The goal of the weekly waiver-wire column here on ESPN is to look forward and advise our loyal readers of the best and most important pickups of the week. I’ll start the Week 9 column with a lesson gleaned from Week 8: The waiver wire is a weeklong process.
We spent the entire week — legitimately until Sunday — waiting to find out which Seahawks running backs would be available, since their top-three options were listed as questionable going into the game. An injury that was originally suggested to be extremely minor for Packers running back Aaron Jones not only cost him Week 7, but he didn’t even practice a single snap in Week 8, and Jamaal Williams once again came into focus. Michael Thomas made a cameo at Saints practice on Thursday and Friday, allowing those who drafted the megastar wide receiver the chance to cling to hope for Sunday before he sat out again.
It was a week to remind all who read this column to be sure to follow all of the ESPN Fantasy team’s coverage throughout the week, as we do our best to react to the latest news, some of which can evolve from day to day.
Without further ado, here are the Week 9 ESPN Fantasy waiver-wire adds.
Note: All players on this column are available in more than 50% of leagues.
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens (47.3%): Dobbins fell below 50% rostership after a slow start to his career amid a three-man committee. With Mark Ingram II out for Week 8 (and possibly Week 9), Dobbins had his best performance of his rookie season with 15 carries for 113 yards. While Gus Edwards will unquestionably still have a role going forward, Dobbins passes the eye test as the clear-cut most talented Ravens running back, and it wouldn’t stun me if he maintains a larger role for the team going forward. He is the top add of the week.
DeeJay Dallas, RB, Seattle Seahawks (7.4%): Well, if Week 8 is the only game that Dallas starts for the Seahawks this season, he made a major splash. He found the end zone twice and tallied 22.8 fantasy points on 18 carries and five catches. For now, he is a must-add in the event that Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde are unable to play in Week 9. If so, Dallas will be a borderline top-20 play.
JaMycal Hasty, RB, San Francisco 49ers (47.4%): The 49ers are once again juggling injuries, as Tevin Coleman left Week 8 early in his first game back from another injury. Hasty and Jerick McKinnon now figure to be the duo of note going into Week 9 (a Thursday night game), and I suspect Hasty will lead them in total touches. He’s a must-add in all leagues for at least this week, as the 49ers face a porous Green Bay running defense.
Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots (30.2%): In just four games this season, Harris has two 100-yard rushing efforts and is averaging more than 5.0 yards per carry. He’s clearly a talented dude who has a bright future. The mitigating factor for Harris is that he is not involved in the passing game, leaving him as a volume- and touchdown-dependent player. But the Patriots’ passing game woes don’t figure to improve dramatically soon, so Harris needs to be added with the hope that he maintains his volume going forward.
Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills (36.4): The Bills had their best day on the ground of the season in Week 8 and Moss was a huge reason why, finishing with two touchdowns on 14 carries. The reality for Buffalo is that this is and has been a true committee, as Devin Singletary finished with 14 carries as well. So here’s the play: Moss should be added in all leagues and can be used as a flex option for now. In the event that he takes over a lion’s share of the work in the backfield — and he has struck me as a better player than Singletary so far in 2020 — then there’s potential high-end RB3 upside.
Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens (4.3%): The Ravens have long valued Edwards as a straight-line, no-nonsense runner in their power running game. With Ingram out for Week 8, Edwards saw a season-high 16 rushing attempts and finished with 87 yards and a touchdown. He doesn’t contribute at all in the passing game (zero catches this season), but Edwards fits as a flex option until Ingram returns. The Ravens’ running game at its best remains one of the best in the NFL.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (40.1%): While Goedert was limited to just one catch in his return to action in Week 8, he’s a player whose talent will consistently thrust him into the top 10-12 rankings of our tight ends. The Eagles aren’t an offense to write home about at the moment, but if they do find a semi-rhythm, more targets and touchdowns are headed Goedert’s way.
Robert Tonyan, TE, Green Bay Packers (47.4%): It’s almost always slim pickings on the waiver wire at tight end, and Tonyan — who earlier this season had six touchdowns in three weeks — had another useful day in Week 8. Playing with Aaron Rodgers almost always gives you a chance to have good things happen.
Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans (36.0%): Here’s a little fun fact for you: Davis has played in five games this season and has at least 10 fantasy points in each of those five games, which includes eight catches for 128 yards and a touchdown in Week 8. It was a glorious matchup vs. Cincinnati, but the Titans’ offense has been able to consistently carry multiple pass-catchers in fantasy this season. While Davis won’t be a roster lock amongst your starters in 10-team leagues, he should be added in all leagues as a player to rely upon as a bye-week fill-in and a strong depth consideration.
Curtis Samuel, WR, Carolina Panthers (37.1%): This is sort of a classic fantasy pickle. Samuel’s talent is obvious (he had two touchdowns in Week 8). But he is a player who isn’t likely to ever be a full-time running back — especially with Christian McCaffrey returning soon — and he is likely the third wideout in terms of targets in most weeks for Carolina. But the talent is too rich to ignore, and he’s a really smart depth add to have on your bench.
Jordan Wilkins, RB, Indianapolis Colts (0.5%): What are the Colts doing with their running back rotation? I’m not sure. Like, not sure at all. But Wilkins was the recipient of 20 carries in Week 8 and made good on them with 89 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Taylor had 12 carries and Nyheim Hines scored twice, so the suggestion is not that Wilkins is set to take this backfield over, rather that you can at least add him as a provisional depth add in the event this volume becomes a more routine thing. I’m skeptical, but we’ll see.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (43.1%): Williams has had some Jekyll-and-Hyde stretches in his career, which is important to note in fantasy football too. But with Justin Herbert absolutely slinging it right now, this offense takes on a whole new level of intrigue. Williams has at least 20 fantasy points in two of his past three games with a one-catch outing sandwiched in between. If you’re in need of a high-ceiling option when facing a tough opponent, Williams is the ideal option to have available from your bench.
Braxton Berrios, WR, New York Jets (1.4%): If you’re in a deeper league and need a flex spot, Berrios is at least on the radar. He had eight catches in Week 8, and the Jets may not have Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman in Week 9, as both continue to nurse injuries.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, New England Patriots (0.5%): The Patriots’ passing game is a major limitation right now, but someone has to step up with the team being down both Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry. Meyers earned a spot as an undrafted rookie in 2019 and saw a team-high 10 targets in Week 8 with over 10 fantasy points to show for it. A deep league flex option.