The Week 8 waiver wire has a few details worth discussing. First of all, it’s a week to utilize the waiver wire without a bye week dictating your moves as to who to pick up as a fill-in this weekend. Secondly, it’s the last fantasy football waiver wire that cycles through claims prior to the NFL trade deadline. With deals getting done here, there, and everywhere before next Tuesday, the Week 9 waiver wire will have a bit more activity as certain players’ rest of the season outlook may change.
You may be dealing with injuries, bye weeks, or just need to cycle out players from your bench. Whatever the case may be, the waiver wire is there to help. There’s not always a need to put in a claim for players each week, but if you do, make it count. 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.
Week 8 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire By Position
Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
After a wild week of revamping their backfield, we have some clarity heading into Week 8. Kyren Williams is on the Injured Reserve at least through Week 11. In the Rams’ first full game without him, familiar face Darrell Henderson is emerging as the name to roster out of this backfield. Landing a role of his size at the running back position is a target worth acquiring on the Week 8 waiver wire.
Henderson saw 62.5% of the Rams’ Week 7 backfield opportunities. His 18 carries led all L.A. running backs. Additionally, his two targets are the only targets any running back drew in Week 7. After not playing football in almost a full calendar year, Henderson finished inside the top 20 in Points Per Reception formats. Given the laundry list of injuries to the position, he will be the most popular add this week. Royce Freeman is a deeper league add to pickup out of this backfield, as well. He did log 12 carries for 66 yards on just 10 fewer snaps than Henderson in Week 7. You can cut Zach Evans as he didn’t play a single snap in Week 7.
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
The best short-term solution at running back on the Week 8 waiver wire is hands down Kareem Hunt. It looks like starter Jerome Ford will miss the next week or two, at least, with an ankle sprain. On less than 37% of snaps in the Browns’ last two games (both wins), Hunt is averaging 51 total yards on 12.5 touches per contest. It’s not much, but he has three rushing touchdowns in that time, as well.
Assuming Hunt sees a large increase in snaps, in a familiar offense, he should see closer to 20 touches per game with a much higher ceiling in all fantasy football formats. In Week 8, Hunt should be heavily involved in a tough matchup with the Seahawks in Seattle. If he remains in a starting role the following week, he gets a home matchup with the Arizona Cardinals who allow the third-most points to running backs this season. It’s worth noting Pierre Strong will see more touches, but likely plays significantly less behind Hunt. Strong is a deeper league stash.
Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans
The Titans rookie running back remains a waiver wire add in Week 8 as he has been for the entirety of this season. This week has a little bit more at stake, though, when considering Spears. This waiver wire period is the last complete window of claims prior to the NFL trade deadline next Tuesday afternoon. So, by next Tuesday night, fantasy managers will have a complete picture of any and all players moved at the deadline as well as the fantasy impact these moves carry. That includes a possible Derrick Henry trade.
Even with Derrick Henry on the Titans’ roster, Spears has kept pace with Henry playing just 17 total snaps less than him. In fact, he’s played more snaps than Henry in three of Tennessee’s first six games. Spears could see an increased role regardless in Week 8 and beyond coming out of their bye. If Henry does find himself suiting up elsewhere this season, Spears is a high-upside RB2 the rest of the way.
Other Running Backs to Consider
- Cam Akers could be trending toward taking the lead-back role on the Minnesota Vikings. He logged more carries (10) than Alexander Mattison (8) in their win over the San Francisco 49ers. More importantly, he was playing meaningful snaps with meaningful touches to close out the win. Akers also logged 30 rushing and 30 receiving yards in this game. This is still a pass-heavy offense with emphasis on the wide receivers and tight end, but if Akers starts developing a larger role, especially in the red zone, he could return to must-start status in fantasy football.
- Emari Demercado may be available on the waiver wire after a disappointing Week 6. After just three touches in place of James Conner then, Demercado bounced back with 75 scoreless yards on 17 touches in Week 7. James Conner is halfway through his Injured Reserve stint. So, you can still get two more weeks of low-end RB2 production from Demercado if absolutely necessary.
- Elijah Mitchell is the only other San Francisco 49ers running back to touch the ball in Week 7. Granted, it was only one carry, but one more than Jordan Mason, a popular waiver wire add last week. Christian McCaffrey is still a fantasy god, but does have a “slight tear in his oblique.” That makes Mitchell a must-have handcuff moving forward.
Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts
This is the last call for Josh Downs on the waiver wire. It’s been a few weeks now of mentioning his name, but he will be the most popular add amongst the position ahead of Week 8. His 23.5 PPR points in Week 7 land him inside the top-five wide receivers for the week. It’s his highest fantasy point total yet, his third-straight double-digit score, and fifth game with six or more targets. Downs’ 125 yards in Week 7 are also the first time he’s logged on 100+ in his career. With Gardner Minshew under center over the last three games, Downs has a solid 20.4% target share. You can pick him up and start him immediately.
Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots
It’s still unknown if the Patriots realize Kendrick Bourne is their most viable option in the passing game. Things are trending that way, though, as his 23 targets and 25% target share over the last three weeks lead all pass catchers in New England. Bourne is averaging 17.8 PPR points per game over the last two weeks with just one touchdown. He’s producing even without consistently finding the end zone. The Miami Dolphins and Washington Commanders are his next two opponents on tap. They each rank inside the top eight in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers. Bourne is, at the very least, a high-upside flex to plug into starting lineups.
Other Wide Receivers to Consider
- Tank Dell is returning to action in Week 8 after missing time with a concussion before the Houston Texans’ Week 7 bye. He has 29 targets in nine games played. Dell also has 57 or more receiving yards in three of five games played, as well. I’m not sure I trust plugging him back into starting lineups so soon out of the bye, but he should see more opportunities as one of quarterback C.J. Stroud’s top targets moving forward.
- Rashid Shaheed remains Derek Carr’s preferred deep threat in the New Orleans Saints passing game. He doesn’t have the yardage to show for it, but Shaheed does have six or more targets in three of the Saints’ last four games. Derek Carr has only thrown six touchdown passes through seven weeks. Shaheed has two of them. He’s a low-floor, high-ceiling flex option depending on the matchup each week.
- Julio Jones may be worth adding in larger leagues with deeper benches. After signing with the Philadelphia Eagles days before, Julio still managed to play 16 snaps on Sunday night, even catching a pass from Jalen Hurts. If A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith miss time for any reason, Julio Jones has a legitimate shot to produce in the year 2023.
Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills
After scoring just 28.8 total points over the first six weeks, Kincaid’s 15.5 points in Week 7 are an obvious season-best. Beginning in Week 8, Kincaid will operate as the Bills’ top tight end as Dawson Knox is set to miss time with a wrist injury that requires surgery. Both Kincaid and Knox have 27 targets apiece this season. That’s enough for just an 11% target share each. Kincaid’s 3.85 target per game average should get a boost. Acquiring a tight end with increased volume from a quarterback like Josh Allen should provide fantasy managers with an advantage moving forward.
Kincaid draws a tough Week 8 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but then gets three straight games against defenses that rank in the top five points allowed to opposing tight ends: the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, and New York Jets.
Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys
Most fantasy football managers are streaming the tight end position this season. The reliable options to plug into starting lineups are few and far between. That said, a player like Jake Ferguson is likely available on the Week 8 waiver wire as he may have been dropped during the Cowboys’ Week 7 bye. He returns to a matchup against the Los Angeles Rams defense that’s allowed 84 or more yards to the position in three of their last four matchups. They’ve allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Ferguson dominates snaps at tight end for the Cowboys and should put together a top-eight or so performance in Week 8.
Mike Gesicki, New England Patriots
For deeper league consideration, consider picking up Gesicki on the Week 8 waiver wire. He’s heading back to Miami for the first time since signing with the Patriots this off-season. In Week 2, Gesicki caught five of a season-high six targets for 33 yards. The Dolphins are allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. That includes the seventh-most receptions and yards. Gesicki could fulfill the “revenge game” narrative in Week 8 against his former team.
Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints
If you can believe it, Derek Carr’s Week 7 performance last Thursday night is his best of the 2023 season. Sure, the Saints lost, but Carr tossed over 300 yards for the third time this season and the second time in as many weeks. He gets another chance to do so in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts. While quarterbacks don’t necessarily thrive against them but have allowed 37 and 38 points to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns over the last two weeks. There aren’t any teams on a bye in Week 8. However, if you find yourself desperate for a plug-and-play, Carr does have Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, and others to throw to.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
As mentioned before, there aren’t any teams on bye in Week 8. So you’re probably not actively looking for a quarterback fill-in for this week. Kyler Murray isn’t expected to play in Week 8 anyway, but now is a good time to consider adding him on the waiver wire. We have yet to receive any concrete news as to when he may return from last December’s season-ending knee injury. However, if and when he does, Murray is an instant boost to the position as he brings a solid floor from his rushing ability to the table. It’s conceivable he doesn’t run as much post-surgery, but he at least has plenty of young options to look for in the passing game with expected negative game scripts to work with week-to-week.