Week 8 Waiver Wire Top Pickups & Adds: Increased Work For Gainwell

Week 7 saw several teams with byes and not many breakout performances except for D’Ernest Johnson, who is unfortunately already 71.5% rostered in ESPN Fantasy Leagues. If you are looking for a potential league winner on the waiver wire, you must research. Securing the next huge player from the waivers will take intuition and luck, as many players are highly speculative right now. Luckily, we have you covered on some of the best options available, including Kenneth Gainwell, Rashod Bateman, Carson Wentz, and more. Click on the links here to be redirected to the Lineups fantasy football rankings & projections pages to help craft the best roster and starting lineup that you can this week.

Quarterbacks

Carson Wentz – Indianapolis Colts

Average % Rostered: 22.1%, FAAB: 3%

On Sunday, Wentz led the Indianapolis Colts to a tough (and wet) road win in San Francisco. Except for a few silly mistakes, Wentz played terrifically. He has thrown for two touchdowns in four straight games and, except for the game against the Tennessee Titans, has been a reliable fantasy quarterback. Wentz makes for a great backup for the rest of the season for your fantasy team. The Indianapolis offense has seemingly turned a corner, and if T.Y. Hilton can return at 100% sooner versus later, then Wentz could enter low-end QB1 territory. Wentz should stay on this list until he is rostered in the majority of leagues.

Tua Tagovailoa – Miami Dolphins

Average % Rostered: 43.1%, FAAB: 4%

Tua and Wentz have ended up on this list for the second straight week, and their performances have just reinforced the necessity to snag them at backup quarterback if you are thin at the position. Tua put up 329 passing yards and two touchdowns in Week 6, followed by 291 passing yards and four touchdowns in Week 7. Strangely, the Dolphins seem so intent on parting ways with Tua, but he holds value regardless of the trade rumors with Houston. If he gets shipped to Houston, it will be a similar situation: Tua will be heavily relied upon and should put up huge fantasy numbers.

Running Backs

Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts

Average % Rostered: 6.1%, FAAB: 1%

This is a high-risk, high-reward waiver wire play. Marlon Mack has been mentioned in trade rumors, and with Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines ahead of him on the depth chart, he will likely be moved before the trade deadline. There are plenty of teams struggling with depth at running back and several destinations where he would become RB1 fairly quickly. The Ravens, Jets, Dolphins, Panthers, Texans, and several other teams could deploy Mack as a starting running back, so I would be shocked if he didn’t get moved. This is a long-term play, and if it doesn’t pan out, then you can’t say that you didn’t try.

Kenneth Gainwell – Philadelphia Eagles

Average % Rostered: 26.3%, FAAB: 4%

Gainwell has looked better than Sanders for the majority of the season, and many people had already scooped him with the belief that he might take over lead-back duties eventually. Unfortunately, he became RB1 not because of performance but because of a severe ankle sprain suffered by Miles Sanders in Week 7. Gainwell should get a few more touches on the ground and a few more targets in the air, but Boston Scott will be somewhat involved. He could be a low-end RB2 as long as Sanders is out.

Wide Receivers

Rashod Bateman – Baltimore Ravens

Average % Rostered: 19%, FAAB: 3%

Due to an off-season injury that Bateman was nursing, he has only appeared in two games during the 2021 NFL season. Still, Bateman has made the most of these past two weeks, reeling in seven of his 12 targets for 109 yards in those games. Bateman should be seen as a WR3 in all formats as he will continue to develop a rapport with Lamar Jackson. By the end of the season, Bateman could be a low-end WR2, so scoop him now in case of a late-season injury to one of your receivers.

Russell Gage – Atlanta Falcons

Average % Rostered: 9.8%, FAAB: 1%

Gage had missed three straight games before his explosive Week 7 effort. He brought in four of his six targets for 67 yards and one touchdown. Atlanta has averaged nearly 30 points per game in its past three games, so clearly, something is clicking for the Falcons offensively. Still, Gage remains the fourth option in this offense behind Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts, and Cordarrelle Patterson; however, Matt Ryan throws a ton and should continue to do so, as the Falcons have a weak running game.

Allen Lazard – Green Bay Packers

Average % Rostered: 4.9%, FAAB: 2%

Lazard has back-to-back games with a touchdown in a Green Bay offense that is clicking on all cylinders. Rodgers still has plenty of weapons, and he will continue to spread the ball out, but Lazard could become a reliable flex play if this trend continues. He did not have a great start to the 2021 season, but perhaps this is Lazard turning it around for the rest of it.

Tight Ends

Ricky Seals-Jones – Washington Football Team

Average % Rostered: 51.8%, FAAB: 2%

It seems like fantasy managers took the advice of experts in scooping up Ricky Seals-Jones last week. Seals-Jones remains a terrific play, at least until Logan Thomas returns from the injury that put him on the IR. He catapulted up to 51.8% rostered in ESPN leagues after his terrific Week 6 performance. The huge advantage that Seals-Jones has at the moment is that he is averaging 6.5 targets over the past four games. That type of volume usually results in solid output. While Thomas is set to return soon, Seals-Jones could remain relatively involved. There is also the distinct possibility that Thomas isn’t ready still or comes back too early.

C.J. Uzomah – Cincinnati Bengals

Average % Rostered: 10.1%, FAAB: 1%

Uzomah is one of the bigger surprises of the year and has had some huge games for the Cincinnati Bengals and fantasy managers, including bringing in two touchdowns in two of his past four games. He did have an absolute stinker against the Green Bay Packers when he was merely targeted twice, but that is to be expected from waiver wire tight-ends. The good news is that Uzomah can occasionally still win you some games if he turns in similar performances to Weeks 4 and 7. If the rapport with Burrow and Uzomah continues to grow, then perhaps Uzomah could finish as a low-end TE1; however, he remains a mid-tier TE2 at the moment with the potential of huge games.

Andrew has played fantasy sports for the better part of 17 years. When Andrew was 9 years old, he joined his dad's fantasy football team and was most well-known as "The Kid". Andrew's favorite shirt in elementary school had an appropriate adage for the time: "Girls come and go. Fantasy Football is forever."

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