Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 8

Here are your prime waiver wire targets for Week 8!

By: Rishi Patel

Welcome back to this NFL column where I will be giving my advice about which fantasy players you should pluck off your waiver wire each week during this NFL season. 

During each NFL season, there are usually sleepers that emerge who you should pick up off the waiver wire due to various reasons, such as better performances than expected, injuries, etc. It’s important to make good use of the waiver wire as players from here could sometimes be good depth and even a starter for your team in critical stretches. It’s hard to believe we are nearly at the midpoint of the season. Let’s look at some players you should consider for this week:

Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles RB starter Miles Sanders suffered a low-ankle sprain in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders and could be out for a couple of weeks as a result. This pushes 2021 fifth-round pick Kenneth Gainwell to the top of the depth chart for now. The 22-year-old hasn’t been all that effective in his rookie year but has shown spurts of brilliance. 

This includes a five receptions for 41 yards and a score performance on Sunday against Vegas and even posting 58 receiving yards earlier in the season. Gainwell will now see a lot more of the rushing workload and has receiving prowess, so he’s a solid addition. He will likely fight for carries with Boston Scott, but Gainwell has more upside. 

Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets

Look, the Jets are in shambles (as usual). Things got even worse on Sunday when rookie QB Zach Wilson went down with a PCL injury and now has to miss a few weeks. This means the Jets could lean more on their running game and that is where Carter comes in. The rookie has had modest numbers so far each week but he paces the Jets in rushing yards. 

He also has receiving abilities out of the backfield and just put up eight receptions for 67 yards on nine targets in Week 7. Though this is one of the worst offenses in the league, Carter’s dual-threat ability and expected larger role make him an intriguing addition. 

Byron Pringle, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs may be struggling this year overall, but their offense is still one of the most talented in the league. And despite having players like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, other guys have been stepping up this season too, like Byron Pringle. The 27-year-old has quietly put up at least three games with 55 yards this season. In Week 7, he posted five receptions for 73 yards on six targets. 

Pringle is the fourth-leading receiver on Kansas City and has been quite underrated thus far. He’s worth stashing for your team if you need depth.  

Kendrick Bourne, WR, New England Patriots

The Pats may not have a true WR1, but Bourne has certainly done enough to grab the attention of managers this season. The former 49er now has at least 58 yards in four of the past five games despite not seeing a huge number of targets. He had 96 yards in one of those contests. Bourne is showing consistency and decent production, meaning he’s a sneaky good stash right now. 

Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have always been about the run but Lamar Jackson can make some nice throws (when he decides to). Baltimore has mostly relied on Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown but a third viable pass-catcher may have emerged in the rookie Bateman out of Minnesota. 

The 22-year-old suffered a groin injury back in August and didn’t make his NFL debut until Week 6 in the blowout win over the Chargers, where he posted 29 yards. He flashed a little more of his talent in Week 7 when he posted three receptions for 80 yards on six targets. Bateman has the potential to be the third-best receiving option behind Andrews and Brown, and he’s worth adding. 

C.J. Uzomah, TE, Cincinnati Bengals

Uzomah has been on fire in recent weeks and that continued on Sunday in a win over the arch-rival Ravens. He had three receptions for 91 yards and two scores. Overall, the 28-year-old has had five touchdowns in the last four games. One thing to note with Uzomah is his inconsistency. While he did post 91 and 95 yards in two of the past four games, he managed only 15 and 16 yards in the other two contests.

The TE is a risky option given his up and down weeks but he’s certainly worth taking a chance on if you need TE options. There is room for Uzomah to have a big game, as evidence of a few recent contests.

Three Sleeper RBs for the 2021 Season

Target Texans RB Phillip Lindsay

Marcel Boudreau (@Marcel_BFF)

With 32 teams in the NFL, and typically only one running back (RB) on the field at a time, it’s important to strike value on later-round running backs that other league mates are undervaluing. It would be easy to write an article on the known commodities with known upsides like the Gus Edwards, Jamaal Williams, and AJ Dillon’s of the fantasy world. The goal of this article is to highlight RBs going outside of the top 48 RBs (as per 4for4.com ADP), that have a chance of finishing as a valuable fantasy asset and are worth stashing in your drafts.

Phillip Lindsay (RB50 – 165 overall)

Lindsay is the easiest player to talk about in this section, especially with the release of the Houston Texans unofficial depth chart. Lindsay was “co-starter” with Mark Ingram, both ahead of last season’s RB21 overall and 2017’s consensus fantasy first overall pick, David Johnson. Lindsay has career yards per carry of 4.78, which is a very impressive mark. His reputation was stained last season when he failed to score touchdowns as Melvin Gordon was brought into Denver and took the goal-line role. This should not alter how we see Lindsay, as the two years before he averaged 8 touchdowns per season, and caught 35 passes per year, to lead him to 19th and 13th overall finishes. It is also key to note that the Denver offense has struggled over the last three seasons, limiting Lindsay’s scoring attempts and positive game script carries. Other than his smaller frame, there are not many reasons we cannot see Lindsay take over as the RB1 in this offense, and finish as a top 30 RB. 

Kenneth Gainwell (RB62 – 224 overall)

Gainwell slipped much further in the 2021 draft than most expected. This may have been due to a lack of RB need across the league, his smaller body size, or his decision to opt-out of the 2020 college season for COVID reasons. Regardless, Gainwell is an extremely talented pass-catching RB, and many ranked him top 3 in this draft class as a pass-catcher. Why is this relevant? Philadelphia Eagles starting RB, Miles Sanders, struggled mightily in the passing game last season. This Philly team brought in Nick Sirianni as the head coach, who comes from the Frank Reich tree of coaching, who produced the RB15, Nyheim Hines, along with the RB6, Jonathan Taylor just last season (both in PPR scoring). The Philly backfield duo will not produce these finishes, but it comes to show the usage in this running back by committee approach. If Gainwell is lucky enough to see near the passing work that Hines had, Gainwell could produce high floor PPR weeks, with a decent ceiling due to his break-away ability. On top of this, Sanders missed 4 games last season, which could open the door for Gainwell to have top-20 weeks if Sanders misses more time next season. 

Rashaad Penny (RB52 – 181 overall)

Yes, we’re doing it again. When on the field, and on a per touch basis, Rashaad Penny has been very good. In fact, in his five career games with 10+ attempts, Penny has put up four top-14 weekly finishes. Why is he not being drafted higher? A combination of his horrendous injury history and splitting the backfield with Chris Carson. The Seahawks have been rumored all off-season to want to run the ball more, and because of this, there’s a world where both these backs can co-exist, while both being relevant fantasy options. To add, Chris Carson has yet to play a full season in the NFL, and if he were to miss any time, Penny would be an auto-start top-20 RB with weekly top-10 upside. Penny is a player you want to stash at the end of drafts to see his role in the offense in week 1. He has shed some weight and is reported to be looking a lot more explosive in camp, which is a scary thought, for a player who has a lot to prove after being a former first-round pick and potentially entering free agency following the season. 

To conclude, these are not the only guys that have the potential to outproduce ADP at the end of the draft, but these are backs who have could have sneaky weekly upside. Other honorable mentions: Darrynton Evans, Xavier Jones, Gerrid Doaks. I hope this article helps you prepare to go into re-draft season! Thanks for reading.

Kenneth Gainwell Will Be a Day 2 Steal

By: Bradley Myers

Kenneth “Kenny” Gainwell was a 3-Star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports coming out of Yazoo County High School in Yazoo City, Mississippi. The 5’8 180lb Gainwell was a jack-of-all-trades during his time in high school. He played quarterback but was active on kickoff returns and punt returns as well. Gainwell helped lead Yazoo County High to its best record in school history (14-1) and a 3A State Championship appearance in 2017. He finished his career with over 8,000 yards from scrimmage and scored 108 touchdowns on his way to securing MHSAA Class 3A Mr. Football and Mississippi Association of Coaches Class 3A Player of the Year honors. Despite having offers from much larger programs like Ole Miss, Tulane, and Louisiana-Lafayette, Gainwell committed to the University of Memphis in the summer of 2017 to play running back.

  • 22 years old (DOB: 03/14/1999)
  • Ht: 5083
  • Wt: 201

Pro Day Results-

  • Hand 9 7/8
  • Arm 30 5/8
  • Wing 70 2/8
  • 40-yd 4.47
  • VJ 35.0
  • BJ 10-01
  • SS 4.46
  • 3Cone 7.26

During his freshman season with the Tigers, Kenny Gainwell found himself playing behind a batch of future NFL running backs like Darrell Henderson, Patrick Taylor, and Tony Pollard. Current Washington Football Team star Antonio Gibson was also on the team but was mainly used on kickoffs and as a receiver. Gainwell still competed, however, and was incredibly efficient albeit on a limited basis tallying 143 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in only 4 games of action. Despite his incredible efficiency when touching the ball, he decided to redshirt his freshman year.

After Darrell Henderson and Tony Pollard departed for the NFL, it put Gainwell in the driver seat to be the primary tailback for Memphis. Ahead of his redshirt freshman season, Gainwell was named the starting running back for the Tigers and delivered in a big way as a result.

During that 2019 season, Gainwell broke out to the tune of 1,459 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns while tacking on another 610 yards and three touchdowns receiving on his way to being named first team All-AAC and a second team All-American by the Sporting News and the AFCA. Additionally, he was named the National Freshman of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America.

While prepping for the 2020 season, Gainwell tragically lost several family members due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and as a result opted out of the 2020 College Football Season to protect the health of he and his family. He declared for the NFL Draft in August of 2020.

Strengths: 

  • Agility
  • Explosiveness 
  • Contact Balance
  • Receiving Ability

Weaknesses:

  • Size 
  • Small Sample Size 
  • Footwork 

Team Visits: 

  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Atlanta Falcons

Overview:

Kenny Gainwell is an explosive, fast, and physical back coming out of Memphis. He is an excellent pass-catcher and can even line up at receiver and in the slot. He shows great contact balance, cuts, and can get up field in a hurry. He has questions about size and how that will correlate to workload at the next level, has a small sample size (only one full season as a starter at running back), and has some footwork questions when operating in a system outside of a spread or wide zone scheme. 

Despite his weaknesses, I anticipate Gainwell to be one of the more productive backs in this class. At the very least he can slot in as a dangerous weapon in the passing game and be a good change-of-pace option.  Despite being a bit undersized, if the landing spot and scheme fit is right, Gainwell has the ceiling to be a featured back. He fits very well with the two teams he has met with (Atlanta and Pittsburgh) and projects to be a good fit with the Jets and their anticipated zone scheme. 

Comp:

  • Kenny Gainwell comps closely to Myles Gaskin. Both players posted similar dominator ratings, speed scores, burst scores, workout metrics, and proved to be 3-down players at the college level despite being smaller in size (Gaskin is 5’9 208 lbs, Gainwell is 5’8 201 lbs).

I expect Gainwell to go a bit earlier than Gaskin, however, likely slotting in as high as a Day 2 selection or no later than a 5th round draft pick.

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