Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 8
October 27, 2015 | Evan Sandel
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Darren McFadden (38% Yahoo, 43% ESPN)
Despite lots of speculation that Christine Michael would get a chance last Sunday against the Giants, it was McFadden who was given an opportunity to try his hand at the feature back role, and he made the most of the opportunity touching the ball a bounteous 31 times.
Anybody running behind the Cowboys’ superb O-line should be productive. And McFadden turned in the Cowboys’ first 100-yard rushing performance of the season accordingly, outshining incumbent back Joseph Randle’s prior offerings.
Cowboy’s coach Jason Garrett avoids running back committees and there’s good reason to think McFadden will take over the lion’s share of touches, even if Randle recovers in time for the Week 8 matchup with the Seahawks.
Seattle is tough on running backs and could limit McFadden’s effectiveness next week, but he nonetheless needs to be rostered immediately in all formats.
Jay Ajayi (1% Yahoo, 2% ESPN) and David Cobb (10% Yahoo, 7% ESPN)
Both rookies drafted in the early fifth round were forced to start the year on the IR designated to return, but both are now healthy and will be activated at the earliest opportunity: week 9.
Ajayi is a top talent who fell in the draft over concerns about his knee and a bizarre off-field issue in which he was jailed for five days after being caught stealing sweatpants from Wal-Mart. Before getting hurt he was rolling in the preseason, averaging 5.7 YPC, he should immediately be in the mix for no.2 duties in Miami and could get an extended look, considering Lamar Miller is in a contract year.
Cobb will walk into a horrible running back committee in Tennessee that is currently being led by practice squad guy Antonio Andrews. It’s entirely possible Cobb is already the best between the tackles back on the Titan’s roster, and he should get an opportunity to prove it sooner than later.
Both of these guys are worth adding now, before their return gets a little more high profile next week. If you need help now, take Cobb, if you can afford to wait a bit for upside to emerge, Ajayi.
Michael Floyd (47% Yahoo, 56% ESPN)
Floyd has been quiet through the first five games of the season, due largely to a resurgent Larry Fitzgerald. However, the former 13th overall pick has found the end zone and racked up at least 50 yards in the last two games. Meanwhile, Fitzy is coming off his worst game of the season, which shockingly came against the Ravens’ league-worst pass defense.
Floyd finished last season with more yards and touchdowns than Fitzy on 16 fewer receptions. He’s a player who dazzles us with his sky-high potential for stretches and then goes quiet. As the season wears on, Fitzgerald’s age should begin to show, and he demonstrated clearly on Monday night that if a defense resolves to take him away, he can be rendered ineffective.
Floyd’s role should continue to grow as the season progresses; he’s a WR3 with stellar upside.
Kirk Cousins (7% Yahoo, 6% ESPN)
317 yards and four touchdowns kind of begs the question, “you like that?’
Cousins had a stellar Sunday, showing particular chemistry with his tight end Jordan Reed, who had missed the last two games with a concussion. Cousins, who had a good start to the season, clearly missed Reed and had consecutive poor showings in his absence in tough matchups against the Falcons and Jets. With Reed back and looking strong and DeSean Jackson expected to return after the bye week, Cousins should continue to offer up some strong fantasy stat-lines to his fake football owners.
Eric Ebron (25% Yahoo, 27% ESPN)
The second year man out of North Carolina has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of his four full games this season.
With the Lions’ run game struggling, Ebron is quietly one of the most efficient weapons on the Detroit roster.
He’s shockingly under-owned due to his early season injury and a mediocre rookie year, however, getting acclimated to the professional ranks usually takes tight ends a little longer.
The Lions are off to a terrible start, but have had one of the toughest opening slates in football, and Ebron still managed to be effective when healthy. The Lions’ schedule will soften somewhat going forward, and Ebron warrants immediate consideration as a low-end TE1 with upside.
Stefon Diggs – Saw a massive ownership spike last week, but he’s still under-owned at 61% Yahoo and 44% ESPN. If he’s available, go snag him up.
Jordan Reed – Appears to be Kirk Cousins’ go-to guy. Like Diggs he’s owned widely, but not widely enough (59% Yahoo, 42% ESPN). Add if available.
Orleans Darkwa – A big surprise leader in carries on Sunday, Darkwa made the most out of the opportunity averaging a stellar six yards a touch. The UDFA out of Tulane will still be mired in a committee, but makes an interesting stash.
Ryan Mathews – The Eagles’ RB usage is something of an enigma, but when Mathews plays he gets good results, scoring 15+ standard fantasy points every other contest since week 3. Mathews is a rare commodity — a solid bye-week filling RB who might actually be on your waiver wire.