By Matt Citak
We’re officially past the midway point of the fantasy season, meaning now is the time to begin your push towards the fantasy postseason.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a bye week fill-in, an injury replacement, or a bench stash that could eventually emerge as a strong fantasy contributor, as we have all of your top waiver wire adds for Week 8 right here.
And here we go…
RB Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders
Richard had been quietly putting together a solid season, with 31 receptions for 253 yards through the first six games of the year. But with Monday’s news of Marshawn Lynch being placed on IR, the third-year back is a priority add on the waiver wire this week. Richard is more effective catching the ball than running it, but Oakland will have no choice but to give the young back more carries with Lynch’s injury. The 25-year-old has even more value in PPR leagues, but should still prove to be a solid option in all formats moving forward. Richard should be the top add for any RB-needy team.
RB Wendell Smallwood, Philadephia Eagles
While there’s no doubt that Philly plans on using a running-back-by-committee approach following the injury to Jay Ajayi, it appears as if Smallwood is the leader of the group. For the second straight week, Smallwood led the Eagles’ running backs in snaps and touches, although he totaled just 37 yards on those 11 touches. Given his usage in a potent Philadelphia offense, Smallwood should be added in deeper leagues, even with Darren Sproles likely returning to the field soon.
RB Doug Martin, Oakland Raiders
It’s been a few years since Martin was a reliable fantasy option. Even with Lynch’s injury, there’s no guarantee he will provide fantasy owners with any value. (His 3.7 yards per carry this season is the most he has averaged since 2015.) But a lot of rushing attempts are up for grabs in Oakland now, and while Richard may be the more elusive back, Martin seems more likely to take over Lynch’s role in the offense. Oakland may be awful, but any running back that could be looking at 15 touches per game is worth an add.
RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers
Speaking of injured running backs, Matt Breida has been unable to stay on the field, opening up the door for Mostert to put together two consecutive solid outings. During that span, the fourth-year back has carried the ball 19 times for 126 yards, while adding four receptions for 19 yards. Between Breida’s health concerns and Alfred Morris’s inefficiency, Mostert could be looking at an expanded role in the 49ers’ offense. If Breida’s injury keeps him out, Mostert will immediately jump into the low-end RB2 / flex range.
RB LeGarrette Blount, Detroit Lions
Kerryon Johnson is the number-one back in Detroit after his stellar performance in Week 7, but Blount has remained a factor in the Lions’ offense. Blount saw 10 carries this past Sunday and translated that into 50 yards and a touchdown. The veteran now has three scores over the last two weeks, and has cemented his role as Detroit’s goal-line back. Next up for the Lions is Seattle and its awful rush defense, which should make both Johnson and Blount good plays in Week 8. If you’re looking for a bye-week fill-in or temporary injury replacement, you could do a lot worse than Blount.
WR Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals
His upside is limited due to the inconsistent play of Josh Rosen, but there is no denying Kirk’s talent. The rookie receiver reeled in three of six targets for 57 yards against the Broncos in Week 7, making it the third straight game in which he has totaled at least 55 yards. Kirk has caught a reception of at least 20 yards in four of the last five games, and should continue to improve as his connection with Rosen develops. Banking on the Arizona offense is always a risk, but Kirk provides a ton of upside.
WR Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
Williams’ numbers on the season are ridiculous. The fourth-year receiver has turned 27 targets into 20 receptions for 428 yards and four touchdowns, good for an average of 21.4 yards per reception. Over the last two weeks, Williams has caught seven of eight targets for 236 yards and three scores, and is clearly Philip Rivers’ favorite deep threat in the Chargers’ offense. Currently performing as one of the most efficient receivers in the league, he will have trouble keeping the production going for the rest of the season. But considering the number of options in LA’s offense, it’s not hard to see Williams busting out a few more long TDs. Williams is the epitome of a low-floor, high-ceiling fantasy option.
WR Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints
As soon as the Ted Ginn news broke, I rushed to add Smith to my roster, and although it has only been one game, I liked what I saw. Smith tied for second on the Saints in targets in Week 7 with six, reeling in three of them for 44 yards. Those numbers are far from jaw-dropping, but going up against the best defense in the league (Baltimore), I’d say it was a solid performance. Smith is a speedy receiver who provides Drew Brees with a dynamic deep threat. With Michael Thomas seeing double coverage from opposing defenses, the field should be open for Smith to get behind secondaries and score some long touchdowns. Smith has a ton of upside in this dangerous New Orleans’ offense.
WR Donte Moncrief, Jacksonville Jaguars
Between the injury to Leonard Fournette and the inconsistent play of Blake Bortles, the Jaguars offense has been impossible to trust. However, Moncrief has been a somewhat reliable pass-catching option in Jacksonville. The 25-year-old caught seven of 10 targets for 76 yards in Week 7, making it the third game in which he has totaled at least 75 yards. I wouldn’t throw him into my starting lineup right away, but if you’re desperate for a wide receiver, go grab Moncrief and wait to see if the Jaguars’ offense can right the ship.
TE Chris Herndon, New York Jets
Following the injury to Jermaine Kearse, it was unclear how the target share would be distributed among the Jets’ pass-catchers. If Week 7 was any indication, then Herndon should be on everyone’s fantasy radar. The rookie tight end saw seven targets, which ranked second on the team, and he caught four of them for 42 yards and a touchdown. It was the second straight week Herndon found the end zone, and considering the lack of reliable tight ends this season, this alone puts him on the fantasy map. If you’re still searching for a solution at tight end, it might be worth taking a flier on Herndon.
Matt Citak is a contributor for CBS Local Sports and a proud Vanderbilt alum. Follow him on Twitter.