Before we get to the heart of today's newsletter -- the top waiver-wire targets for Week 8 and the first look at my rankings for this week, let's quickly catch up on some of the news you need to know from the past 24 hours, beginning with what is looking like a big absence from Thursday Night Football:

The big news

  • Davante Adams is on the reserve/COVID-19 list -- There's a very slim chance Adams could be cleared to play Thursday, but he would need to return two negative tests at least 24 hours apart ahead of the game, and that is assuming he has no symptoms following his positive test. You should operate under the assumption that you won't have Adams available for Thursday's game against the Cardinals. 
  • Nick Chubb (calf) is expected to play this week -- Chubb returned to practice Monday and should make his return from a two-game absence if he can avoid setbacks. D'Ernest Johnson was one of the surprise stars of Week 7, rushing for 146 yards, but will likely serve as Chubb's backup in this one. What will be interesting to see is if Johnson takes over Kareem Hunt's role for the next few weeks, because he could still have Fantasy relevance that way. Chubb is a borderline No. 1 RB for this week against the Steelers, while Johnson is more of a desperation play unless we get some kind of confirmation on his role. 
  • Zach Wilson is out 2-4 weeks with a sprained PCL -- The Jets traded for Joe Flacco on Monday, presumably to be the starter ahead of Mike White. We'll see if Flacco can get up to speed quickly enough to start in Week 8, because he would surely provide a steadier hand than White, a 2018 fifth-rounder who appeared in his first NFL game last week. This is going to continue to be an ugly offense no matter who is in there, but Flacco could be good news for Michael Carter coming off a nine-target breakout game. 
  • Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) will return to practice this week -- Taylor has been out since suffering the injury in Week 2 is clearly close to returning. Hopefully the Texans will put him back into the starting lineup, because, while he obviously isn't the future of the position for them, the Texans scored more touchdowns on offense in a game and a half with Taylor at QB (five) than they have in five and a half since (four). Unless they really think Davis Mills has some heretofore untapped potential, starting a healthy Taylor is the right choice. 
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) will be re-evaluated in two weeks -- Fitzpatrick is set for an MRI in two weeks to determine if he will be able to return from his hip injury. At this point, Taylor Heinicke looks like he's going to be the Football Team's starting QB for the foreseeable future, if not the rest of the season. 

For more on what will be another busy week for Fantasy, make sure you tune in to Fantasy Football Today on CBS Sports HQ at noon ET, and for help locking in your waiver-wire claims join Jamey, Adam Aizer, and me on the FFT YouTube stream tonight at 8 p.m., where we'll be taking your questions live for an hour. If you've got any questions before then, as always, you can email me at Chris.Towers@CBSi.com with the subject line "#AskFFT" to be included this week -- including in tomorrow's trade mailbag. 

And here's what we've got on tap in today's newsletter: 

  • ➕Top Week 8 Waiver Wire Targets
  • 📈Week 8 Rankings📉

Top Week 8 waiver wire targets

Hopefully, this week's waiver options will be able to make an impact, and there are a few who certainly have the opportunity. You can find Jamey's entire breakdown here. We're gonna need the help: 

Jamey Eisenberg's top targets

  1. Kenneth Gainwell (46% rostered) -- Gainwell has been the primary backup to Miles Sanders this season, which makes him the likeliest player to step up in Sanders' expected absence. The Eagles trust him in the passing game and have showed faith in him near the end zone, which points to solid upside in a larger role, even if he is likely to split time. 
  2. Boston Scott (2%) -- Scott played 20 snaps in the second half Sunday, compared to 22 for Gainwell, and actually had more carries -- including a goal-line touchdown. If Sanders is out, Scott is going to have a role, and it's fair to wonder if he might not end up seeing more touches than Gainwell. If you don't want to drop what Gainwell will likely cost on FAB, Scott is a sneaky alternative. 
  3. Allen Lazard (8%) -- With Adams likely out, Lazard is worth a look coming off a five-catch, 60-yard game with a touchdown. He's been less involved this year than he was last year, but seems most well-equipped among the team's available options to step up in Adams' absence. Randall Cobb should also see an increased role and is an interesting PPR option if you need help. 
  4. Carson Wentz (62%) -- Wentz has multiple touchdowns in four straight and hasn't thrown an interception since Week 2, so he's enjoying a nice bounce-back season -- he has even matched his career high in yards per attempt so far. His volume remains pretty low, but with a matchup against a vulnerable Texans secondary, he should be in line for a solid game. I've got him as a top-12 QB this week. 
  5. C.J. Uzombah (45%) -- If you're looking for a Dawson Knox replacement, Uzomah is filling a similar role in the Bengals offense, with five touchdowns in his last four games. He's about as touchdown-or-bust-y as they come, but this is a pretty good offense to be chasing that with, especially against the Jets. 

📈Week 8 rankings📉

Here's where things stand for me in my first run through of the Week 8 rankings for PPR leagues. You can find Jamey, Dave, and Heath's rankings right here:


Week 8 is, thankfully, much easier to navigate at quarterback for Fantasy Football. While we have Josh Allen, Hustin Herbert, Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, Ben Roethlisberger, and Trevor Lawrence on byes, this week, it's only Lamar Jackson and Derek Carr. I don't mean to minimize the absence of those players for those of use who have to deal with them, but there are just a lot fewer of us impacted this week.

That means the need for streamers isn't as great this week. If you do need one, I think the top choice is probably Carson Wentz, who is quietly enjoying a nice little breakout season here. He has multiple touchdowns without an interception in four straight games and now gets an excellent matchup against the Titans, who — Week 7 aside — have been pretty bad against the pass dating to last season.

  1. Josh Allen vs. MIA
  2. Patrick Mahomes vs. NYG
  3. Kyler Murray vs. GB
  4. Tom Brady @NO
  5. Jalen Hurts @DET
  6. Justin Herbert vs. NE
  7. Dak Prescott @MIN
  8. Matthew Stafford @HOU
  9. Kirk Cousins vs. DAL
  10. Joe Burrow @NYJ
  11. Matt Ryan vs. CAR
  12. Carson Wentz vs. TEN
  13. Ryan Tannehill @IND
  14. Tua Tagovailoa @BUF
  15. Aaron Rodgers @ARI
  16. Trevor Lawrence @SEA
  17. Daniel Jones @KC
  18. Taylor Heinicke @DEN
  19. Teddy Bridgewater vs. WAS
  20. Sam Darnold @ATL
  21. Jameis Winston vs. TB
  22. Jared Goff vs. PHI
  23. Ben Roethlisberger @CLE
  24. Jimmy Garoppolo @CHI

Running backs

Kenneth Gainwell is going to be one of the most sought after players on waivers in Week 8 for Fantasy Football, but does he need to be a high priority if you're looking for immediate help? 

I've got him ranked as RB20 for this week's matchup against the Lions, so I'd say yes. I'm not sure Gainwell is going to have a huge role running the ball -- Boston Scott actually saw more work as a runner after Miles Sanders' injury in Week 7 -- which makes him a little risky to trust  without that floor. However, in the Eagles offense, the running backs haven't actually been used as runners very often, so I'm not sure that floor would be there even if Scott wasn't around. 

What makes Gainwell such an intriguing Fantasy option with Sanders out is his potential in the passing game. He ran 17 routes on his 22 snaps in the second half and should be a focal point in the passing game against a Lions team that has allowed six touchdowns in seven games to running backs as receivers. Gainwell is an RB2 in PPR leagues, while Scott is more like a fringe RB3, though with some decent upside in this matchup. 

  1. Derrick Henry @IND
  2. Najee Harris @CLE
  3. Alvin Kamara vs. TB
  4. Ezekiel Elliott @MIN
  5. Dalvin Cook vs. DAL
  6. Austin Ekeler vs. NE
  7. D'Andre Swift vs. PHI
  8. Aaron Jones @ARI
  9. Cordarrelle Patterson vs. CAR
  10. Leonard Fournette @NO
  11. James Robinson @SEA
  12. Darrell Henderson @HOU
  13. Nick Chubb vs. PIT
  14. Jonathan Taylor vs. TEN
  15. Joe Mixon @NYJ
  16. Antonio Gibson @DEN
  17. Devontae Booker @KC
  18. Chuba Hubbard @ATL
  19. Darrel Williams vs. NYG
  20. Kenneth Gainwell @DET
  21. Michael Carter vs. CIN
  22. Chase Edmonds vs. GB
  23. Khalil Herbert vs. LAR
  24. Elijah Mitchell @CHI
  25. Zack Moss vs. MIA
  26. Damien Harris @LAC
  27. Melvin Gordon vs. WAS
  28. Javonte Williams vs. WAS
  29. Myles Gaskin @BUF
  30. James Conner vs. GB
  31. Alex Collins vs. JAX
  32. J.D. McKissic @DEN
  33. Tony Pollard @MIN
  34. Mike Davis vs. CAR
  35. Devin Singletary vs. MIA
  36. D'Ernest Johnson vs. PIT
  37. Jamaal Williams vs. PHI
  38. Brandon Bolden @LAC
  39. Damien Williams vs. LAR
  40. AJ Dillon @ARI
  41. David Johnson vs. LAR
  42. Boston Scott @DET
  43. Ty Johnson vs. CIN
  44. Nyheim Hines vs. TEN
  45. Alexander Mattison vs. DAL
  46. Jerick McKinnon vs. NYG
  47. Jeremy McNichols @IND
  48. Mark Ingram vs. LAR

Wide receivers

Davante Adams was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, which comes at an especially bad time with the Packers set to face the Cardinals on Thursday night, given the league protocols around COVID-19 testing. Adams could be cleared to play in time for the game, assuming he doesn't have any symptoms related to his positive test, however he would need to have two negative tests at least 24 hours apart to be clear. That means the first would have to come no later than Wednesday afternoon. If he is symptomatic, Adams doesn't have enough time to be cleared, it would seem.

That means it looks pretty unlikely the Packers will have their No. 1 WR available for Thursday's game. Bad news for them, bad news for Fantasy players, especially since there just isn't anyone in the Packers offense we can feel particularly confident will step up. If you're desperate for a Week 8 starter, Allen Lazard is probably the best option -- he's Jamey's top WR target on waivers this week -- while Randall Cobb could see an increased role and might have some appeal as a low-end starter in PPR leagues. 

  1. Cooper Kupp @HOU
  2. Tyreek Hill vs. NYG
  3. Stefon Diggs vs. MIA
  4. Justin Jefferson vs. DAL
  5. Ja'Marr Chase @NYJ
  6. Deebo Samuel @CHI
  7. A.J. Brown @IND
  8. Diontae Johnson @CLE
  9. Terry McLaurin @DEN
  10. Mike Williams vs. NE
  11. Keenan Allen vs. NE
  12. D.J. Moore @ATL
  13. Calvin Ridley vs. CAR
  14. Chris Godwin @NO
  15. CeeDee Lamb @MIN
  16. Mike Evans @NO
  17. Amari Cooper @MIN
  18. Brandin Cooks vs. LAR
  19. Courtland Sutton vs. WAS
  20. Robert Woods @HOU
  21. DeAndre Hopkins vs. GB
  22. Michael Pittman vs. TEN
  23. Tee Higgins @NYJ
  24. Jaylen Waddle @BUF
  25. DeVonta Smith @DET
  26. Chase Claypool @CLE
  27. Marvin Jones @SEA
  28. Adam Thielen vs. DAL
  29. Emmanuel Sanders vs. MIA
  30. D.K. Metcalf vs. JAX
  31. Jakobi Meyers @LAC
  32. Allen Lazard @ARI
  33. Cole Beasley vs. MIA
  34. Jamison Crowder vs. CIN
  35. Corey Davis vs. CIN
  36. Randall Cobb @ARI
  37. Darius Slayton @KC
  38. Laviska Shenault @SEA
  39. Jarvis Landry vs. PIT
  40. DeVante Parker @BUF
  41. Darnell Mooney vs. LAR
  42. Julio Jones @IND
  43. Robby Anderson @ATL
  44. Mecole Hardman vs. NYG
  45. Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. PHI
  46. Russell Gage vs. CAR
  47. Tyler Lockett vs. JAX
  48. A.J. Green vs. GB

Tight ends

Kyle Pitts is the No. 2 tight end for Week 8 with Mark Andrews and Darren Waller on a bye, but it's worth asking whether or not he should be considered the No. 2 TE for Fantasy Football moving forward. He's fifth in Fantasy points per game in PPR leagues, but that is with just one touchdown so far -- every other player ahead of him has at least three. He actually leads the position in receiving yards per game at 78.5 and is currently on pace for 87 catches and 1,335 yards, so the touchdowns are the only place he's falling short.

And those should come. He's running the majority of his routes either out of the slot or split out wide, and he leads the league in average depth of target per target at the position, and there should be more scoring opportunities coming in the future. Pitts is already an elite Fantasy tight end. And he might just be the top guy by 2022. 

  1. Travis Kelce vs. NYG
  2. Kyle Pitts vs. CAR
  3. T.J. Hockenson vs. PHI
  4. Dalton Schultz @MIN
  5. Mike Gesicki @BUF
  6. Dallas Goedert @DET
  7. Noah Fant vs. WAS
  8. Jared Cook vs. NE
  9. Ricky Seals-Jones @DEN
  10. Tyler Higbee @HOU
  11. Hunter Henry @LAC
  12. Zach Ertz vs. GB
  13. Evan Engram @KC
  14. Dan Arnold @SEA
  15. Tyler Conklin vs. DAL
  16. Robert Tonyan @ARI
  17. Cole Kmet vs. LAR
  18. David Njoku vs. PIT
  19. Austin Hooper vs. PIT
  20. Pat Freiermuth @CLE
  21. Mo Alie-Cox vs. TEN
  22. Anthony Firkser @IND
  23. Tommy Sweeny vs. MIA
  24. Gerald Everett vs. JAX

Top 150 flex rankings

  1. Derrick Henry @IND
  2. Najee Harris @CLE
  3. Alvin Kamara vs. TB
  4. Cooper Kupp @HOU
  5. Tyreek Hill vs. NYG
  6. Ezekiel Elliott @MIN
  7. Dalvin Cook vs. DAL
  8. Travis Kelce vs. NYG
  9. Stefon Diggs vs. MIA
  10. Justin Jefferson vs. DAL
  11. Ja'Marr Chase @NYJ
  12. Austin Ekeler vs. NE
  13. Deebo Samuel @CHI
  14. D'Andre Swift vs. PHI
  15. Aaron Jones @ARI
  16. Cordarrelle Patterson vs. CAR
  17. Leonard Fournette @NO
  18. James Robinson @SEA
  19. A.J. Brown @IND
  20. Diontae Johnson @CLE
  21. Darrell Henderson @HOU
  22. Terry McLaurin @DEN
  23. Mike Williams vs. NE
  24. Keenan Allen vs. NE
  25. D.J. Moore @ATL
  26. Calvin Ridley vs. CAR
  27. Chris Godwin @NO
  28. CeeDee Lamb @MIN
  29. Nick Chubb vs. PIT
  30. Jonathan Taylor vs. TEN
  31. Mike Evans @NO
  32. Amari Cooper @MIN
  33. Brandin Cooks vs. LAR
  34. Kyle Pitts vs. CAR
  35. Courtland Sutton vs. WAS
  36. Robert Woods @HOU
  37. Joe Mixon @NYJ
  38. DeAndre Hopkins vs. GB
  39. Michael Pittman vs. TEN
  40. Antonio Gibson @DEN
  41. Tee Higgins @NYJ
  42. Darrel Williams vs. NYG
  43. Devontae Booker @KC
  44. Jaylen Waddle @BUF
  45. Chuba Hubbard @ATL
  46. Kenneth Gainwell @DET
  47. DeVonta Smith @DET
  48. Chase Claypool @CLE
  49. Marvin Jones @SEA
  50. Michael Carter vs. CIN
  51. T.J. Hockenson vs. PHI
  52. Adam Thielen vs. DAL
  53. Emmanuel Sanders vs. MIA
  54. D.K. Metcalf vs. JAX
  55. Chase Edmonds vs. GB
  56. Khalil Herbert vs. LAR
  57. Jakobi Meyers @LAC
  58. Elijah Mitchell @CHI
  59. Allen Lazard @ARI
  60. Cole Beasley vs. MIA
  61. Zack Moss vs. MIA
  62. Damien Harris @LAC
  63. Dalton Schultz @MIN
  64. Melvin Gordon vs. WAS
  65. Jamison Crowder vs. CIN
  66. Mike Gesicki @BUF
  67. Javonte Williams vs. WAS
  68. Myles Gaskin @BUF
  69. Dallas Goedert @DET
  70. Noah Fant vs. WAS
  71. Corey Davis vs. CIN
  72. Randall Cobb @ARI
  73. Darius Slayton @KC
  74. James Conner vs. GB
  75. Alex Collins vs. JAX
  76. Laviska Shenault @SEA
  77. Jarvis Landry vs. PIT
  78. DeVante Parker @BUF
  79. Darnell Mooney vs. LAR
  80. Julio Jones @IND
  81. Robby Anderson @ATL
  82. J.D. McKissic @DEN
  83. Tony Pollard @MIN
  84. Mike Davis vs. CAR
  85. Devin Singletary vs. MIA
  86. Mecole Hardman vs. NYG
  87. Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. PHI
  88. Russell Gage vs. CAR
  89. D'Ernest Johnson vs. PIT
  90. Tyler Lockett vs. JAX
  91. A.J. Green vs. GB
  92. Christian Kirk vs. GB
  93. Rondale Moore vs. GB
  94. Jamaal Williams vs. PHI
  95. Allen Robinson vs. LAR
  96. Brandon Bolden @LAC
  97. Odell Beckham vs. PIT
  98. Damien Williams vs. LAR
  99. Tyler Boyd @NYJ
  100. Jared Cook vs. NE
  101. AJ Dillon @ARI
  102. Marquez Callaway vs. TB
  103. David Johnson vs. LAR
  104. Boston Scott @DET
  105. Ricky Seals-Jones @DEN
  106. Dante Pettis @KC
  107. Ty Johnson vs. CIN
  108. Tyler Higbee @HOU
  109. Hunter Henry @LAC
  110. Zach Ertz vs. GB
  111. K.J. Osborn vs. DAL
  112. Elijah Moore vs. CIN
  113. Evan Engram @KC
  114. Nelson Agholor @LAC
  115. Dan Arnold @SEA
  116. Brandon Aiyuk @CHI
  117. Nyheim Hines vs. TEN
  118. Tyler Conklin vs. DAL
  119. Alexander Mattison vs. DAL
  120. Tim Patrick vs. WAS
  121. Robert Tonyan @ARI
  122. Jamal Agnew @SEA
  123. Cole Kmet vs. LAR
  124. Jerick McKinnon vs. NYG
  125. Jeremy McNichols @IND
  126. Van Jefferson @HOU
  127. Mark Ingram vs. LAR
  128. Deonte Harris vs. TB
  129. Jalen Reagor @DET
  130. David Njoku vs. PIT
  131. Quez Watkins @DET
  132. Terrace Marshall @ATL
  133. Danny Amendola vs. LAR
  134. Zach Pascal vs. TEN
  135. Austin Hooper vs. PIT
  136. Dyami Brown @DEN
  137. Adam Humphries @DEN
  138. Kendrick Bourne @LAC
  139. Pat Freiermuth @CLE
  140. Nico Collins vs. LAR
  141. Demarcus Robinson vs. NYG
  142. Kenny Stills vs. TB
  143. Mo Alie-Cox vs. TEN
  144. Sony Michel @HOU
  145. Anthony Firkser @IND
  146. Deejay Dallas vs. JAX
  147. Gabriel Davis vs. MIA
  148. Olamide Zaccheaus vs. CAR
  149. Giovani Bernard @NO
  150. Mohamed Sanu @CHI

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