I have only included players who are rostered in less than 50 percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues. A player’s roster percentage will appear in parentheses next to their name. Denny Carter is mercifully handling the kicker section of this article which will be added Tuesday mornings. Updates from Monday Night Football will be added on Tuesday mornings as well. Be sure to check out the Waiver Wire Q&A Monday at 6PM ET.
Kyler Murray, Cardinals (42%)
Murray was designated to return from injured reserve last week. That gives him up to 21 days of practice before the Cardinals has to activate him from injured reserve. Reports have indicated that he will practice for two weeks—including last week—before making a return. That puts Week 8 on the table for him. Even if Murray is out an extra week, it’s possible, if not likely, that there is a QB1 available on the waiver wire in over half of leagues.
Gardner Minshew, Colts (8%)
Minshew has now thrown for 861 yards and four touchdowns in three starts. Primarily bolstered by his Week 7 performance, he also has 31 rushing yards and two touchdowns in those games. The bad news is that, though they don’t do much harm in fantasy, Minshew is making backbreaking plays at an absurd clip. Minshew has four fumbles lost, four interceptions, and 12 sacks in those same three games. Minshew is a far better fantasy quarterback than a real-life passer, but that’s alright. He is still worth a look off the waiver wire for his Week 8 matchup with the Saints.
Desmond Ridder, Falcons (14%)
Coming off back-to-back games with 300 passing yards entering Week 7, we were bound to get a truckload of Ridder regression. We got all if it and then some versus the Bucs, though Ridder managed to punch in a rushing touchdown while adding 38 yards on six carries. He also played a solid football game, averaging 10 yards per pass attempt without an interception. Ridder was only sacked once. The waiver wire remains sparse at quarterback—which is why you should be spending a hearty 10-15 percent of your FAAB on Kyler—so there are worse options than Ridder versus a pass-funnel Titans defense this week.
Looking for more fantasy football content? Rotoworld has you covered. Watch Fantasy Football Happy Hour with Matthew Berry weekdays at noon ET LIVE on Peacock and the Rotoworld Football Show on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays wherever you get your podcasts.
Darrell Henderson, Rams (25%)
In his first game of the year, Henderson stepped into the LA offense and immediately took over a strong role. He accounted for 18-of-30 running back carries and was the only LA back to earn a target. He out-snapped Royce Freeman 36-26. With Ronnie Rivers and Kyren Williams out for at least three more games, there’s potential for an LA back to be more than just a one-week filler. Henderson has the early lead in the backfield and is worth a chunk of your FAAB budget. Running-back-needy teams could spend upwards of 25 percent of their FAAB on Henderson. Freeman is only worth a few dollars.
Roschon Johnson, Bears (49%)
Johnson has missed the past two games with a concussion. The typical timeline for a return from this injury would all but guarantee he plays in Week 8. D’Onta Foreman has been starting in his place and has 31 carries plus four catches in two starts. He scored three times last week. Foreman’s dominant showing in Week 7 could earn him more touches even with Johnson healthy, but it’s hard to believe the Bears will opt to use Foreman, who was a healthy scratch before injuries thrust him into the lineup, over their fourth-round rookie.
Emari Demercado, Cardinals (15%)
Demercado disappointed swathes of fantasy managers with three touches in Week 6. Keaontay Ingram got the start in that game. Then, when everyone was out on Demercado, Ingram did not play an offensive snap and the rookie out-touched backup Damian Williams 17-1. James Conner will miss at least two more games while on injured reserve. Demercado appears to have a stranglehold on the starting role all of a sudden. He should put up RB2 numbers until Conner returns.
Pierre Strong, Browns (1%)
Check your waiver wire for Kareem Hunt, but the veteran back is rostered in well over half of Yahoo leagues, so it's not likely he is available. Strong, on the other hand, is up for grabs in nearly every league. He should step in as the No. 2 back in Cleveland with Jerome Ford sidelined for a few weeks because of an ankle issue. Strong will be a clear backup to Hunt in Week 8, but Hunt has dealt with a bevy of injuries this year and he didn't even take the field until Week 3. The Cleveland backfield has also supported multiple FLEX-worthy backs of the past few weeks. Should he go down with something that will force him to miss time, the Browns may have no choice but to give Strong a slew of touches until one of the two backs ahead of him on the roster returns.
Ezekiel Elliott, Patriots (45%)
Elliott remains a bye week filler, but he should go for no more than a dollar or two of FAAB in the league where he is still available. Elliott out-carried Rhamondre Stevenson 11-9 last week and punched in a short touchdown. Elliott has double-digit touches in 4-of-7 games this year.
Chris Rodriguez, Commanders (0%)
Rodriguez only played nine snaps in Week 7 but he turned his seven carries into 31 yards. That led the Washington offense in rushing. Antonio Gibson has been a non-factor on the ground this year. It’s possible the Commanders are trying to find a complement to Brian Robinson in Rodriguez.
Josh Downs, Colts (36%)
In three games with Minshew as the starter and two more with him acting as the bulk reliever, Downs has averaged 7.4 targets for 5.6 receptions, 67.4 yards, and 0.4 touchdowns. That’s 14.7 PPR points per week. His PPR average plummets to 5.7 points per game with Anthony Richardson getting the majority of the snaps. Richardson is done for the year, meaning the Minshew-Downs connection will live on for the remainder of the rookie’s season.
Kendrick Bourne, Patriots (26%)
The Pats have given up on making DeVante Parker a thing. His route rate has dropped in back-to-back weeks while Bourne's route participation has been over 90 percent in three straight weeks. Bourne has a 26 percent target share over that span.
Jalin Hyatt, Giants (5%)
Giants coach Brian Daboll has shaken up his team's wide receiver rotation from early in the season. The return of Wan’Dale Robinson sent Parris Campbell packing and Hyatt has recently usurped Isaiah Hodgins as a starting outside receiver. Hyatt has run a route on 73 percent of the Giants’ dropbacks over the past two weeks. He has a 16 percent target share and a 42 percent air yards share over that span.
Demario Douglas, Patriots (0%)
Douglas served as the Patriots’ starting slot receiver with JuJu Smith-Schuster out for Week 7. He ran route on 70 percent of Mac Jones’ dropbacks. Douglas earned 17 percent target share, 29 percent air yards share, and was on the receiving end of half of the team’s end zone targets. The risk with Douglas is that JuJu reclaims the starting role once he’s back from his concussion, but that would be an egregious mistake by Bill Belichick.
Dalton Kincaid, Bills (42%)
Kincaid ran a route on 63 percent of Josh Allen’s dropbacks versus the Patriots. That wasn’t a drastic change for Kincaid. The biggest difference was Buffalo abandoning their 11.5-personnel look when throwing the football. They used it on 36.9 percent of their passing plays in the first six weeks of the season. That number dropped to 16.9 percent in Week 7. This was likely the result of Dawson Knox's wrist injury that will now require surgery flaring up.
The Bills were forced to use Kincaid in a more traditional fashion and were rewarded with an eight-catch, 75-yard outing in Week 7. With Knox sidelined for an unknown amount of time, that usage should continue for the foreseeable future.
Trey McBride, Cardinals (2%)
McBride was working his way into a larger role heading into Week 7 and then Zach Ertz suffered a quad strain that is expected to land him on injured reserve. McBride struggled to earn reps and targets as a rookie. Ertz's absence will fix the reps issue and McBride himself has seemingly fixed the targets issue. He has seen a look on 22 percent of his routes this year.
Michael Mayer, Raiders (28%)
Mayer’s route rate dipped last week but remained above 50 percent. All three of his best games by route rate and target share have come in his previous three appearances. Not quite seeing a full complement of routes, the rookie is more of a stash than an immediate starter for Week 8, but with how weak the tight end position has been, having a breakout candidate like Mayer on the backend of your fantasy roster isn’t a bad idea.
Taysom Hill, Saints (9%)
Two weeks ago, Hill set a career-high in routes. Last week, he beat that number with 42 more routes. With Juwan Johnson out of the lineup, the Saints have been using Hill as a pass-catcher more than ever. He has 11 catches for 99 yards on 13 targets over the past two weeks. Even better is that the Saints still gave him carries in Week 7. Hill rushed five times for 18 yards and a touchdown versus the Jags. If Johnson can’t suit up in Week 8, Hill will find his way into my TE1 rankings.