Saturday - Jan 23, 2021

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ON SECOND THOUGHT: Week 8

Injuries, and C0vid and Byes, oh my! Week 8 has it all. Navigating this weeks waiver wire is just what you need to help yourself through a tough week. In Week 8 Houston, Washington, Arizona and Jacksonville have byes. Many teams are working out multiple injury issues and a couple of big name fantasy players have been added to the Covid list. Sounds like just another week in 2020. Since we are used to this by now, let’s just put on our mask and dive into the waivers, and as always, let’s start with..

Quarterback

Baker Mayfield showed up big time on Sunday in the Brown’s win over the Bengals. The Cleveland QB is available in 85% of leagues and just threw for 297 yards and 5 TD’s. It does not get much bigger than that. He did lose Odell Beckham for the season due to an ACL tear. However, he has found a replacement it seems in Rashard Higgins whom we will talk about later. Combine this breakout game with his new found receiving friends and you have a QB that should fly off the waiver wire.

On second thought.. no.

Mayfield did look great on Sunday but it was against the Bengals. They are possibly the best team to play against for fantasy greatness. Mayfield has been inconsistent this season, at best. He turns the ball over way too much for any manager looking for help at the QB position. The most important thing to remember is they just played the Bengals and in Week 8 will play the Raiders. Las Vegas is not a defensive juggernaut by any stretch of the imagination. They are certainly tougher than the Bengals though. Mayfield will come back down to earth and you will thank me that you did not pick him up.

If you need help at Quarterback do not worry though, you can get all you need from Joe Burrow.

That’s right. The Bengals QB is still available in 50% of leagues which means half of you can still get him, and after this week, I’ll probably not be able to mention him again as he will be on way to many rosters to talk about in a waiver wire column so last call on Burrow, the train is leaving the station. What makes the Bengals so bad helps out Burrow, the Cincinnati defense. The Bengals are almost always in a negative game script which means Burrow is leaned on heavily in this offense. For example, they lost on Sunday but put up 34 points. Burrow threw for 406 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also rushed for 34 yards and another touchdown. That is the type of numbers you get from this guy. He does turn the ball over as rookies, and bad teams, do. His positive production however can almost always cover up any negative production he does get. Burrow has thrown for over 300 yards in 5 of his first 7 games. He does not look like he’ll be slowing down any time soon so you need to jump on this bandwagon if it is still available to you. Bonus if you are able to get him, 4 of his next 6 games are against the Cowboys, Dolphins, Giants and Washington. That is tasty. I get it. Burrow is only available in half the leagues. Most of us won’t be able to get him. So what do you do if you have an immediate need and you are in a “normal” league that doesn’t have people like Joe Burrow available?

You grab Teddy Bridgewater, that’s what you do. The Carolina play caller is still available in 70% of leagues and is a perfect one week fill in.

I don’t know that I would feel good always trusting Bridgewater, but he plays Atlanta next week, which means in Week 8, I trust him implicitly. Bridgewater had a very nice outing on Sunday when he threw for 254 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions in the Panthers’ 27-24 loss to the Saints. He also rushed 2 times for 10 yards. Bridgewater has been pretty consistent this season. He does well against the teams he should, and struggles against tough defenses. With the Falcons on the schedule for Week 8 I can not suggest him with any more gusto. Grab Bridgewater for Week 8 and watch your fantasy score roll.

Running Back

Running backs are always tough to find this time of year, but thanks to injuries this weeks choices are fairly easy. JaMycal Hasty the newest RB to get the lions share of snap is available in 96% of leagues. The 49ers RB carried the ball 9 times after injuries took out Jeff Wilson Jr. and picked up 57 yards on the ground. He also caught a pass for 16 yards. With Wilson going down and Mostert and Coleman already out it looks like it is Hasty’s time to shine in the Bay.

On second thought.. no. Leave him at Alcatraz, locked up, away from your line-up.

It’s not that the speedy back doesn’t have the ability to do well it is just that every RB has hurt legs. There is word that the turf in SF is causing these injuries and the players are unhappy about it. This means you have no idea when or if he is going to get injured. Between that and the teams propensity for going with the “hot hand” it is a coin-flip as to whether or not he will produce from week to week. Save yourself the anxiety and go with a more comforting RB that you can be sure will help you in Week 8.

That RB is Carlos Hyde. You know who he is and you know what he is capable of. Well now the Seahawks RB inherits the backfield as Chris Carson sprained his foot in the second quarter of the game last week. There are murmurs that Hyde is hurt as well but it is unknown so I have to tell you at this point to grab him because if he is not hurt he is a must have at RB. After coming in for Carson, Hyde ran for 68 yards and a touchdown and also caught 3 passes in the Seahawks OT loss to the Cardinals. The Seattle back is available in 95% of leagues and is a great insurance policy for any fantasy team with Carson on it. If he can go in Week 8 he is a must start, at the very least in the Flex position.

Giovani Bernard is also a very interesting RB to grab this week. The Cincinnati RB, just like his QB, is available in 50% of leagues. Bernard is pulling down main back duties as Joe Mixon is out with a foot injury. Gio rushed for 37 yards and caught 5 balls for 59 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. He can play well and always catches balls out of the backfield. When given the opportunity he almost always shines for his fantasy managers. Keep an eye on Mixon, but as long as he stays out, Bernard is as good of a RB pick up as you could ask for.

About Rick Olson

Rick joined FantasySharks,com as a staff writer in 2013, though he fell in love with fantasy football in 1988 with the first league he played in. In his articles he tries to feature players off the radar or deeper than most since, in his experience, by the time a player is a waiver wire "must have" they are not usually available in most leagues.