Week 9 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Jordan Wilkins & More
Week 9 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Jordan Wilkins & More
To be truly frank, this is not the most exciting week on the waiver wire. There wasn’t a clear RB injury that lead to an Alexander Mattison or Boston Scott “all in” situation. Also, many of us just have bad teams out there now. While, generally speaking, this has been a very good fantasy football season for myself and many SportsGrid readers, there is no denying that some combinations just had no chance. For example, if you started your draft with Michael Thomas, Joe Mixon, AJ Brown, and Courtland Sutton, that is so many racked up missed games that are just hard to stay truly competitive.
That being said, we aren’t going to stop grinding. I have three teams in the FFPC Main Event ranging from 7-1 to 3-5, so I will be in it with all of you to the very end of the season. This week features a few RBs who have a chance to be our 2020 CJ Anderson’s but more an array of spot-start WRs and TEs. For the teams who are struggling to get into the playoff picture, these spot-start pass catchers are some of the most important decisions to get correct.
Each week, we will look at three tiers of players: the “must adds” or players that we expect will be picked up in every league and in every format, the “borderline” tier, and the deep-league darts. The focus will be on 12-team PPR leagues as our frame of reference and as always, if you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me on Twitter @DavisMattek or in the Daily Roto NFL Slack channel.
All players referenced in the Fantasy Football Waiver Wire column are under 50% owned in Yahoo! Fantasy Football Leagues. It is possible these players might be owned in your league.
Absolutely Should Be Owned In Every League, But You Will See There Name In Other Fantasy Football Waiver Pieces: Chase Edmonds, Brandin Cooks, Mecole Hardman, Austin Hooper, Henry Ruggs, Damien Harris, Phillip Lindsay, Laviska Shenault, Tee Higgins, Christian Kirk, Zack Moss, Jalen Reagor, Corey Davis
POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE MAKERS (THESE ARE PLAYERS WORTH > 25% OF YOUR FAAB, OR THE #1 OVERALL WAIVER CLAIM) FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
Somehow, Wilkins led the Colts backfield in snaps and carries in their blowout win against the Lions. Philip Rivers hinted to the broadcast that Jonathan Taylor got banged up in the middle of the game, but to my untrained eye, it looked much more like a benching. Taylor had only 11 carries for 22 yards while Wilkins had 20 for 89 yards. It seems unlikely that the Colts will just “give up” on Jonathan Taylor at this point, and Wilkins is not a special athlete or talent. Wilkins lost carries to Jonathan Williams last season when Marlon Mack was injured. However, it does seem pretty clear that JT is not the Adrian Peterson-esque rusher that many projected he would be coming out of college. If your roster is in such a state that you would consider starting Wilkins against the Ravens next week, you can probably go to 15% of your FAAB on him. I am likely to skip out on Wilkins entirely and make more aggressive bids on our next two players.
Edwards is making another appearance here in this column because he still is not owned in enough leagues. The Ravens bye week in Week 7 is definitely a contributing factor as many likely thought that Mark Ingram would be able to return to play against the Steelers. Ingram didn’t play, and while JK Dobbins grabbed most of the headlines, Edwards had a very steady role for the Ravens in their close loss.
Essentially, Edwards resumed his normal role while also picking up some of what Mark Ingram left. This was a hyper-competitive game against the Steelers, so Dobbins played 54 snaps while Edwards played 26 (Justice Hill played two). However, Edwards had an absurd 16 carries on his 26 snaps and scored a touchdown as well. He needs to be owned in all leagues, and he is a legit flex play in all formats as long as Mark Ingram remains out.
If you desperately need RB production for the next 2-3 weeks, Edwards is a fine 20% FAAB spend but is likely a touchdown-or-bust weekly start.
Everything continues to break in such a way to give Hasty the max amount of playing time. He was our cover boy for the Waiver Wire last week, and I wrote, “Hasty has a really solid athletic profile with a 4.55 40-yard dash at 205 pounds and registers a 118.3 SPARQ score. The matchup against Seattle is a theoretically promising one if McKinnon is again “rested,” and Coleman is not quite up to speed but going all-in on Hasty this week on waivers is probably a bad idea.”
What ended up happening is that Tevin Coleman re-injured himself, and McKinnon basically slotted back into his role as the third-down back. McKinnon played more snaps than Hasty (35-29), but Hasty led the team in rushes with 12, and McKinnon had only three. With Mostert, Wilson Jr., and Coleman all OUT, there is nothing that stands in Hasty’s way of putting up Weekly RB2 numbers. He would be my top waiver bid this week, and he is worth up to 30% of your budget. Realistically, I would not fault anyone for making rather large bids on him this week.
BORDERLINE STARTERS (THESE PLAYERS LIKELY ARE COMING OFF A GOOD GAME BUT DO NOT PROJECT AS MULTI-WEEK STARTERS, WORTH LESS THAN 25% OF YOUR FAAB) FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
Last week, it was Carlos Hyde and not Dallas, who was highlighted (though I suggested small bids on Dallas and re-iterated that point on the SportsGrid Fantasy Football podcast). However, with Hyde and Chris Carson ruled out, Dallas was the clear lead back in Seattle. Travis Homer was banged up and only able to play seven total snaps. Hyde and/or Carson are likely to be back this week for Seattle, but if by some chance they are not, Dallas will probably be a top-12 RB option against the Bills just due to his massive projected playing time. Dallas had five targets and got goalline work, which is all you need to be a productive fantasy running back.
In a fairly surprising turn of events, Lazard is already back at practice for the Green Bay Packers after a stint on the short-term IR after having core muscle surgery. The Packers desperately need a second wide receiver as no one else has even come close to contributing at the position. Their second, third, and fourth receivers have been running backs and tight ends. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is fifth on the team in receptions with only 16! Lazard had two touchdowns and 17 targets in three games before getting banged up and should resume a similar role while also displacing Robert Tonyan. The former Iowa State stud should go mostly unnoticed this week on waivers, so a 5-10% FAAB bid should get it done.
With Deebo Samuel out, George Kittle banged up, and Jerick McKinnon running like a shadow of his former self, Bourne racked up 10 targets against the Seahawks. Samuel is on the short-term IR, and Kittle has a real chance of missing San Francisco’s game against the Packers on Thursday (if that game is played on Thursday, the Packers are undergoing a COVID scare). If both of those things do play out, we will likely be projecting Bourne for a 15-19% target share of the 49ers offense. While Bourne is not a special athlete or great prospect, a healthy target share in this 49ers offense needs to be owned in 12-team PPR leagues. He really is only worth bidding on if you would start him in Week Nine due to various injuries or bye week problems as he is not a long-term “ceiling” play.
Michael Pittman Jr.
Rookie wide receivers have been so good to us this year, and I’m getting back on the train with Pittman Jr. Pittman returned from the short-term IR to play this weekend against the Lions, but his services were not particularly needed. He immediately returned to play 45 snaps, and TY Hilton left this game with an injury (though Hilton being active probably does not impact MPJ in any way). Eleven different Colts had receptions in the game against the Lions, which is sort of the Philip Rivers way. However, Pittman Jr. is a highly drafted wide receiver who was extremely productive in college. As we have seen with Jalen Reagor, CeeDee Lamb, Tee Higgins, and all the other productive rookies, we want these guys with uncapped upsides on our rosters. I already own MPJ in every league where he was available last week, but if he was still out there and my team could use a high-upside WR, I am comfortable bidding 10-15% of FAAB on him.
You guys are smart; you know that I’m not going to try and sell you on the idea that Logan Thomas is going to score 14 points per game and win your league. However, I am comfortable saying this: tight end is an absolute wasteland, and Kyle Allen is definitely better than Dwayne Haskins. Thomas does not have good targets per route run numbers, but I think in some way, that can be semi-misleading with tight ends who truly play every snap. LT3 has played over 85% of the Washington Football Team’s snaps in all games but two; he has at least four targets in every game and is second on the team in total targets. Even if he is bad, even if he is inefficient, just being out there and getting that floor of targets is worth owning in every 12-team PPR league. If you are dealing with a George Kittle injury, Thomas is a nice pickup.
While Burton did not have a great game receiving (because of the aforementioned 11 different players catching a pass), Burton again scored another goalline rushing touchdown. For whatever reason, Frank Reich loves Trey Burton and has now twice called the “wildcat” package for Burton at the goal line. Burton again played 50% of the Colts snaps even with Mo Alie-Cox back in the lineup, and with T.Y Hilton injured, there isn’t much of a reason to believe his playing time and targets will change. Any given week, he should project for 4-6 targets with a reasonable chance of a touchdown.
DEEP LEAGUE TARGETS AND BENCH STASHES FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
With Julian Edelman out due to knee surgery and N’Keal Harry sitting with a concussion, Meyers came alive for the second week in a row. Meyers has 16 targets the last two weeks, including 10 in the loss to the Bills. He also had two other targets that were called back due to penalty and a two-point conversion that he secured. We have largely been avoiding the New England Patriots offense for fantasy, but if Meyers is going to play basically every snap and be largely playing in the short passing game, he should have value. There is also a chance that Cam Newton plays closer to how he did before he had to miss time due to testing positive for COVID. If that does, at any point, happen, he will be the tide that raises all boats in New England.
It has just been reported that George Kittle suffered a fracture in his foot and is going to miss multiple weeks. While Jordan Reed has not been officially activated off of the injured reserve yet, it is expected that he will be healthy enough to play relatively soon. Of course, Jordan Reed staying healthy is a much different thing entirely. In Reed’s short spell in playing without Kittle active, he racked up 14 targets on only 46 snaps and scored twice. Every week that he is healthy and Kittle isn’t, he will be ranked as a top-12 tight end. I will likely be making claims for Reed in every league that I play in this week.
If you are like me and you just love to catalog every RB who could end up being a fantasy starter with a few injuries ahead of him, you probably loved to see Foreman play six snaps (and record five carries) against the Bengals this Sunday. While Darrynton Evans will likely be back soon enough, Foreman is the more traditional “like for like” replacement for Henry. In deep formats, like the FFPC Main Event or NFFC Primetime, $1 bids on Foreman aren’t the dumbest thing you could do.
Marvin Hall/Quintez Cephus
Kenny Golladay is likely going to be placed on the short-term IR with a hip injury. While Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, and TJ Hockenson will all gain a small bit of target share while Golladay is out, one of Cephus or Hall is likely to just straight swap in for Golladay. Cephus has been inactive for the last three games for Detroit, possibly because the team just views him as a direct backup for Golladay. The Lions passing game has been decidedly not high octane this season, but the deep-passing role that Golladay occupies is a valuable one because it gives a glimpse at highly volatile results week to week.
Look Ahead Defense Bids (5% of FAAB or less): Seattle Seahawks (With the way Jared Goff is playing, I just want to get every possible defense against them. These two teams play in LA in Week 10), Las Vegas Raiders (they host the extremely error-prone Drew Lock in Week 10).