By James Fotheringham (@NFLHypeTrain)
Bye Week – WAS, ARI, JAX, HOU
Week 8 and with a number of injuries to deal with, this week there are a few different trains you can catch from the Hype Train Station. Michael Thomas still isn’t back, Joe Mixon and Aaron Jones were missing and both Chris Carson and Kenyan Drake went down during a shootout between Seattle and Arizona. If your team has been derailed by injury or just disappointing performances, let us get you back on track and pointing in the right direction.
Don’t forget to keep your #EyesPeeled for the week 7 recap podcast where we discuss some of our favourite waiver wire targets in a bit more detail.
1st Class Ticket
The 1st class ticket section covers players who will be the top targets on the wire and the hot ticket.
Carlos Hyde – RB – Seattle Seahawks – Ownership Percentage: 5%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 15%
As mentioned on the podcast, Carlos Hyde is my top option while Chris Carson is out for the Seahawks. Carson has always had 3+ catches, usually for 20+ yards and 3 went for TDs, while on the ground he has accounted for 61 touches, 289 yards and a further 3 TDs. That production will be missed but Hyde was solid for Houston last season and in the game against the Cardinals he had 18 touches, 76 yards and a TD which was a good performance in itself. They need a run game for their offence as a whole to work, so Hyde will get plenty of work, which as a waiver pickup, is fantastic, even if only for a short period of time while Carson is out.
Brandon Aiyuk – San Francisco 49ers – Ownership Percentage: 20%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 20%
With Deebo Samuel likely to be missing for a few weeks it’s time for Aiyuk to step up. We noted in the early weeks how the 49ers were able to scheme in Aiyuk in a similar way to Samuel as well as a few more tricks. I mention him in the trade for section of the podcast as Jimmy G will still be giving him the ball in many ways, and without having to share with Deebo, he is going to get even more touches in a team that looks to be back on the upswing again.
2nd Class Ticket
This section covers player who may not be the top option but could be good replacements for bye weeks or just have strong matchups. A Flex ticket if you must.
Rashard Higgins – WR – Cleveland Browns – Ownership Percentage: 0.2%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 2%
The Browns lost OBJ for the season with an ACL tear and still managed to win this games against the Bengals thanks to the combination of Landry, Njoku, Bryant, Peoples-Jones and Higgins. Higgins has been a solid WR3 for a few years and always looks capable when given the chance, and now with OBJ missing and Landry struggling through his rib injury, he could become Baker Mayfields’ favourite target. 6 catches for 110 yards this week and TDs in the previous 2 weeks back this up. Peoples-Jones is worth watching for the long term but in the immediate term, Higgins has a ton of upside at a cheap price.
Richard Rodgers – TE – Philadephia Eagles – Ownership Percentage: 4%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 3%
I made an error with Dallas Goedert but generally the TE1 for the Eagles is a good guy to have. Currently that role belongs to Richard Rodgers and while trade rumours abound, he will be the guy and even when Goedert returns (likely week 10) the Eagles 2TE sets (which the use so frequently) will need Rodgers to replace Zach Ertz (who is on IR). A 6 catch, 85 yard game against the Giants on Thursday Night Football had everything except a TD, but I can see a few of those on the horizon, possibly this week against a poor Cowboys team.
Other players of note:
RB: Gio Bernard (42%), Tevin Coleman (SF-20%), Lamical Perine (NYJ-12%), Jamycal Hasty (SF-4%).
WR: Cole Beasley (BUF-42%), Sterling Shepard (NYG-36%), Denzel Mims (NYJ-3%), Nelson Agholor (LV-2%), Marcus Johnson (IND-0.3%) [See advanced fares].
TE: Logan Thomas (WAS-8%), Trey Burton (IND-6%), Gerald Everett (LAR-2%), Drew Sample (CIN-2%), Harrison Bryant (CLE-1%), Albert Okwuegbunam (DEN-0%).
Day Return Ticket
This section will highlight the QBs and DST options who you may be able to pickup as a streaming option this week. We often advise people not to draft an early QB and certainly not an early DST so this section backs up that advice.
Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Carolina Panthers – vsATL – Ownership Percentage: 30%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 1%
5 QBs have scored 29+ points against the Falcons and while last week Matt Stafford failed in that regard (still got 19 which is the season low against Atlanta), Teddy has 4 games scoring over 25 points and 3 games where he failed were against DST which were strong at the time (TB, LAC, CHI). The combination bodes well and with Anderson, Moore and now even Samuel firing and still no CMC, Bridgewater should be a great fill in to get you out of trouble.
Other low rostered options at QB to consider are Phillip Rivers @DET (7%) and Jimmy Garoppolo @SEA (21%).
New Orleans Saints – DST – @CHI – Ownership Percentage: 42%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 2%
If the Eagles, Chiefs, Colts or Bucs are available in your league, they are huge priorities, but as there are all likely more than 50% owned then the Saints match the ones to march in to your line-up. The Bears aren’t a scary offence and the Saints are not a terrible defensive team. So far 5 out of 6 teams DSTs have scored 6+ points against the Bears and the Saints should add to that stat.
Other low rostered options at DST to consider are: Titans @CIN (13%), Raiders @CLE (1%).
Advanced fares are for players who you won’t be playing in your line-ups straight away, but keep an eye on developments, and if you’re in deeper leagues, get a bargain by jumping in before everyone else.
Saints active WR corps – WR – New Orleans Saints – Ownership Percentage: Varies 0%-20%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 0%
Michael Thomas this season has had 3 receptions for 17 yards in the half game he played in week 1. He’s had more fights with team mates (1) and additional injuries (2) than minutes in NFL action since then and it looks very much like this week he will be a no-go too. With Emmanuel Sanders on COVID-IR it means the active corps are Tre-Quan Smith, Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway. Callaway was looking great against the Panthers, until a leg injury took him out of the equation having had 8 catches for 75 yards. Harris had 4 for 46 and a TD while the expected WR1 for this game Smith, had 4 for 54 but no TD. All were serviceable and whoever is available is worth considering. That being said, this week the Bears is a matchup to avoid, the Callaway injury needs to be assessed and we need to know the status of MT.
Christian Kirk – WR – Arizona Cardinals – Ownership Percentage: 48%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 0%
And finally, time for some wider fantasy advice. When teams go on bye, good players can get dropped in order to allow teams to field starting rosters. While you won’t see any big names on the wire, some very solid options can be scooped up for your bench if you have the space to stash. Christian Kirk is on bye in week 8 and is the kind of player teams will drop. But with 15 receptions for 220 yards and 5TDs in his last 4 games, he’s become the valuable WR2 in the same way that Seattle and Tampa Bay seem to have. Post bye they have the Dolphins and Seahawks to play amongst others and while Hopkins is the WR1 stud, Kirk has become a must roster and this is a chance to get him cheaply on Thursday morning.
For the latest on pick-ups and drops, make sure you checkout @F10YFantasy on Twitter. Remember, keep those #EyesPeeled.