Welcome to the Waiver Wire Week 9! Chalk up Week 8 as a positive one for the fantasy community. The day started with Travis Etienne gashing the Broncos and looking like a rest-of-season strong RB1. A.J. Brown smashed with a three-TD outburst. Kyler Murray showed signs of life as a high-end QB1 play moving forward. Tyreek Hill AND Jaylen Waddle smashed. Kyle Pitts saw nine targets and posted a 5-80-1 line, a stat line we expected to be a regular occurrence in the preseason but is now a call for celebration in mid-season. “Tony Pollard Week,” was a smashing success as Pollard went nuts in Zeke Elliott’s absence with a three-TD, 131-yard smash game. And in a happy turn of events, D.K. Metcalf not only did not miss this week with an injury but found the end zone in an important Seattle win.
Waiver Wire Hits
We also had a few waiver wire hits as a few players who we wrote about as additions in previous weeks helped fantasy players to wins. D’Onta Foreman had the game of his career with three TDs and 118 yards rushing. Greg Dulcich looked every bit like a TE1, leading Denver in receiving. Alec Pierce and Darius Slayton look like rest of season bench stashes/bye-week fill-ins. Jaylen Warren outgained Najee Harris yet again in a situation that is looking more and more like a 1A/1B.
Now we have reached Bye-Magedon, with a whopping six teams on byes this week. Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, New York Giants, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco are all on their respective bye weeks. This is a collective “yikes,” for the fantasy community. Not only are fantasy managers facing difficult decisions as to who to put into their lineups, but they also have to decide who to cut. Hopefully, you have been following our advice and have planned for this week. We want to be a week ahead on waivers, and roster permitting, two weeks early.
Here are the following Bye Weeks:
New York Jets
Deshaun Watson, Cleveland
If you have the roster room, there is no better stash than Watson right now at the QB position. At only 20 percent rostered, and with Cleveland headed to a bye week, Watson will be available or cut in many leagues this week. He will make his debut on December 4th, and then it is wheels up for him for the rest of the season.
Andy Dalton, New Orleans
If you are scrambling for a bye-week fill-in for this week consider Dalton. With six TD passes over the past two weeks, it is now time to consider adding Dalton. He faces a beatable Ravens secondary this week in the friendly confines of The Superdome. Dalton has a stud WR in Chris Olave and has helped unlock Alvin Kamara. Consider him QB2.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco
Garoppolo is doing what he does which is providing QB2 numbers with a predictable weekly floor. He has passed for two TDs and 230 yards or more in four straight games. Do not expect boom weeks, but he can be a fill-in type to help you get through the week.
Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh
We had another Steelers loss and another game of Warren outproducing Najee Harris.
Yes, the production was in garbage time, but expect some offensive changes when Pittsburgh comes off of their bye week. The Steelers’ offense is stuck in the mud right now, and a player like Warren could see an uptick in usage down the stretch.
Caleb Huntley, Atlanta
No NFL team provides as many weekly touches to their RBs as the Falcons. Tyler Allgeier found the end zone and saw work as a receiver out of the backfield, but Huntley had his most productive rushing performance of the season with 91 yards on 16 carries. He is a low-ceiling TD-dependent play, but his volume and team scheme makes him a player who should not be left on Waiver Wires.
Damien Williams, Atlanta
Williams should be back this week. He makes for a nice speculative stash in a crowded Atlanta backfield.
Dwayne Washington, New Orleans
Mark Ingram went down with an MCL sprain that should sideline him for 3-4 weeks. Washington will operate as the No. 2 RB behind Alvin Kamara. There is still a chance Kamara is moved at the trade deadline.
Justice Hill, Baltimore
D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland
Johnson is one of my favorite trade speculation stashes. He has multiple paths to fantasy viability over the next few days before the deadline. Johnson could be traded to an RB-needy team who could use a reliable veteran back. He also could move into a clear backup role behind Nick Chubb if Kareem Hunt is moved.
Samaje Perine, Cincinnati, JaMycal Hasty, Jacksonville, Dontrell Hilliard, Tennesse
These players are clear handcuffs with pass-catching ability. Each could find themselves as RB2s or Flex plays if the starters ahead of them went down.
James Cook, Buffalo
Last week I encouraged readers to add Cook, and he saw his most work since September.
His output on the ground was quiet, but he flashed with a 41-yard reception during Buffalo’s win over Green Bay. Consider him a high-end handcuff whose role could grow in one of the league’s best offenses.
Isaiah Likely, Baltimore
Likely is the top TE addition of the week. This past week in Baltimore’s win over Tampa Bay, Likely stepped in for an injured Mark Andrews and shredded The Bucs for six catches, 77 yards, and a TD.
Andrews is dealing with a shoulder injury, and Baltimore likely holds him out this week. Likely would step right in as a low-end TE1. Even if Andrews plays, Likely could see his weekly role increase due to his strong play.
Harrison Bryant, Cleveland
Bryant is set to fill in for David Njoku on Monday Night Football. Njoku could return after the Brown’s bye week, but if his injury lingers Bryant could provide weekly high-end TE2 numbers.
Tyler Conklin, New York Jets
Conklin was one of the early waiver wire success stories. He started the year on a tear with weekly TE1 production but had two straight offensive duds in Weeks 5 and 6. After 16 targets in his past two games, Conklin is back on our fantasy radars. The Zach Wilson-led, post-Breece Hall Jets offense looks abysmal, but targets are targets when we are scrounging for TEs.
Juwan Johnson, New Orleans
Johnson had a quiet performance this past weekend, but he led all Saints receivers in snaps. He had 15 targets over his past three games.
Nico Collins, Houston
Collins missed this past Sunday with a groin injury, but he could be one of this week’s best adds depending on what happens with Brandin Cooks.
If Cooks were moved, Collins would have a chance to operate as The Texans WR1.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants
Slayton led the Giants in receiving yardage for three of the past four weeks. He should be treated as a WR4. The Giants could be buyers at the trade deadline for a WR, but Slayton should maintain his role as a top-three WR in the Giants’ offense for the rest of the season. In WR heavy high stakes leagues like FFWC and NFFC, Slayton can be a low-end starter.
Deandre Carter, Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams is injured, and Keenan Allen may not be fully healthy. Carter has a shot at significant usage with the Chargers coming off their bye week. There is a chance he is operating opposite Palmer as the Chargers’ No. 2 WR should Allen be limited.
Mack Hollins, Las Vegas
Hollins has had two productive games in a row. He had seven catches for 64 yards on Sunday and found the end zone the week before.
Demarcus Robinson & Desean Jackson, Baltimore
This is for deep leagues only. Robinson saw eight targets this past Thursday Night, and DeSean Jackson was signed as a free agent. Both players are worth taking a shot on in deeper formats. Jackson would be my preferred addition for the rest of the season.
Terrace Marshall, Carolina
Marshall had the best game of his entire career this past Sunday with 87 yards receiving on nine targets.
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams
Cooper Kupp suffered an ankle injury late in the Rams’ loss to San Francisco. Why he was in the game is another matter, but his loss could be catastrophic to the Rams. Jefferson already made for a nice addition (WR36 overall in 2021), but he could see a much more significant role if Kupp were to miss time.
K.J. Hamler, Denver
Hamler is the D’Ernest Johnson of WRs. He would immediately move into his starting role if Jerry Jeudy is traded. If Jeudy is not traded, Hamler can be sent back to the Waiver Wire in most formats. Simple and cheap speculation add.