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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Agholor, LV – Two targets, no catches
in the wind tunnel known as Sunday’s football game.
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.
Cobb, HOU – Cobb and the Texans
were on a Week 8 bye, but the date with the Jags is a good matchup.
Higgins, CLE – Higgins had 1-14-0
on three targets in that freaky wind game, and the Browns are
now on a bye.
Bryant, CLE – Bryant notched 3-25-0 and has some
long-term value still.
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.