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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 9
10/30/17; Updated: 10/31/17 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
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.

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


Jacoby Brissett, IND – In what has been a difficult season for the Colts, Brissett has just five passing TDs. But he’s shown himself to be a capable backup whose raw ability gives him some upside in favorable spots, and this week he might be worth starting in 12-team formats (and as a value play in DFS) heading into a matchup Houston. I expect these AFC South teams to rack up the points and maybe even flip the scoreboard – and Brissett’s owners could be a huge beneficiary.

Brett Hundley, GB – A full week of preparation didn’t do much to help Hundley before a Week 7 loss to New Orleans, but two full weeks and a bit more freedom within the Packers offense could mean better fantasy numbers in Week 9 against the Lions. It’s going to be a difficult week to find a viable QB option to replace the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and Philip Rivers (the three QBs on bye), but Hundley and a couple others could end up surprising their critics with decent games.

Drew Stanton, ARI – Matchups notwithstanding, Stanton is just about the last QB I’d recommend in a must-win fantasy matchup. He’s thrown for 300 yards just once in his career (as a rookie in 2014), and the Cardinals are likely to rely mostly on their ground game in Week 9. But this matchup is against the 49ers, so anything is possible. With Carson Palmer out for an extended period of time, the Arizona coaches are planning on going with Stanton over Blaine Gabbert – who would actually be a more interesting narrative play given his history in San Fran.

Other QBs to consider: Trevor Siemian (DEN), Blake Bortles (JAC), Joe Flacco (BAL), Josh McCown (NYJ)


Case Keenum, MIN – While there were two QB performances that really stood out on Sunday (Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson in a shootout for the ages) Keenum had one of the better outings of Week 8 with 288-2-1. He’s on a Week 9 bye.

Tyrod Taylor, BUF – Taylor helped his cause by not turning the ball over and rushing for a 1-yard score in a dominant win over the Raiders, but only managed 165-1-0 passing. The Bills just don’t have the receiving weapons to vault his upside into QB1 territory. In spite of that, Tyrod makes for an adequate bye-week fill-in against the Jets in Week 9.

Jared Goff, LAR – The Rams were on a Week 8 bye, and Goff returns to face @NYG, HOU, @MIN, NO in his next four games – great matchups for the emerging QB. In the staff league (where I lost Aaron Rodgers as my QB1), I’ll be rolling with Goff and Andy Dalton the rest of the season.

Alex Collins

Early-down pounder: Alex Collins had his first career 100-yard game last Thursday against Miami.

Running Backs

Alex Collins, BAL – Collins did lots of damage on Thursday night against the Dolphins, rushing for 113 yards on 18 carries and adding 2-30-0. He’s now about even with Javorius Allen in fantasy value and should be owned in all formats.

Matt Breida, SF – Breida has just five carries for 17 rushing yards but added 4-39-1 and his role in the passing game seems to be expanding as the season wears on and the 49ers look more desperate for a win. He’s more than just a handcuff but has severely limited upside at the moment.

Rex Burkhead, NE – The veteran back played a season-high 26 offensive snaps, had caught all seven of his targets for 68 yards and added 15 rushing yards on four carries in Sunday’s Week 8 win over the Chargers. He’s still probably the B player to the Pats 1A, 1B and 1C in James White, Dion Lewis and Mike Gillislee, who all have higher red zone usage and therefore more upside. Still, an injury could shake this backfield up and give way to the emergence of a couple valuable RBs.

Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden, DAL – I’ll defer to the latest information in the Ezekiel Elliott case, and remind you that if either are available, they need to be added while the backfield gets sorted out.

Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams, MIA – UPDATE: With Jay Ajayi traded to Philadelphia early Tuesday morning, the RB duties in Miami will fall to a timeshare between Drake and Williams. Earlier this month Dolphins HC Adam Gase called Drake the No. 2 back, so it’s assumed he’ll be the first option for a lead role and early-down carries. But Williams has played more snaps this season as the change-of-pace to Ajayi and should continue to handle most of the work on passing downs. Drake may be the better fantasy bet in theory, but neither is an exciting addition given Miami and Ajayi’s struggles thus far.

Other RBs to consider: Alfred Blue (HOU), Orleans Darkwa & Paul Perkins (NYG)


Latavius Murray, MIN – Murray rushed 19 times for 39 yards and caught his only target for 1-8-0 in the Vikings' Week 8 win over the Browns in London. He’s worth owning in all formats but is largely TD-dependent based on Jerick McKinnon’s larger offensive role.

Devontae Booker, DEN – UPDATE: Booker rushed six times for 40 yards and a TD, adding 3-14-0 receiving. It feels good to have recommended the only decent fantasy performance in this offense, and it was good to see Booker show some burst. He should be getting more touches moving forward and could be supplanting Jamaal Charles as the better backup to C.J. Anderson since the former Chief lost a fumble in the 29-19 loss.

DeAndre Washington, OAK – In the absence of Marshawn Lynch, Washington (40-45 percent owned) took the lead role and finished with six carries for 26 yards, but added 8-62-1 on 10 targets from Derek Carr. I expect Washington to remain heavily involved down the stretch and warrant RB3/flex consideration from week-to-week.

Wendell Smallwood, PHI – Smallwood didn’t factor much in the win over the 49ers, as LeGarrette Blount received the majority of carries and there wasn’t much need to check down to Smallwood on passing downs as Wentz had his way with the secondary. In tougher matchups, we’ll end up seeing more of Smallwood and less of Blount and Corey Clement.

UPDATE: It’s hard to say what, if any role Smallwood will have now that Jay Ajayi is in Philly, though it’s possible he stays involved on passing downs, with Blount shifting to exclusively goal line work and short yardage. Smallwood is certainly safer to drop in 10-team and other shallow leagues.

Theo Riddick, DET – Riddick rushed just four times for 21 yards and caught two passes for 24 yards in Week 8 against the Steelers – another lackluster performance that puts him on the possible drop list heading into Week 9. I think he’s still worth holding onto, since any kind of injury to Ameer Abdullah will force Riddick into more significant game situations.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Paul Richardson & Tyler Lockett, SEA – I included Richardson (40-45 percent owned) in my WRs to consider for Week 8, so hopefully a few of you took advantage of his breakout game and the 6-105-2 receiving line that made him a Top 5 fantasy WR for Week 8. A matchup with Washington portends more good things for him and the rest of the Seahawks offense, and that includes Tyler Lockett, who went off for 6-121-0 on eight targets in Week 8 and is owned in just 30-35 percent of fantasy leagues.

Corey Davis, TEN – UPDATE: Davis is still dealing with a hamstring injury but could be ready to play this weekend – a big deal considering he caught 6-69-0 on 10 targets in Week 1 (and played 42-of-64 snaps) before reinjuring his hammy in Week 2 against the Jaguars and missing the next five games. Davis is a next-level talent and could be a huge fantasy factor down the stretch.

TE Jack Doyle, IND – Doyle is still available in about a third of fantasy leagues, and I picked him up in one 10-team league where I needed a fill-in for Delanie Walker. Strangely enough, I think I may have found a better starter than Walker, as Doyle erupted for 12-121-1 on 14 targets from Brissett in Week 8. That makes 25-215-2 on 32 targets over his last three games. That’s good enough for TE1 status and the middle of the second tier after Gronk, Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce.

Robby Anderson, NYJ – Anderson had looked like a bit of a malcontent in a couple of previous games, throwing his helmet in disgust or frustration near the end of a Week 7 loss and earning a costly penalty. But the squeaky wheel got the grease in Week 8 as Josh McCown targeted the second-year WR six times, with Anderson hauling in all of them for a 6-105-1 line in the loss to Atlanta. He’s in the flex conversation for Week 9 against the Bills.

Jamison Crowder, WAS – Heading into training camp in 2017, Crowder was a value darling of many early mock drafts and was going as early as rounds 6 and 7 in 12-team leagues. Soon, however, the hype around Terrelle Pryor starting seeing him dip, and through six games this season had contributed a paltry 19-149-0 – barely enough for the bench spot radar. Consequently, he was owned in about 50-60 percent of leagues heading into Week 8, when he exploded for 9-123-0 on 13 targets from Kirk Cousins. And seeing what happened last week in Seattle, the Week 9 matchup with the Seahawks means he should be once again added in all formats and deployed as a WR3. What a trip.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Sterling Shepard (NYG), Jeremy Maclin (BAL), Andre Holmes (BUF), Travis Benjamin (LAC), Leonte Carroo (MIA), TE Vernon Davis (WAS), TE Austin Hooper (ATL)


TE O.J. Howard, TB – The Bucs offense looked dreadful in Week 8 and Howard caught both his targets for 16 yards. Jameis Winston just doesn’t look 100 percent yet, but maybe he’ll fare better against the Saints in Week 9.

Mohamed Sanu, ATL – Sanu had a solid 6-74-1 on even targets and seems poised for more consistent production now that he’s healthy. He should be owned in all formats.

Marquise Goodwin, SF – Goodwin was questionable heading into Week 8 with ankle and back injuries but was active. Unfortunately, he didn’t catch a pass on three targets and remains a risky play going forward.

Kenny Stills, MIA – Stills hauled in 5-65-0 on 10 targets Thursday night and should hold value as a moderate upside WR3/flex heading into Week 9 at home against Oakland.

UPDATE: The Dolphins may not be done making moves after the Ajayi trade, and reports of them shopping Jarvis Landry means that Stills and Leonte Carroo (mentioned above in the WRs “to consider”) could see increased value. Stills is worth owning in all 12-team leagues and Carroo is on the radar in deeper formats.

Robert Woods, LAR – The Rams were on a bye but Week 9’s matchup with the Giants is a good one for a steady receiver like Woods, as well as rookie Cooper Kupp and the ground game of Todd Gurley.

Deonte Thompson, BUF – Thompson had just one catch for 4 yards on his lone target in Week 8 as the game quickly turned into the LeSean McCoy show.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT – After reports of a possible concussion threw some cold water on Smith-Schuster’s prospects for Week 8, he was cleared to return to action and Martavis Bryant was relegated to inactive status. The rookie took full advantage, hauling in 7-193-1 on 10 targets, including a 97-yard TD reception that won the game for the Steelers. With opposing defenses tasked with defending Antonio Brown and focusing so much energy on stopping Le'Veon Bell, JSS could be in for some more big games after the Week 9 bye.