Welcome to the fantasy football corner of Prime Time Sports Talk! Tune in for weekly evaluations of players on the waiver wire, who to scoop up and who to drop. Also, keeping you updated on those menacing bye weeks and who to lock into your lineup heading into Sunday.
Week 8 Byes: Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, and the Tennessee Titans.
Waiver Wire Targets
Chris Carson, RB: Seattle will face a Lions defense that’s given up 139.3 yards per game, the third most in the league. Carson has seen his workload increase and been steady since the Seahawks first round pick Rashad Penny was knocked out by injury.
Jordy Nelson, WR: Without the absence of Amari Cooper due to trade, Derek Carr and the Raiders should lean on Nelson heavily this week. Nelson has shown inconsistent fantasy value during his time in Oakland, but now being the number one target, he should see more balls thrown his way. Major upside from a proven veteran.
Looking Ahead of Week 8
Cole Beasley, WR: On bye this week, Beasley poses a threat to all future slot defenders as he has become Dak Prescott’s primary target over the last two games, hauling in 16 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns. With Amari Cooper now drawing coverage on the outside, Beasley may be a sneaky off week pickup that could pay dividends down the road.
Tyrell Williams, WR: Same goes for Williams, as the Chargers take a bye week as well. He has exploded these past two weeks, finding the end zone on three different occasions. Being a boom or bust wide receiver, Williams has low volume in targets and catches, but his emergence right before the bye week may entice the coaches to game plan around him and have Phillip Rivers throw the ball his way more often. Williams is a credible threat and could be a nice addition looking ahead.
Potential Drops or Trade Pieces
Marvin Jones Jr, WR: Jones flourished as a top-5 fantasy wideout in 2017 but has yet to produce any significant value to fantasy owners this season. He ranks 52nd in points among all receivers and has not gained over 70 yards in a game for the Lions this year. Look for a trade partner who is receiver desperate and will overvalue a household name or simply drop him for a weekly plug and play guy that can bolster your roster.
Jordan Reed, TE: Reed simply has not connected with Alex Smith, although he’s had trouble staying on the field and producing consistently. Clearly, there are better options on the waiver wire and you shouldn’t allow Reed’s lack of production to handicap your team. Positional matchups that could prove fruitful for this week include Jared Cook against Indianapolis or Jesse James against Cleveland.
Andrew Luck, QB: Luck is walking into the black hole this week that has more question marks than his shoulder did last season. He should be in every lineup this week, especially after coming off two back to back four touchdown performances and now facing a weak Raiders secondary.
Nick Chubb, RB: The Cleveland Browns drafted Chubb to be their lead back and now he has a chance to do just that. Carlos Hyde is soaking up the sun in Jacksonville, and Chubb will handle the bulk of the workload against a Steelers team that allowed a grand total of 177 rush yards in their first meeting. Chubb is a viable starter from this week forward.
Arizona Cardinals, D/ST: Recently, division matchups in the NFC West come down to the better special teams play that sways the game, and this week you can lean on the Cardinals. A lot of chatter involving Patrick Peterson and the trade deadline approaching may lead to extra motivation from him and his squad to put on a stellar performance. CJ Beathard came back down to Earth last week, and the Cardinals defense should be strong enough to keep him there.
New England Patriots, D/ST: The Patriots defense should take full advantage of the aged Derek Anderson led Bills offense. Surely this defense will wreak havoc on an abysmal offensive unit and will all but guarantee a solid double-digit performance.
Carlos Hyde, RB: Jacksonville recently traded for Hyde and he has been activated for this week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Typically, it is protocol to see how a new weapon factors into the lineup and truly how much action they will see with a new team and system, especially against a tough front seven like the Eagles. But here’s the deal, Jacksonville made a desperation move to get Hyde. They have been without Leonard Fournette for the majority of the first half of the season and it’s wrecked their system and the way they like to control the clock and manage a football game.
Hyde is a downhill runner with a similar make-up to Fournette and will allow T.J. Yeldon to fall back into complimentary duties once again. It makes sense for Jacksonville to run Hyde as much as they can, keep their defense off the field and keeping the ball out of Blake Bortle’s hands to try and move the chains on the ground. If all other options have been exhausted, Hyde could be a spectacular play this week even with all the cards stacked against him. Crazier things have happened in the NFL and Fantasy Football.