Waiver Wire: Not enough to go around
Six teams on a bye in Week 8 and Brett Favre and Tony Romo banged up doesn't leave owners with very many options under center. Jamey Eisenberg has some suggestions in his Playing the Waiver Wire.
We were already missing a handful of standout quarterbacks for Week 8 with six teams on a bye. But thanks to Giants linebacker Michael Boley, at least one more Fantasy owner in every league is looking for a quarterback this week.
On Monday night, Boley knocked out Dallas quarterback Tony Romo (collarbone) for what could be six weeks. It was already a rough week for quarterbacks with Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Eli Manning and Michael Vick/Kevin Kolb off (Colt McCoy is also on a bye), but now every league will likely have a couple of transactions at the quarterback spot.
Good thing there are some quality passers available.
The quarterbacks you want to add for this week based on recent play or favorable matchups in Week 8 include Chad Henne (68 percent ownership on CBSSports.com), Matthew Stafford (52 percent), Josh Freeman (37 percent), Ryan Fitzpatrick (19 percent) and Jon Kitna (1 percent). After that group, we would recommend Sam Bradford (60 percent) or Matt Hasselbeck (45 percent) in deeper formats.
And the quarterbacks to avoid this week include David Garrard (30 percent), Max Hall (9 percent), Jason Campbell (7 percent), Matt Moore (6 percent) and Kerry Collins (4 percent). These passers should only be added by the most desparate owners.
Henne is at Cincinnati this week where the Bengals are dealing with several injuries on defense and just allowed Ryan to pass for 299 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Henne is averaging 19 Fantasy points in his past four games with two 300-yard outings and three games with multiple touchdown passes over that span.
Stafford hasn't played since Week 1 with his injured shoulder, but Shaun Hill lit up the scoreboard in his absence with three games with at least 24 Fantasy points in his first four starts. The hope is Stafford can post similar stats, and he has a great matchup at home against the Redskins coming off a bye week.
Freeman continues to be an underrated Fantasy quarterback this year, but he's playing well. In six games, he has just two with less than 17 Fantasy points. He's making plays throwing and running the ball heading into his matchup at Arizona, and the Cardinals have allowed three quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdown passes in six games.
We all watched in surprise as Fitzpatrick tore apart the Ravens last week for 374 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, but it shouldn't be so shocking. In four starts, Fitzpatrick has averaged 26 Fantasy points. He faces the improved Chiefs in Week 8, but he is worth using as a starting Fantasy option.
As for Kitna, he played well in relief of Romo with 187 passing yards, two touchdowns and a lost fumble. This week he's facing the Jaguars, who lead the NFL with 17 touchdowns allowed to opposing quarterbacks. The hope is he can connect with Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Roy E. Williams and Dez Bryant enough to post another quality stat line. He should also improve with a week to prepare as the starter, and keep in mind Kitna was once a decent Fantasy quarterback in Cincinnati (2003) and Detroit (2006-07).
Bradford could be useful as a replacement option, but he doesn't have the best matchup in Week 8 against Carolina. The Panthers have only allowed three passing touchdowns in their past four games, and Bradford has averaged just 11 Fantasy points in his past three games. But he's playing at home, and he does have three touchdowns and no interceptions in his past three outings.
Hasselbeck is facing the Raiders this week, and Oakland has allowed two passing touchdowns in each game. Hasselbeck also has two touchdowns and no interceptions in his past two games. But Hasselbeck has just two touchdowns and four interceptions in three road games this year and is still considered a risky starting option.
As for the quarterbacks to avoid, Garrard is coming back from a concussion and has a difficult matchup on the road at Dallas. Hall is also coming off a concussion and has looked shaky in two starts. Campbell is facing a Seattle defense that has allowed just six passing touchdowns in six games. Moore is coming off an incredible game against the 49ers, but he's facing an underrated St. Louis defense on the road. And Collins will likely go back to the bench with Vince Young (48 percent) returning, but Young is also not worth using this week coming back from the knee injury.
Finally, if Brett Favre does miss Week 8 at New England with his injured ankle, Tarvaris Jackson (3 percent) would get the start for the Vikings. He would still be just a No. 2 Fantasy option this week against the Patriots.
In case you haven't noticed ... Davone Bess has scored a touchdown in three straight games and has at least eight Fantasy points in his past four games. Over that span, Bess has 25 catches for 285 yards, and he continues to thrive with all the single coverage he sees thanks to Brandon Marshall. Bess is owned in 59 percent of leagues, but he's playing like a must-start Fantasy option in all formats. He should be owned in every league heading into Week 8 at the Bengals.
Each Tuesday we will highlight players who might be available in your league and whether you should consider picking them up off waivers based on their recent performances. The players chosen are based on the percentage of ownership in CBSSports.com leagues.
Running backs ...Add 'Em
Darren Sproles, San Diego
Owned: 37 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had two carries for 7 yards and nine catches for 70 yards against New England.
Analysis: With all the injuries at wide receiver to the Chargers, the thought going into last week was that Sproles would be used more in the passing game. That's something that should continue in Week 8 against Tennessee, and it also helps that Ryan Mathews continues to struggle. In leagues where receptions count, Sproles is a must-add running back.
Mike Hart, Indianapolis
Owned: 34 percent of leagues
Week 7: Bye week.
Analysis: Joseph Addai (shoulder) and Donald Brown (hamstring) did not practice Monday, which could make Hart the starting running back in Week 8 against Houston. Addai is not expected to play, but Brown could still return. He's owned in just 52 percent of leagues, so continue to monitor his status. But it appears like Hart is going to start for the Colts, and he has 93 rushing yards and a touchdown in his past two games on 22 carries. We would consider Hart a No. 2 Fantasy running back if he's starting against the Texans.
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay
Owned: 15 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had 11 carries for 72 yards against St. Louis.
Analysis: Blount appears headed for the starting role in Tampa Bay with Cadillac Williams likely becoming more of a third-down back. Williams had four carries for 12 yards but eight catches for 34 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. Blount might not average 6.6 yards per carry each week and he only has one touchdown on the season, but based on his play against the Rams and the Bucs lack of a running game, Blount is worth stashing on your bench in case he continues to improve.
Mewelde Moore, Pittsburgh
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had four carries for 11 yards and four catches for 48 yards at Miami.
Analysis: Moore is worth adding in deep leagues where you get a point per reception, but he should not be added in standard formats. He did have more total yards than Rashard Mendenhall (43), but Mendenhall was dealing with cramps toward the end of the game against the Dolphins. That shouldn't be a problem going forward, and Moore also shares carries with Isaac Redman in a reserve role.
Kenneth Darby, St. Louis
Owned: 14 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had four carries for 19 yards and one catch for 19 yards at Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Darby would be considered a must-add Fantasy running back if Steven Jackson (finger) is out, but Jackson is expected to play in Week 8 against Carolina. The Panthers have allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs, and four running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Carolina in six games. In deeper leagues, Darby might get some increased touches with Jackson's injury so plan to add him if you need a flex option this week.
Wide receivers ...Add 'Em
Mike Williams, Seattle
Owned: 65 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had 11 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown against Arizona.
Analysis: Deion Branch gets traded, and Williams takes off. In two games following the Branch trade to New England, Williams has 21 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown. He is a must-add in leagues where receptions count, and it's clear he has become the No. 1 target for Hasselbeck. He doesn't have the greatest matchup in Week 8 at Oakland since he will likely see a lot of Nnamdi Asomugha, but Williams is playing too well right now to consider putting on your bench.
Steve Johnson, Buffalo
Owned: 56 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had eight catches for 158 yards and a touchdown at Baltimore.
Analysis: All Johnson has done is produce, and he continues to improve each week. He has five touchdowns in his past four games and has become the go-to guy for Fitzpatrick. Lee Evans (42 percent) is also worth adding after he scored three touchdowns against the Ravens. Evans has four touchdowns in his past two games and is playing at a high level since the Bills have become a passing team. You want to add Evans and Johnson in all leagues if possible because Fitzpatrick is finding a way to get everyone involved.
Patrick Crayton, San Diego
Owned: 57 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had seven catches for 82 yards against New England.
Analysis: As we told you last week, with Malcom Floyd (hamstring) and Legedu Naanee (hamstring) out, Crayton was going to play well against the Patriots. He is worth adding in all point per reception leagues with 13 catches in his past two games for 199 yards. The Chargers have all but abandoned running the ball, and Crayton will benefit while everyone is injured. Naanee could return in Week 8, but we still like Crayton to perform well.
Danario Alexander, St. Louis
Owned: 22 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had one catch for 6 yards at Tampa Bay.
Analysis: The potential is definitely there for Alexander to be a significant contributor for the Rams, but he will likely be hit or miss every week as he continues to come back from a knee injury. You'll get some big weeks like we saw in Week 6 against the Chargers with four catches for 72 yards and a touchdown and some down games like we saw last week against the Bucs. He's worth stashing in deeper leagues and keeper formats, but you don't need him on your roster in most standard leagues.
Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis
Owned: 18 percent of leagues
Week 7: Bye week.
Analysis: With Austin Collie (thumb) and Dallas Clark (wrist) out, Gonzalez should see a huge boost in value. He's worth adding now in deeper leagues to make sure you own him in case he takes off. But we're also talking about an injury-prone receiver who is dealing with an ankle injury. You might want to wait a week to see how he does before making him a must-add in standard formats. Also keep an eye on Blair White (5 percent) to see how he does in case he sees a bigger boost than Gonzalez until Collie returns.
Jordan Shipley, Cincinnati
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown at Atlanta.
Analysis: Shipley has the potential to be a great slot receiver for the Bengals and is worth owning in keeper leagues and dynasty formats. It will be hard for him to produce at this level all year long with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens on the roster, but Shipley has a promising future. And if he continues to play like this then he will become a must-add, but this was his first NFL touchdown. He also had just 15 catches for 190 yards coming into this game.
David Gettis, Carolina
Owned: 0 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had eight catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns against San Francisco.
Analysis: I want to see him do that again before saying he's a must-add, but the Panthers might have found their answer for a No. 2 wide receiver opposite Steve Smith. Keep in mind that prior to this game Gettis had 10 catches for 119 yards and no touchdowns, and Matt Moore isn't exactly an elite quarterback. If he continues to play at a high level then he would be worth adding in all leagues, but most owners in standard formats should pass on Gettis for Week 8.
Tight ends ...Add 'Em
Owen Daniels, Houston
Owned: 36 percent of leagues
Week 7: Bye week.
Analysis: Daniels is coming up on the year anniversary of his torn ACL, and that should mean he's one step closer to being 100 percent. He might have turned the corner prior to the bye with his Week 6 performance against Kansas City with five catches for 79 yards on seven targets. I'm not suggesting Daniels is back as a must-start Fantasy option, but he's worth stashing on your roster if you're looking for a tight end with upside. Hopefully he can finish the second half of the season on a positive note.
Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit
Owned: 47 percent of leagues
Week 7: Bye week.
Analysis: Pettigrew has been a solid Fantasy option all season with at least eight Fantasy points in his past five games. He had a solid rapport with Hill and he should continue to play well with Stafford back under center. It would be nice if Pettigrew scored more with just one touchdown on the season, but you can't argue with his production. He has at least six catches in four games, and he's a must-start Fantasy option in leagues where receptions count.
David Thomas, New Orleans
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 7: Had three catches for 33 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland.
Analysis: Thomas has two touchdowns on the season now, but the Saints are using three tight ends with Jeremy Shockey, Jimmy Graham and Thomas. Along with all of their receiving options and Reggie Bush (leg) possibly coming back this week, those are a lot of players Drew Brees has to keep involved. If Shockey goes down then Thomas would see a boost in value, but he's not worth keeping on your roster with the chance of him scoring another random touchdown.
Jacob Tamme, Indianapolis
Owned: 26 percent of leagues
Week 7: Bye week.
Analysis: In deeper leagues you should add Tamme now with Dallas Clark out, but in standard formats you should wait to see how the Colts use their tight ends in Week 8 against the Texans. Peyton Manning could spread the ball around where Tamme, who has no catches on the season, isn't really used at all. Now, if you lost Clark and there's no one else on the waiver wire, then Tamme is definitely worth the risk. If he turns into Clark then you'll want to make sure you added him when you can.
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