Fantasy Football FAB Report: Week 8
Free agent budget waivers (FAB) are, without a doubt, the way to go. While some leagues are still sticking to the ancient ways of rolling list waivers (yuck) or waiver priority determined by the reverse order of standings (barf), many of the savvy ones are moving over to budgets. It makes sense -- why not give every manager an equal shot at every player. Do you really want to reward people for sucking at fantasy? Okay...rant over.
Every Tuesday evening, I (along with most managers in leagues with FAB waivers) spend countless hours trying to figure out how much to offer for the week's top available players -- which so happens to be exactly what this piece will cover.
Let's get to this week's top players and how much of my budget I'd be willing to offer to acquire them.
(The suggested offers are for 12-team, half-PPR leagues.)
Depending on your scoring and roster formats, how much you should spend at quarterback varies from league to league. If you're in a traditional, four-point-per-touchdown, one-quarterback league, there is rarely an occurrence where you should be spending a big chunk of your budget on the position. However, if you're in a superflex or straight up two-quarterback league, that story changes entirely. With that in mind, let's look at this week's top streaming options.
When I talk about quarterbacks points, I'm utilizing Yahoo scoring.
Baker Mayfield (33% rostered) - We have to have the "is Baker Mayfield better without Odell Beckham?" conversation because if Week 7 was any indication, the answer is a resounding "yes!" Coming into Week 7, Mayfield was averaging a puke-inducing 13.6 fantasy points per game. After OBJ tore his ACL on a Mayfield interception, Baker completed 22 of his next 27 passes for 297 yards and 5 touchdowns. Now, I'm not insinuating that Beckham isn't an elite talent (he is), but for a passer like Mayfield, perhaps constantly trying to force the ball to one guy, regardless of his talent, is counterproductive. Anyway, let's move on to this week. In Week 8, Mayfield gets a mouthwatering matchup with a Las Vegas Raiders team that's allowed an average of 30.3 fantasy points per game to the last three signal-callers they've faced. This is a team that ranks sixth-worst in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, this game is opening with a total of 54.5 -- that'll play. Mayfield is a high-end streamer this week.
Suggested offer: 4-5%
Teddy Bridgewater (44% rostered) - The team that's allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks is the Atlanta Falcons -- that's who Teddy gets to match up with in Week 8. Normally, a matchup with the Falcons would be enough reason to make a passer the top streaming option of the week, but there is some reason for hesitancy. First, there's the matter of Teddy's upside -- he's had more than 20.8 fantasy points just twice in his last 13 starts. He did manage 20.8 in a Week 5 matchup with Atlanta, which is solid but not spectacular. There's also the matter of Atlanta showing *some* signs of life on the defensive side of the ball in recent weeks -- the Falcons allowed 33.0 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks through the first four weeks, but that's down to 20.6 over their last three. This is still a matchup to attack, but don't expect a huge ceiling.
Suggested offer: 3-4%
Derek Carr (29% rostered) - Carr's in a similar boat as Bridgewater in that he doesn't have a tremendous ceiling, but his floor has been much more manageable. Through six games, Carr has posted at least 20.4 fantasy points in four of them, topping out at 25.0. This week, he'll get to face a Cleveland Browns defense that was just lit up by Joe Burrow and has surrendered at least 24.5 fantasy points to a quarterback four times already this season. Stream Carr with confidence this week.
Suggested offer: 3-4%
Unlike quarterback, running back is a premier position in almost every format. For that reason, this is a position you'll want to be generous with. Of course, some backs have more value in PPR (point-per-reception) leagues than they do in standard, so be sure to keep that in mind.
There are three backs to focus your budget on in Week 8, and none of them come without risks.
Carlos Hyde (11% rostered) - Many fantasy managers have been burned once already by Hyde this season and might be hesitant to splurge on him again. That said, there's a very good possibility of Hyde returning high-end RB2 value as a fill-in for the next couple of weeks. According to Adam Schefter, Chris Carson has suffered a "midfoot sprain," which appears to be the same injury Joe Mixon is currently dealing with. Based on the Mixon report, a midfoot sprain takes time to heal and could lead to a multi-week absence. Hyde stepped in on Sunday night and totaled 68 yards and a score on 15 carries -- he also added 8 yards on 3 receptions. The Week 8 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers is not an easy one, though it's worth noting that both Carson and Travis Homer exceeded 90 yards against the Niners last season. Keep an eye on the reports on Carson, but don't be afraid to dig into your wallet for Hyde if it looks like Carson is headed for a multi-week absence.
Suggested offer: 15-20%
(Update: Hyde is dealing with "hamstring tightness" -- while that doesn't sound too serious, it's worth keeping an eye on. DeeJay Dallas (0% rostered) is worth a speculative offer of up to 5-8% if you're desperate.)
JaMycal Hasty (21% rostered) - Rostering a Niners running back is never not stressful, but Hasty should be a worthwhile add this week. With Raheem Mostert on injured reserve, Jeff Wilson dealing with a high-ankle sprain, and the 49ers wanting to ease up on Jerick McKinnon's usage, Hasty could be headed for a sizable workload in the coming weeks. Hasty managed 73 yards on 10 touches in Week 7, but a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks (and a projected total of 54.0) is looming. There's an "outside chance" Tevin Coleman, but it might take him some time to get back to full health.
Suggested offer: 15-17%
Zack Moss (46% rostered) - While the aforementioned two should be falling into sizable workloads, that's not necessarily the case with Moss. Nevertheless, he's still a savvy add. Devin Singletary has not been very good for the Buffalo Bills this season. In four out of his seven games this year, Singletary has failed to exceed 32 rushing yards -- and he's averaged 3.6 yards or fewer per tote in five of his seven games. Among the 37 backs with at least 50 carries this season, Singletary ranks 29th in Rushing NEP per carry and 33rd in Rushing Success Rate (i.e., the percentage of carries that lead to positive NEP for a team’s offense). Singletary hasn't been doing much damage as a receiver, either -- among the 57 backs with at least 10 targets, he ranks 34th in Reception NEP per reception and 39th in Target NEP per target. While Moss hasn't been much better, there is an opportunity for him to take over this backfield if Singletary continues to struggle. As it is, the two are seeing a near-even split -- 54% to 47% snap rates in favor of Singletary in Week 7. Moss is an excellent speculative add.
Suggested offer: 7-9%
While it may vary based on scoring (standard versus PPR), wideouts are generally valued at similar rates in most formats. However, leagues that require you to start at least three wideouts could see inflated offers at the position.
Receiver is not quite as ripe as it has been the past couple of weeks, but there are still some solid options available.
Rashard Higgins (2% rostered) - Higgins came into Week 7 having scored in back-to-back games, and he enters Week 8 as (arguably) the top add at wide receiver. With OBJ out for the year, someone will have to step into that role on the outside, and that someone is likely to be Higgins. After seeing just 21 snaps through Week 4, Higgins has now played at least 55% of snaps in each of his last two games. Jarvis Landry is still nowhere near 100% healthy, which further enhances Higgins' prospects. Now, the Browns still have the fourth-lowest pass-to-run ratio in the league, so expecting Higgins to be anything more than an upside flex play is unrealistic.
Suggested offer: 9-12%
Brandon Aiyuk (49% rostered) - With Deebo Samuel expected to "miss time" due to a hamstring injury, Aiyuk is once again back on our radars. Aiyuk has played at least 72% of snaps in every game he's been active this season, but with Deebo's health improving, it looked like the rookie's target share was about to head in the wrong direction. With Samuel now out, look for Aiyuk to be in the five-to-eight target range he's been in for four of his six games in 2020. Aiyuk gets the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8, a team that's allowing 8.4 more fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts than any other team in the league.
Suggested offer: 10%
Other options: After garnering eight targets against the Eagles in Week 7, Sterling Shepard (29% rostered) is worth a look. Shepard turned those targets into 59 yards and a score, and he should be able to take advantage of the continued attention received by Darius Slayton. Offer up to 6-8% for Shepard ... Corey Davis (28% rostered) came back after missing time due to COVID, and he was immediately thrown back into the fold -- totaling 10 targets. Davis has now seen 29 targets through four games. Offer up to 5-6% for the former first-round pick ... Cole Beasley (41% rostered) continues to be a steady option in PPR formats, as he's managed at least 7.8 half-PPR points in every game this season. Beasley has also had three games with 12.5 or more fantasy points. The slot receiver is worth up to 5-7% in PPR formats ... Jalen Reagor (14% rostered) has been activated off IR for Philly. He's worth up to 5% as an upside stash.
Tight end continues to be a crapshoot. Trey Burton (21% rostered) is worth a look coming out of his bye. Burton had seen at least five targets and a 45% snap share in each of his three contests leading up to the bye. I'd offer as much as 6-7%, depending on how desperate you are ... Harrison Bryant (1% rostered) scored twice with both Beckham and Austin Hooper in Week 7. Hooper could miss this week's matchup with the Raiders, making Bryant a prime streamer and worthy of a 4-5% offer ... Finally, Richard Rodgers saw eight targets in Week 7 and could see a similar workload against the Dallas Cowboys' leaky defense in Week 8. Rodgers is purely a one-week streamer, so don't splurge more than 3% here ... The real add at tight end in Philadelphia is Dallas Goedert (47% rostered). Goedert looks likely to return after Philly's Week 9 bye -- I'd spend up to 12% if he's available in your league.