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Week 9 Waiver Wire Rankings

Week 8 is officially in the books and that means it’s time for Week 9 Waiver Wire Rankings, of course! As you may have noticed, our resident wavier wire guru, Kevin Steele (aka @FantasyWrath13) passed the torch to me for the remainder of the 2017 NFL season. I will do my best to keep bringing you the #wavierwirefire on a weekly basis. Let’s jump in.

In Week 8, we witnessed arguably one of the best games yet this season, as well as outstanding individual fantasy performances and one of the most gruesome injuries I’ve ever seen. Zach Miller, Chicago Bears tight-end, suffered a dislocated knee on Sunday as he jumped to snag a touchdown pass against the Saints (the TD was later overturned, unfortunately). Miller underwent emergency vascular surgery to save his leg. Initial word is that the surgery was a success, but that he may not be out of woods yet. This is clearly a season-ending injury for Miller and we can only wish him the best as far as recovery. Dion Sims will take the reigns as the starting TE in his stead.

Other injuries to note include Ravens QB Joe Flacco, Redskins TE Niles Paul, and Cowboys WR Cole Beasley all entering the concussion protocol Sunday. Flacco was recently cleared, though it was the hit-heard-round-the-world during Thursday Night Football. Kiko Alonso of Miami slammed the Baltimore signal caller in the head as he began to slide to give himself up, causing a hell of a ruckus and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I’m surprised Flacco already cleared concussion protocol, but he seems in line to play in Week 9. Alonso, on the other hand, may face a suspension and/or fine. The injury to Niles Paul and also more notably, Jordan Reed (yes, he’s injured … Again … Hamstring …), means Vernon Davis steps into the starting TE role on a very pass-heavy offense. Currently, Reed is not expected to suit up versus Seattle this week but keep an eye out as the week progresses.

Lastly, Chris Hogan of the New England Patriots sported a sling after a hard hit to his arm/shoulder area. Pending an MRI as this article goes to press, the fantasy implications are yet to be seen since Hogan gets the benefit of extra recovery time during the Patriots Week 9 bye. Devonta Freeman also popped up on the injury report with a “minor” shoulder injury but does not currently look in danger of missing their tilt with Carolina.

Below is as big of a list as you will find for players to target on waivers. The goal is to illuminate players that fantasy owners can pick up outside of the most obvious targets. We don’t all play in small leagues, so upping the ante and shedding light on players who would otherwise be ignored is optimal. I have included a color code highlighting what type of add priority they possess.

Week 9 Waiver Wire Rankings

Color Coding

Green = Top Waiver Option

Red = Players to who are currently out/injured

Gold = Streaming Target

Blue = Bench Stash

Purple = Deep League Stash

Bye Weeks: Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, LA Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback

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  1. Tyrod Taylor 
  2. Jimmy Garoppolo
  3. Teddy Bridgewater
  4. Jacoby Brissett (vs HOU)
  5. Jared Goff (vs NYG)
  6. Josh McCown (vs BUF)
  7. Drew Stanton (at SF)
  8. Jay Cutler (vs OAK)
  9. Blake Bortles (at CIN)
  10. Eli Manning 

San Francisco acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots for a 2018 second-round pick. This is a speculative add, as Jimmy G will need time to acclimate to the new offense and the 49ers have some difficult upcoming matchups. However, CJ Beathard has been a dumpster fire the past two game and anything is an upgrade. When Garoppolo took over for Tom Brady in 2016 for six games, he threw for 502 yards, 4 TDs and zero INT on 63 attempts, completing 68.3% of his passes. A good option in 2QB and deeper leagues, Jimmy G could help you and the 49ers down the stretch.

Now, I’m not saying that Case Keenum hasn’t done a decent job for the Vikings, leading them to five victories in seven starts (6-2 overall, first in NFC North). However, Teddy Bridgewater resumed practicing and Minnesota can activate him from the PUP any time before November 8th. Despite Keenum holding down the fort, he’s clearly not the future of this franchise, which is exactly how the Vikings see Bridgewater. Look for them to get him under center as soon as possible after their Week 9 bye. That means act now, especially in deeper or 2QB leagues.

Jacoby Brissett tops my streamable QBs this week with a match-up against an injury-depleted Houston defense that just allowed Russell Wilson to throw 452 yards and four touchdowns in Week 8. Brissett moved the ball decently well last week against Cincinnati, posting his best completion percentage (64.1) since Week 5 versus the 49ers. His follow-on schedule is no joke, featuring Pittsburgh in Week 10, Jacksonville in Week 13, Buffalo in Week 14, Denver in Week 15, and Baltimore in Week 16. Andrew Luck shows no signs of returning at this point, so stream Brissett while you can and then drop him like a bad habit.

I don’t feel awesome about it, but Blake Bortles gets Dede Westbrook back from injury this week and faces a Cincinnati defense that gave up two touchdowns and 200+ yards each of the past two weeks. Bortles showed signed of life in Week 7 against the Colts, completing 18-of-26 passes for 330 yards and a touchdown. The Jags are coming off their bye and Leonard Fournette is expected to return. They will still be run-heavy but Bortles has some streamable appeal here for those not faint of heart.

Eli Manning isn’t a streamable option for me against a Rams defense that hasn’t given up more than one passing TD since Week 4. However, should you stash Manning this week (if you have the luxury given all the byes), you may certainly cash in on his softer matchups in Week 10 (San Fran) and Week 11 (KC) while we ride out the last of the bye weeks. Remember, he gets Sterling Shepard back this week and his main man, Evan Engram, to help him out.

 

Runningback

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  1. Alex Collins
  2. Marlon Mack
  3. Alfred Morris
  4. Kenyan Drake
  5. Matt Forte
  6. Darren McFadden
  7. Dion Lewis
  8. Andre Ellington
  9. DeAndre Washington
  10. Orleans Darkwa
  11. Danny Woodhead
  12. Rex Burkhead
  13. Damien Williams
  14. James Conner
  15. Devontae Booker
  16. Alfred Blue 
  17. Matt Breida
  18. Jamaal Charles
  19. TJ Yeldon
  20. Austin Ekeler
  21. Jalen Richard
  22. Charchandrick West 
  23. CJ Prosise
  24. Wayne Gallman
  25. Gio Bernard
  26. Corey Clement
  27. Wendall Smallwood
  28. Rod Smith
  29. Charles Sims
  30. Mike Tolbert
  31. Lance Dunbar

Alex Collins racked up 113 rushing yards on 18 carries and 30 more yards on two catches in Baltimore’s dominating win again Miami in Week 8. According to playerprofiler.com, Collins ranks #1 among RBs in YPC (6.0), breakaway runs (10 at 15 yards or more) and breakaway run rate (12.5% of his runs went for 15+ yards). Coach Harbaugh stated this week that he “earned” more carries. Well, I would hope so. Getting just 27.4% of snaps up to this point, he showed what he can do if given the opportunity. Still only owned in 34% of Yahoo leagues, Collins looks to have usurped the early down work for Baltimore. Terrance West (calf) hasn’t played since Week 5 and has no business on your roster.

Speaking of the Baltimore backfield, Buck Allen might soon have the same fate as West, since PPR master Danny Woodhead (hamstring) is eligible to return to practice this week. Ravens have their bye in Week 10 and Woodhead can return in Week 11 against a very beatable GB defense. He’s an injury risk, but a healthy Danny Woodhead is like fantasy gold in your pocket for the second half of the fantasy season.

Despite Frank Gore rushing for his most yards this season in Week 8, Marlon Mack is certainly trending upwards. Kevin already covered Mack in last week’s waiver article so I won’t beat a dead horse. Let’s just say that Week 8 made the argument about Mack even more convincing, as he ended with 27 yards on 11 carries and 36 yards and a TD on three catches (good for the No. 15 PPR fantasy RB of the week). This even with Frank Gore having his best game of the season. Mack’s No. 2 in playerprofiler.com’s breakaway run rate (11.6% of his runs over 15 yards), clearly showing his big play ability. With Frank Gore trade rumors starting to fly, its time to invest in this RB.

The Ezekiel Elliott suspension saga continues. I won’t waste more words than I have to on something we’ve all heard enough about. Zeke’s six-game suspension has now been upheld. Jerry Jones announced that Alfred Morris will be the lead back, but that Darren McFadden, as well as Rod Smith, will also gain touches. Previously, my money was on McFadden to win out but since he has been inactive all season, but it is hard to tell if this was to keep him healthy (for just this reason) or not. Either way looks like Morris will get the first crack at the opportunity. Both are worth speculative adds at this point as the situation plays out. I wish we had more clarity and we will update as news comes out. If Zeke’s suspension holds, he won’t be eligible to return until week 15.

With recent news of Miami trading Jay Ajayi to the Eagles, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams now enter the waiver wire conversation. Currently, I have Drake higher than Williams due to coach Adam Gase stating earlier this month that Drake is the “number two” back. and him getting six touches last week against Baltimore (Williams had one touch). Look for Williams to see some passing down work as he’s received 2-3 targets the past five weeks. This week’s tilt against Oakland should give a good sense of how this backfield will shake out, as LeSean McCoy just slashed the run defense to a tune of 151 yards and a TD on the ground and 22 yards through the air in week 8.

I’ll just say this about Matt Forte. Yes, he’s been out-touched by Powell the past two weeks. However, he’s ended the past three weeks as the 14th, 14th, and 22nd PPR RB and is only owned in 45% of Yahoo leagues. He’s a solid flex option and worth an add especially with three weeks of byes left.

While the majority of the bottom of my list represents necessary handcuffs, Orleans Darkwa possesses stand-alone value, which he displayed back in Week 6 against the Broncos. He carried the ball 21 times for 117 yards and added 13 more on one catch. Only in for 36% of snaps in Week 7, I can understand being wary of adding the RB, but he did have five more touches than Wayne Gallman. His touches have increased each week. Darkwa draws two juicy match-ups versus the LA Rams and then the 49ers the next two weeks while the remaining eight teams take their byes.

Texan’s Coach Bill O’Brien recently expanded on D’onta Foreman’s “demotion” as he did not touch the ball against Seattle in week 8 after getting 12 touches in week 6. O’Brien emphasized that this was not in response to Foreman skipping practice along with Deandre Hopkins after the comments made by Bob McNair last week. Alfred Blue looks to have earned an increased role due to “practicing better” and saw 5 touches for 21 yards against the Seahawks. He also had a great block on the outside, which I’m sure helped his case. For now, it appears that Blue leapfrogged Foreman for the number two position behind Lamar Miller. Blue should be on your handcuff radar due to the Texans offensive surge under QB Deshaun Watson as well as their favorable upcoming matchups against IND (twice), LAR, PIT, and SF.

Both Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker received their chances in Monday Night Football. Charles came out strong and looked good; however, he coughed up the football early on which put a damper on his “sleeper” hype against his old team. Booker ended up hitting pay dirt, but both backs earned nine touches behind CJ Anderson. Booker was also more efficient, gaining 6.7 YPC compared to Charles’ 4.9, but both looked solid. I give Booker the edge currently, but this three-headed-monster of a backfield is a headache and it’s hard to determine Anderson’s true handcuff.

Lance Dunbar is a guy I just wanted to mention at the very bottom here to put him on fantasy owners’ radar. The Rams can activate Dunbar from the PUP this week and they could use depth behind Toddy Gurley. Dunbar is strictly a third-down passing back and shouldn’t be seen as a threat to Gurley but could get some chances in the passing game over Malcolm Brown.

Wide Receiver

Image result for corey davis

  1. Sterling Shepard
  2. Juju Smith-Schuster
  3. Jamison Crowder
  4. Cooper Kupp
  5. Robby Anderson
  6. Paul Richardson
  7. Ted Ginn
  8. Marquise Lee 
  9. Josh Doctson
  10. Robert Woods
  11. Corey Davis
  12. Jermaine Kearse
  13. Allen Hurns
  14. John Brown
  15. Jordan Matthews
  16. Eric Decker
  17. Kenny Stills
  18. Marquise Goodwin
  19. Travis Benjamin
  20. Dede Westbrook
  21. Mike Wallace
  22. Corey Coleman
  23. Demarcus Robinson
  24. Tyrell Williams
  25. Taylor Gabriel
  26. Deonte Thompson
  27. Kenny Golladay
  28. Brice Butler
  29. Mike Williams
  30. Benny Fowler
  31. Adam Humphries

Robby Anderson finished as the No. 5 PPR fantasy wide receiver in Week 8 and has double-digit fantasy points in each of his past three games. He receives an average of 6.5 targets per game and caught a TD the past two weeks as well. He leads the team in overall target share and is second to only Austin Seferian-Jenkins in red zone target share (20%). Anderson and the Jets face a beatable Buffalo pass defense in Week 9 and a soft Tampa Bay defense in Week 10. Available in 70% of Yahoo leagues, he’s one of my top adds of the week. Update: As the article came to press, news that Jeremy Kerley will be suspended surfaced. Though it doesn’t bump up Anderson much, it is 3-5 targets a week that could pad his floor a bit.

In the pass-heavy Washington offense, the player with the highest floor is Jamison Crowder. He’s struggled to put it together so far this season, but with Jordan Reed injured again, Josh Doctson catching just one or two passes per game and Terrelle Pryor all but disappearing, I’m putting my money on Crowder moving forward, particularly in PPR formats. Doctson currently has the higher ceiling (three TDs in five games) but Crowder has received at least five targets in every game except one this season. In Week 8, he drew a monster 13 targets and caught nine for 123 yards plus two rushes for 12 yards. Crowder is available in 40% of leagues while Doctson is available in about 60%. Both should find their way to your rosters, with Doctson being a bit riskier of a play from week to week.

The Tennesse Titans passing game struggled considerably at the hands of Marcus Mariota over the past couple of weeks, but you could also say they’ve never really found their rhythm this season. Veteran Eric Decker failed to have the red zone impact many (including myself) expected and an injury to Mariota in Week 4 seems to be impacting his mobility. This week, Corey Davis returned to practice after missing most of the season with a hamstring injury sustained in Week 2. In Week 1, Mariota targeted Davis 10 times, resulting in a six-catch, 69-yard game versus Oakland. The next three weeks pose a challenge, with the Titans facing Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh but it softens after that with IND, HOU, ARI, and SF leading up to fantasy playoffs. You’ll probably sit him this week and see how he does his first week back, but the rookie should see plenty of opportunity on a team in desperate need of some playmakers and positive momentum.

Dede Westbrook, a rookie wide receiver for the Jags, returned to practice Monday indicating that he is on track to play in Week 9 after missing the first half of the season with a core muscle surgery. Westbrook burst onto the scene in the preseason in a big way, gaining 100 yards or a TD in each of three games. His big-play ability and top-flight speed represent assets that Allen Hurns and Marquise Lee just can’t give Blake Bortles, possibly carving out an immediate role for Westbrook. He may not get many targets right away, but he may not need many. On a bare waiver wire, fantasy owners should target guys with high upside like Westbrook that could give you an edge down the stretch.

Many have forgotten about Corey Coleman, as the Browns placed him on injured reserve for a broken hand in Week 2. He’s set to return to practice soon and the Browns could definitely use some offense. In his only game this season, he caught five passes for 53 yards and a TD. Though the Browns have been tight-lipped and not released many updates on the wide receiver, we should know his status soon. He’s worth a speculative add, especially in deeper leagues.

 

Tight End

Image result for greg olsen

  1. Greg Olsen
  2. Jack Doyle
  3. Charles Clay
  4. Tyler Kroft
  5. Vernon Davis
  6. Ben Watson
  7. Austin Hooper
  8. Jared Cook
  9. George Kittle
  10. Ed Dickson
  11. Ryan Griffin 
  12. Darren Fells
  13. Vance McDonald
  14. David Njoku
  15. O.J. Howard
  16. AJ Derby
  17. CJ Fiedorowicz
  18. Martellus Bennett
  19. Dion Sims

Some may think it is a bit early to target Greg Olsen, but I’m clearly not one of them. He plans to test out his injured foot this week and possibly resume practicing soon. He’s eligible to return after the Panthers Week 11 bye, which is just a couple weeks away. I know bye weeks are tough on bench spots, but if I need to remind you who Greg Olsen is, I will. Olsen finished the past three seasons as a top-five PPR fantasy tight end. Cam Newton desperately misses his go-to guy, and he’ll re-enter the offense as soon as he can. News should be out later this week how Olsen’s foot is doing, but he’s worth a bench spot everywhere. Catch your league mates snoozing on this one (owned in just 42% of Yahoo leagues), as many may not be aware how close he might be to returning to action.

Though he most likely will not return to action this week for TNF, Charles Clay will be back next week against New Orleans. Clay started the year hot with two TDs in the first three weeks and added a 112-yard game in Week 4 before getting injured (knee) in Week 5. He’ll be a prime target for Tyrod Taylor upon his return and could be a top 10 fantasy TE rest of season.

Tyler Kroft has received 26 targets and caught three TDs over the past five games. He’s third in overall target share and red zone target share for the Bengals. The next three matchups might look difficult on the surface, but this is deceiving as the Jags, Titans, and Broncos all struggle to cover the tight end position. Available in over 50% of Yahoo leagues, Kroft could be a great streamer and possible ROS fantasy TE for your roster.

The Texans will most likely designate CJ Fiedorowicz (concussion) to return in the next two weeks. He practiced for the first time last week and looks set to play in Week 11. He has a solid fantasy playoff schedule in Weeks 14-15 (49ers and Jags) and it isn’t too early to be looking ahead.

D/ST

  1. LAR at NYG
  2. DET at GB
  3. BUF at NYJ
  4. ARZ at SF
  5. NO at TB

 

Kicker

  1. Graham Gano
  2. Blair Walsh
  3. Greg Zuerlein
  4. Ka’imi Fairbairn 
  5. Matt Prater

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first crack at the Week 9 Waiver Wire Rankings and I look forward to helping you rock the second half of your fantasy season!

Senior Writer, Marketing Director for TheFantasyAuthority.com . I am an avid fantasy football player that enjoys discussion, community, competition, and challenges. I view writing about fantasy football as a privilege (and fun!), so my main focuses are quality and enjoyment. I believe that if we do quality work and use our passion (or addiction lol) as fuel, TFA will succeed as a team, achieve success, and find its home within the fantasy community. Follow me @FF_female920 for fantasy help and discussion!

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