Week 8 was absolutely crazy: Mike White led the New York Jets over the Cincinnati Bengals while Derrick Henry, Danielle Hunter, and Jameis Winston all suffered season-ending injuries. Now, Adrian Peterson will not step into a significant role for the Titans after just being signed. He could be a “bonus” added in this week’s waiver wire article. As if that wasn’t enough, Trevor Siemian stepped up and knocked off Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Hopefully, Week 9 is a little less injury-riddled but maintains the chaos we saw last week. For more information and projections from Lineups for Week 9 of the NFL season, check out the Lineups fantasy football rankings & projections pages to assist you in deciding who to start, bench, or pick up off the waiver wire.
Carson Wentz – Indianapolis Colts
Average % Rostered: 32.9%, FAAB: 4%
Once, again Carson Wentz finds his name on top of the waiver wire list. Wentz and the Colts did not have an ideal end to their divisional game against the Tennessee Titans. Wentz threw two interceptions in critical moments yesterday as Indianapolis fell to 3-5. Still, Wentz has been a consistent fantasy producer with a fairly high fantasy floor every week. In the past five games, since his poor Week 3 performance, Wentz has averaged 246.8 passing yards, 2.2 passing touchdowns, and merely 0.4 interceptions per game. Whether it is the Jameis Winston injury that has you searching for another quarterback or one of the other catalysts that have occurred over the past several weeks, Wentz can give you a consistent fantasy production, even if he isn’t the most attractive option.
Justin Fields – Chicago Bears
Average % Rostered: 17.7%, FAAB: 4%
Justin Fields was finally unleashed in the Bears’ Week 8 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. He had an explosive day on the ground, rushing ten times for 103 yards and one touchdown on an amazing 4th-and-1 play where he looked like he would get stopped, but then reversed to the other side of the field and got not only the first down but a touchdown. Fields had a strong day in the air as well, completing over 70% of his passes for 175 yards and one touchdown. When Fields is not being held back by poor coaching and feels comfortable enough to play his game, he can be a startable option at quarterback. Consider snagging him now, in case he explodes the second half of the season.
Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts
Average % Rostered: 6.3%, FAAB: 1%
As expected, Mack got no touches in Week 8 for the Colts. They clearly did not want him to get injured right before the trade deadline, and he will be moved soon. Mack has the potential to be a struggling team’s RB1 or even split carries with another back. If you snag Mack before he gets traded, you could find yourself with a starting running back as a low-end RB2 or high-end flex play. However, this is a risky move that could pay off, but also may not if he gets dealt to a team that does not use him as much. If you have space on your roster or you are desperate to make a game-changing move to catapult your team to a playoff spot, then this is a smart waiver wire acquisition.
Boston Scott – Philadelphia Eagles
Average % Rostered: 4.9%, FAAB: 3%
Well, I could not have been any more wrong about Kenneth Gainwell’s post-Sanders’ injury usage than I was last week. Gainwell got virtually no work in the Eagles’ offense as two other running backs had massive days on the ground. Boston Scott was one of those running backs, and he got the majority of the work early on, and then Jordan Howard was worked in and finished with the same amount of touches. Both Howard and Scott got two touchdowns in the absolute slaughter of the Detroit Lions. Since they will split the work until Sanders returns, neither Scott nor Howard will be an RB1 candidate; however, they could each find themselves as a low-end RB2 play for now.
Rashod Bateman – Baltimore Ravens
Average % Rostered: 19.5%, FAAB: 3%
Rashod Bateman stays on this list for the second straight week since the Ravens are coming off a bye week in Week 8. Bateman has gotten a healthy 12 targets through his first two NFL games and reeled in seven of them. His outlook for the rest of this year is auspicious, and he could find himself as a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 for the second half of the 2021 NFL season.
Jamison Crowder – New York Jets
Average % Rostered: 18.7%, FAAB: 3%
I have two words for you: Mike White. White threw for over 400 yards this past week, and Crowder saw a healthy amount of work, catching eight of his nine targets for 84 yards. If White continues to play at a high level, then perhaps having skill players on the Jets won’t be detrimental to your fantasy team. Currently, I would value Crowder as a flex option in deeper leagues, but he can be a consistent WR3 depending on his chemistry with Mike White.
Van Jefferson – Los Angeles Rams
Average % Rostered: 8.5%, FAAB: 2%
Van Jefferson’s value is primarily in deeper, standard (non-PPR) leagues. However, in Week 8, he finished with four catches on seven targets for 43 yards and one touchdown, which is a great outing. He usually does not get a ton of receptions, but he is a big-time playmaker who can reel in the deep ball. It also helps Jefferson that DeSean Jackson is looking to leave Los Angeles so that he does not have any more deep ball competition. Now might be a good time to snag Jefferson and utilize him on certain bye weeks or if you are thin at the wide receiver position.
Pat Freiermuth – Pittsburgh Steelers
Average % Rostered: 8%, FAAB: 1%
Freiermuth was not much of a factor for the Pittsburgh Steelers at the beginning of the year. However, things have changed in Pittsburgh’s offense, including the loss of JuJu for the remainder of the season, and he has been the beneficiary in terms of volume. In the past two games, Freiermuth has seen seven targets and has turned those into seven receptions for 58 yards in Week 6 and four receptions for 44 yards, and one touchdown in Week 8. Consistent tight-ends are hard to find, so don’t expect him to become a TE1, but he could be a great backup or replacement.