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Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Football: Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups

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Fantasy Football: Waiver Wire Pickup For Week 8

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With seven weeks of the NFL schedule nearly in the rearview mirror, we are now essentially halfway through the fantasy football season. For owners that still have hopes of contending for a league title, well-placed waiver wire additions still matter a lot. Even for those who are not realistic contenders in their league, sometimes playing spoiler and preventing a rival owner from getting a player can be more than worth it.

Week 8 is the first of two straight weeks with six teams on a bye, with the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans idle. So only the rarest fantasy owner will not be affected by having a player idle over the next two weeks, even if it’s just having to find a fill-in for a kicker or team defense that has the week off.

As usual I have attempted to focus on players who are available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues with this week’s waiver wire recommendations, with only rare exceptions to that rule. I also attempt to unearth new players each week, or at least avoid using any of the same players in back-to-back weeks, with only rare exceptions there as well. Players I recommended one week may still fit the criteria for my list and be worth adding in subsequent weeks, but I like to find new players for fantasy owners to consider each week. At a certain point there are diminishing returns in checking a list of waiver wire recommendations from a previous week, but taking a look at say, Week 7’s list this week could be beneficial depending on your situation.

Without further ado, let’s get to what everyone is here for-my “Waiver Wire Pickups” for Week 8.

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Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans

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Locker returned to action on Sunday after missing the previous two games with a right hip issue, and he threw for 326 yards with two touchdowns and one interception along with 29 rushing yards against the San Francisco 49ers. The Titans have a bye in Week 8, as previously mentioned, but after that some favorable-looking matchups will come in Week 9 (St. Louis Rams), Week 10 (Jacksonville Jaguars), Week 12 (Oakland Raiders) and Week 14 (Denver Broncos). Owners that seek a QB2 in 12 and 14-team leagues can consider Locker a worthy roster stash for this week.

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Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Glennon went 26-for-44 for 256 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, and he now has 529 passing yards with four touchdowns and one interception over the last two games. The next two weeks bring matchups with the two teams that entered Week 7 as the stingiest in terms of fantasy points allowed (ESPN scoring) to opposing quarterbacks (Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks), but after that things get easier with the Miami Dolphins (Week 10), a rematch with the Falcons (Week 11) and the Detroit Lions (Week 12) on the slate. Glennon is not likely to turn into an elite fantasy quarterback over the rest of his rookie season, but he belongs on the radar as a low-end QB2 in 12 and 14-team leagues.

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Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys

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Randle was a popular waiver wire pickup last week after DeMarco Murray suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee, and he had 19 carries for 65 yards and three catches for 28 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. With Murray’s status for Week 8 and beyond unclear, Randle is in line to at least be a factor in Dallas’ running back rotation going forward. Four of the Cowboys’ next five opponents entered Week 7 in the bottom half of the league against opposing running backs (ESPN scoring), including two in the bottom 10 against the position (Week 8-Detroit Lions, Week 9-Minnesota Vikings). Randle is owned in just over half of Yahoo! leagues (52 percent) right now, but be sure to check your own league to see if he is available.

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Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets

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Ivory had 34 carries for 104 yards against the New England Patriots in Week 7, and he had 35 total touches to Bilal Powell’s three in the game. Powell is not thought to be injured, but Ivory is back on the fantasy radar as at least part of a backfield timeshare going forward. There are no particularly favorable matchups on the Jets’ upcoming schedule, but any running back that is trending upward in workload and production at this point in the season becomes a viable waiver wire addition and Ivory is that guy for this week.

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Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys

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Williams had six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, and he now has 19 receptions over the last four games with at least 71 yards in three of those four contests as well as a touchdown in each of the last three games. Miles Austin looks to be a complete non-factor at this point, no matter if he’s healthy or not, so Williams’ role as the starter opposite Dez Bryant seems to be cemented. The rookie out of Baylor is still owned in less than half of Yahoo! leagues, but I expect that to change as the week goes on.

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Jarrett Boykin, WR, Green Bay Packers

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The Packers were without Randall Cobb (leg) and James Jones (knee) on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, which gave Boykin a chance to step into a significant role. He did not disappoint, with eight receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets from Aaron Rodgers. Even if Jones returns to action as soon as next week against the Minnesota Vikings, Boykin should still see plenty of action going forward and is worth adding in 12 and 14-team leagues.

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Rob Housler, TE, Arizona Cardinals

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Housler had seven receptions for 53 yards against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7, and he now has 11 catches on 12 targets over the last two games despite Carson Palmer’s poor performance under center. On the slate for Week 8 is a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, who entered Week 7 having allowed the seventh most fantasy points to opposing tight ends (10.2 per game, ESPN scoring) prior to allowing just three catches to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ tight ends on Sunday. Housler’s upside is limited by the ineptitude of Arizona’s offense, but I think he is usable in deep leagues as a bye week fill-in for Week 8.

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Shaun Suisham, K, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Suisham went 4-for-4 on field goals and made his lone extra point attempt on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, which matched his production from the previous week and he has at least nine points (ESPN scoring) in each of his last four games (13-for-13 on field goals). Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders and Week 9 against the New England Patriots are not overly favorable matchups, but the Buffalo Bills (Week 10) and the Detroit Lions (Week 11) both came into Week 7 in the bottom five of the league against opposing kickers (ESPN scoring). Suisham has no indoor or warm weather games when the elements will become an increasing factor in November and December, but the fact he has already had his bye week makes him worth adding in 12-team leagues.

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Atlanta Falcons Defense

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Atlanta’s defense has only forced one turnover in their last three games, but they made it count as safety Thomas DeCoud returned a fumble for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. They have posted double-digit fantasy points (ESPN scoring) in just two of six games this season, but with a good matchup coming against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8 things are lined up for the Falcons to have their best defensive performance of the season. Cardinals’ quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown multiple interceptions in five straight games and at least one in every game this season (13 total), and he has been sacked 20 times this season as well. The Falcons are not about to become a top-notch fantasy defense long-term, but owners that need a one-week play in Week 8 can do a lot worse./p>

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Cleveland Browns Defense

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The Browns have allowed 31 points and over 350 yards of offense to both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers in their last two games, and they have just two sacks and one forced turnover over that span. But brighter days are ahead with the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens on the schedule in Week 8 and Week 9, and the Cleveland defense had posted 42 fantasy points (ESPN scoring) over their three games prior to Week 7 against the Lions. This unit is currently available in 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and I expect they will be a good option from here on with two tough matchups behind them now.