Week 8 marks the beginning of the “bye week blues”—with six teams on bye, it’s more important now than ever to be alert on the waiver wire. Be sure to check out Rotoballer.com’s Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Tool for up-to-the-hour waiver wire advice and ideas, and to follow me @Roto_Dubs for quick-hitting news and analysis.
Thompson Could Thrive Thanks to Matt Jones Miscues
Matt Jones entered the 2016 as the starting running back for the Washington Redskins, but his position could be in very real danger thanks to a number of costly mistakes. Since the beginning of his rookie season (2015), Jones has coughed up the football eight times, with two of those coming this past Sunday against Detroit. Chris Thompson, on the other hand, has emerged as a sturdy second option for the Redskins, particularly in the passing game. Thompson was excellent once Jones was benched on Sunday, tallying 73 yards on 12 carries. The Redskins seem to be losing patience with Jones, and as he loses touches the dynamic Thompson will pick them up.
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Matt Asiata Sneaks into Flex Range
While Jerick McKinnon is the bigger name, it’s actually been Matt Asiata making an impact at running back for the Vikings lately. Asiata has been quietly out-performing McKinnon in recent weeks, with 110 rushing yards on just 26 carries as compared to McKinnon’s 79 yards on 31 carries since Week 5. Asiata has also been the favorite on passing downs, with nine catches for 71 yards in that time frame compared to McKinnon’s two catches for 15 yards. On top of all of that, McKinnon is currently dealing with a minor ankle injury, and while it shouldn’t cost him any playing time it certainly leaves the door open for Asiata to continue to carve out a bigger role.
Jordy’s Value in Jeopardy
Over the last two weeks, veteran wide out Jordy Nelson has faded on the Green Bay passing game pecking order. As Aaron Rodgers has seemingly struggled, he has begun to spread the ball around to his ancillary receivers Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and the newly-discovered hybrid player Ty Montgomery. Nelson has just six catches for 77 yards over the last two weeks, which is well behind all three of the aforementioned players as far as fantasy production is concerned. Nelson should still have a few big games, but his days as an every-week WR1 appear to be coming to a close.
NFL Sleepers of the Week
Each week we will identify three players worth taking a shot on in deeper leagues.
Ladarius Green, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers – Green has been on the PUP list since the preseason with a lingering ankle injury, but he is set to begin practicing this week and makes for a great stash for the stretch run.
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots – Another stash, Lewis could be ready as soon as Week 9 to take over as the primary pass-catching back in the explosive New England offense.
Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars – The number three option in the Jacksonvill offense has seen at least seven targets in each of the last five weeks and just posted his first career 100-yard game.