Week 9 - Top Waiver Wire Pickups

by Nick Ercolano October 30, 2018

Week 9 - Top Waiver Wire Pickups

Week 8 is in the novels, so we're looking at snatching the gold mines off of the waiver wire. Let's get it. This list will only be composed of players owned in 55% or less of Yahoo leagues.

Quarterbacks

1. Derek Carr - Oakland Raiders

- Yahoo Ownership: 26%

After all the nonsense around the Raiders, and Carr and crying, etc. settled down, there was still football that needed to be played. While they lost 42-28 to the Colts, Carr put up one of his best performances of the year, completing 21-of-28 passes for 244 yards and 3 scores, adding a fourth with his legs. At one point he completed 17 passes in a row. Ya mans was hot. Coming off of two unusable fantasy games makes me nervous with Carr, but he has another exploitable matchup in Week 9 at San Francisco (which is essentially a home game) against a defense that's allowed multiple passing touchdowns to three straight QBs and just lost Reuben Foster and Jaqiuski Tartt in Week 8. Carr should be usable in this one.

- Next three matchups: @SF, LAC, @ARZ

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $1-3

2. C.J. Beathard - San Francisco 49ers

- Yahoo Ownership: 6%

On the flip side of this game, we have Beathard whose hot start has sizzled off a bit. But he'll take on a Raiders pass defense who've allowed 20+ FPs to three straight QBs. In the real world, the Raiders are allowing the single highest YPA (9.0) to opposing passers, a 13:4 TD-to-INT ratio and a QB Rating of 106.6, 4th highest in the NFL.

- Next three matchups: OAK, NYG, BYE

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $1-3

3. Ryan Fitzpatrick - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

- Yahoo Ownership: 6%

Fitzmagic byke. After a disgusting 4-game stretch from Winston, he was benched on Sunday in favor of Fitz who almost led a miraculous comeback against Cincy.

If you can't see, Fitz sits atop this list, Winston 31st. Fitz is the top waiver wire add in any 2QB or superflex league if he's available. He'll get a touch matchup on the road in Week 9 in Carolina.

Unfortunately, the Panthers have been two-sided, depending on where they're playing, favoring their home city of course. At home, their defense has allowed just 12.8 FPs/game to QBs with a 5:8 TD:INT ratio, while on the road, they've 21.7 FPs/game. 

It's a tough ask of Fitz to get it done, but given the weapons group around him, the upside is there.

- Next three matchups: @CAR, WAS, @NYG

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $3-6

4. Brock Osweiler - Miami Dolphins

- Yahoo Ownership: 4%

This is for the extreme desperate. The $5 regular cash people desperate. Oh, nvm y'all are not from New Jersey and don't fill up your gas tank. 

Anywho, we're not really sure what's going on with Tannehill and whether or not his return is near. Shockingly, Osweiler has been okay in his absence, especially while playing in Miami, which he'll be doing in Week 9 against a banged up Jets secondary who have allowed QBs to throw multiple TDs in five straight games, averaging 305 passing yards/game over that span.

I'm not excited about it, but he's not the worst stream in Week 9 (assuming Tannehill is out again).

- Next three matchups: NYJ, @GB, BYE

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $0-2 

Running Backs

1. Doug Martin - Oakland Raiders

- Yahoo Ownership: 53%

Ok. So Doug Martin didn't look totally awful on Sunday. He ran for 72 yards on 13 carries (5.53 ypc), adding two catches for 17 yards, but lost a fumble late in the game and couldn't convert either of his GL runs. 

It went pretty much how we figured it out, Martin was the runner, and Richard was the pass-catcher, hauling in a team-high 8-of-8 targets, a 28.5% team target share. Martin out-snapped Richard 28-22. 

I'm not crazy about Martin, and I think most of their game scripts will play to Richard, but the 15 touches which we should probably see weekly for Martin can't be ignored. But this 70-90 total yard, scoreless game might be something we need to get used to,

- Next three matchups: @SF, LAC, @ARZ

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $5-7

2. Peyton Barber - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

- Yahoo Ownership: 46%

Didn't someone tell me it was RoJo breakout week or something? Nah, well RoJo left the game with a hamstring injury. And while you can't predict injuries, you can predict bad play which is the only thing we've gotten from him this year. RoJo's hammy leaves just Barber & Quiz in the backfield.

Barber dominated touches in this one, carrying the ball 19 times for 85 yards and a score. After failing to score in the teams first four games, Barber's found paydirt in two of their last three games and will continue to operate as their lead back. 

His lack of involvement in the passing game definitely warrants concern, as does the matchup in Carolina this week, but you're likely not going to find this type of volume sitting on the waiver wire. He's pretty much a better fantasy version of Doug Martin, in a better offense.

- Next three matchups: @CAR, WAS, @NYG

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $8-13 

3. Ito Smith - Atlanta Falcons

- Yahoo Ownership: 37%

A good example of recency bias and small sample size. After three straight tuddy weeks for Smith, he failed to score in Week 7 for Atlanta and produced just 45 yards. So everyone dropped him. His outlook is exactly the same now as it was prior to Week 6 or Week 7 before you picked him up. So, if you wanted to grab him then, you should still want to.

If you got really excited about him in the first place, that's probably your fault then, because he wasn't doing anything special outside of the tuddys which are volatile WoW. Over their last four games, he's averaged 31 total yards and nine touches. You are banking on a score with Smith. But he's also a handcuff to Coleman. 

- Next three matchups: @WAS, @CLE, DAL

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $1-3

4. Elijah McGuire - New York Jets

- Yahoo Ownership: 6%

With Powell out for the year and McGuire eligible to return in Week 9, he should resume a prominent role assuming he is in fact fully healthy which reports would indicate so. McGuire will probably take over the pass-catching role in this offense, which can be valuable in fantasy. My concern with this backfield, as is the concern with like 50% of NFL backfields in fantasy is that it's nearly impossible to know which back to start on a weekly basis. If it's not a top-tier backfield like the Patriots, or the Saints, they won't have enough firepower to have multiple running backs score a ton of fantasy points. He's a good add in PPR leagues for the 2H of the year. 

- Next three matchups: @MIA, BUF, BYE

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $2-3

5. Josh Adams - Philadelphia Eagles

- Yahoo Ownership: 1%

The same thing with this backfield, Adams certainly looked like the best running back in Philadelphia (in Jacksonville), but this is, and always will be a RBBC in Philadelphia. Adams does deserve more run after his 9-61 (6.7 ypc) Sunday & given Clement and Smallwood have done shit to secure a heavy workload, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. He's someone you can stash if desperate to wait and see what happens with this backfield. They also have their bye this week, which gives Sproles another two week to work his way back from the worst hamstring injury in the history of hamstring injuries.

- Next three matchups: BYE, DAL, @NO

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $1-3

Wide Receivers

There are three guys you can roster that will get big boosts depending on trade rumors currently going around: Chris Godwin (53%), Courtland Sutton (10%) and Kendrick Bourne (SF - 0%). If D-Jax, Demaryius Thomas or Pierre Garcon get moved, these guys get a big bump.

1. Tre'Quan Smith - New Orleans Saints

- Yahoo Ownership: 31%

Smith did almost nothing in this one, but Drew Bress threw for 120 yards. And Smith's four targets on just 22 passes quietly might be seen as a good thing - over 18% target share. We're not gonna see a game like this out of Brees again. Smith is clearly the WR2 here still, far ahead of Meredith. He has much better days ahead.

- Next three matchups: LAR, @CIN, PHI

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $3-5

2. Christian Kirk - Arizona Cardinals

- Yahoo Ownership: 30%

With new OC Byron Leftwich making his debut, he promised to get Fitzgerald more involved going forward and he did just that, finishing with 102 yards and a score on a team-high 12 targets. It was easily his best game of the year. But Kirk was quietly good as well, and has been for the last month since Rosen took over.

The rookie caught 3-of-7 targets for 42 yards and the game-winning touchdown in the 4th quarter. Its the third straight game with seven targets for the rookie.

What might be more encouraging is Rosen's 40 passing attempts, which is a season/career high. McCoy may be looking to open up the offense more going forward. After their Week 9 bye, they have too favorable matchups at Arrowhead and home versus Oakland.

- Next three matchups: BYE, @KC, OAK

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $5-7

3. Keke Coutee - Houston Texans

- Yahoo Ownership: 20%

With Fuller out for the rest of the year with the torn ACL, Coutee is a must-add in all leagues. He instantly becomes the second weapon behind D-Hop for a Deshaun Watson who is getting healthier and looking better in each passing week.

Coutee himself is returning from a hamstring injury that cost him last week's game, and he has a really tough matchup against Denver's Chris Harris in Week 9 before their Week 10 bye, so as a fantasy owner I'd rather them sit him in Week 9.

He's the #1 add and you can spend sizable amounts on him if you need WR help.

- Next three matchups: @DEN, BYE, @WAS

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes

- FAAB Spend: $12-20

4. D.J. Moore - Carolina Panthers

- Yahoo Ownership: 15%

The Panthers first-round rookie out of Maryland, D.J. Moore, finally had his breakout performance in Week 8 against a tough Baltimore secondary, catching 5 passes and going for 129 total yards. Following Carolina's Week 4 bye, Moore has become more and more involved in Cam's offense. He saw a total of four targets in their first three games and following Sunday's game, he's seen at least 4 targets in every game since their bye, averaging 5/game, and has double-digit PPR FPs in 3-of-those-4 games.

His usage was bumped up with Torrey Smith sidelined. Smith didn't practice at all last week so his Week 9 status is definitely in jeapordy. If Smith sits again, Moore will be coming off of a season-high 71% snap share with a slate of games looking juicier than some five guys burgers. The Tampa Bay defense is putting on a clinic on how not to play defense. Moore will be a WR3 with upside in Week 9.

- Next three matchups: TB, @PIT, @DET

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $2-3

5. DeVante Parker - Miami Dolphins

- Yahoo Ownership: 13%

Oh he byke. Parker set a new career-high on TNF with 134 receiving yards, catching 6-of-9 targets, giving him a healthy 24.3% target share in this one. This was almost entirely due to the WR group in Miami being ded. Kenny Stills is sidelined with a groin injury and Albert Wilson was placed on I.R., leaving Parker to battle for targets with the uninspiring, bite-sized Danny Amendola and Jakeem Grant. Prior to this, Parker has missed almost all of the team's games, with a mix of injuries and healthy scratches. They need someone on the outside and Parker is it chief. Maybe it was the talk of his agent criticizing Adam Gase, or Parker not seeing any playing time, but he came out ballin' in this one.

Stills was quickly ruled out for TNF, and his status for Week 10 is up in the air. If he sits again, Parker will be in a great matchup against a banged-up Jets secondary. Parker will be a WR3 with upside in Week 9.

- Next three matchups: NYJ, @GB, BYE

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $2-3

6. Anthony Miller - Chicago Bears

- Yahoo Ownership: 9%

With Allen Robinson sidelined, fantasy owners were expecting a big game out of fraud Gabriel, Taylor Fraudbiel, but the gawd Anthony Miller was the one that showed up on Sunday. Miller led the team in targets with 7, which gives him 7 in back-to-back games. 

Miller ran 63% of his snaps from the slot on Sunday, and was targeted on nearly 32% of his routes from the slot. 

The problem this year has not been Miller, it's been Trubisky, throwing the ball. Miller should have another 3 touchdowns on the year had it not been for awful overthrows. Trubisky's been a great fantasy QB, similar to Bortles over the recent years, but ranks 32nd in adjusted completion & per PFF and has PFF's 33rd worst QB passing grade, ahead of only Tannehill, Josh Allen and Tyrod Taylor.

If Allen Robinson misses Week 9, I like Miller as a sneaky play here against the Bills, where Tre'Davious White will likely stick to Taylor Gabriel who has been running his routes almost entirely on the outside.

- Next three matchups: @BUF, DET, MIN

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $2-3

7. David Moore - Seattle Seahawks

- Yahoo Ownership: 3%

Ok, so David Moore. Who is David Moore? He's a second-year, 7th round pick ut of East Central University, and he's been making some real noise out in Seattle.David Moore Seahawks

On Sunday, Moore caught all four of his targets for 97 yards and a touchdown. This is his third straight week scoring a tuddy, making this 4 tuds over their last three games. Coming off their bye, he played on 45 snaps which was just four fewer than Tyler Lockett and nine fewer than Doug Baldwin. Over the last three weeks he leads Seattle WRs in yards & TDs, is tied with Baldwin in receptions with one fewer target, has a higher aDOT (19.5) then Lockett, and is averaging 20.2 YPR 8th in the NFL (> 10 targets), with the 10th highest YPRR in the NFL during that span.

He's converted all three of his RZ targets into touchdowns this year and with Russell Wilson heating up, Moore's ROS outlook is on the rise. 

- Next three matchups: LAC, @LAR, GB

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $0-3

Tight Ends

1. Vance McDonald - Pittsburgh Steelers

- Yahoo Ownership: 48%

McDonald didn't have a great day on Sunday, but it wasn't awful, catching 3-of-3 passes for 47 yards. I think that's a floor he gives you. The Steelers travel to Baltimore in Week 9 to take on the Ravens defense who have a weak spot at defending the TE, at least over recent weeks. Olsen just went 4-56-1, Saints TEs went 8-88-1 last week and Njoku and the Browns TEs went 7-95 in Week 5. After the Ravens McDonald gets Carolina who have given up the 2nd most FPs to the TE position on the year.

 - Next three matchups: @BAL, CAR, @JAX

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $5-8

2. Jack Doyle - Indianapolis Colts

- Yahoo Ownership: 25%

Ohhh he so byke baby. After missing Weeks 3-7 with a hammy injury, Doyle came back with a vengeance in Week 8, finishing as fantasy's TE4 on the week, catching 6-of-7 targets for 70 yards and a touchdown.

This is it right here mane. Doyle IS the TE in Indy. Yes Ebron will still be used in the RZ and has weekly TD upside, but that's about it.

Given how hot Luck and this offense have been, Doyle absolutely has top 5 fantasy TE upside for the 2H of the year

- Next three matchups: BYE, JAX, TEN

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes

- FAAB Spend: $10-15

D/ST

Try to look for:

1. Favorites (most important),

2. Playing at home

3. With a low over/under total.

1. Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans

- Yahoo Ownership: 53%

- Point Spread: -2.5

- Over/Under: 46

2. Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Bucs

- Yahoo Ownership: 45%

- Point Spread: -6.5

- Over/Under: 54

3. Dallas Cowboys vs. Tennessee Titans

- Yahoo Ownership: 12%

- Point Spread: -6.5

- Over/Under: 41

4. Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets

- Yahoo Ownership: 11%

- Point Spread: -3

- Over/Under: 45.5



Nick Ercolano
Nick Ercolano

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