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Fantasy Football waiver wire targets for Week 8 of 2021 NFL season

Eagles running back Miles Sanders injured his ankle early Sunday against the Raiders and was eventually carted off. In his absence, Kenneth Gainwell handled 50 percent of the Week 7 snaps, with five carries and eight targets. He went for 61 total yards and scored a TD, going for 14.1 fantasy points. He only saw one touch inside the 10-yard line, which is not ideal, but the overall volume is what matters most. Gainwell will see some ground work, but the bulk of the passing game work. The eight targets show that he will clearly be heavily involved. It doesn't hurt that the Eagles have become the team that falls behind early and then attempts to come storming back late in the game. Situations like that should lead to a safe amount of targets going Gainwell's way. He is the top add heading into Week 8. But, Boston Scott isn't too far behind. Scott is the more traditional runner for Philly if Sanders is to miss time moving forward (NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports Sanders is believed to have suffered a low ankle sprain and is undergoing more tests). He played 34 percent of the snaps in Week 7 with seven carries and two targets. He went for 29 total yards and scored a TD. He also saw three touches inside the 10-yard line in Week 7, including the TD he scored. Scott should see the heavier side of the ground game split and usage near the goal line, meaning he will be a flex option if Sanders sits in a great Week 8 matchup against the Lions.

Teams on Bye in Week 8: Ravens, Raiders

Do not drop: Patrick Mahomes, Julio Jones, Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, Odell Beckham, Allen Robinson (giving the last two another shot).

Quarterbacks

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence was on bye in Week 7, but do not forget about the No. 1 pick. He was playing well before the bye, topping 15 fantasy points in each of his last three games including his first 20-point game. He was running more, going for over 20 rushing yards in four of five games. Lawrence also has two rushing TDs in his last three games and nearly added a third. Coming off the bye, the hope is that he can feel more comfortable and operate better in the passing game. He has topped 270 yards in two straight and topped the 300-yard mark in his last game. The issue has been he hasn't thrown multiple passing TDs in a game since Week 1. But he has played better as of late and has a favorable matchup against the Seahawks in Week 8.

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa has taken advantage of good matchups two weeks in a row. In Week 7, he threw for 291 yards, four touchdowns and two interception with 29 rushing yards. He scored over-26 fantasy points and was a top-five QB. He has now thrown for over 290 yards with multiple passing TDs, while rushing for over 20 yards and scoring over 21 fantasy points in his two games since returning from injured reserve (ribs). He has a tougher matchup in Week 8 against the Bills, but he gets the Texans after that. Tua has been putting up numbers and is worth taking an upside shot on.

Giants QB Daniel Jones threw for 203 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers but added 28 rushing yards. He finished with 17.52 fantasy points, enough to make him a QB1 for the week. It was good to see Jones get back on track after a down two weeks. He has now topped 17 fantasy points four times and over 20 in three games this season. But the real reason to get excited about him is his schedule as he gets the Chiefs and Raiders in the next two weeks. He is certainly a streaming option in Week 8.

Patriots QB Mac Jones had his best fantasy game in his young career in Week 7. Jones scored just over 22 fantasy points as he threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets. It was his first career game with 300 passing yards, but he has thrown multiple passing TDs in three of the last four games. He has been playing well as of late, the issue has been the lack of passing game volume. He has the Chargers and Panthers the next two, but then gets a great stretch facing the Browns, Falcons and Titans. He will be in play as a bye week replacement in those weeks.

Texans QB Tyrod Taylor is nearing a return (he will return to practice Wednesday and head coach David Culley said he will start when healthy). The Texans clearly need him. Taylor scored over 23 fantasy points in Week 1 and was at nearly 17 before getting injured in Week 2. He brings a safe floor and some upside due to his rushing ability and is simply a better passer than Davis Mills at this point of their career. This is mostly for those who play in two-QB formats, but he is a nice stash candidate.

Running backs

49ers RB Elijah Mitchell should be rostered in way more leagues than he is, but he remains available in just over half of NFL.com leagues. That needs to change as he reestablished himself as the bellcow in the Niners backfield. He played 66 percent of the snaps with 18 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. The one big issue is he was not used in the passing game at all. That work went to JaMycal Hasty who had six targets, catching three for 15 yards. He added in three carries for one yard on 34 percent of the snaps. Mitchell is seeing over 17 touches per week in a Kyle Shanahan rushing attack, that alone makes him a weekly flex option, if not an RB2. Hasty is a deeper flex option or depth as the pass catching back. Trey Sermon didn't play a snap can be dropped.

Patriots RB Brandon Bolden is officially the new James White. Bolden led the Patriots in targets (seven), catches (six) and receiving yards (79) while also adding in a receiving touchdown. He scored nearly 20 fantasy points and was a top 10 RB in Week 7. While this was his best game of the season, he has scored over seven fantasy points in three of the last four games. He has four-or-more targets in every game but one since White was injured. That one game was Week 6, when Rhamondre Stevenson was used over him in the passing game, but then he was a healthy scratch. Bolden is more of a safe floor play, but he showcased his ceiling in Week 8. He is worth rostering in this role.

Raiders RB Kenyan Drake is only this low on the list because the Raiders are on bye next week. Josh Jacobs left early due to a chest injury, but the bye gives him extra time to recover. Still, Drake should be added incase Jacobs does miss time, but also because he has been more utilized since the coaching change. He was nearly splitting touches with Jacobs early in the game in Week 7 and saw six touches and scored two touchdowns. In Week 7 he played 40 percent of the snaps and had 14 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown. He also caught all three of his targets for 10 yards. He would be an RB2 if Jacobs misses time but is more of a flex option when Jacobs suits up.

Bengals RB Samaje Perine played 48 percent of the snaps in Week 7. He ended up seeing 11 yards for 52 carries and a touchdown. Most of the damage came on his 46-yard touchdown run. He also had a 23-yard catch on his lone target. Part of his usage was because it was a large lead late, but Perine is clearly the RB2 here in Cincy. He would see a large workload if Mixon was to miss time again.

Texans RB David Johnson led Houston RBs playing 55 percent of the snaps, and totaling seven carries. He was targeted six times, catching five for 27 yards. That was one shy of the team lead in Week 7. Johnson set a new season-high in carries and tied his high in targets. Maybe it was because it's a revenge game, but the pass game usage is nothing new. He has four or more targets in three of the last four. The usage is encouraging. He remains more of a deep league option but his usage moving forward should be monitored for those in 12-team leagues.

Jets RB Ty Johnson played 33 percent of the snaps and had five carries for six yards. So why is he a waiver target? He had seven targets, catching six for 65 yards. Only Michael Carter had more targets, catches and receiving yards. Mike Wright threw 44 percent of his passes to running backs. He also continues to see usage near the goal line. He is more of a deeper league option but he is in play in those formats against Cincinnati next week.

Wide receivers

Ravens WR Rashod Bateman was the top add last week, but he still remains available in far too many leagues. After tying for the team lead in targets last week he saw six targets catching three of them for 80 yards. He is the third target, but the Ravens passing attack can sustain three weapons this year, especially because Bateman has big play abilities both as a downfield threat and after the catch. He is more of a flex option, but should definitely be rostered.

Giants WR Darius Slayton took advantage of his team being thin at wide receiver catching five of his nine targets for 63 yards. The Giants were without Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney but all remain up in the air moving forward. You will have to monitor the other Giants receivers's availability, but if they miss Week 8, Slayton is at worst a volume WR3 play.

Lions WR Kalif Raymond had a good game against the Rams tough defense, catching six of eight targets for 115 yards. Raymond has seen at least six targets in four of his last five games and scored over nine fantasy points in each -- including over 12 in three of them. There is one weird game where he had two targets and no fantasy points, but outside of that he has proven to have a safe floor with a little bit of upside. He should be on the radar of those in 12-team leagues or deeper.

Jets WR Elijah Moore came into the season with a lot of high expectation and so far, has failed to live up to them. But in Week 7 he saw six targets, tying Corey Davis and Jamison Crowder, for the most among receivers. He only caught one of them for 13 yards, but he did add a 19-yard touchdown run. He is purely an upside stash, but the volume was encouraging.

Falcons WR Russell Gage returned in a big way in Week 7. He caught four of six targets for 67 yards and a touchdown. Gage is the third option in the Falcons' passing game, perhaps fourth if you count Cordarrelle Patterson, but he should be good for at least five targets per week. He is a deeper league add.

Texans WR Nico Collins played 61 percent of the snaps, the second most among Texans receivers. He saw five targets, catching two for a team-high 28 yards. He has 11 targets in his last two games and is getting more playing time. He is not usable with Davis Mills, but has upside when Tyrod Taylor returns.

Packers WR Allen Lazard saw six targets, the second most on Green Bay, catching five of them for 60 yards and a touchdown. It was his second straight week with at least five targets and more importantly with over 11 fantasy points. Marquez Valdes-Scantling can return moving forward which would greatly impact Lazard's fantasy value but he is playing well. If MVS remains out next week Lazard would be in the flex discussion.

Giants WR Dante Pettis caught all five of his targets for 39 yards and a touchdown. He also added in a 16-yard pass. Pettis is purely in play because the Giants are without Shepard, Golladay and Toney. If any of the three suit up in Week 8 you can get away from Pettis, but if all three remain out he will once again be in play as a streaming option.

Tight ends

Football Team TE Ricky Seals-Jones played 100 percent of the snaps for a second straight week. He has played all but one snap in the past three weeks. In Week 7, RSJ saw seven targets, catching six for 51 yards. He has scored 9.1, 15.8 and 11.1 fantasy points in his three spot starts so far. He remains a startable TE1 as long as Logan Thomas is out.

Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah only saw three targets in Week 7 but it didn't matter. He caught all three for 91 yards and two touchdowns. It was his second game in a month with two scores and over 24 fantasy points. He has over 10 in three of his last four. The volume is not ideal, but Uzomah clearly has a knack for finding space and making a big play in this offense. Until he sees more consistent volume he is not a TE1, but he is a TE2 with immense upside in this high-powered Bengals offense.

Giants TE Evan Engram saw eight targets catching six for 44 yards. It was his best game of the year in terms of targets and fantasy points (10.4). He benefitted from the Giants being without Shepard, Golladay and Toney. He will be in play if all three sit. If the Giants are healthier, then Engram would return to an upside TE2 with a low floor.

Colts TE Mo Alie-Cox was targeted just three times, catching all of them for 25 yards and a score. He has four touchdowns in his last four games combined. He's topped eight fantasy points in all four of those games and reached double-digits in two of them. He is clearly a big part of the Colts red zone package, making him a high-end TE2 each week.

Bears TE Cole Kmet led the Bears with six targets, catching five of them for a team-high 43 yards. It was a rough day for the Bears, but the young tight end was a bright spot. With Jimmy Graham sidelined Kmet should continue to see more volume. He's been around nine fantasy points the last two weeks. He remains a TE2, but is slowly becoming more trustworthy.

Make sure to follow Michael F. Florio on Twitter and Instagram.

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