Fortunately, this is the last week with six teams on a bye. Unfortunately, we have more messy backfields adding to the frustration of the season. While there is value in the Week 9 waiver wire, there are also potential land minds. As with DeAndre Washington a few weeks ago, remember that many times players have high ceilings but also carry high bust potentials. Lastly, don’t forget to check last week’s column and/or the “should have been picked up options” both before and AFTER your waivers run. Teams are desperate with the heavy byes, and sometimes you’ll find gems dropped out of necessity.
As a reminder, these waiver wire players aim for the 50 percent or less ownership on average across the major sites and have Yahoo! ownership listed. They’re also good for DFS too, as they will often have a lower cost and present values.
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Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups QBs (Streaming Quarterbacks)
Dak Prescott, DAL (62%) – Prescott was here last week, and he’s back again just in case he’s somehow floating out there in your league. Not only did Prescott account for three touchdowns against the Eagles (one rushing), he gets to face the Browns this week. Forget streamer potential, Prescott has Top 5 QB upside.
Colin Kaepernick, SF (7%) – It’s all about the rushing potential of Kaep, as despite his only throwing for 187 and 143 yards in his two starts, Kaepernick finished as QB15 in both weeks. He had 66 rushing yards in his first start and 84 in the second. Oh, look what team the 49ers happen to face this week… none other than the Saints. Kaep has QB1 potential.
Sam Bradford, MIN (16%) – I was going to include him given the matchup, but nope… sorry… nah… can’t do it. Pass!
Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups RBs
You Should Have Picked Them Up: Mike Gillislee, BUF; Darren Sproles, PHI
Charcandrick West, KC (9%) – Spencer Ware is in the concussion protocol but only in stage two as of this writing. While there is a chance he could be cleared for the Jacksonville game, we know concussions are never simple. That makes West a must-add in any and all formats. West would have Top 15 upside if Ware were out. Even if Ware plays, the Jaguars run defense is soft enough to make West a flex option with the likelihood that Jamaal Charles is still out (seeing the dreaded Dr. Andrews).
Robert Kelley, WSH (35%) – The Redskins are on a bye, but if you want to stash a running back with RB2 potential, you have to grab Kelley now. The yards per carry weren’t pretty, but Kelley was good after contact, and most importantly, he didn’t fumble! That alone puts him ahead of the game and ahead of Matt Jones.
Antone Smith, TB (1%) – Revenge game! No, seriously though, Doug Martin sounds doubtful to return, and Jacquizz Rodgers is also doubtful to be ready on a short week. Smith looks to be the next man up, although Peyton Barber is also in the mix. Smith has a history with Dirk Koetter from their time with the Falcons, so he gets the edge.
Tim Hightower, NO (5%) – Mark Ingram fumbled and then fell into the upside down. Whether or not Sean Payton is making a statement, we could have a full-blown timeshare in New Orleans for the first time in a few years. Hightower performed quite well and looked similar to how he did while filling in for Ingram last year, which makes him a necessary addition in most leagues. Facing the 49ers gives both Ingram and Hightower a nice flex-level floor with upside for a RB1 performance, even with shared touches.
Derrick Henry, TEN (48%) – Many DeMarco Murray owners have Henry stashed, but at 48 percent ownership, it’s obviously not all of them. If Henry is sitting out there, grab him now, as we have seen enough flashes of his potential to know he’d be a RB1 if Murray ever got hurt.
Kapri Bibbs, DEN (7%) – We had a nice little scare with Devontae Booker last week, and Bibbs is all about being the next man up in Denver. Pick him up before he turns into the Booker-like RB scramble of the week.
DuJuan Harris, SF (0%) – Harris looks the be the running back of choice if Carlos Hyde isn’t ready for Week 9. The 49ers backfield is a committee without Hyde, but Harris looks to be the most reliable of the trio (Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn the other two).
James Starks, GB (6%) – The Packers released Knile Davis, and while there is some talk that they could bring him back if Starks passes through waivers (thereby owning the Chiefs no compensation for the trade), Davis clearly isn’t the answer. Ty Montgomery could return this week and lead the backfield again, but Starks and the Packers have history, and he could return soon and lead the team in carries.
Deep Leagues/Handcuffs: Dion Lewis (time to stash), Thomas Rawls, Alfred Morris, Cameron Artis-Payne
Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups WRs
You Should Have Picked Them Up: Donte Moncrief, IND; Michael Thomas, NO; Ty Montgomery, GB; Sammie Coates, PIT; Quincy Enunwa, NYJ
Corey Coleman, CLE (42%) – Coleman is nearing a return, and hey, Josh McCown is back! All you need to know about this Fantasy Football season is the fact that we’re excited to have McCown at quarterback… sigh. Andrew Hawkins had two touchdowns last week, and we all know Hawkins is a 2-3 game per year player. Coleman flashed his potential before his injury, and with McCown at quarterback, there are enough targets to go around even with Terrelle Pryor commanding the majority attention.
Jamison Crowder, WSH (49%) – I’m going to keep this quick and just repeat last week… What.does.Crowder.need.to.do?! Pick him up! The end. Stop ignoring him. Pick Crowder up, and heck, even use him in many leagues.
Kendall Wright, TEN (6%) – That’s two out of three good games for Wright since he returned to a starter role. He was quiet against the Colts but totaled 14 catches, 217 yards and two touchdowns against the Browns and Jaguars. The Titans offense will never be pass heavy unless playing from behind, but Wright is showing good chemistry with Marcus Mariota and certainly has WR4/flex value in PPR leagues.
Brian Quick, LA (7%) – A few weeks ago, I talked about how Kenny Britt was underrated and ignored simply because of his playing for the Rams. What do you know; I need to mention his teammate in the same fashion. Quick is WR38 on the season and has at least 51 receiving yards in each of his last five games. Quick isn’t an every-week play, but the Panthers defense has been terrible and it’s a tough bye week.
Russell Shepard, TB (3%) – In just two starts for the Buccaneers, Shepard has seven receptions, 101 yards and two touchdowns. You can see that he’s a bit touchdown reliant, but Shepard also has four red zone targets in those two starts, and look at the matchup this week. The Bucs host the Falcons, giving Shepard a great chance to make it three straight games with a touchdown.
J.J. Nelson, ARI (3%) – Nelson is officially a starter for the Cardinals, passing Michael Floyd and also burning all remaining Floyd hopes to the ground. It’s always tough to trust the Cardinals trio with their weekly inconsistency, and Nelson is the riskiest of the three. Nevertheless, each of the three always carries a WR1 ceiling, and that gives Nelson roster value in most leagues.
Deep Leagues/Watch List: Rishard Matthews, Tyler Lockett, Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd
Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups TEs
Eric Ebron, DET (37%) – Ebron is back; Ebron needs to be owned; Ebron should be starting in all leagues. Ebron has just one touchdown, but the tight end position is a mess this year, and few tight ends have a higher floor than Ebron. In fact, Ebron has at least 4.2 points in every game and the 11th highest FPPG average at 7.0.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU (15%) – The Texans are on a bye, but Fiedorowicz has taken a big step forward in the last five weeks. Fiedorowicz has 10.8, 6.1, 14.5, 3.5 and 10.3 points in those games, and the two low totals were in Minnesota and in Denver. I think we can pardon him a bit for struggling a bit against those defenses, plus, he has to rely on Brock Osweiler playing well in those games. The Texans come out of the bye to face the Jaguars, which will have him knocking on the TE1 door.
Cameron Brate, TB (41%) – Brate is still second on the Buccaneers in red zone targets and found the end zone last week. Brate is touchdown reliant, but how many tight ends aren’t? The Falcons allow the sixth most FPPG to tight ends, giving Brate nice streaming value this week.
Dennis Pitta, BAL (44%) – Pitta hasn’t scored yet, but he has 335 yards and has been rather consistent in PPR leagues. The fact that he’s mainly a PPR option ranks him behind the other tight ends, but if you are looking for a few safe points with the Steelers ranking middle of the pack at defending tight ends, Pitta is your man.