With injuries to Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, David Johnson, Kerryon Johnson, and Adam Thielen combined with four teams on bye — Week 7 will go down as one of the lowest scoring fantasy slates of the season. If you lost some studs or your teams are just in need of a lift, this looks like a potentially stocked week on waivers. Let’s hit the top adds and streamer plays ahead of Week 8:
Main Waiver Wire Targets
Kerryon Johnson exited Week 7 with a knee injury in the first quarter and only returned to the sidelines with a brace on his leg. Johnson is expected to miss some time and is “week-to-week” according to the Lions, making Ty Johnson this week’s top add. Ty Johnson handled 71 percent of Lions snaps after Kerryon exited, turning his 14 touches into 57 scoreless yards. Johnson was a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft, but don’t let that dissuade you from thinking the rookie isn’t talented. Johnson averaged an explosive 7.6 yards per carry on his 348 college carries at Maryland and ran a 4.45 forty yard dash at the Combine. If Kerryon misses Week 8, Ty Johnson will have RB2 appeal against a Giants defense that has allowed 293 (vs. MIN), 203 (vs. NE), and 152 (vs. ARI) yards from scrimmage to opposing backfields over the last three weeks. … Will Fuller (hamstring) will be sidelined a few weeks, elevating Kenny Stills as the Texans top deep threat. Stills just returned from a hamstring injury of his own, going for 4/105 after Fuller departed after just 3 snaps against the Colts. With the Raiders (ninth-most yards allowed to WR) and Jaguars (seventh-most) next on the docket, Stills is the top receiver add of the week if Corey Davis and A.J. Brown are already taken. Keke Coutee is also worth re-stashing in PPR leagues with Fuller out. … Mark Walton led the Dolphins backfield in snaps (52 percent) and touches (15) over Kenyan Drake (41 percent snaps; 9 touches) in Week 7, continuing the trend of Miami elevating Walton into a bigger role. Walton’s snaps have now increased in three-straight games and with rumors swirling that Drake is on the trading block, Walton could end up playing significantly more in the coming weeks. Miami’s offense looked competent with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center last week and with the bye weeks continuing to roll on, Walton is a sneaky add for Week 8.
Darrell Henderson, RB, LAR — Malcolm Brown (ankle) missed Week 7, leaving Henderson as the Rams No. 2 back behind Todd Gurley against Atlanta. Henderson played a distant second fiddle to Gurley, playing on 34 percent of Rams snaps and getting 12 touches. The Rams didn’t rely on Henderson heavily — 7 of his 11 carries last week came with Los Angeles up by at least three scores — but he’s now the handcuff to Gurley.
Diontae Johnson, WR, PIT — Mason Rudolph (concussion) should return for the Steelers this week just in time for a matchup with the Dolphins “defense”. Johnson looked like he was developing a little bit of chemistry with Rudolph in his three full starts, tying JuJu Smith-Schuster for the team lead in targets (20) and tallying 3/52/1, 6/77/1, and 5/27 receiving. Johnson is a sneaky FLEX play in this plus matchup and is an option for managers without their starters from the Ravens and Cowboys (out on bye).
Wendell Smallwood, RB, WAS — If you’re desperate at RB this week, the Redskins may have to roll with Smallwood as their starter for Week 8. Adrian Peterson injured his ankle against the 49ers last week while Chris Thompson (turf toe) was held out. Washington plays Minnesota on Thursday Night, and after handling 25 and 20 touches over the last two weeks, the Redskins may hold Peterson out with the short week to prepare.
Matthew Stafford (vs. NYG) — Still available in 55 percent of NFL.com leagues, Stafford is quietly tied with Aaron Rodgers as fantasy’s QB8 in points per game (19.7) and enters Week 8 as the top streaming play with a matchup against the Giants up next. New York held Kyler Murray in check last week as Chase Edmonds did all the damage, but the Giants had previously allowed at least 23 fantasy points to Dak Prescott, Josh Allen, Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, and Tom Brady in five of their six games. Giants‘ cornerbacks stand little chance at defending Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones on the boundary.
Kirk Cousins (vs. WAS) — Cousins has re-emerged as a viable weekly starter with three-straight strong showings against the Giants, Eagles, and Lions. Cousins has finished as fantasy’s QB9, QB6, and QB2 in this span, ripping off 300 yards and multiple scores in each game. Now, Cousins gets a chance to extend his hot streak with a short week date against a Redskins secondary that is allowing the 10th-most fantasy points per attempt this season.
Sam Darnold (at JAX) — Jacksonville is no longer an imposing matchup for fantasy, especially without Jalen Ramsey. Darnold and the Jets are entering the meat of their schedule here in Week 8 with matchups against the Jaguars, Dolphins (twice), Giants, Redskins, Raiders, and Bengals over the next seven weeks. If you’ve been streaming quarterbacks all year or just need an upgrade, the Jets cakewalk schedule through Week 14 will give Darnold a chance to get hot.
Tight End Streamers
Ricky Seals-Jones (at NE) — After getting cut by the Cardinals, Seals-Jones had been playing a part-time role with the Browns until Week 6. Cleveland is searching for a tight end with David Njoku (wrist; I.R.) out and ended up playing Seals-Jones on a season-high 68 percent of snaps before their bye. RSJ turned his near full-time usage into a rock-solid 3/47/1 receiving line on six targets against Seattle and even though the matchup is tough this week, any tight end with a pulse and somewhat project-able usage is in play in fantasy this season.
Chris Herndon (at JAX) — Is this the week Herndon makes his 2019 debut? Herndon was eligible to return in Week 6 after his four-game suspension, but injured his hamstring in practice and missed the Jets dates against the Cowboys and Patriots over the last two weeks. Now, if Herndon can get his hamstring healthy, he’ll be returning at a perfect time. No team has an easier schedule from Week 8-14 than the Jets.
Kyle Rudolph (vs. WAS) — Without Adam Thielen (hamstring) for most of last week, Rudolph turned his season-high six targets into 5/58/1 against Detroit. Rudolph was completely quiet in his first six games (9/72 on 11 targets in this span), but the Vikings are thin at receiver and may have to rely on Rudolph without Thielen on a short week. Rudolph is available in over 70 percent of NFL.com leagues.
Other targets: Dallas Goedert (at BUF); Ben Watson (vs. CLE)
Steelers defense (vs. MIA) — The Dolphins offense came to life a bit with Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Bills last week, but this is still a no-brainer streaming call for Week 8. After their bye last week, Pittsburgh’s defense is available in about 50 percent of NFL.com leagues.
Colts defense (vs. DEN) — I’m going to keep recommending defenses against Joe Flacco in this space all season long. After Flacco’s miserable performance last week, the Colts are a mouth-watering streaming option at home in Week 8. Flacco’s 9.1 percent sack ranks fifth-worst and he’s turned the ball over at least once in six-straight contests.
Seahawks defense (at ATL) — If Matt Ryan (ankle) is out this week, Seattle’s D/ST will be a top-10 play this week against Mr. Pick Six himself, Matt Schaub. The Seahawks have really struggled to rush the passer this season, but potentially playing your fantasy defense against Schaub is too good of a matchup to pass up.
— Graham Barfield is a fantasy editor and analyst for NFL.com. Catch him on the NFL Fantasy Football podcast with Marcas Grant and Michael Fabiano, Fantasy LIVE on NFL Network, watch him on Fantasy League One, and follow him on Twitter @GrahamBarfield.