With the conclusion of week 8, we’ve officially crossed over into the 2nd half of the fantasy football season. This means every game from here on out is that much more important. The waiver wire typically proves to be the safety blanket you can rely on to boost your lineup on a week-to-week basis. There’s a great slate of guys this week who available in most fantasy leagues (according to ESPN) and they can prove to help you down the stretch as you make your playoff run. Check them out below!
*Percent owned based on ESPN leagues
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QB Josh McCown (Cleveland Browns) – 2.3% owned
Returning in week 8 in impressive fashion was the NFL journeyman, Josh McCown. Recording just his 2nd start of the year, McCown threw for nearly 350 passing yards with 2 TDs to no interceptions. In both starts combined, he has compiled over 600 passing yards with 4 TDs to 0 INTs.
He’s not the sexiest of names at the QB position, but McCown has proven over the past few years he’s as reliable as they come as a fantasy QB. Let’s remember last year’s stretch of 1,154 passing yards, 6 TDs and 1 INT during a 3 week span. McCown has proven to be a legitimate starting QB in fantasy and should be on your priority list this week if you need help there.
RB Peyton Barber (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – 4.2% owned
The injury bug continues to haunt the Buccaneers’ backfield as Jacquizz Rodgers may now be out this upcoming Thursday as he deals with an ankle injury – he’s been serving as the replacement to Doug Martin and Charles Sims who have also been dealing with injuries of their own. So who’s the next guy up in Tampa Bay? Peyton Barber and Antone Smith would likely split time, but I prefer Barber from a fantasy perspective.
He was given only one carry this past week against Oakland, but the week prior Barber was given 14 carries and ran for 84 yards and a score. He’s a big, powerful back who will likely be utilized at the goal-line over a smaller back like Smith. Smith had more carries than Barber this past week, but Barber has 16 carries to Smith’s 5 on the year. Barber is the guy to go for.
RB Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans) – 44.1% owned
After posting no more than 5 fantasy points all year long, Derrick Henry had his breakout game on Thursday Night Football against Jacksonville as he carried the ball 16 times for 60 yards and a score and looked very good while doing so. The 2nd round pick may finally have found his strides.
With the Titans monitoring DeMarco Murray in coming weeks after suffering a toe injury, that opens the door even further for Henry, as if his exceptional week 8 performance didn’t do that enough. Henry fits perfectly into Mike Mularkey’s smash mouth offense and he’ll likely eclipse double-digit carries in most weeks from here on out and serve as a viable FLEX option.
RB C.J. Prosise (Seattle Seahawks) – 8% owned
Even with Thomas Rawls set to return here shortly, after Prosise’s big performance in week 8 he becomes a priority waiver wire add this week. Despite only touching the ball 8 times this past week, Prosise racked up over 100 yards – 80 of which came in the passing game. The former college WR possesses natural ball catching skills and serves as a legitimate FLEX option in PPR leagues.
Prosise has more catches than carries on the year, making him an asset in PPR leagues. However, I expect him to get more integrated in the running game now that he is finally healthy. The rookie out of Notre Dame is a guy the Seattle coaching staff is extremely high on.
WR Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs) – 1.5% owned
The 5th round pick has really been catching on as of late for the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s went for double-digit fantasy points in consecutive weeks with a TD in each game. His 98 yards this past week against Indy topped his season-high. The rookie has 4 TDs on the year and has emerged as a reliable cog in Kansas City’s passing game with his top-end speed. Also adds value as a returner.
What makes Hill even more valuable is the possible absence of Alex Smith under center. While Smith is likely to play this week, if Nick Foles starts for the Chiefs that makes Hill that much more valuable. The two showed uncanny chemistry as they hooked up for a TD this past week. Foles’ arm strength fits Hill’s deep threat ability as well.
WR J.J. Nelson (Arizona Cardinals) – 1.2% owned
As far as WRs go, J.J. Nelson will be the hottest commodity on the waiver wire after being promoted to a starting WR. He’s coming off his best game of the year after hauling in 8 catches for 79 yards and a pair of TDs against Carolina this past week – adding a much needed spark to what has been a bland passing attack for the Cards so far this season. He even put together a 80+ receiving yard performance in the previous week.
Now a starter, Nelson is a must start from here on out. His big play threat makes him lethal against opposing defenses. Nelson was able to put together a respectable rookie season last year, and now it appears he’s developed his game even further. I love his upside as he should finish the 2nd half of the year as one of the top fantasy WRs.
WR Mohamed Sanu (Atlanta Falcons) – 47.1% owned
Early on it looked like Sanu was a wasted investment for the Falcons after signing in the offseason. However, he’s coming off his best game of the year (9 catches, 84 yards, TD) and it looks like he’ll serve as a consistent option in Atlanta’s passing game from here on out.
With Matt Ryan currently the hottest QB in the league, it’s hard to ignore anyone a guy like Sanu, especially after coming off a big game. He’s restored his fantasy value and should be a solid FLEX start from here on out if he can stay consistent.