Week 8 was a comparatively mild bye week, with only the Baltimore Ravens and Las Vegas Raiders out of commission. The list doubles in Week 9, with Detroit, Washington, Tampa Bay, and Seattle all out on bye.
The trade deadline is Tuesday, November 2. Von Miller was just traded to the Rams from Denver, and there could be more chips to fall as contenders deal with injuries and losing teams hunt for draft assets.
But the biggest news heading into Week 9 is that Derrick Henry is going to miss the remainder of the fantasy season with a foot injury. For Henry managers, this news is devastating to your championship hopes. While a league winner like Henry can never be replaced, there are a few options to think through on the wire. Let’s dive in.
Percentages are based on Yahoo! leagues.
Adrian Peterson, Tennessee (5% rostered)
On Monday, the Titans signed future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson to their practice squad, with plans to elevate him to the active roster this week. Pending another signing, this makes Peterson the back you want in Tennessee. The Titans won’t rely on All-Day like they did Derrick Henry (obviously), but I think there will be enough volume for RB2 value as the Titans will still want to keep the running game a big part of their offense. With Tennessee (6-3) all but certain to win the AFC South, Peterson should be given plenty of time and patience to knock off the rust. Jeremy McNichols is an average runner who is better viewed as a receiving back than a lead rusher. Still, he is probably worth the add in deeper leagues and could provide standalone value if Peterson doesn’t start right away.
The good news is that the trade deadline is Tuesday, so you’ll know where things stand before waiver claims are processed. If this is the last move the Titans make, this is worth the remainder of your FAB if you need a running back for the rest of the season.
Bid: spend it if you got it.
Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville (6%)
James Robinson left Jacksonville’s Week 8 matchup early and didn’t return. While the initial fear was a long-term injury, Robinson is now being described as day-to-day. The next (and seemingly only) man up is Carlos Hyde. He’s not going to wow you, but the volume makes Hyde a priority add as long as Robinson’s status is unknown. Keep an eye on Tuesday’s developments. If the Jaguars elevate a running back from their practice squad, there’s a strong chance Robinson doesn’t play.
Bid if Robinson is out: $10-15
Boston Scott (20%) and/or Jordan Howard (2%), Philadelphia
When it comes to the Eagles, I’m as confused as Ron Burgundy reading a typo on a teleprompter. I feel like I’ve recommended both adding and dropping Kenneth Gainwell at different points this season, and I’m no closer to knowing which is the right move. In Week 8, though, Gainwell was an afterthought after we all thought he was going to be kind of a big deal. The final stat line looks fairly even between Gainwell, Boston Scott, and Jordan Howard(!), but Gainwell had only one carry through the first three quarters. Not good. Scott and Howard surprisingly split goal-line work and combined for FOUR rushing scores. Considering the facts that the Eagles don’t play the Lions every week and Jalen Hurts is still the top rushing option for the offense, I don’t know what we can truly count on. With the (formerly from San Diego) Chargers on tap for Week 9, I have all three backs tangled up in a glass case of emotion. So my official recommendation is to stay away from this backfield if you can, or you may find yourself saying the Philly defense was a bad choice. Aim your trident elsewhere.
Other names to consider: Latavius Murray (40%) is still the back to prioritize in Baltimore for touchdown upside. and Peyton Barber (1%) should be monitored if Josh Jacobs is still banged up. David Johnson (46%), Phillip Lindsay (15%), and Jordan Wilkins (0%) could be late trade targets or signings on Tuesday, so adjust your plans as necessary. With Wilkins being waived in Indianapolis, Marlon Mack (17%) doesn’t appear to be heading anywhere at the deadline.
Potential Drops: Damien Williams (25%)
Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (32% rostered)
In only two weeks since being activated, the Batman has shown he can be a great Robin to Marquise Brown and/or Mark Andrews in the Baltimore offense. Bateman tied for the team lead in receiving yards in Week 7, and he figures to get more involved in the offense as the season goes on. There’s always a chance Bateman loses work to Sammy Watkins when he returns, but the talent doesn’t lie. If you didn’t add Bateman last week and he’s still available, go stash him if you can.
Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins (35%)
After continuing to deal with injuries this season, DeVante Parker made another start in Week 8. The explosive receiver led Miami in targets, going for 8 receptions on 12 targets for 85 yards. That’s a 34% target share, which leads me to believe Tua Tagovailoa may be able to support more than one fantasy receiver. If he can stay on the field, I like Parker as a potential WR3/4 for the rest of the season.
Other names to consider: Darnell Mooney (42%) should be rostered as the WR1 in Chicago; Allen Lazard (7%), Randall Cobb (36%), and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (9%) become even more interesting if Davante Adams remains sidelined with COVID-19 in Week 9; Van Jefferson (12%) should see his deep-threat role solidified with DeSean Jackson potentially moving on from the Rams, and Brandon Aiyuk (51%) just saw the most targets of his season (seven).
Potential Drops: Allen Robinson (85%), Odell Beckham Jr. (74%), Robby Anderson (53%)
Dan Arnold, Jacksonville (4%)
For the tight end position, you want to follow usage instead of points, and Dan Arnold‘s usage is very attractive. As the clear receiving tight end in Jacksonville, Arnold ran routes on 91% of Trevor Lawrence’s dropbacks. In Week 8, that turned into 10 targets, 8 receptions, and 68 yards.
Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh (10%)
Speaking of usage, Pat Freiermuth ran routes on 75% of Pittsburgh’s passing downs, leading to 7 targets in Week 8. With that kind of involvement in the offense, Freiermuth should be in for more solid performances moving forward.
Other names to consider: C.J. Uzomah (47%), Evan Engram (31%).
Potential Drops: Jared Cook, Gerald Everett
Justin Fields, Chicago (22% rostered)
It happened. After giving fantasy managers plenty of reasons to look elsewhere, Justin Fields finally delivered on his rushing potential, running the ball 10 times for 103 yards. This all happened with Matt Nagy not on the sidelines, so we’ll have to see if this sticks. However, the rushing potential alone vaults Fields into the QB1 conversation as we approach the fantasy playoffs. The Bears don’t have the easiest matchup in Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football, but Fields could be worth the risk. If you’re in a position to take a chance on a potential league winner, this could be your shot.
Other streaming options: Tua Tagovailoa (35%) takes on Houston in Week 9; with Jameis Winston done for the year with a torn ACL, Taysom Hill (2%) is an enticing option against Atlanta if he is medically cleared and named the starter for New Orleans.
That wraps it up for this week’s recommended waiver adds. At this point in the season, you know if you need to manufacture some wins or start looking toward the fantasy playoffs. If you have the luxury of looking ahead to Week 10, here are some players worth stashing: Logan Thomas, Jaret Patterson, J.D. McKissic, Jamaal Williams, Alex Collins, Rashaad Penny.