Let’s take a look at the top week 9 waiver wire pickups for 2013 fantasy football owners. Week 9 is the busiest bye week of the season as 6 NFL teams have the week off (Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco) Owners will be looking for a few good bye week fill ins, and here you will find my must adds, sleepers to keep an eye on, and the waiver wire stashes that should be returning from injury.
All players appearing in my waiver wire article are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo fantasy football leagues.
Montee Ball – Denver Broncos – RB (37% owned) (BYE WEEK)
Thanks to Ronnie Hillman‘s fumble issues, Montee Ball‘s star is finally rising in the Mile High city. Word was leaked out of Denver that the Broncos plan on reducing Knowshon Moreno‘s workload to keep him fresh for the playoffs, which means Ball could have flex value if you are in a bind. Ball finished week 8 with 11 carries for 37 yards and a TD.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – Indianapolis Colts – WR (45% owned)
DHB is still a speculative add, but with Reggie Wayne out for the remainder of the season, and TY Hilton already owned in most leagues, it is Darrius Heyward-Bey that should benefit the most from a fantasy perspective. In week 7 (when Wayne went down to injury) DHB had 4 receptions for 44 yards, and 1 TD while adding an additional 30 yards on a rushing attempt. He has the upside to be a weekly WR3 in Andrew Luck‘s offense.
Shane Vereen – New England Patriots – RB (39% owned)
Vereen appears to be on track to return the first week he is eligible (week 11), and for owners with an eye on the future and fantasy football playoffs, now is the time to make the move. In Vereen’s only game of the season, he combined for 159 yards (101 rush/ 58 rec), and should be a valuable addition to the Patriots offense, and fantasy owners’ lineups when he returns.
Nate Washington – Tennessee Titans – WR (34% owned)
Washington is a guy who has gone relatively unnoticed this season, but with starting QB Jake Locker back under center, Nate deserves to be owned in all formats. In his last 3 games that Locker has started (Weeks 3,4, and 7), Nate Washington has 298 receiving yards and 2 TD’s (nearly 100 yards per week). If you need a bye week fill in, Washington should be one of the first names you consider.
PPR Note: If Washington isn’t your slice of pie, his teammate Kendall Wright (13% owned) has been putting up solid receiving numbers as well. Wright sees more receptions per game (good for PPR) but doesn’t go for nearly as many YPC as Nate.
Marvin Jones – Cincinnati Bengals – WR (16% owned)
Oooh, shiny!! Andy Dalton has found a new toy this year, and his name is Marvin Jones. Jones absolutely went off in week 8, to the tune of 122 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns! This gives Marvin 6 TD’s in his last 3 weeks, and you can bet he will be one of the hottest waiver wire adds, as he is emerging as the clear #2 option in the passing game behind A.J. Green. The Bengals get the Miami Dolphins on a short week this Thursday, and Marvin should be considered a decent WR3 thanks to all the players on bye in week 9.
Update – As ProFootballFocus originally reported – Jones played on just 19 snaps in week 8. While he will be a WR3 thanks to injuries and byes this week, remember he is still a developing player that doesn’t see the field on a consistent basis.
Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – RB (10% owned)
Hopefully you have enjoyed the ride, DeAngelo Williams owners, because it is about to come to a full and complete stop. Jonathan Stewart is targeting week 9 for his return, which means we will be treated to a RBBC in Carolina, and a vulture at the goal line. I’m adding Stewart’s name to the list because I’m sure owners will be jumping all over him, but I wouldn’t get too excited unless D-Will goes down to injury. Mr. Stewart is a very low end flex play, even in a week which will see 6 teams on a bye.
Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts – TE (37% owned)
There could be plenty of owners scampering around the waiver wire looking for a TE this week, as Julius Thomas exited for the Broncos, and Jimmy Graham continues to suffer from plantar fascitis. With the injury to Reggie Wayne, Fleener should see his role expand, and he very nearly reached must add status this week. If you need a TE off the waiver wire, take a chance on Fleener as he should see between 5-6 receptions this week against the Houston Texans.
Aaron Dobson – New England Patriots – WR (23% owned)
Well, this was certainly surprising. Most pundits figured that with Danny Amendola back in the mix, it would be Aaron Dobson losing snaps, but he still haueld in 4 receptions for 60 yards and a TD. Reports say Amendola wasn’t being used as a decoy, so Dobson may be emerging as a regular part of the game plan in New England.
Jake Locker – Tennessee Titans – QB (16% owned)
Here is a name that is floating well under the radar, and whether that is because of his recent injury (hip) that sidelined him for 2 weeks, or some other reason is debatable. All I know is that he is currently averaging 18.12 fantasy PPG in standard leagues, which is just 1 PPG shy of the likes of Andrew Luck, Tony Romo, and Philip Rivers (all top 10 QB’s this year). Locker wasn’t at 100% in his last game out, but he has had the bye week to recover, and has a great matchup with the St. Louis Rams on tap in week 9. If you need a backup QB, the Titans have a pretty soft schedule the rest of the way, and Jake has been playing much better than in previous years.
Ted Ginn Jr - Carolina Panthers – WR (12% owned)
Ginn entered the year as a return specialist who wanted to prove he could do more, and apparently the Panthers are willing to give him that opportunity. Ginn had his best game of the season in week 8 as he caught 5 passes for 80 yards, but he hasn’t found the end zone since week 3, making him no better than a deep league WR4. Ginn is still third on the Panthers WR depth chart, but he should continue to push Brandon LaFell for playing time as the season progresses.
It is absolutely shocking what a mess the Saints offense is from a fantasy perspective. 6 different players had exactly 3 catches in week 7 (Darren Sproles led the way with 4 receptions for 0 yards), and the only 2 really consistent options this season have been Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham.
Lance Moore (week 7) – 3 receptions, 34 yards, 1 TD
Kenny Stills (week 7) – 3 receptions, 129 yards, 2 TD’s
It will be Stills receiving the majority of the fantasy attention this week thanks to his 129 yards and 2 TD’s, but the fact remains there are just too many mouths to feed in this offense, and the only guy we can rely on to get red zone looks is Jimmy Graham. Both Moore and Stills can be picked up in deeper formats, but they are no better than desperation flex plays at this point.
Mike Brown – Jacksonville Jaguars – WR (1% owned) (BYE WEEK)
I fielded a few questions last week about Brown, so I will throw his name in here. He had another decent week 7 performance with 3 receptions, 43 yards, and 1 touchdown. The TD obviously was the saving grace from a fantasy perspective, and Brown has established himself as the clear WR3 behind Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon for the Jaguars. Thanks to a awful defense, and complete lack of running game, Brown is a candidate for garbage time scores, but shouldn’t be considered outside of 16 team leagues at this point.
LaVon Brazill – Indianapolis Colts – WR (1% owned)
This name is here for owners in 16 team leagues, or deeper. With Heyward-Bey and Hilton the WR1 and 2 for the Colts, it will be LaVonn Brazill stepping in as the new WR3. Keep an eye on his production this week, as he isn’t an advisable add yet, but could turn into the new “T.Y. Hilton” for the Colts.
Drew Davis – Atlanta Falcons – WR (1% owned)
Mr. Davis had quite a game in week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals, as he hauled in 5 passes for 77 yards and a TD. Playing opposite Harry Douglas as the starting WR2, Davis finally cashed in on his opportunity, and the fantasy football world will likely take note. Couple things to consider about Davis though, when Roddy White returns, he will go back to being the WR3, and the Falcons have a week 9 meeting with the staunch Carolina Panthers pass D. If Roddy returns for week 10 or 11, the Drew Davis hype machine could be very short lived.
David Nelson – New York Jets – WR (0% owned)
Another week, and another New York Jets wide receiver finds his way onto this list. The former Bills WR seems to be settling in to a role for the Jets, as he has gone for 80 yards receiving in 2 straight games (8 receptions in week 8). It was more a result of the score, than the Jets willingness to target Nelson on a consistent basis, as Andy Dalton was having a career day on the other side of the ball. Keep an eye on Nelson, but much like the other Jets’ WR, there isn’t much fantasy value here.
Jason Campbell – Cleveland Browns – QB (2% owned)
You in a two QB format, and need a 1 week fill in? You can do worse than Jason Campbell, who very nearly took down the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. On the day, Campbell went 22/36 for 293 yards with 2 TD and 0 INT. His week 8 matchup with the Ravens figures to be low scoring, but waiver wire options are thin in 2 QB leagues, so he is a name to consider.
Tiquan Underwood – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR (0% owned)
Lets go really deep here. Mike Williams was just placed on IR, ending his season, and the Bucs will need a new WR2 to step up. Looks like that guy should be Tiquan Underwood, as he caught 3 passes for 47 yards in week 8. This week he faces a tough Seattle D, so expect his name to go under the radar a bit longer, but keep his name hanging around the corners of your mind, just in case he does something special with his increased playing time.
Andre Brown – New York Giants – RB (20% owned) (BYE WEEK)
Andre Brown also appears to be on track to return, and should be good to go when the Giants come out of their week 9 bye. The real problem here is playing time. David Wilson’s status is unknown, Peyton Hillis should still be hanging around, and Brandon Jacobs may even be ready to return by that time. The RB situation is murky at best in New York, and while Andre is the more explosive option (when healthy) we simply don’t know if he will see regular carries upon return. Stash in 12 team leagues (or 10 team leagues with deep benches) and wait to see what the fallout is in New York.
UPDATE – The Giants have suggested that Brown could become a 3 down back upon his return. He should be stashed in most formats upon hearing this news
Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers – WR (10% owned)
Michael Crabtree is expected to return sometime around week 12 from his devastating achilles injury. Potential owners should temper their expectations, as it could take him some time to get back to full game speed, and the 49ers should have no reason to rush him back to action as they gear up for the playoffs. Crabtree remains a deep league stash at this time.
Nate Burleson – Detroit Lions – WR (3% owned)
Burleson’s earliest return date is week 10, and in an offense that hasn’t been able to establish a clear WR2 (apologies to Kris Durham), Nate could end up being a decent pickup in 12 team leagues. Through his first 3 games this season, Nate had 19 receptions for 239 yards. His one major drawback is the lack of TD’s, and on a team that has a beast like Calvin Johnson, those will be hard to come by. Consider Nate a WR4 when healthy, that has the upside to become a WR3 if he can get Stafford to look his way consistently.