Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 8

Quarterback:

Joe Flacco (63% Y!): Over the last two weeks, Flacco has thrown for 7 touchdowns compared just 2 interceptions. Yes, they were against weak defensive units (Tampa and Atlanta), but Flacco is showing that he has strong connections with his bevy of hands in Baltimore. Involving Torrey Smith more, along with using Steve Smith and Owen Daniels, Flacco definitely has options to utilize in the passing game. He also has a strong run game with a 3-headed monster led by Justin Forsett. He has a 14:5 TD:INT ratio on the season and is an upper-tier QB2 with potential to be a low-end QB1 on a weekly basis. He gets the Bengals, Steelers and Titans over the next three weeks, all of which are beatable. He’s a great bye-week filler in the near future.

Carson Palmer (42% Y!): Palmer seems nearly recovered from a shoulder issue that plagued him for most of the season. Since his return, he’s thrown 4 touchdowns to just 1 interception. He has done a nice job of spreading the ball around to his plethora of weapons and has been complimented nicely by stud running back Andre Ellington. Palmer should be owned in more leagues due to his matchups to come (Eagles, Cowboys, Rams) and the ability of his weapons to make plays. Palmer throws the ball down-field quite a bit, and that’s what we fake gamers want to see!

Running Back:

Tre Mason (17% Y!): The Auburn rookie has been inactive more often than he has been in uniform this season. Yet he’s now one of the most intriguing running back adds of the year. He had a breakout game on Sunday (18/85/1) against Seattle and is now likely the top tailback for the Rams. Last season’s surprise star Zac Stacy has just not been able to get it going this season and saw no touches on Sunday. The only other back in the mix is Benjamin Cunningham, who looks to have established a role as the change-of-pace option. Easily the most talented runner in the St. Louis backfield, the job should be Mason’s so long as he produces in the weeks to come. While Mason is not likely to be a PPR-maven, the Rams like to run the ball enough for him to be a weekly FLEX option should he succeed with the gig. Pick him up in all formats.

Ronnie Hillman (58% Y!): Last call! Add in all leagues. Hillman had a big game on Sunday, tallying 103 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against a stingy San Fransisco defense. Given the lack of burst with which Montee Ball played before his injury, Hillman is a candidate to keep this job for the remainder of the season. At the very least, he’s carved out a major role in this offense once the former returns. There is still no definitive timetable for Ball’s return, so continue to use Hillman with confidence in the weeks ahead.

With Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller out indefinitely, look for Bryce Brown to take over as Buffalo's lead back
With Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller out indefinitely, look for Bryce Brown to take over as Buffalo’s lead back

Bryce Brown (6% Y!): Both Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are out indefinitely with injuries, leaving Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown to handle the backfield touches in their absence. Dixon has been active all year due to his special teams appeal but Brown is the more talented back and should be given a larger share of the touches between the 20’s. Brown is also the superior pass protector and that should only help to keep him on the field. Dixon will likely sub in when Buffalo gets close to the goal line. Brown has great stats in his young career, with over 4.6 YPC and 6 touchdowns. The only downside to Brown’s immediate future prospects are the tough matchups which Buffalo faces. Let all the noobs put in claims on Dixon, my money is on Bryce Brown taking the job and running with it.

Wide Receiver:

Doug Baldwin (23% Y!): With Percy Harvin out of the picture, many are predicting the ball distribution won’t change much since the former Viking wasn’t seeing many looks to begin with. The most logical beneficiary of the Harvin trade to the Jets is obviously Doug Baldwin. He’s been Russel Wilson’s favorite target all year long and Sunday it showed, as Baldwin broke out for a 7/123/1 line. Baldwin is now a clear-cut WR3 option in the coming weeks as he should be getting plenty of looks for a Seattle team that will be looking to get out of their funk. Fantasy owners in need of wide receiver help should put a considerable FAAB bid in on Baldwin this week.

Odell Beckham Jr. (50% Y!): After the Victor Cruz injury last week, the biggest beneficiary had to be Beckham, who slid right into the starting lineup. He posted a 4/34/2 line in week 7. Beckham is quickly becoming a favorite of Eli Manning and is arguably the best receiver on the team. His athletic ability and red zone use should help continue to lift his stock in the weeks ahead. He’s probably more of a WR3 right now, but upside remains. If he has another big game in week 9 (Giants are on a bye coming up), this is probably the last call to hop on the bandwagon.

Allen Robinson (15% Y!): As I stated last week, Robinson is Blake Bortles’ favorite target and considering how much the Jaguars are forced to throw the ball, he’s worth an add. The biggest problem with Robinson was that before Sunday, he hadn’t found pay dirt yet this season. I said he would find the end zone soon and voila! He finished with a healthy 7 targets and a touchdown as well and will continue to rack up the looks each week and can be safely deployed as a mid-tier WR3. He needs to be owned more than 15% of leagues. Anyone with a free spot on their bench needs to put Robinson there.

Tight End:

Owen Daniels (49% Y!): Overall, Daniels has disappointed fantasy owners ever since becoming the starting tight end for the Ravens after Dennis Pitta’s season-ending hip injury. He scored his first touchdown since his 2-score performance in week 2 and was targeted 9 times as well. Joe Flacco has been above average this season and in such a tight end-friendly scheme, Daniels is going to be a threat to provide gamers a healthy dose of points weekly. Don’t mistake Daniels for a game-changer, but he is more than serviceable considering the current pool of available tight ends.

Charles Clay (40% Y!): Whether it was a struggling offense or being hurt, Clay has been an utter disappointment so far after his breakout 2013. He finally had a good game on Sunday (4/58/1) and given his talent, this could be all Clay needs to get back on track. The key to his success is the progression of Ryan Tannehill. After Mike Wallace, Clay could easily become Tannehill’s #2 target with Miami’s lack of depth at the running back position. The Dolphins are forced to rely on their passing attack a lot and that could help Clay get back to last season’s form. If you need a tight end this week, he is definitely worth a look.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/blfmEi

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

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