Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 9

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Trick or treat? As the fantasy football season races forward, we cordially invite you to a special Halloween-themed edition of our weekly waiver wire article. With Week 9 on the horizon, we have conjured a spell to summon the spookiest of talents for your roster, hoping to concoct a potion that raises both the spirits lurking below and those of your lineup. When plucking players from the waivers, it is often a dance of uncertainty, like reaching into a bowl of candy with no clue whether you will score some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or a dreaded handful of candy corn. Amid the risks of rostering unexpected phantoms, the true identity behind the mask remains a mystery until you dare to uncover it. Prepare to embark on this haunting journey through the waiver wire’s eerie realms as we assign and define the most divine pickups of Week 9.

Running Backs

Team Player Roster % Matchups FAAB
LAR Darrell Henderson Jr. 58% @GB / BYE / SEA 15 – 35%
SEA Zach Charbonnet 49% @BAL / WAS / @LAC 10 – 20%
CAR Chuba Hubbard 64% IND / @CHI / DAL 10 – 20%
ARI Emari Demercado 45% @CLE / ATL / @HOU 0 – 10%
BAL Justice Hill 43% SEA / CLE / CIN 0 – 10%
TEN Tyjae Spears 57% @PIT / @TB / @JAX 0 – 10%
BUF Leonard Fournette 10% @CIN / DEN / NYJ 0 – 10%
LAR Royce Freeman 22% @GB / BYE / SEA 0 – 10%
NE Ezekiel Elliott 51% WAS / IND / BYE 0 – 5%
HOU Devin Singletary 27% TB / @CIN / ARI 0 – 5%
SF Elijah Mitchell 34% BYE / @JAX / TB 0 – 0%
DAL Rico Dowdle 5% @PHI / NYG / @CAR 0 – 0%
JAX Tank Bigsby 20% BYE / SF / TEN 0 – 0%
NO Kendre Miller 15% CHI / @MIN / BYE 0 – 0%

Zach Charbonnet, RB, Seattle Seahawks – It is only right to begin this segment with a horror story that will send shivers down your spine. The scariest part about the story is that it is 100% true. Zach Charbonnet possesses all the physical and skill attributes necessary to become a standout running back in the NFL. Unfortunately, he was drafted to a team that already boasts one. Due to this, the talented running back has been left to warm the bench and collect dust to begin his young career. Truly terrifying stuff here, I know. Despite residing behind Kenneth Walker on the depth chart, Charbonnet has showcased glimpses of his potential in limited opportunities. In a Week 8 victory over the Cleveland Browns, he capitalized on increased playing time, turning five carries into 53 rushing yards and securing both of his targets for an additional 11 yards. His impressive 10.6 yards per carry and his continued display of physical and astute running skills pass the eye test. While his current usage is not groundbreaking, his workload closely resembled Walker’s in Week 8, with only a minimal two-touch difference. Notably, Charbonnet saw his highest snap percentage of the season at 59%. Barring injuries, Walker should remain the primary starter between the two. However, Charbonnet could continue to seize more opportunities. He is a valuable addition in all fantasy leagues and can prove to be a league-winner if he is ever in position to become the primary running back for Seattle. Recommended FAAB: 10-20%

Emari Demercado, RB, Arizona Cardinals – Excluding an anomalous Week 6 where he saw only three opportunities, Emari Demercado has consistently served as the primary running back over Keaontay Ingram and Damien Williams for the Arizona Cardinals in the absence of James Conner. This level of usage has yielded three top-25 finishes at the position in his last four games. In Week 8, the undrafted rookie carried the ball a career-high 20 times, accumulating 78 rushing yards. While his performance in the passing game was less effective compared to previous outings, he has proven to be a versatile asset, making him a valuable option for fantasy football. With no current information on when James Conner will return from injury, Demercado is likely to maintain the starting role in an offense that should only improve with the anticipated return of Kyler Murray. Despite facing a challenging matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Week 9, Demercado’s recent usage justifies serious consideration for your fantasy lineup. Recommended FAAB: 0-10%

Leonard Fournette, RB, Buffalo Bills – The “Dump Truck” has finally found a new home! After patiently awaiting the call all season, Leonard Fournette is set to join the Buffalo Bills and bolster their running back room. While some might question his abilities at this stage in his career, it is essential to note that he accumulated nearly 1,200 all-purpose yards and scored six touchdowns last season, including a career-high 523 receiving yards. It is true that a significant portion of these receptions were the result of playing alongside the ghost of Tom Brady, but Fournette still showcased his talent in that department. The extent of the veteran running back’s role with his new team remains to be seen, but it is evident that the Bills brought him in to address a perceived need. He is likely to assume the role of the goal-line back and compete with James Cook for passing game opportunities. Adding him speculatively to your fantasy roster is certainly worthwhile to see if he has enough left in the tank to garner fantasy relevance. Recommended FAAB: 0-10%

Wide Receivers

Team Player Roster % Matchups FAAB
WAS Jahan Dotson 54% @NE / @SEA / NYG 0 – 15%
NE Demario Douglas 6% WAS / IND / BYE 0 – 15%
DET Jameson Williams 57% BYE / @LAC / CHI 0 – 15%
DET Josh Reynolds 45% BYE / @LAC / CHI 0 – 0%
NO Rashid Shaheed 34% CHI / @MIN / BYE 0 – 0%
LAC Quentin Johnston 36% @NYJ / DET / @GB 0 – 0%
BUF Khalil Shakir 4% @CIN / DEN / NYJ 0 – 0%
DAL Brandin Cooks 53% @PHI / NYG / @CAR 0 – 0%
DET Kalif Raymond 4% BYE / @LAC / CHI 0 – 0%
CIN Tyler Boyd 59% BUF / HOU / @BAL 0 – 0%

Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington Commanders – It is truly terrifying how the Washington Commanders have been utilizing Jahan Dotson this season. The talented wide receiver stood out as one of my favorite rookies last season and was a popular choice for a breakout sophomore campaign. However, he has disappointed many by turning into a fantasy draft bust in 2023. The good news is that he could now be available on waivers due to this unfortunate development. Despite a sluggish start, Dotson possesses exceptional skills that may eventually overcome the obstacles that he has faced this season. After failing to have a performance better than the WR29 this year, he had a standout performance in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles, finishing as the WR7 on the week. Dotson hauled in eight receptions on ten targets for 108 yards and a touchdown. Going from just one target in Week 6 to a combined 18 in his last two games, this young wide receiver is showing promise, especially with his growing chemistry with Sam Howell. If his usage continues to rise in the coming weeks, Dotson could become a valuable second-half sleeper who can be a welcomed addition to your championship-destined roster. Recommended FAAB: 0-15%

Demario Douglas, WR, New England Patriots – After initially receiving minimal utilization in the New England offense this season, Demario Douglas has witnessed a substantial uptick in his usage over the past two games. During this span, he has managed to secure nine receptions on 13 targets, accumulating a total of 79 receiving yards. Notably, his snap percentages have increased significantly, reaching 62% and then 77%. While his recent statistical performance may not have been exceptionally eye-catching, it is worth highlighting that he boasted the highest target share on the team at 24.1% on Sunday. The unfortunate ACL injury that ended Kendrick Bourne’s season and the potential absence of DeVante Parker, who is expected to enter the league’s concussion protocol, present an even more significant opportunity for this unheralded rookie. Despite his relatively modest size at 5’8″ and 192 lbs, Douglas showcases exceptional creativity and elusiveness with the ball in his hands. This season has already demonstrated how similarly-sized rookies like Zay Flowers, Josh Downs, and Tank Dell have overcome physical limitations to thrive. Douglas appears poised to seize this opportunity and could offer valuable depth for your fantasy roster in the coming weeks. The player nicknamed “Pop” might just pop off in the second half of the season. Recommended FAAB: 0-15%

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Rashid Shaheed, WR, New Orleans Saints – In this year’s episode of the “Top 10 Tips & Tricks for Winning Your Fantasy League in 2023” on the podcast, the guys emphasized the importance of focusing on upside and injecting volatility into your lineups. So far this season, no player has demonstrated a greater ability to inject big-play potential into your lineup than Rashid Shaheed. He has already recorded three games with over 80 receiving yards, each of them accompanied by a touchdown. Week 8 saw Shaheed turning just three catches into an impressive 153 yards and a touchdown. His high yardage total off of limited opportunities resulted in a remarkable 51 yards per target average. While his sporadic opportunities this season have made him somewhat challenging to rely on, he should now be considered a viable weekly flex option due to his potential to single-handedly win matchups. With upcoming favorable opponents in Chicago and Minnesota, Shaheed aims to build on this explosive performance and, hopefully, earn more targets in the games to come. Recommended FAAB: 0-0%

Tight Ends

Team Player Roster % Matchups FAAB
ARI Trey McBride 28% @CLE / ATL / @HOU 5 – 30%
DAL Jake Ferguson 56% @PHI / NYG / @CAR 0 – 20%
NO Taysom Hill 41% CHI / @MIN / BYE 0 – 10%
CLE David Njoku 67% ARI / @BAL / PIT 0 – 0%
WAS Logan Thomas 47% @NE / @SEA / NYG 0 – 0%
LV Michael Mayer 25% NYG / NYJ / @MIA 0 – 0%
LAC Donald Parham Jr. 4% @NYJ / DET / @GB 0 – 0%

Trey McBride, TE, Arizona Cardinals – In last week’s waiver wire article, we highlighted several compelling reasons for adding Trey McBride to your roster. We certainly hope you took our advice because he is now set to become the pickup of the week at the position. Even before Zach Ertz landed on the injured reserve, McBride was displaying signs of a potential breakout. As the unquestionable TE1 for Arizona, the young tight end had a stellar performance in Week 8, finishing as the TE2 on the week. He hauled in ten receptions out of 14 targets, amassing 95 yards and a touchdown. Significantly, he played 82% of the snaps in that game, a significant increase from his sub-60% snap counts in all previous matchups this season. His 14 targets translated to an absolutely absurd 37.8% target share in what was anticipated to be one of the toughest matchups for the tight end position. Should Kyler Murray get back to full form in his return to action, we might be on the cusp of witnessing a genuine breakout for McBride. While awaiting Murray’s return to action, McBride should remain a favored target in the offense and is a viable addition to your starting lineups immediately. Recommended FAAB: 5-30%

Jake Ferguson, TE, Dallas CowboysJake Ferguson has certainly come a long way from shedding his original nickname, “Turd Ferguson,” and embracing the more catchy moniker, “Fergalicious.” The latter certainly makes a more appealing Halloween costume as well. The burly tight end delivered yet another impressive fantasy performance in Week 8. In Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Ferguson reeled in all four of his targets, tallying 47 yards and an exceptional 18-yard touchdown. While his target numbers have experienced a slight dip since the season’s outset, Ferguson remains a preferred option for Dak Prescott, boasting rare weekly touchdown upside for the position. Notably, he has been dominating playing time for Dallas, consistently participating in 80% or more of the snaps in his last two games. It is safe to feel confident about starting him this week, particularly in a matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles present a formidable defense but have shown vulnerability to the tight end position, making Ferguson an enticing choice for your fantasy lineup. Recommended FAAB: 0-20%


Team Player Roster % Matchups FAAB
NO Derek Carr 39% CHI / @MIN / BYE 0 – 10%
WAS Sam Howell 46% @NE / @SEA / NYG 0 – 10%
TEN Will Levis 7% @PIT / @TB / @JAX 0 – 10%
IND Gardner Minshew 21% @CAR / NE / BYE 0 – 0%
ATL Taylor Heinicke 2% MIN / @ARI / BYE 0 – 0%
TB Baker Mayfield 33% @HOU / TEN / @SF 0 – 0%
MIN Nick Mullens 0% @ATL / NO / @DEN 0 – 0%
CLE P.J. Walker 3% ARI / @BAL / PIT 0 – 0%
PIT Mitch Trubisky 0% TEN / GB / @CLE 0 – 0%
MIN Jaren Hall 0% @ATL / NO / @DEN 0 – 0%


Team Roster % Matchups
Cleveland Browns 70% ARI / @BAL / PIT
New Orleans Saints 67% CHI / @MIN / BYE
Los Angeles Chargers 26% @NYJ / DET / @GB
Pittsburgh Steelers 59% TEN / GB / @CLE
Green Bay Packers 18% LAR / @PIT / LAC
Minnesota Vikings 9% @ATL / NO / @DEN
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32% @HOU / TEN / @SF
Indianapolis Colts 8% @CAR / NE / BYE
New England Patriots 27% WAS / IND / BYE
New York Giants 6% @LV / @DAL / @WAS
Washington Commanders 27% @NE / @SEA / NYG

Final Thoughts

What do football players wear on Halloween? Face masks! I had to throw in a cringey joke to conclude this article, my apologies. It is also a shame that we did not get the chance to talk about Michael Mayer, especially on Halloween. Nonetheless, watching the Raiders’ offense on Monday night was scary enough in its own right. This season has been plagued by injuries, yet in the face of these unfortunate events, the waiver wire has emerged as a lifeline for many fantasy teams. With a multitude of unsung heroes rising to stardom, a wealth of waiver wire gems have been available to rescue your team from the depths. We hope the players we have highlighted can awaken your roster from the dead and wreak havoc on your league. May the spirit of the waiver wire guide you from the shadows to the light in the upcoming week.


Juan Vallejo says:

Great stuff in this one

Gabe Johnson says:

Very creative article, Joe. Awesome stuff

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