Each week, I'm tasked with picking the top waiver wire targets for fantasy. That article is a more cursory glance at the waiver wire, helping the countless fantasy players in more casual leagues on NFL.com figure out who is worth adding to their roster.
However, for those of you in more intense or competitive leagues, this is the column for you. As the season progresses, this is where I'll highlight the players you want to be a week early on, as opposed to trying to win them in a waiver-wire bidding war after they've started to produce. Many of these players will hopefully graduate to the main waiver-wire column and already be on your roster. Of course, I can't promise anything. Fantasy is far from a guaranteed game, as we know all too well.
Anyway, let's see what else Week 8 has to offer on the waiver wire.
Deep waiver targets for Week 8:
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams - 1.1 percent owned
Kevin Hogan, QB, Cleveland Browns - 0.0 percent owned
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots - 19.6 percent owned
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Minnesota Vikings - 1.9 percent owned
Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens - 9.1 percent owned
Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens - 6.4 percent owned
Rob Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins - 0.2 percent owned
DuJuan Harris, RB, San Francisco 49ers - 0.0 percent owned
DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders - 10.2 percent owned
Terron Ward, RB, Atlanta Falcons - 0.0 percent owned
Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts - 59.1 percent owned
Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars - 0.3 percent owned
Marquise Goodwin, WR, Buffalo Bills - 1.2 percent owned
J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals - 0.7 percent owned
Seth Roberts, WR, Oakland Raiders - 0.8 percent owned
Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans - 1.8 percent owned
Russell Shepard, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 0.0 percent owned
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings - 0.6 percent owned
Lance Kendricks, TE, Los Angeles Rams - 0.6 percent owned
While Jeff Fisher said he is still committed to Case Keenum after the Ram's Week 7 loss to the Giants, the Rams have a bye in Week 8, which could be a time for tape evaluation and self reflection. As a result of those practices, he could be handing the keys of the offense over to Jared Goff sooner rather than later. Goff is a name to monitor or stash in deeper leagues. Kevin Hogan had to fill in for the injured Cody Kessler in Week 7, and heads into Monday Night Football as the QB12 in fantasy scoring. Hogan is not an NFL-ready quarterback, but could be fantasy relevant thanks to his legs. Virtually all of his scoring came on the ground as he rushed for 104 yards (while only passing for 100) and added a rushing score.
Nothing groundbreaking has changed in regards to Dion Lewis's recovery since last week, so he remains a stash for those with bench flexibility. Jerick McKinnon suffered an ankle injury in Week 7, and if it lingers into Week 8 Ronnie Hillman could see some run for Minnesota. Matt Asiata would figure to be the lead back, but Hillman might have value in super deep leagues given all of the running back injuries.
Kenneth Dixon and Javorius Allen are heading into their bye, but Terrance West was injured and ineffective as a result against the Jets in Week 7. If he doesn't get right over the break, the team could turn over more work to either one of its young backs, so both merit stashing or grabbing in advance of Week 9.
Matt Jones has a serious case of fumbilitis in Washington, with nine fumbles in his first 270 career touches. This has led to Rob Kelley seeing some run the last few weeks. If Jones remains in the dog house, Kelley has the build of a between-the-tackles hammer and has shown ability as a runner dating back to the preseason. He's worth a stash with big upside if he takes over the backfield (even for a game) in a powerful offense.
Shaun Draughn and Mike Davis were the best bets to headline the 49ers committee backfield sans Carlos Hyde, but DuJuan Harris snuck in to lead the way in touches with 13 and playing time with 24 snaps (though Draughn and Davis each found the end zone). Hyde could be back soon, but Harris' abilities as a runner and a pass-catcher make him a safer desperation play if Hyde misses more time after San Francisco's Week 8 bye. With Latavius Murray back, DeAndre Washington's value sinks a bit, but he seems the better handcuff to hold onto over Jalen Richard. Washington saw six touches on 13 snaps to Richard's two touches on four plays. Terron Ward pops back onto the deep waiver-wire radar as Tevin Coleman injured his hamstring in a Week 7 loss to the Chargers. If Coleman misses the Falcon's Week 8 matchup with the Packers, the team will likely just load up Devonta Freeman as the bell-cow, though Ward could seem some relief work. He's a fine insurance add for now.
Donte Moncrief's ownership percentage has plummeted over the last five weeks while he's been on the shelf with a shoulder injury. However, he's getting closer to returning and could potentially see the field in the next few weeks. If you have the bench space and he's available, now is the time to stash him. The Colts offense desperately awaits his return and he could hit the ground running immediately.
Somehow, someway, Marqise Lee leads the Jaguars in receptions (29), catch rate (76.3 percent) and is second in receiving yards (337). He's had five-plus catches and 44-plus receiving yards in four of his six games so far. While it's hard to trust any part of this Jacksonville offense with Blake Bortles playing so poorly, we're past the point where we can ignore the albino tiger any longer. Even though he only played on 54 percent of the offensive snaps (his lowest usage since Week 2), Marquise Goodwin led the Bills in targets (seven) and receiving yards (93) in the team's Week 7 loss to the Dolphins. Much of that came on Goodwin's 67-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but that's what type of player he is. With no Sammy Watkins or Robert Woods, the team might search for ways to unleash Goodwin as more than just a deep threat. He's a boom-or-bust stash for now, but anyone who adds him should monitor his status closely as he suffered a concussion on Sunday.
We don't know how long John Brown will be injured, but Jaron Brown reportedly suffered a torn ACL in Week 7 and is out for the season, which opens the door for J.J. Nelson to see more work. The Cardinals passing offense isn't what it was last year, but a Week 8 date with the Panthers suspect secondary could make Nelson a decent flex option in deeper leagues, especially if John Brown misses more time. Seth Roberts continues to play a significant role for the Raiders, both in the red zone (where he has a team-high eight targets) and elsewhere. With Amari Cooper locked down by Jalen Ramsey, Roberts saw nine targets in Week 7, catching four of them for 42 yards. He plays the Buccaneers next week and is a nice boom-or-bust flex play in a week with six teams on byes.
At a certain point, one would hope the Titans stop forcing Tajae Sharpe out as a No. 1 wide receiver, as the rookie simply isn't delivering. Rishard Matthews has been more productive on fewer targets and less playing time, and is a fine add in deeper leagues. Russell Shepard appears to have the early lead in the race to replace Vincent Jackson in Tampa Bay. Though he played fewer snaps than both Adam Humphries and Cecil Shorts III, he garnered six targets (second-most in Week 7), catching five of them for 77 yards and a touchdown. We'll need to see if this holds up next week, but he has a great matchup to repeat facing the Raiders at home in Week 8.
Is Cordarrelle Patterson finally realizing his athletic potential in a real NFL offense? Patterson has seen at least six targets in each of the last three weeks and found the end zone in two-straight games. However, his route tree is limited primarily to those that allow him to be dynamic after the catch, such as screens and drags. Regardless, Patterson is one of the league's best players in space, so this development is encouraging for his fantasy value. He deserves a look even in 12 or 14 team leagues as his usage and production continues to trend in a positive direction.
The fantasy tight end position seems to hav suffered some sort of rapture, with next to no one (outside of Rob Gronkowski) performing on a weekly basis. That's why we must turn to players like Lance Kendricks, even as he heads into his bye. Kendricks has 17 targets, 12 catches, 89 yards and a touchdown over his last two weeks. After the team forced 15 ill-advised targets to Tavon Austin in Week 7, perhaps they course correct in the bye and feature their tight end even more. Either way, Kendricks is worth a look and faces four porous secondaries in a row starting in Week 9 (Panthers, Jets, Dolphins, Saints).