Waiver Favors: Early Week 9 Fantasy Football Pickups
By Ha Kung Wong Fantasy Football Pickups
Week 9 is almost over, so we’re back to help you keep your fantasy football team competitive!
As usual, all pickups are available in at least 50% of Yahoo standard fantasy football leagues as of Sunday evening.
WR – Carolina Panthers – 14% Owned
When Kelvin Benjamin went down in the preseason, the popular consensus was that Devin Funchess would repeat history by being the next rookie to lead the Panthers in receptions and break out as a true WR1. But halfway through the season, there really wasn’t a receiver that stepped up for the Panthers, other than TE Greg Olsen (and Funchess only totaled 90 yards on 7 receptions). Sure, Ted Ginn Jr. had a decent run, but he also had some brutal drops (like in Week 8 against the Colts).
Well, Week 9 finally gave Funchess a chance to show his stuff as he grabbed 3 of 4 targets for 71 yards and his first TD of his NFL career. Funchess is a big target that originally played TE at Michigan. And he’s surprisingly fast, which is why he moved to WR during his last year at Michigan. The Panthers are still undefeated, and Cam Newton is looking more and more comfortable in the pocket, which means more targets for options not called Olsen. I think Funchess will be one of them. Feel free to grab him as a WR4/Flex in 12-team and deeper leagues.
RB – New England Patriots – 1% Owned
Dion Lewis was having a break out year in New England, but he had what looked to be a non-contact knee injury today against the Redskins. Initial thoughts are it could be an ACL strain of some kind.
Patriots RB Dion Lewis scheduled to undergo MRI on his knee. No swelling yet, a good sign. ACL loose, a bad sign. MRI to tell full story.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 8, 2015
If it is an ACL strain, Lewis will need to miss a few weeks. And although LaGarette Blount will remain the ground and pound back in New England, we know that Belichick likes to have a good pass catching back in the rotation. Brandon Bolden is the next man up.
Bolden had 12 rush yards, 27 receiving yards and a TD in relief of Lewis. So you can imagine how effective he can be with a little game planning. Let’s just say that there are a lot of things I don’t like about Belichick, but the one thing I do like is how he prepares his RBs and how he integrates them into his game plan. There’s a chance that Blount gets 90% of the carries next week, but if Bolden is in the lineup, the ceiling is high. Grab him in all 12-team and deeper leagues, and definitely in any that are of the PPR variety.
Shaun Draughn & Pierre Thomas
RB – San Francisco 49ers – 1% & 18% Owned
Last week, after Reggie Bush and Mike Davis went down, all the 49ers had in the coffers was Kendall Gaskins. Then they signed Shaun Draugn and Pierre Thomas off the streets, and I noted that you might want to give them a look if you were desperate.
Fast forward to Week 9, and Draughn has bust on to the seen with 16 carries for 48 rushing yards and catching 4 of 5 targets for 38 receiving yards. That’s not bad for a guy who was signed off the street last week. Part of this was probably game flow, as the 49ers were leading basically from the beginning of the second quarter through the end of the game so the 49ers were going conservative, but we should give Draugn some credit for taking advantage of the opportunity.
Of course, Pierre Thomas also was signed last week, and has a much deeper tack record of success from his time in New Orleans, and he did get in the game a bit with 4 carries for 12 yards. Sure, Carlos Hyde is potentially coming back after the Week 10 bye, but who knows? If you have the room, it may be worth a stash in 14-team and deeper leagues, as Blaine Gabbert didn’t look half bad leading the 49ers to a win over the Atlanta Falcons.
WR – Tennessee Titans – 13% Owned
Former coach Ken Whisenhunt was notoriously conservative with rookie Dorial Green-Beckham, even while talking up his skills and promising increased involvement with the offense. Well, Whisenhunt is no longer in charge, and Mike Mularkey is now calling the shots.
Mularkey first called Green-Beckham out for needing to improve his blocking. But, as it turns out, he also intended to get him more targets. In Week 9, Green-Beckham led the team with 10 targets, grabbing 5 of them for 77 yards, and helped lead the Titans to the their second win of the season. That’s more receptions than he had in any game yet this year. I think the trend continues and Green-Beckham continues to climb, even if Kendall Wright returns next week. Pick him up now in all leagues.
The injuries are still racking up in Week 9 so if your team was impacted, make one of the pickups I’ve recommended, or see below for who I think you should target.
Ben Roethlisberger – Mild Ankle Sprain – Out 1-2 Weeks
- Big Ben went down with what appeared to be an pretty severe ankle injury, as he had to be carted off the field. However, now we know it’s just a sprained foot, and that he’s only likely to miss 1 or 2 weeks, one of which is the Steelers’ bye week.
- So I’m going to recommend that you pick up Landry Jones (1%) ONLY if you’re really desperate. I think you can probably find a sub from another team, such as Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota.
Teddy Bridgewater – Concussion – May Be Out Next Week
- It looked bad at the time, and he will be on the concussion protocol from the nasty hit, but ultimately, looks like its a non-issue. Not that you should be using Bridgewater in your fantasy team anyway, but it looks like he’ll be OK for next week.
Per source, Teddy Bridgewater feels fine. He's heading out to dinner to celebrate the win.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 8, 2015
Latavius Murray – Concussion – May Miss Time
- Murray took a huge hit today and went down immediately. He then left the game with what appeared to be a concussion.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) November 8, 2015
- There honestly isn’t a clear RB2 in Oakland. At first blush, one might expect Roy Hulu (2%) or Marcel Reece (2%) to get the majority of carries. But as the game proceeded, three different RBs had carries, none of which was Roy Hulu (since he was inactive), the most effective of which was Jamize Olawale (0%), who had one carry for 19 yards and a TD. I would look elsewhere for replacement help if Murray doesn’t play in Week 10. Antonio Andrews or Brandon Bolden might be a good option.
LeSean McCoy – Possible Shoulder Injury – May Miss Time
- McCoy went out with a shoulder injury and it’s unclear how severe it is. From what we know, it looks like he’ll need an MRI, which ultimately just means it still bothers him and there aren’t any apparent broken bones which an x-ray would detect.
- Karlos Williams (35%) finished off that game at RB, finally getting back this week from injury. If McCoy misses time, Williams will have a great opportunity, though against a tough Jets Defense on a short week. If you have McCoy, go ahead an pick up Williams as a handcuff.
Dion Lewis – Possible ACL Strain – May Miss Time
- See Brandon Bolden above.
And a few reminders from Week 8:
Steve Smith Sr. – Torn Achilles – Out for the Season
- Kamar Aiken (40%) was pretty good in place of Smith earlier in the season. I think he’ll benefit the most in terms of targets. Worth picking up in 12-team leagues and deeper.
- Worth looking at Chris Givens (1%) and Breshad Perriman (3%) in 16-team leagues and deeper, but both are complete flyers.
Reggie Bush – Torn MCL – Out for the Season
- See Shaun Draugn and Pierre Thomas above.
- Kendall Gaskins (11%) is worth noting if you’re really desperate in 16-team leagues and deeper.
Matt Forte – MCL strain – Multi-Week Injury
- Forte’s diagnosis was an MCL strain, which is not season ending like an ACL injury, but it usually is a multi-week issue. He was almost a game time decision this week before being ruled out at the end of the week. I’d think Forte misses at least one more week.
- Jeremy Langford (70%) is worth noting in 10-team leagues and deeper based on volume opportunity alone.
And here are pickups from previous articles which I still recommend:
James Jones, James Starks, Tyrod Taylor, Chris Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Travis Benjamin, Ted Ginn Jr., Charles Clay, Gary Barnidge, Antonio Andrews, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Willie Snead, Charcandrick West, Theo Riddick, Dwayne Harris, Stefon Diggs, Benjamin Watson, Christine Michael, Michael Floyd, Darren McFadden, Eric Ebron, Alfred Blue, Chris Polk, Malcolm Floyd, Stevie Johnson, Nate Washington, David Cobb, Tony Romo, Kamar Aiken, DeAngelo Williams, Jeremy Langford
Keep coming back for updates all week!