If you're chasing fantasy glory, you need to chase down Chase Edmonds.
He entered Week 7 as a viable fantasy option given his capabilities as a receiver and the niche that he's carved out for himself in Arizona's backfield. Kenyan Drake's overall underwhelming performance, despite a strong Week 6, was boosting Edmonds' stock as a top handcuff option as well. And yet, despite all of this, despite weeks of experts suggesting, begging, pleading that you make sure Edmonds is owned, he's still available in 62% of Yahoo! leagues and 56% of ESPN leagues.
This means two things. First and most importantly, it means that you should pick him up as soon as humanly possible if he's available in your league. Use a large amount of your FAAB if your league uses virtual currency. Convince your league mates that they should pick up another hot waiver wire commodity. Do whatever you have in your ability to make Edmonds yours. Second, it means that Edmonds won't appear in the list of players below because, as usual, I'll only feature players who are owned in 50% of leagues or less.
We're past the halfway point of the fantasy regular season, but that doesn't mean a key addition won't be enough to turn your fortunes around going forward. So let's take a look at the best waiver wire pickups in Week 8.
Note: I also won't include waiver wire recommendations from past weeks so check out our Week 7 list below. I sincerely hope you picked up the man in the cover image.
JaMycal Hasty, San Francisco 49ers
Yahoo!: 21% owned | ESPN: 3% owned
Week 7 stats: 9 rushes, 57 yards, 1 target, 1 reception, 16 yards
Apparently, Yahoo fantasy football players were a little ahead of the curve on Hasty. Considering the sickening number of injuries that have ravaged the 49ers' roster, it's not too surprising that another 49ers running back went down, with Jeff Wilson Jr. now joining Raheem Mostert on the sidelines.
Though it's really hard to predict what direction this 49ers backfield will go in, seeing as we had pretty much no idea they were going to suddenly rest Jerick McKinnon against the Patriots and Tevin Coleman is returning soon, it's worth adding Hasty as a tentative flier. Kyle Shanahan loves using all of his running backs in creative ways, and teams desperate for running back help could benefit from Hasty's emergence should he secure any sort of workload in San Francisco.
Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks
Yahoo!: 10% owned | ESPN: 5% owned
Week 7 stats: 15 rushes, 68 yards, 4 targets, 3 receptions, 8 yards, 1 touchdown
Carlos Hyde is dealing with some injury issues himself, according to coach Pete Carroll, via Brad Camara of Fantasy Pros. However, the more significant injury appears to be that of Chris Carson, whose foot sprain could cause him to miss some action as he's designated week-to-week. Hyde wouldn't have much competition in the backfield for carries, and he was effective in Carson's relief, going for 76 total yards and a touchdown on 18 touches.
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
Yahoo!: 48% | ESPN: 21%
Week 7 stats: 7 targets, 6 catches, 115 yards
The first of a handful of rookie wide receivers to be featured in the waiver wire this week is the one who I view as the top commodity available heading into the second half of the season. Brandon Aiyuk one of many rookie wideouts who have made an impact early in the season, finishing as a top-20 receiver in three different games. Week 7 was one of those, as he torched the Patriots defense to the tune of six catches and 115 yards.
With Deebo Samuel likely out for a couple of weeks, Aiyuk will become Jimmy Garoppolo's top target out wide, and he has a chance to surpass Samuel as a fantasy option going forward should he continue his string of strong performances.
Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles
Yahoo!: 14% owned | ESPN: 10% owned
Week 7 stats: N/A
Travis Fulgham has stolen our hearts in Philly — and rightfully so — and Greg Ward continues to be a reliable safety blanket for Carson Wentz while injuries impact several areas of the offense. But Jalen Reagor was the most exciting part of this passing offense coming into the season, and he should make an immediate impact as soon as he checks back into action. That might be sooner rather than later, as his practice window was activated Monday and teammate DeSean Jackson has landed on injured reserve.
The Eagles are starting to show an iota of life, just the amount they'll need to win the NFC East, and Wentz's improved performance could mean a second-half breakout for a (hopefully) healthy Reagor.
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns
Yahoo!: 1% owned | ESPN: 0% owned
Week 7 stats: 6 targets, 6 receptions, 110 yards
Time to take a break from the first-year players.
Odell Beckham Jr.'s season is officially over after he tore his ACL against the Bengals, and Rashard Higgins will likely be the biggest beneficiary in terms of his fantasy value. He hauled in each and every one of his six targets and turned them into 110 yards Sunday, building on two previous weeks in which he had scored a touchdown.
The Browns could be involved in shootouts soon enough -- the Raiders, Texans, Eagles and Jaguars await down the stretch -- meaning they may have to abandon their run-first approach in certain situations. Higgins can continue to build his rapport in each of these contests and prove to be a valuable fantasy option.
Marquez Callaway, New Orleans Saints
Yahoo!: 1% owned | ESPN: 0% owned
Week 7 stats: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 75 yards
Another rookie, albeit one who went undrafted after the 2020 draft, Callaway had a strong showing against the Panthers in Week 7 while both Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were out. Thomas has been one of the biggest disappointments in all of fantasy football this season, and the same hamstring injury that kept him out Sunday could hold him out for longer. Sanders, on the other hand, will need to go through the NFL's COVID-19 protocols before he can return.
It doesn't appear likely that Callaway's role in this offense will be one that draws 10 targets like it did in Week 7, but he can be used as a one-week streaming option with more upside if either Thomas or Sanders misses more time than expected. If Tre'Quan Smith is still available, he can also be picked up as an option, though he was outperformed by Callaway.
Denzel Mims, New York Jets
Yahoo!: 4% owned | ESPN: 3%
Week 7 stats: 7 targets, 4 catches, 42 yards
I personally don't love adding any Jets in fantasy football — that's why you'll see La'Mical Perine on some other waiver wire lists but not this one. However, it's a testament to Denzel Mims' ability and high draft stock that I think he should be able to produce for the Jets.
Though Perine had some moments as well, I just can't see the Jets being in enough competitive games that they'll be running the ball. Should Mims' connection with Sam Darnold grow quickly, it'll be some sort of glimmer of hope for the Jets, and a concussion to receiver Breshad Perriman gave us a glimpse at what that could look like.