Week 8 Waiver Wire: JaMycal Hasty & More
Week 8 Waiver Wire: JaMycal Hasty & More
After writing about JaMycal Hasty, what feels like seven times this season, he finally earns his spot on the cover! Last week’s cover boy, Boston Scott, absolutely came through for fantasy gamers who jammed their budgets in on him. If Scott is somehow still out there on your waiver wire, make sure to add him this week as the Eagles get to play the horrible Dallas Cowboys. Scott serves as a great reminder of a perpetual fantasy football truism: finding a workhorse running back in the middle of the season (for any reason) on the waiver wire is not something to take lightly. With most of having a good idea if our teams are looking towards the playoffs or if we are in a dog fight to even make it there, we should have a clearer waiver wire strategy.
If you are sitting at 6-1 or 5-2, you probably do not need to spend as much on short term fill-in players and should be structuring your bench with essentially only “upside players.” Players coming off of the injured reserve — like Jalen Reagor or pure handcuff running backs are the ideal bench stashes for elite teams. Teams sitting at 3-4 or 4-3 should focus more on immediate help because handcuff running backs who hit in Week 12 aren’t going to do anything for you if you are eliminated from contention.
Each week, we will look at three tiers of players: the “must adds” or players that we expect will be picked up in every league and in every format, the “borderline” tier, and the deep-league darts. The focus will be on 12-team PPR leagues as our frame of reference and as always, if you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me on Twitter @DavisMattek or in the Daily Roto NFL Slack channel.
All players referenced in the Fantasy Football Waiver Wire column are under 50% owned in Yahoo! Fantasy Football Leagues. It is possible these players might be owned in your league.
Absolutely Should Be Owned In Every League, But You Will See There Name In Other Fantasy Football Waiver Pieces: Chase Edmonds, Brandin Cooks, Mecole Hardman, Austin Hooper, Henry Ruggs, Damien Harris, Phillip Lindsay, Laviska Shenault, Tee Higgins, Christian Kirk, Brandon Aiyuk, Boston Scott
POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE MAKERS (THESE ARE PLAYERS WORTH > 25% OF YOUR FAAB, OR THE No. 1 OVERALL WAIVER CLAIM) FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
The market got a little excited about Hasty last week, so of course, Jeff Wilson Jr. had a three-touchdown game while the 49ers “rested” Jerick McKinnon. Unfortunately for Wilson, he also injured his ankle while scoring his third touchdown, and it did not look particularly pretty. Tevin Coleman is reportedly coming off of the injured reserve in Week 8, so Hasty will have some backfield competition if Coleman and McKinnon are both healthy and ready to go. However, given the general uncertainty about their health situations, we can reasonably expect Hasty to have a legitimate chance at being the lead back in Week 8. Is it a guarantee like it was for Boston Scott? No, so I think we should all be mindful of that while preparing our bids.
Hasty has a really solid athletic profile with a 4.55 40-yard dash at 205 pounds and registers a 118.3 SPARQ score. The matchup against Seattle is a theoretically promising one if McKinnon is again “rested,” and Coleman is not quite up to speed but going all-in on Hasty this week on waivers is probably a bad idea. I am hoping that we can sneak him through for 10-15% of our remaining FAAB.
We do not yet have a full report on the foot injury that Chris Carson sustained against the Arizona Cardinals, but it was bad enough to rule him out of that game immediately. He will also have an MRI on his injured foot before the Seahawks begin practicing this week. Hyde played on 41 snaps for the Seahawks in their overtime loss to Arizona while rushing 14 times and being targeted three times. Travis Homer also got banged up this in-game, which opened the window for DeeJay Dallas to play 12 offensive snaps and be targeted three times. Dallas, himself, is a tremendous $1 add this week if Homer and Carson are going to miss multiple weeks.
We know the deal with Carson Hyde and with Seattle running backs. Hyde is not a special player but has functioned sufficiently as a pass-catcher in several stops throughout his career. He is not quite on the level of Boston Scott from last week, but the Seahawks playing the 49ers, Bills, and Rams over their next three games, those should be positive game scripts for Hyde to work into. I would go around 20-25% on Hyde, only if I would be starting him for certain over the next two games if Carson is out.
Finally, Adam Gase seems to be coming through on ONE thing he promised, which is that he wants to get Lamical Perine more involved. With Dowell Loggains calling the plays for the Jets in their Week 7 game against the Bills, Perine became the actual bell cow in the Jets offense. Perine played 40 of 57 offensive snaps while Frank Gore played only 16. Ty Johnson was not involved at all, which is actually a huge signal because the only way a running back will provide fantasy value in this offense is through a monopolistic control of the running back snaps and touches.
While last week, Perine was the primary third-down back and Gore handled most of the early downs, Perine started to creep into the early downs as well in Week 7. Perine had the third-most targets on the team and got a goal-line carry (which he converted into a touchdown) as well. The ceiling for an average athlete like Perine on a bad team is not high, but for all running-back–needy teams, Perine is a must-add. Part of the thesis for his success is that Sam Darnold will reach some baseline level of competency and help the Jets being closer to league-average on offense; we can still believe this thesis is possible even if the evidence from Sunday was not great. I am comfortable spending 10-20% on Perine, depending on team needs.
BORDERLINE STARTERS (THESE PLAYERS LIKELY ARE COMING OFF A GOOD GAME BUT DO NOT PROJECT AS MULTI-WEEK STARTERS, WORTH LESS THAN 25% OF YOUR FAAB) FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
Sterling Shepherd + Wayne Gallman
Surprising almost everyone, Sterling Shepherd, played 77% of the Giants’ offensive snaps in his first game back off of the injured reserve. He earned eight targets and gained 59 yards while scoring. Given that Darius Slayton is fighting through a lower-body injury, the team is not interested in targeting Evan Engram down the field, and Golden Tate has earned only 26 targets through six games, there is a massive role out there for Shepherd. We advised you to hop on Shepherd last week while he was cheap but he is still a solid add this week albeit more costly. I think 5-10% on Shepherd is a solid bid amount.
Gallman is not at all an inspiring talent but with Devonta Freeman suffering some form of high ankle sprain, he should “start” for the Giants at running back as they play Tampa Bay this week. It is a brutal matchup and if you are picking up Gallman, you’re hoping to get him two weeks from now against Washington and then again against Philadelphia. The problem with using Gallman is that Dion Lewis will probably still factor in on third downs to some degree which really impacts Gallman’s floor and makes him a fairly touchdown-dependent flex option. I think 5-8% is the max I would bid on Gallman in a normal 12-team PPR league.
It is not very often that we have a chance to add a potential difference-making quarterback off of waivers but there is a chance that Tua can be that guy. There is maybe a slight mistaken perception about how much Tua ran at Alabama. He totaled only 340 rushing yards in three seasons in college but scored nine rushing touchdowns on 107 attempts. Keep in mind, sack yardage is taken away from college quarterback rushing yards but Lamar Jackson, he is not. Much of what we are learning about evaluating college quarterback play suggests that Tua is a high-level NFL prospect and is stepping into a surprisingly decent offensive situation.
The upside case for Tua is that if he is able to come close to replicating Ryan Fitzpatrick’s fantasy output (averaging over 20 FFPG through six games) while also adding more rushing upside. Fitz actually added points with his legs but my theory is that team has some Tua-specific zone-read style plays that they did not use with Fitzpatrick. On teams where I lost Dak Prescott, I made adding Tua during the Dolphins bye week a priority and I think we should get a decent answer to how they plan on using him in their first game against the Rams at home this week. Tua is a decent 10% waiver target if you are quarterback-needy even if he doesn’t have “Lamar in 2018” upside.
I am just not as high on Antonio Brown as many of my fantasy football cohorts. He was falling off of a cliff in terms of efficiency the last time we saw him and is at best going to be the 2B in the Buccaneers offense. Regardless of how great AB was, Chris Godwin is better than him in 2020. Mike Evans is extremely hobbled at the moment, so I won’t say that Brown can’t come in and immediately earn a WR2-ish style role. That being said, how effective he would be in the role is really a mystery. Guys like Larry Fitzgerald remained productive well into their 30s but we have seen countless AJ Green-esque examples of efficiency-cratering as elite wide receivers pass the ages of 30 and 31.
Maybe the biggest concern is that Rob Gronkowski looks like GRONK again. Scottie Miller is coming off of his best game of the season and the Buccaneers are one of the heaviest 12 personnel teams in the league. Basically, Antonio Brown is a giant mystery box and there are many people who want to see inside that box more than I do. My strategy in leagues where he is available is to try and add him and trade him to another owner who values his potential upside more than I do. In many leagues with first-come, first-serve waivers, he likely got scooped up last week. If he is still out there in your league, he does need to be added but I would say 15% is the max you should spend.
RaShard Higgins + Harrison Bryant + Donovan Peoples-Jones
With Odell Beckham out for the season and Jarvis Landry really not looking like a dominant wide receiver anymore, there should be room for one of Higgins, Bryant, or Peoples-Jones to be a clear fantasy starter the rest of the way. Austin Hooper missed the Browns’ most recent game while having an emergency surgery which opened the gates for Bryant to have a career day. Bryant is probably the guy I am least likely to add out of this group because Hooper should be back and retain his mantle atop the Browns tight end throne. In fact, if Hooper is out there in your league, he is the best add of this group.
Higgins is now entering his fifth year in the NFL and he still has never broken out. We last saw him get a decent amount of run in 2018 when he had 53 targets and averaged 10.8 yards per target, only to disappear in 2019 behind Odell and Landry. He is a fine addition in deeper formats but the really interesting guy here is Donovan Peoples-Jones. DPJ filled in as the third wide receiver after Odell was injured and is a dominant athlete. He was a five-star high school recruit and played for abysmal Michigan teams but is still only 21. He ran a 4.48 at 212 pounds and is a 77th percentile SPARQ athlete. We know what Higgins is, but Peoples-Jones at least offers us that mystical allure of “upside.” I’m spending 5% on DPJ in a few deeper leagues where I am prioritizing wide receiver stashes over runningbacks.
With both Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas (again) out for the Saints, it was Callaway and not Tre’Quan Smith who came up big for the Saints. Callaway ended up leading the team in targets (10), receptions (8), and yards (75) which is pretty impressive considering that coming into this game, he had not recorded a stat. Callaway was an impressive producer at Tennessee but was an overaged prospect (almost 23 now) and ended up going undrafted. Given how poor Smith has played the last two weeks, the on-going Michael Thomas saga, and Sanders being placed on the COVID-19 list, it seems that there is a real role here for Callaway. He is likely the better add than Donovan Peoples-Jones. You can spend 5-10% on Callaway, comfortably, if we expect Sanders to miss more time.
We have seen so many rookie wide receiver instantly hit in 2020 that there is no way I am leaving Mims out on the waiver wire in any of my leagues. Breshad Perriman sustained a significant injury in this game and Jeff Smith was demoted down to the WR4 in the Jets offense while they continue to ignore Chris Herndon entirely. Mims has a dynamic athletic profile, running a 4.38 at 207 pounds, and was basically off the charts in every combine drill in Indianapolis this offseason. He earned a 26% target share in this game against the Bills and there is room to grow there even when Jamison Crowder returns. Given the complete and total lack of competition for targets in New York, it really should not be surprising if he works his way into a seven-target-per-game role the rest of the way. Mims is an ideal stash for teams that need wide receiver help and who look like solid candidates to make the playoffs in their league. He is also a five-star add in the FFPC Main Event and other high stakes leagues.
DEEP LEAGUE TARGETS AND BENCH STASHES FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
On Thursday night against the Giants, Rodgers played 85% of the Eagles offensive snaps, was targeted eight times, and caught six passes for 85 yards. His 14.5 PPR points against the Giants were more than Zach Ertz had in any single game this season for the Eagles. While that is a huge indictment of Ertz, it also points to the fact that Rodgers is a legit start at tight end this week and should be able to be grabbed off of waivers for $1.
As long as Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffrey, and Jalen Reagor remain out, Rodgers is likely the No. 2 target in the Eagles offense behind Travis Fulgham (what an incredible sentence that is). I plan on starting Rodgers in several tight end premium leagues this upcoming week and think that it is a solid plan.
I don’t really have anything particularly kind to say about Devine Ozigbo, and he didn’t even enter into Sunday’s game against the Chargers. However, James Robinson has shown that whoever the starting running back for the Jaguars is, that athlete is likely to get an absurd workload. If Robinson were to get injured, I would expect that it would be unlikely that Chris Thompson or Dare Ogunbowale would slot in as “workhorses” so, in a weird way, I actually think Ozigbo has a huge amount of contingent value that the market is wholly ignoring at the moment.
Noah Fant had a disappointing day as Albert O kept up his wild targets per route run streak. A week after he was targeted twice in the endzone while playing 24 offensive snaps, Okwuebunam played 30 snaps and was targeted SEVEN TIMES! Albert is a 99th percentile athlete at tight end and with Fant maybe rolling up on his ankle again in the Chiefs game, I think there is a real chance that Albert O is an actual difference-making tight end the rest of the way. In all tight-end-premium leagues, I am adding Okwuegbunam and hoping to be able to start him next week.
Look Ahead Defense Bids (5% of FAAB or less): Atlanta Falcons (playing the Denver Broncos and the extremely error-prone Drew Lock at home; yes, I know I just told you to pick up the Falcons DST), Washington Football Team (the Football Team plays the Giants at home; do you need any more information than that?).