Week 9 Waiver Wire


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Week 9 Waiver Wire

Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Our favorite players are broken down in Top Targets and the best secondary options are in our Going Deeper sections. We’ll also list any players at the top of each position who are above the 50% threshold — or are household names — and are still widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.

Be sure to check out our weekly Waiver Wire podcast for more analysis. We’ll also have Streaming articles every Tuesday that focuses on the top quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses for the upcoming week(s).

Note: The initial Waiver Wire article writeup will be posted every Monday evening, followed by in-depth updates Tuesday, and continued additions/updates Wednesday.

Teams on Bye in Week 9

Detroit Lions

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Hansen’s Top-15 Options

Note: For these rankings, John Hansen leans on players who are available in at least 40% of Yahoo leagues and who also saw a favorable development for their fantasy values last week. Some players are better long-term picks up, and some are better for just this week or the short term.

  1. Taysom Hill (NO, 2%) — He should be the guy when ready, and he’s practicing this week.
  2. Adrian Peterson (Ten, 3%) — Best bet to take over most of Henry’s touches.
  3. Boston Scott (Phi, 19%) — Value is week-to-week, but he will have chances at least the next two games with Miles Sanders on IR.
  4. Darnell Mooney (Chi, 45%) — The clear #1 receiver for Justin Fields, who showed signs of life in Week 8.
  5. Pat Freiermuth (Pit, 6%) — Future star, and could be a TE1 the rest of the way.
  6. Bryan Edwards (LV, 13%) — His role is about to grow, and he’s talented.
  7. Jeremy McNichols (Ten, 8%) — Decent chance to get 7-10 PPR points most weeks now.
  8. Elijah Moore (NYJ, 16%) — Signs of life in Week 8 and upside in the second half for this future stud.
  9. Jamal Agnew (Jax, 2%) — Plenty of targets now weekly in the slot.
  10. Jaret Patterson (Was, 2%) — Needs to be added with Antonio Gibson having problems with his shin injury.
  11. Van Jefferson (LAR, 12%) — Large role is clearly there for him now.
  12. DeVante Parker (Mia, 36%) — He’s the clear #1.
  13. Rex Burkhead (Hou, 0%) — Should clearly have a chance to produce, for now.
  14. Dan Arnold (Jax, 4%) — Nice game in Week 8, clicks with Lawrence.
  15. Tyrod Taylor (Hou, 6%) — He should be the starter this week, and he will run and produce 15-20 FPG.


Higher-owned Options

Derek Carr (LV, 63%), Carson Wentz (Ind, 56%)

Top Targets

Taysom Hill (NO, 2%) — Jameis Winston suffered a torn ACL in Week 8 against the Buccaneers, and the injury will end his 2021 season. Taysom is currently on the shelf and missing games since he suffered a concussion in Week 5, so Trevor Siemian guided the Saints home with 159/1 passing in their victory. Siemian is a possibility for Week 9, but when it comes to the Saints QB, it’s Hill or bust. Mike Florio reported on “Football Night in America” that Taysom is expected to clear the concussion protocol this week, and we have to expect that Taysom will lead the offense once he’s healthy enough to play, which could come as soon as this week against Atlanta. Taysom showed last season that he has top-12 potential when he served as the team’s starter for four games. The Saints posted a 3-1 record in Hill’s starts and he averaged 7.3 YPA and he completed 72% of his passes. He also added 209/4 rushing and his production on the ground propelled him to a QB7 finish in Weeks 11-14 with 22.3 FPG. Even if Hill can’t get clearance to play this week, he’s still a priority WW grab for the rest of the season because of his rushing upside. Hill did return to practice on 11/3, so he’s expected to be available. Next step is for him to be named the starter, which would likely happen late in the week. UPDATED: 11/3

Going Deeper

Tua Tagovailoa (Mia, 36%) — Tua will be the starting quarterback moving forward with the Dolphins not following through on a deal with Deshaun Watson in 2021. Tua posted two strong fantasy performances in Weeks 6-7 in his first two games back from rib injury, but he stumbled in a tough matchup against the Bills in Week 8. He completed 21/39 passes for 205 yards (5.3 YPA) and one INT and he added 4/10/1 rushing for 16.2 FP. The Dolphins have a non-existent running game, which has forced Tua to average 42.0 attempts per game in his last three contests. His receiving corps is also finally starting to take shape with DeVante Parker returning to the lineup in Week 8 and with Will Fuller potentially returning in the near future (but not likely in Week 9). Tua could settle in as a high-end QB2 option with some beatable matchups (Hou, Bal, @NYJ, Car) looming in the future. UPDATED: 11/2

Daniel Jones (NYG, 28%) — Jones was rolling to open his third season with 22+ FP in three of his first four starts, but his progress was halted by a nasty collision at the goal line against the Cowboys in Week 5. He’s fallen below 18 FP in four straight games, and he’s been crushed by injuries to his top WRs. He completed 22/32 passes for 222 yards and 2 TDs while adding 5/12 rushing. Jones is still a volatile low-end QB2 with some beatable matchups looming over the next four weeks (LV, bye, @TB, vs. Phi, at Mia), but expectations need to be lowered if his best playmakers continue to miss time. Sterling Shepard got hurt again in Week 8, but Kadarius Toney at least played (he suffered a wrist injury, but seems okay and should play Week 8), and Jones has played well overall. Also, Evan Engram was not traded and remains on the team. Once they get LT Andrew Thomas back, as long as he has 3-4 viable receivers, Jones definitely has a chance to producem, especially if he has that Saquon Barkley guy. UPDATED: 11/3

Trevor Lawrence (Jax, 45%) — The first overall pick from last spring’s draft was a popular player to drop during Jacksonville’s bye, but he’s a player to scoop up if you’re looking for some upside later in the season. Our Greg Cosell has been raving about the rookie’s recent play, but he took a step back in Week 8 with his top weapon, James Robinson, leaving early. He completed 32/54 passes for 238 yards (4.4 YPA), one TD, and one INT against the Seahawks, and he added just 3/11 rushing. In his defense, Seattle’s defense has changed things up and has improved dramatically over the past month, and we didn’t expect much from Lawrence in Seattle. Lawrence has topped 18+ FP just once in his last six games, and he’ll be just a mid-QB2 option this week against Buffalo. But after that, his schedule is pretty nice the next three weeks @Ind, vs. SF, and vs. Atl.

Justin Fields (Chi, 22%) — The Bears are sticking with Fields as their starter, and he had his best fantasy performance (26.3 FP) in Week 8 with HC Matt Nagy (COVID) away from the team. Fields looked like a different player in Week 8 while completing 19/27 passes for 175 yards (6.5 YPA), one TD, and one INT against the 49ers. Most importantly, he was aggressive as a runner and he posted a season-best 10/103/1 rushing. Fields is a limited passer at this stage of his career, but he’s finally starting to run some to boost his fantasy value, so he may be starting to turn a corner. Fields is still more of a high-upside bench stash than a fantasy starter at this point but that could change in the near future (@Pit, bye, Bal, @Det). They did not trade Allen Robinson, which will help Fields’ chances the rest of the way. UPDATED: 11/2

Tyrod Taylor (Hou, 6%) — HC David Culley has said that Tyrod is the team’s starting quarterback as soon as he’s healthy enough to return to action, and Taylor returned to practice last week before Week 8. Rookie Davis Mills has been horrendous outside of his 300-yard performance against the Patriots, so the Texans will go back to Tyrod when he’s completely healthy and ready, which looks like this week. Taylor played well before his injury, totaling 40.1 FP in just six quarters of action, and he should be stashed in Superflex/two-QB formats just in case he plays this week against the Dolphins before their Week 10 bye.

Teddy Bridgewater (Den, 30%) — Denver’s once-promising season has veered in the wrong direction after a 3-0 start, and Teddy’s fantasy production has also disappeared. He completed 19/26 passes for 213 yards (8.2 YPA) and one touchdown in a victory over Washington in Week 8. Denver’s defense has become more vulnerable in recent weeks, which could force Teddy to throw it a little more with competitive matchups (@Dal, Phi, bye, LAC) coming up over the next month. Bridgewater also got his boy Jerry Jeudy back in Week 8, which gives Teddy more hope for fantasy production in the future. There’s no shortage of weapons here, that’s for sure.

Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 10%) ​​— He’s coming off his best game of the season in Week 8, completing 17/28 passes for 322 yards (11.5 YPA) and he did his best Trey Lance impression with a pair of rushing touchdowns against the Bears. Garoppolo likely bought himself at least another start or two with pivotal divisional matchups looming against the Cardinals and Rams over the next two weeks. The 49ers should also be getting George Kittle back soon, likely as soon as Week 9. Lance is still a very good QB stash for later in the season, but the production is Jimmy G’s for now. UPDATED: 11/3

Mac Jones (NE, 28%) — Jones continues to play like a 5-year veteran, and the passing game has been more aggressive as of late. He’s played very well on film, and it finally translated into some fantasy success with his first 300-yard passing game in Week 7. He came back to earth in a victory over the Chargers in Week 8, completing 18/35 passes for 218 scoreless yards (6.3 YPA) for 11.7 FP, but the LAC defense is a tough matchup this year. Jones doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of rushing production, but his schedule isn’t overly difficult (@Car, Cle, @Atl, Ten) and he’s thrown for two TDs in three of his last five games. He’s still a low-end QB2 but he’s starting to move in the right direction.

Baker Mayfield (Cle, 35%) — Mayfield is playing through a fracture in his non-throwing shoulder in addition to his torn labrum and, to make matters worse, he’s getting little help from his wide receivers most weeks. He completed 20/31 passes for 225 scoreless yards (7.3 YPA) in Cleveland’s ugly 15-10 loss against the Steelers in Week 8. Mayfield has turned into a desperation option in Superflex/two-QB formats (@Cin, @NE, Det, @Bal), and he’s not guaranteed to make through every start moving forward so he’s got an ugly floor. However, unlike most of the low-end guys on this list, Baker actually has a chance to heal up, get hot, and start producing. But he won’t likely be working again with Odell Beckham, not that that’s a tragedy. UPDATED: 11/3

Trey Lance (SF, 34%) — It’s pretty clear the 49ers have had enough of Jimmy Garoppolo, and it could be Lance’s time if the 49ers lose to the Cardinals and Rams over the next two weeks. Lance did struggle in his first and only start against the Cardinals in Week 5, completing 15/29 passes for 192 yards and one INT. He did add 16/89 rushing, so his 15.6 FP wasn’t too bad. Lance should be viewed as a potential top-12 option when he starts because of his rushing upside, and he should be able to show improvement in the passing game as he plays. If you’re not secure with your QB1, Lance is a player to stash for the stretch run.

Mike White (NYJ, 1%) — Zach Wilson suffered a knee injury in an embarrassing Week 7 loss to the Patriots, leaving White to take over at quarterback. Wilson will miss the next couple of weeks and the organization was concerned enough about him to trade for Joe Flacco last week. It turns out that White was the spark this offense needed all along! He completed 37/45 passes for 405 yards (9.0 YPA), three touchdowns, and two INTs in their stunning victory over the Bengals in Week 8. White will likely start for at least the next two weeks (@Ind, Buf) until Wilson is cleared to play again, and he already showed he has a higher ceiling than some of the other low-end QB2s that are currently out there. Wilson is ruled out for Week 8. UPDATED: 11/3

Sam Darnold (Car, 34%) and P.J. Walker (Car, 0%) — Darnold has been trending in the wrong direction for the last month as he hasn’t averaged more than 5.4 YPA in each of his last four games. He completed 13/24 passes for 129 scoreless yards (5.4 YPA) and he added 8/66 rushing against the Falcons, and he left midway through the fourth quarter with a concussion after taking a big hit on a scramble near the goal line. He’ll be in a race to pass through concussion protocol to play against the Patriots this week, and Walker would get the start if Darnold is unable to play. Walker posted 258/1 passing with negative rushing production in his lone start for the Panthers last season.

Taylor Heinicke (Was, 14%) — After posting 21+ FP in his first three starts for Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip, IR), Heinicke has come crashing back to earth with fewer than 14 FP in three of his last four games. He completed 24/39 passes for 270 yards (6.9 YPA), one TD, and two INTs in Week 8, and he added just 1/10 rushing against the Broncos. Fitz was still on crutches last week and his return doesn’t appear imminent, so Heinie could find himself leading the offense for the foreseeable future. (bye, TB, @Car, Sea). He’s at least the locked-in starter for Week 10.

Ben Roethlisberger (Pit, 21%) — Big Ben’s career is clearly on its last legs, and he’s yet to reach 18+ FP in each of his first seven games. His play has ever so slightly improved in recent weeks, as he completed 22/34 passes for 266 yards (7.8 YPA) and one TD in a victory over the Browns in Week 8. Big Ben will be a desperation play only in Superflex/two-QB leagues moving forward (Chi, Det, @Jax, @Cin).

Jared Goff (Det, 9%) — Goff now owns an 0-15 record without Sean McVay as his head coach, and he’s failed to reach 20+ FP in six straight games after doing it twice to open the season. He completed 25/34 passes for 222 scoreless yards (6.5 YPA) in an embarrassing loss to the Eagles in Week 8. Goff doesn’t make the players around him better and he’s currently working with the worst wide receivers in the league, so it’s not surprising he’s come crashing back to earth since the start of the season. He can only be considered as a desperation option in Superflex/two-QB formats in the upcoming weeks (bye, @Pit, @Cle) after their Week 9 bye.

Running Backs

Higher-owned Options

A.J. Dillon (GB, 63%), Kenyan Drake (LV, 63%), J.D. McKissic (Was, 57%), Jamaal Williams (Det, 58%), Alex Collins (Sea, 58%), Alexander Mattison (Min, 52%), David Johnson (Hou, 50%)

Top Targets

Adrian Peterson (Ten, 3%) — He’s back. And now is not the time to write AD off because he landed in the best possible situation for a free agent signed off his couch. Granted, Peterson’s not just any FA. He’s an all-time great who last year passed the proverbial eyeball test while averaging a decent 3.9 YPC on 156 carries with 7 rushing TDs for the hapless Lions. He did at times play over D’Andre Swift and it was warranted. The Titans have Jeremy McNichols to operate as the passing-down and receiving back, and while they liked UFA Mekhi Sargent, he was released on 11/2 to make room for another veteran in D'Onta Foreman, who is not someone to worry about for Peterson as of now. We’re told Peterson’s workout was very good, so we expect 10+ carries from him immediately, as in Week 9. If things go relatively well, AP should be in a position to collect 15-20 carries a game quickly. He could easily average 70-80 total yards and a TD per game. UPDATED: 11/2

Boston Scott (Phi, 19%) and Jordan Howard (Phi, 2%) — Scott played just four offensive snaps with no carries through the first six weeks of the season, but he’s now the top back in Philadelphia while Miles Sanders (ankle, IR) is out of the lineup. Kenneth Gainwell had operated as the #2 RB behind Sanders but instead of moving up the depth chart with Sanders out, he moved down the depth chart behind Howard. Scott led the backfield with 12/60/2 rushing on a 45% snap share while Howard posted 12/57/2 rushing on a 25% share in Week 8. Gainwell actually finished with the most carries (13/27 rushing) on a 31% snap share, but most of his work came in garbage time in their blowout victory — he had just one carry at halftime. The Eagles did play in an extremely positive gamescript in their blowout victory over the Lions, and Gainwell is likely still Philly’s receiving back. Scott is the top fantasy option while Sanders is out of the lineup, but HC Nick Sirianni has been all over the map with his running back usage so far this season. Keep your expectations in check with any of these backs since this could devolve into an ugly committee while Sanders is out for at least the next two weeks. Despite their similar numbers, Scott is the better option than Howard.

Jaret Patterson (Was, 2%) — Antonio Gibson is playing through a stress fracture in his shin, but he did more work leading up to Week 8, which prompted some optimism. Unfortunately, he was limited to only 33% of the snaps in a close game. If the WTF decides to shut Gibson, then Patterson, a UDFA out of Buffalo, would take over as the team’s lead runner if Gibson is forced to miss time with J.D. McKissic working in passing situations while getting more opportunities as a runner. The rookie had just nine carries entering Week 8, but he left Denver 11/46 rushing on a season-best 23% snap share. Washington is sitting at just two wins entering its Week 9 bye, and it wouldn’t be shocking if they pull the plug on the season before Washington takes the field again in Week 10.

Jeremy McNichols (Ten, 8%) — With all that said above about Adrian Peterson, MicNichols has a chance to hold solid standalone value now as the primary receiving back but also as a guy whose snaps are on the rise in the immediate future, what with Peterson just joining the team. He may not be reliable if you’re counting on 10+ FPG but he should be in the 7-10 range most weeks with 15+ point potential if he scores. UPDATED: 11/2

Jeff Wilson (SF, 16%) and JaMycal Hasty (SF, 3%) — Wilson will return to practice this week, which is a week or two earlier than generally expected. That now opens up the 21-day window in which they will need to activate him or end his season. Coincidentally, HC Kyle Shanahan said on 11/1 that Elijah Mitchell (ribs) will be limited this week. That’s an injury he picked up in Week 8. Wilson is definitely worth a grab and a stash after a strong showing in 2020. Wilson was the Niners’ most efficient and effective runner, averaging 3.0 yards after contact and a 46% success rate on his carries per SIS. Hasty has been operating as their pass catching back, played 34% of the snaps in Week 8 with 3 carries and 2/29 receiving on 2 targets. If Wilson doesn’t return for Week 9 (likely), Hasty could get a boost depending on the severity of Mitchell’s injury. Mitchell was out of practice early in the week, so stay tuned. UPDATED: 11/3

Going Deeper

Ty Johnson (NYJ, 4%) — The Jets have been rolling with Michael Carter and Johnson in their backfield in their first two games out of their Week 6 bye. Playing with RB-friendly Mike White, Johnson finished with 5/71/1 receiving on six targets and 4/15 rushing on a 29% snap share in their stunning victory over the Bengals in Week 8. Johnson is worth an add if the Jets are going to roll with just a two-man backfield moving forward, and it appears that these RBs are going to be more involved in the passing game while Mike White or Joe Flacco is the starting quarterback. Carter has been great, but he can’t handle all of this backfield’s touches, and Tevin Coleman is out of the mix.

Rex Burkhead (Hou, 0%) and Scottie Phillips (Hou, 0%) and Phillip Lindsay (Hou, 16%) — The Texans traded Mark Ingram to New Orleans before Week 8, and there’s a chance they could move David Johnson, as well, which would leave these guys as the top options in this awful offense. In Week 8, Burkhead handled 49% of the snaps with eight opportunities while Phillips played 25% of the snaps with 5/11 rushing and 2/9 receiving on 3 targets. Lindsay played only 13% of the snaps with 3 carries. The offense could have a little more juice in the future if Tyrod Taylor takes back his job from rookie Davis Mills, but regularly playing Texans’ RBs has been a losing proposition for fantasy this season. Phillips is the youngster they may want to evaluate, giving him some upside, while Burkhead is a quality veteran who can produce with touches. We don’t know what Lindsay is, but we know he’s a Texan still after the trade deadline came and went. Burkhead did pop up on the injury report ahead of Week 8, keep in mind. UPDATED: 11/3

Mark Ingram (NO, 37%) — The once-dynamic duo of Ingram and Alvin Kamara is back together after a two-season hiatus. The Saints swung a deal with the Texans to bring Ingram, and they promptly signed him to a one-year, $2.8 million contract extension to keep him around through 2022. It’s a strong indication that the Saints have plans to use him as an early-down complement next to the still-dominant Kamara. Ingram managed 6/27 rushing and 2/25 receiving on 29% of the snaps in a victory over the Buccaneers in Week 8. Ingram is at least a good handcuff for Kamara, and he could carve out some standalone value in the future, especially if he can get carries at the goal line.

Derrick Gore (KC, 0%) — The UDFA out of Louisiana-Monroe was activated off the practice squad 10 days ago and got his first carry in 2021 on Monday night against the Giants. He actually had 11 carries for 48 yards with a TD run from inside the 10 on 20% of the snaps. He looked quite good, showing some juice and natural power, so with Clyde Edwards-Helaire out at least one more week, Gore is on the radar. If CEH is out for multiple games still, it would not be a shock if Gore collected more carries than Darrel Williams. Williams, of course, would still be in the mix in the running game and their clear top receiving back. UPDATED: 11/2

{Devonta Freeman (Bal, 22%) and Latavius Murray (Bal, 40%) — It’s not saying much but Freeman has looked the best out of Baltimore’s decrepit stable of running backs over Murray and Le’Veon Bell. He led the backfield in production for two straight weeks heading into their Week 8 bye after posting 4/14/1 rushing and 3/25 receiving on 40% of the snaps with Murray (ankle) out of the lineup in Week 7. Bell (30% of the snaps) has played miserably this season and he needs to be phased out of the backfield over the bye, and Ty’Son Williams is lurking — he played 29% of the snaps in Week 7 — if they do phase out one of these older backs. The Ravens did not make a deal on Tuesday's trade deadline, so these guys are all in the mix here. UPDATED: 11/2

Rhamondre Stevenson (NE, 8%), and Brandon Bolden (NE, 14%) — Good luck navigating this backfield behind Damien Harris. The rookie Stevenson climbed out of Bill Belichick’s doghouse this week and he posted 8/25 rushing and 1/5 receiving on two targets against the Chargers. Bolden finished with 4/26 rushing and he didn’t have a target after posting six catches in Week 7 — J.J. Taylor was a healthy scratch. Stevenson is still the best stash option behind Harris, but he doesn’t have the full trust of Belichick so he can’t go near a lineup right now. Bolden and Taylor have pulses in the deepest formats but you won’t know if you can use any of these backs until inactives come out 90 minutes before the start of New England games. At the very least, the Pats have announced Stevenson as inactive in two of their last four games, but when he’s active, he plays.

Carlos Hyde (Jax, 6%) — Hyde has been a distant second to James Robinson in Jacksonville’s backfield after Travis Etienne’s season-ending foot injury in August, but he’ll be thrust into a bigger role if J-Rob misses time for the heel injury that knocked him out in Week 8. The injury isn’t believed to be serious, but Robinson is still day-to-day, at best, heading into Week 9. Hyde did little as a runner with 9/32 rushing against the Seahawks, but he helped out a struggling Trevor Lawrence with 6/40 receiving on eight targets. Hyde played on 74% of the snaps after Robinson left for good while Dare Ogunbowale saw just three touches and 23% of the snaps. Hyde is no longer dynamic at 31 years old, but he has a path to RB2 production with the chance for 15+ touches for as long as Robinson is out of the lineup. Hyde is also a little dinged up and missed practice on 11/3, but he does seem to be closer to playing than Robinson. UPDATED: 11/3

Jermar Jefferson (Det, 0%) — The rookie has been an intriguing prospect since the summer, when he flashed in their preseason games. With Jamaal Williams out in Week 8, Jefferson finally got a chance. He played only 11 snaps (18%), but he had two carries for 6 yards and a TD and also had four targets and 4/23 receiving. Jefferson might even be worth starting if D’Andre Swift is out, but he showed with Williams out that he has a chance if either of the top-2 RBs are out. Late in the season, they may be interested in playing him more to evaluate him. He’s got a lot of juice, plus he can handle volume, so he’s intriguing.

Rashad Penny (Sea, 20%) — Penny has yet to run for double-digit yardage in each of his first three games with a combined 15 carries for 24 yards for 1.6 YPC, but he’s still on this list because of Chris Carson’s uncertain status the rest of the season with his neck injury. Penny is just a stash-and-hope guy, and you’re hoping for a lot of things to go his way., but things do look dire with Carson. Penny is running out of chances in Seattle and we’ll see if he looks any better once the Seahawks return to action after their Week 9 bye.

Best Handcuff Stashes

Sony Michel (LAR, 35%) — Darrell Henderson is being used as a workhorse back most weeks, leaving Michel as a bench stash. He has RB1 upside with the potential for 20+ touches in any game that Henderson would miss in the future.

Samaje Perine (Cin, 24%) — Perine is the primary handcuff for Joe Mixon, who already had an injury scare this season when he went down with an ankle injury. He’s also seeing some time playing behind Mixon on a weekly basis but it’s not quite enough to be fantasy relevant.

Marlon Mack (Ind, 30%) — Mack is still the Colt with the trade deadline passed, so he’s nothing more than a decent handcuff for Jonathan Taylor. He’s not really a must-have due to the presence of Nyheim Hines, but Mack would certainly be in line for 10+ touches if JT is out. UPDATED: 11/2

Wayne Gallman (Atl, 0%) — The Falcons are currently wasting weekly touches on Mike Davis, who is averaging a horrific 3.2 YPC through six games. There’s been no indication a change is coming soon, but HC Arthur Smith could give Gallman a chance to be the lead runner at some point in the near future if Davis doesn’t start performing better. Davis could also be traded.

Peyton Barber (LV, 2%) — Barber is likely the top runner in Las Vegas if Josh Jacobs misses more time this season. Barber went off for 142/2 scrimmage back in Week 3 against the Dolphins when Jacobs sat out with foot/ankle injuries. This is a different regime running the show in Las Vegas now, and they don’t hate the (Kenyan) Drake like Jon Gruden did, so Barber shouldn’t be expected to average 19.5 touches per game as he did in Weeks 2-3 with Jacobs out.

JaMycal Hasty (SF, 2%) — The 49ers are still targeting a late November return for Jeff Wilson (meniscus, PUP) and HC Kyle Shanahan said nothing has changed in terms of his timeline. Elijah Mitchell has earned the lead runner role with Hasty playing in passing situations behind him, but it’s not a bad idea to stash Hasty just in case he vaults to the top of the depth chart at some point over the next couple of weeks. Mitchell was out of practice early in the week, so stay tuned there. UPDATED: 11/3

Anthony McFarland (Pit, 0%) — It would likely be a committee in Pittsburgh if Najee Harris missed time with Benny Snell, Kalen Ballage, and McFarland. Ballage may have the most upside, but McFarland was actually drafted by the Steelers last year, and they were planning on him having a role. He’s got great speed and some receiving chops.

Wide Receivers

Higher-owned Options

Kadarius Toney (NYG, 54%), Henry Ruggs (LV, 59%), Christian Kirk (Ari, 64%), Michael Gallup (Dal, 45%), AJ Green (Ari, 57%), Kenny Golladay (NYG, 56%), Sterling Shepard (NYG, 53%), Laviska Shenault (Jax, 58%), Hunter Renfrow (LV, 45%), Cole Beasley (Buf, 60%), Darnell Mooney (Chi, 45%), Mecole Hardman (KC, 48%), Brandon Aiyuk (SF, 53%)

Top Targets

Darnell Mooney (Chi, 45%) — Still available in more than 50% of Yahoo! Leagues, and with a 26% target share on the season, it’s obvious Mooney is the #1 WR in Chicago, and Justin Fields showed serious signs of life in Week 8. With some solid matchups starting Week 11 (vs. Bal, at Det. vs. Ari, at GB, vs. Min, at Sea, and vs. NYG, Mooney may be a surprise producer.

DeVante Parker (Mia, 36%) and Will Fuller (Mia, 29%) — Parker and Fuller have been complete buzzkills this season, but Parker finally returned to action off of his hamstring injury after a three-week layoff. He finished with a team-best 8/85 receiving on 11 targets (28% share) against the Bills in Week 8, which gives him 4+ catches and 7+ targets in each of his five games this season. HC Brian Flores said last week that Fuller (hand, IR) is making progress from the broken finger he suffered in Week 4, so he’s likely to return in the near future. Tua Tagovailoa is averaging a healthy 42.0 pass attempts per game in his first three games back from his rib injury, and there will be some chances for fantasy production against a lowly Texans’ defense this week.

Going Deeper

Bryan Edwards (LV, 12%) — Given the unfortunate tragedy surrounding teammate Henry Ruggs, it’s safe to say Edwards’ role is about to grow. He’s been volatile this year, typically invisible early in their games and flashing in them late. But they are very high on Edwards, and he has the talent to settle in as a consistent PPR producer in the 12-14-point range if his targets increase even slightly, which they will.

Rashod Bateman (Bal, 30%) — Bateman, a first-round pick in the spring, saw his first NFL action in Week 6, and he’s immediately jumped into the #2 WR role with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) out of the lineup. He posted 3/80 receiving on six targets against the Bengals in Week 7 (63% of the snaps, second on the team at WR), which gives him six targets in each of his first two games. Bateman will slot into the #3 receiver role behind established ballers Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown, but the Ravens are morphing into more of a passing team than we’ve ever seen with Lamar at quarterback. We’ll see how the Ravens plan to deploy these WRs with Watkins potentially returning to the lineup this week, but Bateman should have a chance to get 10+ PPR points every week with upside for more.

{Jamal Agnew|WR|JAX}} (Jax, 2%) — Agnew has quietly snuck into fantasy relevance as Jacksonville’s new slot WR with double-digit FP in three straight games since the Jaguars lost D.J. Chark (ankle, IR) for the season. He posted 6/38/1 receiving on a team-high 12 targets (22% share), and he scored the team’s lone touchdown from nine yards away. Agnew now has 5+ catches in three straight games, and he should stay active most weeks with the Jaguars constantly playing from behind.

Van Jefferson (LAR, 12%) — Jefferson is running ahead of DeSean Jackson in three-WR sets, and D-Jax is so upset with his standing in the offense that he didn’t travel with the team in Week 8 and he’s requested to be traded. Jefferson has responded with consecutive games with 11+ FP after posting 3/88 receiving on six targets against the Texans. Jefferson is going to be a volatile secondary option in this passing attack with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods hogging targets, but he has the chance to go off at any point playing in this potent offense, especially with Jackson potentially out of the picture for good. Jefferson did suffer a knee injury in Week 8, but HC Sean McVay confirmed his knee just got banged and he will be okay.

Elijah Moore (NYJ, 16%) and Jamison Crowder (NYJ, 19%) — Backup Mike White, of all people, has breathed some life into this previously hopeless passing attack. Moore owned a 34.6% catch rate heading into Week 8, but he left their showdown with the Bengals by catching all six of his targets for 67 yards, which gives him double-digit FP in consecutive games. Crowder paced the WRs with 8/84 receiving on nine targets with Corey Davis (hip) out of the lineup. The Jets’ passing attack could easily go back to being disappointing next week, but they at least have a chance to put up production while White is at quarterback. In Moore’s case, his Week 8 performance could be a catalyst for better things to come in the second half of the season for the talented rookie. Davis is doubtful for Week 8, so Moore and Crowder have a better chance than usual. UPDATED: 11/3

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, 10%) — MVS is eligible to return from the injured reserve this week after nearly playing in Week 8. Aaron Rodgers could certainly use another playmaker at receiver, and MVS had 3/59/1 receiving in his last game against the 49ers before he picked his hamstring injury. MVS has the most upside of Green Bay’s secondary receivers, and he could be needed more with Robert Tonyan (knee) done for the season. Allen Lazard will be back, but MVS probably has more upside. He has some juicy upcoming matchups (@KC, Sea, @Min) to potentially make some immediate noise. Of course, he won’t have Rodgers in Week 8, which is a problem. UPDATED: 11/3

{Russell Gage (Atl, 15%) and Tajae Sharpe (Atl, 0%) — Calvin Ridley is indefinitely stepping away from football to focus on his mental health, which leaves the Falcons extremely thin at WR for as long as he’s away from the team. Gage and Sharpe saw a position-best 36 snaps (68% share) in Week 8 without Ridley in the lineup, but Gage didn’t see a single target while Sharpe led this anemic passing attack with 5/58 receiving on six targets. Matt Ryan had attempted 35+ passes in every game until Week 8 so these WRs could carve out some PPR value, but this passing game is going to struggle moving forward without Ridley drawing attention.

Allen Lazard (GB, 5%) and Randall Cobb (GB, 37%) — Lazard finally started to make some noise with Marquez Valdes-Scantling out of the lineup with 11+ FP in consecutive games thanks to touchdowns in Weeks 6-7. He finished with 5/60/1 receiving on six targets (17% share) against Washington in Week 7, playing a healthy 91% of the snaps. His progress came to a screeching halt as he missed Week 8 as a close contact to COVID positive Davante Adams — vaccinated players don’t have to be isolated from the team. With Adams, MVS, and Lazard out of the lineup in Week 8, Cobb stepped up as Rodgers’ top red-zone threat, posting 3/15/2 receiving on five targets in a victory over the Cardinals. It was just his second performance with more than 6+ FP in eight tries. MVS has the most upside of Green Bay’s secondary receivers, but Lazard and Cobb are in the mix in deeper formats, and they could be needed more with Robert Tonyan (knee) done for the season. Of course, he won’t have Rodgers in Week 8, which is a problem. UPDATED: 11/3

Darius Slayton (NYG, 15%) — Slayton may be a viable option this week if the likes of Kenny Golladay (knee), Kadarius Toney (ankle/thumb), and/or Sterling Shepard (quad) miss more action. Slayton played 87% of the snaps in Week 8 but he had only 2 targets. But at least he wasn’t traded. Toney will play, but it’s not looking good for Slayton and Shepard. UPDATED: 11/3

Tyler Johnson (TB, 1%) — The Buccaneers are heading into their bye this week, but Johnson is a player to remember if Antonio Brown (heel) is unable to play once they return in Week 10. He posted 5/65 receiving on six targets against the Saints in Week 8, and Tampa Bay has a juicy matchup against Washington in Week 10 coming out of their bye.

Nico Collins (Hou, 1%) — Collins, a third-round pick in the spring, returned from the injured reserve in Week 6 off a shoulder injury he suffered back in Week 2. He posted a combined 10/127 receiving on 15 targets in Weeks 6-8 playing with the awful Davis Mills. Collins has a chance to come into his own in the near future since the Texans have every incentive to funnel him targets and to give him playing experience down the stretch. He could also get a quarterback upgrade soon when Tyrod Taylor (hamstring, IR) is activated from the injured reserve.

K.J. Osborn (Min, 7%) — Osborn had just 8/66 receiving in Weeks 3-5 after opening the season with a blistering 12/167/1 receiving in Weeks 1-2. He came back to life in a game in which Kirk Cousins attempted 48 passes, posting 6/78/1 receiving on seven targets and he scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Panthers. Most weeks, Osborn is competing for 4-6 targets with Tyler Conklin so he’s only a desperation option in games that could produce more passing volume.

Zach Pascal (Ind, 5%) — Pascal is back in business with Parris Campbell set to miss significant time with a serious foot injury, and T.Y. Hilton also can’t stay after leaving in the fourth quarter of Week 8 to get checked for a concussion. Pascal finished with 5/43 receiving on eight targets (16% share). Pascal is unreliable but he gets manufactured touches and looks in the red zone out of the slot, and Carson Wentz doesn’t have a reliable second option behind Michael Pittman.

Tight Ends

Higher-owned Options

C.J.Uzomah (Cin, 49%), Logan Thomas (Was, 53%), Jared Cook (LAC, 59%)

Top Targets

Pat Freiermuth (Pit, 6%) — As we’ve stated here for weeks, the rookie is a future star and he’s finally spreading his wings a bit with 12+ FP and seven targets in each of Pittsburgh’s last two games. He had his best game as a pro with Eric Ebron (hamstring) inactive in Week 8, posting 4/44/1 receiving on seven targets (20% share) against the Browns with a healthy 78% of the snaps. Freiermuth said last week that Ben Roethlisberger is starting to trust him more, and it paid off on his impressive goal-line touchdown on fourth down to seal the victory for Pittsburgh. He’s unlikely to become a no-doubt TE1 option as long as Ebron is hanging around, but Freiermuth has a chance to emerge as a viable PPR option with slot WR JuJu Smith-Schuster done for the year.

Going Deeper

Dan Arnold (Jax, 4%) — Arnold has been fairly active since being traded to the Jaguars before Week 4, and he had his best game in teal and gold in a blowout loss to the Seahawks in Week 8. Arnold played 72% of the snaps and posted a team-best 8/68 receiving on 10 targets (19% share) for a season-high 14.8 FP. Arnold, a former college WR and hurdler, can line up all over the formation and he can produce at all levels of the field. His role should grow a bit in this receiver-needy offense after D.J. Chark went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Week 4. He’s now seen 5+ targets in three straight games so he’s developing into a mid-TE2 option.

Evan Engram (NYG, 31%) — Engram has looked extremely sluggish this season, but Daniel Jones has needed him with his top three WRs out of the lineup in recent weeks. He still managed just 6/44 receiving on eight targets in a Week 7 victory over the Panthers, which was his first double-digit FP performance of the season. In Week 8, he had only 3/15 on 4 targets, but he did score, so he hit double-digit FP for the second week in a row. He was not traded, so he sticks with the Giants, which is probably best for his fantasy prospects. UPDATED: 11/2

Cole Kmet (Chi, 19%) — The Bears’ passing game has looked damn near hopeless, but Kmet is at least showing signs of life in recent weeks, and even QB Justin Fields showed some progress and hope in Week 8. He’s yet to hit double-digit FP this season, but Kmet does have 12/116 receiving on 17 targets in the last three weeks. The second-year TE has a pulse again but he has no ceiling and a rock-bottom floor playing with Fields at quarterback.

Tyler Conklin (Min, 10%) — Conklin has a faint fantasy pulse at a weak position since he gets weekly targets while seeing a large snap share. He came back to life in a game in which Kirk Cousins attempted 48 passes, posting 3/71 receiving on five targets. Most weeks, Conklin is competing for 4-6 targets with K.J. Osborn so he’s only a desperation option in games that could produce more passing volume.

Mo Alie-Cox (Ind, 8%) — Alie-Cox is a touchdown-or-bust option at the position, and he couldn’t come through in Week 8 after scoring four TDs in a four-game span in Weeks 4-7. He posted a goose egg on four targets on 49% snap share against the Titans in Week 8 while Jack Doyle sniped a goal-line score on a 63% share.

Place Kickers

Higher-owned Options

Mason Crosby (GB, 55%) - Packers get a tough road game in Kansas City. Yet, the Chiefs are coming off a short week and their defense is suspect this year. This should lead to more kicking opportunities, hopefully more so with field goals than extra points. Crosby has not converted on more than one field goal in three straight games and has not had a bonus range field goal since Week 5. That could change on the road as this game is currently projected to be the highest scoring game of Week 9.

Top Targets

Dustin Hopkins (LAC, 14%) - As soon as Hopkins was released by Washington, Los Angeles swooped in and signed him. He converted on all four attempts in his first game with the Chargers. He has a favorable matchup against Philadelphia who is very familiar with Lincoln Financial Field. Since 2018, Hopkins has played in three games there and in each game he has converted on two of two field goals. He should have at least two field goals this week.

Going Deeper

Jason Sanders (Mia, 24%) - If there is going to be a game that would want to seek the services of Sanders, then this is the one. Miami has struggled to give Sanders many filed goal or extra point opportunities. The evidence of this is Sanders converting on just 14 extra points and eight field goals through eight games. The key here is the opponent. Houston is just as bad as Miami, or even worse. The Texans are allowing nearly two field goals per road game.

Defense/Special Teams

Higher-owned Options

Saints (NO, 45%) — The Saints continue to be a big-play machine. They have at least 2 sacks and 1 INT in all but one game. They just racked up 3 sacks, 2 INTs, and a TD against future HOFer Tom Brady and the elite Tampa Bay O-line. Next up is Atl, @Ten, and @Phi.

Top Targets

Panthers (Car, 43%) — Carolina’s D has been a top-10 unit in six of their eight games and just got stud CB Stephon Gilmore on the field. Gilmore announced his presence with authority with an INT in his first game as a Panther. Next, they’ll take their re-loaded secondary to the Patriots, Cardinals, Washington, and Miami. Carolina has held four of their opponents under 15 points, and only one team (Minnesota) scored more than 30.

Going Deeper

Eagles (Phi, 10%) — Facing four of the best offenses in the game to start the season, Philly’s D has gotten a bad rap. In the four non-juggernaut offense games, Javon Hargrave and Co. finished in the top 5 each of those weeks. That includes the complete dressing down of Detroit last week, when they held the Lions to just 6 PA, 6 sacks, and a TD. THey have a solid run ahead of them. After clearing the Chargers next week, they get @Den, NO, @NYG, @NYJ. And that date with the Saints might not include Jameis Winston.