Week 8 continued what has been a troubling theme in the 2020 season, as elite skill-position players like Odell Beckham Jr., Deebo Samuel, Chris Carson, and Kenyan Drake all suffered injuries of varying degrees. But those injuries, combined with some breakout performances, have created plenty of opportunity for savvy fantasy managers on the waiver wire.
If you need help making sense of all the chaos, The Duel has got you covered. Here are five of the best waiver wire pickups, rostered in fewer than 50% of Yahoo! leagues, to target in Week 8.
5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins (29% Rostered)
Right now, Tua Tagovailoa is a speculative add in most fantasy formats, but he's a must-add player in deeper or 2-QB leagues. There's no way to know how he'll do in his first real NFL action, and you're probably not starting him against the stout Los Angeles Rams' defense, but the upside is hard to ignore. Just take a look at what fellow rookie QBs Justin Herbert, fantasy's QB4 on a per-game basis, and Joe Burrow (QB11 in 2020) are doing right now. Remember, Tua is arguably the most efficient quarterback in NCAA history, at least statistically. Plus, Ryan Fitzpatrick was the QB13 on a per-game basis while playing in this same system. If you can afford to stash someone, Tua is a pretty solid lottery ticket.
4. Rashard Higgins, WR, Cleveland Browns (2% Rostered)
With Beckham out for the year, Rashard "Hollywood" Higgins could be looking at a ton of volume. It's fair to wonder if the Cleveland Browns' passing attack is good enough to sustain more than one fantasy-relevant pass-catcher, but Baker Mayfield might've just turned a corner. After starting 0-for-5 with an INT in Week 7, Mayfield went 22-for-23 for 5 touchdowns and no picks. Higgins racked up 110 of those yards on 6 catches. Plus, Mayfield has always seemed to have an underrated connection with Higgins. Prior to this week he only saw at least 50% of the snaps twice this season, but the Browns' wideout caught a TD in both games. Higgins should be on the WR3 waiver wire in a matchup with a beatable Las Vegas Raiders' secondary, but he's got real rest-of-season upside if Mayfield's finish to Week 7 is a sign of things to come.
3. JaMycal Hasty, RB, San Francisco 49ers (21% Rostered)
The San Francisco 49ers' backfield has been a headache for fantasy managers all season, and that's probably not going to change any time soon. With Raheem Mostert in and out of the lineup, Kyle Shanahan has replaced him by relying on a bevy of different running backs. JaMycal Hasty seems to be the team's flavor of the week. He gashed the New England Patriots soft run defense, turning 9 carries into 57 yards and a TD, though he was clearly running behind Jeff Wilson Jr. before he exited with an injury of his own. With Tevin Coleman's return looming, Jerick McKinnon still in the mix and Mostert due to get healthy soon, it'll be really difficult to know what to do with this backfield. But Hasty could be in line for double-digit carries in the short term, at least.
2. Carlos Hyde, RB, Seattle Seahawks (11% Rostered)
Another injury situation, Carlos Hyde played really well in relief of Chris Carson once he left with a foot injury. Carson has been a monster all season (RB8 in PPR leagues on a per-game basis), but we're not sure how long that foot injury will keep him on the shelf. As long as he's out, though, Hyde will be in the RB2 conversation. Hyde turned 15 carries into 68 yards and a score in Week 7, adding another 8 yards on 3 receptions. Hyde is a must-add player for Carson managers, and he's a great target for anyone in need of a spot start in the near future.
1. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers (49% Rostered)
Brandon Aiyuk is our top waiver add of the week. 49ers' star wide receiver Deebo Samuel exited early after suffering yet another injury in Week 7. It's looking like that will keep Samuel out of Week 8, making Aiyuk a must-start WR this week thanks to a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. No one gives up more fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers than the Seahawks (60.2). For reference, the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings are tied for the second-worst mark in that category (48.7). Aiyuk has serious blowup potential in Week 8, and he'll likely be a reliable WR2 for as long as Samuel is on the shelf.
Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.