Welcome to the Week 9 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2019 season. Whether you’re looking for a starting caliber running back, immediate WR3, a fill-in tight end to confidently start the rest of the season or nothing more than a streaming defense for Sunday, the waiver wire this week has you covered. We’ll additionally set our sights on substitutes for Kenyan Drake (traded) and other players that could be traded by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline, all the while directing our FAAB towards James Conner’s (shoulder) likely beneficiary. Friendly reminder Sunday sees the Bengals, Falcons, Rams and Saints hit their bye while the Texans and Jaguars suit up for an early morning London game.
As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended adds are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list contains in-depth notes on players who are worthy of roster spots if possible, and deep cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.
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The Drop List
QB: Baker Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo
RB: Ty Johnson, Chase Edmonds, Tarik Cohen, Duke Johnson, Kerryon Johnson
WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Brandin Cooks
TE: T.J. Hockenson, Delanie Walker, Vance McDonald
With Chase Edmonds out for “a few weeks,” chances are David Johnson (ankle) beats him back to the field, ensuring the former direct handcuff works from a three-headed committee behind Kenyan Drake and Johnson for the rest of the year. The Cardinals also square off against the Niners in two of their next three games prior to going on bye, making it feasible Edmonds sits until Arizona returns in Week 13 against the Rams. Damien Williams was well on his way to headlining for the second straight week before LeSean McCoy opened the door for a backfield controversy. McCoy actually out-touched Williams 13 to 0 heading into the fourth quarter Sunday night but was promptly removed after capping off the first 45 minutes with a drive-ending fumble. Williams out-touched McCoy 7 to 0 (and was removed from this list) from that point forward. Odds are you spent an inordinate amount of FAAB if you’re among those unfortunate enough to have claimed Ty Johnson, but there’s clearly no need to hang on for any longer after he ceded all goal line work to Tra Carson and ran 15 routes to J.D. McKissic’s comparable 14. Even Paul Perkins got involved, handling three carries on six snaps. Larry Fitzgerald began the year with back-to-back 100-yard performances but has since averaged 4.2/38.3 and failed to top 70 yards in six straight games. Hold for Arizona’s cupcake matchup against Tampa Bay’s secondary in Week 10 if you have the roster space. Marquez Valdes-Scantling can also get the boot since he’s worked behind Allen Lazard and Geronimo Allison in both of Green Bay’s contests the past two weeks. Davante Adams’ expected return on Sunday likely shifts Lazard to the opposite sideline over MVS while Allison slides seamlessly into the slot. It's hard to imagine Cooks takes the field or makes an impact over the next nine weeks following his fourth concussion in less than two years.
For those simply looking to roster the best player available regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus the actual positions. These are listed in the precise order I’d prioritize waiver claims in Week 9. Lazard would move ahead of Pascal if Davante Adams (toe) is ruled out for Week 9.
For those refusing to stand pat and itching for an end-of-roster stash, the above list was carefully assembled to highlight league-winners in the event the player ahead of them misses any time. Presumed snaps, carries, targets, and the play-calling each are tied to have been factored in. This list could adjust weekly based on current situations. Darrell Henderson qualifies as an Honorable Mention since it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll stick behind Todd Gurley once Malcolm Brown returns from his ankle injury.
1. Cleveland Browns
2. Dallas Cowboys
3. New York Jets
4. Philadelphia Eagles
1. Sam Darnold, Jets — Rostered in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 8% FAAB Bid)
The three top streamers this week include 22-year-old Cole Sear who may lose his best receiving option by mid-afternoon, a quarterback who continuously depends on his tight ends to produce underneath and a former No. 2 overall pick who could get benched at a moment’s notice only two and half years into his career. Having said that, Darnold still makes for a confident plug-and-play starter as even Mason Rudolph reared back and connected for two touchdowns on an average 12.8 air yards per attempt against Miami's pitiful secondary on Monday night. Darnold would drop to No. 3 on this list if Robby Anderson is in fact dealt by Tuesday’s trade deadline.
2. Derek Carr, Raiders — Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues (4%)
The solution to Daniel Jones’ poor performance under duress was to simply square off against a Lions Defense struggling to generate any amount of pressure up the middle without Mike Daniels (foot) and Damon Harrison (groin). Now it’s Carr’s turn to benefit with better o-line play and Tyrell Williams running at 100 percent on the outside against a secondary expected to be without No. 1 corner Darius Slay (hamstring). The only thing stopping Carr from ranking as a Top 15 play in this cinch matchup is the likelihood Oakland feeds Josh Jacobs the rock time and time again.
3 Mitchell Trubisky, Bears — Rostered in 25 percent of Yahoo Leagues (2%)
A true DFS leap of faith in Week 9, Trubisky has just as good a chance of getting benched in the second half as he does popping off for a three-score afternoon. Even in sacking Josh Allen four times and ranking top-three in both quarterback knockdowns (24) and hits (52) on the year, Philadelphia’s secondary has continued to splurge fantasy points to opposing signal-callers, allowing 6-of-8 faced to achieve a Top 15 finish and 4-of-8 to reach the Top 9. Any semblance of a resurrected rushing floor would do wonders for Trubisky in this matchup.
Watch List: If he can get past Carolina’s stingy defense, Ryan Tannehill squares off against the Chiefs in Week 10…Kyle Allen was given the nod to make his sixth consecutive start for Cam Newton, likely ensuring the latter doesn’t return in Week 10 unless Allen botches this one entirely. Newton is currently rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues but is merely a cross-your-fingers stash since he has yet to return to practice.
1. Jaylen Samuels, Steelers – Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues (45%)
Rostering Samuels became even more pressing once James Conner (shoulder) exited Monday night with his fourth different injury of the season. Fourth-round rookie Benny Snell (who’s battling a knee injury at the moment) handled 17 carries prior to Pittsburgh’s bye when Conner limped off the field with a bruised quad in Week 6, but that of course occurred with Samuels sidelined while recovering from a knee scope. With all three healthy in the Steelers’ first five games, Samuels notably out-touched Snell 31 to 6. Even if the rookie were gifted a majority of the team’s early down work in place of Conner, Samuels’ versatility puts him in prime position to outscore Snell on fewer carries. Expect Samuels to return at 100 percent considering he practiced in full ahead of Monday night.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues
2. Mark Walton, Dolphins – Rostered in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues (25%)
In his first full game without Kenyan Drake last night, Walton out-carried Kalen Ballage 11 to 3, ultimately turning six targets into three catches for 19 yards and a fumble. There’s still value in rostering a(ny) back shoring up 77.7 percent of his team’s backfield touches, but his workload has its flaws in simply being tied to the worst offense in the league. Opportunity is king, however, and Monday night projects as Walton’s floor moving forward.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues
3. Darrell Henderson, Rams – Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues (10%)
Henderson quietly out-touched Todd Gurley 13 to 10 in London but expectations need to be tempered moving forward considering 10 of said 13 touches occurred during the team’s final four possessions while up 14. Gurley previously touched the ball on 41.3 percent of his 46 snaps (60.5%) against the Falcons in Week 7 and will continue doing so barring injury. Consider Henderson a league-winning stash worth keeping around as long as he continues working ahead of Malcolm Brown (ankle) following Los Angeles' upcoming bye.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues
Watch List: Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber both qualify as every fantasy player’s worst nightmares: too good to cut, too terrible to start and too committee'd to trade. Note that Barber has out-carried Jones 79 to 74 so far this year…Derrius Guice is expected to return in Week 11 for a non-competitive offense as a likely committee back with Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson. Peterson was inactive the last time Guice was available, but that of course was while Jay Gruden was still atop the hierarchy…Raheem Mostert reared his head for 9/60/1 rushing on 14 snaps with Matt Breida perpetually in and out of San Francisco’s lineup last week. Mostert would morph into a priority pickup if Breida’s surprisingly ruled out for the Niners’ short turnaround against the Cardinals on Thursday…Kalen Ballage was out-touched by Mark Walton 14 to 4 on Monday but still presumably holds Miami’s coveted goal line role when that time comes.
Deep League: If looking to hang your hat on any of Detroit’s four backs, keep in mind it was Tra Carson who led the team in carries (12) and got Detroit’s only rush inside the 20…Brian Hill could earn a larger role moving forward after exploding for a 23-yard touchdown sprint in place of Ito Smith (concussion).