Waiver Wire Watch: Week 8
By John Paulsen, Contributing Editor
Note: For more options, see our classic ReDrafter Cheat Sheet each Tuesday. It's perfect for evaluating free agents and thinking over trade offers as it offers you our rest of season rankings.
NFL Week 7 looked more like an episode of "The Walking Dead" than professional football, with several big names/key contributors -- Matthew Stafford, Darren McFadden, Beanie Wells, Tim Hightower, Mark Ingram, Willis McGahee, Marshawn Lynch, Earnest Graham, Santana Moss and Percy Harvin -- getting dinged up and/or knocked out of the game. It looks like Wells (knee, 1-2 weeks), McGahee (fractured hand, 1-2 weeks) and Moss (fractured hand, 5-7 weeks) will be out a while. Stafford (knee, ankle) is considered "day-to-day" and McFadden (sprained foot) was reportedly shut down as a precaution. Lynch (back), Ingram (heel) and Harvin (ribs) are touch and go, while Graham is probably out for the year with a torn Achilles. Ouch.
Let's take a look at the top pickups for Week 8. We'll also include suggested bid prices for those of you with Free Agent Acquisition Budgets (FAAB).
QB Note: Tim Tebow (vs. DET), Matt Hasselbeck (IND) or Sam Bradford (NO) will likely be superior W8 starts than any of the players listed below.
Over the last three weeks, Dalton is averaging 247 yards and 1.7 TD (counting his rush TD in W4. He faces a Seahawks defense that has struggled against the pass but did a pretty nice job of limiting Colt McCoy and the Browns in W7.
In a mediocre matchup with the Panthers, Beck threw for 279 yards with one TD and one pick, but also ran for another TD. Santana Moss will be out in the short term, but Beck didn't have any problem racking up yards with his other receivers on Sunday. The Bills are a pretty nice matchup (11th-most Adjusted FP allowed to QBs), so Beck isn't a bad spot start.
In his first NFL start, Ponder threw for 219 yards and two TDs, and rushed for 31 yards. The Packers' secondary is banged up and he only completed 13-of-32 passes on the day, but given his lack of weapons, Ponder made a number of nice throws and appears to have all the tools to be a quality NFL QB. He's a desperation start against the Panthers, who are mediocre against opposing QBs.
Matthew Stafford owners should be prepared to pick up Hill depending on what his Monday MRI reveals. At press time, he's listed as day-to-day, which means he'll probably suit up in W8. Hill has been a fine fill-in in the past and has a pretty favorable matchup with the Broncos in W8 if the Lions decide to give Stafford the week off to heal. (Detroit has a W9 bye.)