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Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups - All Positions

The first of the six-team bye weeks is here. We might call this the Byepocalypse, except that one look at the schedule to see that it includes teams like the Cardinals, Jaguars, and Giants, you won't be too worried. Still, there are fewer options to choose from than usual and more spots than usual to fill on fantasy rosters. Let's see who is worth your attention as we move to the second half of the season.

In this weekly waiver wire series, we provide a comprehensive list of fantasy-viable players that are owned in approximately one-third or fewer of fantasy leagues, so that you can make an educated decision about who to add to your squad that might actually be available.

Let’s look around the league at the players worth adding or bidding on as we move on to Week 9 of the 2018 NFL season. Be sure to also check out our other waiver wire articles, including FAAB auction bidding recommendations, for even more in-depth analysis an all positions heading into Week 9.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (43% owned)

Mayfield gets another chance to exploit a lesser secondary, this time against the Chiefs. Granted, he hasn't taken advantage of some nice opportunities the last couple of weeks, including a disappointing 180-yard performance in Pittsburgh. He hasn't topped 250 passing yards in the last three weeks and is yet to post a three-TD game. He seems to be playing through some pain and still has a dearth of options in the receiving corps, so expectations must be lowered despite the allure of a shootout. The Browns just don't do shootouts - Week 4 seems to be a huge outlier on the schedule. Mayfield is a risky start although the potential is always there for a big game.

Alex Smith, Washington Redskins (43% owned)

You really don't want Smith as your starting fantasy QB but sometimes beggars can't be choosers. He only threw for 178 yards and one TD in Week 8, posting a very Alex Smith-like stat line. He has the best matchup among streaming candidates this week, however, with the Falcons coming to town. They've given up the second-most passing yards and touchdowns in the league. If you have been riding Andrew Luck or Carson Wentz as your starter, try out Smith for a week if you simply need a safe floor at QB.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (38% owned)

Flacco is still an unexciting option as always and not one that inspires much confidence after a bad game in Week 8. Flacco managed 192 yards, one TD and two INT in Carolina before being relieved by Lamar Jackson in garbage time. A home matchup with the Steelers leads to the promise of a high point total and Flacco has generally done better in the Ravens nest than on the road. However, the Steelers' pass defense has tightened up considerably over the past three games, allowing 218.3 passing yards per game compared to 304.7 in the first four games. Flacco shouldn't be your first choice on this list, even if the pace of play could be high.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (34% owned)

We're all curious to see what the Cowboys passing game will look like with Amari Cooper in the mix and it will be on full display on Monday Night Football. It would be a mistake to assume the offense will fundamentally change or that Prescott's 29.4 pass attempts per game will suddenly spike upward. It's still a ball control offense in which Cooper will be used across the middle and as an occasional deep threat. The real question is whether it will open the field up more for Prescott to use his legs as he's been doing more frequently. The last two games, Prescott has rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns after rushing for 121 yards and no TD over the first five games. The Titans don't present the easiest matchup but Prescott figures to be the safe play among these streaming candidates.

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (23% owned)

On the heels of a strong performance, albeit in a losing effort, a matchup with the 49ers keeps Carr on the streaming radar. It's a Thursday night West Coast matchup, which would be far more exciting if it were Rams-Chargers. Still, the Niners came into Week 8 ranked 25th in pass defense and the Raiders will need to rely on Carr's arm, as they have no defense to speak of. There should be better options available in your league but Carr should have a decent game, even if he isn't guaranteed to toss three TD again.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5% owned)

It's happening guys... he's back! FitzMagic very well could be returning as the starting QB in Tampa, as Jameis Winston has proven to be, let's just say less than accurate. Winston's four picks led to a mercy benching late against Cincinnati. Fitzpatrick entered the game and promptly led the team to tie the score in an unlikely comeback, putting up 194 yards and two touchdowns in just over one quarter of action. Nothing is official yet, but it would be shocking if the team didn't move to Fitzpatrick at least for next week's matchup with Carolina. Fantasy owners willing to take a chance, that are looking for a little magic in their weekly lineups, could make another bid for Fitzpatrick this week.

Others to consider: Case Keenum, Denver Broncos (24% owned); C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers (9% owned)


Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Doug Martin, Oakland Raiders (53% owned)

Dougie Fresh seems to have something left in the tank after all. Martin is above the typical threshold for this article but it bears repeating that he is available in almost half of fantasy leagues and will be the starting RB in Oakland for the remainder of the season. Jalen Richard has a 10% higher ownership mark, but after seeing just two carries this week, it's obvious he is a receiving threat only to be considered in full PPR leagues. Martin only took 13 carries and produced 72 yards, mainly on a few "chunk" plays of 29, 13, 11, and 10 yards. Martin dominated the backfield market, with only four carries going to other RBs. It's not the most dynamic rush attack but a starting RB is always worth owning.

Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons (37% owned)

The understudy to Tevin Coleman was understandably dropped in many leagues with the Falcons off. Smith now becomes a priority pickup again, as Devonta Freeman is on IR. It's not an ideal matchup to flex Smith in Week 9, as the Redskins were allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to RBs entering last week and held Saquon Barkley to 38 rushing yards. Smith is a player to stash if you're shallow at RB (who isn't?) or simply looking for upside on your bench.

Trenton Cannon / Elijah McGuire, New York Jets (9% owned)

It was an ugly game all around for the Jets offense but understandably so since they were in Soldier Field facing a tough Bears squad. Cannon managed just 22 total yards on nine touches running behind Isaiah Crowell. The long-term outlook could be better, as Bilal Powell is out of the picture and Crowell has been mostly ineffective. It appears Elijah McGuire could be back next week now that he's eligible to return from IR and could be in the mix too. McGuire only averaged 3.6 yards per carry last season but had his moments, including a 93-yard game against Jacksonville. McGuire is the better pass-catcher and should be targeted by PPR owners, whereas Cannon is merely one to add to your watch list until we know he'll get a share of the backfield going forward.

D'Onta Foreman, Houston Texans (15% owned)

Sure enough, as Foreman gets ready to make his 2018 debut, Lamar Miller goes off. Back-to-back 100 yard games by Miller, including 133 against his former team, could slow Foreman's return, although it's unclear whether Foreman is ready anyway. He is a speculative stash based on the potential he flashed toward the end of his rookie season before tearing his Achilles in Week 10. Those who need immediate help can ignore Foreman; he's best left for a frontrunning team looking to add depth for the playoff stretch.

Josh Adams, Philadelphia Eagles (1% owned)

Signed off the practice squad after Jay Ajayi's season-ending injury, Adams has done well in spot duty. He was extremely effective in Week 8, tallying 61 yards on nine carries. Corey Clement, on the other hand, took just four handoffs and created six yards on the ground. It's possible Adams has carved out a bigger role for himself going forward. His lack of involvement in the passing game and presence of Wendell Smallwood complicates things, but standard-league owners could make him a bench stash. The Eagles have one of the better offensive line units in the league, so even a player in a committee could thrive in this offense.

Others to consider: Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins (22% owned); Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (31% owned); Chris Ivory, Buffalo Bills (7% owned)


Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Danny Amendola, Miami Dolphins (41% owned)

Of course he threw a touchdown pass... Amendola did deliver some fantasy points in Week 8, although not in an expected way. He dropped down to five catches on six targets for just 43 yards but the 28-yard TD toss eased the pain for fantasy owners expecting a big game. Amendola saw his expected target share stolen by Devante Parker, which is cause for concern going forward. He is still a solid streamer in PPR leagues against the Jets.

Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (30% owned)

Williams hasn't seen his target share increase at all, yet over the last two games he has turned in huge gains for touchdowns on multiple occasions. He has an extremely high 16.3 aDOT and a fairly small 121 YAC, illustrating his role in the offense as a pure deep threat. Those big games are great when they happen but nearly impossible to predict. The Seahawks are one of the tougher teams vs WR, so don't expect him to keep the streak going.

Tre'Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (30% owned)

Smith was quiet on Sunday evening, despite the dome atmosphere and vulnerable secondary. A home game against the Rams is sure to have the highest over/under of the week and could keep all Saints receivers busy. Smith will remain a boom/bust option so if you're going to play him, be aware that the potential for a goose egg is always there.

Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (27% owned)

Will Amari Cooper's presence help or hurt Beasley? As the slot receiver, his role is secure and Cooper should help stretch the field to open things up underneath. Beasley will never be a high-ceiling play due to his lack of touchdowns (two this season, four per season for his career). He does have 16 catches in the last two games, coinciding with the Cowboys' offensive revival. If you need a high-floor PPR flex or WR3 to give you a few points, you could do worse.

Keke Coutee, Houston Texans (20% owned)

Coutee didn't play in Week 8 and his status is unclear until we see him practice this week. He still needs to be added everywhere now that Will Fuller is out for the year with a torn ACL. Coutee was all set to jump into the WR2 role just when Deshaun Watson is playing his best but the addition of Demaryius Thomas changes that. There could still be value here, as Coutee made a big splash in his debut five weeks ago, catching 11 balls for 109 and followed it up with 51 yards and a TD the next week with Fuller in the lineup. If not for his hamstring issue, Coutee would already be owned in most leagues so don't let DT stop you from making him a depth stash at WR.

D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers (15% owned)

Moore is getting more involved in the offense, both receiving and rushing. Moore caught five balls for 90 yards and took two handoffs for 39 yards as well. His targets have gone up steadily each week (0, 2, 2, 4, 5, 5, 6) and he's delivering. With an immensely favorable matchup at home against the Bucs on tap, Moore can be considered for a flex spot in PPR leagues in a bye-heavy week.

Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins (13% owned)

Just when we thought Parker's fantasy value had gone extinct, it was dramatically resurrected, Undertaker style, on Thursday Night Football. Parker caught six of his team-high nine targets for 134 yards, regularly making big plays. Parker's playing time only reappeared due to injuries to Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson but that doesn't matter, as Wilson is out for the season and Stills may be out again in Week 9. We have no idea what to expect when he suits up against the Jets, as Parker has now worked with a different quarterback each of the last three seasons. The Jets are soft in the secondary but trusting Parker is no small task after his inconsistent past.

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (10% owned)

The Broncos dealt nine-year veteran Demaryius Thomas to the Texans just before the trade deadline, leaving behind 56 targets for Sutton and company to pick up. He immediately becomes the WR2 in Denver and will get a chance to showcase his immense talent the rest of the season. While Case Keenum has been inconsistent at best, the Broncos have the 13th-most pass attempts this season and will provide enough volume to make Sutton viable in all formats. The rookie put up his best game in Week 8 with 78 yards and has a TD in two of the last four games. Standard league owners should be all over Sutton, while he makes a decent WR4 in PPR leagues.

Rishard Matthews, New York Jets (8% owned)

He didn't see any action in Week 8 after signing with the Jets just days earlier. A Week 9 matchup with the Dolphins, who were just torched by the Texans, could make for a flex-worthy debut with his new squad. He's a risky add based on a new situation, a rookie QB, and an offense that has suddenly lost its way.

David Moore, Seattle Seahawks (3% owned)

Is Moore replacing Doug Baldwin as the top receiver in Seattle? No. Is he a viable add in fantasy leagues? Definitely. Moore scored for the third straight game (Seattle was on bye last week) and has become a reliable target for a suddenly thriving offense. You're not alone if you had never heard of Moore before this season. A seventh-round pick out of East Central Oklahoma, he has 4.48 speed and has shown a knack for getting open. While he still hasn't seen more than four targets in a game, his playmaking ability has made him relevant in all formats.

Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams (1% owned)

He doubled his career TD total in one game, scoring twice on three receptions. That won't happen every week but in this offense, he will be a threat to reach the end zone again as long as Cooper Kupp is out. Once Kupp returns to the field, Reynolds can return to the waiver wire.

Others worth consideration: Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns (14% owned); Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (6% owned); T.J. Jones, Detroit Lions (1% owned)


Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (25% owned)

Bad timing for Doyle to return and catch a touchdown, as the Colts now have their week off. He's a big part of the offense when healthy, even with Eric Ebron performing well. Doyle is a smart stash for those without a solid tight end.

Chris Herndon IV, New York Jets (6% owned)

It's now three games in a row with a touchdown for the rookie out of Miami. It was his only catch, but at a position where you're simply hoping for a touchdown out of your backup/streamer, he's doing the job. Herndon has, to some extent, served as the Quincy Enunwa replacement many thought Jermaine Kearse would be. He isn't a weekly must-start but he is now among the upper tier of TE2 candidates.

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (6% owned)

Another touchdown, this time in London, gives the rookie three on the season. It was also his only catch, putting him in the same category as many other backup tight ends who are touchdown-dependent for value. Golden Tate's presence may hurt a bit but it remains to be seen how the offense clicks with so many new pieces. With a bye in Week 9, Goedert doesn't need to be added right now though.

Ed Dickson, Seattle Seahawks (1% owned)

Dickson's first game off the Injured Reserve list was a success, as he brought in a 12-yard TD and made another big play down the field to give him 54 yards on two catches. Interestingly, he was out-targeted 3-2 by Nick Vannett in this game. That could change based on performance since Vannett caught just one ball for 16 yards, but Dickson is not guaranteed a large role in the offense. As far as streamers for Week 9, Dickson should be just below Herndon in terms of priority.

Michael Roberts, Detroit Lions (1% owned)

Roberts was targeted in the end zone late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss, but double coverage resulted in a near-pick instead of a TD. It's still reassuring to see that Roberts is getting those chances. He didn't make an impact in Week 8 but could still be a player on the rise now that Golden Tate is out of the picture.

Others worth consideration: Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos (1% owned); Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens (1% owned)


Defenses - Waiver Wire Options

Kansas City Chiefs (29% owned)

The Chiefs have certainly not made headlines because of their defense but it's probably a bit underrated in some respects. They allow a terrible 5.2 yards per carry average on the ground but are tied for ninth in both sacks and INT this season. If they are able to jump out to a big lead versus Cleveland (they will), there could be a fair chance to pin their ears back and put pressure on the rookie QB, Baker Mayfield who has thrown six picks in five starts.

Miami Dolphins (11% owned)

Matchups matter, especially for defensive units. The Fins were just torn into pieces by Houston, giving up 42 points and five passing touchdowns. That won't happen again, at least not this week. The Jets are besieged by injuries on offense and just put up their fourth sub-20 point game. They scored 12 points and turned the ball over twice in the first matchup with Miami. This time they'll face the same team on the road. The Dolphins are an anomaly on defense, posting the fourth-fewest sacks (11) yet somehow find themselves tied for the league lead in interceptions (11). In what should be a low-scoring game, the Dolphins should be able to keep the Jets grounded for most of the day.

Dallas Cowboys (11% owned)

The Cowboys are the mirror image of the Dolphins, ranking in the top 10 in sacks with 19, but intercepting the opponent just twice all year. If there's one thing the Titans have proven good at this season, it's getting sacked. Counting on 11 takedowns of Marcus Mariota would be far-fetched but in leagues where turnovers are less of a priority, the Cowboys bring a decent sense of security to those just trying to get by without Jacksonville for a week.

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