Waiver Wire Weekly: Johnson, Stills in line for elevated work

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Waiver Wire Weekly: Johnson, Stills in line for elevated work

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins prepares to pass during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 20 in Detroit.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins prepares to pass during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 20 in Detroit.

Jerry Holt, Minneapolis Star Tribune | TNS

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins prepares to pass during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 20 in Detroit.

Jerry Holt, Minneapolis Star Tribune | TNS

Jerry Holt, Minneapolis Star Tribune | TNS

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins prepares to pass during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 20 in Detroit.

By Adin Link, Staff Writer

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Moving into the latter part of the fantasy season, most of the fantasy field has fully materialized — there are inevitably more surprises to come. Whether it be a trade or injury that shakes up your roster, your fantasy team will likely depend on the waiver wire.

Cashing in on a sleeper off the waiver wire at this point can be the difference between a playoff push and the consolation bracket. Remember — the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys have byes this week, so if you have a player like Lamar Jackson, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott or Mark Ingram, pay special attention to these players.

*The %OWN statistic is based on ESPN standard leagues on Oct. 22.

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Quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings, *%OWN: 39%

Cousins has completely flipped the script for the Vikings’ season over the last three games. Looking like a team dead in the water after four weeks, Minnesota has reinserted itself into the playoff race due to his stellar performance.

Cousins shredded a solid Detroit defense last week, going 24/34 for 337 yards and four touchdowns. Even though he may have lost top receiver Adam Thielen for a period of time, Cousins will play a struggling Washington Redskins team on Thursday night in a matchup he should excel in. Remember — it was the Redskins who didn’t see Cousins as a franchise quarterback and let him walk in free agency after the 2017 season, so he has added motivation to torch Washington through the air.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions, %OWN: 48.9%

Overshadowed by his team’s loss, Stafford had a great game against the Vikings in Week 7. Completing 30/45 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns, he did everything in his power to win.

A couple of factors make Stafford a very appealing option for Week 8, the first being an injury to Detroit running back Kerryon Johnson. The Lions offense already has an affinity for airing the ball out. With Johnson now injured, Stafford is likely to see around 50 passing attempts again. Additionally, he’ll face an extremely weak Giants defense and should be able to complete downfield shots at will.

Running Backs

Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals, %OWN: 31.7%

Though he’s a very talented runner in his own right, Edmonds’ value rests in the health of featured Cardinals back David Johnson. Last week, Johnson tallied just one carry — a stark contrast to Edmonds’ 27 carries.

Considering his minimal usage, it seems as though Johnson may be more injured than the Cardinals are letting on. Edmonds took full advantage of Johnson’s decreased workload, using his 27 carries to pick up 126 yards and three touchdowns against the Giants. Last week marks Edmonds’ third straight week with a touchdown, suggesting that he may have a significant role moving forward while Arizona monitors Johnson’s health.

Ty Johnson, Detroit Lions, %OWN: 1.6%

Coming on the heels of an injury to regular starter Kerryon Johnson, Ty Johnson has great fantasy value this week against the Giants. As more of a receiving back, he figures to be heavily involved in the game plan as Stafford will likely throw the ball often on Sunday. Ty Johnson produced solidly after Kerryon Johnson left the game, rushing 10 times for 29 yards and catching four passes for 28 yards. Expect him to be featured more in the running game while maintaining production in the passing game.

Wide Receivers

Kenny Stills, Houston Texans, %OWN: 15.4%

With fellow Texans receiver Will Fuller suffering a hamstring injury last week, Stills figures to be the beneficiary of Fuller’s absence. A seasoned veteran, Stills has proven to be a capable receiver throughout his time in the NFL and could fill the void left by Fuller’s absence.

Stills quickly made the most of his expanded role after Fuller exited the game last week, catching four passes for 105 yards against a tough Indianapolis defense. He finds himself in a much more inviting matchup in Week 8 against the Raiders, making him a very attractive option this week.

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans, %OWN: 44%

Davis may have brand new fantasy value with the Titans making a change at the quarterback position. With Ryan Tannehill under center, Davis had one of his best games of the season so far, catching six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps previous starter Marcus Mariota was holding Davis back, as the young receiver seemed to have a mid-year rejuvenation on Sunday. With Tannehill likely starting for the foreseeable future, Davis is a must-add player in all leagues

Tight Ends

Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts, %OWN: 39.2%

Ebron has mostly struggled through the first half of this season after making the Pro Bowl last year. He has lacked a connection with quarterback Jacoby Brissett, likely due to Brissett’s relatively short experience as a starting quarterback.

Brissett and Ebron finally had a game they can build on last week, with the duo connecting four times for 70 yards and a touchdown. Considering what Ebron accomplished last season with Andrew Luck, he still has the potential to become a top-five tight end in fantasy.

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles, %OWN: 39.2%

With the Eagles collectively struggling as a unit, one of their lone bright spots over the past couple of weeks has been second-year tight end Dallas Goedert. A week after he was targeted eight times, Goedert had four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown in Week 7.

After a very quiet start to the year, Goedert has put together two weeks of good production, possibly indicating an expanded role in the offense from this point forward. Though Zach Ertz is without a doubt the No. 1 tight end option for the Eagles, Goedert is a dangerous weapon in the two tight end sets the Eagles seem to favor.

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