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Best Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 9 - Will Levis, Trey McBride, Demario Douglas, Taylor Heinicke, more

Trey McBride - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

With eight weeks in the books, we are officially halfway through the regular season of fantasy football. If you're 3-5, it's time to make some moves and mix up your roster. That includes trades and through the waiver wire. If that's your situation, you need to prioritize players who can help you win right now. All the upside in the world won't solve your problems if the losses continue to pile up. It's challenging to make this article relevant to all the different kinds of leagues out there. There are different league sizes, scoring settings, and roster requirements, which can make things difficult. As a general rule of thumb, I'll only be looking at players with a rostership percentage of 50% or lower, according to Yahoo! rostership percentages.

One thing I'll be adding this year is a category distinction for all players. This should help you figure out which players to add based on what your waiver wire goals are. Keep in mind that players can qualify for multiple distinctions. Those distinctions will be as follows:

  • BC: Breakout Candidate – This is a player who may not be startable yet, but has a good chance of breaking out and becoming a weekly starter at some point in the season. If you're not in need of a starter this week, these are the players you should be targeting off the waiver wire.
  • WS: Weekly Streamer – This is a player who is not a weekly starter or even someone you cannot drop, but rather they are someone you can target if the matchup is right or if you're desperate for a one-time starter. This is likely to be a quarterback or tight end.
  • DP: Depth Player – This is a player who reminds me of a quote from Bad Santa, "They can't all be winners, now can they?" Obviously, we'd all love to have breakout players, but it's also important to have quality depth players who can be started during bye weeks and be decent injury-replacement players.
  • DL: Deep League Add – This is for competitive 12-team leagues or larger.
  • IF: Injury Fill-In – This is a player who will be a weekly spot starter during the starter's absence due to injuries.
  • MA: Must Add – This is a player who due to any number of circumstances, now finds himself as a weekly fantasy starter and is someone fantasy managers should be adding to their teams.
  • UH: Upside Handcuff – This is reserved for our running backs who could become prominent players if the primary starter gets hurt.

If you have any specific waiver wire questions, give me a follow on X @RobFFSlayer, and don’t be afraid to reach out. I’ll be completing the waiver wire column all year here at RotoBaller and I hope to help as many of you as possible win your fantasy football league.

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Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders – 45% Rostered (MA, WS)

This dude is absolutely balling out and it's being overshadowed by how many sacks he's taken, but we need to appreciate how well he's played. He's thrown for at least 249 yards in five out of eight games. He's scored more than two touchdowns – via passing or rushing – in six out of eight games. He's scored 15 or more fantasy points in six out of eight games. He's scored 18 or more in five out of eight. He's scored 21 or more three times. He's finished as a top-12 quarterback in four games and has two other finishes where he's finished inside the top-15. He's been phenomenal. Once Week 8 officially closes its books, Howell will be a top-12 quarterback in PPG. He can be considered a weekly starter.

Will Levis, Tennessee Titans – 3% Rostered (BC, WS)

With Ryan Tannehill ruled out due to an ankle injury, second-round prospect Will Levis got the start. He was thought of as a gunslinger, a quarterback with a massive arm, but would likely require some grooming. In some respects, the storyline wasn't so different than Justin Herbert. I'm not comparing the two – Herbert was the better prospect by far, which is why he went in the top 10 – but Herbert was also said to be a gun-slinger with a monster arm, and one who might need some seasoning.

Like Herbert, Levis came out dealing. In his first start, he completed 19 of 29 attempts for 238 yards and four touchdowns. With the recent news that the team will not be trading Derrick Henry or DeAndre Hopkins, Levis has a decent group of weapons around him. Henry, Hopkins, first-round receiver Treylon Burks, and tight Chigoziem Okonkwo are a quality foursome. With Tennessee's playoff hopes looking not so good, the team may opt to give Levis the reins for the rest of the season.

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos – 49% Rostered (WS, DP)

Wilson hasn't been quite as good as Howell, but he's been very good in his own right. Wilson has become somewhat of a running joke, but he hasn't been the problem in Denver this season. He's scored at least two touchdowns in five out of eight games. He's also on pace to finish the season with 427 rushing yards. That equals roughly 25 yards per game. That's 2.5 extra fantasy points each week that he's providing to fantasy managers on the ground. He has four games with 30 or more rushing yards.

In his earlier years, Wilson was more than a competent rusher, but in the past two years, this has been a skill set that seemed to somewhat disappear. It has come back this year. He's currently on pace for 34 passing touchdowns. He has two top-12 quarterback finishes this season. He has another five where he's finished inside the top 20. He's been incredibly consistent with 14 or more points in seven out of eight games. Wilson may not be a weekly starter, but he's a really good QB2 and one of the better streamers you can find week-to-week.

Taylor Heinicke, Atlanta Falcons – 1% Rostered (WS, DP)

Starter Desmond Ridder left the game due to a concussion this past weekend. While he did pass the concussion test, he didn't return to the game and Heinicke got a chance to lead the Atlanta offense. He ended up playing 37 of the team's 68 snaps, roughly 54%. He threw 21 passes and completed 12 of them for 175 yards and one touchdown. He did not turn the ball over and added 14 yards rushing. It's unknown which direction head coach Arthur Smith is going to go, but there is enough firepower in the Atlanta offense that there's potential for whoever is under center. Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson are a really good trio of playmakers.

Heinicke threw for 1,859 yards and 12 touchdowns in nine starts last year with Washington. Over 17 games, that's extrapolated to 3,511 yards and 23 touchdowns. In 2021, he threw for 3,419 yards and 20 touchdowns in 16 starts. He also added 313 rushing yards and a touchdown in 2021. He shouldn't be viewed as a starter, but could be a decent QB2 with some weekly upside if given the chance.

Others to consider: Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts – 17% Rostered (WS, DP), Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers – 12% Rostered (WS, DP), Daniel Jones, New York Giants – 30% Rostered (DL), Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 30% Rostered (DL), Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints – 36% Rostered (DL), Joshua Dobbs, Arizona Cardinals – 16% Rostered (DL), Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders – 13% Rostered (DL), Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers – 19% Rostered (DL)

 

Running Backs - Waiver Wire Option

Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams – 45% Rostered (MA, WS)

Last week, in the team's first game without starter Kyren Williams, fantasy managers saw Henderson lead the backfield in snaps with 39 of the team's 68. He also led the backfield in routes run, targets, and carries. Henderson also found the end zone and finished with 13.1 half-PPR points. This past weekend, there was a slight change in how the backfield was utilized. Henderson was actually out-snapped by Royce Freeman (33 to 29). Freeman also ran more routes than Henderson (16 to 14). However, it was Henderson who had more carries (12 to 9) and targets (3 to 0).

Some of that could have been the nature of the game, a game the Cowboys had well in hand. Henderson, despite not finding the end zone, however, still finished with 10.0 half-PPR points. From a volume standpoint, he's likely to have RB2 value, but his upside hinges on Matthew Stafford's health. He injured his thumb on his throwing hand and if he's forced to miss time, this entire offense takes a big hit. Without Stafford, Henderson loses a lot of his scoring potential and should be viewed as a volume-dependent RB3.

Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks – 42% Rostered (UH, DP)

Kenneth Walker must not be 100%. From Weeks 4-7, Walker has played at least 70% of the team's snaps in all three of their games (Week 5 bye). However, this past weekend Walker played just 24 of the team's 57 snaps. Charbonnet played 32, which was a season-high for him, both in terms of snaps played and snap share. Not only did Charbonnet out-snap Walker, but he ran more routes than him too (22 to 12). They each received two targets, but Walker still had the advantage in rushing attempts (eight to five). This could have been game-dependent as Cleveland has one of the best front-sevens in all football and maybe the team felt the best way to beat Cleveland was leaning on quarterback Geno Smith and the passing game.

Still, it's noteworthy that Charbonnet out-snapped Walker especially after Walker did not practice at all on Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the game. He wasn't on the final injury report, but it's hard to explain the drastic change in playing time. Charbonnet made the most of his opportunities, rushing for 53 yards on just five carries. He also caught both of his targets for 11 yards. It's possible that in Week 9, it goes back to being the Walker show, but it's also possible Charbonnet's role grows in the second half of the season. With that possibility along with the fact that Charbonnet is an excellent handcuff makes him a quality waiver wire add.

Devin Singletary, Houston Texans – 20% Rostered (DP, UH)

The last time we saw the Texans play back in Week 6, Singeltary played 34 of the team's 63 snaps. Fellow running back Dameon Pierce played just 21 snaps. In that contest, Singletary had 12 carries to Pierce's 13. Singletary also ended up running more routes (18 to 7) and had more targets (2 to 0). Following that game, Singletary became a very interesting waiver wire added. The team was on a bye in Week 7 and while we didn't see Singletary take control or even become the 1A in the Houston backfield this past weekend, he was still very much involved.

Pierce played more snaps (25 to 23) and had more carries (12 to 10), but Singletary still got touches. Singeltary had more routes (8 to 7) and more targets (2 to 0). This was very much a 50/50 backfield. Singletary is the preferred pass-catching option and Pierce is the preferred goal-line back. Houston's rushing offense is very poor, but he looks like a running back who is likely to get 8-12 touches most weeks. That volume will keep him on the RB3 radar on a weekly basis. He also has high contingency value if Pierce were to get hurt.

Emari Demercado, Arizona Cardinals – 36% Rostered (IF, WS, DP, UH)

In Week 7, Demercado played on 53 of the team's 66 snaps. He finished with 13 carries for 58 yards. He also ran 28 routes on 38 total dropbacks. He finished with five targets, four receptions, and 17 yards. The Week 7 utilization was surprising seeing as Demercado was hardly used in Week 6. Due to this, it was hard to trust his Week 7 utilization would carry over to Week 8. It did carry over though. He played 42 of the team's 76 snaps. He finished with 20 carries and 78 rushing yards. He also received one target, which he caught for one yard. Starter James Conner is eligible to return in Week 10. Demercado will be a volume-dependent RB3 in Week 9 against the Cleveland Browns.

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans – 50% Rostered (UH, DP)

He shouldn't be viewed as anything more than a handcuff, but he's often played more snaps than starter Derrick Henry. Spears is averaging 4-5 carries a game, three targets, and just over two receptions per game. He's currently on pace for 50 targets at the end of the season, which does give him some value if fantasy managers are able to identify contests where the Titans are going to be trailing on the scoreboard.

He's scored over six half-PPR points in four out of eight games, which makes him slightly more valuable than a pure handcuff, but he has just one game with more than 7.5 half-PPR points, so the value is quite minimal. There's always the potential that Henry is traded and that prospect makes him a worthwhile dart throw. Reports indicate the Titans won't trade him, but that could just be a negotiating tactic. Things can change quickly in the NFL. If nothing else, Spears is one of the better handcuffs in fantasy football.

Royce Freeman, Los Angeles Rams – 22% Rostered (WS, DP)

While Henderson took the lead in Week 7, Freeman ended up playing more snaps than Henderson this past weekend. However, despite playing more snaps, Henderson still had more targets and carries than Freeman. Considering the game script and the touch totals, we can deduce that Henderson is still the team's preferred No. 1 option. Freeman’s day was saved by a late score which allowed him to score double-digits (10.4 half-PPR points).

He finished with 44 yards rushing on nine carries. He didn't have a single target. Freeman doesn't have a lot of standalone value. He's still the clear second-fiddle to Henderson and shouldn't be viewed as anything more than RB4 with a healthy Stafford. If Stafford is out, Freeman is an RB5. Williams is eligible to return from IR in Week 12, which gives Freeman just two more useful weeks, assuming Williams is back in time. Luckily, one of those comes against the Packers who have one of the worst run defenses in the league.

Others to consider: Latavius Murray, Buffalo Bills – 19% Rostered (DP, UH), Jaleel McLaughlin, Denver Broncos – 44% Rostered (DP, UH),  Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers – 28% Rostered (UH, DP), Tank Bigsby, Jacksonville Jaguars – 12% Rostered (UH, DP), Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles – 32% Rostered (UH, DP), Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints – 8% Rostered (UH, DP), Jeff Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins – 40% Rostered (UH, DP, DL), Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders – 48% Rostered (UH, DP, DL), Ezekiel Elliott, New England Patriots – 47% Rostered (UH, DP, DL), Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens – 39% Rostered (UH, DP, DL), Jamaal Williams, New Orleans Saints – 36% Rostered (UH, DP, DL), Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs – 35% Rostered (UH, DP, DL), Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers – 28% Rostered (UH, DP, DL), Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs – 8% Rostered (UH, DP, DL), Rico Dowdle, Dallas Cowboys – 3% Rostered (UH, DP, DL)

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys – 41% Rostered (WS, DP)

Dallas was on a bye in Week 7, but dating back to Week 6, Cooks has now found the end zone in back-to-back weeks. Fantasy managers would like to see his target total higher than it's been – in five out of his six games played he has had exactly four targets – but he's been the most productive receiver behind CeeDee Lamb. Hopefully, with the production in the team's past two games, Cooks will start to take on a bigger role for the offense.

Cooks missed Week 3 with a knee injury and was somewhat limited in Week 4. Dallas has also been in a ton of one-sided affairs, both wins and losses, which has made it difficult to get a good read on this Dallas offense. I was high on Cooks this offseason and while he's started off slow, fantasy managers have started to see glimpses of progress. If he can get up to 5-7 targets a game, Cooks can be a quality WR3. Right now, he's best viewed as a WR4 with WR3 upside. That's a quality player to have on your bench to help with the rest of the bye weeks.

Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers — 19% Rostered (MA, BC, WS)

Everyone likely wrote off Johnston far too early. He’s a rookie who had only been in the NFL for seven weeks and only played in six games. He was well known to be a developmental rookie, but one with a lot of upside. He was a very productive receiver at TCU and showed up in a ton of big games (the championship game notwithstanding). He has a first round pedigree and is a very good athlete. There’s a lot to like here.

Last night, he played more snaps than Joshua Palmer, making him the No. 2 receiver for the Chargers. He also ran 27 routes on the team’s 41 dropbacks. He earned six targets and caught five of them for 50 yards. He had more targets, receptions, and receiving yards than Palmer. Some of that could be explained by Palmer not being 100%, but at the end of the day, we know who Palmer is. Johnston has upside. After a quality Week 8 showing, he’s worth adding to see if he can continue building good performances. In the Chargers offense and with quarterback, Justin Herbert throwing him the ball, he’s got WR3 upside.

Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers – 6% Rostered (DP)

Mingo has yet to have that one big game, but his snap share, route participation, and target total indicate that the game is coming. He left Week 3 early due to a concussion, but in Weeks 1-2 and Weeks 5-6 (he was inactive in Week 4), Mingo's route participation has been above 85% in all four games. It has been over 95% in three of those four games, with the lone non-95% game coming in Week 5 in his first game back to action following his concussion. His snap share has been over 85% in all four games he was able to start and finish. Prior to Week 6, he had recorded at least five targets in each game except his Week 3 contest cut short by his concussion.

Mingo has the opportunity to be a fantasy-relevant receiver. While the production hasn't come yet, some of that is understandable. For starters, Mingo is a rookie and a rather raw one at that. Quarterback Bryce Young is also a rookie. Young also missed one game, which meant a quarterback change to veteran Andy Dalton. For a rookie getting this many opportunities and receiving that many targets, it's a reasonable bet to expect the production to come.

Coming out of the bye, Mingo played 66 of 67 snaps and ran 39 routes on 40 dropbacks. He earned five targets on 30 attempts. He caught four of those targets for 62 yards. He's clearly moved ahead of D.J. Chark Jr. and looks locked in as the team's No. 2 receiver. He's on pace for 96 targets, 54 receptions, and 553 yards through six games, but he did leave one of those six games early. With Thielen playing as well as he is, Mingo's breakout season will likely have to wait, but that doesn't mean he can't have a solid second half of the season and offer WR4 value. The snap share and the volume are there. He’s a player worth betting on.

Khalil Shakir, Buffalo Bills – 1% Rostered (DP)

Starting tight end Dawson Knox being on IR with a wrist injury had a butterfly effect on the rest of their offense. This shifted rookie Dalton Kincaid from the slot position where he had typically been playing to a full-time, traditional in-line tight end role. That meant Shakir shifted into the starting lineup as the slot receiver and Shakir gave the coaching staff something to think about. He played on 45 of the team's 69 snaps, ran 33 routes on 46 dropbacks, and finished with six targets.

He caught all six targets for 92 yards and finished with 12.2 half-PPR points. He had a productive Week 7 game, catching all four of his targets for 35 yards. That's back-to-back good games for the second-year player. With Knox on IR for the next three weeks, Shakir is likely to stay in the starting lineup as Buffalo's full-time slot position. He'll hold WR4 value with WR3 upside.

Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers – 17% Rostered (DP)

The Packers' entire offense has struggled mightily since Week 2, but Reed has played well. While Romeo Doubs continues to catch touchdown passes, he has just two games with more than 30 receiving yards. Is Doubs good or has he just been lucky in the touchdown department? I'm currently leaning towards the latter.

Reed, on the other hand, has gone over 30 receiving yards in five games this season. He's currently on pace for 763 yards working as the No. 2-3 receiver on a poor passing offense. It wouldn't be surprising if Reed continues to climb the team's proverbial target hierarchy especially if Doubs' touchdown luck dries up. Reed has averaged 8.48 yards per target compared to Doubs' 5.63 yards per target average. Reed has scored 7.5 half-PPR points in five out of seven games and has scored 9.0 or more in four out of seven.

Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions – 41% Rostered (BC, DP)

Williams only played 16 of the team's 70 snaps (fourth on the team among receivers) and ran just nine routes on 48 dropbacks (fifth on the team among receivers) in Week 6, but made a big splash catching two of his three targets for 53 yards and a touchdown. This Detroit offense could desperately use an X receiver and Williams profiles as someone who could fulfill that role. The question would be if the coaching staff would ever give him the opportunity to do so.

In Week 7, Williams's role grew, but not nearly as much as fantasy managers would have liked. He played 33 of the team's 75 snaps and ran 26 out of 58 routes. While his role grew, it wasn't nearly enough. However, on the bright side, Williams did finish with six targets on his 26 routes. The bad news is that he didn't catch a single one of his six targets. Williams likely isn't a player teams with a losing record can target, but if you're in a good place in the standings and can afford to stash someone like Williams for his upside, it could be worth it. That said, it doesn't seem like Williams will be anything more than a boom-or-bust WR4.

Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans – 22% Rostered (DP)

Burks hasn't done much this season to illicit confidence moving forward, but I'm going to buy into his first-round pedigree and his somewhat promising rookie season. He had a 23.8% target per route run last season. Unfortunately, he was injured for a few games, which slowed him down. This past offseason the team signed DeAndre Hopkins and a lot of the shine wore off. However, I'm buying back for two reasons: one, it's possible that Hopkins is traded yet, and two, did you see Will Levis? If I got a spot open at the end of my bench, I'd prefer to shoot for upside. Burks has it.

He's got the draft pedigree. He was a really productive college player. He's insanely athletic. Injuries and poor quarterback play have held him back. Not to mention, he was viewed as a raw prospect coming out and would likely need a year of seasoning. Now, he's a little more experienced, he's healthy, and he may just have gotten a quarterback upgrade.

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens – 21% Rostered (DP)

Much like Burks, there aren't many stats to point at to show that Bateman deserves a spot on your bench. His role, however, may be growing. He was dealing with some lingering issues from a lisfranc injury back in 2022. There are different severities, but Travis Etienne missed his entire rookie season due to a lisfranc injury. These can be difficult injuries, especially for receivers. His snap share has increased each of the last three weeks from 40% in Week 5 to 46% to 48% to 57% this past weekend. He also ran a route on 62.5% of the team's dropbacks, which was higher than his 46.4% route rate the week prior.

Bateman is a former first-round receiver who was incredibly productive at Minnesota. He's been effective in his two years in the NFL, but his time has been hampered due to injuries. He's not without talent, but he hasn't been consistently available to the team. He's looking like the healthiest he's been since early 2022. He's not going to leapfrog Zay Flowers or Mark Andrews, but he could be that pivotal third target in the Baltimore passing game. The Ravens' have been passing it more this season, so if he can earn that third role on a consistent basis, he could have WR4 value. If I have one spot on my bench, I'm okay swinging for the fences with a receiver of his pedigree on an offense such as Baltimore's. It's a gamble and it could be worth nothing, but there's some upside here.

Marvin Mims Jr., Denver Broncos – 16% Rostered (DP)

Much like Bateman and Burks, there aren't a ton of reasons to add Mims. This past weekend he played just 41% of the snaps, ran a route on just 37.5% of the dropbacks, and had one target. However, Mims has been incredibly productive and efficient with the routes and targets he's been given. He has 13 targets and 246 yards. Fantasy managers can hang their hat on that production.

There's also been a lot of rumors about both starters, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, being available via trade. It sounds as though it's likely at least one of them will be dealt before the deadline. Should that come to pass, Mims' playing time would go up exponentially. With the increase in playing time, his routes and targets would also increase. If he's able to just maintain a portion of the efficiency he's displayed thus far, he could be a quality WR4.

Demario Douglas, New England Patriots – 3% Rostered (DP)

Douglas got his first opportunity to play regular snaps last week and he made the most of them. In Week 7, he finished with six targets, four receptions, 54 receiving yards, and chipped in a rushing attempt for 20 yards. The New England passing offense has been stagnant for most of the year, so it seemed like only a matter of time before they gave their rookie, who performed really well in the preseason a chance to make a difference. This past weekend, he actually led the receivers in snaps, routes run, and targets. Some of that was likely due to the injury to Kendrick Bourne, but he could be out for considerable time.

He was ruled out with a knee injury and the team is hopeful it's just an MCL. That doesn't exactly sound promising. He played 10 more snaps, had seven more routes run, and earned four more targets than the next closest receiver other than Bourne. He finished with five receptions for 25 yards and chipped in another rushing attempt for four yards. He's best suited in PPR scoring leagues, but if Bourne is out for the foreseeable future, Douglas could have WR4 value.

Others to consider: Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars – 24% Rostered (WS, DP), Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints –36% Rostered (DP), Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants – 6% Rostered (DP), JuJu Smith-Schuster, New England Patriots – 17% Rostered (DP), Wan'Dale Robinson, New York Giants – 20% Rostered (DP), Mecole Hardman Jr., Kansas City Chiefs – 13% Rostered (DL), Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens – 28% Rostered (DL), Michael Wilson, Arizona Cardinals – 15% Rostered (DL), Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs –25% Rostered (DL), Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs – 29% Rostered (DL), Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions – 39% Rostered (DL), Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals – 9% Rostered (DL), D.J. Chark Jr., Carolina Panthers – 10% Rostered (DL), Darius Slayton, New York Giants – 3% Rostered (DL), DeVante Parker, New England Patriots – 1% Rostered (DL)

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals – 19% Rostered (MA, BC)

Hello Trey McBride!!! He needs to be added in every league. Every single league. He could very well be a top-five tight end for the rest of the season. McBride's role had been growing even with former starter Zach Ertz in the picture, but with him currently on IR, McBride took over in a full-time role. He might not give it back.

Despite going up against the Baltimore defense, which has allowed the fewest points to opposing tight ends this season at just 4.9 half-PPR points per game, McBride still managed to score 20.5 half-PPR points. He led the Cardinals with 14 (!!!) targets. He caught 10 of them for 94 yards and a touchdown. In the two weeks prior, when Ertz was still active and they were splitting the snaps and routes 50/50, McBride had 11 targets, seven receptions, and 91 yards. This past weekend, he played 81.5% of the snaps, ran a route on 88% of the dropbacks, and finished with a 40% target share.

Through eight games, there are just three teams who have targeted the tight end position more than Arizona. Outside of Marquise Brown, there's virtually no one else for the quarterback, whoever it is, to target. If Week 8 was any indicator, McBride is going to be a favorite. With Kyler Murray on the verge of returning sooner rather than later, McBride's value might actually go up. Add him now.

Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders – 45% Rostered (WS)

In six games that Thomas has started and finished (he left Week 2 in the second half with a concussion), he's averaged 6.3 targets per game. That would put him on pace for 108 targets over 17 games. In those six games, he's also averaged 4.5 receptions and 43 yards per game. Those per-game averages would put him on pace for 77 receptions and 731 yards. That is pretty, pretty good.

In the seven games he's played in, he's scored double-digits twice and has scored seven or more half-PPR points in four games. He has just one game below five half-PPR points. He has four games with at least six targets, four receptions, and 40 receiving yards. Thomas has operated as Washington's No. 2 passing option behind only Terry McLaurin. Fantasy managers should value Thomas as a backend TE1 at best and at worst, a high-end TE2. He may not have the highest ceiling, but he has a great floor and has been pretty consistent. He's also found the end zone three times this season.

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints – 35% Rostered (WS)

In Weeks 6-7, Hill played 59% of the snaps and had a 69% route participation. He also averaged 6.5 targets per game. Fellow tight end Juwan Johnson missed both of those games, but he returned this past weekend. Hill's snap share dropped to 44%, but even worse, his route participation dropped to 39%. He finished with one target, which he caught for 14 yards. However, he also received nine carries. He finished with 63 rushing yards and two scores. He also had 44 passing yards. It would've been nice to see his route participation hover around 50% and for him to have received 3-4 targets. His rushing role isn't going to go anywhere, but that alone makes him a decent tight end dart play. It was his receiving role that gave him consistency and upside.

Fellow tight ends, Juwan Johnson and Foster Moreau haven't done much in the passing game this season. In fact, Hill has the two best receiving game outputs from a New Orleans tight end. However, even a route participation of 39% is much better than it had been in the last three seasons. From 2020-2022, his highest route participation rate was 23%. In the other two seasons, it was below 15%. He can still be a high-end TE2 in the role we saw him operate in this past weekend.

Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders – 18% Rostered (WS)

We're still adding Mayer this week despite a step back last week. In Week 6, he ran a route on 67% of the team's dropbacks, but that fell back down to 54% this past weekend. While the lack of production can easily be written off due to the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo was out, to make matters worse, the team went from backup Brian Hoyer to rookie third-string quarterback Aidan O'Connell. That's not exactly a recipe for big numbers. We're not going to stress about that. The fact that he ran fewer routes is certainly not ideal. However, compared to his route participation early in the season, fantasy managers should still be buying here because of his talent profile.

He was insanely productive in college, finishing with 204 targets, 138 receptions, 1,649 yards, and 16 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Notre Dame. He led his team in receiving in all four categories for the 2022 season and led in all but receiving yards in 2021. He posted a 22% target share in 2021, which increased to 31% in 2022. His role over the past three weeks has expanded exponentially compared to the first four weeks.

Others to consider: Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers – 22% Rostered (WS, DP), Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons – 37% Rostered (DL), Tyler Conklin, New York Jets – 7% Rostered (DL), Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants – 1% Rostered (DL), Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 2% Rostered (DL), Irv Smith Jr., Cincinnati Bengals  – 4% Rostered (DL)



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