Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 9 free-agent forecast

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 9 free-agent forecast

Fantasy football roster management tips, strategy and advice

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 9 free-agent forecast


Fantasy football waiver wire recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.

Check back for any updates throughout Monday and Tuesday as more injury news becomes available.

Bye weeks: Lions, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Football Team

Fantasy football waiver wire targets

Priority free agents

1) Adrian Peterson, Tennessee Titans: Derrick Henry (foot) has a Jones fracture, which will cost him 6-10 weeks after surgery on Tuesday. Monday update:  Peterson has been signed to the TEN practice squad. Tuesday update: RB D’Onta Foreman was added to the practice squad as RB Mekhi Sargent was released from the PS.

Peterson is a logical replacement, and despite his advanced age, he proved capable of getting the job done last year. He is now fresh as a daisy, too. Be prepared to pounce.

No one player — or 10 — can directly replace Henry, so we’ll see some kind of time share. RB Jeremy McNichols should be the third-down guy. The primary backup, Darrynton Evans (knee), is on Injured Reserve.

With such a huge loss in fantasy, be aggressive. The 4 p.m. EDT Tuesday trade deadline could see another back added, and it’s wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the Titans also look to a veteran on the wire. Other notable options speculatively could include Todd Gurley, Brian Hill, and Frank Gore.

Availability: 99%
: Whatever you have left

2) RBs Boston Scott & Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles: Let’s assume Miles Sanders returns after his three weeks on IR, which means we’ll see him in Week 11 vs. a stout New Orleans run D. Los Angeles’ weakness is stopping the run, and Denver has degraded in a serious way over the last five weeks. This defense went from the 11th-toughest unit on the season-long front to the third weakest over the last three weeks.

Two caveats: Philly rarely ran before Sanders went down, and they faced the Detroit Lions in a blowout win. Those points out of the way, both Scott and Howard saw double-digit touches and each scored a pair of touchdowns. It’s a little mystifying they didn’t give Kenneth Gainwell an earnest chance until the game was out of hand, but we should at least be happy Nick Sirianni remembered the offense is allowed to run the ball.

In a procedural move, Howard was placed back on the practice squad Monday and can be activated at any time.

Availability: 80% (Scott) & 99% (Howard)
: $24-26 (Scott) & $21-23 (Howard)

NEW — 3) WR Bryan Edwards, Las Vegas Raiders: WR Henry Ruggs III will be charged with DUI causing death after a motor vehicle accident in Las Vegas. Ruggs himself suffered a serious hip injury, and it’s unlikely he plays again in 2021, if ever. The Raiders will turn to Edwards as the next best wideout not named TE Darren Waller (ankle), and if Waller misses another game, all eyes are on Edwards. The schedule ahead is extremely favorable for passing, and we could see a second-half breakthrough for the young wideout.

Availability: 89%
: $10-12

4) RB Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars: A few times, Hyde has appeared in this article as a recommended handcuff for James Robinson. The second-year J-Rob has a bruised heel and could miss time … or maybe not. Update: Meyer said Robinson is “day-to-day.” The opportunity to see the bulk of the carries is appealing, yet the immediate schedule is anything but with matchups vs. BUF, at IND, and vs. San Fran. Roster Hyde in the scenario Robinson misses time and bye weeks or other injuries force your hand to play him despite a tough matchup. Just don’t invest too much to make it happen.

Availability: 94%
: $8-9 (updated)

5) RB Ty Johnson, New York Jets: Prior to Week 8, Johnson had averaged 8.5 utilizations over the first six games — nothing special, but every bit helps during bye weeks and at the infirmed position. While Johnson has been capped at five rushing attempts since his season-high 12 totes in Week 2, 13 total targets in the last two games shouldn’t be ignored. He has 11 catches and 13 or more fantasy points in those outings. The Jets aren’t a great team, obviously, but that helps pass-catching backs, and Johnson proved to be immune to a quarterback change. Wide receiver deficiencies have him in the mix, regardless of the matchup.

Availability: 95%
FAAB: $9-10

6) WR Jamal Agnew, Jacksonville Jaguars: Three straight games Agnew has at least six targets and five or more receptions. Although the yardage has been capped at 78 and lower than 42 in two of those three contests, the former cornerback has 10 or more PPR points in teach of those outings. He also is coming off a 12-target performance, and Trevor Lawrence clearly has faith in him since DJ Chark Jr. was lost for the year.

Availability: 98%
: $4-5

7) TE Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers: Regardless of Eric Ebron’s health, Freiermuth has taken over as the TE1 of this offense. He posted 7-58-0 in Week 6 before the bye week and came out of the break with a 4-44-1 line. His touchdown grab was a masterpiece, and the season-long loss of wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster opened a weekly role for a possession weapon with a QB whose deep ball leaves something to be desired.

Availability: 90%
FAAB: $3-4

8) WR DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins: He’ll be inconsistent, but coming back from injury to log 11 targets, eight catches and 85 yards — all season highs. He last dressed in Week 4 and finished with 4-77-1. In his five appearances, he has three games with at least four grabs, 77 yards and 12-plus PPR points. While we’ve see a roller coaster from Tua Tagovailoa, Parker should be universally owned as long as he’s healthy.

Availability: 65%
: $3-4

9) QB Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders: Vegas comes out of the break and faces one of the softest fantasy schedules of any team. Looking ahead, Carr battles at the New York Giants, returns home for the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals, and then goes on the road for a Thanksgiving Day trip to Dallas. Afterward, a return home to face the lowly Washington pass defense, and a trip to KC in Week 14 carries us through the schedule in which bye weeks are an issue. Tuesday update: Carr will be without WR Henry Ruggs III, presumably the rest of 2021, after a DUI accident caused death and a serious hip injury for Ruggs. While still worth adding, some of the luster has been removed from Carr’s remaining outlook.

Availability: 38%
FAAB: $4-5

10) PK Daniel Carlson, Las Vegas Raiders: Check the wire since he is returning from a bye week. Carlson had nailed at least two field goals in five of seven outings, and he has nine or more fantasy points in as many contests. If you’re tired of rotating kickers from the wire, Carlson has staying power in an offense that will continue to provide work.

Availability: 74%
FAAB: $1-2

One-week plays

QB Davis Mills, Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins: This one is super risky for a few reasons … the erratic rookie’s highs have been impressive, whereas his lows have been catastrophically bad. Then there’s the looming chance of Tyrod Taylor returning this week after reportedly being close in Week 8. That said, if it is indeed Taylor under center, he’s a reasonable swap into this spot. While Mills should be given a legit chance to start the rest of the way, head coach David Culley appears to favor the veteran — perhaps that changed after this rookie’s strong Week 9 showing vs. a damning LA Rams defense. Quarterbacks have averaged the third-most fantasy points per game since Week 3 vs. the Dolphins. Granted, the competition that has exploited Miami has been stiff, but there’s still moderate upside for Mills to do some damage.

Availability: 98%
: $1-2

WR Elijah Moore, New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts: Thirteen receivers have at least four catches vs. the Colts this year, and 10 have gone for 12-plus fantasy points in PPR scoring. The short week means Mike White is likely to start once again at quarterback, and he looked to the rookie six times vs. Cincinnati in Week 8, resulting in 6-67-0. The prior week, Moore ran in a TD vs. New England, which is an added bonus to know he may be utilized in such a way. Four teams on bye means we need to dig a little deeper sometimes, and Moore makes for a worthwhile PPR flex play.

Availability: 84%
: $1-2

TE Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets: Four targets in Week 8 resulted in a big, fat zero in the receptions column. Not encouraging. However, with a season-high of three catches in any single game entering the week, don’t be turned off too much. Alie-Cox’s role isn’t to rack up volume … he’s a “play-n-pray” TD gamble in fantasy. New York has allowed three TE touchdowns in the last four games, and using data from the past three weeks shows this matchup has been 140.1 percent weaker than the league average.

Availability: 84%
: $1-2

PK Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans: The past five games vs. Houston have resulted in kickers scoring no fewer than seven fantasy points. Every kick but one extra point has been true, tallying 6-for-6 on three-pointers and 15 of 16 overall kicking attempts. The matchup is 46.4 percent better than average since Week 3. Sanders, for his part in this equation, hasn’t missed an XPA this year (14), but he has been on a wild ride when it comes to field goals with three misses in the last six tries. The offense vs. defense matchup profiles as a little bit of a struggle for Miami, which could result in more treys.

Availability: 90%
FAAB: $0-1

Grab & stash

WR Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers: A disastrous start to his season finally showed a bright spot with seven looks — the highest involvement of 2021 for Aiyuk — and a four-catch, 45-yard day. He added a two-point conversion. Given how limited he has been involved, and the looming prospect of Trey Lance taking over at some point this year, Aiyuk remains ultra risky.

Availability: 49%
: $2-3

WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills: Davis has been a total flop this year, that is until he came off the bye week and posted a 4-29-1 line — not special, but he had one more target than Emmanuel Sanders, who was blanked on his four looks. Davis has shown what he can do during a seven-score rookie season a year ago, and Sanders isn’t the future, so one has to question if we’re starting to see a transition. While I’m skeptical, Davis is worth stashing in deeper leagues to find out where this is headed.

Availability: 98%
: $1-2

TE Foster Moreau, Las Vegas Raiders: The Raiders return from a Week 8 bye, and Darren Waller’s injury situation has him facing a day-to-day status. Update: The Ruggs situation could move Waller to wide receiver and start Moreau at tight end, but that’s purely speculation at this point. Vegas returns to face the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively, and both are friendly enough opponents for tight ends. The position is a staple in this passing game, and Moreau can build on his Week 7 performance if given the same role. If you can, stash him until we definitively know Waller’s availability and/or how they offense will address replacing Ruggs.

Availability: 99%
: $0-1

TE Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team: A recommendation for people with extra storage space: Thomas is appearing on more and more waiver wires of late, and he’s expected to return after Washington’s Week 9. Upon his return, in Week 10, Thomas has three straight weeks vs. top-10 matchups in his favor.

Availability: 47%
: $0-1

Keep your eye on ’em

Atlanta Falcons wide receivers: With Calvin Ridley stepping away indefinitely as he focuses on personal matters, Atlanta has a sizeable target share to be seized. Last week, Russell Gage Jr. was included as a recommendation, but he wasn’t even targeted in a losing effort without Ridley. That perfectly illustrates the volatility of this passing game. Tajae Sharpe led the team in receiving Sunday, and Olamide Zaccheaus will have a chance to step up his involvement. Given the erratic nature, it’s best to watch how this shakes out vs. New Orleans. In all actuality, we’re probably looking at Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson as the only contributors with any fantasy relevance from week to week.

TE Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars: In the last three games, following the loss of WR DJ Chark Jr., after Arnold was traded from Carolina earlier in the year, the versatile tight end has 23 targets in the last three contests. He hasn’t scored since Week 14 of 2020 two teams ago, but Arnold catches passes from a rookie QB and on a franchise with a porous defense. The opportunities should be there more often than not, and he’s worth watching in most formats but could be rostered in a pinch.

Availability: 96%

Eligible-to-return tracker

The following fantasy-relevant players are eligible to return from the Reserve/Injured list and could be on waivers, but inclusion below doesn’t guarantee coming back in the upcoming week. The date when the player was placed on IR is in parentheses.

  • PK Rodrigo Blankenship, Indianapolis Colts (10/16)
  • PK Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers (10/6)
  • TE Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (10/6)
  • WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (10/2)
  • WR Tyrell Williams, Detroit Lions (9/23)
  • WR Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (9/13)

Deep diving for running backs

If you’re in a competitive league, it is unlikely running backs are just chillin’ on the waiver wire. But that doesn’t mean gamers aren’t still in need of “break in case of emergency” running backs. These players could be available for a dumpster dive:

  • RB Jermar Jefferson, Detroit Lions (TD flier if Jamaal Williams remains out)
  • RB Jeremy McNichols, Tennessee Titans (PPR only)
  • RB Scottie Phillips & Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans (8 utilizations each w/o Mark Ingram)
  • RB Jaret Patterson, Washington Football Team (Antonio Gibson insurance)
  • Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers (FB with an adoring coach)
  • Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts (maybe gets traded?)


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