With NFL Week 7 all but wrapped up, it’s time for a look at the waiver wire moves you need to make heading into Week 8.
49ers QB CJ Beathard
If you need quarterback help at this point in the season, your options are very limited. One guy who is emerging as a viable option is C.J. Beathard, who has looked very comfortable as the 49ers’ new starting quarterback. He threw for 235 yards and and ran for 35 yards with a score versus the Cowboys in Week 7. That came after he threw for 245 yards and one score in relief of Brian Hoyer in Week 6. While not eye-popping, it’s about as good as it’s going to get on the waiver wire for quarterbacks this late in the season.
Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard
The rise of O.J. Howard has begun. Despite operating as the No. 2 tight end next to Cameron Brate, Howard still caught six passes on six targets for 98 yards and two touchdowns in the Bucs' Week 7 loss to the Bills. The No. 19 overall pick in this year’s draft is finally getting involved in this offense, making him worth taking a flyer on heading into Week 8.
Raiders RB Jalen Richard
With Marshawn Lynch suspended for a game following his shove of a referee in Week 6, there is an opportunity for a new Raiders running back to emerge as at least a bye week replacement. While Oakland has given touches to Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, it’s been Richard getting more of the touches over the course of the season. He has 20 runs for 67 yards to go with seven catches for 72 yards over his last three games. Not great, but he should be a decent Week 8 option if your current running back(s) hit the bye week.
49ers WR Marquise Goodwin
While Beatherd is the hot name in San Francisco, Marquise Goodwin has been the guy producing the most in recent weeks. Goodwin has caught 11 passes for 222 yards over the last three games while being targeted 24 times. As he develops more chemistry with his new quarterback, expect his numbers to be even better as the season wears on.
Titans TE Jonnu Smith
The super-sleeper pickup of Week 8 will be Jonnu Smith, who hasn’t been much of a contributor this season while playing behind Delanie Walker, one of the game’s best fantasy tight ends. However, Smith has caught two touchdowns this season as a backup, and he now may be the starter after Walker suffered a sprained ankle Sunday that forced him to leave the stadium on crutches. If he misses a lot of time, Smith could be a decent streamer at tight end going forward.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
It’s becoming clear that JuJu Smith-Schuster, not Martavis Bryant, is the Steelers’ No. 2 receiver next to Antonio Brown. With Brown drawing most of the attention from opposing defenses, and Bryant has usually been the big beneficiary, but Pittsburgh seems to now favor what JuJu brings to the table. He’s been targeted an average of 4.4 times over the last five games, and he caught a touchdown in Pittsburgh’s week 7 win over Cincinnati. He’s now worth picking up in deeper leagues where you’re in desperate need of receiver help.
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer
The career of Carson Palmer may have come to an end Sunday. The veteran quarterback suffered an arm injury that will knock him out for at least eight weeks, which could lead to his season being over. Turning 38 in December, Palmer’s days in the NFL could be over as he’ll strongly consider retirement this offseason.
Chargers TE Antonio Gates
The end of Antonio Gates’ Hall of Fame career is fast approaching. While Gates still has something left in the tank, it’s not enough to be fantasy relevant going forward, as he has just four catches on five targets and no scores over his last three games.
Buccaneers RB Jacquizz Rodgers
While Doug Martin was serving his three-game suspension, Jacquizz Rodgers was quite impressive as the Bucs’ starting running back. However, Martin has since returned and taken over the backfield, leading to Rodgers getting just 10 combined touches over his last three games. Drop him in all leagues.
If you’ve made the mistake of trying out a Browns quarterback this season, stop it. Stop it right now. Over the past two games, the Browns have gone from DeShone Kizer to Kevin Hogan to Cody Kessler. They’ve all stunk, and so do you if you try to roll with any Browns quarterback.