Deshaun Watson is healthy and has the potential to be a top-five fantasy football player, but he’s =been sitting on waiver wires in most leagues this year. We all know why, but with the NFL’s trade deadline looming and Watson trade rumors heating up, it’s likely that the star QB will be among the top Week 8 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Fortunately, there are some players who are actually, you know, playing who are worth picking up this week, too. Miles Sanders-backup Kenneth Gainwell and Davante Adams’ “handcuff” Allen Lazard will probably require claims, but most of this week’s pickups will be targeted as free agents after waivers clear around 4-5 a.m. ET on Wednesday mornings in Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Our full free agent list features more worthwhile pickups and stashes, such as Rashod Bateman, Boston Scott, Russell Gage, C.J. Uzomah, and Michael Gallup, but most of the value can be found at the end of the list where we feature a host of potential Week 8 streamers at QB, WR, TE, and D/ST. Also, if you’re wondering whether you should drop Justin Tucker during his bye week, you can get the answer and find a replacement with the help of our Week 8 kicker rankings.
MORE WEEK 8: Full waiver list
Gainwell will likely cost you a top waiver claim, but it’s possible you could get Scott for free if you’re quick enough. Depending on your situation (low waiver claim, trying to save the top spot), you might want to go that route since Scott actually had more carries than Gainwell last week and we know the Eagles barely run the ball with their RBs. The Adams COVID news probably means Lazard will cost a waiver claim, too. It’s possible someone goes all-in on Watson, but given the uncertainty surrounding his situation, there’s really no need to. Bateman is on bye this week, so he’s probably not worth a claim either.
Ultimately, this will primarily be another big free agent week. Only a couple owners should bother with waivers, especially with just two teams on bye this week (Ravens, Raiders). Unless injuries really have you desperate, you can probably fill the holes with a free agent, as very few players stand out above others.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 8
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans. Many expect Watson to be traded by the Nov. 2 trade deadline, with the Dolphins or Panthers as the most likely landing spots. It’s unclear if he’ll actually be able to play, as the NFL hasn’t yet ruled on his availability because he’s been on the Texans’ exempt list this whole season. Until the NFL says something, Watson will be eligible to play right away, so he could have value as soon as Week 9. Of course, he could just easily not see the field at all this year. We know the talent Watson has, so he’s worth stashing just in case. Even if you don’t need him, it’s not a bad idea to keep him off someone else’s team.
Allen Lazard, WR, Packers. Lazard is coming off his best game of the season, catching five-of-six targets for 60 yards and a TD. He figures to the Packers “No. 1 receiver” against the Cardinals in Week 8 after Davante Adams was placed on the COVID list. Even after Thursday’s game, Lazard has plenty of value, as he’ll be getting three straight favorable matchups (Chiefs, Seahawks, Vikings) in Weeks 9-11.
MORE WEEK 8: Full waiver list
Rashaad Penny RB, Seahawks. Penny (calf) came off the IR on Monday and ran six times for nine yards. The lack of production mixed with Alex Collins’ 16 carries is obviously a discouraging sign, but it’s possible Penny sees more playing time next week against the Jaguars. Collins also struggled (35 yards), so his groin injury might have been bothering him. Either way, Penny is worth grabbing as a free agent and stashing on the chance he sees more work next week.
Boston Scott, RB, Eagles. Scott actually received two more carries (7) than Kenneth Gainwell after Miles Sanders (ankle) exited early on Sunday. Scott totaled 29 total yards on eight touches and scored on a short TD run. Gainwell had just nine touches, but he saw eight targets and had 61 total yards. If Sanders misses next week, it’s possible Scott is as involved as Gainwell. As it stands, we think Gainwell will get more playing time, especially if the game is relatively close. Scott took advantage of garbage time in Week 7 and can certainly do it again, which gives him value in PPR leagues, so he’s still worth adding on the chance he plays more than we think in a highly favorable matchup against the Lions.
Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys. Gallup (calf) is expected to return from the IR in Week 8. He hasn’t played since Week 1, but we know he can be an explosive part of the Cowboys’ high-powered offense. He’s worth having on your bench as a possible WR3/flex value going forward, especially in Week 8 against Minnesota.
For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including top pickups Kenneth Gainwell, Russell Gage, Rashod Bateman, and more streaming options, check out our full Week 8 list.