NFL Waiver Wire: Week 9 Deep Dive

NFL Waiver Wire: Week 9 Deep Dive

This article is part of our NFL Waiver Wire series.

It was another big week for the NFL with a flurry of moves at the trade deadline. The other big item to keep an eye on this week is the significant number of teams on a bye. That will create the need to find production off the waiver wire, so you've come to the right place. 

Quarterbacks

Andy Dalton vs. Ravens (19 percent ESPN)

Unsurprisingly, Dalton has posted a wide range of results this season. The majority of them have been poor, but more recently he's shown the ability to at least cross the 15-point threshold. It's not exciting, but may be necessary with so many teams not playing. 

Taylor Heinicke vs. Vikings (12 percent ESPN)

It may not be pretty getting there, but Heinicke has proven capable of producing for fantasy purposes. He's averaged right around 20 fantasy points - depending on exact scoring settings - through two outings. The Vikings should be able to score points, and this could turn out being a sneaky shootout spot.

Ryan Tannehill at Chiefs (10 percent ESPN) 
Malik Willis at Chiefs (three percent ESPN)

We know Tennessee doesn't want to throw the ball often, but they may have no choice against the Chiefs. I'd be much more interested in streaming Tannehill over Willis, but the rushing upside is enough to stash the latter in 2QB/superflex leagues.

Sam Ehlinger at Patriots (six percent ESPN)

It didn't result in a big fantasy day, but Ehlinger averaged 8.7 yards per attempt in his first

It was another big week for the NFL with a flurry of moves at the trade deadline. The other big item to keep an eye on this week is the significant number of teams on a bye. That will create the need to find production off the waiver wire, so you've come to the right place. 

Quarterbacks

Andy Dalton vs. Ravens (19 percent ESPN)

Unsurprisingly, Dalton has posted a wide range of results this season. The majority of them have been poor, but more recently he's shown the ability to at least cross the 15-point threshold. It's not exciting, but may be necessary with so many teams not playing. 

Taylor Heinicke vs. Vikings (12 percent ESPN)

It may not be pretty getting there, but Heinicke has proven capable of producing for fantasy purposes. He's averaged right around 20 fantasy points - depending on exact scoring settings - through two outings. The Vikings should be able to score points, and this could turn out being a sneaky shootout spot.

Ryan Tannehill at Chiefs (10 percent ESPN) 
Malik Willis at Chiefs (three percent ESPN)

We know Tennessee doesn't want to throw the ball often, but they may have no choice against the Chiefs. I'd be much more interested in streaming Tannehill over Willis, but the rushing upside is enough to stash the latter in 2QB/superflex leagues.

Sam Ehlinger at Patriots (six percent ESPN)

It didn't result in a big fantasy day, but Ehlinger averaged 8.7 yards per attempt in his first career NFL start. He also attempted six rushes, which should net him more than 15 yards in future appearances. Taking on the Patriots on the road isn't my first choice for a streaming quarterback, as this has the makings of a slow-paced, low-scoring contest.

PJ Walker at Bengals (two percent ESPN)

Walker is getting some fantasy hype, and truthfully I don't buy it. He needed overtime and a Hail Mary TD to DJ Moore to reach 16.7 fantasy points last week while taking to the air 36 times.

Deshaun Watson BYE (18 percent ESPN) 

Setting aside all other questions, Watson is set to return and start in Week 13 against the Texans. This may be a difficult week to start stashing players, but he's in play for those who have built a foundation to reach the playoffs and have room on the roster.

Running Backs

Kenyan Drake at Saints (22 percent ESPN) 
Justice Hill at Saints (one percent ESPN)

The Ravens' backfield has been a larger source of frustration than fantasy value this season, but Drake and Hill could enter Monday as the healthy backs. Drake is clearly more likely to be rostered and carry the heavier workload, but Hill is worth a stash as we wait for practice reports regarding Gus Edwards.

Rachaad White vs. Rams (21 percent ESPN)

I could copy and paste the same thing for White every week. Leonard Fournette doesn't look good. And if the Bucs are willing to do what it takes to get their offense on track, White getting more touches is part of the answer.

Kyren Williams at Buccaneers (15 percent ESPN)

The Rams' backfield joins Baltimore's as among the most frustrating this year. Week 8 provided a strong indication Darrell Henderson isn't the lead back, Malcolm Brown is dreadful and Ronnie Rivers is on the practice squad there's no guarantee – though likely – he's even on the roster for Sunday. That leaves the rookie Williams, who has the chance to return this week.

Deon Jackson at Patriots (10 percent ESPN)
Zack Moss at Patriots (one percent ESPN)

Indianapolis is another backfield to monitor. Nyheim Hines is gone and Jonathan Taylor continues to be nagged by an ankle injury. Jackson and Moss remain as the two definites on the depth chart. I'd lean Jackson as he's produced in the offense earlier in the season while Moss was just acquired Tuesday.

Dontrell Hilliard at Chiefs (eight percent ESPN)

Hilliard is often mentioned as a player worth rostering because he's the handcuff to Derrick Henry. That's true, but he could become a reasonable FLEX option thanks to his work as a receiver in games where Tennessee will be forced to open up its offense.

JaMycal Hasty vs. Raiders (two percent ESPN)

Travis Etienne is obviously the lead in Jacksonville, but he surprisingly hasn't been all that effective as a pass catcher. In his first outing without James Robinson in the backfield, Hasty registered three receptions and could maintain a role in the passing game going forward.

Dwayne Washington vs. Ravens (one percent ESPN) 

Washington is reserved for the most desperate fantasy managers, but Mark Ingram is expected to be sidelined for several weeks with a knee injury. That will allow Washington to step into his role and is primed to get something between four and eight carries.

Wide Receivers

Robbie Anderson vs. Seahawks (23 percent ESPN)

Anderson is likely rostered, but was among the most dropped players this week so it's worth checking his status in your league(s). He's gotten off to a slow start with Arizona, but should operate as the team's primary deep threat moving forward. He'll be inconsistent, but is a strong bet for productive weeks moving forward. 

Mack Hollins at Jaguars (eight percent ESPN)

Hollins is having an underappreciated season having recorded at least 11 PPR fantasy points in four of seven games despite the inconsistencies of the Las Vegas offense. He's widely available and is a plug-and-play option for fantasy teams in immediate need of production.

Van Jefferson at Buccaneers (11 percent ESPN)

Jefferson put up a goose egg in his season debut. He'll remain a boom-bust option, but is worth holding on the bench for teams with roster space. If Cooper Kupp is forced to miss any time, Jefferson should be on the field in two-receiver sets.

Terrace Marshall at Bengals (four percent ESPN)

After being completely uninvolved early this season, Marshall has picked up 17 targets across his last four games. That's not a tremendous number, and he isn't a priority add. In most leagues, Marshall's probably safe to leave on the watch list.

Tre'Quan Smith vs. Ravens (two percent ESPN)
Marquez Callaway vs. Ravens (one percent ESPN)
Rashid Shaheed vs. Ravens (one percent ESPN)

It's unclear when we might see Michael Thomas or Jarvis Landry again. The problem is that it's been very difficult to project which receiver will step up in their absence. Smith appeared to have the inside track to making that claim, but he earned only one target in Week 8. Callaway has largely been a non-factor. Shaheed was known for his work on special teams, but has emerged as a big-play threat while lacking reliable volume. It's very possible the right answer is none of the above.

Kalif Raymond vs. Packers (one percent ESPN)

Josh Reynolds has been the second receiver - or first when Amon-Ra St. Brown has been sidelined - in Detroit for most of the year. However, he's battled a number of injuries and it appears those issues may be hurting his performance. Meanwhile, Raymond has stepped in to reach 75 receiving yards in each of the last two weeks. The matchup against the Packers is another contest that could be in danger of becoming a slow-scoring slog. But if the Lions fall behind, they don't hesitate to throw often.

Damiere Byrd vs. Chargers (zero percent ESPN)

I have little interest in buying into any of Atlanta's pass catchers because the volume is so unreliable. Byrd has hit for big plays in back-to-back games. In Week 8, he surprisingly saw six targets. We can't expect that to continue, but Byrd has at least made it on the radar in the deepest of leagues.

Tight Ends

Tyler Conklin vs. Bills (25 percent ESPN)

Conklin has shot up in roster rate early in the week, so the chance to pick him up may have already passed. It's unclear how confident we should be in chasing his production from last week. But if the wide receiver corps remains depleted, Conklin should see plenty of targets again as the Jets attempt to keep pace with the Bills.  

Logan Thomas vs. Vikings (nine percent ESPN)

Thomas returned from a calf injury in Week 8, but wasn't targeted. He could remain a peripheral option, but has been productive when on the field for the last several seasons.

Cade Otton vs. Rams (six percent ESPN) 

Otton has been a boom-bust tight end option in the absence of Cameron Brate. The Rams represent a tough matchup, so I'd be inclined to look elsewhere.

Austin Hooper at Chiefs (five percent ESPN)

Hooper has posted one productive game this season, but Week 9 could be his second. As was noted when talking about the QBs, Tennessee is likely to throw the ball more than it typically does. That will create extra volume, and Hooper is a good candidate to command some of those targets.

Foster Moreau at Jaguars (two percent ESPN) 

Moreau emerged as a viable fill-in with Darren Waller out. Waller has logged four consecutive limited practices, so he could reasonably return against the Jags.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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