Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 8
Rashad Jennings (JAX): You probably didn't need me to tell you this one. Jennings is one of the more talented backups in the league, boasting a career 4.8 yards per carry average, but he rarely gets significant touches due to the supremely talented Maurice Jones-Drew. With MJD going down with a foot injury that Adam Schefter reports will hold him out "multiple games," Jennings immediately becomes a feature back for the Jaguars. While he will be limited by the Jaguars' terrible offense, the amount of touches that he'll get makes him this week's top waiver wire pickup.
Vick Ballard (IND): After a sub par debut as the Colts' starting running back, Ballard put together a nice performance against the Browns on Sunday, carrying the ball 20 times for 84 yards. With Donald Brown expected to miss another week with his knee injury, Ballard will likely draw another start against the Titans 25th ranked run defense. If he gets the ball around 20 times again - which he should - he could be in for a big day.
Montario Hardesty (CLE): Rumors have surfaced that the Browns are considering the possibility of shutting down running back Trent Richardson for three weeks so he can fully recover from his rib cartilage injury. If he is indeed shut down, the main beneficiary will be Hardesty. Hardesty lacks talent, but like Ballard, he should get enough touches to make him a worthwhile fantasy pickup. If you have Richardson, and don't have a suitable replacement in the event he sits out, Hardesty is a must-add.
Jonathan Dwyer (PIT): Dwyer finally got to play in Sunday night's game after being a healty scratch the previous two weeks, and he impressed with 17 carries for 122 yards (7.2 yards per carry). Once Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman return from injury, Dwyer will likely be benched - or inactive - once again, but head coach Mike Tomlin believes both injured backs are truly questionable for this Sunday. If you were planning on playing Mendenhall this week, or if you've got room on your roster and would like to take a flier, Dwyer is worth picking up as a possible one-week flex play.
Jeremy Kerley (NYJ): Since number one wide receiver Santonio Holmes suffered a season ending foot injury, Jeremy Kerley has filled into the Jets receiving core nicely, averaging five catches for 79.3 yards in the three games Holmes has missed. Those numbers are dragged down by a three catch, 24 yard performance during the run-oriented onslaught of the Colts in Week 6. Kerley's most recent performance - seven catches for 120 yards against the Patriots - has made him worthy of a pickup, especially in PPR leagues.
Titus Young (DET): With Nate Burleson sidelined for eight months with a broken leg, Titus Young will be shifting into the number two wide receiver role, opposite of Calvin Johnson. With opposing defenses shifting such a great deal of focus to keeping Johnson in check, Young will have plenty of opportunities to make plays. He was incredibly ineffective as the third receiver, averaging 2.2 catches through his first five games, but he caught six balls for 81 yards last night with Burleson out of the picture, and should continue to increase his production.
Ryan Broyles (DET): Broyles is another Lions receiver who will benefit from the injury of Nate Burleson. Though the rookie had never caught a pass in the NFL previous to Monday night, he caught three balls for 51 yards and a touchdown in Burleson's absence. The Lions certainly have plans and high hopes for Broyles, or else they would not have spent a second round pick on him last April. Oklahoma fans know how good Broyles can be, as they watched him set the NCAA record for career receptions. He could end up being a solid option in PPR leagues.
Josh Gordon (CLE): Gordon, once again, did a whole lot with very little this week. For the third straight game, Gordon has had 59+ yards and 1+ touchdown on three or less catches. He may not be a consistent receiving option, but when he gets his hands on the ball, he makes good things happen. He'll be a risky play every week this year, but if you've got players injured or on bye and need a quick fill-in, Gordon is worth a shot.
Brandon Myers (OAK): Myers is far from a household name, but there's not a whole lot available in the tight end department these days. Myers is a solid bye week fill-in for PPR owners, as he has 4+ catches in all but one game this season. Carson Palmer trusts him, and many say he has the best hands on the team. He'll likely find the end zone a few times if the Raiders can get their offense to click.
Chris Cooley (WAS): Cooley probably won't be too effective immediately, as the Redskins won't want to throw him into the fire just after rejoining the team. However, I expect him to emerge as the lead tight end over no-names Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul. He'll be another guy with PPR upside down the road.
Raiders: The Raiders gave up 23 points to the Jaguars abysmal offense - oddly enough, the same amount they gave up to the Falcons' high powered attack - but that wasn't the defense's fault. The Raiders gave up a touchdown thanks to a muffed punt and a field goal thanks to a brutal Carson Palmer interception. They were also on the field for much of the first half, thanks to the offense stalling drive after drive. Outside of a blown coverage that resulted in a touchdown, the defense played extremely well, and should continue to do so against Brady Quinn and the Chiefs.