The bad news out of Week 7 was the significant injury to rookie fantasy stud Breece Hall (suffered a torn ACL and will miss the 2022 season). Hall had established himself as a legitimate RB1 and this turn of events will leave thousands of fantasy managers scrambling for a replacement this week. Adding to the bad news: Hall's backup and likely rest-of-season RB2 Michael Carter is already rostered in 72% of NFL.com leagues.
If you're in a league where Carter is available, he is an absolute must-add. For everyone else ... well I hope you listened last week when I snuck D'Onta Foreman into the Guys to 'Stache pre-McCaffrey trade. Or added him after the trade but before Sunday. If you didn't, the price is going to be MUCH higher after his excellent Week 7 performance.
Fortunately, I've got some (admittedly less lucrative) options on the Week 8 wire. We're almost to the midpoint of the 2022 season (how on earth did that happen?) and getting ever-closer to crunch time and the fantasy playoffs. This is when champions are made. Except for whoever picked up Kenneth Walker III. Those champions were made two weeks ago. My condolences to everyone else.
To the wire!
(And if you want more guys, more explanations, or more answers, hit me up on Twitter @MattOkada!)
Rostered percentages are from NFL.com's fantasy football player trends. Players are roughly ordered by priority within position.
Can I see the future? I mean technically, no ... but maybe? Last week’s Guys to ‘Stache section ended with a reminder that if Christian McCaffrey were to be traded Foreman would be the guy for me and could have league-winning upside.” A few days later, McCaffrey was shipped off to the 49ers, and two days after that, Foreman posted 16.5 fantasy points as the Panthers top dog against a tough Buccaneers defense. Foreman outcarried the rest of the Carolina depth chart with 15 attempts (Chuba Hubbard had nine) and played the majority of snaps in an upset win. More importantly, he turned those 15 carries into 118 rushing yards, including an explosive 60-yarder late in the game that essentially led to the nail in the Tampa Bay coffin. Foreman will typically lose some work to Hubbard (who can also be ‘stached as long as his minor ankle sprain remains minor), but it doesn’t knock him out of the RB2 conversation -- or the conversation for top Week 8 waiver wire pickup.
Last week, Kenyan Drake was a fantasy stud (that helped just about no one) and a waiver wire darling after the flare-up to J.K. Dobbins’ knee injury. Only problem is ... Edwards wasn’t around in Week 6. He was a somewhat surprising late activation after spending the first six games on the reserve list while recovering from a 2021 ACL injury. That activation turned into a team-high 16 carries, 66 yards and 2 touchdowns on Sunday, while Drake was limited to a completely useless five yards on 11 carries. Edwards has been a solid fantasy option as the lead back in Baltimore before -- and he will be again, at least for the next month or so. Until Dobbins returns, Edwards should be considered a decent RB2 option in this Ravens offense, which makes him a top-tier waiver add this week.
After recommending Falcons rookie running back in last weeks column his roster percentage ... went down. Listen, I understand he’s not Cordarrelle Patterson ... or even a great bet for 15+ fantasy points in a given week. But beggars can’t be choosers. And with injuries and byes rearing their ugly heads, most of us fall into the former category. Allgeier was the clear-cut lead back for Atlanta on Sunday, logging 16 totes to only six for Caleb Huntley (and more than doubling his snap count as well). He only had 50 yards on the ground and didn’t draw a single target, but he DID score a touchdown on an extremely valuable goal-line carry. No, he’s not the most attractive option -- but he's an option.
Guys to 'Stache: Once again, Latavius Murray was the most useful useful fantasy back in Denver, despite all the hoopla about Melvin Gordon "starting." Granted, useful in this instance means 8.4 fantasy points thanks to a goal-line touchdown, but hey, it's still more than Gordon's 7.0 on four more opportunities (also, Mike Boone injured his ankle). We should all recognize the value of handcuffs these days, and Matt Breida might be one of the best available. We can hope and pray that Saquon Barkley remains healthy, but if not, Breida would be in line for RB1 upside.
Even with Jonathan Taylor back on the field, the Colts have turned into a high-volume passing offense the last couple weeks and Campbell has been at the forefront of that attack. Campbell had 10 catches for 70 yards and a score on 12 targets on Sunday, giving him 23 targets over the last two games. He, Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce all played at least 97% of snaps as Indy used a ton of three-receiver sets. He’ll likely disappear some games where Pittman or Pierce takes the spotlight, but Campbell is now a weekly FLEX consideration in PPR.
Robinson had another mildly decent game in Week 7 -- he’s now had 11+ fantasy points in consecutive games after returning from injury in Week 6. Robinson led a still-fluid Giants depth chart in targets (8) and catches (6) on Sunday, and despite ranking second in snaps behind Marcus Johnson, he was vastly more effective than Johnson and should earn an increase in playing time moving forward. The Giants need a go-to option on offense outside of Saquon Barkley and Robinson is the best bet to earn the job. He’s by no means a must-start, or even a must-add, but I’d rather add him BEFORE the breakout game than after.
Sigh. I am contractually obligated to include Hardman in this column after he popped off for 28 fantasy points in Week 7 (just kidding, I have no such contract). And yes, he now has 12+ fantasy points in three-straight games. And yes, his quarterback is Patrick Mahomes, who is a threat for 400 passing yards and four touchdowns just about every week. So why am I not more excited about this pickup? Well, to be honest I’ve kind of riled myself after this paragraph ... but I’m still not sold on Hardman as a reliable option rest of season. Hardman has had five or fewer targets in all three of the aforementioned games and I just have no confidence it’ll be him over either member of the hyphenated last name duo (JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling) in a given week. Still, you should add him if you’ve got space. He’s a good bye-week fill-in at the very least.
Even before DK Metcalf’s knee injury, Goodwin was making a case for this column thanks to his multi-score outing in Week 7. Now, it looks like Metcalf’s knee injury (doesn't need surgery, per hed coach Pete Carroll) could sideline him for a significant period of time. With little less on the Seattle depth chart outside of Tyler Lockett, Goodwin could be a fun pickup after posting 22.7 fantasy points and displaying a solid connection with Geno Smith. He’ll most likely be a bit boom-bust over the coming weeks, but the kind of boom he can provide (see: previous sentence) is invaluable down the homestretch of the fantasy season.
Guys to 'Stache: Zay Jones had 10 targets for the Jaguars on Sunday for his fourth game with 8+ targets in six games played. Trevor Lawrence clearly likes targeting Jones and that kind of usage WILL turn into fantasy points more often than not. Despite the return of Michael Gallup, it is still Noah Brown running (and producing) as the WR2 for the Cowboys. He actually led the team in targets on Sunday, and will offer some startable games in emergency situations.
While it’s not quite the breakout we’ve long awaited from the former Giants tight end, Engram has had 4+ catches and 40+ yards in three-straight games. His 10.9 fantasy points per game since Week 5 is 11th-best among tight ends ... and yes, that’s something to get “excited” about at this position. Engram is top 10 among tight ends in targets and receptions on the season, and that very nearly makes him a must-roster player. It won’t be glorious. It will be good enough. Which is all we you can ask if you don’t roster Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews.
After an extremely lackluster start to the season, Gesicki racked up 25 fantasy points in Week 6 and seven targets in Week 7 (for an unfortunately meh 5.7 fantasy points). That’s 7+ targets in consecutive games and four red zone targets over that span (tied with Mark Andrews for most among tight ends). It won’t always result in fantasy points (a mantra for all waiver wire guys at this position), but it’s the kind of upwards statistical trend we cling to at this point in the season.
Another star of the Guys to ‘Stache section of this column, Johnson put together an impressive 20-point performance on Thursday Night Football to remind us all he is the true “tight end” in his offense (all due respect to Taysom Hill). Johnson will likely be a TD-dependent TE2 rest of season, but that makes puts him squarely in the streamer conversation, especially next week against the hapless Raiders defense.
Guys to 'Stache: There aren't any decent guys to 'stache at this position. Period. The end. Go trade for Travis Kelce if you can. Just be prepared to surrender just about everything of value in your life.
Jones is inconsistent, both in fantasy and in real life, which makes him difficult to rely on week-to-week. However, after a 29-point performance in Week 7 that included 107 yards and a touchdown on the ground, we have to consider him one of the top streaming options without question. He gets a very beatable Seahawks defense next week before a Week 9 bye -- pair him with a QB with upside that week and try to play the matchups rest of season. The potential is very clearly there for Danny Dimes -- just be aware, you will sometimes get Danny Pennies.
Guys to 'Stache: Taylor Heinicke was decent in his first start filling in for Carson Wentz (and he beat the Packers). There's a legitimate chance he could steal the job and will be a streamable option over the next month regardless. If you're looking for a Week 8 streamer, I don't hate Andy Dalton/Jameis Winston against the Raiders, or Davis Mills against the Titans. Also, keep an eye on Ryan Tannehill's ankle injury and consider 'staching rookie Malik Willis (#rushingupside) if it's significant.
After a monstrous 19 fantasy points against the Colts on Sunday, the Titans D/ST gets the Texans in Week 8. They figure to be one of the top options on the week and are widely available (just move on before their matchup with the Chiefs in Week 9). The Colts D/ST and Commanders D/ST are both solid options in the same game against each other in Week 8. Despite the previous advice to stream both QBs. Basically, this game is likely to be a mess.