Week 9 was weird. We had unbelievable upsets, close comebacks, questionable calls, and plenty of wild plays. Sunday’s slate was especially fascinating, as only three teams won by more than one possession. And only one team won by more than two possessions—and it wasn’t the Buccaneers. Perhaps even weirder is the shifting fantasy landscape.
When was the last time you remember rosters being this decimated? I received way too many questions about starting Marvin Hall this week. I’m no doctor, but maybe COVID-19 and the lack of practices have something to do with it? I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s more important than ever to utilize the waiver wire, especially as the fantasy regular season winds down. This week, these players could be worth a look…
Note: The following players are generally geared toward 12-team, PPR leagues.
Tua Tagovailoa (QB - MIA) | Rostered in 20% of leagues
It’s Tua Time in Miami. The rookie quarterback makes this list again as a reminder that if you need a quarterback, he’s worthy of a roster spot. He posted a solid 21.42 points on just two touchdowns. The reason? He can move. Mobile quarterbacks are so valuable in fantasy, and Tagovailoa is not afraid to rip off a run with his legs. While he didn’t put up Kyler Murray-esque stats, Tagovailoa flashed enough upside to make him a very intriguing late-season add—if he’s not already claimed in your league. He also has nice matchups in the coming weeks: Chargers (27th-fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks), Broncos (24th), Jets (23rd), and Bengals (22nd).
Gus Edwards (RB - BAL) | Rostered in 10% of leagues
Like I said last week, Edwards is a legit FLEX option. After getting a clearer picture of his role on Sunday, I’d say he could have value even after Mark Ingram comes back—if he comes back. Edwards has seen double-digit carries for three straight weeks now and has basically acted as the Ravens’ short-yardage back. If Baltimore is near the goal-line, it’s Edwards in the backfield, not J.K. Dobbins. Yes, Dobbins is savvier in the passing game, and yes, Dobbins is just a better player. But Edwards is the one with a touchdown in each of the last three games. It’s not the most efficient, but it’s definitely enough to warrant a roster spot.
Kalen Ballage (RB - LAC) | Rostered in 1% of leagues
Don’t make Ballage a priority pickup. In fact, if Justin Jackson returns a clean bill of health by Tuesday, don’t bother touching Ballage. So why is he here? Because finding viable running backs on waivers is a dart throw—a dart throw with your dominant hand tied behind your back while you’re wearing a blindfold. If you really need a running back, maybe you could consider taking a shot on Ballage, who was the Chargers’ main back in a tight-knit loss to the Raiders—he saw 15 carries to Joshua Kelley’s nine. Ballage looked promising, but his role is not promised. He should only be added if you’re desperate.
Benny Snell/Anthony McFarland Jr. (RB - LAC) | Rostered in 8%/2% of leagues
Let handcuff season officially commence. Most of the popular handcuffs—such as Tony Pollard and Alexander Mattison—are already on rosters, so I’d suggest picking up any handcuff if you have a spot to spare. Before Week 9, Snell looked like the clear No. 2 behind James Conner. After all, Snell tends to be Mike Tomlin’s preferred goal-line back. He and McFarland each saw only three carries in Sunday’s surprisingly close win over the Cowboys. However, McFarland was the next option up on passing plays, not Snell. The roles make sense; McFarland is 5-foot-8 and 207 pounds while Snell is 5-foot-10 and 225 pounds. Keep an eye on what their coaches say about them this week, though I’d still lean toward Snell.
Tim Patrick (WR - DEN) | Rostered in 14% of leagues
We’ve been over this, twice. Patrick is a rosterable player. So why is he this available? He’s seen the second-most targets on the team behind Jerry Jeudy and he’s averaged 14.4 points since Week 2. I don’t feel like beating this drum again, so just know that Patrick needs to be on rosters.
Darnell Mooney (WR - CHI) | Rostered in 14% of leagues
Mooney has looked really good at times in the Bears’ offense. The rookie hasn’t had many great performances, but he’s consistent. He’s averaged 7.2 targets over the last six games, which is only behind Allen Robinson for the team’s wide receivers. Mooney has also overtaken Anthony Miller as Chicago’s WR2. And it’s showing: He scored 17.9 points on six targets in Week 8 and 9.3 points on 11 targets in Week 9. He may not win you your matchup, but he probably won’t cost you it, either.
Danny Amendola (WR - DET) | Rostered in 7% of leagues
I’m always a bit iffy when it comes to older receivers with past durability concerns, but Amendola has played decently this season—and he’s been healthy. He’s averaged 10.8 points over the last three weeks, including nearly a 15-point game against Minnesota. Two things could hamper him next week: Washington’s stingy defense and the possible return of Kenny Golladay. Luckily, Amendola’s role in the slot should keep him from seeing too big of a drop in targets, so consider him if you need a wide receiver. Although, he doesn’t offer much upside.
K.J. Hamler (WR - DEN) | Rostered in 2% of leagues
Hamler isn’t the top option in the Broncos’ passing attack, so his ceiling is limited a bit. However, Drew Lock has thrown 40 or more passes in each of the last three games, which bodes well for Hamler. Even though there may be more consistent options available, Hamler is worth a look just based on the sheer volume of passes he could see in the coming weeks. He saw 10 targets against the Falcons and faces the Raiders and the Saints in two of the next three games.
Jordan Reed (TE - SF) | Rostered in 25% of leagues
Reed was activated off of injured reserve prior to the 49ers’ Thursday night bout against Green Bay. He was limited to only 13 offensive snaps, so his performance was pretty underwhelming. Still, he has immense potential in an offense that heavily features tight ends. If Ross Dwelley could put up more than eight points in the last two games, imagine what Reed could do—he did put up 24 points in Week 2. As always, tight ends are tough to come by, so you should jump at any semblance of upside. Reed has some of it, which is something I figured I’d say in 2014, not 2020. He’s a worthy addition, just don’t get your expectations too high.
Irv Smith Jr. (TE - MIN) | Rostered in 4% of leagues
Based on targets and snaps, Smith hasn’t surpassed Kyle Rudolph as the Vikings’ TE1 yet. However, Smith does look like the better option. Considering how barren the position is for fantasy, Smith could be worth a look. He posted double-digit points in three of the last four games and he was used very creatively in the red zone during the Vikings’ recent win over the Lions. Smith looks like a promising young prospect and could have some more value as the season progresses. If you need a tight end, he may be an intriguing gamble.
- Dec 08, 2022
- Dec 08, 2022