Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups (2020 Fantasy Football)
At this point of 2020, it’s easy for fantasy football managers to lose hope. Whether the result of bad luck or plain old incompetence, plenty of people are feeling hopeless heading into Week 9.
It’s not too late to change things for the better.
We can only control so much, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. Keep doing the work, and show up to do the little in your power to ensure a brighter tomorrow. Since this definitely isn’t a metaphor for anything else, that means heading to the waiver wire and replacing failing leaders (on your fantasy team, of course) with people better equipped to get the job done.
Note: Rostered percentages provided via Yahoo leagues.
Top 5 Waiver Targets of Week 9
Corey Davis (WR – TEN): 48% Rostered
Bury the hatchet. Let go of past heartbreak, and accept Davis onto your fantasy rosters once again. The 25-year-old has received 10 targets and found the end zone in each of his two games since returning from the COVID-19 list. He has now drawn 39 targets through five contests, matching Titans teammate A.J. Brown in the same amount of time. Our own Mike Tagliere broke down their comparable stat lines:
— Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL) November 2, 2020
Davis has earned his place onto rosters across the land. Only a brutal upcoming schedule (vs. CHI, vs. IND, at BAL, at IND) in the next four weeks prevents him from vaulting into a weekly starting spotlight.
Damien Harris (RB – NE): 47%
It didn’t take long for some fantasy managers to abandon Harris, who gained 100 rushing yards in his Week 4 season debut. A floundering Patriots offense limited him to just 103 yards in his next two games. On Sunday, however, he handled 16 of Cam Newton’s 25 handoffs for 102 yards. The sophomore is New England’s primary runner with Sony Michel on the IR, and a run-heavy game script could materialize against the winless Jets next Monday night.
Marvin Jones Jr (WR – DET): 49%
Nobody blames you one iota for dropping Jones before Week 7. Yet given the laws of fantasy football, that meant he was required to come alive. After amassing 146 receiving yards and one touchdown in his first five games, the veteran has since notched 119 yards and two scores — both in Week 8 — over his last two games. Detroit’s upcoming schedule (at MIN, WAS, at CAR, HOU) opens the door for Jones to recuperate some more fantasy value, especially with Kenny Golladay already ruled out for Week 9 after suffering a hip injury Sunday.
JaMycal Hasty (RB – SF): 42% Rostered
Tevin Coleman made his return just in time to replace the injured Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. Then he promptly joined his teammates right back on the sidelines after re-aggravating his injured knee. While Jerick McKinnon led the 49ers backfield with 35 snaps in Week 8, Hasty took one of his 12 carries to the house for his first career touchdown. San Francisco doesn’t want to give a major workload to the oft-injured McKinnon, who is better served operating mainly as a pass-catcher anyway. That leaves Hasty to once again see double-digit carries Thursday night against a subpar Packers rushing defense allowing 4.7 yards per carry. The 49ers, who demolished Green Bay on the ground behind Mostert last postseason, need to establish some type of rushing attack with Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle joining their growing list of inactive stars.
Gus Edwards (RB – BAL): 30% Rostered
The Ravens finally resuscitated their renowned running game, and it all took was facing an elite run-stopping defense without their primary back. An ankle injury yanked Mark Ingram out of action against the Steelers, who entered Sunday yielding just 68.8 rushing yards per game. J.K. Dobbins ran for 113 yards on 15 carries, and Edwards converted his 16 handoffs into 87 yards and a touchdown.
Another challenging matchup awaits in the Colts, who stymied the Lions to 29 rushing yards — just one from leading back D’Andre Swift — in Sunday’s 41-21 win. Yet Ingram is unlikely to return, leaving Dobbins and Edwards in a two-man split rather than the previous three-back madness. Already rostered in 68% of Yahoo leagues, Dobbins is a high-upside add still capable of finishing strong with or without Ingram. Edwards is more of a volume-orientated flex play who is more valuable in non-PPR leagues.
Notable Players 35-50% Rostered
Eric Ebron (TE – PIT): 45%
Mustering just nine yards in Week 6 stalled Ebron’s upward trajectory to borderline TE1 status. However, he’s cleared 40 yards in five of his other last six games, averaging 5.8 targets in the process. More importantly, he’s a valuable short-term streamer with Pittsburgh playing Dallas, Cincinnati, and Jacksonville in its next three games. All three of them have allowed double-digit fantasy points per game to tight ends.
Derek Carr (QB – LV): 42%
Endorsed here last week for his string of high-floor outputs, Carr naturally settled for a season-low 112 passing yards and 12 fantasy points last Sunday. Give him a mulligan, as the Raiders had little interest throwing in gusting wins during a 16-6 victory over Cleveland. Following Week 8, the Chargers have ceded the third-most fantasy points per game (27.0) to opposing quarterbacks. Carr warrants another chance in a week without many top quarterback streamers.
Notable Players 10-35% Rostered
Allen Lazard (WR – GB): 34%
Before landing on the IR, Lazard had recorded 254 yards and two touchdowns in three games. Although he didn’t suit up in Week 8, the wide receiver returned to practice last week. A Thursday Night Football showcase could delay his comeback one more week. Nevertheless, managers with roster flexibility should stash him now, as Aaron Rodgers hasn’t established a steady rapport with any wideout besides Davante Adams over the last four games.
Nyheim Hines (RB – IND): 29%
A hot pick-up following a two-touchdown Week 1, Hines had not reached the end zone in five ensuing games before tallying another pair of scores last Sunday. After getting fooled once in September, plenty of managers probably won’t want to risk getting duped once more. Fair enough. Hines won’t accomplish much in the running game, but he’s tacked on 26 catches for 200 receiving yards in 2020. Rather than envisioning a weekly fixture, let’s simply acknowledge the 23-year-old as a solid PPR depth piece. Perhaps there’s room for a bit more weekly consistency if the Colts continue to sour on Jonathan Taylor.
DeeJay Dallas (RB – SEA): 25%
In the absence of Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde, Dallas punched in two touchdowns on 23 total touches. However, the fourth-round rookie didn’t do much to earn enhanced involvement once Seattle regains one of its experienced rushers. Dallas mustered just 58 yards, failing to break off double-digit yards on a single play. He’s a flex play if Carson and Hyde can’t go Week 9 against the Bills, but Carson was given a “50-50” chance of playing last weekend.
Jalen Reagor (WR – PHI): 24%
In his first taste of action since injuring his thumb in Week 2, Reagor returned to register a touchdown and two-point conversion in Philadelphia’s Sunday Night Football win over Dallas. While he tallied just 16 yards, the rookie immediately played 73% of the team’s offensive snap and saw six of Carson Wentz’s 27 targets. Anyone who added Travis Fulgham weeks ago knows not to pass up a talented Eagles receiver just because Alshon Jeffery may come back one of these days. His return has supposedly been imminent for weeks, so just focus on the pass-catchers performing on the field.
Wayne Gallman Jr. (RB – NYG): 24%
For whatever reason, the Giants felt compelled to spell Gallman and Dion Lewis with Alfred Morris in place of the injured Devonta Freeman. Gallman nevertheless led the way with 12 carries in a closer-than-expected Monday Night Football loss to Tampa Bay. He produced 62 total yards and a touchdown against the NFL’s premier rushing defense, so there’s RB3/flex appeal against a more neutral Washington unit (17th against the run) if Freeman misses another game. Gallman has looked better than all of the stars of yesterday the Giants keep bringing in to fill the cavernous void Saquon Barkley left behind.
Logan Thomas (TE – WAS): 23%
Just when everyone threw in the towel, Thomas spiked touchdowns in back-to-back games before Washington’s Week 8 bye. He also produced 102 yards in those bouts, both started by Kyle Allen. One of those scores came against the Giants, whom he’ll face once again this Sunday. Thomas remains a dicey proposition, but good things can happen when logging plenty of snaps, running ample routes, and receiving one red-zone target per game.
Washington D/ST: 17%
Washington only offered one sack and takeaway apiece in Week 6’s 20-19 loss to the Giants. However, a fierce pass-rush rebounded to sack the Cowboys six times in a 25-3 triumph before taking a Week 8 bye. A high ceiling remains in its upcoming rematch with the G-Men.
Miami Dolphins D/ST: 16%
Miami’s defense overshadowed the debuting Tua Tagovailoa in Week 8, guiding the rookie quarterback to victory with two sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries (including a scoop-and-score), and the season’s first punt return touchdown. This unit has compiled at least a dozen fantasy points in four of their last five contests, tallying 16 sacks and 11 takeaways during that time frame. A road matchup at Arizona is hardly an enviable assignment, but this defense is worth monitoring after crushing the Rams.
Brian Hill (RB – ATL): 11%
Hill could be working his way into a noteworthy role behind Todd Gurley. Last Thursday night, the second-year running back set season highs in snaps (25) and carries (11) in a 25-17 victory over Carolina. Hill is averaging 4.6 yards per run to Gurley’s 3.8 while also hauling in 16 of his 19 targets. Consider him a deep-league add with some handcuff appeal given Gurley’s long-term health concerns.
Drew Lock (QB – DEN): 10%
If digging deep for a QB streamer, Lock just tossed three touchdowns in his best game of the season. After attempting 81 passes in his last two games, he gets an Atlanta defense that has allowed 8.5 yards per pass and 30.1 fantasy points per game — surpassed only by the Seahawks — to opposing quarterbacks.
Notable Players <10% Rostered
Kendrick Bourne (WR – SF): 8%
The 49ers are one injury away from giving Jerry Rice a call, so somebody needs to pick up some slack. Although Brandon Aiyuk is their only pass-catcher worth playing in a standard-sized league, Bourne could emerge as a solid No. 2 wideout in place of Deebo Samuel. After setting season highs in targets (10), catches (eight), and 81 receiving yards in Week 8, Bourne is averaging 4.5 catches for 61.3 yards per game with Samuel out of the lineup. Bourne may enjoy a few more high-volume showings, especially with another key name down in San Fran.
Jordan Reed (TE – SF): 3%
Ross Dwelley (TE – SF): 0%
A broken foot is expected to keep Kittle out of action for eight weeks, which effectively takes him out for the season. Garoppolo will also miss at least six weeks, leaving replacement quarterback Nick Mullens without Mostert, Wilson, Coleman, Samuel, and Kittle. When playing without Kittle in Week 3, Mullens targeted Reed (six) and Dwelley (four) a combined 10 times. That was the last time Reed suited up, but he may return this Thursday. If not, all of the attention would go to Dwelley, who connected with Mullens for a 16-yard touchdown late in last Sunday’s loss to Seattle.
Jordan Wilkins (RB – IND): 2%
So, who had Wilkins getting 20 carries in a game alongside a healthy Taylor? The highly touted rookie floundered once again, garnering just 22 yards on 11 carries. Wilkins, a fifth-round pick in 2018, turned his opportunities into 89 rushing yards and a score. He also secured his only target for 24 yards. If Indianapolis’ backfield is a true meritocracy, Wilkins may get more work once more against the Ravens. The Colts will more than likely instead look to get their early second-round pick on the right track, so don’t spend too much FAAB here.
Jakobi Meyers (WR – NE): 1%
With Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry out of action, Cam Newton found his new top target. Newton attempted just 25 passes, but 10 went to Meyers, who secured six of them for a team-high 58 yards. He was on the field for all but one of their 65 offensive plays. The previous week, the 23-year-old caught four of six targets for 60 yards. While there isn’t too much upside in a sluggish Patriots offense, Myers is a worthy WR4/5 with an elevating floor in larger leagues.
Braxton Berrios (WR – NYJ): 1%
In four games with Jamison Crowder out of the lineup, Berrios has caught 22 of 30 targets for 196 yards and two touchdowns. All the volume in the world won’t do much good on a team that can’t consistently score touchdowns, but deep-league PPR managers should take notice if Crowder misses a third straight game.
Marvin Hall (WR – DET): 0%
If the manager who drafted Jones held tight, pivot to Detroit’s other Marvin. Hall didn’t cross pay dirt in Week 8, but he matched Jones’ seven targets. While Jones mustered just 39 yards, the former undrafted free agent accrued a career-high 113 with help from a 73-yard strike. Hall could pay off as a deeper Week 9 dart throw against a suspect Vikings secondary.
Troymaine Pope (RB – LAC): 0%
Pope wasn’t even in Yahoo’s system prior to Week 8. With one touch all season, nobody expected him to get 10 carries and five catches for 95 total yards. That makes the Chargers’ backfield awfully crowded next to Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley, and that’s before accounting for Austin Ekeler’s possible return. Nevertheless, it’s bad business to ignore someone who gets 15 touches in a game. Those in deep leagues should watch the young Pope when he’s added into Yahoo’s database.
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