By Ryan Weisse
Look, 2020 has been strange all-around, but Week 8 took the cake. The NFL had no positive COVID tests on Saturday so instead, Mother Nature decided to step in and ruin the week. Games that could’ve been shoot-outs, which are great for fantasy, turned into clock-managing, ball-control games, which are terrible for everyone except fantasy RBs. My streaming QBs, TEs, and DEFs all ended up in the trash heap because I didn’t pay close enough attention to the damn weather reports. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, if you had a bad week, it wasn’t your fault.
With that said, let’s shift our focus to Week 9. The waiver wire has some true gems this week…except at QB. If you need an RB, WR, or TE for Week 9 (and beyond), you are in luck. If you need a QB, it’s time to make a trade before your league deadline hits. All players mentioned below are available in around 50% of all leagues according to Yahoo. It’s time for you to Pick ‘Em Up!
PRO TIP: Always look at last week’s bye week teams for good players that may have been dropped out of desperation. Week 8 was Arizona, Jacksonville, Houston, and Washington.
NOTE: Let me start by saying that you should not be spending FAAB or Waiver Priority on either of these QBs. I put them here because they have nice Week 9 matchups and some people may be desperate. Wait until waivers run and sign whoever is free.
Drew Lock (90% Available)
Not gonna say a lot here. You would need to be desperate to start Lock but he looked solid in Week 8 against the Chargers. The Broncos get Atlanta in Week 9 and matchups don’t get much better for a QB.
Kirk Cousins (72% Available)
Cousins has been the definition of mediocre in 2020 and like Lock, you need to be desperate to be looking here. That being said, the Vikings play Detroit in Week 9 and they have been pretty generous to fantasy QBs this season.
Damien Harris (54% Available)
The Patriots are a train wreck but they want Harris to be a thing and they know how to run the football. He has 49 carries in their last four games and has rushed for over 100 yards twice in that span. There is concern about his role once Sony Michel comes back, but that is unlikely to affect his juicy Week 9 matchup with the Jets.
Zack Moss (46% Available)
This will be your last chance to get Zack Moss in 2020. He rushed for 81 yards and two TDs on Sunday and is likely to see his role grow for the rest of the season, especially after their Week 11 bye, just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Yes, Devin Singletary is still involved — both backs received 14 carries this week — but Moss is getting the ball when it matters.
Gus Edwards (70% Available)
The Ravens are already pretty sure Mark Ingram will be out in Week 9 and they don’t seem ready to make J.K. Dobbins a feature-back. Gus had one more carry than the rookie this week and scored the only RB rushing TD. Normally, a matchup with Indy would be a “shy-away” game, but so was Pittsburgh and the Ravens rushed for over 200 yards against them. Baltimore is going to impose their will and if there is a goal-line opportunity, Edwards could find another TD in Week 9.
Justin Jackson (44% Available)
We all wanted Joshua Kelley to be a thing– it’s time to move on. Kelley is a great short-yardage back on a team that won’t find themselves in short-yardage situations very much. Kelley was out-carried by Troymaine Pope (?) this week and Jackson looked great as the lead-back. For as long as Austin Ekeler is out, likely at least two more weeks, Jackson is an RB2 in fantasy with RB1 upside. He is also the only back worth rostering from LAC.
Jordan Wilkins (99% Available)
Things that happen after bye weeks are not by accident. The Colts had two weeks to prep for this game and gave Wilkins 20 carries. Is he going to have a game like this again? Probably not. But you can’t let him sit on waivers to wait while he steals life from every Jonathan Taylor manager. Don’t spend a lot of FAAB on him, but throw a $1 bid if you have the bench spot and see how these next couple of weeks play out.
Jalen Reagor (75% Available)
Get this kid NOW! I don’t even care that he has a bye in Week 9. He scored a TD in his first game back from injury and that was without showing his game-breaking speed. To make matters so much better, his next three games are against NYG, CLE, and SEA, plus he has DAL again in fantasy championship week. Reagor is going to get you into the playoffs and might help you win a championship.
Corey Davis (53% Available)
Look, I know nobody wants Corey Davis on their fantasy roster, but you want to win, right? Davis has 20 targets, 14 receptions, and 2 TDs in his two games since returning from COVID. The Titans have already had their bye and Davis looks like a WR3 at minimum the rest of the season.
Mike Williams (47% Available)
Boom or Bust. These words, used to describe so many WRs in fantasy football, fall perfectly into the hands of Mike Williams — or they just miss him, depending on the week. After one catch for four yards in Week 7, Williams reeled in five for 99 yards and a TD in Week 8. What we will get in Week 9? Who knows, but I’d rather bet on Justin Herbert and their very easy schedule than let somebody else have Williams as their WR3.
Marvin Jones (51% Available) / Quintez Cephus (100% Available)
With Kenny Golladay set to miss a few weeks — and he might even hit the IR — both of these Lions’ pass-catchers are in the realm of must-adds. Both played relatively well when Golladay missed time earlier this season, hitting either 40 yards or scoring a TD in each of the first two weeks. Jones scored two TDs this week after Golladay exited. Cephus was out himself in Week 8, but should be back in Week 9.
Allen Lazard (76% Available)
This is more of a week ahead look but Lazard practiced twice last week and looks ready to come back soon from his core muscle surgery. The Packers need a 2nd option behind Davante Adams and Rodgers really likes Lazard. I wouldn’t plug him into any lineups until he plays a game or two, but if you have a free bench spot, he is worth an add since he’s tied to a red-hot Aaron Rodgers.
Eric Ebron (55% Available)
Adding a tight end this week will come down to your philosophy. If you are a streamer and ready to switch TEs every week, you want Eric Ebron for Week 9. He is an early candidate for my Stream of the Week based on his performance over the last two weeks (10 catches, 98 yards, and a TD) and a cupcake matchup against Dallas.
Trey Burton (78% Available)
Ebron is only ahead of Burton in you are playing the short-term, streaming game. If you want slightly more consistency, get Burton now. The Colts got all three of their TEs involved in Week 8 but Burton still led the bunch in touches, reeling in three catches and rushing once for a 2-yard TD. Indianapolis continues to get nothing from the WR position and Burton has been filling that gap.
Logan Thomas (79% Available)
Thomas falls in the same league as Burton — he is a guy that is seeing enough volume to be considered an every-week start moving forward. He looked very good in his last two games before the bye, scoring a TD in each, but he feels very matchup dependent. Washington has dates with Cincinnati and Dallas coming up, plus a few other teams that can be beaten by the TE, so Thomas could be the answer to your fantasy TE woes.
Jordan Reed (97% Available)
With the news that George Kittle will likely miss the rest of the fantasy season, things open up a bit for Jordan Reed. He was designated to return from the IR last week and seems like he will be ready for their Thursday game with Green Bay in Week 9. Calling him an injury risk is an understatement and the 49ers have a Week 11 bye, but Reed is worth an add if you lost Kittle and can’t land any of the guys above.