Eight weeks of NFL play are officially in the books, which means bye weeks are in full swing. Gone are the days where you could just coast by on a strong draft. Now more than ever, you’ll need to search the waiver wire for all the best available tight ends. Heading into Week 8, you should set your eyes on Irv Smith, Chris Herndon, Ben Watson, and Jack Doyle.
Note that in order to make this list, the player had to be available in over 50% of fantasy leagues. If you’re in smaller leagues, there may be better players available. Make sure to check your waivers to see if there are any diamonds in the rough before submitting your claims.
Irv Smith, Chris Herndon Highlight Fantasy Football Week 8 Tight End Waiver Wire Claims
Adam Thielen suffered a hamstring injury in Week 7’s matchup against the Detroit Lions and couldn’t finish the contest. As of this posting, nobody knows the severity of the injury. However, the Vikings play on Thursday Night Football, so it’s hard to imagine Thielen being ready for the contest.
With Thielen sidelined, Kirk Cousins turned to rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. The rookie out of Alabama had a solid day, recording five receptions for 60 yards on six targets. He appears to be ahead of Kyle Rudolph on the depth chart and should see a decent chunk of targets if Thielen misses the contest. The Vikings face off against a very bad Washington Redskins defense that cannot cover anybody. Smith doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but he’s a fine play in a desolate tight end landscape.
At some point, Chris Herndon is finally going to see the field. After serving a suspension to start the season, Herndon delayed his 2019 debut by aggravating his hamstring. He should be on the road to recovery and has a decent chance to get back on the field in Week 8 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Even if Herndon can’t go in Week 8, you should still roster him. At his best, Herndon has the ability to be a genuine threat in the passing game. Players like that are few and far between in today’s NFL, and he offers a genuine escape from fantasy football tight end purgatory. Even if he’s a wasted bench spot for a week or two, he’s worth rostering now.
Ben Watson is actually a pretty intriguing play heading into Week 8. As of this posting, the longtime NFL veteran has yet to make his 2019 debut against the New York Jets. That being said, there is a decent chance he plays a role in New England’s passing attack. The Patriots are short of skill position players, as Josh Gordon, Rex Burkhead, Ryan Izzo, and Matt LaCosse are both out with injuries. Additionally, Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett are fighting through some fairly significant injuries of their own.
Somebody needs to catch passes from Tom Brady, and Watson might be that guy. Don’t forget, Watson entered the league with New England and already has an established rapport with Brady. He’s obviously not going to put up Rob Gronkowski numbers, but he has a decent chance to be a Jason Witten level stream.
Jack Doyle is one of the least exciting names in fantasy football, but he’s worth a flier if you’re in a truly desperate situation. Doyle didn’t do much of anything in Week 7, recording three receptions for 21 yards. However, he also received five targets and has an established rapport with Jacoby Brissett. Jack Doyle is an absolute worst-case scenario play, but he offers some upside in 14-team leagues.
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