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Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

As we enter the second half of the fantasy regular season, all eyes will be on the news wire as the trade deadline approaches. We already recommended some players to add/stash/acquire ahead of October 29, so hopefully you were able to take action this past week. If not, don't worry - there are still plenty of viable options to help your squad make a playoff push.

Each week, we will advise you which players to consider picking up on waivers that are owned in approximately 35% or fewer of Yahoo leagues so that you can make an educated decision about how to improve your fantasy football team. This list is not meant to be exclusive of all add-worthy players. For a more comprehensive list, check out our weekly Waiver Wire Lightning Round by position, ordered by priority. If higher-owned players not listed here are available in your league, feel free to treat them as higher-priority pickups.

As always, keep checking back here for updated waiver recommendations and always keep tabs on our NFL Player News feed. Be sure to also check out our weekly rankings and analysis columns, with in-depth analysis for all options heading into Week 9.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!


Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans - 30% owned

Trusting Tannehill is a tough proposition. He's had big games in the past, only to flop soon after. This is a different team and a different situation, though. Tannehill has to keep playing well to show he belongs as the starter. He's done just that, completing over 70% of his passes with a 5/1 TD/INT rate in his first two starts. He's a weekly starter in Two-QB leagues right now and a fringe streaming option in Week 9. With star QBs like Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Jared Goff on bye (sorry Andy Dalton, you don't qualify), you should prioritize Tanny if you don't trust Darnold (below).

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders - 26% owned

Carr enjoyed his first three-touchdown game of the year in Week 8 and returns home to face a Lions Defense that has allowed just as many fantasy points to QBs as the Texans Defense. With Tyrell Williams back healthy and Zay Jones in to provide some depth, Carr could keep rolling.

Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears - 25% owned

Nobody is buying into the Bears offense these days and for good reason. The team is averaging 18.2 points per game and Trubisky's 253 passing yards in their most recent loss was his season-high. We don't know if the team will fix their problems soon but a matchup with the Eagles' bottom-10 pass defense could make for a decent weekend.

Sam Darnold, New York Jets - 23% owned

Three more picks in Week 8, making seven interceptions thrown in the last two games along with a sad total of 304 passing yards. Fuhgetaboutit. Darnold was on the road in Jacksonville after facing the ridiculous Patriots Defense, so those gut-wrenching stats are more about matchup than anything. He will bounce back in a huge way in Week 9 when he gets the Dolphins. His owners should hope that favorite target Robby Anderson doesn't get traded, as that would be a blow to his ROS value. He's still a must-add for this week even if you don't trust him as your primary passer down the stretch.

Others to consider: Daniel Jones, New York Giants (23% owned); Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers (17% owned);


Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Mark Walton, Miami Dolphins - 25% owned

The smoke surrounding Kenyan Drake trade rumors just caught fire. Drake didn't travel with the Dolphins to Pittsburgh, which was a good indicator that he was set to switch teams. It now seems that he is joining the Arizona Cardinals, which clears the way for Walton to start in Miami. Walton had already taken over that role but will now definitely see the lion's share of carries in this admittedly inept offense. Still, a starting RB is a treasured commodity in fantasy leagues everywhere so make him a top priority if you need help at the position.

Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers - 18% owned

Samuels should once again go from lightly-owned to highly-sought-after, now that injuries occurred to both James Conner (shoulder) and Benny Snell (knee) on Monday night. Samuels showed he can be a factor in PPR leagues with 11 catches in Weeks 4-5. He has already been declared "ready to go" by coach Mike Tomlin, so assume he will get a decent workload against the Colts in Week 9.

Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins - 8% owned

For the same reasons listed above for Walton, Ballage becomes mildly interesting for the fact his touches should increase. He has been largely ineffective this year, averaging 1.7 yards per carry with a season-high of 27 total yards in a game. Basically, he's a goal-line vulture with value in standard leagues only.

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers - 6% owned

Injuries made Mostert relevant for a minute back at the start of the season and they could do so again. Both Matt Breida (ankle) and Jeffery Wilson (head) left in Week 8, which allowed Mostert to see nine rush attempts. He turned in a long TD run in garbage time to pad his stats but there's flex appeal here if Breida isn't ready to return by Thursday. The short week may benefit Mostert, not to mention the fact he faces the Cardinals, who allow the seventh-most rushing yards to running backs this year.

Others to consider: Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins (29% owned); Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (24% owned); Wendell Smallwood, Washington Redskins (1% owned)


Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs - 33% owned

The question that was posed back in Week 3 of which Chiefs WR is worth adding on waivers seems to have been answered. The rookie has sustained his fantasy production for the most part, even with Matt Moore at QB, while Demarcus Robinson has all but disappeared from our collective consciousness. Hardman scored on Sunday night, making consecutive weeks with a TD and four scores on the season. There's a decent chance Patrick Mahomes returns in Week 9 so this is the time to buy back into Hardman if he was dropped in your league.

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans - 25% owned

Two catches for 11 yards won't get your attention but he saved his fantasy day with a short touchdown grab. Brown has been largely boom or bust, with two games over 90 receiving yards and five games under 30 yards. His big-play ability and athleticism are worth betting on as long as you understand the risk given how Tannehill spreads the ball around.

Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills - 24% owned

He's been a recommended add here two weeks in a row and he's found the end zone each time. The odds won't drop in Week 9 as the Bills face the Redskins, who, for those following along at home, are god awful. Beasley won't be a game-breaker but his red-zone usage and target share make him a weekly WR4/flex consideration in favorable matchups.

Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers - 11% owned

The rookie had already been emerging as a favorite of Rudolph's with 20 targets between Weeks 3-5, compared to 18 for JuJu Smith-Schuster. He continued that trend with a solid showing in Week 8, including five receptions for 84 yards and a TD. His 45-yard score was a result of a terrible defense and dumb play-calling but give him credit where it's due - he took it to the house and was active all night otherwise. Johnson is a solid WR3 option in 14+ team leagues.

Demaryius Thomas, New York Jets - 6% owned

DT may be a more interesting pickup than you think. If Robby Anderson winds up on another team before the trade deadline, Thomas is going to see a steady diet of targets each week throughout the second half. As it is, he is averaging nearly seven targets, four receptions and 53.5 yards per week since the bye. The Jets are finally entering the soft part of their schedule, so he should still have value even if Anderson remains on the team.

Darius Slayton, New York Giants - 4% owned

His two-TD outing will raise some eyebrows, especially as Sterling Shepard remains out with multiple concussions this year and may not return soon. He finished fourth on the team in targets and will never be considered a target hog, playing the role of deep threat instead. Slayton has shown flashes in his rookie season and is developing a rapport with Daniel Jones but will be a boom-bust play similar to Marquise Brown. He's better left for DFS tourneys but can be rostered in deep leagues to cover especially troublesome byes like this week with the Rams, Falcons, and Saints receivers missing (sorry Bengals, you don't count).

Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams - 1% owned

Brandin Cooks continued his disappointing season with a zero in Week 8 after leaving early with a concussion. The Rams are on bye so Reynolds isn't more than a stash in very deep leagues.

Others to consider: Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins (26% owned); Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (12% owned); Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts (11% owned); Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions (9% owned); Chris Conley, Jacksonville Jaguars (1% owned)


Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Chris Herndon IV, New York Jets - 29% owned

You're as tired of seeing Jets on here as I am of writing about them, but such is the state of the waiver wire in fantasy football. Ryan Griffin had a monster game (relative to the position) with 66 yards and two scores but he will be pushed behind Herndon when (if) he returns. Stash and hope for the best this week.

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles - 24% owned

The gap between Zach Ertz and his backup continues to close. Goedert scored his third touchdown of the year, while Ertz sits at one on the season. Obviously, Ertz will continue to have the clear advantage in terms of yardage and receptions but Goedert is streamable in standard leagues as he continues to frustrate Ertz owners.

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans - 19% owned

Delanie Walker's ankle injury has allowed Smith to emerge as a strong streaming candidate and he's stepped up. The third-year pro put up his best game to date with six catches for 78 yards and a TD. He's accumulated nine receptions for 142 yards since Tannehill took over as the starter. Walker could remain out a while so consider Smith a low-end TE1 until further notice.

Darren Fells, Houston Texans - 18% owned

Somehow Fells' ownership dropped by 10 points from last week despite the cake matchup with Oakland, who allows the third-most fantasy PPG to tight ends. Those who ditched him are probably kicking themselves, as Fells came through with six catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns. It's not a great matchup against Jacksonville ahead of the team's bye but he's playable in almost any 12-team league.

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals - 9% owned

I do realize the Bengals have a bye this week but Eifert could be a sneaky stash if he gets traded to a team like New Orleans or Seattle. He didn't have more than five targets in a game all year and suddenly he was targeted nine times, resulting in six catches for 74 yards. His previous high for yardage was 27. One has to wonder if the team was featuring him in order to showcase potential suitors. If you're desperate for TE help and want to roll the dice, stash Eifert for now if your team allows free-agent additions before Tuesday and then simply drop him if he stays stuck in Cincy.

Others to consider: Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (4% owned); Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (15% owned)


Team Defense - Waiver Wire Options

Dallas Cowboys Defense - 32% owned

They've had a week off to prepare for Daniel Jones and the new-look Giants. Remember, back in Week 1 it was still Eli Manning at the helm when these teams met. Jones looked superb this week and has regained his confidence but even with a four-TD outburst, he has a 10/7 TD/INT rate on the season. This is a riskier DST to roll out but one that could pay off if the Cowboys' pass-rushers can apply pressure to Jones early.

Denver Broncos Defense - 28% owned

Let's not speak of the Broncos offense, if possible. The defense hasn't been great either but they did hold a strong Colts team to 15 points on the road and have kept three of their last four opponents under 15, the exception being Kansas City. Turnover-prone Cleveland comes to town next week, so fire up Denver with relative confidence if you need to replace the Rams Defense.

New York Jets Defense - 11% owned

Stream against the Dolphins. This advice still holds true, even with the Jets. The Dolphins' QB duo have combined for 10 interceptions in contrast to just four passing touchdowns this year. They get sacked an average of four times per game and score just over 10 points per game. Maybe just forget all the other options and pick up the Jets this week.

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