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Dumpster Dives: Deep Waiver Pickups for Week 8

Waiver Wire Dumpster Dives takes you beyond the obvious plays and helps you find undervalued gems for deep leagues.

Only two teams are on their bye in Week 8, so many GM’s aren’t feeling the pinch like they have been the past few weeks. But it is never too early to start scouring for deep waiver opportunities. And for those of us in deeper leagues, we always need to be looking beyond the obvious for values and streamers. So let’s go scraping the bottom of the barrel again and find those deep league diamonds in the rough in this week’s Dumpster Dives.

We’ll use the RotoViz tools like the amazing NFL Stat Explorer to discover and visualize the data we need to unearth these hidden gems.

DeVante Parker, WR (Miami Dolphins) — Owned 8.6%

I get it. It doesn’t feel great rostering any Dolphins right now. But with the return of Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, Parker is playable. In the weeks Fitzpatrick has led the offense, Parker has had at least 100 air yards, and averaged 133.25 in those games.

Parker, who has had a touchdown in three straight games, is averaging 87.8% of the team’s offensive snaps. And Sunday he saw a team and season-high 10 targets against the Buffalo Bills. Miami has the 30th ranked total defense, so Parker ought to continue to see volume as the Dolphins are perpetually in catchup mode.

With Pittsburgh and the New York Jets coming up next, Parker has two nice matchups just ahead. Pittsburgh is averaging 34.13 fantasy-points to receivers and the Jets, who before Monday night, are averaging 36.12 points to the position.

Beyond the next two positive matchups, as long as Fitzpatrick is slinging the pigskin, Parker should be in consideration. Fitzpatrick is not afraid to chuck the ball, and that bodes well for a big receiver on the field for nearly every snap.

Jonnu Smith, TE (Ten Titans) — Owned 0.2%

With Delanie Walker sidelined after only five snaps this past weekend, Smith finally gets the green light for extended playtime. With one of the best fantasy matchups for Tight Ends on the immediate horizon, Smith immediately becomes a stream-worthy play.

Tampa Bay is averaging the second-most fantasy points allowed to tight ends at 18.12 — a trend that has been going on for more than one season now. With Walker re-aggravating his ankle issue early in Week 7, there is a strong chance he doesn’t suit up again Week 8.

This is an ideal matchup for Smith. The only thing that gives me pause is the fact that Ryan Tannehill historically has only targeted his tight ends 17% of the time. Was that the scheme in Miami, or the tendencies of Tannehill? I say gamble on it being Miami and start Smith here with confidence.

Alex Erickson, WR (Cin Bengals) — Owned 0.4%

The 0-7 Bengals do not have a lot to be excited about. Even less so in fantasy with A.J. Green still sidelined and Joe Mixon drastically underperforming. But if you are in a bind, Erickson can get you through a bye week or injury dilemma. Erickson’s 14 targets in Week 7 were a career-high and tied for a season-high among all Bengals receivers. Against Jalen Ramsey and the Rams next week, Andy Dalton will need to lean on his receivers not named Tyler Boyd. With Green still sidelined, Boyd ought to see the majority of Ramsey’s coverage.

If Dalton doesn’t have Boyd in the passing game, there will be a colossal amount of targets for the typically secondary receivers. Ahead of Monday Night Football, Dalton is leading all passers in terms of sheer volume, with 286 pass attempts in this young season. In a matchup that should have the Bengals attempting to just keep up with the Rams, the Bengals will have to pull out all the stops, which means it shouldn’t shock anyone if Erickson has another massive-volume game in Week 8. None of the Bengals players have been particularly efficient, but Erickson at least has a knack for converting air yards into receiving yards, as he ranks eighth in the league in receiver air conversion rate (RACR).

Are you a fan of the Dumpster Dives column? What was most useful to you? Please leave a comment below, and follow me on Twitter @DumpsterDiveFF for other Fantasy Football nuggets.

Image Credit: Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: DeVante Parker.

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