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Fantasy Football: Week 9 waiver wire

10.29.13 at 10:18 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 9 waiver wire. I know a lot of you are too busy enjoying the Red Sox to go digging in the fantasy weeds, so it’€™s probably a good thing (for you) that I’€™m a Mets fan. In the words of Tommy Callahan, ‘€œI got spare time.’€

We had more injuries in Week 8, and that makes this upcoming week a challenge in terms of putting a team on the field, especially in deeper formats. I’€™ll do my best to give you ideas and options for all league types and sizes. For those of you playing in large formats, feel free to head over to Rotobahn.com, where I’€™ll be adding more targets throughout the day as I continue to work through last week’€™s game tape.

QUARTERBACKS

Andy Dalton, Bengals 

He’€™s already taken in 76 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but that leaves enough possibility to mention him. Dalton is on a serious hot streak over the last three games and is a solid QB1 in all leagues based on his production so far. The skill talent around him is simply outstanding. Add him if you can.

Alex Smith, Chiefs

He’€™s still available in 41 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and you can’€™t argue with his consistent production. Smith is coming off of his best fantasy week so far in Week 8, and he gets the Bills in Week 9. Add him if you need short- or long-term help at the position, but be wary of his Week 10 bye.

Jake Locker, Titans 

He’€™s past the bye and he’€™s healthy. Throw in the fact that the Titans have already played the worst part of their schedule and you have a player to own in 12-team formats. He’€™s also largely available, with a 17 percent ownership rate in Yahoo! leagues.

Terrelle Pryor, Raiders 

He got it done in a tough matchup last week. Granted, he got a lot of his points on a single play. Pryor has some solid matchup value in all formats with the Eagles and Giants on the schedule the next two weeks. He is available in 64 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Josh McCown, Bears 

He’€™ll be the man until Jay Cutler comes back. McCown can help you in deeper formats as a Cutler replacement or as bye week help. I thought he looked pretty good in relief against Washington in Week 7 — making some good throws and clean reads. The matchups the next two weeks are at Green Bay and home vs. Detroit. That’€™s not too bad, and you can get McCown in all but 4 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Geno Smith, Jets 

Geno was a ‘€œsit’€ in my Week 8 starts and sits column at WEEI, but he’€™s a reasonable play this week, at home vs. the Saints. The Jets will need to throw if they are going to compete, and hosting New Orleans is a far easier task than playing the Bengals on the road. Smith can help you in large formats if you’€™re in a jam, and you can still get him in 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Case Keenum, Texans 

Keenum will draw the start this week at home vs. the Colts.  He’€™s a player to add in large formats for sure, because he has a chance to take this gig for the rest of the season if he plays as well as he did in Week 7 at Kansas City. He’€™s available in 97 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

RUNNING BACKS

Shane Vereen, Patriots  

He’€™s available in way too many leagues. Vereen has RB1 upside for the playoff weeks. Yes, his ceiling is that high in the Patriots offense. Go grab him and stash him until Week 11. You’€™ll end up looking like a genius. He’€™ll be even better in PPR scoring, and you can still get him in 61 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Andre Ellington, Cardinals  

The rookie out of Clemson may have finally forced his way into the lead role for the Cardinals. He has some nice second-half matchups, but beware of his Week 9 bye. You can view my pre-draft report on Ellington if you’€™ve never seen him run. It’€™s definitely worth a look. Add Ellington in any league where he is available. You can still get him in 47 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Zac Stacy, Rams 

He’€™s a tough runner that we like a lot, as we’€™ve been saying all year. The Rams finally seem to have settled on him as the main ball-carrier, and he can help you in all formats as a solid RB3 option with upside in plus matchups. Of course, the Rams do play a pretty tough schedule, and Stacy did bang up his ankle toward the end of Monday’€™s contest. Unless the injury is serious, he is a player to add in all leagues. You can still get him in 37 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Mike James, Buccaneers

He was serviceable in his first start, which was against a nasty Carolina defense. Things don’€™t get any easier this week with the Bucs making the long flight to Seattle and sure defeat. The matchups get a little better the rest of the way for the most part. James is a must for those who own Doug Martin, and a nice RB3 possibility for those who do not. He’€™s worth an add in all formats, and you can still land him in 47 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Andre Brown, Giants 

Brown is confident that he’€™ll be back for Week 10 and, at this point, he could be in for quite a workload. You could make the argument that Brown is the potential key for a Giants turnaround on offense. He could end up with extended RB2 value unless David Wilson returns at some point. Brown is a player to add in any league where you have a need at RB, unless that is an acute Week 9 need. He’€™s available in 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers

He’€™s only rostered in 10 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and he should return this week. Stewart is a much better fit for the lead role in the Panthers offense compared to DeAngelo Williams. Stewart is a player to add in all leagues if you are looking for a running back, and he has RB2 upside in 12-team formats.

Montee Ball, Broncos 

He’€™s still behind Knowshon Moreno and he’€™ll stay there barring a Moreno injury, but he seems to have taken the backup role from Ronnie Hillman, which is key. With Moreno’€™s injury history, Ball has a whole lot of upside as a stash option, and you can play him in deeper formats when you are desperate. He’€™s owned in 38 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

James Starks, Packers 

Starks was a favorite of ours back in 2010, and he’s probably playing his best football since that time right now. Starks is back from his knee injury, and he looked to be playing at 100 percent in Week 8. He also was clearly ahead of rookie Johnathan Franklin for the No. 2 role behind Eddie Lacy, who is looking very good as the lead back. If you can only handcuff one back behind Lacy, Starks looks like the guy, not Franklin, and you can still land him in 91 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Deji Karim, Texans 

He’€™s the name to know right now, but the Texans also brought back rookie UDFAs Dennis Johnson and Ray Graham. The key to the situation is the availability of Arian Foster (hamstring) and Ben Tate (ribs). It sounds like Tate is more likely to play this week, but neither is a lock at this point, and that could leave a whole lot of carries up for grabs. If you are relying on the Texans backs in a deep league, you may want to add Karim preemptively. He’€™s available in virtually all leagues.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Aaron Dobson, Patriots 

Dobson was one of my favorite receivers heading into the NFL draft. He seems to be hitting his stride,and the Patriots are making a commitment to him in terms of playing time. He’€™s really just scratching the surface of what he can be with a QB like Tom Brady. Dobson should now be owned in all formats, and he’€™s only taken in 23 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Kenny Stills, Saints 

Our guy Kenny Stills busted out in a big way in Week 8, and he now seems to be entrenched as the Saints’€™ big-play receiver. He doesn’€™t see tons of targets, but he makes a lot of big plays with the shots he gets, and you have to think they will continue to get him more involved. Still has to be owned in all leagues with 12 or more teams, and he’s a player to consider in smaller leagues, too. He’€™s currently available in 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Lance Moore, Saints 

He just got back from his wrist injury suffered in Week 3, and he’€™s already scored a touchdown.  Moore will be a trusted target for Drew Brees for as long as he can stay healthy. He’€™s worth owning in all but very small leagues right now. Moore is there for the taking in 72 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders 

He is going to see even more snaps with the season-ending injuries to Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen. The Colts and QB Andrew Luck are looking for places to throw the football. Heyward-Bey has been an inconsistent pro, but this will easily be the best chance he’€™s ever had to succeed. He’€™s worth a speculative add in all formats if you need some help at receiver, and he’€™s still available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues.

Marvin Jones, Bengals

You may have noticed Jones’€™ massive outburst last week. Just maybe. As we’€™ve been saying for a while now, Jones is the guy we like opposite A.J. Green, but Mohamed Sanu has been the guy getting the snaps. That may change going forward. Obviously, Green is still the main guy, but Jones needs to be added in all leagues right now, just in case they give him the full job. He’€™s officially off of the Rotobahn Watch List, but you can still get him in three out of four Yahoo! leagues.

Kris Durham, Lions 

We’€™ve been talking about him for weeks now, and his role is further entrenched with the season-ending injury to Ryan Broyles. Durham may not be exciting, but he’€™s very involved, and defenses are somewhat preoccupied with that Megatron guy. Durham can still be added in 86 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

David Nelson, Jets 

Nelson has played well for the Jets so far, and he’€™s making plays with surprising regularity. He’€™s been targeted 19 times by Geno Smith over the last two weeks and has tallied 80 receiving yards in each of those two games. He may not last, with Santonio Holmes due back after the Jets’€™ Week 10 bye, but Nelson can help you in Week 9 if you are hurting for options in a big league. The Jets have a plus matchup at home vs. New Orleans. Nelson is available in nearly all leagues.

TIGHT ENDS

Jordan Reed, Redskins

Reed is one of our favorite rookies. He’€™s largely taken after his Week 7 bust-out, but you can still get him in some leagues. Reed is a potential monster the rest of the way if he can stay healthy. He should be owned in all leagues, and you still have a 25 percent chance of landing him in a Yahoo! league.

Tim Wright, Buccaneers

With Mike Williams gone due to a season-ending hamstring injury, Wright is now the second option in this offense. He’€™s a weak play in Week 9 against the Seahawks, but he’€™ll have some good days the rest of the way. Wright should be owned in all 12-team formats. He’s still there in 95 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Read More: Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Case Keenum, Geno Smith
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