The one consistency from the NFL is that each week is unpredictable. After Kyren Williams’ injury, it appeared as if a handful of various running backs were going to split the load but the one who flashed was not who most, including this author, predicted. Meanwhile, a couple of receivers are showing that they will likely be fantasy relevant all season and still available in most leagues. The bye weeks were awful in Week 7 and will be once again in Week 9, but the schedulers over at the NFL somehow put zero teams on bye this week. Here are some players available in the majority of leagues who can help on rosters each week. This is waiver wire targets for Week 8 of the fantasy football regular season.
Waiver wire targets for week 8 of the fantasy football season
Pierre Strong Jr, running back, Cleveland Browns
Pierre Strong Jr came into the game late in week 7 due to an injury to starter Jerome Ford. Ford will undergo more tests, but rumors are hinting at a high ankle sprain which usually means a couple-game absence. Kareem Hunt is still hanging around the team, but it was Strong who benefited from Ford’s early exit. Strong rushed eight times late in the game to help the Browns seal the win. Keep an eye open before waivers run for any update on Ford, but it appears as if Strong will be worth a pickup for at least a couple of weeks.
Royce Freeman, running back, Los Angeles Rams
The carousel of running backs is back in Los Angeles. Last season, the Rams could not stick with a primary back most games and that appears to be the case again with Kyren Williams going to the IR. Zach Evans was projected as the starter for the Rams, but it was actually a guy from the practice squad and someone off the street who got the majority of the work. Darrell Henderson stepped right back into his old role with the Rams and carried the ball 18 times in week 7. It was actually Freeman though who looked more explosive. Freeman had just 12 rushes but had more yards than Henderson. This is going to be a fluid situation moving forward, but Freeman looks like the best back on the team until Williams returns.
Rashee Rice, wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs
It is shocking that Rice is still available in over half of ESPN fantasy leagues and nearly half of Yahoo leagues. Of all the newest receivers for Patrick Mahomes, it appears as if Rice has separated himself as the one true wide receiver that Mahomes trusts. Rice has had five or more targets in five of his seven games in the NFL. This is his rookie campaign, so the trajectory for Rice should be rising throughout this season. Travis Kelce will always be the true top pass-catcher with the Chiefs, but Rice has a role and could be a league winner if he continues to produce.
Josh Downs, wide receiver, Indianapolis Colts
We stand here once again employing fantasy football managers to invest in Josh Downs. With Gardner Minshew under center the rest of the year, Downs gets a huge boost to fantasy relevance. Minshew is much more of a pocket passer than Anthony Richardson and has a habit of being a gunslinger. That will likely hurt Minshew’s ability to be a permanent starter in the league, but it is great for both Downs and Michael Pittman. Downs has 16 catches on 20 targets in his last three games. This has averaged out to over 12 yards per catch for Downs, which puts him firmly in WR3/Flex conversations each week. With the lack of pass-catchers emerging each week, Downs should be picked up in nearly every fantasy format.