It is that daunting time period in between Weeks 7 and 8 of the NFL season that you are forced into making that tough decision of where your fantasy football team is, what moves need to be made, and if you have the right pieces in place to even come close to earning a postseason bid. While the fantasy football playoffs are still a ways away, this is that point in the season that you should know what you have and what your players are capable of.
Injuries certainly can derail your season plans, as wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is out for the reaminder of the season with a torn ACL, running back Kenyan Drake looks to be out a few weeks after coming off late due to a slight ligament tear in the Sunday Night touchdown fest against the Seahawks, and running back Chris Carson may miss some time after he was injured in that same SNF contest.
So, with that in mind, take a look at some hot waiver wire commodities that you should look into this week for fantasy football.
Note: all considered statistics are looked at from a point-per-reception league format.
Washington Football Team
44.2 percent rostered
In the first of two consecutive Washington Football Team players on this list, the role that running back J.D. McKissic has is actually quite sound, even if he is not the clear-cut starter.
While rookie Antonio Gibson is now playing the role of the starting RB on this team, McKissic has still played his role quite well so far this year, just recently having Gibson overtake him for the starting role. But even with that being the case, McKissic still has nice value that should be picked up from the wire if still available.
Having caught at least one ball in every game but one (and six-plus balls in Weeks 4-6), McKissic’s receiving value is what keeps him fantasy relevant on this dreadful team, and he can certainly act as a competent bye-week fill-in if needed. Week 8 is a bye week, but Washington comes out of the break against the Giants, Lions, Bengals, and Cowboys, all juicy matchups that could give him some real scatback value.
9. Logan Thomas — TE
Washington Football Team
8.5 percent rostered
As stated previously with McKissic, the Washington offense is downright dreadful, but there are certainly some bright spots that help make it at least a fantasy fill-in on gamedays. Tight end Logan Thomas represents great replacement value, and he could even become your starting option if needed.
A heavy TD-reliant weapon that needs to score to maintain his fantasy football relevancy, Thomas is just outside the top 10 in production, having produced three games of 13.2-plus fantasy points in a PPR format. In his other four games, 6.6, 7.1, 1.8, and 1.4 points were put up, respectively, showcasing his TD reliance. While Washington does have a problem putting up points on the board, a reliable tight end is any QB’s best friend. Since Thomas plugs in as the second target behind Terry McLaurin on this team, he has earned at least a look moving forward.
8. Keelan Cole Sr. — WR
30.4 percent rostered
In every game except his last (against the Los Angeles Chargers), Keelan Cole has earned at least five targets, showcasing that even with him being behind D.J. Chark (and potentially rookie Laviska Shenault Jr.) on the depth chart, he still has a decent rapport with Gardner Minshew.
What is even more impressive is how Cole’s success has kept consistent even with Minshew’s inconsistencies. Cole broke out against the Detroit Lions in Week 6 with a 6/143/0 line, and he has scored in three games this year (including the first two to open the year). What is great for Cole — and you — is that he carries much less notoriety than what Chark and Shenault both do, meaning that his likelihood of being available on the waiver wire is quite healthy.
Coming out of their Week 8 bye, the Jags face the Texans and Packers, both looking like solid matchups in contests that will most likely see JAX behind.
7. Brandon Aiyuk — WR
San Francisco 49ers
20.4 percent rostered
This year’s version of the San Francisco 49ers is such a hard team to track, mostly due to their injuries sidetracking any sort of production that they were slated to bring into this year from last. Deebo Samuel and Arizona State rookie Brandon Aiyuk are the proverbial leaders at WR, and while neither name truly scares an opponent, Aiyuk has become a nice little toy for Kyle Shanahan to employ.
Yes, Aiyuk’s inconsistencies make it hard for fantasy football teams to roster him, but his three TDs this year (two rushing, one receiving) show that both Shanahan and Jimmy Garappolo trust him to fill an integral role moving forward. A 6/115/0 showing against the Patriots is no laughing matter, and a shootout in Week 8 against the Seahawks seems likely, so it’s a perfect time for him to put up another great game.
6. Nelson Agholor — WR
Las Vegas Raiders
1.8 percent rostered
Inconsistency is the name of the game in fantasy football, and the reliance on not having too much of that on your roster is key to success. But, and hear me out, Nelson Agholor.
Yes, the Las Vegas Raiders have a diverse offensive attack that is focally led by Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller, with rookie wideout Henry Ruggs III taking over as the season progresses. However, Agholor’s rise to being a relevant fantasy option is something to keep your eye on. Three consecutive weeks scoring a TD (with a Week 7 performance of 5/107/1) is impressive, and with the Raiders seemingly comfortable with airing it out, Agholor’s role in this offense continues to grow.
5. Tua Tagovailoa — QB
20.8 percent rostered
Unproven? Yes. Right time? Only one way to find out. Ready? We’ll see after he toiled for weeks behind Ryan Fitzpatrick.
For the Miami Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa, the time that they get to see the future of their team is Week 9 against the Rams in what will be an eye-test game for the Alabama rookie. Unfortunately for his sake, too much stake is going to be put into the results of this contest, unfair to both the team and the player.
Nonetheless, Tua may be sitting out on the waiver wire for you, and with his dual abilities able to shake up a somewhat stagnant MIA offense, he is at least worthy of a lottery ticket. After the Rams, the Dolphins face the Cardinals, Chargers, Broncos, and Jets in a decent stretch for the southpaw to show what he has got.
4. Baker Mayfield — QB
15.0 percent rostered
Known potentially more for his insurance commercials than his play on the football field this season, Baker Mayfield turned some eyes with his five-TD performance on Sunday. Now while it was over the Cincinnati Bengals, he did this with OBJ out for most of the game and now the rest of the season, showing that he has enough weapons around him to succeed.
Any team that may have gotten tired of him earlier in the year probably dropped him, but with a Week 9 bye sandwiched between home affairs against the Raiders and Texans, Mayfield could put up some big numbers coming up, once again generating interest.
3. Wayne Gallman — RB
New York Giants
0.7 percent rostered
Given the first crack at replacing Saquon Barkley after his season-ending ACL tear, Wayne Gallman was not seen as the answer for the New York Giants in their backfield, hence why Devonta Freeman was brought in. Now with Freeman nursing an injury, Gallman looks to be in line yet again to regain RB1 status for the Giants.
Now, game script provided enough of a spark for Gallman to produce 16.4 PPR points, but 10/34/1 on the ground and 5/20 through the air is solid enough to justify a waiver wire addition.
Next week pits the Giants and Buccaneers against each other, and while the stout front of TB has been tough, Gallman should see enough touches based on playing from behind to justify the addition, up until Freeman returns.
2. Cole Beasley — WR
41.8 percent rostered
The WR has become Josh Allen’s favorite target it seems, having hauled in two TDs this season and at least three catches in every single contest.
With two 100-plus-yard performances (100 & 112) to boot, the Bills have loved having Beasley alongside Stefon Diggs in two-WR sets, giving Allen solid options to connect with. For Beasley, he gets the Pats, Seahawks, and Cardinals all before the Week 11 bye, three contests that favor him moving forward.
1. Carlos Hyde — RB
5.0 percent rostered
The final — and potentially most valuable — addition on this list belongs to Carlos Hyde. Hyde’s command of the backfield against AZ after Chris Carson departed with his injury (15/68/1 on the ground, 3/8 through the air) would normally be enough to justify a high waiver priority, but there’s a catch here.
With Hyde having suffered an injury of his own (hamstring), plus with backup Travis Homer potentially missing time with a knee contusion, rookie back DeeJay Dallas would be the lone healthy back to replace Hyde and Homer if both join Carson on the bench for Week 8
Keep an eye out for injury reports during the week. With the volatility of the SEA offense, whichever back is the healthiest leading up to your waiver wire deadline, put in a claim on him. Hyde has the safest fantasy football floor of the bunch and is the best option available behind Carson if healthy, but the other options might come into play.