Week eight of the 2021 NFL season is in the books and the hits just keep on coming. With King Henry out for the season, we wonder who will wear the rushing title crown. With Jameis Winston tearing his ACL, we cannot help but wonder if Kamara can survive Taysom Hill. With the injuries piling up, we cannot help but wonder how to keep our fantasy rosters alive. Lucky for you, I’m going to provide you with the best waiver wire options available. If I don’t mention someone whom you think I should be talking about, just know there are many reasons why I overlooked them. Maybe they are owned in most leagues. Maybe they are so bad I don’t even consider them. Maybe it’s because your opinions cannot be trusted. After all, you are here. So let us examine the best week nine waiver wire players for your championship run…
Week Nine Waiver Wire Quarterbacks
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (2% rostered)
With Jameis Winston out for the year with a torn ACL, Taysom Hill will most likely be the starting “quarterback” for the New Orleans Saints the rest of the year. I put the word quarterback in quotes because if you’ve watched Taysom Hill play quarterback, you know that ain’t what he is. Frankly, not only am I not grabbing Hill off of waiver wires, I’ll probably be looking to move my Alvin Kamara shares because Taysom Hill is that bad.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (20% rostered)
If you think I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to talk about Justin Fields and say “I told you so,” you are absolutely right. For the first time this season, the Chicago Bears formed a game plan that highlighted the strengths of Justin Fields. Also, for the first time this season, Justin Fields finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback. I’ve maintained all year that Justin Fields is going to be a league winner in the second half of the season. Fields didn’t even have that strong a game, with 175 yards passing, 1 passing touchdown, and 1 interception. It was his 103 yards rushing and 1 rushing touchdown that put him over the top. Get Justin Fields if you need quarterback help. It might still be a bit rocky for a few more weeks, but if you have the bench space, he will finish strong.
Week Nine Waiver Wire Running Backs
Adrian Peterson/Jeremy McNichols, Tennessee Titans (3%/6% rostered)
With the death of Derrick Henry, the number one waiver priority should be either Adrian Peterson or Jeremy McNichols. The problem is figuring out which one of these guys should be your lead back. In theory, Adrian Peterson has a similar playstyle as Henry, so he will probably plug into that role. However, McNichols has been with the team all year and there is a good chance the Titans go with a “next man up” mentality. My gut says McNichols will be the guy to the roster, but I also thought Gainwell would see the majority of the workload last week, so what the hell do I know?
Boston Scott/Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles (12%/2% rostered)
Last week, with Miles Sanders moving to injured reserve, the question of the week was who was the running back to roster in Philadelphia? If you listened to me and went Kenneth Gainwell, week eight was the worst timeline for you. If you went with Boston Scott, you got 12 carries for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns. If you went with Jordan Howard, you probably are still playing in a 2018 league, but you had a solid performance of 57 yards and 2 touchdowns. In week eight, Scott saw 45% of the teams’ snaps, compared to Kenneth Gainwell’s 31% snap share and Jordan Howard’s 25%. The carries were split evenly between all three backs. Really, this appears to be a full-blown timeshare between these backs, but based on snap shares, Boston Scott is the player to roster in Philadelphia.
Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars (6% rostered)
When James Robinson left the game, Carlos Hyde took over for the tune of 6 catches and 72 all-purpose yards. Truth be told, with Robinson being day-to-day with a heel injury, it is hard to put any real value on Carlos Hyde. Hyde and Jacksonville didn’t look very good against Seattle and we don’t even know if Hyde will start this week. I would not burn a waiver on Carlos Hyde without more information.
Week Nine Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (45% rostered)
In week eight, DeVante Parker has 8 catches for 85 yards. In his first week back from his hamstring injury, DeVante Parker was second on the team in targets. If you are looking for wide receiver help, Parker is probably the safest option available. This season, he hasn’t been targeted less than 7 times in a game. Parker plays on a Dolphins team that is going to find itself playing from behind a lot, so opportunities will be there.
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets (19% rostered)
With Corey Davis out with a hip injury, Crowder led the Jets wide receivers in targets, receptions, and yards. His 8 catches for 84 yards was solid flex production in week eight. The only real problem is depending on a New York Jets offense to produce consistent fantasy production.
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams (11% rostered)
With rumors that the Rams are going to release Desean Jackson if they can’t find a trade partner, I found myself eyeing Van Jefferson. The worry with Van Jefferson is that he is the third receiver on his offense. However, through eight weeks of the season, Jefferson has put up double-digit numbers in four of eight weeks. The issue with Jefferson is that even though he is in a high-powered offense, he is a very boom-or-bust player. While he has a fantastic week nine match-up, with Robert Woods finally finding his groove, it is hard to trust Van Jefferson.
Week Nine Waiver Wire TEs
Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers (9% rostered)
Pat Freiermuth has 4 catches for 44 yards and 1 touchdown, making him the TE2 in week eight. As always, I will not waste a waiver on a tight end, but I do think Freiermuth is worth looking at. Over the last two games, Freiermuth has been the number two player on the Steelers in targets. When it comes to tight ends, we are looking for opportunities to succeed, and the Steelers are trying to get him the football. However, the success rate of rookie tight ends makes this more of a lottery pick that you hope hits.
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