Every season, there are a few players that fantasy football owners are slow to come around on. These players have usually been in the league for at least a few seasons and generally haven’t put up huge stats, which is why everyone assumes their current hot streaks still be short lived. Cole Beasley and Nelson Agholor have been those guys this year, but after their biggest games to date, both figure to be among the top Week 8 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. They will be joined by RBs Carlos Hyde, La’Mical Perine, and Wayne Gallman, as well as potential breakout pass-catchers like Brandon Aiyuk, Harrison Bryant, and Rashard Higgins.
Originally, Jeff Wilson Jr. looked like a surefire headliner among that group, but after aggravating his calf injury on his third TD of the day, it seems likely he’ll miss time. Our full free agent list includes the most likely 49ers fill-ins (Tevin Coleman, JaMycal Hasty), as well as more potential pickups (Trey Burton, Logan Thomas, Dallas Goedert, Marquez Callaway, Sterling Shepard, Gus Edwards) who could have both short- and long-term value. We also have a host of high-upside QB, TE, and D/ST streamers for Week 8, which you can find at the end of this list.
Whether to use a waiver claim this week really comes down to what you need and what your record is. There isn’t an obvious must-have pickup, but you can make a case for Perine, Hasty/Coleman, Edwards, and Gallman depending on how badly you need a back. (Update: Carlos Hyde should be considered the top pickup with Chris Carson expected to be out in Week 8.) Beasley, Agholor, Aiyuk, Shepard, and Higgins could all have WR3 value going forward, but that doesn’t necessarily make them worth claims (and certainly not high ones). Goedert is worth a claim if we know he’s coming back this week, but given the radio slience surrounding his ankle injury, it’s tough to invest too heavily in him unless TE is the only hole in your lineup.
Your level of waiver activity also depends on your place in the standings. If you’re likely to be 6-1 or 5-2, you can probably save your waiver position for when a future injury strikes. However, if you’re scratching and clawing for every win, you might need to do what you can to secure the best lineup possible for the coming week. Saving your waiver claims for later won’t help you much if you don’t make the playoffs.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 8
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
La’Mical Perine, RB, Jets. Perine had a big first half in Week 7, but after barely touching the ball in the second half, his numbers look pretty pedestrian (13 touches, 55 total yards TD). Still, the fact he tied for the team lead with 11 carries and was trusted on a carry inside the 10-yard line (which he scored on) is important. Perine figures to continue to earn more playing time going forward, as 37-year-old Frank Gore isn’t “the future” for New York. Now’s the time to grab Perine if he’s still available, especially with a favorable matchup on deck against Kansas City next week.
Cole Beasley, WR, Bills. Beasley has been solid all season, but he took his game to another level in Week 7 against the Jets, catching 11-of-12 targets for 112 yards (all season highs). Beasley was undoubtedly helped by John Brown (knee) being out and the favorable matchup, but he’s been playing at a WR3 level all season, at least in PPR leagues, and he should be picked up in all formats immediately. Buffalo has a tough matchup against the Patriots next week, but Beasley will be a must-start in Week 9 against Seattle’s league-worst pass defense.
JaMycal Hasty, RB, 49ers. Hasty was operating as San Francisco’s No. 2 back when Jeff Wilson Jr. was piling up monster stats against the Patriots in Week 7, and he took over as the primary runner after Wilson (ankle) was carted off. He finished the day with 57 yards on nine carries and added another 16 yards on his lone reception. It’s unclear if Tevin Coleman (ankle) will be back next week, and if he is, he would likely be San Francisco’s top back against the Seahawks. But if Coleman remains out, Hasty will split time with Jerick McKinnon, who barely saw the field in Week 8. That would give Hasty flex value considering how well San Francisco runs the ball.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Seahawks. Hyde took over as Seattle’s primary back on Sunday night after Chris Carson exited in the first half because of a foot injury. He finished with 68 yards and a TD on 15 carries, and if Carson isn’t ready for Week 8 against the 49ers, Hyde would likely see at least 15 touches again. Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas will also be involved and could have value in PPR leagues, but Hyde has RB2 upside. (UPDATE: Carson is considered “week-to-week” and will likely miss at least two games.)
Nelson Agholor, WR, Raiders. Agholor tied for the team lead in targets (9) and broke 100 yards for the first time all season. Even more noteworthy is that he scored for the third straight game and fourth time this season. Darren Waller remains Vegas’s top target and Henry Ruggs will always be a big-play, boom-or-bust threat, but Agholor looks like he’s going to have a pretty decent floor as a WR3 candidate going forward. He can certainly be used next week against the Browns.
For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including additional breakouts and potential streamers, check out our full Week 8 list.