Mark Walton – With Kenyan Drake out of town, Walton is probably the best RB pickup of the week. The versatility he’s shown is encouraging, but Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t dump it down to RBs much unless it’s a designed screen pass. Still, Walton figures to be the primary back on all three downs, so he’s worth an add… even on a bad team.
Kenyan Drake – Drake is likely to get a good chunk of touches against the 49ers on Thursday without David Johnson and Chase Edmonds. He only has a couple of days to get into the playbook, and he’ll hardly practice. I can’t imagine how effective he’ll be against a great 49ers defense, but it’s still a good offense to get touches out of the backfield on. Plus, he’s a great pass catcher, a feature Kliff Kingsbury values in his RBs. He’s worth a pickup, just in case David Johnson’s injury is in fact more serious than Kingbury and the Cardinals are leading on. The skillset is there to be successful on this offense; all Drake would need is opportunity. The best move is probably trade him to whoever has David Johnson and/or Chase Edmonds.
Jamaal Williams – Williams isn’t getting a ton of touches, but he’s scoring at a highly efficient rate. At this point, we can’t be mad at it, and take a shot if you’re desperate at RB. He’s on an offense that favors RBs, and he’s even starting to get some inside-the-5 looks.
Raheem Mostert – Matt Breida has an ankle injury, and if he misses on Thursday, Mostert will be the 1b in the 49ers backfield. We know that almost any RB can be plugged into Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, and Mostert has shown some juice with opportunity in the past. Mostert becomes a high-end flex option against the Cardinals if Breida misses. Mostert was listed as a limited participant on Monday’s simulated practice report (they didn’t actually practice), but he was the RB closing out the game on the last drive against Carolina on Sunday.
Kareem Hunt – Hunt will likely play in Week 10, so if he’s available, he’s worth a stash at this point. I was opposed to drafting Hunt because you had to hold him this long, but if he’s available in your league, he’s definitely worth the stash. There’s a lot of ways this backfield can shape out; it can be all Chubb with a splash of Hunt, mostly Chubb with a good amount of Hunt, or a 50/50 split. With Hunt’s ability, would a 50/50 split surprise us? Would it not make this offense more dynamic? Hunt might be the spark the Browns need on offense.
Darrell Henderson – Todd Gurley’s usage was interesting – he played on only 54% of snaps and only touched the ball 10 times. Darrell Henderson out-touched him 13-10, and he out-carried Gurley 9-4 in the second half.
Henderson looked a lot better than he did earlier in the year, and it seems like he’s getting a feel for the offense and running scheme. After Gurley scored his TD early in the 3rd quarter, it was pretty much all Henderson after that. He is a waiver wire pickup even with the Rams on bye this week, and even with Gurley having a couple of weeks to rest his knee.
Don’t forget about Malcolm Brown, but if Henderson can be productive, he has a better chance at being the primary back if Gurley isn’t right. This is just one of those situations where you never know if and when Gurley’s knee starts acting up and they need someone else to assume the 1a role. We just have to continue to pay close attention to any potential knee issue with Gurley.
Jaylen Samuels – Mike Tomlin said that James Conner suffered an AC joint injury (shoulder) late in the game against Miami, so it’s probably not serious, but it’s still worth taking a look at Samuels. Benny Snell had a knee injury himself (no extent known yet), so if Samuels were to go in Week 9, he can get some extended run. If Conner is unable to go, Samuels would be a must-start.
Derrius Guice – We know the Redskins want to run the ball any time they get the chance to after the head coaching change. There’s no word on whether Bill Callahan views Derrius Guice as someone who’s far ahead of Adrian Peterson like Jay Gruden did, but if he does, he has a couple of good matchups when he returns against the Jets and Lions where he can potentially get some volume. I’m not too excited about picking him up this week, as there isn’t enough upside with Guice off of his injury to hold him for a couple of weeks before those matchups.
Tra Carson – This backfield is a shit show, but we can’t ignore the fact that Tra Carson started the game and saw the most touches. He probably has the best shot at winning out, but that remains to be seen. Still, he’s worth adding in a deep league.
DeVante Parker – Parker is going to be in this article every single week, because people will still hesitate to roster him. Parker led the Dolphins on Monday night, catching 6 of 8 for 59 yards. Parker didn’t score, but has 3 TDs in his last 4 games, and he’s averaging 9 targets over the last two, which happened to be two games Ryan Fitzpatrick started. He has a 10-pt PPR floor with upside against the Jets in Week 8.
Kenny Stills – Stills didn’t have the game we were hoping for against Oakland, but he’s still a great add if he’s available. He’s the #2 WR for Deshaun Watson, and that’s all you need to know. Without Will Fuller, and with Keke Coutee currently in the doghouse, Stills is going to have some big games.
Tyrell Williams – Tyrell Williams was dropped in a bunch of leagues after his injury and through his bye, but he’s back, and he caught another TD. Williams has scored a TD in all five games he’s played in this year. If Darius Slay doesn’t play this week, he doesn’t have to worry about a tougher than usual matchup, although he will likely be shadowed either way.
Chris Conley – Dede Westbrook is banged up, and there’s a good chance he doesn’t play next week against Houston. The Texans have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to WRs coming into Week 8, so Conley becomes a good streamer… especially after delivering in each of the last two weeks.
Danny Amendola – Ok, two weeks in a row, we have to take notice. This is actually Amendola’s third game with 7+ receptions, so he’s worth taking a note of in full PPR leagues. In those three games, Amendola’s averaging 101 receiving yards. Oakland has given up the 2nd most fantasy points over the previous four weeks coming into Week 8, so there’s a chance Amendola can continue his streak.
Diontae Johnson – Johnson has caught a TD in all three of Mason Rudolph’s starts… that he finished. With teams paying close attention to Juju, Johnson is running open, and Rudolph is finding him.
Josh Gordon – According to Josina Anderson, Gordon will be healthy in 1-2 weeks. Once he’s healthy, he’s expected to be cut from the Patriots. It’s possible Gordon re-emerges as the #1 option on another team, so he still holds some upside.
Jamison Crowder – It hasn’t worked out for Crowder in two weeks, again, the Jets upcoming schedule is very hard to ignore. As bad as the Jets have looked over the past two weeks, the NFL changes so much week to week that it can be a distant memory. Do I have to list out the Jets opponents until the very end of the fantasy season?
Darren Fells – Fells has 12 or more PPR fantasy points in 4 of his past 6 games, including a couple of 2 TD games; what else do you want from your TE? Fells is the TE8 on the year.
Chris Herndon – According to Adam Gase, Herndon made a lot of progress, and there’s a chance he finally makes his debut against the Dolphins. We saw that Sam Darnold is willing to look Ryan Griffin’s way with his 2 TDs this past week, so once Herndon takes over, he has an even better shot at making plays on this offense. It just sucks that it’s taking this long for him to get on the field.
Dallas Goedert – Goedert is averaging more than 10 PPR points per game over the last three weeks, and is the TE5 over the last two weeks… Ertz is the TE20. This isn’t to say Goedert is taking over, but both are involved enough to the point where Goedert’s athleticism is allowing him to be featured in the red zone. Buffalo was giving up the 2nd fewest points to TEs, and Goedert still had a decent game. This week they have Chicago, who have actually been a defense opposing TEs can find success against.
OJ Howard – If Howard gets traded, it doesn’t matter where he lands. Pick him up.
Cameron Brate – If OJ Howard misses again, Cameron Brate will be a decent stream against a Seahawks team giving up the 5th most fantasy points to TEs. Brate saw a season-high 6 targets this past week without Howard active.
Gardner Minshew – Minshew looked great against the Jets last week, and he has another secondary that can be taken advantage of in the Texans at home. Minshew had 9 and 8 rushing attempts over the last two games, which helps his floor, and the Texans will also be without J.J. Watt. Minshew only had one game this year that you’d be upset about as a streaming option.
Derek Carr – Tough week to stream, huh? Detroit has allowed the 9th most points to QBs, and Carr has actually had a pretty tough schedule when you take a closer look. He played well against Houston last week, and now has another decent matchup at home. Tyrell Williams is back, so that should help.
Matt Moore – Andy Reid put his QB in a position to succeed, even with Moore admitting that he didn’t get any first team reps this season, rightfully so. Minnesota is a middle of the road defense against QBs, and the Chiefs are at home once again.
Mitchell Trubisky – Really tough week to stream, huh? As much as Matt Nagy chose to run the ball against the Chargers last week, he might want to do something similar through the air against Philadelphia, despite his QB. The Eagles are really tough to run against, so Nagy might not have much of a choice. The good news is that QBs have had a lot of success against that Eagles secondary. You would be pretty desperate to start Trubisky this week, but it might be necessary.
Sam Darnold – Oh boy, we’re getting desperate, huh? Mason Rudolph had some bad moments, but did make enough plays in the passing game against Miami. Darnold can do the same, especially if Xavien Howard’s injury causes him to miss. Looking at all the QBs that went up against Miami, it seems tough to not have a good game against them.
Carolina vs Titans – Amazing stream this week. Carolina has one of the best pass rushes in the league, while the Titans have given up the most sacks this year. Take advantage of everyone who dropped them because of the bye and matchup this past week. The Panthers are a defense you can likely continue to use after this week.
Browns @ Broncos – With the change from Joe Flacco to Brandon Allen at QB for the Broncos, they might be more prone to turnovers. Cleveland has one of the best pass rushes in the NFL, and Denver has been bad at protecting the QB, giving up 24 sacks this year.