The “Bye Week Gauntlet” marches on this week and things are about to get worse. Week 8 is the second of five weeks with four or more teams on a bye. Here are the teams on bye for Week 8:
FFStatistics Waiver Wire: Week 8
This article was developed to provide actionable advice for rosters and leagues of all sizes. At the conclusion of each section, there will be a “Next Player Up” that includes quick hitters on deeper league/dynasty league targets.
Jalen Richard, RB Oakland Raiders
Big news coming down at the end of last week was Marshawn Lynch dealing with a long-term injury. This means things should be looking up for Jalen Richard who was already handing over 30% of the RB snaps and has averaged eight opportunities (rushes + targets = opportunities) per game. Considering Richard’s stature (5-8, 205 lbs.), we should not expect 20 touches per game, but we can anticipate around 15 opportunities per game while Lynch is out.
ESPN Ownership: 17.1%
Yahoo Ownership: 20%
Marlon Mack, RB Indianapolis Colts
Giving Mack the time to heal and allowing him to work back slowly was the right choice. Mack appears to be taking over the Colts backfield and making Nyheim Hines irrelevant. In Mack’s two previous games he averaged 13 opportunities per game. Week 7 ended with Mack having 22 total opportunities (19-126-1 rushing and 2-33-1 receiving, on three targets). The outlier in this equation is if it was merely the match-up against the Bills or if this will be the new norm for the Colts offense.
ESPN Ownership: 53.9%
Yahoo Ownership: 55%
Ito Smith, RB Atlanta Falcons
Last week I finally moved Smith off of the “honorable mention” list and he became one of the hottest pickups in fantasy football with Devonta Freeman going to IR. As mentioned previously, Smith has shown everything I need to see. Smith’s snap count continues to rise in Freeman’s absence, involved at the goal line, and out-touched Tevin Coleman in Week 6. Smith is quietly overtaking the primary running back role from Coleman and is the running back to own in this backfield. Also, please make sure to read the Fantasy Football Rushing Report on the Atlanta Falcons by Jesse Reeves for an in-depth look at this total backfield.
ESPN Ownership: 45.7%
Yahoo Ownership: 54%
Christian Kirk, WR Arizona Cardinals
Change is coming for the Cardinals offense and Kirk will benefit for more creative playcalling. In every game since Week 2, Kirk has at least four targets and has the 49ers, Chiefs, and Raiders coming up on his schedule. Kirk may not be a weekly winner, but he will give you consistent production out of your WR2 or flex spots.
ESPN Ownership: 18.4%
Yahoo Ownership: 26%
Tyrell Williams, WR L.A. Chargers
Williams has finished the last two weeks with long receptions (75 yards and 48 yards). The targets are not voluminous, but he is getting three to five targets a week and has shown the ability to make the most of them. Williams will be a pickup and hold player since the Chargers are on bye for Week 8.
ESPN Ownership: 8.4%
Yahoo Ownership: 15%
Raheem Mostert, RB San Francisco 49ers
From Arian Foster in Houston to Isaiah Crowell in Cleveland and even resurrecting Carlos Hyde in San Francisco, Kyle Shanahan knows how to manufacture productive NFL RBs. Unfortunately, Matt Breida’s health is questionable, at best, but now we get to look towards Raheem Mostert. During Week 7 Mostert stepped in for the ailing Breida for 79 all-purpose yards (59 rushing and 19 receiving), which is his second week in a row of 79 scrimmage yards, and flashed ability in the receiving game. Moving forward, even if Breida comes back, Mostert has earned a larger role in a 49ers offense featuring George Kittle, Marquise Goodwin, and little else.
ESPN Ownership: 3.9%
Yahoo Ownership: 12%
Danny Amendola, WR Miami Dolphins
Lost in the Albert Wilson Week 6 explosion was the high target volume game of Amendola (11 targets). Now we have Albert Wilson possibly done for the season. We will not make the same mistake twice after another solid performance (6-84-1 on seven targets) and a target share of 17.9% going into Week 7. If you are in a PPR league Amendola is an autostart as a WR2 or flex option during tough bye weeks.
ESPN Ownership: 24.4%
Yahoo Ownership: 10%
Wendell Smallwood, RB Philadelphia Eagles
Planting a flag on ambiguous backfields can be tough, but the Eagles backfield has shown us enough. Over the last four weeks, Smallwood has out snapped Clement and out-touched Clement the last two weeks.
ESPN Ownership: 43.6%
Yahoo Ownership: 50%
Kenjon Barner, RB New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are running out of bodies in the backfield and Sony Michel is the latest victim. Too much information has come out yet, but early speculation is a multi-week injury (meniscus tear on his already degenerative left knee). The Patriots have shown before they don’t need a bell-cow running back, but we should be ready for the next man up. Another name to monitor in this backfield should be Kenneth Farrow for deep dynasty leagues.
ESPN Ownership: .1%
Yahoo Ownership: 1%
Mitchell Trubisky, QB Chicago Bears
Truthbisky has been on fire his last three games. In Trubisky’s last three match-ups he has thrown for over 300 passing yards, two or more touchdowns, and rushed for over 45 yards. Trubisky’s match-ups don’t get much hard over the next several weeks either. The Bears face the New York Jets in Week 8, who allowed 241 passing yards and two touchdowns to Kirk Cousins, and the Buffalo Bills who allowed
ESPN Ownership: 51.1%
Yahoo Ownership: 52%
Doug Martin, RB Oakland Raiders
Fantasy football doesn’t need to be hard. Similar to Jalen Richard, Martin has an opportunity with Lynch missing time. With the Raiders averaging almost 32 running back opportunities per game, the Raiders will likely call on Martin for a larger role.
ESPN Ownership: 17.2%
Yahoo Ownership: 23%
With the end of the season, fast approaching I want to change the honorable mentions and recommend acquiring key back-ups to your studs or key back-ups to other teams stud running back. Having a surplus of these lottery ticket running backs on your bench allows you to be more flexible with your roster decisions and stay ahead of the weekly waiver wire grind.
As always please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @TimNFL.