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Waiver Wire: Week 9

by Raymond Summerlin
Updated On: November 13, 2018, 4:56 am ET

Note: Receivers reordered following Demaryius Thomas trade. 

Welcome to the 9th edition of Waiver Wired for the 2018 season. It was not a terrible week for injuries, but there was one major blow. Will Fuller suffered a torn ACL on Thursday night which will keep him out the rest of the season, prompting a trade for Demaryius Thomas on Tuesday. Tyreek Hill also went down with a groin strain which puts his Week 9 status in question, and Ronald Jones is expected to miss a few weeks with a hamstring strain.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-roster assets in shallow leagues, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worth monitoring, and deep cuts are players rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

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The Drop List
QB: Jameis Winston
RB: Corey Clement, Javorius Allen
WR: Keelan Cole, Martavis Bryant, Nelson Agholor

There is a reasonable chance Winston returns to the starting lineup, perhaps as soon as Week 10, but that does not mean he needs to be held in shallow leagues given the current quarterback climate. Clement played just 21 percent of the snaps against the Jaguars and has not done anything the last two games. With Josh Adams taking on a bigger role, Clement could disappear from the rotation. Javorius Allen scored a touchdown against the Panthers, but he has just four carries and 13 touches total the last three games. Cole fumbled his second catch against the Eagles, the latest in a long run of mistakes, and appeared to be benched. He played just 15 snaps while rising rookie D.J. Chark saw 48. Agholor had an okay game against the Jaguars on the back of one long play, but he has topped 50 receiving yards just once since Week 2 and has not scored over that span. Now he has Golden Tate to deal with. 

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1. Ryan Fitzpatrick
2. C.J. Beathard
3. Derek Carr
4. Dak Prescott

Running Backs
1. Peyton Barber
2. Ito Smith
3. Josh Adams
4. Elijah McGuire
5. Devontae Booker
6. Wendell Smallwood
7. Nyheim Hines

Wide Receivers
1. Courtland Sutton
2. DeVante Parker
3. D.J. Moore
4. Tre’Quan Smith
5. Keke Coutee
6. Marquez Valdes-Scantling 
7. Tyrell Williams
8. Christian Kirk
9. Anthony Miller
10. David Moore
11. Kendrick Bourne

Tight Ends
1. Vance McDonald
2. Jack Doyle
3. Chris Herndon

Defense/Special Teams
1. Carolina
2. Kansas City
3. Dallas
Looking Ahead: Green Bay

1. Matt Bryant
2. Robbie Gould
3. Mason Crosby
Looking Ahead: Josh Lambo

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues

The magic is back. Who knows how long Fitzpatrick will keep the starting job, but he will be a high-end fantasy option while he has it. Tampa Bay is averaging the second-most quarterback points per game this season, just .8 points per game behind Kanas City. Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston have combined to score at least 20 fantasy points in every game except Week 4. An in-game benching is really the only concern.

2. C.J. Beathard, 49ers – Rostered in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
The wheels have come off a bit for Beathard the last two games, but that was against the Rams and Cardinals, two teams who can get after the quarterback. That will not be an issue when he faces the Raiders on Thursday night. Oakland has given up multiple scores to all but one quarterback they have faced this season.

3. Derek Carr, Raiders – Rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
Considering the defenses involved, Thursday’s game could turn into a shootout. Based on what he was able to do against the Colts’ equally porous defense even with Amari Cooper gone, Carr would seem to be up to the challenge. The concern is Carr’s touchdowns have come in bunches despite consistent usage near the goal line, but the 49ers have given up the second-most passing touchdowns this season.  

4. Dak Prescott, Cowboys – Rostered in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
Prescott is a viable streamer based on how much damage he has done on the ground the last two games and the added upside of Amari Cooper. That said, the Titans are not a great matchup, and it is difficult to trust someone who has demonstrated so little through the air to this point. He is an option, but there are better ones.


Watch List: Hopefully the coaching change helps, but Baker Mayfield has played poorly as of late, and the Chiefs have been solid against the pass for several weeks…Alex Smith has a great matchup against the Falcons, but he has not thrown for 200 yards since Week 5 and is really hurting for weapons in the passing game…Joe Flacco did throw for 363 yards and two scores in Pittsburgh Week 4, but the Steelers are better on defense now while Flacco has struggled since that game…Marcus Mariota is in a very similar position as Prescott except he does not have the added hope of a brand new receiver…Case Keenum no longer has the specter of a benching hanging over him, but he remains a lackluster fantasy option outside of good matchups…Sam Darnold had one of his better games the last time he played the Dolphins, but he has not been good enough and does not have enough healthy weapons to trust…The tea leaves suggest Ryan Tannehill will sit again, leaving Brock Osweiler to start another game. Despite a pretty good matchup, he is only an option in two-quarterback leagues…It still remains likely Joe Flacco finishes out the season, but it is not crazy to think the Ravens would look at a change if their recent slide continues. Now might be the time to pick up Lamar Jackson in deep leagues.

1. Peyton Barber, Bucs – Rostered in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues

Barber has two things working for him. One, Ronald Jones is going to miss at least a couple of weeks with a hamstring strain. Two, he has turned the corner the last three games. Albeit in good matchups, he totaled 106 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons and 85 yards and a score against the Bengals. He was less effective against Cleveland, but right now he looks like the locked-in starter in a good offense. That is worth something.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Ito Smith, Falcons – Rostered in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues
There is really no reason to give up on Smith, especially now that Atlanta’s bye is over. The only difference between his game and Tevin Coleman’s against the Giants was a perfectly blocked 30-yard touchdown. Smith now has 10, 13, and nine touches in the last three games without Devonta Freeman and has the same number of carries inside the 10 as Coleman. In a great offense, he can return FLEX value as the No. 2 just like Coleman has in the past.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

3. Josh Adams, Eagles – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Philly’s running game has needed a spark since Jay Ajayi went down, and Adams offered it against the Jaguars, going for 61 yards on just nine carries including a couple long runs on scoring drives. He did give away some goodwill by almost fumbling while the Eagles were trying to run down the clock – he was ruled down on review – but he looked like the early-down option for which the Eagles have been searching. He is just a stash with the Eagles on bye, but he will hopefully emerge from the off week as the primary option on the ground.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

4. Elijah McGuire, Jets – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
This assumes McGuire is able to return this week, the first week he is eligible after being placed on injured reserve at the start of the season because of a broken foot, but that seems likely considering he started practicing a couple weeks ago. If he does, he is a good bet to take over the “Bilal Powell role” from Trenton Cannon, who has less experience and did not cover himself in glory in his audition against the Bears.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

5. Devontae Booker, Broncos – Rostered in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Many hoped it would be the Phillip Lindsay show with Royce Freeman sidelined by a high-ankle sprain, but Devontae Booker played 44 percent of the snaps and turned 13 touches into 101 total yards. His matchup this week against the Texans is not nearly as inviting, but it appears he will have a role as long as Freeman is on the shelf, which he should be for at least a couple more weeks if he is really dealing with a high-ankle sprain.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. Wendell Smallwood, Eagles – Rostered in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues
Even with Josh Adams getting more involved, Smallwood kept a role in the offense and especially the passing game. He ran more routes than Adams and Corey Clement combined against the Jaguars and scored from 36 yards out on a screen pass. That role can be fantasy useful even if Adams takes over, and it is far from a given Adams is inserted as the starter following the bye.  
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

7. Nyheim Hines, Colts – Rostered in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
Marlon Mack continues to make me look stupid for doubting him, but Hines had himself a game against the Raiders as well – 78 yards on 11 carries – and the Colts have not been forced to lean on the passing game either of the last two games. That figures to change at some point given their issues on defense, although it has to be noted their schedule after the bye is anything but a murder’s row of offenses. Even so, Hines is worth keeping around in deep leagues to see what happens.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

Watch List: It seems likely Elijah McGuire returns this week, but Trenton Cannon would once again handle the passing-down work behind Isaiah Crowell if not…Raheem Mostert remains a bench stash if possible, especially given Matt Breida’s injury list, but it does not look like he will get a real run out while Breida is “healthy” enough to play, especially with Alfred Morris still hanging about…Mike Davis saw 10 carries against the Lions and is clearly the No. 2 back in Seattle – Rashaad Penny played zero snaps on offense for the second time in the last three games – but it does not seem like that role will create consistent fantasy value even in a run-heavy offense…Sony Michel looks likely to return this week, and even if he does not, Cordarrelle Patterson is more likely to get carries than Kenjon BarnerJamaal Williams ended up with a touchdown, but he touched the ball just four times against the Rams while playing less than half the snaps of Aaron Jones. With Jones finally taking over, knock on wood, neither Williams nor Ty Montgomery’s butterfingers are worth rostering in normal-sized leagues…Chris Ivory is only a handcuff at this point…Frank Gore can help teams in deep leagues get through the bye weeks, but he is probably rostered in as many leagues as he should be…Out a few weeks, Ronald Jones is not even an exciting bench stash at this point…Game script had something to do with it, but LeGarrette Blount only played seven snaps against the Seahawks. He will probably pop up with some touchdowns in the coming weeks, but he is not a real fantasy option. Neither is Theo Riddick, who remains without a timetable for return…Giovani Bernard does not look close to returning, and he will be a distant second to Joe Mixon in the pecking order when he does…D’Onta Foreman is “closer” to practicing according to Bill O’Brien, but the Texans have consistently stretched the truth on the running back’s recovery. Coming back from an Achilles’ tear, it is possible we do not see him this season…Darren Sproles is in a similar spot as Foreman. There is no way to know when he will return.

Deep Cuts: With the Texans thin at receiver, Tyler Ervin is likely to keep getting snaps there…Handcuffs start to make a little more sense late in the season, especially in deep leagues. Spencer Ware, Malcolm Brown, Rod Smith, Chase Edmonds, Wayne Gallman, and, for now, Mark Walton headline that group…Melvin Gordon should be back this week, but it is worth keeping an eye on Justin Jackson if that is not the case.

1. Courtland Sutton, Broncos – Rostered in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues

With Demaryius Thomas now a Texan, Sutton is suddenly locked into at worst the No. 2 job in Denver, a role which earned Thomas 19 percent of the targets even with Sutton lurking behind him. The rookie will not have that same concern. Sutton also should have an expanded role in the red zone -- he and Thomas have combined for five targets inside the 10 this season. While Case Keenum has not created much with the opportunities, he is tied for 10th in the league with 20 attempts inside the 10. Inefficient to this point, Sutton certainly has questions, but he is the best match of a defined role and upside available on the wire this week. 
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues 

2. DeVante Parker, Dolphins – Rostered in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
There is certainly an argument Parker should be behind Moore on this list, but Moore's ceiling even if he stays ahead of Torrey Smith is the No. 3 option in the passing game behind Devin Funchess and Christian McCaffrey, and that is without even considering Greg Olsen. Parker can be more than that if he is given a real shot. That said, he was basically a healthy scratch before last week, he plays in a bad passing offense, he has a long injury history, and has Kenny Stills is coming back perhaps as soon as this week. Everyone on this list has questions. Parker just has more upside. 
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

3. D.J. Moore, Panthers – Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues
He had the best game of his career while setting a career-high in snaps, but Moore interestingly only had one more target against the Ravens than he did against Philly and Washington the two weeks before. He was already starting to see more work, and his performance on Sunday should ensure that usage continues even once Torrey Smith returns. With the Bucs up next, Moore is a legitimate starting option even in shallower leagues this week as well as a great stash.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

4. Tre’Quan Smith, Saints – Rostered in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
Smith once again had a disappointing game, but he also once again worked as the clear No. 2 receiver, playing 22 more snaps than Austin Carr and 32 more than Cameron Meredith. The disappointing performance also came in a game the Saints passed for just 164 yards. The matchup this week against the Rams will be much more telling. For now, I am keeping the faith.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

5. Keke Coutee, Texans – Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
Coutee appeared on his way to a big role following Will Fuller's injury, but now his fantasy value is more difficult to gauge. On the one hand, Demaryius Thomas has not been very good the last several years and will probably take some time to settle in. On the other, it is now less likely Coutee sees as large a target share bump as was expected at the beginning of the week. Hamstring injury aside, Coutee still looks more valuable than he was before Fuller went down, but he is no longer close to the No. 1 add.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

6. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is certainly possible Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison were just limited coming back from multi-week injuries, but it is noteworthy Valdes-Scantling played more snaps than both of them and tied with Cobb for second on the team with five targets. One of those was a touchdown in which he absolutely cooked Troy Hill at the line of scrimmage. With big-play ability and potentially a sizable role in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense, Valdes-Scantling is worth stashing in most leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

7. Tyrell Williams, Chargers – Rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
Like last week, I remain skeptical Williams can keep putting up numbers while catching three passes a game, but it is impossible to overlook back-to-back 118-yard performances with three total touchdowns. It is also worth noting Williams has had a solid floor this season, topping 45 yards or scoring in all but one game.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

8. Christian Kirk, Cardinals – Rostered in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
Kirk took a backseat to Larry Fitzgerald in the first game under the new coordinator, but he still saw seven targets which he turned into 42 yards and a touchdown. He has averaged 63 yards with two scores in his last six games, and there is room for improvement if this offense takes a step forward.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

9. Anthony Miller, Bears – Rostered in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Allen Robinson hobbled, Miller has seen his role expand the last two weeks. He has seven targets in each game, and he connected with Mitchell Trubisky on a touchdown against the Jets. He has not been particularly efficient with the work, but he is worth stashing in deeper leagues to see what happens.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

10. David Moore, Seahawks – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
It still remains unlikely Moore returns consistent fantasy value as the No. 3 receiver in an offense which has averaged 22.6 passing attempts per game in their last five, but it is impossible to overlook four touchdowns in three games, especially after Moore dominated Teez Tabor on Sunday. He is worth a stash in deep leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

11. Kendrick Bourne, 49ers – Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
It might come to nothing if Pierre Garcon is not traded, but Bourne worked as the clear No. 2 receiver with Garcon sidelined against the Cardinals. He played 82 percent of the snaps and saw a team-leading 10 targets. Marquise Goodwin remains the best fantasy bet on this team, but Bourne is interesting, especially with the Raiders next up on the schedule.

Upside Stashes: My thoughts on stashing an “upside” receiver have not changed, but listing them all at the end of the pickups every week was starting to seem ridiculous…Mike Williams has already flashed his upside this season, but he has seen three, four, four, and three targets the last four games…Antonio Callaway will need more than one okay game to get back in the usable range…Michael Gallup appeared on his way to a usable role before the Amari Cooper trade. Now he is in limbo…It makes sense for the Titans’ struggling passing game to get Taywan Taylor more involved, but they seem to be going the other way…Dante Pettis was well behind Kendrick Bourne against the Cardinals, but it was his first game back from injury. There is room for growth here…There might not be room in Carolina’s offense for Curtis Samuel to get consistent targets, but he is a playmaker…With Keelan Cole in the doghouse, D.J. Chark played 48 snaps, caught four passes for 41 yards, and had a pass bounce off his hands in the end zone. His best-case scenario coming out of the bye is the No. 3 option, but there is some late-season breakout appeal here.

Watch List: Brandon LaFell came out of almost nowhere to play 92 percent of the snaps and find the end zone against the Colts. Seth Roberts also scored against Indianapolis, and both receivers along with Jordy Nelson saw four targets. It will be tough for any receiver to return value behind Jared Cook and Jalen Richard if this three-way split continues, but it is something to watch…Danny Amendola ended up with a good fantasy game because of his touchdown throw, but five catches for 43 yards was underwhelming. With Parker emerging and Kenny Stills potentially returning, Amendola’s upside is muted…The Jets’ receiver situation is as muddled as any. Robby Anderson would be a good option if he was healthy, but he did not seem close to playing last week. Jermaine Kearse has failed to capitalize on his opportunity the last two weeks, and Rishard Matthews played just 19 snaps in his debut. This looks like a situation to avoid until Anderson returns…With Keelan Cole seemingly on the outs, Donte Moncrief looks like the No. 1 option right now with Dede Westbrook behind him and D.J. Chark waiting in the wings…Pierre Garcon has not done much of anything this season, but the lingering trade rumors make him at least interesting…Kelvin Benjamin has not been terrible since Derek Anderson took over, but it is not worth investing in Buffalo passing game…If five catches for 55 yards is the question, Willie Snead is the answer…Cameron Meredith has not been targeted the last two games.

Deep Cuts: Chris Conley would be the next man up if Tyreek Hill is forced to miss time, but he will be tough to trust in fantasy lineups, especially with Demarcus Robinson also likely to get snaps…Josh Reynolds came back from a disappointing Week 7 in a big way, catching two touchdowns against the Packers. Unfortunately for him, Cooper Kupp is expected to return this week…Sony Michel returned to practice Friday and seems likely to play against the Packers, but it is good to know Cordarrelle Patterson will be the “running back” of choice if he misses more time…It was interesting to see Dontrelle Inman tie for the team lead with seven targets. It will be tough for he, Chester Rogers, and Ryan Grant, once he returns from injury, to be reliable fantasy options with so many mouths to feed in this offense, but it is at least a situation worth monitoring…Adam Humphries has topped 75 yards in two of the last three games, has 19 targets the last two weeks, and was inches away from a touchdown against the Bengals…Jordan Matthews still worked as the No. 3 receiver, but he looked great against the Jaguars. Perhaps he can eat into Nelson Agholor’s role…For what it is worth, Deontay Burnett led the Jets with four catches for 61 yards…James Washington’s snap share is going the wrong way…If the Browns' offense is able to improve following the coaching changes, Rashard Higgins could end up being the beneficiary. He should be close to returning after suffering a sprained MCL early in October.

1. Vance McDonald, Steelers – Rostered in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues

McDonald is easily the best option for this week on the wire – Jack Doyle is on bye – but like every lower-tier tight end he comes with concerns. McDonald has three or fewer targets in two of his last three games and is sharing time with Jesse James. On the bright side, he went for 62 yards on five catches the last time he played the Ravens, who have been a pretty good matchup for tight ends.

2. Jack Doyle, Colts – Rostered in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
Doyle would be first, but the Colts are on bye this week. Even so, as was written here for several weeks while he was injured, his upside is worth stashing at a weak position even with Eric Ebron hanging around. Doyle worked as the clear No. 1 tight end in the preseason, and he out-snapped Ebron 57-to-17 in his first game back while running twice as many routes. Ebron is likely to steal touchdowns, but Doyle can still be a fantasy factor in his own right, especially with the Colts’ issues at receiver.

3. Chris Herndon, Jets – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
Herndon’s floor is concerning, to say the least, but he has scored three games in a row while the Dolphins have given up five touchdowns to tight ends in their last three games including four to Michael Roberts and Jordan Thomas the last two games.

Watch List: Ben Watson was held without a target and played just 14 snaps on Sunday night. Perhaps it was a game-plan situation, but his usage has not exactly been promising this season. Using him against the Rams is making a bet on the Saints’ offense in what could be a high-scoring game…Ed Dickson had a promising start to his season with 54 yards and a touchdown, but he played fewer snaps and ran fewer routes than Nick Vannett against the Lions. It will be tough for him to consistently produce in a timeshare on an offense which wants to run the ball as much as possible…Dallas Goedert did find the end zone for the second game in a row, but it was his only target in London. He is not going to be a reliable fantasy option while Zach Ertz is healthy…Mike Gesicki has shown some signs of life the last several games. It would not be surprising if he developed into a usable option…Hayden Hurst caught a garbage-time touchdown from Lamar Jackson which made his Week 8 look more promising than it was. On the bright side, his other two targets came from Joe Flacco. Neither is a good option, but Mark Andrews is probably the better fantasy bet than Hurst right now…He is not doing much with them, but Jeff Heuerman continues to see a surprising number of targets and managed to find the end zone against the Chiefs…Washington might need to throw more with the Falcons coming to town this week, but it is tough to trust Vernon Davis in a low-volume passing attack…Antonio Gates has topped 30 yards once this season…This week’s Michael Roberts was Jordan Thomas, who doubled his season catch total with four including two scores against the Dolphins. Even with Ryan Griffin’s status still in doubt, it is tough to get excited about Thomas’ prospects.

1. Carolina Panthers – Rostered in 45 percent of Yahoo leagues

The quarterback change does create a different dynamic, but the Bucs struggled with turnovers as well with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who tossed five interceptions of his own over the first four weeks while taking six sacks. Tampa Bay might put up some points, but they are likely to turn the ball over as well.

2. Kansas City Chiefs – Rostered in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
Kansas City’s defense has quietly played well as of late and has shown the ability to get after the quarterback. Even with a new coaching staff, protecting Baker Mayfield figures to remain an issue for Cleveland.

3. Dallas Cowboys – Rostered in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
Dallas is an option in a middling week for streamers, but they might not be the great play they look like on paper. Aside from the 11-sack game against the Ravens, the Titans have not really been a good matchup for opposing defenses because their style limits sacks and turnovers. They are ninth in the league with just eight turnovers and have taken 11 sacks total in their non-Baltimore games.

Looking Ahead: The Packers will get a good matchup at home against the Dolphins in Week 10.

1. Matt Bryant, Falcons – Rostered in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues

Early signs suggest Bryant has a good chance to return from injury this week. Kicking for one of the best offenses in the league, he will be a rock-solid option if he does.

2. Robbie Gould, 49ers – Rostered in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
Oakland has been one of the better matchups for kickers so far this season, and Gould has attempted multiple kicks in all but two games. 

3. Mason Crosby, Packers – Rostered in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues
Weather could be a concern in New England on Sunday night, but Crosby will get to kick for a good offense in a game which opened with a 57.5-point total.

Looking Ahead: Josh Lambo carries a lot of risk because of his offense, but he will be in a great spot kicking indoors against the Colts following the bye.

Raymond Summerlin
Raymond Summerlin is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter at @RMSummerlin.