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2021 Fantasy Football: Week 8 Waiver Wire Rankings

We can all agree that the biggest gains of the week ahead are getting all of the top players from the six teams on bye last week back into our lineups. Aside from that, the Week 8 waiver wire is one of the more bleak collections of players to choose from. I know, I know. You’re likely here looking for advice on who’s this week’s D’Ernest Johnson. I promise I have a must-add on par with Johnson. I’ve mentioned before that “the well is drying up”, but there’s still value to be had on the waiver wire. Just proceed with caution and don’t force a waiver claim for a player just because you think you have to each week.


Below, we’ll look at players at each position, who are on 50% or less of most fantasy football rosters, that could be considered on the Week 8 waiver wire.

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Week 8 Waiver Wire Rankings

Running Back

Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles

Just when you thought Gainwell was taking a backseat to Miles Sanders, here he is atop the Week 8 waiver wire column. Unfortunately for Sanders, he exited the Week 7 matchup with the Raiders early due to an ankle sprain. Luckily for him, it’s reportedly a sprain that can initially seem worse than it actually is. Still, I don’t expect Sanders out on the field in Week 8 against the 0-7 Detroit Lions.

With that said, Gainwell has a smash spot this week with a larger than usual role in this Eagles backfield. He’s averaging just over eight opportunities (combo of carries and targets) as a rookie each week. Notably, in Sanders’ absence last weekend, he logged his highest total yet carrying the ball five times and seeing eight targets.

Gainwell isn’t going to slide in and carry the ball 15 or so times per game. That’s not the type of running back you’re getting here. Not only does Jalen Hurts dial up designed runs of his own, but running back, Boston Scott, is likely to be involved this Sunday. Regardless, Gainwell should be added in all formats. He’s a bare minimum flex play this week in Detroit with a more than likely chance to post solid RB2 numbers. Boston Scott can be added from the waiver wire in deeper PPR leagues for flex consideration.

Samaje Perine, Cincinatti Bengals

I’m telling people to sell high on Joe Mixon this week. A big reason for that is Samaje Perine and his role in this 5-2 (you read that correctly) Bengals offense. Perine is back off of the Covid-19/Reserve List after one week and one game missed.

Upon his return, Perine jumped right back into this backfield playing 48% of the snaps compared to 54% to that of Joe Mixon. What’s more important is that both Mixon and Perine saw equal (12) running back opportunities out of the backfield. Anything Mixon can do, Perine can… sometimes do a little bit better! Just when Mixon saved his fantasy day with a fourth quarter 12-yard touchdown run, Perine took one 46 yards to the house, as well.

As the Bengals’ 2021 success story continues, Mixon’s role could be managed to keep him fresh. Perine is a great contributor in this backfield and another top insurance policy to a high-paid running back. With that said, Perine needs to be added in all formats. He’s an excellent pass catcher and could continue to carve out a role of his own, even with Mixon active each week. In the event Mixon goes down, Perine is an RB2 with weekly RB1 upside as long as Joe Burrow is under center.

Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots

The Patriots backfield is a complete guessing game. Well, aside from Damien Harris acting as the bell cow, you just can’t believe who’s active each week until you see it. I have continuously gone back and forth waiting for Rhamondre Stevenson’s time to shine only to see he’s a healthy scratch. Thanks, Bill Belichick.

That being said, take this suggestion to add Bolden from the waiver wire a bit lightly. Bolden does have a touchdown to his name following a cakewalk matchup against the Jets in Week 7. However, he was third in Patriot running back snaps and only touched the ball eight times. His six catches for 79 yards and a score receiving line is impressive, however. He could, and that’s a really shaky “could”, continue to play a similar role in this offensive based on last week’s performance.

You’re not using a top waiver claim on Bolden and you’re certainly not starting him unless you’re in a larger league. This is merely a speculative add to try and get ahead in this ever-changing backfield.

Demetric Felton, Cleveland Browns

I can’t imagine D’Ernest Johnson is still available on the waiver wire. If he is, stop reading and go put in a claim. Otherwise, Felton still remains interesting in this Browns offense. Nick Chubb is expected to return in Week 8, which immediately brings Johnson back to Earth a bit. He’ll still likely have a role, but if the Browns find themselves behind, I like Felton working in as the receiving back.

Kareem Hunt isn’t expected back for another five weeks at a minimum. Felton still has a chance to slide into that role. He may have been scooped up off of the waiver wire last week in anticipation of playing that part against the Broncos in Week 7, but Johnson stole the show rushing 22 times for 146 yards and a touchdown.

If you want a possible PPR flex in the coming weeks, then stash Felton from the waiver wire and monitor his usage closely.

Other Running Backs to Consider

Rashaad Penny is no longer on the Injured Reserve while teammate, Chris Carson, remains there. Alex Collins continues to see almost all of the work out of this backfield in Carson’s absence. It’s encouraging, though, to see Penny somewhat involved with six carries in the Seahawks’ Monday Night Football loss. Penny is merely an insurance policy to Collins while Carson is out.

Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell, and other Ravens running backs are truly all desperation plays in fantasy football at this point. Sure, this team loves to run the ball, but there isn’t much rhyme or reason on who to expect to carry the load any given week. If you’re in a deeper league, and need depth, I’d add Freeman or Bell in that order. These guys can be cut loose in 10-team leagues.

Marlon Mack is one of the more consistent names thrown around ahead of the NFL’s November 2nd trade deadline. He’s seemingly showcased each week in Indianapolis in a backfield that really should just feed Jonathan Taylor and only Jonathan Taylor. This waiver wire will be the last opportunity to grab Mack before finding out where he’s carrying the ball for the remainder of this season if anywhere at all. Stash him if you want. He, at the very least, looks healthy.

More fantasy football fun for Week 8: Waiver Wire | FAAB Guide | Start & Sit | Loves & Hates | Stock Watch | Sleepers & Streamers | D/ST Streamers

Wide Receivers

Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers

Allen Lazard is the top waiver wire priority ahead of Week 8. The top waiver wire priority ahead of Week 8 is Allen Lazard. Ahead of Week 8, Allen Lazard is the top waiver wire priority. How many other ways can I say it before I get the point across?

On Monday afternoon, news broke that Packers stud receiver, Devante Adams, was placed on the Covid-19/Reserve List. This is bad, bad news for Adams’ availability on a short week against the undefeated Cardinals this Thursday.

So, Allen Lazard is the top waiver wire priority ahead of Week 8.

Lazard is in his fourth season with the Packers. He’s far and away their second-best wide receiver having played 336 snaps this season to Adams’ 372 amongst wide receivers. No other receiver has more than 174. Lazard hasn’t played less than 85% of snaps in the last three weeks. He’s also coming off of two back-to-back games with at least five targets and a touchdown in each.

If you have Devante Adams, you need to be ready to replace him with Lazard this week. If not, you can still claim and then plug in Lazard with his safe floor and high ceiling in a primetime matchup with the Cardinals.

Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders

The 5-2 Raiders are one of the bigger surprises this NFL season. Derek Carr is nothing short of impressive, in part due to impressive play from guys like Hunter Renfrow. From a fantasy football perspective, Renfrow’s chugging away as an every-week, low-end WR3 this season. I’d bet he wasn’t drafted in your league.

Renfrow’s seen exactly eight targets in three of the last four games. He enters the Raiders’ Week 8 bye with the second-most team targets, just two behind Darren Waller. That sort of volume is undeniable. If you’re in a pinch, plugging in a player having that many passes thrown his way is sure to pad your lineup with a safe amount of points.

It’s not a waiver wire claim that’s going to wow your league, but Renfrow has value. He’s currently the WR28 and shouldn’t be as available as he is. If you want to stock up on wide receiver depth, look no further than Renfrow.

Jamison Crowder, New York Jets

Similar to Renfrow, Crowder could be in line for some big-time volume moving forward. It’s hard to fathom targeting a New York Jet on the waiver wire at this point. However, on Monday, the Jets acquired quarterback, Joe Flacco, from the Philadephia Eagles. Flacco is not only a former Jet but likely to slide right in as the starter in rookie, Zach Wilson’s, absence while he nurses a multi-week knee injury.

Crowder’s rapport with Flacco makes him a far more interesting waiver wire add. In just four games last season with Flacco under center, Crowder saw almost eight targets per game. He maintained a double-digit fantasy points floor and missed that mark just once during those games. I like Crowder to become a small, bright spot in this Jets offense at almost no cost to you. His PPR value is likely better than most others available ahead of Week 8.

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens

It’s been a long time coming for Batemen. Having spent the first five weeks working his way back from a groin injury, Batemen is finally playing professional football. In fact, he’s been an immediate contributor in this Ravens offense. He’s seen six targets in each of his first two games. Bateman’s quickly pushed all other fringe pass-catchers aside and commanded the role as the second or third pass catcher behind Marquis Brown, while competing with tight end, Mark Andrews. He’s even made the Fantrax weekly Love List!

Bateman gets a bye after just two games. While we’d love to see him continue to develop this week, the rest after just two games mid-season may be a blessing. I expect Bateman to return from the bye with that much better of a rapport with quarterback, Lamar Jackson. If you have the room and can afford to eat this bye, grab Bateman off of the waiver wire with potential for some serious mid-to-late season value.

Other Wide Receivers to Consider

Darius Slayton is only interesting if the Giants continue to have injury issues amongst their receiving core. On Sunday, he turned a season-high nine targets into five catches for 63 yards. Up next, he’s got a date with the Kansas City Chiefs who are allowing 275.7 passing yards per game. If any combination of Golladay, Toney, and Shepard sit, Slayton becomes a flex consideration for Week 8.

Tight End

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

Tonyan is the other obvious beneficiary on the Packers in the event Devante Adams misses this week. He’s extremely volatile this season, otherwise. Last week, Tonyan recorded a season-high in receptions (4) and yards (63) while finding the end zone. If you’ve got Waller or Mark Andrews out this week on a bye, Tonyan is the top option to add amongst tight ends off of the Week 8 waiver wire.

Other Tight Ends to Consider

Austin Hooper could be one of quarterback, Case Keenum’s, favorite targets while Baker is sidelined. Especially if the upcoming Steelers defense brings defensive line pressure, I expect Keenum to keep his throws short and sweet. In two games last season versus the Steelers, Hooper posted a combined nine receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown. I don’t expect long-term value from Hooper, or anyone really, at this point.


Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Jones is averaging almost 18 fantasy points per game. That’s as fantasy-friendly of a plug-in quarterback as you’re going to find on the waiver wire this week. Especially if you’re missing Lamar Jackson, or maybe Derek Carr, then Jones should be a top Week 8 wire priority.

Managers with Patrick Mahomes need to be prepared to snag Jones at the last second, if not sooner. Mahomes and Jones face off on Monday Night Football. If Mahomes’ concussion symptoms from Week 7 do in fact worsen and hold him out, then Jones is likely the only other quarterback who would be available to play at that point.

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Lawrence is still looking for his first, professional win on American soil. Trevor and Co. secured the Jags’ first win of the season in London before heading into their Week 7 bye. Now, Trevor gets a favorable matchup off of the bye taking on the Seattle Seahawks on the west coast. They’re allowing the sixth-most passing yards per game. I like this spot for Lawrence to throw a ton in a game where they could fall behind and need to throw. Additionally, just double-check if Laviska Shenault or Marvin Jones Jr. are on the waiver wire, too.

Week 8 Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | Kicker | D/ST | PPR | Flex

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