The Must Stash: Week 9

Deep sleepers to stash before Week 9's games.

Every Friday I will list some players who I think, if things go their way, will wind up in those waiver articles the following Tuesday. You don’t have to stash all of them – it depends on who you have on your roster, the depth of your benches, the scoring system of your league, etc. But these are guys that should at least be on your radar.

Stashing players is only something that can occur in deeper leagues with large benches, so to make this information worthwhile, I will only be recommending guys that are under 20% owned on both Yahoo and ESPN, and in many cases, you’ll see percentages in the single digits. If you’re in a league where guys like Myles Gaskin (85% on Yahoo, 90.5% on ESPN), Joshua Kelley (43% on Yahoo, 55.4% on ESPN), or Laviska Shenault (35% on Yahoo, 30.8% on ESPN) are on the waiver wire, you’re either in a league too shallow for stashing, or you should go pick them up right away.

In addition, for those of you in really deep leagues (16+ teams), we will also include some deep cut players that are rostered in less than 3% of leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN in a section at the end to try and give you the best chance of winning your fantasy league.

Week 1 was a success where we advised you to pick up Joshua Kelley, Laviska Shenault, and Jerick McKinnon. Week 2 was successful in getting you to roster Myles Gaskin on your team. Week 3 and 4 were less successful but had a few solid waiver suggestions such as Jeff Wilson, Mo Alie-Cox, and Hunter Renfrow. Weeks 5 and 6 we told you to pick up Trey Burton who has emerged as a legitimate TE1 option in the Colts offense. In Week 7, we advised you to pick up JaMycal Hasty, Giovani Bernard, and Tua Tagovailoa.

Last week was pretty solid for this list overall. Denzel Mims had another game with 42 receiving yards against the Kansas City Chiefs, which led the New York Jets. Jalen Reagor caught a touchdown in his return in a game where the Eagles didn’t pass much. Darnell Mooney caught five passes for 69 receiving yards and a touchdown in his best game of the year. Even though it didn’t make him fantasy relevant, A.J. Dillon had his best game to date with 37 scrimmage yards against the Minnesota Vikings. Finally, Gus Edwards performed extremely well against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense, running for 87 yards and a touchdown. With the exception of maybe A.J. Dillon, all of those players are still worthy of a spot at the end of your bench. Who made the list(s) this week? Let’s dive in!


The Must Stash


Jordan Reed, TE, San Francisco 49ers (11% on Yahoo, 14.5% on ESPN)


When George Kittle went down for the year, it left a bunch of fantasy owners in a tough spot. Kittle was one of the few set-and-forget players at the position and finding an option that can even cover 60% of what Kittle does this late into the season would be a miracle. One player with that potential is Kittle’s backup, Jordan Reed. Reed has constantly struggled with injuries throughout his career and is currently on injured reserve with a knee injury. But he is set to make his return any day now, and he’s always been an extremely talented pass-catcher. 


Jordan Reed Career Stats

Seeing these stats, it’s clear that Reed is a good fantasy option…when he’s healthy. If Reed’s body can hold up for the rest of the year, he will firmly be in mid-to-low end TE1 territory.


Jordan Howard, RB, Miami Dolphins (18% on Yahoo, 17.9% on ESPN)


The Dolphins starting running back, Myles Gaskin, was put on injured reserve and will miss the next three games. While Matt Breida has been the primary pick up, Jordan Howard is also worth consideration for a roster spot. Going into the season, Howard was getting some hype as a potential late-round steal in Chan Gailey’s (Dolphins offensive coordinator) run-happy offense. Myles Gaskin’s emergence quickly derailed that hype train, but with Gaskin out of the picture for the foreseeable future, Howard should see more opportunities. In addition, Matt Breida is dealing with a hamstring injury that jeopardizes his chances of playing on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. This could leave the Dolphins backfield with Jordan Howard, Patrick Laird, Lynn Bowden, and DeAndre Washington for Sunday.


Jordan Howard Career Stats

And looking at the stats above it’s clear that while Howard won’t light the world on fire, he’s very capable of putting up RB2 numbers. He has burned many fantasy players in the past but considering he doesn’t cost you much of anything right now he’s worth a speculative bench spot.


Jordan Wilkins, RB, Indianapolis Colts (11% on Yahoo, 5.4% on ESPN)


Jordan Wilkins has appeared in this article series before in the ‘Deep Cuts’ section but is making his first appearance on ‘The Must Stash’ section this week. Last week against the Detroit Lions, Wilkins carried the ball 20 times for 89 rushing yards and a touchdown. In addition, he had one reception for 24 receiving yards. While some people may be writing off Wilkins as a one-hit-wonder, it’s possible that his role will be much bigger than expected in the coming weeks, especially since Colts head coach Frank Reich hinted that rookie running back Jonathan Taylor is dealing with an ankle injury.


So while Wilkins has a tough matchup this week against the Baltimore Ravens, if he gets another big workload this week he could find himself being a hot waiver pickup next week.

Jordan Akins, TE, Houston Texans (3% on Yahoo, 1.5% on ESPN)


Back in week 5, Jordan Akins was actually on this list, but his potential didn’t materialize as he dealt with an ankle injury as well as a concussion. But after many weeks of recovery, Akins will be making his much-anticipated return against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week.


Jordan Akins 2020 Game Logs


In the first four games of the NFL season, Akins was the primary receiving tight end for the Texans and played pretty well, catching 14 passes on 15 targets for 168 receiving yards and a touchdown. In addition, Akins had run 103 routes (13th among tight ends in the first four weeks) and gotten 83 of his yards after-the-catch (11th among tight ends in the first four weeks).

In addition, this will be Akins first game with Bill O’Brien gone and offensive coordinator Tim Kelly running the show on offense. As we touched on in the ‘Coaching Time’ article after Bill O’Brien’s firing, the offensive position that was most likely to benefit was the tight end position. In the first two games the Texans played with Kelly running the show by himself, the Houston Texans tight ends combined for 11 receptions on 12 targets for 174 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. And while the group was shut down against the Green Bay Packers, the strong production in the games against the Titans and the Jaguars from less talented pass-catchers in Darren Fells and Pharaoh Brown show that there is a path to be a mid-to-low end TE1 on the Texans. If guys like Trey Burton or Jordan Reed are still available on your waiver wire, you should prioritize them over Akins. But if they aren’t available, Akins is worth a shot.


Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks (4% on Yahoo, 2.2% on ESPN)


The last player on this week’s ‘Must Stash’ is the only player that does not have the first name ‘Jordan’ and he’s also been on this list before: Rashaad Penny. The injuries have been piling up for the Seattle Seahawks backfield, with DeeJay Dallas being the only healthy running back for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. Every day Penny gets a little closer to returning from the PUP list, and once he does the former first-round pick should have a role in the offense given his previous effectiveness running the ball. And with starting running back Chris Carson constantly dealing with injuries this season, Penny could be important down the stretch in fantasy leagues. 


Rashaad Penny Career Stats


Penny is worth an end of the bench dart throw. And for you folks in keeper or dynasty leagues, Seahawks lead running back Chris Carson is a free agent at the end of the season and could lead to a much larger role for Penny in 2021.


Deep Cuts


(Less Than 3% owned in ESPN and Yahoo)


Patrick Laird, RB, Miami Dolphins (0% on Yahoo, 0.1% on ESPN): With Myles Gaskin out for at least three weeks and Matt Breida also dealing with a hamstring injury, the Dolphins backfield just got a whole lot more interesting. While Jordan Howard will likely see more carries than Laird if Breida is out, Patrick Laird could be a decent option these next few weeks for those in deeper leagues.


Darrynton Evans, RB, Tennessee Titans (1% on Yahoo, 2.1% on ESPN): Darrynton Evans is currently on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in week 5, but should be back at some point in the near future. When he makes his return, he will be the primary backup for Derrick Henry and should be one of the best handcuffs still available on the waiver wire.


Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona Cardinals (0% on Yahoo, 0.4% on ESPN): Eno Benjamin has been a healthy scratch in nearly every week this season, which is why we dropped him from the ‘Deep Cuts’ section immediately after week 1. But he makes his triumphant return to this section after Kenyan Drake’s injury, giving the seventh-round pick a path to snaps and opportunities now. He’s one of the highest upside players on the ‘Deep Cuts’ section so keep a close eye on him.


Braxton Berrios, WR, New York Jets (0% on Yahoo, 1.7% on ESPN): Braxton Berrios has been mentioned in the ‘Deep Cuts’ section before, and makes his triumphant return to the list after catching 12 passes on 18 targets the last two weeks. As long as Jamison Crowder remains out, Berrios will have an opportunity to be fantasy relevant.


K.J. Hamler, WR, Denver Broncos (2% on Yahoo, 1.9% on ESPN): K.J. Hamler had his hype train derailed a bit after he suffered a hamstring injury in week 4. But after catching the game-winning touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers, Hamler may be trusted more down the stretch. And with a matchup against the 31st ranked Atlanta Falcons pass defense this week, there’s a good chance that this is the breakout week for Hamler.


Travis Homer, RB, Seattle Seahawks (2% on Yahoo, 1.2% on ESPN): Travis Homer backed up DeeJay Dallas in week 8 while he was dealing with a minor injury. Homer should be healthier for week 9’s game against the Buffalo Bills and it’s possible he takes on a larger role this week. While his fantasy relevance will likely be short-lived, it’s worth monitoring just in case something changes.


Anthony McFarland, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (1% on Yahoo, 1.3% on ESPN): The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back, Anthony McFarland, has gotten some work the last five weeks taking 14 carries for 57 rushing yards. While James Conner is clearly ahead of him on the depth chart, Benny Snell‘s hold on the backup job seems to be evaporating. Over the last two weeks, Snell and McFarland have each logged six snaps and two carries on offense. Keep a close eye on this situation.


Isaiah Ford, WR, New England Patriots (1% on Yahoo, 0.4% on ESPN): Isaiah Ford was one of the few players to get traded at the NFL trade deadline, moving from the Miami Dolphins to the New England Patriots. Given the state of the Patriots wide receiver corps, has an opportunity to become the #1 target on the team as soon as he’s available to play in week 10 against the Baltimore Ravens.


Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Denver Broncos (1% on Yahoo, 0.6% on ESPN): Don’t look now but Albert Okwuegbunam has done well over the last three weeks. He had two receptions on six targets for 45 receiving yards against the New England Patriots. Then he had seven receptions on seven targets for 60 receiving yards against the Kansas City Chiefs with Noah Fant in the lineup. And then last week he caught a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers. Against all odds, Okwuegbunam has emerged as a potential fantasy option at tight end for fantasy players. Keep an eye on him.


DeAndre Washington, RB, Miami Dolphins (2% on Yahoo, 0.6% on ESPN): The Miami Dolphins knew that Myles Gaskin was going to be out a while and made the move to acquire DeAndre Washington at the trade deadline. Washington has a potential path to fantasy relevance in the near future if Matt Breida’s hamstring injury lingers and he can pick up the Dolphins offense quickly, but for now, he will just be included in the ‘Deep Cuts’ section of this article.


That’s it for week 9. Feel free to weigh in and mention any players you believe should be on this list.


Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

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