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Fantasy football look ahead: Free agents to add before Week 8

Kirk Cousins and Chase Edmonds lead this week’s list of players you should stash now.
Thumbs up: Need 300 passing yards? A couple of touchdown passes? Oatmeal recommendations? Kirk Cousins is your guy. [BRUCE KLUCKHOHN | AP]
Published Oct. 20
Updated Oct. 21

Have a player on your fantasy football roster that you’re considering dropping? Don’t wait until after the conclusion of this week’s games. Act now and add someone else. Here are a few ideas (players listed are available in more than half of ESPN or Yahoo leagues):

Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford, Lions (Week 8 opponent: vs. Giants): Stafford has scored more fantasy points per game (17.0) than Josh Allen (15.6), Jared Goff (13.2) and Baker Mayfield (10.7), and yet he is widely available. He and the Lions will face a tough Vikings defense today, but they get the Giants, one of the weaker pass defenses in the league, at home next week. New York is allowing 285.0 passing yards per game (second most) and 9.3 yards per pass (also second most).

Kirk Cousins, Vikings (vs. Washington): Cousins has exploded the past couple of weeks, completing nearly 80 percent of his passes, passing for 639 yards and throwing six touchdown passes. He has scored at least 20 fantasy points in back-to-back games. In Week 8, he’ll face his former team, Washington, for the first time. Washington has allowed 14 passing touchdowns this season, tied for third most.

Running backs

Chase Edmonds, Cardinals (at Saints): Because of an ankle injury, David Johnson is a game-time decision for today’s game against the Giants. Even if he’s good to go, Edmonds is a must-add. In Arizona’s past two games, he scored a total of 30 fantasy points despite playing only about a third of the offense’s snaps.

Darrell Henderson, Rams (vs. Bengals): Though Todd Gurley is on track to return to the lineup today after missing a game because of a thigh bruise, Malcolm Brown, the No. 2 back on the Rams depth chart, is doubtful. Henderson, whom Los Angeles drafted in the third round in April, could be in line for 15 to 20 snaps. Because of his pass catching ability, he’s the handcuff to add if you have Gurley on your roster.

Wide receivers

Auden Tate, Bengals (at Rams): Over the past four weeks, Tate has 33 targets. That’s two fewer than DeAndre Hopkins, one fewer than Keenan Allen, the same as Odell Beckham and one more than Julio Jones. Those targets aren’t going away, either. The Bengals throw the ball a ton. Their 71 percent pass rate leads the NFL.

Jake Kumerow/Allen Lazard, Packers (at Chiefs): The Packers receiving corps has been decimated by injuries. Davante Adams (turf toe) will miss today’s contest against the Raiders, Geronimo Allison (concussion) is doubtful and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle and knee) is questionable. Kumerow saw only three targets in Week 6, but he played more snaps than any other Packers receiver. Lazard, despite playing 48 fewer snaps, caught four of five targets, including one for a touchdown.

Tight ends

Darren Fells, Texans (vs. Raiders): The pickings are slim at tight end, so any add is a lottery ticket. Fells has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of the Texans’ past four games and saw a season-high seven targets in Week 6. Oakland, Houston’s Week 8 opponent, has allowed the seventh-most points to tight ends.

Contact Thomas Bassinger at tbassinger@tampabay.com. Follow @tometrics.

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