With Week 8 in the rearview mirror – for most of us, anyway – we inch closer and closer to fantasy postseason play. Maybe you’re sitting pretty with six, seven or even eight wins. Maybe you’re scratching and clawing your way up the rankings after a rough start, or maybe you’re somewhere in between? Whatever your position, you can’t get complacent. Keep looking for any improvement you can make to your team. Cincinnati, Cleveland, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Rams have the Week 9 byes. Now.. step into my office:
WR Corey Davis, Tennessee
After a huge Week 8 performance against Cincinnati, Corey Davis has more receptions and yards than A.J. Brown on the same number of targets in 2020. Most of us have been burned by Davis in previous years, but this year – a contract year – seems to be one for the books. He’s had 10 targets and has scored in each of his last two contests. At this point, he should be rostered in all fantasy formats.
Chicago comes to town in Week 9 and has been rather tough against opposing passing games. Don’t expect a huge game, but Davis has a good floor with all the catches he’s been making lately. The former first-round NFL draft pick broke our hearts in his first few seasons – he is making up for it now. Davis is unowned in about 55-65 percent of fantasy leagues and should be one of the more highly sought after acquisitions this week.
RB Zack Moss, Buffalo
The rookie out of Utah finally had the breakout performance we all expected from him … about seven weeks ago. Moss had the same number of carries as fellow runner Devin Singletary, but scored two touchdowns on his 81 yards. Moss doesn’t get a lot of looks in the passing game but he was used extensively in the red zone – where he can do the most damage. He is also averaging 6.1 yards per carry over the last two contests.
Seattle is up next for Buffalo as the Bills strive to stay atop the AFC East division. Moss should have a good opportunity to score against Seattle, who is allowing 28.4 points per game. With the struggles of Singletary in recent weeks, Moss could be in line for continued higher touches per game. He is unrostered in about 45-65 percent of fantasy leagues.
TE Robert Tonyan, Green Bay
The tight end position in Green Bay hasn’t provided much in terms of fantasy points since the days of Brett Favre. That said, Robert Tonyan and Aaron Rodgers are trying to buck that trend. In three of his last five games, Tonyan has recorded at least five catches and 50 yards with four total touchdowns in those games. His 79 receiving yards in Week 8 also led the team.
Green Bay meets San Francisco in Week 9, and San Francisco is no slouches against tight ends. Other than Davante Adams, there are no other consistent Green Bay pass catchers you can rely on for fantasy. A number of folks gave up on Tonyan after poor outings in Weeks 6 and 7. He’s available in about 55 percent of ESPN leagues but only about 35 percent of Yahoo leagues.
QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit
Everyone wants a shiny new toy like Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow. But veterans need love – and give oodles of fantasy points – too. In each of the last two games, Matthew Stafford has thrown for over 330 yards – a feat he has accomplished 34 times prior. He also threw three touchdown passes – a feat he has accomplished 38 times prior. This former first overall NFL draft pick has pedigree for miles and he’s got many more miles to go.
Minnesota is up next for Stafford, allowing the third-most passing yards per game in the NFL. Minnesota also just lost two more defensive backs in Week 8 to add to Stafford’s initial potential. By all accounts, Stafford should be the first quarterback you look for on the waiver wire this week. He’s only available in about 30-40 percent of leagues and may not be readily acquirable, but he’s there in about one-third of all fantasy leagues so it’s worth a quick look.
RB Damien Harris, New England
Far surpassing any of his teammates in carries, Damien Harris also led the way in total yards from scrimmage. He hit the century mark for the second time this season, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Harris is not a threat to take away passing work from any other New England running back and won’t help much in Points Per Reception leagues. When New England is in the game or winning, he will feast on carries – especially if Cam Newton continues to struggle.
In Week 9, New England will head to New York to face the Jets – a team that has surrendered good fantasy days to Melvin Gordon, Myles Gaskin and even Kenyan Drake in recent weeks. New England will feed Harris the ball to run out the clock. Harris provides a competent and consistent option on the ground that New England needs to utilize. You can still find him on about 55-70 percent of waiver wires.
TE Logan Thomas, Washington
Earlier this season, we thought we had something of a surprise with Logan Thomas. He began the season with 24 targets through his first three games before “dudding” would-be believers in his next two games. In his most recent two games, he has tallied seven catches for 102 yards and two more touchdowns. He seems a bit streaky, but the tight end landscape is rough and the viable options are limited – so are the receiving options in Washington.
The New York Giants have been a tougher opponent for fantasy tight ends. When Thomas faced them just three weeks ago, he had a nice day with 42 yards and a score. Maybe lightning can strike twice? Thomas is up to 90 percent available, depending on your fantasy platform. With a decent chance of a touchdown, he is a viable streaming target in Week 9.
WR Randall Cobb, Houston
In regards to Houston pass catchers this year, things have been rather inconsistent unless your name is Will Fuller. All the time the team has spent trailing in games however, makes for a lot more targets for the likes of Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks. Cobb registered his second game this season of 95 receiving yards in Week 7. With a possible trade of Fuller in the near future, Cobb would see a spike in value for the remainder of the season.
Jacksonville and Cleveland make up the next two opponents for Houston. Two teams that have given up multiple 100-yard receiving days to wide out in recent weeks. Cobb’s is now around 85 percent available in fantasy leagues.
QB Nick Mullens, San Francisco
Let’s face the fact that things aren’t going well for Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s got a bum ankle, he’s thrown more interceptions than touchdowns over his last four games, has twice been pulled mid-game this season and has a small cap hit should the team decide to part ways in the future. Nick Mullens came in to relieve Garoppolo in Week 8 and threw for 238 yards and two scores in just one half of a game. In his 10 career starts, Mullens has never thrown for under 200 yards and has thrown at least one touchdown in nine of those games – a decent floor if you need a quarterback.
Green Bay comes to town in Week 9. The Packers don’t surrender a lot of fantasy points to quarterbacks because the team is so bad at stopping opposing running backs. Although, Green Bay has given up multiple passing touchdowns five times this season. Mullens could be a great Week 9 addition but you have to pay attention to any news about the San Francisco quarterback situation. He is unowned in nearly all fantasy leagues.
WR Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco
Without a doubt, my favorite dark-horse pickup at wide receiver for Week 9 is Kendrick Bourne – I can’t stress that enough. Bourne led the team in targets and receptions for the first four weeks of the year with Deebo Samuel out. In Week 8, he had another 10 targets and eight receptions with Samuel out again. With a short week leading up to Thursday night, Bourne looks like a great pickup-and-play option should Samuel miss another game.
Green Bay will be the Week 9 matchup for San Francisco. The Packers have surrendered significant numbers to secondary receivers this season like Randall Cobb and Olamide Zaccheaus. Available on the waiver wires of over 90 percent of fantasy leagues, Bourne’s potential for a great Week 9 performance is palpable.
Waiver Wire Double-Check
You know the drill. Look closely at the players on your waiver wire – especially the day that waivers clear. You might find one of the following players who could be a very pleasant surprise for your fantasy team.
QB Cam Newton, New England
QB Drew Lock, Denver
RB JaMycal Hasty, San Francisco
RB J.D. McKissic, Washington
RB Gus Edwards, Baltimore
RB Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers
RB Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers
WR Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
WR Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit
WR Mecole Hardman, Kansas City
WR Denzel Mims, New York Jets
WR Darnell Mooney, Chicago
TE Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh
TE Jimmy Graham, Chicago