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Through The Wire - Week 9

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 11/2/20 | Updated: 11/3/20

Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league. I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Cam Newton, NE – As badly as the Patriots and Newton (65-75 percent owned) have looked lately, they get to face the Jets in Week 9. Some owners may have dropped Newton as their backup based on injury/waiver wire issues, so now is the time to jump on him and expect a monster fantasy performance against a woeful opponent who just traded away another critical piece of their defensive unit (LB Avery Williamson). I’m not sure if he’ll be in another spot as good as this one for the remainder of 2020, so now’s the time to use him.

UPDATE: Pats HC Bill Belichick reiterated Monday that “Cam’s our quarterback,” so unless something really wild happens and the Jets all of a sudden materialize a defense out of nowhere, Newton remains a mid-tier QB1 play in Week 9.

Drew Lock, DEN – We’re finally seeing something from Lock (5-10 percent owned), who had an excellent Week 8 with 248-3-1 – his best fantasy output of his injury-plagued 2020 season. On Sunday he gets a favorable matchup against the Falcons, who have yet to really stop anyone from cracking their defense and posting huge passing numbers. He’s a Top 12-15 QB for Week 9.

Other QBs to consider: Daniel Jones, Kyle Allen, Nick Mullens, Jake Luton


Tua Tagovailoa, MIA – We didn’t see big numbers from Tua (25-30 percent owned) in his starting debut but there wasn’t much he needed to do with the Rams turning the ball over multiple times and putting the game out of reach relatively early. The big test comes in Week 9 against a capable Cards team whose offense should put up points and protect the ball much better than Jared Goff and the Rams did. He may not be able to match Kyler Murray’s numbers, but he’ll certainly have to throw more than he did in Week 8.

Derek Carr, LV – The wind and its 50 mph gusts was not cooperating Sunday, and Carr finished with pedestrian numbers (112-1-0) in the 16-6 win at Cleveland. He’s a solid option in Week 9 at LAC.

J.K. Dobbins

Running Backs

Justin Jackson, LAC – Austin Ekeler (hamstring) is still without a timetable to return, and Jackson – who I have to bring up again because he’s still available in about one third of ESPN leagues – has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting among the Chargers’ RBs. He carried the ball 17 times for 89 yards in Week 8 against the Broncos, adding 3-53-0 and should have another big workload in Week 9 against the Raiders.

Zack Moss, BUF – Devin Singletary may still be the primary ball carrier, but Moss is consuming more and more of a role in this Bills offense. The rookie rushed 14 times for 81 yards and two scores in Sunday’s crucial divisional win over New England but wasn’t a part of the passing game. Week 9 against the Seahawks presents an opportunity for several offensive players in the Bills offense, and that might include Moss – who’s owned in about 35-50 percent of fantasy leagues. If Singletary struggles for any reason or gets injured, we could see Moss’s value skyrocket.

J.K. Dobbins, BAL – Mark Ingram is still hurt and may miss more time, and Dobbins (45-55 percent owned) – who was not a huge producer in the offense before the Week 7 bye and may have been dropped in a lot of formats, had his breakout Sunday against the Steelers with 113 rushing yards on 15 carries, and 1-8-0 receiving. The Week 9 opponent (IND) is a tough one, but Dobbins should be added in all formats after his effective running this past week.

Damien Harris, NE – Harris – who is still available in about 50-70 percent of leagues – sloughed off his recent ankle injury and rushed 16 times for 102 yards and a TD in Sunday’s 24-21 loss to Buffalo. He’s not part of the Pats’ passing offense, but he was the only player on the team in Week 8 to get double-digit carries and has emerged as their leading backfield rushing option heading into smash spot against the Jets in Week 9.

Malcolm Brown, LAR – Darrell Henderson was forced from Sunday’s game with a thigh injury, and Brown ended up with 40 rushing yards on 10 carries and 2-17-0 in the Rams’ 28-17 loss to the Dolphins. The Rams have a Week 9 bye (and they really need it) but we could see a larger workload for Brown and Cam Akers if Henderson's injury lingers into the Week 10 tilt with the Seahawks.

Other RBs to consider: Phillip Lindsay, JaMycal Hasty, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, Cam Akers, Brian Hill, Gus Edwards


Chase Edmonds, ARI – Edmonds was on a Week 8 bye but should be the lead back for the Cardinals next week with Kenyan Drake slated to miss time (high-ankle sprain). He needs to be owned in all formats but is also still available in about a third of ESPN leagues.

La’Mical Perine, NYJ – Perine carried eight times for 27 yards and caught both of his targets for 2-6-0 in Sunday’s 35-9 loss to the Chiefs, splitting time with Frank Gore The rookie should get more touches facing the reeling Patriots in Week 9.

DeeJay Dallas SEA – I used Dallas in a bunch of DFS lineups on Sunday, and my results would have been a lot more profitable had Jimmy Garoppolo not flamed out so miserably with his ankle injury. Dallas wasn’t entirely effective running the ball, but he did finish with 41 yards and a TD on 18 carries and added five catches for 17 yards and another TD through the air. It was a solid performance, but we’ll have to stay tuned to the muddled Seahawks backfield situation (multiple injuries) to navigate his value moving forward.

UPDATE: No early word on the status of Carlos Hyde or Chris Carson, but Dallas would remain in a workhorse role if they are out in Week 9.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Marvin Jones, DET – Jones (55-75 percent owned) hauled in 3-39-2 on seven targets during Sunday’s 41-21 loss to the Colts. Kenny Golladay (hip) left the game and we could see an increased workload in the near future for Jones if Golladay misses time – starting with a Week 9 matchup against the Vikings poor pass defense.

Mike Williams, LAC – Williams (40-60 percent owned) has established some nice rapport with rookie QB Justin Herbert and finished Sunday with 5-99-1 on eight targets. He’s a risk-reward play moving forward but is in a solid spot heading into a Week 9 matchup against the Raiders.

Curtis Samuel, CAR – Without Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers have looked for creative ways to get Samuel (35-50 percent owned) involved in the run game. He had three carries for 23 yards and a TD on Thursday night, hauling in four of five targets for 31 yards and another score in the loss to the Falcons. Once McCaffrey returns from his ankle injury (which could be this week against the Chiefs), his role might be curtailed a bit, but there’s some flex/bench value in 12-team leagues.

Laviska Shenault, JAC – Shenault (25-30 percent owned) might be catching passes from a different QB in Week 9, but he’s still a valuable deep-league option who has upside moving forward. The Jags are coming off their bye and face the Texans on Sunday.

UPDATE: Jake Luton is getting the start in Week 9 since the Jaguars have to figure out what they have with the statuesque rookie gunslinger, so we could see them utilize a lot of plays close to the line of scrimmage involving Shenault.

Jalen Reagor, PHI – Reagor (15-20 percent owned) came back from his Week 2 thumb injury Sunday night and notched three receptions (six targets) for 16 yards and a TD, adding 6 rushing yards on one carry in Sunday’s 23-9 win over Dallas. The 2020 first-round pick and the Eagles now enter a bye week, so owners with the roster space can consider Reagor a viable long-term value.

Kendrick Bourne, SF – I’m a big fan of Bourne’s upside, and he did well on Sunday even without Jimmy G, racking up 8-81-0 on 10 targets, a lot of which during garbage time with Nick Mullens at the helm. With Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and George Kittle (ankle) injured, he’ll be a factor in the next few weeks – starting Thursday night against the Packers.

TE Dalton Schultz, DAL – Schultz was a frequent target of Ben DiNucci on Sunday night with 6-53-0 on eight targets. He makes for a fine add and has been increasing his involvement in the Cowboys offense.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios, Jakobi Meyers, TE Logan Thomas, Keelan Cole, Russell Gage, Danny Amendola, TE Jordan Reed


Brandon Aiyuk, SF – Aiyuk (now 60-75 percent owned) had 8-91-1 on 11 targets in Week 8 against the Seahawks, and the window to grab him is likely closed.

Nelson Agholor, LV – Two targets, no catches in the wind tunnel known as Sunday’s football game.

Sterling Shepard, NYG – UPDATE: Shepard caught 8-74-0 on 10 targets in the Giants’ Week 8 loss to the Bucs, and while he didn’t find paydirt, he remains a solid option ahead of a matchup with Washington.

Randall Cobb, HOU – Cobb and the Texans were on a Week 8 bye, but the date with the Jags is a good matchup.

Rashard Higgins, CLE – Higgins had 1-14-0 on three targets in that freaky wind game, and the Browns are now on a bye.

TE Harrison Bryant, CLE – Bryant notched 3-25-0 and has some long-term value still.

Scotty Miller, TB – UPDATE: Miller hauled in 3-35-0 on 6 targets Monday night, and with Chris Godwin on his way back from a finger injury and Antonio Brown getting added to the mix in Week 9, it’s hard to see him retaining much value.