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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 9
10/29/18; Update: 10/30/18 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Guess who's back? Ryan Fitzpatrick has been named the Bucs starting quarterback for Week 9.


Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB – It’s magic, you know? Fitzpatrick completed 11 of 15 attempts for 194-2-0 in the Bucs’ 37-34 loss to the Bengals on Sunday. He also rushed once for 18 yards. I was skeptical of Winston’s nearly immediate resumption of starting duties when he completed his suspension, and the Bucs are likely faced to deal with a QB controversy in the coming days and weeks. It’s safe to say that Fitzmagic isn’t the long-term answer for any team’s signal calling, but his style of play seems to fit in with this offense, its many moving parts and lack of a sustainable running game. He’s worth adding in two-QB formats and could once again be starting when the Bucs travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers in Week 9.

UPDATE: Since Fitzmagic has eclipsed 400 yards in each of the three full games he’s played this season, he’s definitely in the QB1 conversation for his matchup against the Panthers.

Editor's Note:
Fitzmagic has been named the starter for Week 9.

Dak Prescott, DAL – UPDATE: I know adding Dak in here will be the kiss of death to his fantasy prospects since I am a Cowboys fan and usually they do EXACTLY the opposite of what I expect them to do, but he needs mentioning given the team’s upcoming matchups and the addition of Amari Cooper to his passing arsenal. Dak has 456-3-0 passing and 115 rushing yards and two TDs on 17 carries over his last two games – numbers that signify a change in offensive output to go along with the coaching changes they’ve made in the past week. Prescott is a top-end QB2 this week and could flirt with QB1 value.

Alex Smith, WAS – He doesn’t have a ton of flashy receiving options, but Smith’s matchup in Week 9 facing the Falcons is about as good as it gets. Sure, they might do most of their damage on the ground, but the return of Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson’s first receiving TD since 2013 (just five career) bode well for the passing game and Smith’s prospects of posting season-high fantasy numbers. Smith is owned in about 45-75 percent of fantasy leagues and may be a decent bye-week fill-in this week.

Josh Rosen, ARI – He’ll be difficult to trust as a fantasy QB, but with Byron Leftwich taking over as interim OC, Rosen and the Cards looked sharp in closing out a win versus the 49ers. The offense lacked production during the first half but Rosen had his best fantasy numbers of the season and led Arizona on a 73-yard drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk with 34 seconds left – giving the embattled group an 18-15 win as they head into their bye week. Keep Rosen (252-2-1, 2XP on Sunday) in your back pocket as a possible QB2 if guys like Joe Flacco (more below on him) and Eli Manning are mussing up your matchups.

Other QBs to consider: C.J. Beathard, Derek Carr


Joe Flacco, BAL – Flacco busted with 192-1-2 and really can’t be trusted in fantasy moving forward. He’s safe to drop in all single-QB formats heading into Weeks 9-11 (PIT, BYE, CIN), and there’s a shot we could get more Lamar Jackson in the coming weeks.

Case Keenum, DEN – Keenum’s 262-2-1 and lost fumble was somewhat of a disappointment considering the possibility of a shootout with the Chiefs – but at least he wasn’t as bad as Flacco. He’ll look to rebound against the Texans in Week 9 before the Broncos get a bye.

Baker Mayfield, CLE – Another humdrum performance from Mayfield (180-2-1) shows he’s not the immediate answer in fantasy, but next week could be more of a shootout with the offensive-minded Chiefs.

Running Backs

Peyton Barber, TB – After four weeks of duds to start the season, Barber (50-65 percent owned) is relevant once again as he’s rushed for 197 yards in his last three games and scored a rushing TD this week. He’s not a huge part of the passing game but the Bucs may try to grind out a win in Carolina and he’s safe bet for 10-15 carries. This isn’t an enthusiastic nod of support, but there’s not much left on the wire and no major RB injuries affecting the landscape this week.

Wendell Smallwood, PHI – The Eagles are still without a lead back and Smallwood (35-65 percent owned) finished Sunday in London with eight carries for 24 rushing yards and 2-42-1. He and Corey Clement are just about equal as flex options. He might avoid being a popular add because the Eagles are on a bye this week, returning in Week 10 to face the Cowboys.

UPDATE: I’ve added Josh Adams to the RBs to consider since he had nine carries for 61 yards in the London game as well.

Aaron Jones, GB – Jones finally broke out for 86 rushing yards and a TD in Sunday’s loss to the Rams and should see plenty of carries against the Patriots in Week 9. He’s about 50-85 percent owned but his recent struggles could mean he’s available in plenty of leagues. Play him confidently as a RB3/flex in the coming weeks.

Other RBs to consider: Nyheim Hines, Alfred Blue, Mike Davis, Ito Smith, Josh Adams


Nick Chubb, CLE – Chubb totaled 65 rushing yards on 18 caries and added 2-10-0 on three targets. He’s solidifying his RB3/flex status and remains a decent option with moderate upside.

Raheem Mostert & Alfred Morris, SF – Matt Breida was active and rushed for 42 yards on 16 carries while Morris tallied 28 yards on six rushes. Mostert had two carries for 18 yards. This is a full-fledged committee with a banged-up lead back.

Doug Martin & Jalen Richard, OAK – As expected, Martin got the bulk of touches with 13 carries for 72 yards and a fumble, adding 2-17-0 on two targets, while Richard contributed 8-50-0 receiving and 14 rushing yards on two carries. It’s hard to see Martin or Richard users excited moving forward, but the next three matchups could yield more scoring chances.

Ronald Jones, TB – The rookie suffered a hamstring injury during the Week 8 game and tallied -3 rushing yards on two carries and 1-4-0 receiving, and Peyton Barber looked healthy and productive with 85 rushing yards and a TD on 19 carries.

UPDATE: Jones is expected to miss "a few weeks" with the injury and gives a boost to Jacquizz Rodgers, who has been working as the Bucs’ primary passing-down back this season.

Chris Ivory, BUF – LeSean McCoy is expected to play Monday night and Ivory is currently probable with a hamstring injury that saw him limited earlier in the week but allowed him to play a full practice Saturday. He’ll likely play through it and get the bulk of carries if McCoy sits. We’ll update tomorrow.

UPDATE: There’s been talk of a trade looming for McCoy, who had a solid passing game numbers on Monday night but rushed for only 13 yards on 12 carries. Ivory could be thrust into a lead back role soon.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Marvin Jones, Jr., DET – He’s about 85 percent owned so he and Watkins would be the top adds if they are available in your league. So far, Jones has been mostly TD-dependent, but the 7-117-2 performance in Week 8 against the Seahawks makes him a hot commodity heading into a matchup with the Vikings in Week 9.

Sammy Watkins, KC – Watkins hauled in 8-107-2 and was the top fantasy WR this week along with Jones and Tyler Boyd (who’s gone off most waiver wires at this point but is still just 90 percent owned in ESPN leagues). Watkins is owned in about 85 percent of leagues as well but is a must-add given the usage in Week 8 and the knowledge that both Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense is essentially matchup-proof.

DeVante Parker, MIA – UPDATE: Last Thursday night’s game where Parker went off for 6-134-0 may seem like ages ago, but this week could be your first opportunity to add the talented WR off the wire. He seems like he’s on the same page as the front office and coaching staff now, so give him a look!

Kendrick Bourne, SF – Bourne has had a few decent games this season and hauled in 7-71-0 on Sunday. He’s universally available and could see an uptick in usage moving forward after being targeted 10 times against the Cards in Week 8. The Raiders await in what portends to be a favorable Week 9 matchup.

TE Jack Doyle, IND – Doyle clearly was dealing with a more serious injury than we all knew in the first few weeks of the season, because he went for 6-70-1 in his return game and could be shouldering an even load with Eric Ebron as the Colts head into their Week 9 bye. Stay tuned and only grab him if you have the room and are willing to take a risk.

TE Ed Dickson, SEA – UPDATE: Dickson made an immediate impact with 2-54-1 in the win over Detroit, and fellow Seattle TE Nick Varnett isn’t really a pass catcher. He’s a solid TE2 facing the Chargers this week and could get a handful of targets and some red zone looks.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: TE Evan Engram, Mohamed Sanu, Adam Humphries, Dontrelle Inman, Josh Doctson, Josh Reynolds, D.J. Moore


John Brown, BAL – Brown had just 3-28-0 on seven targets. He’s a solid WR who can have big days, but this offense is killing his consistency.

Tre’Quan Smith, NO – Smith finished with 3-18-0 on 4 targets on Sunday night. He’s got 13 targets over his last three games and remains a boom-or-bust flex in deeper formats.

Geronimo Allison, GB – After averaging over 70 yards receiving per game before his injury, Allison was targeted just once in his return to the field, going for 14 yards. It’s possible his hamstring was bothering him, but this could signify a move toward more targets for rookies Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown moving forward. Stay tuned.

Jordy Nelson, OAK – Targeted four times, Nelson finished with one catch for 14 yards. I had one DFS lineup with both he and Allison going and monster totals from just about everyone in it, and it likely cost me a big payoff. The Raiders just don’t seem all that committed to him as a reliable receiving target.

TE Vance McDonald, PIT – McDonald’s 3-47-0 was something, but it’s hard to trust either of the Steelers’ TEs heading into a tough stretch over the next few games. Perhaps they’ll be forced to throw more to them if their blistering running game stalls out a bit.

TE C.J. Uzomah, CIN – Uzomah has been usable as a streaming tight end of late, but he hurt his shoulder in the first quarter on Sunday and finished without a catch. Another DFS darling burns his owners in a favorable spot.

Courtland Sutton, DEN – Sutton’s 3-78-0 fit right in with his standard performance this season, as he’s yet to get past three receptions, but the 78 yards was a season high.

UPDATE: With DeMaryius Thomas traded to the Texans, Sutton’s value takes a huge jump. He should get 3-5 more targets per game if the Broncos are smart.

Tajae Sharpe, TEN – The Titans were on a Week 8 bye and Sharpe will be tough to trust – but he’s exactly the type of receiver that flusters the their Week 9 opponent, Dallas.

Michael Gallup & Allen Hurns, DAL – Speaking of the bye-week Cowboys, I’m still bullish on Gallup even with the addition of Amari Cooper, and Hurns is probably a boom-or bust option in deeper leagues only.