NFL Week 9 waiver-wire targets

Should we be concerned about shoddy running back play?

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In week 8, George Kittle was sidelined for the remainder of the season with a foot injury. We can now add Kittle to the long list of first and second rounders who failed to pay off their high draft capital this year. We also saw starting running backs Jonathan Taylor, Darrell Henderson, and Joshua Kelley either get banged up or lose touches to more effective options. Should we be concerned about these running backs and add their backups?

PPR waiver wire targets

  1. Corey Davis (TEN WR) – I wrote up Corey Davis last week, so I am going to keep this short and simple. Until he gets over the 40% rostered threshold, he is the top add in any league. He has now seen 10 targets in back-to-back games, posted his second 100-yard game of the year, and caught his third TD of the year. Davis has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Titans’ new up-tempo offensive approach in 2020.
  1. Jordan Wilkins/Nyheim Hines (IND RBs) – Both Wilkins and Hines are going to continue to share time between themselves and Jonathan Taylor, so expectations need to be tempered on a weekly basis, but it does appear that Taylor came away from week 8 with some sort of injury. It sounds minor, but considering how effective Wilkins and Hines were in week 8, there is a chance the Colts will opt not to push Taylor through any sort of injury. We know how much Rivers likes throwing to running backs as he has targeted them 59 times of his 232 attempts (25%). If Taylor is in, these two running backs will still be utilized, but it will be a headache trying to figure out which guy is going to do well each week. With Taylor getting limited runs in week 8, Hines finished as the 5th overall PPR running back and Wilkins finished as the 6th overall PPR running back.
  1. Jordan Reed/Ross Dwelley (SF TEs) – The biggest question after week 8 is how teams with George Kittle are going to replace their tight end position. The answer is easy if Jordan Reed plays, thanks to the monster game he had in Kittle’s absence in week 2, when Reed reeled in 7 of 8 targets for 50 yards and 2 TDs. However, Reed is still on injured reserve and hasn’t been cleared to return yet. If he remains out this week, Ross Dwelley becomes the priority add for Kittle owners as one of the only tight ends on the roster. 
  1. Zack Moss (BUF RB) – Moss is another rookie running back who had a positive outlook heading into the year. He has continuously split carries and snaps with Devin Singletary. Perhaps the wet weather helped boost his carry amount to 14 in week 8, his first time breaking into double digits. At this point of the year, it is hard to find running backs who are going to approach 10-plus touches on a weekly basis, but Moss offers you just that if you need a fill-in option. He doesn’t have the upside that Cam Akers or the Indianapolis running backs have, though, with Josh Allen stealing some of the goal line carries. Moss has 14 red zone rushes, Singletary has 13, and Allen has 10. Talk about a touchdown carousel. It is worth noting that Moss leads the team in red zone carries despite playing in only 5 of 8 games.
  1. Cam Akers (LAR RB) – Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I have been a Cam Akers truther since he landed with the Rams in the draft and, although he has taken a back seat to Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown so far this year, Akers may have caught a break in terms of future playing time this past week. Prior to halftime, Darrell Henderson exited the game with a thigh injury that he had been battling through. Unlike in recent weeks though, he did not return to the game after halftime. Instead, Akers handled the bulk of the work. Akers is by far the most talented player on waivers right now and all he needs is more volume to become an every-week starter on your teams. If Henderson misses any time, and there is a chance he could miss a week or two, Akers could take over this backfield and never look back. Akers has 148 yards on 35 carries and 23 yards on 2 receptions in limited work this year. The only downside here is that the Rams have a bye in week 9, which could afford Henderson time to get healthy enough to play in week 10. 
Waivers w/Jake Jake Ciely

Non-PPR waiver wire targets

As previously mentioned, touchdowns are much more valuable in non-PPR leagues, and the high volume pass catchers are much less valuable. This fact will change around some of the rankings for our waiver wire targets. This week’s non-PPR adds are going to be the same as the PPR adds due to injuries around the league. However, some guys get a slight boost or downgrade due to reliance on pass catching or TDs.

  1. Corey Davis (TEN WR) – Davis is 2nd on the team in red zone targets with 6, despite missing 2 games, which tells you how involved he is when the Titans are threatening to score. He is a great add in all formats.
  1. Zack Moss (BUF RB) – Again, Moss has 14 red zone rushes, Singletary has 13, and Allen has 10. Since Moss leads the team in red zone carries despite playing in only 5 of the team’s 8 games, it appears he is the favorite option for the red zone role when he is active.
  1. Jordan Reed/Ross Dwelley (SF TEs) – Reed, Dwelley, and Kittle have combined for 10 red zone targets this year as they have all split time. Reed and Dwelley will likely continue to share duties when they are both active, but Reed has posted all 3 of his red zone targets in the lone week 2 outing where he played the full game and Kittle was out.
  1. Nyheim Hines (IND RB) – Jonathan Taylor has actually paced the Colts running backs in terms of red zone opportunities with 20 carries and 5 targets. Hines checks in 2nd with 10 carries and 5 targets, while Wilkins is third with 8 carries and 0 targets. In non-PPR leagues, if Taylor doesn’t miss time, I would assume he remains the lead back near the goal line. However, Hines has been the next man up in that regard and would be my priority over Wilkins in non-PPR formats.
  1. Cam Akers (LAR RB) – Darrell Henderson had taken over the red zone role for the Rams before getting injured so, if Akers scoops up Henderson’s touches after LA’s bye week, the hope would be Akers also slides into that role. On the year, Henderson has 30 red zone carries compared to Malcolm Brown’s 13 and Akers’ 4. Again, this is an add under the assumption Henderson misses a week or two and Akers slides directly into his role.

Top streaming QB options

  1. Nick Foles (CHI) – Nick Foles gets a matchup with a Tennessee defense that has not been very good this year, with the Titans allowing the 8th most yards and 3rd most TDs to opposing quarterbacks. Foles hasn’t been great himself, throwing for 2-plus TDs in only 2 of his 6 games, but this is one of the best matchups of the week for a quarterback, especially with the limited options there are to choose from on waivers.
  1. Teddy Bridgewater (CAR) – Teddy two gloves makes the waiver streaming article every week. This time, he goes up against the Kansas City Chiefs, who have actually been good against opposing quarterbacks. Considering how good the Chiefs offense is, though, opposing teams have to consistently throw the football as they play from behind. Teddy will likely get Christian McCaffrey back for this game as well, and he has good receiving weapons to throw to down the field. Teddy has thrown 2 TDs in 3 of his 8 games, but he has provided a solid rushing floor this year, running for 10-plus yards in 6 of his 8 games.

Top streaming defense options

  1. Miami Dolphins defense – A fully healthy Miami Dolphins defense has been one of the better defensive units in the NFL. Over the last 3 games, they have racked up 10 sacks and have given up 17, 0, and 17 points. They are a young, talented unit that is starting to play well together. This week, they will face off with Kyler Murray, a generally dangerous QB who has thrown an interception in 5 of his 7 games played this year. This isn’t the greatest matchup in the world for Miami, but they are quietly becoming a top defense in the league.
  1. New York Giants defense – The Giants are another team that has not gotten enough credit for their defensive play this year. They have 2 or more sacks in every game so far, and they’ve held teams to 22 points or fewer in 4 of their 7 games. Week 9 presents a matchup with Kyle Allen and the lowly Washington offense. Allen has taken at least 2 sacks in each of his 3 starts so far, and has only put up 19 and 25 points in the two games he finished as a starter.
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