9 Fantasy Football Stash Candidates Ahead of Week 8
Plucking players off the waiver wire and stashing them ahead of your league mates is certainly advantageous if you can make it happen, and this series does its best to provide you with some names to consider every week. With bye weeks in full swing and injuries plaguing rosters across the league, grabbing the right players can be a difference-maker in the weeks to come.
Clear out those benches (check out my Dead Weight Report on who to drop) and make room for this week’s crop of emerging fantasy assets.
Trey Lance, QB – 49ers
When asked if Jimmy Garoppolo would be the QB for the 49ers next week, Kyle Shanahan said: "I would guess so", and "I’ll have to watch tape and see if guys are healthy." That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for Garoppolo moving forward but who can blame him after another poor performance where the QB committed three turnovers and tossed the ball for only 181 yards and one score against Indy.
Trey Lance is recovering from a knee injury, but it would make sense to go with the rookie sooner than later as he showed promise in the few games he played, combining for 354 passing yards and three touchdowns, along with another 133 rushing yards and a score with his legs. Lance is worth a stash ahead of the remaining seven weeks with teams getting rest, as he’s on the mend, could get the start soon and has already been through the 49ers' bye week.
Kadarius Toney, WR – Giants
A former hot waiver wire pick up from just a few weeks ago, Kadarius Toney was dropped by many and is only at 46% rostership in Yahoo! leagues heading into Week 8. He’s been dealing with an inversion ankle sprain but could be back as soon as this week.
Toney was the WR9 in Weeks 4 and 5 with 35.5 half-PPR points before his breakout was halted due to injury. With so many members of the Giants sidelined, he could be in for a monster role upon return. Grab the rookie now before we’re sure of his exact return date. Plus New York plays the Chiefs in Week 8, which is an added bonus if he’s able to suit up this week.
Latavius Murray, RB – Ravens
Latavius Murray is also currently dealing with an ankle injury but gets a Week 8 bye to fully stay off of it and recover. Devonta Freeman was the touch leader in his absence in Week 7 with seven, followed by Le'Veon Bell’s six and Ty'Son Williams saw just four balls.
The 31-year-old’s workload before his injury was one of the lead back for the Ravens, with touch counts of 18, 8 and 11 in Weeks 4-6. Murray is a startable option in the coming weeks with matchups against the Vikings and Dolphins on tap in Weeks 9 and 10. With RB as shallow as it is right now due to injuries and rest weeks, Murray is someone who could help rosters down the stretch when his ankle allows him to return to the field.
Mac Jones, QB – Patriots
Week 9 sees four teams on bye, followed by another four in Week 10, and four more in the next two weeks. Mac Jones is coming off his best performance of the season, where he threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns on 36 attempts, with game script actually working against him as the Patriots were up early in this contest against the Jets.
Despite not being very well endowed in the pass-catching-option department, Jones is holding his own and has a really juicy schedule on the horizon with Carolina, Cleveland, Atlanta and Tennesee his next four opponents, who rank 19th, 30th, 31st and 26th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs so far in 2021. The rookie makes for a nice look-ahead option for bye week fills in the coming weeks.
Marlon Mack, RB – Colts
The fifth-year back made this list a few weeks ago, but with the NFL trade deadline looming, he’s worth another mention. It’s been reported that the Chiefs, Saints, Panthers and 49ers all made inquiries about Marlon Mack in recent weeks, so if he does get traded to an RB-needy franchise, he could be instantly fantasy relevant.
If you have the room to store Mack for another week, it may help your roster in the long run. If he remains a Colt past the deadline, then he’s easily sent back to the wire.
Deshaun Watson, QB – Texans
Morals aside—which is something fantasy managers wrestle with or maybe don’t depending on your personal compass—Deshaun Watson is worth the add due to the recent uptick in trade rumors. If he’s dealt to a team with decent weapons and hits the field right away, which is looking like he’ll be able to do since the NFL is not committing to putting him on the commissioner’s exempt list, then he could be fantasy relevant in the very near future.
If you’re in need of QB help, which is most of us outside of a handful of teams per league, and have no qualms about rostering Watson, then grab him, as he has the potential to turn some seasons around for middling teams out there.
Nico Collins, WR – Texans
Nico Collins could make for a nice bye week replacement in the coming weeks. The rookie has 11 targets in the past two contests, was on the field for 63% of the snaps in Week 7 and he was the receiving-yards leader last week with a pitiful 28 yards.
While the current anemic state of the Houston offense is not sexy for fantasy purposes, with a competent Tyrod Taylor potentially under center, Collins and the other Houston pass-catchers could find themselves back on the fantasy radar.
Dallas Cowboys & Indianapolis Colts Defense
I’ve lumped these two together since chances are only one is possibly available in your league, and there’s no need to take up a spot in this piece for multiple defenses.
Looking ahead to Weeks 9 and 10, the Dallas defensive unit will line up opposite Denver and Atlanta, who rank 30th and 29th, respectively, in DST aFPA, allowing an average of 9.6 fantasy points to offenses they’ve faced so far in 2021. Indy has a similar path, with tilts against the Jets and Jaguars in Weeks 9 and 10, who sit 32nd and 25th in the same statistical category, with an average DST aFPA of 10.7.