Top waiver wire pickups for Week 8
Note: This list includes only players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Carson Palmer (ARI): Those who thought that Palmer would revitalize the Cardinals' passing attack this season were sorely mistaken - Palmer has a pathetic 69.5 passer rating. However, that doesn't mean that Palmer can't still put up some nice numbers against poor defenses. Over their next six games, Palmer will face the Falcons (ranked 23rd in scoring defense), Texans (25th), Jaguars (32nd), Colts (6th), Eagles (26th), and Rams (24th). Even the struggling Palmer should be able to score some fantasy points against those units.
Mike James (TB): You have probably heard by now that Doug Martin - drafted second overall in most fantasy drafts this year - may miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. James is his direct backup and will be the primary ball carrier for the foreseeable future. In addition to between-the-tackles duties, James will also handle passing downs and goal-line situations. He probably won't light it up (especially in his first three starts against CAR, SEA, and MIA), but he should get enough work to be relied on as a fantasy starter.
Chris Ivory (NYJ): Going from a pass-happy offense to a smashmouth scheme that better suits his skills, Ivory was expected by a lot of people (myself included) to be a beast this season when healthy. He has not only struggled with injuries (as he frequently has throughout his career), but has also simply struggled to produce when on the field. In Week 7, however, the Jets pounded Ivory right down the throat of the Patriots' defense. He was handed the ball a career-high 34 times, turning his opportunities into 104 yards. Bilal Powell (three touches on Sunday) will factor more heavily into the equation in the future, but Ivory could still be a fantasy asset if the Jets can stay in games to the point where they can constantly run the football.
Roy Helu (WAS): How did Helu manage 12 touches and three touchdowns in Week 7? It mostly had to do with the Redskins' use of their turbo package, essentially their no-huddle offense. Helu is the No. 1 running back in that package, and the Redskins have been using it a lot more over the past few weeks. They used it a ton in Week 7, and they hung up 45 points (a season-high by 18) on the Bears - it's a pretty safe bet that they will continue their heavy use of the turbo package. That means consistent playing time for Helu, making him worth rostering despite Alfred Morris' stranglehold on the No. 1 job.
Shane Vereen (NE) / Andre Brown (NYG) / Jonathan Stewart (CAR): All three should be returning from injuries over the next few weeks. Vereen will be by far the best once healthy, while Brown should also take on a heavy workload thanks to injuries in the Giants' backfield. Stewart will be eased in and has limited upside due to the presence of DeAngelo Williams. They are worth looking into as stashes on your bench that could help you for your late season/playoff run.