Week 8 of the NFL season is upon us and it’s likely you need to bolster your fantasy football depth as we approach the season’s midpoint. Week 7 saw some breakout stars, and even a couple disappointing performances that could allow you to buy low on playmakers that could make or break your season come fantasy playoff time.
If you’re forced to scour the waiver wire this week to replace the likes of bye-week Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, and others, these stand-ins – all available in more than half of ESPN fantasy leagues – may just save the day.
Here’s a look at our top-five adds to consider as you place your Week 8 waiver wire claims.
Daniel Jones: QB, New York Giants (28.9% ESPN)
Next up — @ SEA, Bye, vs. HOU
Daniel Jones is proving competent in rookie head coach Brian Daboll’s system, but more importantly, he is emerging as a genuinely playable fantasy option. What is sending Jones’ fantasy stock in the right direction is his involvement in the running game. He has carried the ball at least six times in every game this season, and in Week 7, ran for 107 yards on 11 carries and scored a touchdown. New York’s commitment to the running game makes Jones an excellent quarterback option in a pinch; his Week 7 rushing stats alone outscored the likes of Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, and Joe Mixon.
Jones is still available in nearly 75 percent of ESPN leagues, so you should have a solid opportunity to add him if you are a Mahomes or Herbert owner, or would like to upgrade your current backup.
Gus Edwards: RB, Baltimore Ravens (16.1% ESPN)
Next up — @ TB, @ NO, Bye
With J.K. Dobbins sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury, Edwards immediately emerged as a high-upside depth fantasy piece. He did nothing to temper expectations in Baltimore’s 23-20 win over the Cleveland Browns, in which he carried the ball 16 times for 66 yards and two touchdowns. While his per-carry average could improve, he is clearly the team’s featured back with backup Justice Hill logging just five carries in Week 7.
Edwards is still available in more than 80 percent of ESPN leagues, though that will likely change on the waiver wire this week. He’s inching toward potential RB3/FLEX status, so claim him while you still can.
D’Onta Foreman: RB, Carolina Panthers (35.3% ESPN)
Next up — @ ATL, @ CIN, vs. ATL
After trading superstar Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers are going running back by committee, but Foreman appears to have the greater influence on that committee. He carried the ball 15 times compared to Chuba Hubbard who got just nine totes. He also outgained Hubbard 118-63. Hubbard did find the end zone, but both backs looked good, so expect a similar share of carries moving forward. With P.J. Walker at quarterback, Carolina is going to keep it on the ground consistently.
Guys who get 15+ touches don’t grow on trees on the waiver wire, so scoop Foreman up now because both he and Hubbard proved viable in their debut committee performance.
Josh Reynolds: WR, Detroit Lions (29.7% ESPN)
Next up — vs. MIA, vs. GB, @ CHI
Bear with us: we know we suggested you pick up Reynolds last week, only for him to catch one pass for eight yards. BUT...if you didn’t listen last week, buy low on Reynolds this week. His putrid Week 7 performance was more a product of the game’s tempo than anything else. Detroit threw the ball just 26 times, eight fewer than any other game this season, in an effort to outlast a more talented Cowboys team. Going forward, Reynolds will garner more than the two targets he got against Dallas. His previous three games saw him targeted 28 times, resulting in 19 catches for 269 yards and a touchdown.
If you’re looking to buy low on Reynolds coming off a disappointing performance, you can do so in more than 70 percent of ESPN leagues.
Alec Pierce: WR, Indianapolis Colts (41.5% ESPN)
Next up — vs. WAS, @ NE, @ LV
Pierce is another receiver who didn’t log his best performance in Week 7, but who you should pick up before he gets more fantasy attention. The rookie receiver has at least three receptions in every full game he’s played this season and now he gets to catch balls from a presumably-energized Sam Ehlinger, who will reportedly take over as Indy’s starter for the remainder of the season. While the Colts will lean on Jonathan Taylor III and the running game, Pierce’s steady production makes him a depth piece with high upside.
You have a little worse than 60 percent chance of being able to nab Pierce off waivers this week, so do not dilly dally if you need more depth at wide receiver.