Waiver Wire Watch: Week 8
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 8. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
The rookie is expected to return from a sprained MCL this week after missing Tennessee’s last two games. It’s a terrific time for him to come back, with highly appealing matchups against the Texans and Saints over the next two weeks. Mariota has averaged 247.8 yards a game over five starts, and he’s thrown nine TD passes (although four of them came in Week 1). With 10 teams taking their byes over the next two weeks, Mariota is a compelling waiver-wire target.
Having missed two games with a sprained knee, Taylor is now only 43% owned in Yahoo leagues. He’s expected to return next week, and QB-needy owners should seriously consider placing a bid on him if he’s available. Taylor has thrown nine TD passes in five games and has also run for a pair of scores. He’s averaging 219.4 passing yards per game (with his average dragged down by a 109-yard day against the Titans in Week 6, when he hurt his knee) and 37.4 rushing yards per game. There are two short-term concerns here: (1) that Taylor has a tough stretch of schedule over the next few weeks, with a string of games against tough divisional foes, and (2) that Taylor’s knee injury might cut into his rushing totals.
#FitzMagic continues to compile usable fantasy numbers. He threw for 295 yards and two TDs in a loss to the Patriots on Sunday, and he’s thrown two TD passes in five of his six starts this season. Fitz is averaging 245.3 passing yards per game, and he’s run for no fewer than 29 yards in each of his last three outings. With decent matchups against the Raiders and Jaguars over the next two weeks, Fitzpatrick can be a plug-and-play QB for anyone who needs a stopgap option.
After throwing two TD passes in each of his four previous games, McCown was held without a touchdown Sunday in a 24-6 loss to the Rams. McCown still managed to complete 26-of-32 passes for 270 yards. He also banged up his shoulder, so double-check his status if you intend to put in a claim for him. McCown has been racking up impressive yardage totals all season, with 1,637 passing yards in his last five games. After difficult matchups against the Broncos and Rams, McCown gets a relative breather this week with a home game against the Cardinals. Assuming his shoulder is sound, McCown is a solid Week 8 play.
The rookie is fresh off his finest performance of the season: a 297-yard passing day in a 31-30 loss to the Redskins. Winston completed 21-of-29 attempts, with two TD passes and no INTs. He’s thrown for more than 200 yards in each of his six starts and is on pace to throw for 3,923 yards. Winston doesn’t face a difficult pass defense until he goes up against the Rams in Week 15, so he’ll continue to be a decent weekly streaming option.