By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston)- With the NFL calendar flipped to Week 8, we are now officially more than halfway through the fantasy season.
The injury bug has not been kind to fantasy owners this season. The latest star to go down with a season-ending injury is Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who suffered a torn ACL during Cleveland’s Week 7 win.
Whether you lost OBJ, one of your starting running backs in a previous week or are just looking to boost your team’s depth, the Week 8 waiver wire recommendations are here to help point you in the right direction.
With that said, here are the top waiver wire adds heading into Week 8.
QB Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina
Panthers- Coming off a rough Week 6 performance against the Bears, Bridgewater rebounded for a solid performance against the Saints on Sunday. Bridgewater completed over 82 percent of his passes
for 254 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers. He also added 10 rushing yards, and now has 131 rushing yards on the season. In Week 8, the Panthers face off against the Falcons, who still sport one of the league’s worst pass defenses. With guys like Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson on bye, Bridgewater will be a top streaming option for Carolina’s Week 8 matchup on Thursday Night Football.
QB Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders- Carr is quietly having a very strong season. Six games in, Carr has completed 72.0 percent of his passes for an average of 287.7 passing yards per game with an impressive touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13-to-2. The veteran quarterback has also added at least 10 rushing yards in three of his last four games. The Raiders take on the Browns this week, who just allowed rookie Joe Burrow to throw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns. This matchup seems like a potential blow up spot for the veteran QB.
RB JaMychal Hasty, San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers can’t seem to catch a break this season when it comes to the running back position. One week after losing Raheem Mostert, the next man up, Jeff Wilson, suffered what appears to be a high ankle sprain. Hasty stepped in following Wilson’s injury in Week 7 and played well with his 10 touches. The rookie back took nine carries for 57 yards (6.3 yards per carry) and added one reception for 16 yards. It was the second straight week Hasty registered nine rush attempts, and in each game he averaged over 4.0 yards per carry. Trusting a 49ers running back always comes with some risk, but Hasty could be SF’s lead back in Week 8 depending on the availability of the next guy on this list. Add Hasty now and check the injury report throughout the week to see if he’s worth starting as a FLEX.
RB Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers- Coleman has been out since Week 2 after suffering a knee injury in SF’s win over the Jets. While it is too early to say for sure whether or not he’ll be back for Week 8, Kyle Shanahan did tell reporters over the weekend that the veteran back has an outside chance of returning. If he does return, Coleman has a good chance of leading the team in carries this week and moving forward until some of the other running backs return from their respective injuries. Coleman has not looked great this season, taking 18 carries for 30 yards in two games, but anyone who leads a potential playoff team in carries deserves a spot on fantasy teams. Just like with Hasty, add Coleman and check the practice reports throughout the week to see if Coleman will make his return in Week 8.
RB Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks- Heading into Week 7, Hyde hadn’t done much on the season. However, Chris Carson was injured during Seattle’s loss to the Cardinals on Sunday Night Football, which opened the door for Hyde to have his best game of the year. The veteran handled 15 carries and was able to gain 68 yards and a touchdown on the ground (4.5 yards per carry), while also catching three passes for eight yards. If Carson is forced to miss any time, Hyde becomes a MUST add as the lead back in one of the league’s top offenses. Seattle doesn’t have the best matchup in Week 8 as they will welcome the 49ers to CenturyLink Field, but Patriots RB Damion Harris did just average nearly 6.0 yards per carry against SF this past Sunday. Hyde should not only be added but should be in your lineup if Carson misses Week 8.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers- Aiyuk had a strong stretch of games earlier this season, some of which were with Deebo Samuel injured. The rookie receiver scored rushing touchdowns in back to back weeks against the Giants and Eagles, and added another touchdown catch in Week 6 against the Rams. Samuel suffered a hamstring injury in Week 7 and appears unlikely to be able to suit up for the Week 8 matchup in Seattle. After he went down on Sunday, Aiyuk stepped up and caught six passes for 115 yards. Aiyuk has a much larger role in Shanahan’s offense when Samuel is sidelined, as his connection with Jimmy Garoppolo keeps growing stronger. Aiyuk is another must add this week.
WR Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns- As mentioned in the intro, Odell Beckham Jr. is the latest star player to be lost for the season. Once Beckham left the field Sunday, Higgins filled the role of the Browns’ top outside receiver and shined. Higgins caught all six passes thrown in his direction, totaling 110 yards. Heading into Week 7, he had just five receptions for 53 yards. Higgins will remain the Browns’ top outside receiver for the remainder of the season now, and while Cleveland remains a run-first team, Higgins has already proven that he can offer some solid fantasy value. Higgins should be a top priority for anyone who needs a wide receiver.
WR Sterling Shepard, New York Giants- Shepard returned to the Giants lineup last week and immediately regained his role as Daniel Jones’ favorite WR target. His eight targets were second on the team behind Evan Engram and two more than Darius Slayton and Golden Tate combined. Shepard turned those eight targets into six receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown, his first of the season. In the three games he’s played in, Shepard has 18 total targets from Jones. The Giants’ Week 8 matchup is a tough one as they will welcome Tampa Bay to MetLife Stadium for a Monday night showdown. However, serving as the Giants No. 1 receiver, Shepard should be added to your fantasy roster.