Amazing how it’s been more than seven weeks since the 2018 NFL season kicked off. From a fantasy football perspective, an eternity has already passed, but the struggle to steer our teams to the top of the standings with quality waiver wire pickups continues.
With that said, here’s a solid list of 10 players fantasy football managers should be eyeing on the waiver wire.
10. Martavis Bryant – Oakland Raiders WR (2.4% owned in ESPN)
Jon Gruden rid the Raiders with another key player by trading former first-round pick Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys. As of Week 7, Cooper was third among all Raiders this season in targets, and with him no longer in Oakland, those targets will have to be inherited by receivers whom Gruden has not traded – yet. Among them is Bryant, who should be in line to receive an uptick in usage. It helps his fantasy outlook that running back Marshawn Lynch was also put on the injured reserve. Lynch is fifth on the team in targets.
9. Tyrell Williams – Los Angeles Chargers WR (8.4% owned in ESPN)
A few people saw ESPN fantasy guru Matthew Berry’s rant a week ago about Alfred Morris stinking up his team. His diatribe includes the hilarious “Who starts Tyler Williams?” line when telling how he also lost to a dude who started Williams out of nowhere. Well, it looks like Williams and Philip’s Chargers heard Berry belittle the wide receiver, as the fourth-year pro exploded for 118 receiving yards and a touchdown on four receptions and four targets last Sunday. That’s the second week in a row in which Williams racked up exactly 118 receiving yards to go with three touchdowns over the same span.
8. Tre’Quan Smith – New Orleans Saints WR (8.7% owned in ESPN)
Somehow, Smith is amazingly owned in fewer than nine percent of ESPN leagues. With Ted Ginn on the injured reserve, Smith is in position to receive lots of looks from Drew Brees. Against the no-joke defense of the Baltimore Ravens last week, the rookie Smith did just fine, corralling three of six targets for 44 receiving yards. Although he left his owners wanting more, the opportunity is always going to be there for Smith who enjoyed a season-high 52 snaps in Week 7.
7. Chris Ivory – Buffalo Bills RB (9.0% owned in ESPN)
Ivory is only fantasy football relevant whenever running back LeSean McCoy can’t give it a go. And it seems that McCoy is going to need time more on the shelf after sustaining a head injury last week against the Indianapolis Colts that also forced him out of the game prematurely. Ivory stepped in for McCoy and finished the contest with 81 rushing yards on 16 carries. The Bills have a quarterback problem, as even Derek Anderson has the Nathan Peterman’s Disease, which his three interceptions against the Colts made evidently clear, so expect Buffalo to continue feeding their backfield with ample amount of touches regardless if it’s McCoy or Ivory starting.
6. Donte Moncrief – Jacksonville Jaguars WR (12.4% owned in ESPN)
The Jaguars’ offense is ill, as Jacksonville has scored just a total of 14 points in their last two games. However, it’s not affecting Moncrief’s target count. The veteran wide receiver was targeted 10 times in last week’s loss to the Houston Texans and recorded 76 receiving yards on seven catches. Two games prior, Moncrief was showered with 14 targets against the Kansas City Chiefs. On the season, Moncrief leads all Jags with 49 targets.
5. Jalen Richard– Oakland Raiders RB (17.7% owned in ESPN)
With Oakland putting Marshawn Lynch on the IR, the most obvious course of action for his owners is to rummage the waiver wire and see if Doug Martin is still available. However, Jalen Richard is arguably the better option as one of your waiver wire pickups. Although Martin has more rushing yards and attempts (99-27) this season than Richard (11-32), it’s the latter who’s been on the field more often. Martin was outsnapped by Richard for five of the Raiders’ first six games of the season. In addition to that, Richard is being used more in passing plays and stands to see more targets with Cooper now in Dallas.
4. Danny Amendola – Miami Dolphins WR (24.4% owned in ESPN)
Here’s what we know about the Dolphins receiving corps ahead of Week 8: Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are both not going to play because of injuries. Wilson is suspected to miss more than just a week. That means money downfield for Ty Amendola $ign, who paced the Fins with 84 receiving yards on six receptions and seven targets in last week’s home loss to the Detroit Lions.
3. Benjamin Watson – New Orleans Saints TE (34.3% owned in ESPN)
If you’re starving for tight end help, Watson could be the guy to deliver the goods for you. Watson can be a reactionary waiver wire pickup after he caught all six targets for 43 receiving yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. The Saints are set to face the Minnesota Vikings, who are allowing the ninth most fantasy points per game (9.7) to opposing tight ends in standard scoring format.
2. Geronimo Allison – Green Bay Packers WR (37.1% owned in ESPN)
Allison missed Green Bay’s Week 6 date with the San Francisco 49ers due to a hamstring injury, but that was before the Packers entered a Week 7 bye. That extra seven days of rest could be enough for Allison to recover from his injury, and if so, he’ll be expected to hit the field in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Rams. Allison is worth an add since he’s proven to be one of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets. On the season, Allison has 289 receiving yards and two touchdown grabs on 19 receptions.
1. C.J. Uzomah – Cincinnati Bengals TE (40.2% owned in ESPN)
Uzomah scored a touchdown last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, though, he only had two receptions and two targets. Still, it’s hard to ignore Uzomah’s potential to come up big in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense that’s last in the league with 32.7 points allowed per game. Uzomah owners should also be licking their chops at the prospect of the tight end facing the same defense that’s giving up the seventh-most standard format points per game (11.2) to opposing tight ends this season.