The injury bug has hit the NFL and left its mark over the first half of the season, leading to major drop-offs for your fantasy team. With that being said, here are your week 8 waiver wire pickups.
Ryan Tannehill, QB Miami Dolphins, 12.7 percent owned (ESPN): Ryan Tannehill is a great plug-and-play option for week 8 as the Dolphins have a matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The former Texas A&M Aggie has consistently scored 12-13 points this year, and while those numbers aren’t eye-popping, Tannehill is going up against a Jacksonville defense that has been allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
The Miami signal caller has thrown for an average of 266 yards over his last three games, and has also been much more efficient running the ball, gaining 132 yards on the ground during that span.
Look for him to expose a soft Jacksonville pass defense, and rack up fantasy points for your team.
Other options: Alex Smith (KC) and Kyle Orton (BUF)
Denard Robinson, RB Jacksonville Jaguars, 0.5 percent owned (ESPN): Jacksonville running back Denard Robinson finally got to show that he may have what it takes to play running back in the NFL.
After starting off the season as the third-string running back, Robinson showed in a week 7 victory over the Browns why the Jaguars were smart to take a chance on the former Michigan quarterback. Thanks to an injury to starter Toby Gerhart, and the ineffectiveness of Storm Johnson, Robinson ran for 127 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
Miami’s defense has been a little more stout against the run, but look for the second-year pro to show off his elusiveness once again, and prove why he is getting the bulk of the carries in the Jacksonville backfield.
Jerick McKinnon, RB Minnesota Vikings, 11.7 percent owned (ESPN): In his first start, Minnesota running back Jerick McKinnon overshadowed Matt Asiata.
The Georgia Southern product asserted himself in a backfield that hasn’t had any consistency since Adrian Peterson was suspended earlier in the season. Last Sunday, McKinnon carried the ball 19 times for 103 yards. Being the more talented of the two backs, he should remain the starter for the rest of the season.
As inconsistent as the Minnesota offense has been this season, week 8 should give them an opportunity to get back on pace in a matchup against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Other options: Tre Mason (STL), Anthony Dixon (BUF) and Jonathan Stewart (CAR)
Doug Baldwin, WR Seattle Seahawks, 19.4 percent owned (ESPN): No player benefited from the Percy Harvin trade more than Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson loves throwing to his slot receiver, and this was extremely evident in week 7. The wideout pulled in seven passes for 123 yards and a touchdown last Sunday against a young St. Louis secondary.
As bad as St. Louis’ secondary was against Russell Wilson, look for the Carolina Panthers to be even worse. The Panthers are giving up the 10th-most points against opposing quarterbacks. With Baldwin in line for more targets, look for him to gash Carolina’s porous defense.
Brandon LaFell, WR New England Patriots, 7.1 percent owned (ESPN): While inconsistent, Brandon LaFell seems to be emerging as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets.
The former Carolina Panther had a rather quiet day against a stiff New York Jets pass defense, tallying only four catches for 55 yards. But, LaFell has been a reliable target this season with 337 yards and three touchdowns. He leads the New England Patriots receivers in touchdowns with those three scores, and seems to be more of a playmaker than Julian Edelman as of late.
With Bears rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller shelved with a broken hand, look for Brady and LaFell to have a field day with the Browns’ defense.
Other options: Davante Adams (GB), Jarvis Landry (MIA) and Jordan Matthews (PHI)
Dwayne Allen, TE Indianapolis Colts, 28.6 percent owned (ESPN): Dwayne Allen is starting to fit in as Andrew Luck’s number one target at tight end.
Allen has already caught five touchdown passes this year, and his performance against Cincinnati spoke for itself. Against a powerful Bengals defense, Allen was able to catch three passes for 52 yards and touchdown.
Up next are the Steelers, and don’t look for Allen to slow down his production there. The Indianapolis tight end has proven himself as the primary red zone threat on the team.
Other options: Scott Chandler (BUF) and Clay Harbor (JAC)
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