The NFL trade deadline is today at 4:00 p.m. EST. Prior to submitting your claims for the Week 9 waiver wire, it’s imperative you evaluate the fallout from any moves made. Players landing on new teams could see an increase or decrease in value. On the other side of that coin, their new or old teammates will be effected, as well.
Week 9’s waiver wire is particularly difficult to navigate because of the teams that have their bye week. It is the first of two bye weeks this season with a whopping six NFL teams on bye: The Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Francisco 49ers. With such a large handful of fantasy relevant players unavailable, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of even adding players on this week’s waiver wire. Just make sure you’re not cutting players whose rest of the season value far outweighs the value of those you’re adding just for Week 9.
You may be dealing with injuries, bye weeks, or just need to cycle out players from your bench. Whatever the case may be, the waiver wire is there to help. There’s not always a need to put in a claim for players each week, but if you do, make it count. Below, we’ll look at players at each position, who are on 50% or less of most fantasy football rosters, that could be considered on the Week 9 waiver wire.
Week 9 Waiver Wire By Position
D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers
I believe Carolina will continue forward utilizing Foreman and Hubbard as a 1-2 punch in the Panthers offense. Prior to Hubbard’s exit in Week 7 due to injury, he logged more opportunities (carries + targets) than Foreman. However, it’s hard to ignore Foreman’s production in Hubbard’s place. He has exactly 118 rushing yards in each of the last two weeks. His 43 combined touches have resulted in 263 total yards and three touchdowns.
Foreman figures to be a popular add from the Week 9 waiver wire. His three rushing touchdowns in Week 8 put him in a group of five players who scored three touchdowns on Sunday. For a rebuilding team like the Carolina Panthers, there’s no reason Foreman shouldn’t continue to see the bulk of the carries, even with Hubbard back. However, despite his dominant rushing performance in Week 8, Foreman only saw one target. Hubbard will likely slide in, once healthy, as the passing-down back, taking a few carries here and there. Both running backs need to be on rosters moving forward. Foreman deserves more priority based on health and the expectation of leading both in touches each week.
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
White continues to land on my weekly waiver wire column as I expect his role to grow as the season progresses. He is no longer Leonard Fournette’s handcuff. White has a legitimate role in this offense that could develop into league-winning upside.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense is struggling and Fournette’s inefficient play doesn’t help. He’s averaging just 2.52 yards per carry on just 17 carries in the last two games. Fournette doesn’t add much more upside as a pass catcher, either, with just 34.1 yards per game on an average of 4.6 receptions. Meanwhile, White has 32 total opportunities in his last four games after just 20 in his first four.
It’s hard to imagine Fournette completely phased out of this offense. White, though, could see a continued uptick in work if Brady and the Bucs believe it’s what gets this team on track. Regardless, White needs to be added just in case Fournette goes down with an injury.
Kenyan Drake, Baltimore Ravens
It’s been a challenging past few weeks trying to decipher the Ravens’ backfield. After taking over for J.K. Dobbins in Week 6, Drake very much shared the backfield with both Gus Edwards and Justice Hill in Week 7. However, in Week 8, Drake played 44 snaps to that of Edwards and Hill’s combined 32. Edwards did exit with a hamstring injury which will open the door that much more for Drake to be the lead back in Baltimore.
Unfortunately for Drake, the Ravens face a tough New Orleans Saints run defense in Week 9 before their Week 10 bye. By Week 11, Drake could be sharing the backfield once again as the roster hopefully gets healthier. That said, I’m not making Drake a heavy priority on the Week 9 waiver wire unless you need a plug-and-play this week.
Other Running Backs to Consider:
Dontrell Hilliard is the clear-cut number two back behind Derrick Henry in Tennessee. Henry’s 219 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Week 8 completely overshadow Hilliard’s 95 total yards on nine touches. Stashing Hilliard is a wise move if you have room on your bench. The Titans’ remaining schedule is extremely favorable against running backs. Hilliard could have some flex value even with a healthy Henry.
Isiah Pacheco exits the Kansas Chief’s Week 8 bye after being named the started prior to Week 7. While the starter isn’t always the lead back, and Pacheco certainly wasn’t, he did log a season-high 30% snap share. There’s a chance Pacheco returns in Week 9 with a larger role. Adding him with that in mind is a roll of the dice.
Any and All Handcuffs are going to be important to roster during the back half of the fantasy football season. Injuries to lead running backs can strike at any time. Make sure you’re cuffing your own starters, but don’t be afraid to add others on the Week 9 waiver wire.
Wan’Dale Robinson, New York Giants
After a disappointing Week 8, with just three targets, Robinson still remains my top wide receiver add on the Week 9 waiver wire. In a New York Giants offense centered around Saquon Barkley, Wan’Dale Robinson is the best bet to be the lead pass catcher for the remainder of the season. Though Darius Slayton and Marcus Johnson both doubled Robinson’s targets in Week 8, Robinson is still tied with Slayton for most targets in the last three weeks. There’s a good chance fantasy managers avoid Robinson, or even drop him, given the Giants’ Week 9 bye. Be sure to pick him up.
Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs
I know what you’re thinking. Kadarius Toney could be “the next Tyreek Hill” for Patrick Mahomes. While nobody can truly replicate what Hill and Mahomes accomplished together on the Chiefs, Toney does provide some added excitement of coming close.
Kadarius Toney is a shifty, fast, exciting player who is a threat to opposing defenses. He just needs to stay healthy. In fact, many are skeptical if he was even hurt this season with the New York Giants after getting traded to the Chiefs and immediately passing a physical.
Regardless, Toney steps into an offense that truly lacks a clear-cut top wide receiver. Travis Kelce remains Mahomes’ top target. However, no wide receiver on the Chiefs has a target share greater than 19% this season. Toney is now available for the remainder of the fantasy football season since the Chiefs’ Week 8 bye is behind us. His first matchup will be against a Tennessee Titans defense that allows the fourth-most points to wide receivers in 2022. He likely won’t have a role worth starting, but he needs to be added for the remainder of the season.
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
Rondale Moore is back in the waiver wire mix ahead of Week 9. He’s been an up-and-down player this season, disappointing many in Week 7 in the absence of Marquise Brown, but the return of DeAndre Hopkins. In Week 8, though, Moore played more in the slot and was on the field for 99% of the snaps.
With just five games played in 2022, Moore remains second in snaps played this season amongst all Cardinals wide receivers behind only Marquise Brown. With Brown out due to a foot injury, Moore and Hopkins now operate as the top two receiving options in the Cardinals’ passing game.
Moore gets the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9. In Week 6, he caught six passes for 49 yards on a season-high 10 targets. In an important NFC West divisional matchup, Moore should see plenty of work yet again. He is an important waiver wire add for this week for those in need of a wide receiver and in leagues where he is available.
Other Wide Receivers to Consider:
Joshua Palmer should step into a large role for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9. As he returns from a concussion, he should command a good chunk of Mike Williams’ target vacancy. Palmer has six or more targets in four of his seven games played this season. He has seen eight or more in three of those. If he’s out there still, Palmer is the biggest must-add on the Week 9 waiver wire.
Devin Duvernay should benefit from the absence of Rashod Bateman over the few weeks. The Baltimore Ravens receiver is dealing with a foot injury. Additionally, Mark Andrews is fighting through knee, ankle, and shoulder injuries of his own. The Ravens offense as a whole is banged up so Duvernay should see more opportunities as a whole. He has just two games with exactly five targets, though, making him a bit of a risk.
K.J. Osborn has exactly five targets in the Minnesota Vikings’ last three games. He is a wide receiver handcuff to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. If either were to go down, Osborn would be a priority add. As the Vikings look to continue their success this season, with just one loss through the first eight weeks, Osborn could see more playing time, especially to preserve 32-year-old Thielen a bit for a playoff run.
Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens
Mark Andrews’ status is highly questionable ahead of Week 9. He entered Week 8 testing his knee in pregame warm-ups and determined he was good to go. However, early on in the Ravens’ Thursday night matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Andrews landed awkwardly on his shoulder, forcing him to miss the remainder of the game.
In his place, rookie, Isaiah Likely broke out in a big way nearly doubling his season total of points in Week 8 alone. A career-high in snaps and targets resulted in a 6/77/1 receiving line. His seven targets follow just Demarcus Robinson’s eight, and good enough for a 20.5% target share.
Likely is my top add on the Week 9 waiver wire. If Mark Andrews is going to miss time, his 31.3% target share from Weeks 1-7 will be up for grabs. Given Likely’s performance in his place and the vacancy of targets, he will slide in as an easy top-10 tight end with weekly top-five upside. Even if Andrews is able to go after a lengthy rest, Likely will likely have an expanded role in this offense with their lack of pass catchers.
Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars
Evan Engram is an every week starter. That makes him a priority add on the Week 9 waiver wire, especially if you need a tight end. He is currently the TE10 in total points through eight games this season.
Engram has 29 total targets over his last four games. As a result, he’s averaging just over 12 fantasy points per game making him a top-seven tight end during that span.
In Week 8, Engram’s 4/55/1 stat line makes him the Jags’ leading receiver. His 93% of snaps directly correlates to running a route on 94% of Trevor Lawrence’s drop backs. That usage, plus a choice matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 9, make Engram a must start this week and perhaps moving forward. The Raiders are allowing the third-most points to tight ends this season.
Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos
Dulcich is making his second straight appearance as a waiver wire addition suggestion. With the Broncos facing a Week 9 bye, fantasy managers will have to make room on their bench to stash Dulcich. It’s worth it. Not only does the rookie look the part after just three career games, but Denver is giving him every opportunity to be a TE1 in fantasy.
He’s seen an increase in snaps each week with a career-high 49 (80%) in Week 8. After just three games, Dulcich also leads all Broncos tight ends in targets (17) for the entire season. In the last three games, Dulcich is second to only Jerry Jeudy in targets, as well. As a result, he’s averaging 12.06 points per game with just one touchdown. He continues to finish inside the top 12 at his position on a week-by-week basis.
With two weeks before the Broncos’ next game, Dulcich should continue to cement his role in their offense. Not only should he thrive out of the bye against the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders, but Dulcich’s matchups for the end of the fantasy football season make adding him worthwhile. He faces the Kansas City Chiefs in Weeks 14 and 17. They’re allowing the eighth-most points to tight ends. Dulcich also gets a home matchup with the Arizona Cardinals for the first round of the fantasy playoffs. They’re allowing the second-most points to tight ends.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Fields is now on a four-game streak of finishing inside the top 12 among quarterbacks. It’s no secret that the bulk of his value rests on his rushing upside. His 76 rushing attempts rank behind just Jalen Hurts (79) at the quarterback position. Fields is averaging 9.5 rushing attempts per game with 10.5 per in his last four games.
In addition to his rushing success, Fields has at least one passing touchdown in each of his last four games, as well. That’s after a Week 2-4 drought where he didn’t throw a single one. The Bears offense is beginning to establish its identity with Fields’ dual-threat ability at the forefront. Chicago’s next three opponents, the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, and Atlanta Falcons all rank in the top 11 in points allowed per game. Detroit and Atlanta rank in the top five.
If you’re a manager streaming quarterbacks week-to-week, lock Fields into your lineup until further notice. It’s a ways away, but Fields also gets the Detroit Lions in Week 17, the fantasy football finals.
Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons
Ideally, I would love to see what rookie, Desmond Ridder, can do leading this offense. However, the Falcons are first in the NFC South with a 4-4 record. That said, Marcus Mariota isn’t going anywhere.
Like the aforementioned Fields, Mariota presents a rushing upside worth targeting at quarterback on the Week 9 waiver wire. He is top-five in rushing attempts amongst quarterbacks. Mariota also has four top-10 finishes through eight games this season. His upcoming schedule isn’t particularly intimidating and should have the Falcons competing in tight games or playing from behind.
The Falcons are the only team to score two offensive touchdowns in eight games this season (that haven’t had their bye). Atlanta should have Cordarelle Patterson back on the field, as well, sooner than later. If you’re unable to add Justin Fields, Mariota would be my next choice on this week’s waiver wire.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Detroit remains atop of the league in points allowed per game. However, they also rank in the top-10 in points scored, too. With no legitimate expectation that they tighten up their defense, Jared Goff should remain busy week-to-week trying to keep the Lions in games.
With D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown back in the lineup, Goff has a stronger complement of weapons to take on Green Bay, Chicago, and the New York Giants over the next three weeks before a Week 12 bout with the Buffalo Bills. If you’re tired of streaming quarterbacks, Goff is a good stop-gap until that point. He ranks in the top-10 in passing yards as well as passing touchdowns in 2022.