Players you should consider picking up off the waiver wire if available for week 9:
1. Jonas Gray was taken off the practice squad and promoted to the No. 2 back behind Shane Vereen after Stevan Ridley was lost for the season in week 6. It was Gray however in week 8 who saw the majority of carries for the New England Patriots, totaling 86 yards on 17 carries for a 5 yards per carry average. Keep in mind the Patriots are very unpredictable when it comes to their game plan for the rushing attack, it varies from week to week. One thing is clear though, Vereen is mostly used in the passing game and if week 8 was any indication of what’s to come, Gray should be picked up immediately.
2. Brandon Lafell is now a hot commodity after the resurgence of Tom Brady. Brady was criticized for his poor play in the first four games of the season, but since then Brady has played like a man on a mission and Lafell has certainly stepped up. The only drawback to Lafell is that his consistency has been an issue. In week 4 Lafell had his first breakout performance putting up 119 yards on 6 receptions and a touchdown against a stout Kansas City Chiefs secondary. The following week he put up a dud, one reception for 20 yards but bounced back in week 6 with 97 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions. The trend continued when Lafell didn’t show up in week 7 against a weak Jets secondary but put up 124 yards on 11 receptions and a touchdown in week 8 against the Bears. If the trend indicates anything Lafell is in line for another dud performance in week 9 but his three double digit performances cannot go ignored and he should be picked up in all formats.
3. Jonathan Stewart has been injury prone throughout his career and was widely forgotten about in regards to fantasy after missing weeks 4-6. In his return in week 7 however he totaled 50 yards but was given 13 attempts and in week 8 that total increased to 16 carries and 79 yards. The big bruising back should be picked up immediately as he seems to be the main guy in the trio of running backs for the Carolina Panthers. If this trend continues Stewart will post double digit fantasy numbers once he finds the end zone and his workload the past two weeks cannot be ignored, pick him up immediately.
4. Allen Robinson is a player who has been subject to the trend of drop/add in many fantasy leagues. He has most likely switched fantasy owners several times as his numbers haven’t exactly been consistent. In the last two weeks however Robinson has 9 receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 13 fantasy points per game. Pick him up, he’s become a go-to guy in Jacksonville.
5. Michael Vick is a man of redemption but this time he may be hanging on to his last lifeline in the NFL. After Geno Smith threw his third interception of the first quarter Jets Coach Rex Ryan turned to the veteran. Though Vick wasn’t incredible, he certainly gave the Jets a resurgence and almost led them to a comeback victory. Vick has value being a bye-week replacement and is worth a bench spot merely due to the fact that he’s still a dual threat quarterback with the only drawback being his history of turnovers. Vick is an intriguing option with boom or bust possibility with the threat of Geno Smith also returning if Vick struggles. Either way he could be worth a waiver claim.
6. Martavius Bryant; the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver and 4th round pick out of Clemson finally got his chance in week 8. He found the end zone twice and totaled 83 yards on 5 receptions. Keep in mind Ben Roethlisberger’s had a career day, throwing for 522 yards and 6 Touchdowns. Bryant had a career day as well which should translate to an increased role, the 6″4′ speedster should be a hot commodity on waivers this weekend but keep in mind it was only one game. Bryant has upside moving forward is worth a waiver wire claim.
7. Davante Adams has averaged at least 7 fantasy points in the last 4 games and the rookie receiver is starting to become a reliable target for Aaron Rodgers. In week 8 he further solidified the No.3 receiving role from fellow receiver Jarrett Boykin. Rodgers will continue to find the open receiver and it doesn’t hurt that fellow receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are complimenting the rookie Adams. He’s another intriguing waiver wire pickup as his production in the slot should continue.
8. Jace Amaro is worth another look for two reasons, first being that Michael Vick has always relied on his tight end as a safety net and second being the increased number or targets. Amaro has 18 receptions in his last three games and the Jets have seemed to favor him over fellow tight end Jeff Cumberland. With the addition of Percy Harvin allowing the Jets to stretch the field the tight end should more looks underneath as well as in the flats for relevant tight end fantasy production..
9. Joseph Randle is the backup to Demarco Murray, the leagues leading rusher who in week 8 surpassed 1,000 yards on the season. Randle is on watch because as the season progresses his workload may increase to keep Murray fresh and healthy come playoff time. The Cowboys lost tonight to the Washington Redskins they and are now 6-2 but if they clinch the playoffs early they may lean on sitting Murray towards the end of the season which would give Randle value. He’s sitting 10th on our list because he’s on the cusp of either a early waiver pickup or a player to watch, either way Murray getting injured is also a possibility so handcuffing the two may be wise.
Players to watch week 9 or possibly pick up off waivers if you can afford to drop someone:
1. Charles Sims was drafted in third round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2014 draft. Many were confused by the pick given the perception of the Bucs backfield at the time with fellow runnings backs Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey seemingly solid. Tampa knew something that the general public didn’t as both Martin and Rainey have struggled and the Bucs are tied for the worst record in the NFL with a record of 1-6. Sims was just taken off the injured reserve and many believe he could boost the rushing attack. His rookie scouting report noted his pass catching ability which should at least give him the possibility of becoming fantasy relevant. If you feel like gambling pick him up, especially if you can afford to do so. Sims generated some hype prior to his injury in preseason and since Tampa Bay needs any sort of spark, Sims could be the guy.
2. Lorenzo Taliaferro seems to only be fantasy relevant when Bernard Pierce is injured or inactive but that being said he’s been very successful in relief as the go-to goal line back the Baltimore Ravens. Though Justin Forsett seems to have taken over as the teams number one back, Taliaferro has scored 4 touchdowns which keeps him fantasy relevant. He’s a player to continue to watch for as his role should be increased and should be a viable bench stash.
3. Niles Paul has continued to impress while coexisting with Jordan Reed while competing for looks from whoever the Washington Redskins quarterback may be. Paul is a player to keep on watch and a possible waiver wire pickup.
4. Theo Riddick has thrived in relief of injured running back Reggie Bush in the passing game and in week 8 saw a team high 8 receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. The Detroit Lions have a bye in week 9 and Reggie Bush should be ready to go in week 10 which should hinder Riddick’s production a bit but it’s hard to imagine the Lions won’t keep trying to find ways to get him involved in the passing game. He’s on watch and worth a waiver wire pickup due to his upside and speed.
Deep sleepers: Juwan Thompson and Carlos Hyde.
Players that shouldn’t be on waivers but if they are, they’re worth a waiver claim: Bobby Rainey, Deangelo Williams.