12 Nov Week 9 Waiver Wire Roundup – Tight End Wasteland
A lot of tough injuries happened in Week 8 that will lead to waiver wire transactions in Week 9. I went a little deeper this week, especially at tight end, to help sort through some names to watch and roster.
Denver Broncos – Rostered at 9% Yahoo!, 5% ESPN
I am going with the ‘You could do worse’ mantra early this week. Drew Lock played well! He will finish Week 8 as a top 10 quarterback after a comeback win against the Chargers. His next game is on the road against the Atlanta Falcons and the corpse of their defense. I would prefer to use Lock in home games only, but bye weeks will continue to make life difficult for fantasy players who stream the position or will need a bye week fill-in.
Las Vegas Raiders – 43% Yahoo!, 48% ESPN
Divisional opponents are not optimal when starting a player off the waiver wire, but Derek Carr has played well for majority of the season and faces a Chargers defense that allowed Lock to be fantasy relevant. The Week 8 game in Cleveland was a disaster, but it was also the first week where weather truly played a factor in multiple games. Stream/start Carr with relative confidence.
San Francisco 49ers – 42% Yahoo!, 48% ESPN
Tevin Coleman lasted less than one quarter in his return before exiting Week 8, and both Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty got a piece of the touchdown pie in his absence. Hasty out-carried McKinnon 12-3 with both seeing a handful of targets in the passing game. The 49ers play Thursday night against the Packers at home. Both backs make solid flex options after the Packers allowed Dalvin Cook to run roughshod in Week 8.
New England Patriots – 46% Yahoo!, 30% ESPN
Damien Harris looked like an RB1 on a team that desperately needs a spark on offense. The issue going forward is that Bill Belichick can switch who gets the most run in the backfield at a moment’s notice. Sony Michel may also be back as soon as this week. Harris looks like the best true running back on the Patriots and gets the woeful Jets in Week 9.
Indianapolis Colts – 29% Yahoo!, 35% ESPN
The Colts backfield has become a mess, but Philip Rivers continues to depend on his backs to catch the ball. Nyheim Hines had his best game since Week 1, which is also the last time he had a top 10 weekly finish. Hines will never be confused as a bell cow back, but with the Ravens next on the schedule, he should see another round of targets. His schedule Week 10 on is also favorable to running backs and Jonathan Taylor is not taking advantage of his leading role.
Baltimore Ravens – 68% Yahoo!, 47% ESPN
Congrats to the rookie on logging his first 100-yard rushing game. The Colts can stop the run, but the Ravens do not care and will hand the ball off 30 times in Week 9. J.K. Dobbins is a volume play if Mark Ingram is out.
Baltimore Ravens – 30% Yahoo!, 4% ESPN
Gus Edwards is more readily available on the waiver wire than Dobbins and saw red zone work during the Ravens loss to the Steelers. Much like the rookie, Edwards’ fantasy value is attached to Mark Ingram’s injury.
Seattle Seahawks – 25% Yahoo!, 7% ESPN
The rookie out-snapped Travis Homer and got two touchdowns against a solid 49ers run defense. If Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde miss Week 9, DeeJay Dallas will get a plus matchup against a poor Bills run defense.
Tennessee Titans – 47% Yahoo!, 36% ESPN
The Tennessee Titans have a brutal schedule coming up, but Corey Davis deserves to be rostered in more leagues. Davis has two more receptions and 13 more receiving yards than A.J. Brown with both missing time this season. Brown is clearly the better talent, but Davis has been just as valuable to Ryan Tannehill halfway through the season.
Carolina Panthers – 20% Yahoo!, 37% ESPN
The hive is alive! This is what was expected from Curtis Samuel over the past couple of seasons. The dual threat receiver has at least five targets over the past three games and has logged at least one rushing attempt in every game this season. There is concern about his role once Christian McCaffrey returns (as well as the rest of the offensive options), but Samuel should get run on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9.
Kansas City Chiefs – 30% Yahoo!, 28% ESPN
As long as Sammy Watkins is out, Mecole Hardman is fantasy viable. Week 8’s game script could have been run-heavy, but the Chiefs kept doing what they do best – air out the ball. Hardman saw his most targets and yards in a game this season in a blowout win over the Jets.
The Chiefs face Samuel and the Panthers Sunday in a game with two above-average pass defenses. Hardman should see another half dozen targets, but may not see a lot of deep targets.
LAVISKA SHENAULT JR.
Las Vegas Raiders – 28% Yahoo!, 26% ESPN
We are back! Jake Luton will be starting Week 9, meaning safer offensive options will be utilized more often. Laviska Shenault Jr. is one of them because of his use as a running back and receiver in space. The Jaguars face the Texans at home.
Dallas Cowboys – 60% Yahoo!, 56% ESPN
This feels gross and may be a bad recommendation, but Michael Gallup looked good considering the situation. If Ben DiNucci plays again in Week 9, Gallup may have WR4/flex value off the waiver wire. If Andy Dalton starts? Who knows? The Pittsburgh Steelers come to Jerry’s World after allowing over 400 yards of offense to the Ravens.
Philadelphia Eagles – 25% Yahoo!, 14% ESPN
The Giants, Browns, and Seahawks are next on the schedule after Philly’s bye week. Hopefully the week off gets the Eagles offense on track so the promising rookie can thrive alongside waiver wire darling Travis Fulgham.
Chicago Bears – 21% Yahoo!, 14% ESPN
This is what fantasy players expected out of Anthony Miller coming into 2020. The Bears did well to run quick routes early against the Saints before abandoning everything that was working in the passing game. Derrick Henry is going to run over the Bears defense next week, so Miller will be needed against a poor Titan pass defense.
New York Jets – 1% Yahoo!, 1% ESPN
Gross, but it is what it is. Braxton Berrios is the Diet Rite (look it up) version of Jamison Crowder. Eight catches are eight catches, especially in PPR formats. He is worth a flex play against the Patriots in Week 9 if Crowder remains out.
Philadelphia Eagles – 63% Yahoo!, 41% ESPN
Add him off the waiver wire and play Philly’s best tight end after his Week 9 bye.
Green Bay Packers – 64% Yahoo!, 47% ESPN
The Packers were bad in Week 8 but Robert Tonyan was a bright spot, leading the team in receiving. He will be depended on with a short week and a road matchup against the 49ers (assuming the Rona does not move the game).
Indianapolis Colts – 22% Yahoo!, 9% ESPN
Did not expect Trey Burton to be a running game threat all season, but 2020 has thrown a million curveballs so why not? All three Colts tight ends saw targets, but it is clear Burton is the focal point. T.Y. Hilton has been awful and is now hurt, so Burton is the de facto top target going forward.
Pittsburgh Steelers – 45% Yahoo!, 51% ESPN
Imagine not playing Eric Ebron at this point. He has at least four targets in six of seven games and has been a top five tight end in the two games he has a touchdown. Ebron will face the Cowboys, Bengals, and Jaguars the next three weeks.
Denver Broncos – 1% Yahoo!, 1% ESPN
Albert O’s Week 8 stat line is an indictment on the tight end position in 2020: one catch, nine yards, one touchdown, TE8. Noah Fant will continue to run as the lead tight end in Denver, but Drew Lock’s chemistry with his college teammate is real and will keep him in the TE2 conversation going forward.
San Francisco 49ers – 0% Yahoo!, 0% ESPN
Speaking of gross TE1 performances, Ross Dwelley will finish as a top 10 play in Week 8 after his one catch, six-yard touchdown performance. George Kittle is out eight weeks, making Dwelley a low-floor, high-upside waiver wire play going forward if you are dire straits. Jordan Reed is expected back in Week 10 as well.
Jeff has been playing fantasy sports since 2001. He has covered and written about fantasy, high school, and professional sports for over five years. When not grinding articles and fantasy lineups, he spends time with his wife and two kids, runs for charity, and continues to get progressively worse at golf, no matter how hard he tries.