Week #9 Waiver Watch Of Truth
Welcome back to The Waiver Watch Of Truth!
Let’s dive right in.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears – Heading into the season the majority of people would have pegged Chicago to be in the running for the #1 overall pick in next year’s draft, and the beginning of the season played out exactly as we expected. The Bears’ offense was struggling through the first four weeks, and Justin Fields along with it. Fields averaged a measly 10.3 fantasy points per game through his first four games, but it seems the coaching staff has finally figured out how to get Fields going. In the last 4 weeks he has averaged 21 points per game, a Top 10 option over that stretch. His numbers have increased each of the last 4 weeks and the Bears are finally getting him in position to use his legs, rushing over 80 yards the last 2 games. Fields gets a juicy schedule upcoming against the Dolphins, Lions and Falcons the next three weeks. You can plug and play Fields as a QB1 for the foreseeable future.
Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons – Mariota is quietly the QB8 on the season this year. Rumblings about benching Mariota for rookie Desmond Ridder have seem to quiet as the Falcons continue to win, currently sitting atop the NFC South. Mariota has been a bit up and down this season, but has shown he can provide ceiling weeks, eclipsing 20 points in 2 of his last 3 games. He’s got a great schedule upcoming against the Chargers, Panthers, Bears and Commanders, which makes him a Top 12 QB play for the next few weeks.
Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns – This is a stash play as Watson is still slated to miss a handful of more games due to his suspension, but as we get closer to Watson’s return, managers will certainly begin to pounce to add Watson to the roster. If you can afford the roster spot, it makes sense to get ahead of the curve and stash Watson now before there’s a mad dash to acquire him. We’ve seen Watson perform at a Top 5 level when he’s been on the field, so he’s worth adding as a player who can add some juice to your roster heading into playoff time.
Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams – The Rams seemingly have no answer for their backfield, splitting carries between Darrell Henderson and Ronnie Rivers this past week. It’s clear they don’t trust Henderson and we’re not sure if Cam Akers will ever suit up for LA again. Williams has been nursing an injury since he went down on the first play in Week 1, and could provide the spark this Ram’s offense desperately needs. There were reports of Williams being a big part of the plan heading into the season, and with no one commanding the lead RB role this year, we could see Williams get big opportunity when he returns soon.
Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons – Allgeier is most likely owned in leagues, but worth double checking to see if he’s still around. The Falcons continue to win, which creates positive game scripts for the running game. In addition, Arthur Smith is fully implementing his ground and pound philosophy from Tennessee, as the Falcons rank 3rd in rushing attempts per game. Allgeier has been around 60% of snaps over the last 4 weeks, and eclipsed double digit fantasy points in each of the last two. Cordarelle Patterson and Damien Williams will soon be back on the field so Allgeier most likely isn’t a long term solution, but could provide another usable week or two if you’re in a pinch.
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Surprisingly White has a high ownership across leagues, but worth checking if he’s around. The Buccaneers have struggled collectively on offense, but especially in the running game, currently ranking dead last in the NFL in rush yards per game. White has gotten opportunity in the passing game recently, receiving 3+ targets in 4 of his last 5 games, and could see an uptick in opportunity if the Bucs decide to change things up on offense. Leonard Fournette has been extremely inefficient lately, averaging under 3 yards per carry each of the last three weeks. White isn’t someone you can pick-up and start right away, but worth holding on to the end of your roster to see how the Tampa backfield shakes out the next few weeks.
Caleb Huntley, Atlanta Falcons – Huntley is a bit of a desperation add, given Patterson and William’s impending return, and the fact he’s the #2 RB behind Allgeier, however we know Atlanta is an extremely run heavy team, and there’s plenty to go around here. On 36% of snaps in Week 8 Huntley received 16 carries which he turned into 91 yards. He’s gotten double digit carries 3 of his last 5 games, and could provide a decent flex play if you’re in a pinch until Patterson and Williams come back.
Kenyan Drake, Baltimore Ravens – There’s a good chance Kenyan Drake was dropped in many fantasy leagues last week. Gus Edwards returned to action in Week 7 and immediately was given the majority of backfield opportunities, while Drake had a miserable stat line of 11 carries for 5 yards in Week 7. JK Dobbins is on IR and Gus Edwards left last week’s game early due to a hamstring injury, so if Gus misses time, or the Ravens take it easy with him, Drake should be in line to carry the bulk of rushing attempts. He's not an exciting option but worth the add given the Raven’s rushing attack.
Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers – Palmer sat out in Week 7 due to a concussion and the Chargers were on bye in Week 8, so there’s a high chance managers dropped Palmer due to necessity these last two weeks. If he’s available, he’s definitely worth an add as a plug and play flex option for PPR leagues. Keenan Allen has been nursing a hamstring injury since Week 1, and while he returned to limited action in Week 7, the Chargers were very cautious with him. The bye week should get Allen back to full strength, but the Chargers just lost Mike Williams for the next few weeks to an ankle injury. If Allen and Williams miss time, Palmer immediately becomes the #1 option for Justin Herbert, and even with Allen back in the line-up, this is a high volume passing attack that should benefit multiple players. Palmer has gone over double digit fantasy points 3 of his last 5 games he’s played.
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals – Moore could be sitting on the waiver wire after only turning in 1 catch in Week 7. Since returning from injury, Moore has been a great WR3 option going over 10 PPR points 3 of his last 4 games, the exception being the Thursday night dud in Week 7. He showed he can provide a ceiling this past week with 23.4 points, and the Cardinals love to throw the ball so even with Hopkins soaking up a ton of targets, there seems to be plenty left over for Moore to feast. The addition of Robby Anderson on the outside allows Moore to work primarily in the slot, where he does the most damage.
Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens reported this week that Rashod Bateman will be sidelined for several weeks with an injury, which should open the door for Duvernay to step in. He was heavily involved this past week, receiving 4 targets and 2 carries, which he turned into 16.4 PPR points. We saw Duvernay start out the gate hot, with 10+ points in each game from Weeks 1-3, and he’s been over 9 PPR points in 6 of 8 games this year. Mark Andrews has also been banged up and missing time the last few weeks so Duvernay should see increased opportunities until Bateman and Andrews return.
Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans – This is a speculative add to throw on the end of your bench as we haven’t seen Burks produce much this season. He went on IR in Week 5, and assuming he’s on schedule with rehab, should be slated to only miss one more game, putting him on track for a potential return in Week 10 against Denver. The Titans have been winning with their ground game, but desperately need a playmaker at WR. After trading away star AJ Brown during the draft, the Titans selected Burks in the first round to step in and fill that role. There’s no guarantee Burks turns into anything useful, but should immediately be on the field every play when he returns. The Titan’s low passing volume caps his ceiling, but worth speculating on a first round WR in an offense starved for playmakers.
Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens – Likely was a pre-season darling after tearing up training camp and the pre-season, but hadn’t gotten much opportunity this year behind All-Pro TE Mark Andrews. When Andrews left their Week 8 game early, Likely stepped up in a big way with 19.7 PPR points. It’s tough to spend a high waiver or FAAB on Likely, given reports that Mark Andrews’ shoulder injury isn’t serious, but this is 2 weeks in a row now we’ve seen Andrews leave the game early and the Ravens could opt to let him heal up fully. If Andrews misses any time, Likely should become a plug and play top 12 TE given Lamar’s history of hyper-targeting the TE position.
Tyler Conklin, New York Jets – Conklin most likely just had his best game of the season so I wouldn’t go chasing two touchdowns and expect it to repeat, but the Jets look like they will be a bit more pass happy with star RB Breece Hall out for the rest of the year. Their running game clearly isn’t the same after losing Hall, which should provide more volume in the air. While Zach Wilson looked abysmal in Week 8, he was able to produce over 300 passing yards and connected with Conklin for 2 scores. If you’re stuck in TE wasteland like most, Conklin’s resurrection is worth a look as a streaming option.
Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars – Engram has now gone over 9 PPR points in 4 straight weeks and currently sits as a Top 10 TE on the season. If you’re stuck in the wasteland and Engram is available, he’s by far the most attractive option. He’s gotten 6+ targets in 4 straight weeks and any TE receiving that volume is worth adding. He’s got two very favorable matchups upcoming against the Raiders and Chiefs and I wouldn’t be surprised to see two more top 10 games upcoming.
Good luck on the wire all and as always, stay true!