Week seven of the 2021 NFL season is finished and it is time to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself “Am I Tom Brady playing the Bears or Justin Fields playing the Bucs.” For most of you, you are Justin Fields wondering why you are given the David Carr treatment. The hits just keep on coming as more and more players get hurt. But nothing hurts more than your terrible roster. Fear not! This week, I’m going to provide you with the best waiver wire options available. If I don’t mention someone whom you think I should be talking about, just know there are many reasons why I overlooked them. Maybe they are owned in most leagues. Maybe they are so bad I don’t even consider them. Maybe it’s because your opinions cannot be trusted. After all, you are here. So let us examine the best week eight waiver wire players for your championship run…
Week Eight Waiver Wire Quarterbacks
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (46% rostered)
Remember last week when I said Tua was a guy you should pick up if he cleared waivers? If you listened to me, you got yourself the number one fantasy quarterback from week seven. Tua threw for 291 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Did he win the game? No. But that isn’t the question you should be asking yourself in fantasy football. The real question is will he win you games. And Tua will.
Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts (30% rostered)
If you need quarterback help, Carson Wentz is someone worth keeping an eye on. Over his past four games, Wentz has thrown for 2 touchdowns. He even added a rushing touchdown in week seven. Wentz isn’t a guy who will win you games, but he has been pretty consistent. He also gets to play the Titans, Jets, and Jaguars over his next three games. This is a nice three-game stretch that will provide Wentz with a high-floor and high-ceiling.
Week Eight Waiver Wire Running Backs
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (24% rostered)
With Miles Sanders expected to miss at least two to three weeks with an ankle injury, Kenneth Gainwell should be the number one waiver wire move for week seven. Gainwell had 61 all-purpose yards and 1 touchdown in week seven. Gainwell also saw 51% of the team’s offensive snaps. While there is some concern that he could find himself in a timeshare with Boston Scott, I think Gainwell is the safer bet. For the past couple of weeks, it has looked like the Eagles were looking for an excuse to give him more work. The Sanders injury gives the Eagles that excuse.
Devonta Freeman, Baltimore Ravens (31% rostered)
The Baltimore Ravens backfield is an absolute disaster. When you have to pick between Ty’Son Williams, Le’Veon Bell, and Devonta Freeman, the only reasonable choice is the sweet release of death. If you need to play running back Russian roulette with these running backs, Devonta Freeman is probably the least horrible of your options. Freeman has had a touchdown in each of his last two games. He also led all running backs on the team in snaps with 40%. But the truth of the matter is that Lamar Jackson is the lead back on this team and burning a waiver on a question mark that has an eight-week bye is just irresponsible.
Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (6% rostered)
Since Rhamondre Stevenson was a healthy scratch in week seven, I will try talking you out of another Bill Belichick running back that will just disappoint you – Brandon Bolden. In week seven, Bolden had 6 catches for 79 yards and 1 touchdown. Those are really nice numbers. The problem is that Bolden doesn’t have any more games against the Jets this year. It is also worth pointing out that in his other six games, Brandon Bolden has 111 yards. Bolden wasn’t even the best back in New England for week seven. Damien Harris was. And outside of Harris, no running back in New England is worth the roster spot they’ll take up. Especially Brandon Bolden.
Week Eight Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (39% rostered)
Dak Prescott is eighth in the NFL in passing yards and he has already had his bye week. He is fourth in the NFL in yards per game and has the second-highest completion percentage in football. The Dallas Cowboys might have the most fun offense in football. This is why I want all the Michael Gallup shares. While we only got to see Gallup for half a football game, he did have 7 targets in week one. Going into the season, Gallup had a lot of the earmarks I look for in a wide receiver – high SPARQ, high-powered offense, going into a contract year. Gallup is nice because he should have value in his own right, but if something happens to CeeDee Lamb or Amari Cooper, his value skyrockets. Yesterday, Gallup was activated from IR, so you want to grab him while you can.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers (5% rostered)
Davante Adams is dead. Those of you who doubted how serious COVID actually is are now tasting bitter tears as Adams is placed on the COVID list. What are your options? Do you trust Marquez Valdes-Scantling to be back in time to save you Thursday? Even if he is back, why would you trust MVS now when you’ve never really trusted him before. For at least one week, Allen Lazard is a must-add to your roster. In week seven, Lazard had 5 catches for 60 yards and 1 touchdown. He did that with Adams in the lineup. Imagine what Lazard will do without Adams? (Probably 3 catches for 15 yards and no touchdowns, but what choice do you have?)
EDITORS NOTE: DO NOT GET ALLEN LAZARD. ALLEN LAZARD IS ALSO DEAD OF COVID (FOR FANTASY FOOTBALL PURPOSES)
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (10% rostered)
In his 2021 debut, Russell Gage had5 catches for 67 yards and 1 touchdown. Russell Gage is a nice, safe addition to your lineup. While he is the third option on Atlanta’s offense, Gage could be a reliable option. I don’t know that I would burn my waiver priority on him. While Gage had a nice debut, he was also up against a Dolphins team that has given up the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. If he clears waivers, Gage is a solid flyer. Otherwise, I’d let someone else take the risk.
Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (26% rostered)
Rashod Bateman came back from his groin injury in style, with 3 catches for 80 yards in week seven. While I have high hopes for Rashod Bateman as an NFL prospect, and while there was no denying he looked like he belongs on an NFL football field, I am not sure he is worth rostering. The problem with Bateman is he is the third-receiving option on a run-first offense. The Ravens are built around running the football, so the target opportunities just won’t be there. I will say if you believe the numbers won’t matter in the face of his obvious ability, feel free to take that shot. I know plenty of people who do. I just don’t believe the numbers bear out.
Week Eight Waiver Wire Tight Ends
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals (15% rostered)
With 5 touchdowns in his last four games, C.J. Uzomah is the TE10 on the season. His 3 catches for 91 yards and 2 touchdowns was the best performance by a tight end in week seven. Having said all that, I’m not sure I believe in the sustainability of his success. While he leads all tight ends in touchdowns, that is the only category he is putting up top-ten performances in. Uzomah is 23rd in receptions, 31st in targets, and 13th in receiving yards. None of those numbers indicate long-term sustained success. If he clears waivers, go ahead and make a move. Otherwise, the risk isn’t worth it.