high rate of 12 personnel (45%) with even more two-tight end sets.

Watch List: Foster Moreau logged 100% of Las Vegas’ snaps without Darren Waller on Sunday, running 32 routes on Derek Carr‘s 37 dropbacks for a 17.6% target share (and 6/60/1 receiving). He’s a top-eight player at his position if Waller remains out post-bye...C.J. Uzomah leads his position with 13.5 yards per target but, unfortunately, has seen more than three targets in only one game all year. He’s not listed among the priority adds since his lowly described usage projects him as a weekly streamer against New York rather than a long-term savior. For Week 8 only, I rank them Engram > Uzomah > Freiermuth > Arnold > Alie-Cox, with Mo over Arnold if T.Y. Hilton (quad) is yet again ruled out.

Deep Leagues: Tommy Sweeney, the only available tight end on Buffalo’s active roster, would logically play Dawson Knox‘s role until the latter returns in “2-3 weeks.” It’s still possible the Bills opt for four-wide sets instead short-term.


1. Cincinnati Bengals – Rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues

Cincinnati’s defense — No. 4 in Football Outsiders’ Rush Defense DVOA metric and No. 8 in Pass Defense — is served Mike White on a silver platter behind an o-line permitting the league’s fourth-highest pressure rate weekly.

2. Atlanta Falcons – Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues

Even from a clean pocket, Darnold has completed just 62.6% of his passes for 6.1 YPA, three touchdowns, and four picks over his last four games. The Falcons can ‘get there’ by simply showing up.

3. New York Giants – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues

Is Monday (finally) the day the Chiefs stop turning it over? Time will tell.

Watch List: Chargers, wherever applicable, square off against the Patriots, Eagles, and Steelers in three of their next four games.


Only a fool wouldn’t pass the ball to Michael Jordan in his prime, so it only makes sense that I pull each week’s kicker streamers from Denny Carter’s column and #adjust them accordingly. For in-depth analysis, you can read his entire piece here:

1. Evan McPherson, Bengals – Rostered in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues

2. Jake Elliott, Eagles – Rostered in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues

3. Greg Joseph, Vikings – Rostered in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues

4. Randy Bullock, Titans – Rostered in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues