By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston/CBS Local)- Well folks, another week of the NFL season is in the books.
With Week 8 approaching, we are now just over a month away from the start of the fantasy postseason. Pretty crazy, right?
Before we start talking about the fantasy playoffs, why don’t we first do all that we can to make sure that all of you get into the postseason. That starts with this week’s top waiver wire.
Some of the names on this week’s list are repeats from last week, but with their ownership numbers still extremely low and their upcoming schedules very favorable, they had to be mentioned again.
Here are the top waiver wire adds as we enter Week 8.
QB Sam Darnold, New York Jets– Monday night’s performance wasn’t confidence inspiring but the Jets quarterback has some easier matchups coming. Starting in Week 9, Darnold and the Jets have a stretch of games against the Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, Raiders, Bengals and Dolphins. Five of those six games are against defenses currently in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Darnold is about to pop off, so grab him while you can.
QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans– I am just as shocked as you are to see Tannehill’s name on this list, but following his performance against the Chargers on Sunday, the veteran quarterback has earned it. Tannehill threw for 312 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Week 7. But more importantly, he completed 79.3% of his passes. 79.3%! Tannehill now has a completion percentage of 80.0% on his first 45 pass attempts of 2019, and that is not a figure we can ignore. Tennessee’s priority will always be to run the ball first and foremost, but if Tannehill can provide the team with competent quarterback play (something Marcus Mariota could not do), then Mike Vrabel may start throwing the ball more. I wouldn’t want to throw him into my lineup quite yet, but if he can put together another strong outing against Tampa Bay this week, Tannehill will become a popular name on the waiver wire.
RB Ty Johnson, Detroit Lions– Johnson was far from excellent in Week 7. The rookie sixth-round pick came in after Kerryon Johnson injured his knee in the first quarter and proceeded to gain 57 yards on 14 total touches (including four receptions). But as we all know, fantasy football is all about volume, and if the starting running back has to miss any time with this knee injury, than the rookie will step into a great opportunity. Kerryon Johnson was spotted in a knee brace after the game, so it looks like he may be facing at least a one-week absence. The Lions welcome the struggling Giants to Ford Field in Week 8, and if Ty Johnson is the starting running back, then this is a mouth-watering matchup. Johnson should be the top add of the week for anyone in need of some help at running back.
RB Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals– I’ve been beating the Edmonds drum for weeks now. Those of you that took my advice and already added him to your roster saw the benefits in his breakout performance in Week 7. Edmonds carried the ball a whopping 27 times against the Giants, gaining 126 yards (4.7 yards per carry) while finding the end zone three times. All three scores came on runs of 20 or more yards, as New York’s defense did not seem to have an answer for the young back. David Johnson was active for Sunday’s game, but registered only one touch for two yards. Johnson is likely more banged up than the Cardinals had indicated, which makes Edmonds even more of a priority add. There is no more waiting on the 2018 fourth-round pick. Add him now.
RB Mark Walton, Miami Dolphins– The Dolphins have not been hiding the fact that they are tanking this season. At 0-6, it is clear that Miami has thus far been successful in their plans for the 2019 season. Despite the awful roster, one of the very few bright spots among this Dolphins team has been the recent play of second-year running back Mark Walton. In his first extended action with the team in Week 7, Walton carried the ball 14 times for 66 yards (4.7 yards per carry). Not bad for a guy running behind a nonexistent offensive line. Kenyan Drake seems to have one foot out the door, and once he gets traded, the backfield will fully belong to Walton. The Dolphins will continue to be impossible to trust this season, but if you want to roll the dice on the waiver wire, Walton is certainly worthy of a waiver claim.
WR Kenny Stills, Houston Texans– The revolving door surrounding the Texans’ wide receivers (other than DeAndre Hopkins) continued to turn on Sunday as Will Fuller injured his hamstring early in Houston’s Week 7 loss and failed to return. While Fuller went down, Stills appeared in his first game since Week 4 and picked up right where his teammate left off. Stills caught four of six targets for 105 yards, with all four of his receptions resulting in first downs for the Texans. Two of his catches went for over 40 yards, as Stills filled in for Fuller as the team’s downfield threat. If Fuller is forced to miss any time with this hamstring injury, then Stills becomes the top wide receiver on the waiver wire.
WR DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins– The 26-year-old receiver had 10 passes thrown his way Sunday, catching five of them for 55 yards and a score. Parker has now reached at least 55 receiving yards and/or a touchdown in four straight games, and with Miami playing from behind every week, that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. The Dolphins’ passing game may be hard to trust, but Parker has clearly emerged as the best option among the team’s pass-catchers. If you’re desperate for a receiver, you could do a lot worse than the former first-round pick.
WR Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans– Davis may not be available in your league, but if he is on the waiver wire due to his manager growing tired of waiting for a breakout, he is definitely worth an add. The third-year receiver caught six of the seven passes thrown in his direction, gaining 80 yards and finding the end zone for only the second time this season. Ryan Tannehill looked infinitely better than Marcus Mariota, and if he can keep this level of play up, then Tennessee’s passing game will gain new life. If this does occur, than Davis stands to be the biggest beneficiary as the team’s number one receiver. With a Week 8 matchup against the Buccaneers up next, Davis could be looking at consecutive strong performances in the Titans offense.
WR Alex Erickson, Cincinnati Bengals– One of the biggest surprises in fantasy in Week 7 was the play of Alex Erickson. The fourth-year receiver out of Wisconsin entered the game with a career-high of 63 receiving yards. Going up against Jacksonville’s solid pass defense, Erickson more than doubled that figure. The 26-year-old receiver caught eight passes on 14 targets for 137 yards, playing behind Tyler Boyd as Cincinnati’s number two receiver. It remains to be seen how long he stays in that role, as the play of Auden Tate has landed the second-year receiver on the fantasy radar while A.J. Green is expected to return sometime in the next few weeks. However, until we hear otherwise, Erickson could continue his role as one of Andy Dalton’s top pass-catchers, which could offer FLEX value moving forward.
TE Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings– As we all know, the tight end position has once again proven to be very shallow this year. There have been few, consistent options in 2019, but Smith is the next man up to potentially join the small group. Adam Thielen left Sunday’s game early with a hamstring injury, and while the receiver was confident the injury would not keep him out for long, it is hard to see him returning for Minnesota’s Thursday night game against the Redskins. In Thielen’s absence, Smith was targeted six times by Kirk Cousins, reeling in five of those passes for 60 yards. If Thielen is unable to suit up Thursday, Smith will become an appealing streaming option for those needy at tight end.
Matt Citak is a contributing writer for CBS Local. Follow him on Twitter here for all things fantasy football, New York Giants and more.