This could be a busy week on the waiver wire as the NFL has six teams on bye in Week 8. The Giants, Packers, Titans, Rams, Cardinals and Jaguars each have the week off.
That means no Marcus Mariota, DeMarco Murray, Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson, Leonard Fournette, Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams or Larry Fitzgerald.
Fantasy owners are going to have a hard time filling out complete rosters with so many teams on a break. How you will go about filling out your roster is generally directly tied to your record. The better the record, the more cautious you should be on the waiver wire. Don’t blow your budget on a player who will only help you for one week. The opposite is true, however, if you are struggling. You may have to throw caution to the wind and be aggressive if you need to win now. There is no use planning for three weeks down the line if you will already be out of contention. Here are the top waiver wire players for Week 8:
JOSH MCCOWN, QB, New York Jets (22 percent owned in CBSSports.com leagues)
McCown’s ownership percentage has gone up 8 percentage points since last week and should be higher. He’s a better play than Brett Hundley, who some fantasy owners blew their budget on this past week. McCown could make a solid replacement for those owners that lost Carson Palmer on Sunday to a broken arm. The Jets aren’t as bad a team as expected.
JALEN RICHARD (19 percent) and DeAndre Washington (6 percent), RB, Oakland Raiders
Marshawn Lynch was suspended one game for coming onto the field and placing his hands on an official during a melee Thursday. Lynch is appealing the suspension but it’s likely that he will have to serve his sentence this week. Lynch hasn’t been all that productive this season anyway, which could lead to a chance to start not only this week but for the remainder of the season for either Richard or Washington should they step up with a big performance. We are all wondering who the better pickup will be. Neither player is the next big thing when it comes to running backs, but Oakland does have a solid offensive line and the passing game seems to have fixed its problems. Richard appeared ready to the first crack at the starting job two weeks ago but it’s reasonable to lean toward Washington now. Don’t be shocked if coach Jack Del Rio just goes with the hot hand.
DEVONTAE BOOKER, RB, Denver Broncos (17 percent): The Broncos offense is broken. They have only scored 10 total points in their last two games. Someone is going to pay the price. Maybe it’s quarterback Trevor Siemian, as the QB is usually the first to blame when an NFL team loses, but C.J. Anderson could be feeling the heat , as he only has 61 yards on 19 carries during these two losses. Sure, the Giants run defense is tough, but what was his excuse for not getting the job done versus the Chargers on Sunday? Booker is not lighting the world on fire, but at the very least he’s a threat when catching the ball out of the backfield and might be able to give the offense a spark.
KENNY STILLS, WR, Miami Dolphins (27 percent)
Quarterback Jay Cutler is expected to miss at least the next two games with broken ribs and this may be good for Stills. We seem to forget that Stills had nine touchdowns last season and is on pace to better that this year. Stills had his two touchdowns this week with Matt Moore starting at QB. The Dolphins play the Ravens on Thursday, a game that is well within their capabilities of winning. If they do, it’s hard to see Miami going back to Cutler as the starter after Moore leads them to back to back victories.
JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (20 percent)
The Steelers said they wanted to get Martavis Bryant more involved in the offense this week. That didn’t happen as he only had two touches. Smith-Schuster has become a receiver that Ben Roethlisberger trusts, especially in the red zone. He has three touchdowns in his last six games and if you’re in need of a bye week replacement, he could be that short term answer.
TYLER KROFT, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (31 percent)
Tyler Eifert is not coming back this season after undergoing back surgery and we all know how much Andy Dalton likes to look for his tight ends in the end zone. Kroft is never going to be a high volume receiving tight end but with the lack of production at the position this year, any TE that scores a TD will be a top 10 at the position that week. Kroft has three scores in his past three games.