Week 8 waiver-wire pickups and fantasy targets

No matter the league size, Jeff Ratcliffe has suggestions for players to target on the waiver wire this week.

| 8 months ago
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Week 8 waiver-wire pickups and fantasy targets

The playoff picture in our fantasy leagues is starting to take shape, but it still isn’t too late to improve your roster via the waiver wire. Likewise, you can also block your opponents from grabbing players who may improve their rosters.

Remember, we cast a wide net every week in our waiver wire advice. Below you’ll see recommendations for shallow, regular and deep leagues. Players are listed in order of priority and the suggested auction budget percentage is in parentheses.

Keep in mind that some leagues may be more aggressive or conservative in terms of bidding, so know your league tendencies. Regardless of the size of your league, it’s suggested that you work your way down the list and prioritize the top players in your waiver claims for this week.

Shallow leagues (8-10 teams)


1. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (10%) – He’s far from consistent, but Winston has displayed a high ceiling in the right matchups this season. Those matchups come in bunches over the next three weeks with the Raiders, Falcons and Bears on tap. The Bucs also face the Saints twice during the fantasy playoffs.

Running back

1. Jay Ajayi, Miami (50%) – Honestly, you could spend your entire FAAB budget on Ajayi and not go wrong. He was dynamic and elusive in Week 7, and he’s on his way to being this year’s breakout player. With Arian Foster retired, Ajayi is locked in as the Dolphins’ feature back.

2. Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay (40%) – Rodgers’ performance over the last two games is almost as surprising as Ajayi’s breakout. With Doug Martin sidelined and Charles Sims on IR, Rodgers has become an unlikely workhorse, racking up 62 touches. With Martin suffering a setback this past week, Rodgers is the likely starter in a plus matchup against the Raiders.

3. Matt Asiata, Minnesota (25%) – With Jerick McKinnon dealing with an ankle injury, the Vikings turned to Asiata as their lead back in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. He isn’t an elusive player, but Asiata has a nose for the end zone and is a good receiver out of the backfield. He has the potential to see a lot of work if McKinnon is sidelined this week.

Wide receiver

1. Ty Montgomery, WR Green Bay (50%) – We’re listing him as a wide receiver in this column, but you’ll likely be able to play him at running back on your league commissioner site. However, he’s especially interesting as a receiver given his 19 touches in Week 7. Regardless of how you use him, Montgomery is an absolute must-own player.

2. Michael Thomas, New Orleans (40%) – The former Ohio State receiver has improved over the course of the season, and currently sits tied with Brandin Cooks for the team high in targets with 47. While he lacks Cooks’ ceiling, Thomas has a higher weekly floor and should be considered a WR3-plus going forward.

Tight end

1. Antonio Gates, San Diego (15%) – Despite the Hunter Henry hype, Gates actually ran more passing routes in Week 7 and saw a position-high 10 targets on the week. He’s clearly ahead of Henry in the target pecking order and is back in the TE1 conversation.

2. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis (10%) – With Dwayne Allen, Phillip Dorsett, and Donte Moncrief sidelined, Doyle essentially served as the Colts’ No. 2 receiver in Week 7, racking up nine catches and a score. Allen hasn’t been the fastest healer over his career, so Doyle could be in store for a healthy target share for the next few weeks.

Regular leagues (12 teams)


1. Kirk Cousins, Washington (5%) – Last week’s top streamer, Cousins put up 301 yards and a score through the air, and chipped in a rushing touchdown. He gets a string of tough matchups, but Cousins is still worth grabbing to be part of a quarterback committee.

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| Director of Fantasy

Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.

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