Fantasy Football Week 9 - Top Waiver Wire Adds

Fantasy Football Week 9 - Top Waiver Wire Adds

Every Tuesday afternoon I'll send this sheet out to the interwebs, highlighting this week's top waiver wire pick-ups.
Criteria to Make this List:
  • All players must be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo Leagues.
  • FAAB is based on $100 budget. Y'all can do the simple math if your league isn't $100... The first bullet for each player is how much I would recommend spending on your league.
  • Is this FA Worthy of your top waiver wire claim?​ The second bullet is whether or not I would recommend spending your #1 WW claim on this player.

Sorry for any typos, I'v g0t no tyme to proophread.


    Josh McCown (25% Owned) - Jets 

    • $3-5
    • I would NOT use #1 claim.
    • McCown was the only QB to make this section of the article in last week's WW piece and proved why once again in Week 8 versus the defending NFC champs, the Atlanta Falcons.
    • The Jets grandpa esq QB isn't playing his age, sitting firmly as fantasy QB9 midway through the 2017 szn. McCown has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 4 straight games, accounting for 10 total TDs over that span.
    • The Jets get a home game in Week 9 versus Buffalo, who on paper stack up as a very good defense, but have given up 310+ passing yards in three straight games (Dalton, Winston, Carr) heading to MetLife Stadium for TNF.
    • One of the Bills top CBs, E.J. Gaines sat out (hamstring) in Week 8 and given that he didn't practice this week, and they're on a very short week for TNF, it's very possible McCown will throw against a Gaines-less Buffalo defense. Per Rotoworld, "Gaines has yet to allow a touchdown, and quarterbacks have a 50.5 passer rating throwing into his coverage."
    • After Buffalo, McCown will travel to Tampa Bay to take on a Bucs d allowing the 3rd most passing yards per game in the NFL (274.7). 

    Blake Bortles (15% Owned) - Jaguars 

    • $1-3
    • I would NOT use #1 claim.
    • Trust me, I'm more upset about Bortles being on this list than you are. But the fact of the matter is, Bortles might've sneakily become underrated as a fantasy asset because of Leonard Fournette and their defenses success so far this year.
    • Bortles is coming off of their bye week having thrown for 571 yards in their previous two games and will face a Cincinnati pass defense that has allowed at least 220 passing yards and multiple passing touchdowns to each of the last two QBs they've faced, including Jacoby Brissett in their win on Sunday.
    • The Bengals have played 3 road games this year. In the two games that were not versus the Browns, Cincy has given up at least 27 points to their opponent.
    • In games where Bortles has had more than 21 pass attempts (5-of-7), he's averaging 236 passing yards and has 8 passing TDs. He's had at least 31 pass attempts in every home game that the Jags have had this year (3).
    • With Big Ben, Brady and Rivers on a bye in Week 9, Bortles is a low-key decent streaming option at home versus Cincinnati.

    Jimmy Garoppolo (3% Owned) - 49ers

    • $0 in 1QB leagues, $8-15 in 2QB leagues.
    • I would NOT use #1 claim.
    • Traded to the 49ers for the Patriots 2018 2nd Round pick.
    • Already ruled inactive for Week 9.
    • Also, remember how complex this Kyle Shanahan offense is. Matt Ryan said it took him almost the full first year to learn it, before the Falcons really turned it on in 2016.
    • So, Garrap will probably need two weeks or so before he's thrown into the fire and when he is, it's not like he'll have the whole Shanahan playbook down pat.
    • In the two weeks Garoppolo played during Brady's sspn in 2016, he went 42/60 for 498 yards and 4:0 TD-to-INT ratio. He averaged 8.4 yards per attempt - Hoyer was at 5.6 this year before being benched for the rookie C.J.
    • They get the Cardinals in Week 9, the Giants in Week 10, maybe they'll throw him in for that game, but they get a bye in Week 11, so they might wait on that and let him finish the szn over the L6 games versus SEA, @CHI, @HOU, TEN, JAX, @LAR.
    • "It’s also worth noting that three of the 49ers’ final four opponents through the fantasy playoffs are currently ranked inside the top-six in PFF pass coverage grade." - Per PFF Mike Castiglione.
    • He should definitely be added in 2QB leagues, i'm probably staying away in any 1QB league.

        Running Backs

          Marlon Mack (44% Owned) - Colts

          • $20 or 1,000% of FAAB if Gore is traded after this article publishes.
          • I WOULD use #1 claim. (#1 overall pickup this week).
          • I'm having trouble understanding how Mack is still unowned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. He not only has standalone value at this point, especially in PPR leagues, but instantly becomes an RB1 if the unbreakable Frank Gore were to defy the odds and injure himself.
          • It's not secret with Turbin out for the szn Mack's workload is going to increase over the second half of the year. There's been three games in 2018 where Mack has received double digit touches. He's averaging 67 total yards and has scored a touchdown in each of those games.
          • Gore is undoubtedly the RB1 here, but Mack has gotten at least 5 targets in each of the Colts last two games and we should expect a similar opportunity share going forward. Mack's been boom-or-bust on the ground so far, but the receiving workload gives him a rock solid PPR floor and he's capable of busting loose for a huge play at any point.
          • With the Colts likely to be heavy underdogs going forward, the rookie's usage is safe in the passing game.

          Alfred Morris/Darren McFadden/Rod Smith (44% Owned) - Colts

          • $10-15/$6-10/$0-2
          • I WOULD use #1 claim on ALF, not other 2.
          • Zeke's suspended again for 6 games.....  think?
          • Jerry Jones says Alfred Morris is the RB1 right now and this is confirmed by a report that came out a couple of weeks ago that the OC Scott Linehan also said they've been preparing Morris for that RB1 role. But DMC and Rod Smith will factor in as well most definitely. McFadden has been a healthy scratch for everyone of Dallas' games this year, but Jerry likes him and he's been used in the workhorse role for Dallas.
          • On the season, Morris has out-carried Smith 13-10, out-rushing him 105-69, both have a ridiculously high ypc average on a tiny sample, 8.1 and 6.9. Alf had that 70 yards run in Week 4 which obviously boosts everything. Last year, on 69 carries send it, Morris averaged 3.5 ypc. 
          • Over the next 6 games, the Cowboys get KC (22), @ATL (7), PHI (28), LAC (6), WAS (19), @NYG (18) before Zeke returns against OAK in Week 15. In parenthesis are RB ranks in terms of FP against these defenses. The Dallas o-line has certainly come into its own though, after a lot of talk about losing two lineman this year and a shaky start for Zeke, they're 6th in the NFL in RB and 3rd in PB per Football Outsiders.
          • I'd be straight up lying to you guys if I said I had any idea what was going to happen here. I don't do that to big dog country. My advice, what I'm doing, I'll be a waiver in on all 3 guys in all my leagues, for FAAB I want the guys that's the cheapest. 
          • My advice, let someone else blow FAAB and take the cheapest of the 3 if possible. I'm targeting Alf in any league type, but wouldn't be mad if I landed DMC on the low. Alf will get the first crack but I doubt he'll be on a long leash. Both should be owned in all formats, I know people are going to get cute with Rod Smith but he's really not worth rostering unless you're really weak at RB and in a 12-team or larger league type.

              Alex Collins (34% Owned) - Ravens

              • $8-15
              • I WOULD use #1 claim, after Marlon Mack and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
              • Anything I can say about Alex Collins right now, I've already said this year.
              • He's the best RB on the Ravens have on their roster, and it's not close. 
              • Buck Allen blows.
              • They badly need playmakers to emerge.
              • Thursday night was the first time the Ravens coaching staff realized the aforementioned.
              • On primetime television, against the Dolphins Thursday night, Collins exploded for 148 total yards on 20 touches. They still felt the need to feed Suck Allen 17 carries on the night, but at least Collins finally got his.
              • Among the 75 RBs in the NFL that have more than 15 carries in 2017, Collins leads the league with 6.0 yards per carry on 80 carries. Collins has the 14th most tackles avoided (14, per PFF), despite being 24th in carries. 
              • It was also great to see Collins finally getting involved in the passing game, catching both of his targets for 30 yards... considering those were his first catches of the entire year.
              • Collins still played less than Allen overall, seeing the field for 46.9% of their plays compared to 48.4%, but it was the first time this season that the former Seahawks back has played over 30% of Baltimore's snaps. 
              • Going forward I still expect a split, but Collins has to be the lead candidate for carries. He's another big game away from solidifying himself as an RB2 for the ROS.
              • The Ravens play at Tennessee before their Week 10 bye, followed by a game at Lambeau. Both the Titans and Packers are allowing over 100 rushing yards/game to opposing teams. 
              • Danny Woodhead could be returning in Week 11, making Allen's passing role obsolete, which in turn might be a good thing for Collins on early downs if the coaches decide to take Suck out of their game plan altogether.

              Kenyan Drake/Damiem Williams (1% Owned) - Dolphins

              • In standard $4-8 on Drake, $2-5 on Williams. In PPR, $4-8 on both.
              • I would NOT use #1 claim on either.
              • With Ajayi on the move to Philly, there's two guys left standing in Miami's backfield. Well, three, if you include Senorise Penny, who I'm sure will somehow win the job and fantasy leagues alike because that's how fantasy football works.
              • Kenyan Drake (6-1, 210) 3rd pick out of Alabama, Adam Gase took him. Gase called hi the #2 RB on the team earlier this month so you can probably look no further than that. Look at their last game, the blowout loss to BAL 40-0 he was the only other back besides Ajayi to get a carry, had 6 for 22. Drake has 4.45 speed, good build, decent athletic profile. He played 4 years at Alabama but never had more than 92 carries in a season, was always behind better backs in Tuscaloosa. He did catch 29 balls for 276 yards his senior year, so he can catch. Last year he didn't get a single carry inside the 5-yard line though.
              • Damien Williams is the other guy. 5-11, 225 from Oklahoma, undrafted FA, 25 years old. Career 3.4 YPC guy, Also 4.45 speed like Drake. Where it becomes interesting is the pass-catching and the goal-line. Williams has had 21, 21 and 23 catches over the last 3 years and he scored 3 receiving TDs last year. He also had 6 goal-line carries last season, compared to Drake's 0. 
              • Neither back has gotten barely any play times in 2017, Wiliams with 12 carries for 35 yards on the year and Drake with 10 for 25. Williams seperates himself in receiving where he's caught 8 passes for 50 yards while Drake just 3 catches on 5 targets for 7 yards.
              • Unless they go out and sign another RB, it'll be a committee with Drake on early downs and Williams catching the ball. Again, remember, the Dolphins o-line is really bad, they're scoring 13 points a game, you shouldn't be getting too excited about either of them, but Kenyan Drake is the guy I'd want. I'd probably let someone else spend the money.

                    Charcandrick West (6% Owned) - Chiefs 

                    • $0-1
                    • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                      • Clear Kareem Hunt handcuff. 
                      • Possibly in concussion protocol.

                      Matt Forte (30% Owned) - Jets 

                      • $5-10
                      • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                      • We know the timeshare between Forte and Powell is here to stay, but for a guy you can simply pick up off waivers and expect 10 PPR fantasy points from on a weekly basis, the vet is worth owning.
                      • Since returning from his toe injury, Forte has seen double-digit touches in all 3 games and has CAUGHT AT LEAST 5 passes in all of those games. Both Forte and Powell played on 29 snaps a piece against Atlanta on Sunday and we can expect a 50/50 split going forward, but Forte is a huge piece of this surprisingly efficient pass game.
                      • The Jets plays the Bills at home in Week 9 a week after this Buffalo team surrendered 13 receptions and 97 receiving yards to Raider running backs DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. In two home games this szn, Forte is averaging 7 catches and 52 receiving yards.
                      • Be comfortable with Forte as a flex play in any sort of PPR format in Week 9.

                        Orleans Darwka (47% Owned) - Giants

                        • $5-10
                        • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                        • Prior to their Week 8 bye, Darkwa led the Giants backfield in carries and total touches in byke-to-byke weeks, totaling 34 touches in Weeks 6 and 7. Rookie Wayne Gallman is still going to be used, and we can probably expect Paul Perkins to return in their Week 9 home game versus Houston, but I think it's safely Darkwa's backfield to lose at this point.
                        • The 25-year old is averaging the 4th highest ypc average (5.4) among all running backs in the NFL with more than 15 carries, qualifying 75 RBs. His 3.3 yards after contact ranks him 9th among those same 75 backs.
                        • The Rams have been pretty good against opposing RBs from an efficiency standpoint, but they've allowed 5 different 20-point PPR performances to opposing RBs through 7 games in 2017.

                        Wide Receivers

                            Josh Doctson (42% Owned) - Redskins 

                            • $5-10
                            • I would NOT use use #1 claim.
                            • The Doctson vs. Pryor battle is over, winner by snap count, Josh Doctson.
                            • There will be no hot-hand approach here, Doctson firmly out-snapping Pryor 50-20 in their Week 8 loss to Dallas.
                            • The stat-lines aren't exactly where you want them to be, but the endzone targets are there and Cousins is looking for him down the seems as well. He owns a 40% endzone target share in 2017, clearly he IS their game plan down there since they don't have a running game. He caught just one ball on Sunday but it went for a score, making it his 2nd in the 3 three games and 3rd in the last 5. 
                            • With Jordan Reed leaving the game again with a hamstring injury, drink, Doctson could be more involved if their TE misses time.
                            • I love Doctson's potential and upside, but Washington has a brutal schedule for WRs down the stretch including @SEA, MIN, @LAC before a fantasy playoff schedule of ARZ and DEN.

                              JuJu Smith-Schuster (48% Owned) - Steelers 

                              • $15-20
                              • I WOULD use #1 claim, after Marlon Mack.
                              • Yup, it's officially JJSSzn. If we weren't sure of what Martavis Bryant's future held in Pittsburgh, we do now. If he's not traded by today's trade deadline, he's going to be behind the rookie on the depth chart.
                              • If I were to tell you one of the Steelers WRs would finish Sunday's game at Detroit with 7 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown, you would've said something along the lines of "ayy, anotha day at the office for Antonio Brown", depending on how dumb your vocabulary is.
                              • Not the case doe. It was the rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster, who led the Steelers offense with a 97-yard TD strike in the 3rd quarter to close out their win. What's more impressive is that he did it while playing on just 76% of the Steeler's offensive plays. Compare that to Brown's 97% rate.
                              • Lmao he tweeted that he kept looking back during his TD catch because he has an 82-83 speed in Madden and thought he was going to get caught.
                              • JJSS has been on this list for me for a few weeks running now and I feel like I don't really need to explain myself this time, following a near 200-yard game.
                              • As per Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) of PFF's Twitter: "Cooper Kupp is the only rookie receiver who has more receiving yards this season then JuJu Smith-Schuster had tonight."
                              • The Steelers 2nd round draft pick is now on pace for a 55-970-9 szn.
                              • This game shoots the rookie up to WR22 in fantasy on a PPG basis and he's now scored in back-to-back games, giving him four tuddys on the szn. He's clearly going to be a force in this offense going forward and should be considered a weekly WR3/flex play moving forward.
                              • I can't wait for next week when he goes 4-52-0 and everyone freaks out.

                              Tyler Lockett & Paul Richardson (39% & 30% Owned) - Seahawks

                              • $5-10 on Richardson, $4-8 on Lockett.
                              • I would NOT use #1 claim on either.
                              • Russell Wilson, as usual, is beginning his mid-late szn explosion, throwing for 452 yards and 4 touchdowns in Sunday's win at home versus Houston. That gives Wilson 786 passing yards and 7 passing touchdowns over his last two games coming off their bye.
                              • And of course, when Wilson is slinging, someone on the outside is reeling. While their WR1, Doug Baldwin is getting his, there is plenty to go around in this offense with virtually no running game.
                              • Lockett went 6-121 while playing on 66% of Seattle's snaps, while P-Rich went bananas, reeling in 6-of-7 targets for 105 yards and two tuddys, playing on 84% of the teams plays, 10% more than Baldwin.
                              • Lockett, now at full strength, has 15 targets over SEA's L2 games and should continued to be involved given the high volume of passing targets going around in this offense.
                              • Richardson, on the other hand, has been flying under the radar all szn. He's been incredibly consistent but was yet to have a breakout game prior to Sunday, keeping him out of many owners' lineups. He's found the endzone 3 times in his last 2 games and has 5 scores on the year. Only Jordy, Crabtree and the two Texans wideouts have more in 2017. 
                              • Richardson is WR11 right now in standard leagues, but slides all the way down to WR26 in PPR leagues. The snap count wasn't a fluke, either, he's played in less than 64% of their plays once this year, normally floating in between 70-80%. Regardless, he's a low-end WR2 in either format. As Wilson continues to step his game up, so will P-Rich.

                              Robby Anderson (28% Owned) - Jets

                              • $3-6
                              • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                              • Anderson is coming on really hot right now for the J squad out of NEW JERSEY. He's found the endzone in back-to-back games and has either 75 yards and/or a touchdown in 3 straight, coming off of Sunday's 6-104-1 performance versus the Falcons. 
                              • I ain't ready to anoint the yung gawd the king of consistency or nothing like that, but McCown clearly likes him and given Anderson's 4.41 speed, he has the ability to break a game open with one big play. Only Antonio Brown, Adam Thielen and DeAndre Hopkins have more 20+ yard pass plays than Anderson in 2017 (8). Spaghetti's 16.1 yards per receptions ranks 7th in the NFL among 63 WRs with more than 30 targets on the year. 
                              • He's currently fantasy WR18 in standard and WR26 in PPR formats.
                              • As explained in the Josh McCown pawrtion of this piece, I like his next two matchups.

                              Corey Davis (25% Owned) - Titans

                              • $4-7
                              • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                              • For the 41st time this szn, uhhh I think Corey Davis is going to return next week?
                              • The ultra talented top-10 pick in this years draft, Davis struggled all offseason with a hamstring injury and has missed the Titans last 5 games for the same reason.
                              • But, we saw in Week 1 exactly what Davis is capable of when he's healthy. That is, mesmerizing plays, a chain-moving, game-breaking wideout. He went 6-69 on 10 targets in their opener and tweaked his hammy in Week 2 and hasn't seen the fiueld since.
                              • Reports say that they were waiting for after the team's Week 8 bye for Davis to return. And that's where we are. The Titans have had their struggles as a team on offense, but Davis' return will be a big boost to Mariota who has gotten almost no production from his WRs outside of Rishard Matthews.
                              • Davis, if healthy, should jump right back into starter number snaps. In Week 1 he played in 66% of their snaps, a number he should surpass given Decker's donut of production in 2017.
                              • They get a tough slate of pass defenses out of the bye with BAL, CIN, @PIT, but Davis should be very usable down the stretch as they get IND, HOU and ARZ before a Week 15 fantasy playoff matchup with San Fran.

                              Corey Coleman (11% Owned) - Browns

                              • $2-6
                              • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                              • Coleman's another WR returning from injury soon. The Browns have a week 9 bye, and week 10 would be 8 weeks after Coleman's surgery on his broken hand, meaning he's eligible to return from I.R.
                              • The Browns offense is trash, as been their passing and receiving game, which means Coleman will return as their unquestioned top weapon on the outside. Ricard Louis is Cleveland's leading WR on the szn, averaging 36.5 yards per game.

                              Tight Ends

                                  Tyler Kroft - Bengals (47% Owned)

                                  • $3-6
                                  • I would NOT use my #1 claim.
                                  • Kroft found himself to be usable as a PPR TE once again in Week 8, catching 5-of-6 targets for 46 yards. He's caught at least 4 passes in four straight games and found pay-dirt 3 times in that span.
                                  • Since, and including, Week 4, Kroft is fantasy's TE6 in standard and TE9 in PPR leagues. He's a low-floor, high-ceiling guy that will continue to be involved in this offense with Tyler Eifert out.
                                  • The Bengals next 4 games are @JAX, @TEN, @DEN, CLV - the Titans are the best fantasy TE defense of these 4, ranking 13th best in the league, it's all downhill from there.

                                  Vernon Davis - Redskins (12% Owned)

                                  • $3-6
                                  • I would NOT use my #1 claim.
                                  • Jordan Reed left Washington's Week 8 game with a hamstring injury, drink, as did Niles Paul with a concussion, leaving him week-to-week. We don't yet know the severity of Reed's issue, but Davis is immediately on the streaming radar if it costs Reed any time.
                                  • From Week 3 to Week 6, where Reed was either out or limited by a leg injury, Davis averaged 3.5 catches and didn't once finish with lower than 58 receiving yards.
                                  • The Skins travel to Seattle in Week 9 and are home against Minnesota after that. Both teams are in the top half of friendliest defenses to opposing TEs.

                                    Jonnu Smith - Titans (1% Owned)

                                    • $0-1
                                    • I would NOT use my #1 claim.
                                    • This is only based on the severity of Delanie Walker's ankle injury that occurred Sunday's 12-9 overtime versus the Browns. Walker came into the game questionable with a hamstring but ended with a strong 7-63 line before leaving. Luckily they have their bye week in Week 8, but it's possible Walker will be less than 100% coming out of it while dealing with multiple lower body injuries.
                                    • Smith has gotten a lot of hype as of late and I was planning on starting him in the ETGD had Walker been inactive. Smith is a highly athletic talent whose measurables are off the charts. Standing 6-3, 248, Smith runs a 4.62 40-yard dash, placing him in the 78th percentile for weight-adjusted speed score. His burst score is in the 93th percentile while he sits just below that in the 92nd percentile for SPARQ score, as per 
                                    • He's a legit playmaker with the ball in his hands. If the Titans need him to step up, my bet is that he would in Walker's absence. Delanie leads the Titans in receiving yards (324) through 7 games and is just a target behind Rishard Matthews for tying the team-lead (45). He's not someone to spend money or a waiver on just yet until we have further word on Walker but it's worth keeping an eye out for Smith. 


                                    Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets (47% Owned)

                                    • $0-1
                                    • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                                    • I'll be honest, I don't even really like this stream for Buffalo. The Bills are 4-0 at home this year, but 1-2 on the road which is where they'll be in Week 9 versus the Jets. But, it is TNF, so anything can happen.
                                    • The Jets have proven they're not a layup for fantasy defenses, but so have the Bills on the other side of the ball. The Bills DEF/ST has yet to score less than 7 fantasy points in a game this season. Wow, that's remarkably consistent for a fantasy D. They currently rank as DEF6 in fantasy. 
                                    • The Jets offense, on the other hand, have been the 10th friendliest team to opposing fantasy DEFs.
                                    • The Bills have recorded multiple interceptions in 5-of-7 games in 2017 and have forced 7 turnovers over the last two weeks.

                                    Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers (34% Owned)

                                    • $0-1
                                    • I would NOT use #1 claim.
                                    • The Cards have been straight cheeks on defense this year, but maybe the bye week is what they've needed. Probably not, but I can't think of another way to actually promote them into your lineup. Oh wait yeah I can.
                                    • They get to face C.J. Beathard in Week 9. Since taking over as the start in favor of Brian Hoyer, the rookie QB has led his team to back-to-back 10-point games, throwing 2 interceptions to 1 touchdown.
                                    • The 49ers will almost certainly be without their top offensive lineman and protector of Beathard, Joe Staley after fracturing his orbital bone in Week 8. They were already without starting RT Trent Brown because of a concussion and could be without both starting tackles. Not a gorgeous ting to deal with for a rookie quarterback.
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