Waiver Wire Week 9 Pickups
The King has fallen. Derrick Henry owners received a huge blow this week with the news of him being out for 6-10 weeks, leaving a lot of owners scrambling to find his replacement (which is impossible). Several guys who I have mentioned in previous articles or who are more than 50% rostered who I’m not going to revisit that would have made this list are: Pat Freiermuth, Rashod Bateman, Devante Parker, Jamison Crowder, Van Jefferson, Michael Gallup, and Evan Engram.
*All rostered percentages are from ESPN and all players must be less than 50% rostered to qualify.
Quarterback 1% rostered
Jameis Winston is out for the year with a torn ACL, leaving Taysom Hill as the Saints new starting quarterback. Trevor Siemian stepped in last week and looked decent, but that’s only because Hill was out with an injury. Hill should be back for Week 9 and with the Saints already having their bye, he will be available for you for the rest of the year. Hill was a fantasy stud in 2020 and could immediately be considered a Top 10 Quarterback option for the rest of the year, beginning with a cake matchup against the lowly Falcons this week. Getting Michael Thomas back at some point can only help.
Quarterback 32% rostered
Wentz has looked like vintage Wentz recently, with five straight games of at least two passing touchdowns and only three interceptions on the year so far. The next five weeks he has a very soft schedule, with only the Bills in Week 11 looking tough. He sees the Jaguars, Jets, Buccaneers and Texans in the other four. Michael Pittman Jr. is hitting his stride and looking to be a stud in the making and his connection with Wentz is only getting stronger and stronger each week.
Running Back 0% rostered
Running Back 2% rostered
King Henry is most likely out for the remainder of the regular season and it will be impossible for any one of these guys to even come close to replicating his production. I believe Peterson will be the guy on early downs and at the goal line, but McNichols, who has already proven his pass-catching prowess in glimpses, could be involved enough to be a flex play in PPR leagues. Obviously, this could all change if they make a trade for somebody, but for now, the backfield will be a combination of these two. Even at 35 years old last year, in the seven games Peterson had over 10 carries, he averaged 12.2 fantasy points. Derrick Henry averaged just under 28 carries a game, so I think at least 15 carries should be a weekly lock for Peterson, putting him in that double-digit category right away, making him a volume-based RB3 who could be solid in standard leagues.
Running Back 5% rostered
Scott was featured in my article last week, but since he had such a good game, I will make an exception to repeat him since he is still barely owned. We all thought it was going to be a combo of Gainwell and Scott, but it turned out to be a combo of Scott and Jordan Howard that shined. Scott played in 45% of the snaps, followed by Gainwell at 31% and Howard at 25%, so Scott seems to be the favorite to lead that backfield while Sanders is out. he looked quick and decisive running the ball and is the superior pass-catcher to Howard which is why I have him as the priority. Those in deeper leagues can take a shot on Howard if they like, but it could be a weekly toss-up between him and Gainwell, making him a risky start unless absolutely necessary.
Running Back 7% rostered
Early word is that James Robinson avoided a major injury and is considered day today, so take it upon yourself to monitor his status through Tuesday. But if we get any news that Robinson misses, it should be Hyde all the way for the Jaguars. They do have a very tough matchup against Buffalo, so I would keep expectations in check if you find yourself having to start Hyde. Although it was encouraging to see him haul in six catches, given the fact that he should see a lot of work as a receiver in a game where they should be trailing all game against Josh Allen and the Bills.
Wide Receiver 2% rostered
Agnew has quietly racked up three straight double-digit PPR games ever since DJ Chark was ruled out for the season. He has taken over the slot and flourished as Jacksonville’s newest weapon, kicking Laviska Shenault to the curb. His 12 targets were a career-high, giving him 25 over those three weeks. While it would be nice to turn that volume into better stat lines, it is hard to argue with the volume he is seeing, especially in PPR leagues. The Jags get a tough matchup this week against the Bills, but Agnew should finish top two in targets in a game where Trevor Lawrence should throw the ball over 40 times. I’d say he is a good bet to keep that double-digit streak alive thanks to the targets he should see.
Wide Receiver 46% rostered
Aiyuk has been a monumental disappointment this year after a great rookie season in 2020 thanks to the resurgence of Deebo Samuel. But Samuel is reportedly dealing with a calf injury that will have him limited to start the week, putting his Week 9 status in jeopardy. Aiyuk set season highs in snap percentage, targets, receptions and yards this week and that will only go up if Samuel misses time. Playing against the high-flying Cardinals offense only means that the Niners should be busy through the air trying to keep up, making Aiyuk a solid flex option if Samuel were to miss this week.
Wide Receiver 12% rostered
With Corey Davis out in Week 8, Moore had his best game to date catching all six of his targets for 67 yards while also receiving a carry for the second week in a row. With a short week in tow, I don’t expect Davis to return, meaning Moore will once again see increased snaps against the Colts on Thursday night. While he is not an option in leagues of 12 or less unless absolutely necessary, he could be usable in larger leagues.
Tight End 4% rostered
I featured Dan Arnold as a waiver pickup three weeks ago, yet he is only 4% rostered…Well, maybe now he will get the recognition he deserves after posting an 8-68 stat line off of 10 targets. Back then I said that he would have a role in this offense and ever since it has been steadily growing each week. In a world where finding a serviceable tight end is a weekly struggle, Arnold looks to be set as a high-end TE2/low-end TE1 moving forward.
- This will mark the third time I have included Jaret Patterson in this section and this week he led the Washington backfield in rushing yards, telling me Gibson’s injury is as concerning as I thought it was three weeks ago when I first mentioned him. Washington does have a bye this week and one would assume Gibson will be closer to 100%, but if I am a Gibson owner, I am finding a way to stash him at the end of my bench if I have the spot.
- Derrick Gore looked solid with the touches he saw last night, but with CEH possibly returning I would leave him on the waiver in redraft leagues, but look to grab him in Dynasty if he is available.
- Tyler Johnson is a talented receiver buried on the depth chart with three stars in front of him. But with Antonio Brown’s injury, he has increased his production week to week. The Bucs are on bye, so AB could return, but if he doesn’t Johnson could be serviceable for those of you in deeper leagues. He is a must-own in dynasty with both AB and Godwin in contract years.
- Michael Carter has been getting all the attention, but TY Johnson has quietly produced three straight double-digit weeks and could sneak into the flex conversation if he continues to produce like this. He’s worth stashing just in case.
- A pair of injuries to Jalen Reagor and Robby Anderson could mean added opportunity for Quez Watkins and Terrace Marshall. Worth keeping an eye on their status as the week progresses.
- Brevin Jordan is a talented rookie who finally made his debut for the Texans with a 3-41 line on a 25% snap count. With the Texans looking towards the future, we could see a shift from Jordan Akins to Brevin Jordan. Dynasty players take notice if he is available.
Brandon aka @Doublehfantasy1 has been playing fantasy football (and winning championships) since 2002. He has a special place in his heart for larger leagues and lives by the motto, “If you’re in a 10 team league, first thing you should do as commissioner is add more people”. Brandon is dedicated to providing deeper analysis on players after years of seeing useless vanilla takes all over the mainstream fantasy world for years. Brandon is a life long South Jersey resident but the only thing he loves more than a good beer is the Buccaneers. Go Bucs!