2014 Fantasy Football Week 9 Waiver Wire Targets
I’m going to switch the script on this piece this week as we’re now halfway through the season. In most leagues, there are four or five weeks left before the fantasy playoffs start. This part of the season is crucial to keep active on the waiver wire. I wrote an article that identified players for those who are making a playoff push and championship run. Please check it out if you are one of those people looking for a push or planning for the championship. I’ve changed the headings here slightly so you can still know the “hot hands” but I’ve also added a “dynasty builders” section for those who are unfortunately already planning for next year. If you’re looking for bye week fliers, I have some of them too.
This week in particular is a rough one for bye weeks. The Falcons, Bills, Bears, Lions, Packers and Titans are all on bye this week. There are so many studs on those teams that you could actually fill a championship-caliber starting roster of them and take the week off. That reminds me of an article written before the season….sorry but I couldn’t help the shameless plug. We’ve got a lot to get to so let’s get down to it. As always, owned percentages are for ESPN and Yahoo leagues respectively.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals (13.4%/50%): He’s thrown multiple touchdowns in every game he’s played and hasn’t thrown for less than 250 yards in one either. He took long shots at Michael Floyd and John Brown so his arm isn’t hindered by the nerve damage that kept him sidelined for three weeks. He’s also only turned the ball over twice and is making a strong case to be a QB1 the rest of the way.
Alex Smith, Chiefs (19.7%/42%): He has a pretty easy schedule coming up against the Jets and the Bills. He uses his legs liberally which helps his value some but otherwise only has appeal in 2-QB leagues. The Chiefs just don’t pass enough for him to enter the starting lineup of a standard league unless you’re desperate.
Michael Vick, Jets (2.6%/2%): He got the nod with four and a half minutes left in the first quarter of Sunday’s game and finished 18-of-36 for 153 yards, one interception and two fumbles lost. Ouch. He’s only being mentioned here because he is Michael Vick and he actually ran eight times for 69 yards, which wasn’t too bad. Try your best to steer clear as this Sunday was the second time Vick has relieved Geno Smith and underwhelmed.
Zach Mettenberger, Titans (0.3%/2%): He doesn’t play in Week 9 but had a decent debut Sunday so he’s worth watching. He threw for 299 yards, completing 27-of-41 and one touchdown. He also threw an interception and lost a fumble. Temper your short term expectations because his consistency is still an unknown. He’s only worth picking up in a deeper 2QB league right now. Otherwise, he’s just someone to watch.
Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings (9.5%/10%): Bridgewater bounced back somewhat from a rough couple weeks against the tough Lions’ and Bills’ defenses. He completed 24-of-42 for 241 yards and one touchdown in a turnover-free outing. He faces the Redskins next week, who have given up the second most points to opposing quarterbacks in standard scoring this year.
Bye Week Fliers: Brian Hoyer, Browns. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans. Mike Glennon, Buccaneers.
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (24.2%/36%): The Daily Show looked great on Sunday against a tough Seahawks defense. He ran for 79 yards on 16 carries and contributed 15 yards on three catches. His only shortcoming was failing to score. DeAngelo Williams remains hurt so if Stewart can keep running tough and stays healthy, he has a very easy schedule and could be a great asset to any team.
Bobby Rainey, Buccaneers (9.2%/24%): He dropped off the map while backing up Doug Martin but Martin is dinged up again. Rainey has been rather effective this year and the Buccaneers would be wise to run him if they want to turn the season around to end on a good note. News out of Tampa Bay is that Charles Sims is close to returning so the Bucs may want to give him a try-out of sorts with the chance of a winning record almost all but finished. This will be a situation to watch but right now Rainey is the safest back to own.
Theo Riddick, Lions (0.2%/2%): Reggie Bush was ruled out on Sunday so the Lions backfield consisted of Joique Bell and Theo Riddick. Riddick was a surprise. He ended his day with only three carries for five yards but caught eight balls for 74 yards. The Lions go on their bye this week and Reggie Bush could be healthy by Week 10 so Riddick may not see much playing time going forward. He is most likely only going to be fantasy relevant if Bush doesn’t play but is worth being on the radar if you own Reggie Bush.
Denard Robinson, Jaguars (16.4%/57%): Robinson is way too underowned in ESPN leagues. He now has two 100-yard games to his credit after going for 108 yards on 18 carries against the Dolphins Sunday. He gets a matchup with the Bengals next week who rank 20th against the run.
Jonas Gray, Patriots (0.1%/6%): Jonas Gray was promoted from the practice squad before Week 7 but didn’t touch the ball much in his debut. Week 8 was a different story when he carried the ball 17 times for 86 yards against the Bears. Shane Vereen is still the back to own in New England but Gray has asserted himself as the replacement to Stevan Ridley. The Pats need a player who can bang between the tackles like Ridley did to complement Shane Vereen as he is the primary receiving back.
Charles Sims, Buccaneers (0.2%/7%): He’s an attractive target this week and you’ll see him in a lot of other waiver wire articles. The Buccaneers are 1-6 so there’s not much hope for the playoffs. They could turn to the rookie coming off the IR in hopes of seeing what they have or they could run with third-year back Bobby Rainey. This is a situation to monitor but many are saying that Charles Sims has all the tools to win the backfield. He finished with 1,549 all-purpose yards last year, which ranked second in the Big 12.
Bye Week Fliers: Roy Helu Jr., Redskins. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers. Carlos Hyde, 49ers.
Brandon LaFell, Patriots (8.8%/36%): LaFell continues to build chemistry with Tom Brady and become a featured part of the Patriots offense. He caught all 11 balls thrown to him and racked up 124 yards. With 461 yards on 30 catches, he is quietly averaging 15.4 yards per catch. If he continues on this upward trajectory, I wouldn’t be surprised if he blows away everyone’s expectation and has over 1,000 yards this season.
Allen Robinson, Jaguars (3.8%/23%): He was mentioned here last week and needs to be owned much more than he is currently, especially in PPR leagues. Yahoo league owners are starting to pick up on him but ESPN is still lagging behind. He took a few weeks to score but has since scored in back-to-back weeks. After Blake Bortles took the reigns, Robinson has seen an average of nine targets per game and never less than seven.
Martavis Bryant, Steelers (0.5%/8%): He finally had his breakout game. Some might say Week 7 was his breakout game but he only caught two balls on five targets. One happened to be a touchdown. He was much more heavily involved in Sunday’s game against the Colts ending his day 5-of-7 for 83 yards and two scores. Temper expectations because almost everyone on the Steelers was heavily involved, however, he looked red hot and is definitely worth a spot to see if he latches on as the Steelers No. 2.
Harry Douglas, Falcons (1.8%/3%): Returning from injury, Douglas caught three balls for 42 yards. He was targeted five times and likely won’t get much more than seven or eight given Julio Jones and Roddy White drawing most of Matt Ryan’s attention. Those two have not been the healthiest of receivers and have been liberal with taking practice off to rest various ailments. The team has lost four lineman though and may be looking to get the ball out of Matt Ryan’s hands quickly. All receivers will benefit from this. He has a bye this week but he’s someone to keep on your radar.
Donte Moncrief, Colts (0.2%/3%): Moncrief was the main beneficiary of Reggie Wayne’s absence. With the Colts playing from behind the entire game, he was targeted a team-high 12 times. Wayne is apparently ahead of schedule and day-to-day currently. Even with Wayne returning, Moncrief could be the WR3 Hakeem Nicks was brought in to be. He’s worth the pickup to see what happens. If you have a keeper or dynasty league, he should be grabbed for his potential when Reggie Wayne inevitably retires.
John Brown, Cardinals (2.5%/10%): He’s been here before but he had his longest play of the season on Sunday so he must be mentioned again. Carson Palmer throws the long ball more than a few times per game so the “flukey” long bomb play isn’t so flukey in the Cardinals scheme. He should continue to be a boom/bust player based on touchdowns.
Bye Week Fliers: Paul Richardson, Seahawks. Stedman Bailey, Rams. Jerricho Cotchery, Panthers. Kenny Stills, Saints. Markus Wheaton, Steelers.
Clay Harbor, Jaguars (0.3%/7%): The weeks that you can use Clay Harbor are waning as Marcedes Lewis hopes to return from injury in Week 12. The Bengals have given up the most points to opposing tight ends so far this year. For those streaming tight ends, Harbor is probably available. He has a soft schedule until the Jags bye in Week 11 so feel free to pick him up and reap the benefits for two weeks. For the Jaguars, it’s all about the matchups.
Tim Wright, Patriots (3.3%/14%): Tim Wright has been very unpredictable but he did catch a season-high seven balls for 61 yards and a touchdown. He’s worth considering in deeper leagues and if you’re looking for a spark at the tight end position, buying low on one that has Tom Brady at quarterback isn’t bad. He won’t surpass Rob Gronkowski but when they’re on the field together, it will be hard for defenses to cover both. He has caught a touchdown in three out of the last four games as well.
Jim Dray, Browns (0.1%/0%): Jordan Cameron suffered another concussion Sunday and Jim Dray was first up in terms of playing time. Cameron could miss extended time since this isn’t his first concussion, it is his third. Dray isn’t nearly the receiving threat that Cameron is but he does provide a large frame for Brian Hoyer to throw to.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buccaneers (0.5%/2%): He hasn’t had the greatest impact in terms of fantasy points but his size and ability is undeniable. With swirling Vincent Jackson trade rumors, Seferian-Jenkins could step into a bigger role. He is a project that will take time but he has the physical tools to take over any game if he becomes the focal point of the offense. Unfortunately that won’t happen with Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans around.
Bye Week Fliers: Coby Fleener, Colts. Jared Cook, Rams. Heath Miller, Steelers.
Browns D/ST: Their easy schedule continues when they play the Buccaneers Sunday. The Bucs have given up the third most fantasy points to opposing defenses.
Redskins D/ST: This unit is surprisingly good against the run and not completely inept against the pass. They draw rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater this week and this game has the potential to be a low-scorer which is good for fantasy points.
Chargers D/ST: They may have been dropped last week because they were playing Peyton Manning and the Broncos. If so, you could pick them up for a matchup against the Dolphins who have given up the 11th most fantasy points to opposing defenses.
Vikings D/ST: This group is one of eight teams that haven’t scored negative fantasy points in standard leagues. They play the Redskins this week in what could be a low scoring game in terms of real points which means good things for fantasy points.
Cairo Santos, Chiefs: 10/12 FG, 20/20 XP
Chandler Catanzaro, Cardinals: 16/16 FG, 14/14 XP
Shayne Graham, Saints: 13/14 FG, 20/21 XP
Billy Cundiff, Browns: 12/14 FG, 17/17 XP
Kai Forbath, Redskins: 13/14 FG, 18/19 XP