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Waiver Wire Roto Wizard Waiver Wire Free Agents week 8 2022
Earlier this year, Tom Brady kindly pointed out that there is a lot of "bad football" being played across the league. That might be the understatement of the year. Brady, along with so many other big-named stars, has suffered from mid-season malaise, unable to come close to the weekly projections that most pundits put out. Perhaps it is the lack of participation during the preseason, rule changes that favor certain situations (roughing the passer, pass interference, etc.) or an unseen hand working maliciously behind the scenes - but it is evident that the 2022 NFL season has been stuck in a rut.
Scoring is down across the league, and teams that were supposedly contenders (Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, and Denver, most notably) have drastically underperformed. With seven weeks now under our collective belts, we now have a large enough sample size to adjust projections and expectations moving forward. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Tom Brady should likely be viewed as back-end starters, rather than mid-tier options. Due to this, their respective receiving cores should be downgraded accordingly. I take no pride in pointing this out, as a plethora of my own squads have pieces from these teams, but it is time to face the music.
In addition to "bad football" being a plague, Week 7 was a minefield of injuries to star players. As I mentioned on Twitter earlier, this will make several of my recommendations this week a "Player X was hurt, see if their backup Y is available" scenario. I do not particularly enjoy the straight-forwardness of these suggestions as they are simple in nature, but most of the "big ticket" grabs for the Week 8 waiver run are going to be obvious. Thankfully, the majority of the touts below are relatively low-rostered, and they meet the 30 percent mark that I attempt to adhere to.
Players on bye in Week 8: Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert
Daniel Jones (28 percent rostered) - The New York Giants must be one of the most pleasant surprises on the young season, and few could have predicted their 6-1 record. Under the tutelage of Brian Daboll, Jones has been able to cut down on turnovers and dramatically increase his completion percentage, and he is currently a top-10 option at the position. I've written about Jones in the past as an add, but I'll continue to beat the drum until he is added in enough leagues. The addition of Wan'Dale Robinson as a legitimate receiving threat has made this team less one-dimensional, and the Giants have a very favorable upcoming schedule until Week 14. Jones also provides a nice rushing floor for Fantasy, so even if he doesn't post the same gaudy passing totals as other options, he makes up for it otherwise.
Recommendation: Jones should be rostered in all formats 12-teams or larger. If still available, I'd recommend dropping $5-$10 to use him as a streaming option while he continues his strong stretch of play on an ascending team. Things will only get better once (or if) Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay return.
Taylor Heinicke (7 percent rostered) - As a short-term addition on a Washington team littered with talent at wide receiver, I'm fine adding Heinicke in a pinch. An undrafted talent from Old Dominion, Heinicke is the poster child for "good, but not great" at the position. He's accurate enough with his passes to take advantage of easy throws, but also likes to push the ball downfield when able. Heinicke isn't a complete statue in the pocket and will take off when necessary, but he isn't going to "wow" you with moves in open space. Those factors considered, the presence of Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and (hopefully) the return of Jahan Dotson give Heinicke one of the top cores in the NFL to work with, and his upcoming matchups against Indianapolis and Minnesota aren't off-putting. He will take a back seat to Carson Wentz once he returns from his 4-6 week recovery timeframe off finger surgery, but is an upside QB2 play in the meantime.
Recommendation: For Mahomes/Herbert managers, Heinicke is a fine pivot that is widely available. I'd expect him to finish as a top-12 option in each of the next two weeks, before the Commanders square off against Philadelphia in Week 10. He can be added for a $3-$5 investment.
Gus Edwards (16 percent rostered) - Edwards is an obvious recommendation, with J.K. Dobbins expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing an arthroscopic knee procedure. Prior to Week 7 beginning, Fantasy owners weren't sure about the health status of Edwards, as Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh refused to divulge if he would be activated prior to the game. It turns out that he was not just activated, but he started for the Ravens and dominated backfield touches from the outset. By far the most effective running back on Sunday, Edwards piled up 66 yards on 16 carries, finding pay dirt twice against the Cleveland Browns. Moving forward, I'd anticipate Edwards seeing 55-60 percent of the total touches in the backfield, with Kenyan Drake and Justice Hill working in relief duty. Edwards upside is capped by his mediocre receiving skills and Lamar Jackson's tendency to take off when needed, but Baltimore remains one of the most run-heavy teams in the league. He faces stiff competition the next two weeks against Tampa Bay and New Orleans, but he will still be a mid-range RB2 in my weekly rankings.
Recommendation: Edwards is a priority addition for anyone struggling at the running back position (and there are many of us to be sure). He has a clear window of opportunity to provide value over the next month and a half while Dobbins recovers from his knee issues. Given his success in Week 7, he won't be cheap to acquire, and a bid of $15-$20 is necessary.
Rachaad White (20 percent rostered) - Some might raise an eyebrow as to why White makes this list, considering he has 15 total rushing attempts over the last three weeks for Tampa Bay. After offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich made it a point to have White more utilized after Week 4, he has had a sharp uptick in snaps and opportunities for the Buccaneers, and I fully expect a significant "shake up" in the next few weeks if the team's offense remains stagnant. Leonard Fournette has averaged over 4.0 YPC just once since Week 1, and his Fantasy value has only remained constant due to his work as a check-down option for Tom Brady. I hate to break it to everyone, but White is the more explosive receiver of the two, and it should only be a matter of time before this is a full-blown split. Pounce on the opportunity now while the team's offense is in flux before any significant news breaks.
Recommendation: Coming off of a quiet Week 7, White is likely on the back-burner as a waiver wire add in leagues where he remains available. Capitalize on the chance to grab him now before Tampa Bay makes any wholesale changes away from Fournette. Add White for $5-$10.
Latavius Murray (23 percent rostered) - Another suggestion that might seem puzzling at first, but let me explain. Following the Week 6 curveball where Denver opted to (more or less) bench Melvin Gordon in favor of Murray, head coach Nathaniel Hackett declared Gordon the presumptive starter for Week 7. Sure, he out-touched Murray 13-to-10, but Gordon continued to show absolutely nothing in the running game, and he was actually off the field for the lone touchdown drive that Denver had on Sunday. Murray came away with the rushing touchdown this past week, and continued to be involved in the passing game. With the Broncos underperforming and facing a mountain of pressure to start trading away assets, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Gordon shipped off to greener pastures elsewhere, and Murray keeps the job. The NFL trade deadline is November 1st, so Week 8 would be a chance for the team to "highlight" Gordon before dumping the veteran. I'm fine adding Murray on the cheap now before that happens.
Recommendation: Hold onto Murray in 12-team or larger formats as a low-end RB2 on a team that has nowhere to go but up. Mike Boone suffered an ankle injury on Sunday, and even though x-rays were negative it sounds like he will miss a significant amount of time. Murray doesn't have much competition, and he's my preferred stash for $3-$5 where available.
Players on bye in Week 8: Mecole Hardman, Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer
Marquise Goodwin (1 percent rostered) - Goodwin marks the second "because the starter in front of hm is injured, consider adding him" obvious suggestion of the week. After D.K. Metcalf left the game during the first quarter on Sunday, Goodwin was the biggest beneficiary, catching four-of-five targets for 67 yards and two scores against the Los Angeles Chargers. Head coach Pete Carroll said that initial test results on Metcalf were "great," though he does have a damaged patellar tendon. This malady doesn't sound like it will be season-ending for Metcalf (thankfully), but I'd expect him to be sidelined for Week 8 against the New York Giants. Even though Goodwin doesn't have the same size as Metcalf, he's the better perimeter option for the team over Dee Eskridge, and he will be used for "splash" plays with Tyler Lockett receiving short yardage work.
Recommendation: As a speedster threat, Goodwin's overall volume will be lower than Tyler Lockett, but he has the chance to be a viable FLEX option in Non-PPR formats for Week 8 (or as long as Metcalf is out). The Giants have a mid-tier secondary that has limited splash plays, though they will surrender the occasional chunk of yardage. Bid $3-$5 on Goodwin as a spot-start.
Wan'Dale Robinson (14 percent rostered) - I'm befuddled how Robinson is still under 30 percent rostered, but here we are. In his second actual game (I'm not counting Week 1 where he only had a handful of snaps prior to his injury), Robinson led the New York Giants in targets (8) and receptions (6). He is a clear focal point on an offense that is handicapped by a lack of playmakers, and he has the trust of the coaching staff to keep drives going on crucial plays. Robinson could have had an even bigger Week 7 but he was stepped on by a defender on his… um.. twigs and berries. Nether region. Privates. Whatever you want to call them, it was stepped on. He's fine for Week 8, and he will only be counted on further now that tight end Daniel Bellinger is out after undergoing eye surgery. Who knows when Kadarius Toney or Kenny Golladay will grace the team with their presence? Robinson is the one to own anyway, and he is consecutive double-digit performances. Buy now.
Recommendation: Robinson should be a priority addition in 12-team leagues or larger, especially those in PPR formats. He is elusive, reliable and has earned the eye of offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. Invest now, thank me later. Bid $5-$10 as an upside FLEX for the remainder of the year.
Parris Campbell (3 percent rostered) - Prior to Week 5, Campbell was a total afterthought for the Indianapolis Colts, and unless someone played in a AFC South-only league, I wouldn't have considered him a viable option. The team flipped the script during Week 6 and became insanely pass-heavy, resulting in a sharp uptick in targets for the third-year product from Ohio State. Campbell led the team with 12 targets, catching most of them close to the line of scrimmage with the hopes of making defenders miss in space. Even after Indianapolis pulled the plug on the Matt Ryan experiment in favor of Sam Ehlinger, I still foresee Campbell's usage as a quick-pass outlet a viable option on a team that is struggling on the offensive line. He won't retain the same outlandish production he's had lately (17 receptions for 127 yards and two scores over the last two weeks), but I'd expect him to be a worthwhile add regardless.
Recommendation: Should be added in 14-team leagues or larger as a PPR FLEX option during the mid-season bye weeks. Keep an eye on his usage after the quarterback shift to see if the team adopts a totally different system or becomes more reliant upon the run game. A $3-$5 bid should suffice.
Players on bye in Week 8: Travis Kelce, Gerald Everett
Greg Dulcich (8 percent rostered) - The major question for most Fantasy players last week at the position was which rookie option to consider adding, between Cade Otton or Dulcich. Both players broke double-digit marks and provided a nice return on investment, but I view Dulcich as the better add over the long term, since Otton will see a decrease in production once Cameron Brate returns to the field. The Denver Broncos are desperately searching for an identity on offense, and it appears that they are content on Dulcich being a major part of the gameplan moving forward. Even with backup Brett Rypien under center as a spot-start for Russell Wilson, Dulcich finished second on the team with 9 targets, catching 6 passes for 51 yards. Eleven points in a PPR format seems like a low bar to clear, since he has been promoted to the starting lineup in Week 6, he's averaged more points per week than Dallas Goedert or George Kittle. He's been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season for Denver.
Recommendation: With Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews representing the clear first-tier at the position, Dulcich joins Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and T.J. Hockenson as a viable "set it and forget it" option for an incredibly thin position. He's worth a $5-$7 bid in 12-team formats or larger as a weekly streamer.
Juwan Johnson (3 percent rostered) - Johnson is more of a dart-throw than Dulcich, but his 20-point performance against the Arizona Cardinals definitely caught my eye. New Orleans is without several of their key receivers, most notably Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, forcing Johnson to be a key option for Andy Dalton over the last two weeks. Depending on the health status of the receiving core, Johnson could continue to be a virtually unowned streamer at the position, and he can be acquired for a minimal FAAB bid. New Orleans is set to take on Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh over the next three weeks, three of the worst passing defenses in the league. Monitor practice reports to gauge his involvement.
Recommendation: A lack of talent at tight end coupled with an insanely favorable schedule make Johnson a worthwhile consideration at TE over the short-term. He can be added for a minimum bid, and should be available in nearly all formats.