NOTE: No more FAB suggested dollar amounts. As I always said, you know your league best, so those were always suggestions anyway, as leagues vary in aggressiveness. Now past the halfway point, guessing what potential budgets are left in the millions of Fantasy Football leagues would be a blindfolded dart throw after spinning in a circle 50 times and downing seven shots of tequila.
Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups: QBs – Quarterback Streamers
Tyrod Taylor, BUF (61%) – As usual, the quarterbacks allow for a bit more flexibility with the 60-percent cutoff. Taylor was a strong option last week and remains one in Week 9 against the susceptible Jets defense, especially with Kelvin Benjamin traded to the Bills.
Josh McCown, NYJ (25%) – Oh, just Josh, Mr. No. 9 QB on the year, McCown. It’s time to stop repressing your feelings of respect for McCown. The Bills are a bit of a tough matchup, but McCown has at least 15 points in all but one game, including the opener in Buffalo.
Jared Goff, LAR (47%) – It’s not a great matchup – heading east, against a solid Giants secondary – but Goff has improved from last season… though, that didn’t take much. He’s an option if you’re needy.
Jay Cutler, MIA (10%) – Say what you will, but sometimes you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. I’m pretty sure that would make for a good song. Someone should get on that. Matt Moore showed us that Cutler may be bad, but he’s not the worst and has 15 points in four of his six starts. The Raiders defense isn’t stopping anyone this year. It’s a gamble, but it’s not the worst one.
FOR THE FUTURE: Jimmy Garoppolo, SF (1%) – Normally, we don’t have a future pickup in the quarterback section because… well… it’s about streamers. In shocking Monday night news, after the Seahawks made a big move to get Duane Brown, the 49ers one-upped the breaking news stream with a trade for Garoppolo. C.J. Beathard will still be the starter for the 49ers this week, but it’s no guarantee that his miserable play won’t for the Niners to make a move mid-game. Garoppolo is a must-add in two-QB leagues and decent matchup play down the stretch. Logic would point to Garoppolo after their bye, but the change could happen sooner. As soon as it does, stock up for everyone involved, especially Pierre Garcon. Bill Belichick is going to keep turning unneeded players into more picks and more players that help the Patriots over and again, isn’t he? He’s playing this game at a level so much higher the rest of the league.
Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups: RBs
LAST CHANCE: Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and Rod Smith, DAL (34%, 38%, 1%) – Well, this Ezekiel Elliott suspension nonsense is the gift that never stops giving. Or is it the misery that never stops miserabling?
Jerry Jones announced that Morris will be the No. 1 running back while Elliott is out, so ALF is the first add, but don’t dismiss McFadden. It could be a full-blown committee with all three, McFadden could be the lead and impress as he did the past, Morris could end top dog or even Smith could surprise. All need to be owned until the situation clears up, but I would prioritize ALF over the rest, especially with the way that the Cowboys offensive line has played of late. They look like their ol’ dominant selves.
Side Note/Advice Time for the Elliott Situation: If you are an Ezekiel Elliott owner, you’re probably panicking. That’s understandable, but don’t make a mistake as a result. First, breathe. Second, you obviously need to go hard after DMC, ALF or Alex Collins (below). Third, evaluate your position. If you are undefeated or a one or two-loss team, you might be able to survive until Elliott’s return (Week 15). Depending on your league, that might be for the entire playoffs or two of the three weeks. That’s a championship winner returning at the perfect time. If you can’t afford to wait – remember, you have to make the playoffs to enjoy the playoffs – trade Zeke for the best offer you can get. Someone asked about accepting Collins for Elliott. If you’re in the middle of the standings, I take that offer. That’s actually pretty darn good value. Lastly, if you don’t own Elliott and were smart enough to stash one or both of the Cowboys running backs, sell now! Yes, yours could end being the lead option and a top-end RB2, but there is an equal chance that it’s the wrong option and has no value. The potential return value in a trade will never be higher than it is today.
Alex Collins, BAL (34%) – Yes, I’m sighing as well. Collins was droppable last week with the Ravens playing running back coin-flip each week. Then Collins goes and looks terrific against the Dolphins. He’s the more powerful runner, and if he’s fixed the fumbling issues, Collins has some RB2 potential… and the potential to be droppable again if not.
Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams, MIA (0%, 0%) – Adam Gase called out Jay Ajayi without saying his name specifically, but either way, Gase is an angry man. Ajayi isn’t going to be benched, but he could cede more touches to Drake and Williams. Drake is the more explosive, passing game complement, and Williams is more of a traditional replacement if Ajayi missed time. Drake is the better deep-league flier for now.
UPDATE: Well, Jay Ajayi was traded to the Eagles, so that changes a few things! Both Drake and Williams are must-adds now. Williams has seen nearly 20 percent of the snaps while Drake is around 8-9 percent. Both can catch the ball, Williams could have the PPR edge and Drake is a tad bigger. I lean slightly to Drake, but this could be a timeshare. Drake has the higher ceiling and is worth the “all in” bidding, but we could easily see a Ravens-like frustrating situation. For Ajayi, arrow is pointing up with a better offense and more red zone rushing opportunities (assuming) as the Eagles have a higher red zone rushing percentage and are there more often. He’s still a low-end RB1 though with the knee concerns and LeGarrette Blount’s uncertain involvement.
Orleans Darkwa, NYG (47%) – Darkwa and the Giants dominated the best run defense in the league and then turned back into pumpkins against the Seahawks. Maybe there is a middle ground… maybe Darkwa can be an RB2… maybe this backfield is a wasteland yet again. Darkwa is still worth a flier.
I was poo butt today …
You can guarantee that I’m going to find ways to use poo butt in my everyday conversations. As for Washington, he’s the best option with no Marshawn Lynch, and while Lynch’s return likely turns this into a full blown committee nightmare, Washington could continue to outplay Lynch… shouldn’t be hard.
Matt Breida, SF (9%) – Breida technically qualifies for the “LAST CHANCE” portion, since I’ve been telling everyone to pick him up since the end of the preseason, but alas, he’s still under 10 percent owned. Breida outperformed Carlos Hyde in Week 8, and while Garoppolo will help this offense, there is a real chance that the 49ers look to the future and see what Breida can do as the lead – Hyde is not returning in 2018.
Chris Ivory, JAX (21%) – Ivory is here, as he’s one of the more important handcuffs currently. Fournette missed the game before the bye, and while he’s returning for Week 9, Ivory showed he can easily handle the job if needed again.
Devontae Booker, DEN (2%) – C.J. Anderson actually had a good game, but Booker stole a touchdown. This game should put CJA and owners on notice – one more slip up (or injury) and Booker could end up as the lead option again. By the way, if you are smart, you see an underlying theme with many of the running backs: many were in the handcuffs or For the Future mentions this season. Stash running backs when you have the room!
FOR THE FUTURE: Handcuffs and…
Danny Woodhead, BAL (17%) – Woodhead could practice this week and is set to return in Week 11. With Javorius Allen as up-and-down as they come, Woodhead should get his passing game back and provide Flex value… for as long as he’s healthy.
Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups: WRs
LAST CHANCE: Sterling Shepard, NYG (57%) – There is absolutely no reason that the only receiver left for the Giants should be available on waivers. None.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (49%) – It was nice knowing you Martavis Bryant. All of that potential that Bryant had in his 2017 return now lies with JJSS. Plus, the man entertains on Twitter as much as he does on the field.
Corey Davis, TEN (27%) – Despite repeating myself for the umpteenth time, Davis has Terrell Owens-like ability. He returns this week, and he has all of the makings to be a Top 30 receiver in the second half of the season.
Jeremy Maclin, BAL (54%) – Maclin has three nice games and three stinkers. He’s also been less than 100 percent for a good portion of those three stinkers. Maclin isn’t a must-start, but he’s in the WR3 conversation most weeks when healthy.
Josh Doctson, WSH (29%) – Doctson is still worth stashing for his potential. The Week 8 game didn’t clear up the picture with Terrelle Pryor, but the weather was a factor, as was Jamison Crowder’s advantageous matchup.
Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett, SEA (31%, 39%) – Richardson has the better baseline, so he’s the better pickup. Just remember that the Seahawks like to vary their usage of the No. 2 receiver based on matchups. Yes, again, Richardson is the better option and touchdown maker, but he’s not a must-start play. Consider him more of a WR3/4.
John Brown, ARI (34%) – Yes, Stanton could cripple this offense, but Brown has proven how dangerous he is when healthy, and he is… for now. That game with Stanton didn’t inspire much confidence though.
Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee and Dede Westbrook, JAX (35%, 35%, 10%) – Hurns and Lee have disappointed quite a bit this season with Lee having two solid games before the bye and Hurns rebounding in the final pre-bye game. They are worth rostering during the bye weeks, but Westbrook is worth stashing if you have the room, as he has the highest ceiling. Don’t expect too much too soon though.
Dontrelle Inman, CHI (3%) – Inman was the Chargers best (only) receiver down the stretch last year, and the Bears are desperate for receiver help.
FOR THE FUTURE: Corey Coleman, CLE and John Ross, CIN (11%, 6%) – Coleman is returning soon and is the Browns best receiver, even now while injured. Ross has big-play ability and then some. He could easily become the Bengals No. 2 receiver in short time.
DON’T: Tre McBride, CHI (0%) – Mitchell Trubisky throwing 32 times is a shocker… and likely the last time we see that many. Kendall Wright saw the most targets but hasn’t done much of anything this year, plus McBride and the rest of the team was left out in Week 7. With Inman in town, he’s the only one worth your time, and that’s only in deep leagues.
Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups: TEs
LAST CHANCE: Jack Doyle, IND (51%) – See last week’s piece… or last week’s performance. The end.
Tyler Kroft, CIN (47%) – He’s a touchdown-reliant tight end, but how many tight ends offer more skills than that these days?
Tyler Higbee, LAR (0%) – The Giants have played seven games and given up eight TE1 performances on eight tight end touchdowns. Higbee is playing 75 percent of the Rams snaps, while Gerald Everrett is at 30 percent, making Higbee the gamble-worthy pick.
FOR THE FUTURE: Greg Olsen, CAR (42%) – Olsen could start practicing soon, and there is talk about his returning after the Panthers Week 11 bye. That’s only four weeks of value gained, but Olsen is a Top 5 tight end, so value is value.
Week 9 Buy Low and Sell High
Buy Low (Leaning more risk/reward at this point)
Drew Brees, NO
Matt Ryan, ATL
Devonta Freeman, ATL
DeMarco Murray, TEN
Doug Martin, TB
Ty Montgomery, GB
Julio Jones, ATL
Stefon Diggs, MIN
Keenan Allen, LAC
T.Y. Hilton, IND
Again, as a reminder and not to say, “I told ya so” (okay, maybe a spit of that), Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Jordan Reed were here last week.
Deshaun Watson, HOU – Hold on, hear me out. It should say, “Or, your other QB1.” Likely, you have another good quarterback since Watson was a waiver grab. Maybe you sell your other quarterback instead, but Watson is getting Tom Brady-like returns right now! Sell whichever quarterback gets you more help, as you can stick with Watson if you like. He is matchup proof at this point.
Aaron Jones, GB – Was here the last two weeks, but the Packers were on a bye, so just in case you can still get Top 15 RB value. The Packers offense will be inconsistent with Brett Hundley, and it’s still hard to trust Jones’ weekly volume if Ty Montgomery is 100 percent.
Isaiah Crowell, CLE – If possible. Just try.
[Insert current hot Patriots RB here, not named James White… in a PPR]
Tyreek Hill, KC – Was here last week too. People will still likely pay WR1 value.
Will Fuller, HOU – Yes, I know he was here last week, and you’re mad about that if you sold him… but to the person who traded Fuller for Doug Baldwin, I’d still make that trade. The touchdowns WILL regress. I promise.
Demaryius Thomas, DEN – Trevor Siemian is a dead man walking, that offensive line is doing this team no favors, and Emmanuel Sanders sounds like he has a high-ankle sprain and won’t return to balance this passing game for a few weeks.
Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth
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