Fight Fire with Fliers – Week 8

Fight Fire with Fliers is a weekly fantasy football series that discusses emergency free agent adds or stash candidates for deep rostered or 14-plus team leagues. The post publishes on Saturdays following typical weekly waiver runs, allowing forward thinking managers a last minute opportunity to roster players ahead of their breakouts.

Multiple promotions from last week were wiped from the Flier Catalogue, but not without a degree of increased stability from other previous recommendations. Demetric Felton and Rhamondre Stevenson were downgraded below the 10 recommended fliers, as their opportunities for volume have significant impediments. CJ Uzomah rewarded managers in a pinch with another outstanding result, which seemed more indicative of the Cincinnati offense as a whole, although it is apparent he is a trusted target. Kenneth Gainwell gets a resurgent bump as Miles Sanders hit the short-term IR. Gainwell is expected to split time with Boston Scott, however, Gainwell is the favored target in passing situations and is not allergic to rush attempts. Surprisingly, Philadelphia has the fourth most targets to the RB position (59), thus diminishing the notion that Jalen Hurts’ athletic profile harms the pass-catching backs as it does with Lamar Jackson.

The Flier Catalogue

It is impossible to trust Stevenson after he was ruled a healthy scratch last week, only to see Brandon Bolden and JJ Taylor employed heavily in a walk-through versus the New York Jets. Regrettably his versatility does not seem to extend to special teams, which has been suggested as a guiding factor in fringe activations for New England. Felton’s similar demise is less a factor of his role as it is the expansion of it. Cleveland has shown enough production from the run, with virtually anyone, that the need for extensive passing to the position (or any position for that matter) is minimal. Stevenson and Felton are no longer optimal flier selections.

49ers risers and fallers: JaMycal Hasty, Jaylon Moore up; Maurice Hurst  nicked – The Athletic
JaMycal Hasty, courtesy of the Athletic.

Jeremy McNichols maintains a middleground within the catalogue as Darrynton Evans has returned to IR. JaMycal Hasty jumps back into consideration as he was activated and overtook Trey Sermon for backup duties to Elijah Mitchell, as well as enjoying the passing-down snaps. Hasty is a prime target for the playoff stretch, as his biggest detriment is injury recurrence while likely having the strongest leverage outside of Salvon Ahmed and McNichols to gaining a workhorse role.

Week 8 Additions

Ty Johnson RB New York Jets (Five percent, Yahoo!)
Johnson is a veteran back on a dismal team. There is also a younger, more intriguing option in Michael Carter ahead of him on the depth chart. However, he receives consistent touches and now has an interim QB (or two, with the addition of Joe Flacco) that likely increases the RB target share. Carter needs to falter for Johnson to become highly relevant but there is also nothing behind them in that backfield. The gamble on Johnson is not exciting, but not out of line.

Fantasy football waiver wire: Joshua Kelley, Robert Tonyan, more
Joshua Kelley, courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.

Joshua Kelley RB Los Angeles Chargers (Two percent, Yahoo!)
As Austin Ekeler has not practiced heading into Week 8, Kelley becomes a curious option. After missing several weeks to open the season, Kelley was immediately thrust into usage despite a crowded backfield. It is clear that his role would be restricted to mostly rushing work, with zero targets on the season, but something close to an Alex Collins or Stevan Ridley approximation would provide value on a rising offense with a competent and skilled QB. The rostership percentage speaks to the diffusion of opportunity among three RBs (Justin Jackson and Larry Rountree), but as Ekeler’s status becomes clearer heading into Sunday, the percentage could spike with a race to the free agency. Roster him ahead of the news given there is still the chance to cut bait ahead of kickoff if Ekeler is cleared.

Jason Astarita (@AstaritaJason) is a professional in the sports gambling industry. He has an MS in Psychology (Industrial and Organizational) from Southern New Hampshire University and completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of San Diego. His passion for fantasy sports is over a decade old, but has recently been theorizing on the novel format of Superflex Best Ball in the Dynasty Fantasy Football arena. Ever interested in draft theory and roster construction, feel free to reach out on twitter with any insights or queries! #superbestball

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