Fantasy football free agent pickups: Henderson, Hill highlight top Week 8 options

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Jerome Ford's ankle injury against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday had significant ramifications for fantasy managers. Ford had 13 touches and 17.4 fantasy points but suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter and was spotted in a walking boot after the game. Kareem Hunt (rostered in 46.3% of ESPN leagues) turn 10 touches into two touchdowns, good for 15.1 fantasy points. Hunt should be a top waiver wire pick for managers in need of a running back, but keep an eye on Pierre Strong Jr. (0.4%), who had eight rushing attempts and will also have a role in the Browns' backfield if Ford misses time.

Here are some other RB options to consider.

D'Onta Foreman, Chicago Bears (48.7%): Foreman scored 33.0 fantasy points on 19 touches Sunday. Foreman thrived as a starter, scoring three touchdowns and has made a case for a role in Chicago's backfield once Roschon Johnson and Khalil Herbert return. Even if Johnson clears the league's concussion protocol, Foreman can be considered a flex option with significant upside in Week 8.

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (46.0%): Hubbard has performed well when given touches and scored 16.0 fantasy points on 20 touches in Week 6. Hubbard has made a case to be more involved in the Panthers' backfield, possibly supplanting Miles Sanders. Now is a good time to stash him ahead of his Week 8 matchup against a Houston Texans defense that has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs.

Darrell Henderson Jr. (12.1%) and Royce Freeman (20.3%), Los Angeles Rams: Henderson was promoted to the Rams' active roster ahead of Week 7 with both Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers on injured reserve and made an immediate impact, scoring 13.6 fantasy points on 19 touches. Freeman was also involved in the running game, finishing with 12 touches. Unfortunately, rookie Zach Evans was the odd man out. Until Williams returns, Henderson is my preferred target on the waiver wire and can be viewed as a low end RB2.

Quick hits

Ezekiel Elliott (40.3%) has seen 10 or more touches in three out of his past five games. He has also scored a touchdown in two consecutive games. Even though Elliott is in a committee with Rhamondre Stevenson, his role in the Patriots' backfield makes him an intriguing flex option in deeper formats.

Fantasy managers were burned by Emari Demercado (15.7%) heading into Week 6. He saw at least 11 touches in two out of his past three games but is difficult to trust in a Cardinals backfield that also includes Keaontay Ingram and Damien Williams.

Devin Singletary (25.8%) led the Texans with 58 rushing yards in Week 6 against the Saints. Dameon Pierce continues to struggle averaging just 2.9 rush yards per attempt this season. Expect the Texans' backfield to operate as a committee against the Panthers in Week 8 with Singletary firmly in the mix.


Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints (18.5%): Although Carr is dealing with a shoulder and chest injuries this season, he has scored 15 or more fantasy points in three straight games. Carr is surrounded by numerous playmakers including Chris Olave, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara and the Saints have averaged the second-most pass attempts per game in the league. Carr and the Saints face an Indianapolis Colts defense in Week 8 that has given up the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers (18.0%): The Steelers' offense overcame a slow start to come back and beat the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. With Diontae Johnson back, Pickett finished with 15.2 fantasy points while completing 68% of his pass attempts. The Steelers have a favorable schedule coming up with games against the Jaguars and Titans in Week 8 and 9, respectively. Jacksonville and Tennessee's defenses rank in the top 12 in passing yards allowed per game.

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers (9.0%): Young had two solid performances prior to the Panthers Week 7 bye, scoring 12 or more fantasy points in consecutive games. He has established a great rapport with veteran receiver Adam Thielen registering a 125.2 quarterback rating when targeting him this season. Young faces the Texans' defense in Week 8 that has allowed the seventh-most passing yards per game. If you're looking for a streamer at quarterback in superflex or deeper formats, don't overlook the rookie.

Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts (3.6%): Minshew has been impressive, stepping into the starting role for the Colts in place of the injured Anthony Richardson. He has thrown for 300 or more passing yards in two consecutive games and scored 27 fantasy points against the Browns in Week 7. Minshew should be viewed as a solid QB2 for managers in superflex formats.

Wide Receivers

Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs (48.6%): Rice has been a bright spot in the Chiefs' wide receiver room this season. He caught his third career touchdown against the Chargers in Week 7, finishing with six targets and 17.0 fantasy points. He has scored 11 or more fantasy points in four games this season and remains a solid flex option, especially for managers in deeper formats. Rice and the Chiefs face a Denver Broncos defense in Week 8 that ranks in the top-five in passing yards allowed per game.

Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts (34.5%): Downs impressed in Week 7 with a 23.5 fantasy point performance against the Browns. He became the first Colts rookie with 125 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in a game since 2014 and has seen six or more targets and scored 13 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games. Indianapolis relies heavily on 11 personnel which means Downs will continue to be on the field often.

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots (24.1%): Bourne has cemented the Patriots' No. 1 receiver position after a strong performance in Week 7. He has seen 7 or more targets and scored 16 or more fantasy points in two consecutive games. Mac Jones has had a 123.5 quarterback rating when targeting Bourne over that time period, the highest among Patriots receivers. New England faces a Miami Dolphins that has given up the seventh-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers, so Bourne can be viewed as a flex option with upside for Week 8.

Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers (17.9%): Reed hasn't had a game with more than eight targets, but he has scored 10 or more fantasy points three times, including one game with 19.7. With Christian Watson dealing with a knee injury, Reed may be leaned upon even more against the Vikings in Week 8. Luke Musgrave is also dealing with a foot injury, so Reed could see even more targets against a Vikings defense that has given up the ninth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Quick Hits

Elijah Moore (47.2%) has accumulated 14 targets in his past two games. The Browns face the Seahawks and Cardinals defenses over the next two weeks that both rank in the top 12 in passing yards allowed.

Tight Ends

Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders (36.9%): Thomas has established himself as Sam Howell's safety valve, leading to a passer rating of 117 when targeting him this season. Expect Howell to continue targeting Thomas in Week 8 against an Eagles defense that has the sixth-highest pass rush win rate in the league.

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills (31.3%): Kincaid is finally becoming fantasy-relevant as a rookie tight end. He led the Bills in receptions and receiving yards against the Patriots in Week 7 and scored a season high 15.5 fantasy points. With Dawson Knox out indefinitely, Kincaid is a strong option for fantasy managers in need of help at the position.

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (5.6%): Hill creates headaches for opposing defenses as someone who can make plays with his arm, hands and feet. He has scored 12 or more fantasy points in two consecutive games and faces a Colts defense in Week 8 that ranks among the top-12 in opponent yards per game. Now is the time to add Hill if you need a tight end with high upside.

Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders (9.5%): Mayer continues to play a significant amount of snaps and runs a high number of routes. He scored 12.5 fantasy points against the Patriots in Week 6 but struggled against the Bears in Week 7 with Brian Hoyer under center. Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected back under center soon and the Raiders face a Lions defense in Week 8 that has given up the second-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.