As we near the halfway point of the NFL season, we're once again fortunate to have strong free agents in fantasy football.
It's been a few weeks but there is no shortage of waiver adds across the board heading into Week 8. Even if you need a quarterback to stream with Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson on their bye weeks, there are good options out there.
Matthew Stafford vs. NYG
Ryan Tannehill vs. TB
Derek Carr at HOU
Mason Rudolph vs. MIA
Matt Moore vs. GB (superflex)
This is why fantasy football is so fun, right? Entering the season, the Detroit Lions were thought to be going with a run-heavy approach on offense. Well, here we are with Matthew Stafford standing as QB12 overall. He's thrown three-plus touchdowns on three different occasions this season, including 364 passing yards and four touchdowns in Week 7 against the Minnesota Vikings. With Patrick Mahomes out with a knee injury and Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson on byes, Stafford is a viable stream against the New York Giants. The Giants defense is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and have allowed 300-plus passing yards four different times. If he's gone, however, Ryan Tannehill is the next man up against the Bucs defense in Week 8. Tampa Bay is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Over the past month, they're allowing an average of 348 passing yards and 2.5 passing touchdowns per game. Tannehill is a strong play at home heading into Week 8.
If you're really desperate at quarterback, you've come to the right place. The Raiders' Derek Carr might actually be worth streaming. Carr will face off against the Houston Texans in Week 8, a defense allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. In Week 7, Jacoby Brissett had 326 yards and four touchdowns against them. Over the Texans' past three games, they're allowing an average of 310 passing yards per game, including at least three passing touchdowns in each of those. Mason Rudolph has cleared concussion protocol and will return in Week 8 against the Miami Dolphins, a defense that has allowed multiple touchdown passes in every game but one this season. If you play in deeper leagues or superflex formats where he was dropped, Rudolph is in play as well. Last but not least is Matt Moore for those Mahomes owners who play in two-quarterback leagues. The journeyman 35-year old won't light up the box score but he does have playmakers with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. That should allow Moore to be viable in two-QB formats.
Ty Johnson vs. NYG
Chase Edmonds at NO
Mark Walton at PIT
Kareem Hunt (suspended)
Wendell Smallwood at MIN
Kerryon Johnson is dealing with a knee injury and the latest news has him "week to week". He dealt with a knee injury last season as well, which limited him to 10 games in his rookie season. Ty Johnson played on 64 percent of the snaps in Week 8, totaling 57 yards on 14 touches, with two of those coming inside the 10-yard line. Ty Johnson was a sixth-round pick out of Maryland in this year's draft, running a 4.45 40-yard dash with a speed score in the 86th percentile. He'll face the Giants in Week 8, a defense that just allowed 150 total yards and three touchdowns to Chase Edmonds. Ty Johnson would be a RB2 in that matchup. Speaking of Edmonds, if he's still available in your league, he shouldn't be. David Johnson was "active" in Week 7 but only played three snaps, with Edmonds playing on 94 percent of the snaps. Edmonds handled the workload with ease, touching the ball 29 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns. Behind the same offensive line, Edmonds is averaging 5.6 yards per carry this season while Johnson is at just 3.9. If Johnson can't go in Week 8 against the Saints, Edmonds will be in the RB2 conversation. Even if Johnson plays, Edmonds has earned a regular role in the offense.
Mark Walton has received increased work in Miami. He led the team with 38 offensive snaps, 14 carries, and 66 rushing yards in Week 7. Kenyan Drake had just nine touches while playing 29 offensive snaps. Kareem Hunt is still suspended and can't return until Week 10 but he will return to practice this week. It's hard to know what his role in the offense will be but even as a handcuff to Nick Chubb, his upside is strong. If anything were to happen to Chubb, Hunt instantly becomes a low-end RB1. Wendell Smallwood hasn't had more than six carries in a game since joining the Redskins, but Adrian Peterson is 34 years old and getting a lot of work. Until Derrius Guice returns, Smallwood is the next man up.
Corey Davis and A.J. Brown vs. TB
Kenny Stills vs. OAK
Zach Pascal vs. DEN
Alex Erickson vs. LAR
Olabisi Johnson vs. WAS
If you're in need of a wide receiver, this is the perfect waiver wire week for you. Let's start off with the Tennessee Titans who may have a quarterback who can get the ball in the hands of their playmakers. Corey Davis, the fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft, finished Week 7 with six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown on seven targets (23 percent target share). The 23 percent target share represents the highest target share Davis has seen in a game all season. A.J. Brown, second-round pick in the 2019 draft, has also showed his upside this season and is playing more. He's played at least 60 percent of the snaps in two of the Titans past three games. In Week 7, he also had six receptions for 64 yards on eight targets (28 percent target share). Both guys face off against the Bucs in Week 8, a defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. They've allowed five touchdowns to the position over their past three games. Both Titans receivers are worth adding for that matchup and have long-term upside with Tannehill as the QB.
Let's stick in the AFC South with Kenny Stills of the Houston Texans. With Will Fuller expected to miss the next few weeks with a hamstring injury, Stills will be the team's main deep threat. In Week 7, Stills had four catches for 105 yards on five targets. On the season, only Stills and Fuller have an "aDOT" (average depth of target) over 13 for the Texans so we can expect Stills to play that similar role. The Texans face the Raiders in Week 8, a defense that just allowed 11 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns to Packers wide receivers. Stills is a WR3 in that matchup.
Zach Pascal has at least 72 yards or a touchdown in three of his past four games and it looks as if he's really developing a nice rapport with Jacoby Brissett. In Week 7, Pascal went for six catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets against the Texans. Based on the way he's performed over the past month, Pascal should be added as a depth piece. Week 7 was one of career highs for Alex Erickson of the Cincinnati Bengals. As the team waits on A.J. Green's return, there are players stepping up in his absence. Against the Jaguars, Erickson went for eight receptions and 137 yards on 14 targets. With the Bengals likely playing from behind in Week 8 against the Rams, Erickson should be considered. Last but not least we have Olabisi Johnson of the Minnesota Vikings. With Adam Thielen likely to be out, Johnson will have a prime opportunity against Washington. Johnson just had four catches for 40 yards and a touchdown on eight targets against the Lions and figures to start in Thielen's place.
Jared Cook/Josh Hill vs. ARI
Jacob Hollister at ATL
Kyle Rudolph/Irv Smith Jr. vs. WAS
Ricky Seals-Jones at NE
The Cardinals have struggled against tight ends, allowing the most fantasy points in the league to the position. The problem is you have to monitor the health of Cook who missed Week 7 with an ankle injury. If Cook is healthy enough to go for Week 8, he's a clear-cut TE1 but if he can't, Josh Hill steps into his place. Following Will Dissly's injury, it was Jacob Hollister who played 37 offensive snaps with six targets in Week 7 for the Seahawks. Hollister is in a prime spot against the Falcons in Week 8. Much like Olabisi Johnson, streaming one of the Vikings tight ends is a decent idea. Both Rudolph and Smith Jr. combined for 10 receptions, 118 yards, and a touchdown in Week 7. If I had to choose one, I would lean Rudolph since he plays more snaps and runs more routes. Finally, we have Ricky Seals-Jones who had a solid game before the bye with three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. He faces the Pats in Week 8 who have been strong against tight ends. With the Patriots cornerbacks being the strength of their defense, Baker Mayfield might look more toward Seals-Jones.
If you're looking for streaming defenses, the top adds for Week 8 will be the Steelers (vs. MIA), the Lions (vs. NYG), and the Eagles (at BUF).
This column was provided to The Associated Press by SportsGrid Inc., www.sportsgrid.com