As we look ahead to the week 8 waiver wire pickups, I will list my must add players of the week, the players to keep an eye on, and a new addition to my weekly updates – the late season stashes to consider picking up off waivers.
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All % owned numbers come from Yahoo
Mike James - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0% owned)
Introducing the newest feature back in the NFL… Doug Martin exited in the third quarter of week 7 against the Atlanta Falcons with what appeared to be a potentially serious shoulder injury, opening the door for Mike James at RB. James came in and handled 14 carries for 45 yards, catching an additional 3 passes for 8 yards.
Update – Multiple outlets report Doug Martin has a torn labrum and is out for the season - With Doug Martin out for the season, Mike James jumps to the #1 waiver wire add this week. He faces a tough matchup against the Carolina run D in week 8, but as a guy who should see 15+ carries while also catching balls out of the backfield, James is a must add in all formats
Another Update - Coach Schiano has expressed optimism that Doug Martin will play again this season. This has been a true roller coaster of emotions, so I’ll just leave this link here so you can read all of rotoworld’s updates on the muscle hamster’s injury.
Harry Douglas – Atlanta Falcons (46% owned)
Douglas has been on my must add list for 2 straight weeks (following the Julio Jones injury), and his week 7 performance will put him squarely on the national radar. Operating as the WR1 of the Falcons, Douglas went for 149 yards and a TD against the Bucs. Even when Roddy White returns, Harry should continue to see plenty of targets in the uptempo Falcons offense, and should be owned in all formats as a solid WR3 option.
Chris Ivory – New York Jets (25% owned)
Looks like there has been a power shift at RB for the New York Jets. Bilal Powell had been seeing the early down work for much of the season, but against the New England Patriots it was Chris Ivory seeing 20+ touches (finishing with 34 carries for 104 yards), and the news only gets worse for Powell owners. Take a look at Powell’s rushing attempts since week 3 where he ran the ball 27 times for 149 yards. Week 4 (14 attempts), Week 5 (12), Week 6 (9) and now just 3 rushing attempts for 6 yards in week 7. Talk about trending in the wrong direction. Ivory will be a mere flex play/ bench stash as we await word as to who will be named starter for week 8, but he will need to be added now in those leagues where he was drafted and then dropped following a disappointing start to 2013. Jarrett Boykin – Green Bay Packers (28% owned) Boykin was on the “players to keep an eye on” list last week, and officially vaulted onto the national stage with a solid 8 receptions, 103 yards and a TD. Boykin led the Packers in receptions, and with James Jones out he made the most of his opportunity, proving that he was more than capable of WR3 status. If James Jones returns to action for week 8, it would obviously hurt Boykin’s value, but he will still be one of the top waiver wire pickups this week after his solid performance against the Browns. We recommend him as a must add in 12 team leagues or deeper
Darrius Heyward-Bey - Indianapolis Colts (17% owned)
I don’t like it anymore than you do, but with a potential season ending ACL injury to Reggie Wayne, DHB suddenly has fantasy relevance once again. He had 4 catches for 44 yards and a TD in week 7 (while adding an additional 30 yard run that you won’t want to count on happening again). We will find out more late Monday or into Tuesday on Wayne’s injury, but for now we are considering Reggie out for the season and if you are in desperate need of a WR, DHB should have WR3 upside in the Colts offense going forward.
Update - Reggie Wayne has been diagnosed with a torn ACL and is out for the season. DHB will be one of the top WR pickups for week 8.
Zac Stacy - St. Louis Rams (49% owned)
How is Stacy still available in 51% of Yahoo leagues? The guy has emerged as the clear cut feature back in the St. Louis backfield, and while he isn’t an explosive option, any back who sees 16+ carries in consecutive weeks needs to be owned in all formats. In week 5 Stacy handled 14 carries for 78 yards, week 6 – 18 carries for 79 yards, and now in week 7 – 17 carries for 53 yards against a tough Carolina run defense (he also added 4 receptions for 38 yards and a TD). Daryl Richardson is a distant afterthought at RB, and Sam Bradford suffered a potentially devastating leg injury (meaning the Rams will rely on the run even more in the weeks ahead). Make sure he isn’t sitting on waivers as he makes a valuable addition as a bench RB that can be plugged in for bye weeks.
Note - Stacy does have a pretty tough road ahead in terms of scheduling:
Week 8 – SEA Week 9 – TEN Week 10 – @ IND
Week 11 – BYE Week 12 – CHI Week 13 – @ SF
Week 14 – @ ARI Week 15 – NO Week 16 – TB
Week 17 – @ SEA
Percy Harvin - Seattle Seahawks (61% owned)
If you haven’t made this pickup already (and he is somehow still available), the time has come to put in a waiver claim on Harvin. He is expected to return to practice this week for the Seahawks, and has an outside chance at appearing in live game action in week 8 (Seattle plays on Monday night). One of the more talented receivers in the league, it remains to be seen if the Seahawks will utilize Harvin in the same manner that the Vikings did (Receiving, and rushing out of the backfield). Consider him a risky WR3 play for week 8 as he may come down to a game time decision on Monday.
Players to keep an eye on
Roy Helu Jr. – Washington Redskins (18% owned)
It looks like the coach of the Redskins is up to his old Shanahanigans, as Roy Helu Jr. ran in not one, not two, but 3 red zone scores in week 7! Alfred Morris is still the feature back in town, but it looks like there could be a new vulture hatching in the NFL. Not an advisable add yet, but an interesting player to keep an eye on, and a low end handcuff at this juncture.
Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins (20% owned)
Reed has been trending upwards for a number of weeks now, as he averaged 54 yards per game over his last 2 contests entering Sunday’s matchup with the Chicago Bears, and he exploded for 134 receiving yards and a TD. If you need a backup or bye week replacement at TE, give Reed a look as he appears to be gaining the trust of his young QB, Robert Griffin III.
Andrew Quarless - Green Bay Packers (0% owned)
With Finley suffering a devastating injury in week 7, Quarless should be expected to get the start week 8 against a weak Vikings secondary. Finley’s agent tweeted that football doesn’t matter right now (concerning Finley), and while our thoughts and prayers are with Jermichael as he goes through recovery, we have to move on in the fantasy football realm, and it looks like the backup TE will be stepping into the role formerly occupied by J.F.
Waiver wire stashes to consider for fantasy playoffs
Andre Brown – New York Giants (13% owned)
Brown has been practicing with the Giants, and for a team decimated at RB, his return can’t come soon enough. New York has a bye in week 9, and Brown is expected to return for week 10. Fantasy owners with an eye on the playoffs, and a spot to stash a RB should consider picking up Andre now (but remember they are going to have to figure out this timeshare between Jacobs, Hillis, Cox, Wilson and Brown – who obviously won’t all be on the roster at the same time).
Shane Vereen – New England Patriots (34% owned)
Vereen is out of his cast, and should be practicing with the Patriots soon. His return is expected in week 11, and fantasy owners need to remember this is a guy who went for 101 yards on 14 carries with 7 receptions for an additional 58 yards in week 1, before going down to injury. As a gimmick player out of New England’s backfield, there is plenty of upside here for anyone looking to stash a late season RB.
Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers (9% owned)
No recent updates on Crabtree’s condition. He is still expected back around week 12 or 13, but if the 49ers are headed for the playoffs they will have little incentive to rush him back. Crabtree is a game changer on the field and in your fantasy lineup, but it is uncertain whether or not he will play during the final 25% of the season.
Nate Burleson – Detroit Lions (3% owned)
Not a favorite of mine, but answered a couple of questions regarding Nate over the past few weeks, so I threw Burleson’s name on the bottom of the list. He will likely be back in week 10 as a WR4 option in 10 and 12 team leagues.