This is a very exciting waiver wire week as it is the first week where the “pickup of the week” is a TE. Whether it’s a young rookie or a hybrid player finding his groove, this week’s waiver wire has you covered at TE (now RB and WR are a little trickier).
Also, with Kirk Cousins going down for the season, along with a good amount of byes, the QB waiver wire should be busy this week. This isn’t the most talented waiver wire week of the year but this is the week to stock up your onesie position. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you will find the player your team needs below. Happy shopping!
*Player rostered in under 65% of ESPN leagues considered*
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Week 9 players to add
Pickup of the week – Dalton Kincaid
We nailed Kincaid as our top TE pickup of last week (admittedly a pretty obvious choice) but I wanted to double down on Kincaid as the top option overall this week for any position as he is still under 65% owned on ESPN, which is my threshold for making this article. With Knox out, Kincaid looks to be, at worst, a top-10 TE with lots of upside in an offense with a top-3 QB. Unless you have Kelce or Andrews, Kincaid should be on your radar as a TE with top 5 fantasy upside.
Top pick – Derek Carr: Carr has had 4 very solid games in a row and has gotten better in each one of those matchups. He gets Chicago this week that ranks in the bottom 5 of most defensive categories against the pass. Carr has also been taking more deep shots lately, increasing his average depth of target to almost his career average. While the Bears added Montez Sweat at the trade deadline, I don’t think that’s enough to stop Carr from carving up this bad defense. Carr also gets a weak Minnesota defense next week, so this can be a two-week add if needed.
Next – Sam Howell: Howell continues to be an absolute enigma at the QB position, finishing as the top QB last week after not being able to muster 10 points the week before. It would be easy to blindly grab Howell as the top waiver QB after last week’s blowup performance but even in a year while he’s struggling as a coach, it’s tough to start a young QB against a Bill Belichick defense. If you can’t get Carr, then I think Howell is a solid boom or bust bye week replacement.
Stash – Will Levis: Wow, that is my main takeaway from Will Levis’s debut as a starter. The man has the arm to make all the throws, and the question is will he continue to have the starting job once Tannehill returns? I think the risk is worth the reward, especially with all the QB injuries that happened this last weekend. If you have a questionable QB situation or want a high-upside backup going into the playoff stretch, grab Levis and hope the Titans let the young kid play.
Check to see if available– Gardner Minshew is only a game removed from 4 total touchdowns and 300 yards and has a nice matchup against Carolina if you are in a bind. Kyler Murray won’t play this week but could return the week after, but is worth stashing.
Top pick – Darrell Henderson Jr./Royce Freeman: These two are splitting touches, but both are getting work; with Stafford out, the Rams will need to rely more on their run game. While I would prefer Henderson, Freeman also has value and scored the TD last week.
Next – Chuba Hubbard: He has taken over as the lead RB in Carolina, playing almost 70% of snaps, and gets a great matchup against the Colts this week. The results last week did not look good but if he gets the same volume this week against a weak Colts defense, hopefully, he can break off some nice runs or get in the endzone for you. If you need a plug-and-play RB, Chuba is your guy.
Stash – Leonard Fournette: Leonard Fournette is back in the NFL and might have some fantasy relevance on the Bills. He is the perfect stash candidate to put on your bench to see if he has any juice left. If he can get back into football shape quick, he’s only a James Cook injury away from being fantasy-relevant again.
Check to see if available/others of note – Gus Edwards had a massive 3-TD game; if he’s still on waivers, he’s a must-add. Emari Demercado has become the leader in the Arizona backfield but with Dobbs traded, it will be hard for him to get points if his rookie QB struggles. Tyjae Spears is still one of the best handcuffs in football, especially now with Levis giving the Titans’ offense some juice. Zach Charbonnet has been getting some more work with Ken Walker a little banged up; worst case, a great stash.
Top pick – Josh Downs: Downs dominated with 125 yards on 5 catches this weekend, including exploding for a 59-yard TD run on broken coverage. Downs has proven to be a weekly starting option with Minshew as QB, which should last all season now. Grab him while you can as a solid WR 3 or 4 for your squad.
Next – Romeo Doubs: I get it. The Packers’ offense has not looked good recently, but Doubs has been the clear target once the Packers get in the red zone. Doubs had the only Green Bay touchdown this last week, while also not only had another TD last week but also had another pass go through his hands in the endzone, which ended up being caught by a teammate. So that should be 3 Doubs touchdowns in the past two weeks with a Packers offense that hasn’t gotten close to the endzone too often. Clearly, Doubs has shown something close to the goal line that the Packers coaches like; if you need a bye-week replacement, see if he can get in the endzone one more time this week against a Rams team that just got torched by the Cowboys.
Stash – Khalil Shakir: While Dalton Kincaid has been a big winner in the absence of Dawson Knox, Shakir has seen his stock rise as well. With Knox out, the Bills have been running more single TE sets, which has given Shakir more snaps as the slot WR. Shakir caught 6 passes for 92 yards last Thursday; I see this continuing as long as Knox is out.
Check to see if available/others of note – Jahan Dotson finally had the breakout performance we’ve been waiting for; if Curtis Samuel is out, Dotson becomes a high-ceiling flex. Tank Dell had a rough game back and may be dropped; I would love to have him as my WR 4/5 going forward. Rashid Shaheed is a boom-or-bust flex but can be a nice bye-week replacement. Demario Douglas seems to be the last WR standing in New England; it is worth a pick-up to see if he gets more work after the Kendrick Bourne injury.
Top pick – Taysom Hill: Hill did it again this week, blowing up for 63 yards on 9 carries with 2 rushing TDs. Hill is not a conventional TE by any measurement but the amount of red zone work as a rusher he is getting is amazing. With Juwan Johnson returning last week and only getting 1 reception, it looks like the Saints are going more with Hill’s versatility at TE. With matchups against Chicago and Minnesota coming up in the next two weeks, Hill looks like he’s set up to keep his success rolling.
Next – Trey McBride: We finally got it, the Trey McBride breakout game we’ve been waiting for from the former John Mackey Award winner. McBride exploded for 95 yards on 10 catches and a TD on a whopping 14 targets! In an offense that has been looking for a playmaker outside of Marquise Brown, McBride is looking perfect to step into that number 2 pass-catching role. McBride would be ahead of Hill this week if it wasn’t for his QB getting traded yesterday; now, the Cardinals will be rolling out rookie Clayton Tune against the Cleveland Browns defense (yuck!). Season-long, though, McBride looks like an amazing pickup, especially if Kyler comes back next week.
Stash – Donald Parham Jr.: Parham is proving to be a huge mismatch in the red zone this year, adding another TD Sunday Night when the Bears tried to cover him one-on-one (he’s too big and athletic for little DBs to cover him). With Gerald Everett possibly coming back soon from injury, Parham is more of a stash than a start but I think he’s worth putting on your bench as he proved what he can do with the full starter workload.
Check to see if available/others of note – David Njoku continues to impress with PJ Walker at QB, a solid bye-week replacement. The Dallas Cowboys seem to be turning into more of a passing team than a running team which has worked out well for Jake Ferguson, who had another TD this week, worth an add. Logan Thomas has been streaky but has a high ceiling in the right matchup.
Top pick – Falcons D/ST: This is a rough week for streaming DST but with news of Kirk Cousins injury, the Falcons move to the front of the line if you’re in need this week. The Vikings, at the moment, will be sending out a rookie to start at QB unless they trade for one before the trade deadline. While the Falcons don’t have the best defense, it is good enough to take advantage of a rookie making their first start. The Falcons also get the Cardinals in week 10, so this can be a two-week play.
Next – Colts D/ST: Our stash from last week looks like an even better spot start now that the Panthers will be riding high off their first win of the season; it is looking like a perfect letdown spot. The Panthers’ offense once again did not look impressive last week, as it was their defense that carried them to the win. Take the Colts here to take advantage of a matchup against a rookie QB still finding his footing in the NFL.
Stash – Steelers D/ST – The Steelers get a Green Bay team in week 10 who couldn’t move the ball at all against a mediocre Vikings defense. Expect TJ Watt to have a field day and maybe win you a fantasy week by himself.
Check to see if available – Chargers D/ST are coming off a good performance and get a good matchup against the Jets, great pickup. Raiders D/ST: if you are super desperate and, in a league where managers stash defenses, then you might need to start a gross defense like the Raiders; if Tommy Devito (not if Daniel Jones is back) starts for the Giants Sunday, then I am ok (not happy, but ok) with starting the Raiders D/ST.
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