San Francisco 49rs RB JaMycal Hasty

Win the Wire: Week 9

After an incredible month of appealing waiver wire options such as Justin Jefferson, Chase Claypool, and Travis Fulgham, Week 9 lacks a standout player who seems destined to help your squads from now to the fantasy playoffs. Think twice before you drop a key contributor to chase a one-week wonder. But don't underspend if a short-term plug-in such as JaMycal Hasty or Gus Edwards could be the difference in a win or a loss this week. We are more than halfway through the fantasy season, and FAB prices tend to inflate the fewer weeks there are left to find the next James Robinson.

Roster percentages are for ESPN/Yahoo.

Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos


Neither Lindsay nor Melvin Gordon had much of an opportunity to shine in Week 8 after the Broncos fell behind by multiple scores in the unbelievable Chargers loss of the week. And yet, on just six carries to eight, Lindsay once again dramatically outproduced his running mate 83 yards to 26. On the season now, Lindsay enjoys a substantial advantage of 6.4 yards per carry to Gordon's 4.2. And where I originally believed Gordon could differentiate himself with success in short yardage, Lindsay has been the more consistent back with a 57.8% success rate -- eighth-best of the 69 running backs with 25 or more carries -- versus 42.2% for Gordon (58th). Since his Week 7 concussion did not cause him to miss any action, I continue to think Lindsay could see a major workload bump at any time. Make the play for him now before his seemingly inevitable 20-touch game makes him a 100% FAB spend.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 41%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: Yes

JaMycal Hasty, RB, San Francisco 49ers


By this point, there are so many injured starting running backs that one could argue to spend less in FAB for their backups because some will likely clear waivers. And while I don't totally disagree with that sentiment in shallow formats, I don't think it applies to Hasty this week. That opinion is not a reflection on his performance in Week 8, which was bolstered in volume by Tevin Coleman's early knee reinjury (an ailment that figures to cost Coleman a chance to play on a short week on Thursday night against the Packers) but failed to contribute much for fantasy. Hasty produced just 29 yards on his 12 carries, good for 2.4 yards per carry and a 25.0% success rate. None of his 12 carries went for more than 5 yards, and from what I could tell, he didn't add more than a yard after contact on any of his attempts. But despite their public perception, the Seahawks are much stronger defensively against the run (-20.3% DVOA, ninth) than the pass (27.0%, 30th), and Hasty's teammate and his only healthy competition for touches this week, Jerick McKinnon was stifled for -1 yard on his three runs. Given that, I choose to trust the Packers matchup as a harbinger of Week 9 production. Green Bay had a bottom-10 DVOA run defense even before Dalvin Cook thrashed them for 226 total yards and four touchdowns on Sunday.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 21%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans


After Davis failed to break out in his sophomore and junior seasons in 2018 and 2019, I confess that I wrote off the former top-five draft pick for fantasy this season. Even his 15-catch, 206-yard September failed to move my needle. A.J. Brown was close to his return, I told myself -- and he actually found the field sooner than Davis did in October since Davis was one of myriad Titans players who contracted COVID. But Davis is back now, and even alongside Brown, he is quickly proving my skepticism foolish. You may need to reset your expectations for the Titans as well. Fantasy players have finally accepted Ryan Tannehill's value, but his success has also created 4,419 passing yards and 39 passing touchdowns for his receivers in just 17 games since he was named the team's starter in Week 7 last season. Even with Derrick Henry in the backfield, Tannehill can support multiple fantasy-relevant receivers. And Davis has made it clear that he is that second option with 10 targets in back-to-back weeks, good for a 34.5% target share that is fifth-highest among all wide receivers in that time.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 21%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers


It seems strange given their teams' perceptions as pass-first and run-first teams, but Williams likely lacks the target upside that Davis has shown of late. Williams has eight, three, and eight targets the last three games since his return from a hamstring injury, good for a 16.5% target share that is well behind teammate Keenan Allen at 22.6% and outside the top 40 at the position. Still, I think Williams has a similar fantasy potential to Davis. His touchdown against the Broncos on Sunday was his third in that three-game span, and his 0.073 opportunity-adjusted receiving touchdowns per target this season are 14th-most of the 85 wide receivers with 25 or more targets. He is one of the game's premiere touchdown-scorers, and Justin Herbert's unexpectedly productive rookie season should sustain Williams' fantasy value on a relatively limited volume of targets.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 18%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens


The Ravens' Week 7 bye obscured the fact that Mark Ingram's ankle injury may have been higher than low. He has since missed Week 8 and reportedly could miss Week 9 as well. That means you'll likely want a piece of the league's No. 5 rushing offense (4.2% DVOA), even against the Colts. They are the No. 5 DVOA defense against the run, but the Steelers were No. 1 and still couldn't hold the Ravens under 250 yards rushing on Sunday.

But flip a coin as to whether that piece should be Edwards or rookie J.K. Dobbins. Many of the peripheral statistics prefer the latter player. Dobbins had more than twice as many snaps played on Sunday at 66% to 32%. He also leads the Ravens rushers with 6.7 yards per attempt and a 26.8% rushing DVOA this season. But Edwards is much closer to Dobbins with their respective 51.5% and 52.5% success rates. And Edwards has maintained his currently exceptional efficiency (4.8 yards per attempt and 9.0% DVOA) for three seasons now -- he has 5.2 yards per attempt and a 12.3% DVOA on 334 career carries. As such, I'll trust the Ravens to continue their season-to-date 64-to-52 touch ratio and suggest a slightly higher FAB offer for the favored Edwards.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 18%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens


Dobbins' Sunday advantage in offensive snap share makes sense since he is the team's passing-down back. His 8.7% target share nearly doubles that of Ingram (2.7%) and Edwards (2.2%) combined. And Edwards has just nine catches in 34 career games. But that doesn't make Dobbins the clear choice in PPR formats. His superior target share doesn't land him in the top 25 of all backs in football. But it makes him a compelling choice in daily formats since the Colts are strong defensively against some of the Ravens' other offense strengths such as Mark Andrews at tight end (-37.3% DVOA versus tight ends, third-best) and since the Ravens have not shown a preference for which of their backs scores the close touchdowns. Dobbins, Edwards, and Ingram are all averaging between 0.023 and 0.033 opportunity-adjusted touchdowns per carry this season.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 17%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions


By playing time and yardage, Marvin Hall was the major beneficiary of Kenny Golladay's hip injury on Sunday. The former's 69% offensive snap share more than doubled his previous season high of 29%, and his 113 yards nearly tripled Jones' total of 39. But with Golladay poised to miss at least one more game and possibly three more with an injured reserve stint, Jones seems like the better bet for fantasy. His 81% basement of offensive snap share this season identifies him as the Lions' likely No. 1 receiver in Golladay's stead. And while his two touchdowns on the week were an outlier compared to his 1.27 opportunity-adjusted touchdowns, Jones has a track record as one of the best touchdown-scorers at the position. Between 2017 and 2019, he scored 23 touchdowns, and his 19.8 opportunity-adjusted scores were seventh-most among all wide receivers.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 17%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills


Coming off of Devin Singletary's last three games with 25, 32, and 29 rushing yards, Moss' 81-yard, two-touchdown outburst against the Patriots may look like a changing of the guard. I don't think it's that. Singletary had a similarly productive line of 14 for 86 on Sunday, and his 51.6% success rate is a truer indication that he has been the more efficient back than Moss (44.2%) even if their respective 4.1 and 4.3 yards-per-carry averages suggest the opposite. But Moss does look like he is back to his preseason expectation of a 1B workload with greater scoring opportunities. In his five healthy games, Moss has a 30.1% carry share that slightly trails Singletary's 35.7%. But he has lapped Singletary (0.66) and even edged Josh Allen (1.82) with 2.57 opportunity-adjusted rushing touchdowns in that time.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 16%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers


Joshua Kelley's rushing inefficiency -- he trails all backs with 55 or more carries with a -38.4% rushing DVOA -- finally caught up to him on Sunday. He finished third of the Chargers backs with just eight touches and a 24% offensive snap share. At least for one week, that benefited Troymaine Pope more than anyone. But it leaves Jackson as the clear back to roster in fantasy with Austin Ekeler likely still a few weeks away from a return from his hamstring injury. Jackson's 36.3% carry share with Ekeler sidelined may not be gaudy -- it's just 30th among running backs since Week 5. But it has still manifested as 12.3 carries per game. And Jackson has been a prolific receiver with a 14.8% target share that is eighth-highest at the position.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 12%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs


Sammy Watkins is already overdue for his return from a hamstring injury that as of Week 5 carried an expected loss of just a handful of games. He could be back in Week 9, but if not, he will surely return in Week 11 following the team's bye. That proximity may mean the end of Hardman's fantasy value, but I still think he deserves a spot on the fantasy benches of any team that can afford it. Hardman's offensive snap share has trended up from 40% to 43% to 68% the last three weeks as Demarcus Robinson's has trended down from 95% to 67% to 55%. At worst, that makes Hardman the No. 3 wide receiver on the league's most potent passing offense, and it isn't a stretch to see him Tom Brady-ing Watkins as the Chiefs' Drew Bledsoe. Hardman has been outrageously efficient in his career with a 43.8% receiving DVOA, and he is a decent target share away from being a WR1. His 2.77 PPR points per target are the most of all wide receivers with 50 or more targets since 2019 and well ahead of A.J. Brown (2.51) in second place.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 11%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots


Harris may be the running back version of Hardman. He could lose his role in the Patriots offense with the imminent return of Sony Michel, who came off the COVID list last week and is eligible to return from injured reserve in Week 9. But Harris may have also done enough to keep his current workload and even expand it. After a 16-carry, 106-yard performance against the Bills on Sunday, Harris is up to 5.7 yards per attempt and a 53.1% success rate this season. Those numbers and his 2.2% rushing DVOA actually trail those of Michel in his own small sample of three starts this season, but Michel has a much greater trend of substandard efficiency. He had -2.7% and -6.4% rushing DVOA rates the last two seasons. A depth chart switch with Michel won't free Harris from a time share with Rex Burkhead and James White, who both played more offensive snaps than Harris on Sunday. But it would at least continue his deeper-league fantasy value with a chance to further expand it if he continues to stand out as the team's best runner.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 6%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles


Goedert's one catch on just one target on Sunday night may raise some questions about how tight end-focused the Eagles will be now that Travis Fulgham has emerged as a No. 1 receiver and Jalen Reagor has returned from injured reserve. But I'm still optimistic, and for me, it's much more important that Goedert survived a full share of 84% of the team's offensive snaps in his first week back. The first two weeks this season, Goedert led the team with a 20.5% target share, and that was with Zach Ertz healthy. Now with Ertz poised to miss time beyond the Eagles' Week 9 bye with a high-ankle sprain, Goedert should be securely in the top 10 at the position at least for the time being.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 3%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers


If you prefer a tight end with a higher floor -- and one that has a game scheduled in Week 9 -- feel free to forgo Goedert and his higher ceiling for his fellow Pennsylvanian Ebron. Lost in the wide receiver tug-of-war between Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and JuJu Smith-Schuster is the fact that Ebron has seen his role in the Steelers offensive slowly and steadily increase this season. In Week 1, he played just 63% of the team's offensive snaps. Then from Weeks 2 to 6, he played between 70% and 79%. And in the last two weeks, he has played more than 80% of them. That has manifested as a 16.4% target share since Week 2 that is top-10 at the position, and Ebron doesn't fall too far short of a top-10 true-talent status with so many of the usual fantasy suspects at the position injured or underperforming.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 3%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Robert Tonyan, TE, Green Bay Packers


Tonyan rounds out the trio of tight ends I expect to have similar market value this week. The bloom of his rose has wilted somewhat the last three weeks. After scoring five touchdowns on just 14 targets the three weeks prior, Tonyan has failed to score since his Week 5 bye and hasn't come particularly close with 0.09 opportunity-adjusted receiving touchdowns. But Tonyan did set a season high with seven targets on Sunday, second-most on the team behind Davante Adams. And now Tonyan is up to a 13.7% target share since Week 2 that is 19th among tight ends and I think can support TE2 value the rest of the way. For added context, that target share is just behind those of Dalton Schultz (14.5%) and Mike Gesicki (14.3%), and Tonyan looks to have greater fantasy value than those contemporaries now that they have experienced turnover at quarterback.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans


Prior to the Texans' Week 8 bye, Cook had crossed the 80% threshold that this column considers shorthand for universal roster-ship. But no doubt because of that bye, Cooks has slipped a bit below the benchmark this week. If he hit the wire in your leagues, be sure to pick him back up. His 27.3% target share since Week 5 is the seventh-highest of all wide receivers. And while he himself is a real-world trade candidate, the Texans could just as easily deal Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, or Randall Cobb, which would further increase Cooks' fantasy value.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals


After back-to-back games with two touchdowns before a Week 8 bye, Kirk has the look of a lesser fantasy version of Mike Williams. And I don't say that simply because Kirk's 5-foot-11 and 200-pound frame is dramatically smaller than Williams' 6-foot-4 and 220-pound one. With a 15.8% target share in his healthy games, Kirk has emerged as the Cardinals' No. 2 receiver but can't make the top 40 of all wide receivers thanks to DeAndre Hopkins' league-leading 31.1% share. Still, I don't think that will prohibit Kirk from enjoying fantasy success that stems from touchdown-scoring. Kirk is a top-10 touchdown overachiever with just 2.42 opportunity-adjusted ones versus five real ones, but he is also 12th among the 85 receivers with 25 or more targets with 0.076 opportunity-adjusted touchdowns per target.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Jordan Reed, TE, San Francisco 49ers


If you can only plug and play one 49ers substitute this week, it's clear that it's JaMycal Hasty -- unless of course it's Jerick McKinnon. But with George Kittle set to miss multiple months with a broken foot, Reed could be a sneaky tight end option, at least in deeper formats. Reed returned to practice last week from his own injury -- an MCL sprain -- and seems likely to play in Week 9. And back in Weeks 2 and 3 when Kittle missed time, Reed excelled with 73 yards and two touchdowns on 14 targets.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Players on More Than 80% of Rosters to Add

A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans (97%/98%)
Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (96%/96%)
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns (93%/95%)
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (93%/91%)
Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins (91%/87%)
Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team (90%/88%)
D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions (88%/92%)
Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (87%/82%)
Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns (86%/83%)
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (84%/87%)
Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (84%/86%)
Travis Fulgham, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (83%/82%)
Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers (82%/85%)
Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (82%/80%)
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers (81%/83%)
Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos (81%/80%)
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions (80%/92%)
Antonio Brown, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (79%/82%)
Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (77%/80%)
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans (73%/90%)
Hayden Hurst, TE, Atlanta Falcons (71%/82%)
Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals (68%/80%)
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers (61%/81%)

Players on More Than 20% of Rosters You Can Drop

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (62%/66%)
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots (60%/43%)
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys (56%/60%)
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings (53%/44%)
Odell Beckham, WR, Cleveland Browns (45%/34%)
Gardner Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (33%/30%)
Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins (33%/21%)
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (29%/26%)
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers (27%/40%)
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions (27%/11%)
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (26%/17%)
Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers (25%/34%)
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (22%/22%)
Matt Breida, RB, Miami Dolphins (22%/18%)
Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears (20%/12%)


5 comments, Last at 04 Nov 2020, 12:28pm

2 Re: Wilkins

I intentionally omitted Wilkins.  I'm seeing him on a lot of waiver lists, but I don't think he supplanted Jonathan Taylor.  I view his workload bump as some combination of a run-favoring game script and the dreaded "riding the hot hand", and in either case, I don't imagine you'd ever be comfortable starting him.

3 Barkley on 29% of risters…

Barkley on 29% of risters must mean rthose are keeper/dynasty leagues mostly. Maybe 1% or 2% is dead teans meanjng the team manager gave up already and bailed on their teams like sissies. Also, possible some died. That is sad.

4 Re: Barkley

I've noticed that the players who were not on Week 1 rosters but blew up to big roster percentages during the year and subsequently justified being dropped like Parris Campbell fall well below the 20% threshold I established.  I think that suggests that there may be a lot of leagues that people create in the preseason that never get played at all.  I mean, I do that so I can easily pull roster percentages to write this article.  But maybe other people do it to test draft strategies?  Or make them thinking they'll pull together a league that just doesn't get off the ground?

5 Yes

In reply to by Scott Spratt

Could be that. In 2019, had a really good baseball league setup. One of most excitable guys leading up to draft and during the draft was never heard from again as soon as draft was iver. As commissioner, i removed him a few weeks later and replaxed with another manager.  We thought maybe this guy waa soem weird "draft only" guy