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At this point in the NFL season, the ledes for the So Called Fantasy Experts’ wavier wire targets sound like a broken record: Injuries create opportunities for backups who are hardly owned in Fantasy Football leagues. Unfortunately, the Week 9 Waiver Wire report is no different.

Week 8 was one of the hardest weeks of football to stomach. The Seattle Seahawks’ witnessed WR Ricardo Lockette get knocked out while on special teams. Although it topped the list of most nerve-racking injuries for me to watch, Lockette’s missed time to the Seahawks isn’t as painful as the loss of Le’Veon Bell for the Pittsburgh Steelers, or Reggie Bush for the San Francisco 49ers, or Steve Smith for the Baltimore Ravens. Those three players are done for the 2015 season.

Even though he’ll return in 2015, Matt Forte’s knee injury disappoints his Fantasy owners. Certainly, the lesser-owned Khiry Robinson had an impact in deeper leagues, but mostly it’s sad to see yet another RB suffer a season-ending injury. Here’s hoping Robinson’s tibia and all the aforementioned players’ injuries heal swiftly and correctly. For more on downed players, check back for the Week 9 Injury Report.

Thankfully, every cloud has a silver lining. Or in our case as Fantasy owners, every injured player has a backup, which will be the focus of the Week 9 Waiver Wire targets. Remember there are six teams with byes in Week 9: Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks. As always, fiddle with the Fantasy Football: Strength of Schedule Comparison Tool to see how you might fare against your league rivals.

Also, the threshold for players to make our list remains the same: less than 30 percent owned in ESPN Fantasy Football leagues. It can make for slim pickings, but we know owners in deep leagues, so we dig deep here in the Week 9 Waiver Wire list.

Week 9 Waiver Wire Targets


Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (17 percent owned)

It’s not easy to endorse a QB who’s completed just 58.6 percent of passes this year, but I’ll try. In his last three games, Winston has not submitted a fumble or interception, and he’s tossed at least one TD in each of those games. On Sunday, he even rushed for a TD in the Buccaneers’ upset of the Falcons in Atlanta.

This Sunday, Winston plays a weak pass defense in the New York Giants. Only the New Orleans Saints have allowed more passing TDs (20) than the Giants (17), who have also allowed 19.2 Fantasy points per game against QBs. The Giants have only nine sacks, the fewest in the NFL. In a deep two-QB league, Winston is a streaming option for a bye player.

Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (17 percent owned)

Yes, he has a bye this week, three weeks ago, I endorsed Hoyer as an “average waiver wire addition.” Every week since, I’ve suggested Hoyer, and the Week 9 Waiver Wire roundup is no different. In his last five games, Hoyer has thrown 12 TDs to just two INTs. He’s a reliable QB2 now that the Texans finally released Ryan Mallet.

Running Back

DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (27 percent owned)

Williams becomes the lead RB for the Steelers now that Bell is out for the season. If you need help at RB, he’s the man to add off the Week 9 Waiver Wire. This may be a case of overspending FAAB for some in desperate RB trouble. On 63 attempts, Williams has rushed for 310 yards (4.9 Y/A) and three TDs. The Oakland Raiders, Williams’ foe this Sunday, have allowed less than 80 yards rushing per game against RBs, but Williams looked good when he replaced Bell last Sunday.

Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (3 percent owned)

With Forte out until his knee heals, Langford likely gets the bulk of the Bears’ rushing attempts. He rushed 12 times for 46 yards once Forte left the game, but dropped a crucial pass that contributed to the Bears’ fifth loss. Against the San Diego Chargers next Monday, Langford has a nice matchup.

The Chargers have allowed the second-most rushing and receiving yards against RBs this year (930 and 450, respectively). Overall, the Chargers have allowed RBs to score 10 TDs. In deep leagues or where you need RB support, Langford is an OK streaming option.

Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (0 percent owned)

The 49ers signed Draughn this week because they lost Bush to a torn ACL, Carlos Hyde to a nagging foot injury, and Mike Davis to a broken hand. Draughn hopes to avoid the injury bug as he joins his sixth team in his five-year career. He is an add if you’re hopeless at RB because of injuries, which is totally a possibility for a wide breadth of Fantasy Football owners. For his career, Draughn has 75 rushes for 264 yards and two TDs, plus 26 receptions for 159 yards and no TDs.

Wide Receiver

Dexter McCluster, Tennessee Titans (24 percent owned)

For deep-league PPR leagues, McCluster carries a little value as a Week 9 Waiver Wire addition. He is touchdown-dependent, but has a good matchup this Sunday against the Saints, a team that’s allowed WRs to score 26.9 Fantasy points per game. The Saints are one of three teams that’s allowed 13 TDs to WRs, which is tied for second worst in the league.

Tight End

Vernon Davis, Denver Broncos (15 percent owned)

Via trade, Davis is a Bronco now and offers Peyton Manning a more reliable TE target than Owen Daniels. Davis has hauled in 18 of 30 targets for 194 yards and no TDs this year, but he looks to record his first TD this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, who’ve allowed 7.8 Fantasy points per game against TEs. Davis will be a hot add off the Week 9 Waiver Wire, but it could take a few weeks to see what he’s worth.

Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons (6 percent owned)

Without Leonard Hankerson providing QB Matt Ryan with another WR option, Tamme ran wild and caught 10 passes for 103 yards in Week 8. He recorded his first TD of the year and looks to continue that success in Week 9 against the 49ers. He’s a pedestrian TE2 in Week 9.


Pittsburgh Steelers (25 percent owned)

Consider this an unenthusiastic suggestion for the Steelers’ defense this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. With Derek Carr having a solid season (8.6 average yards gained per pass attempt, 15 TDs, three INTs), the Steelers’ have their hands full. In a deep league where you need a D/ST to fill in your bye, the Steelers may be the best defense on the Waiver Wire.

Considering all the injuries and six bye teams, the Week 9 Waiver Wire could look far worse. At the same time, it’d be nice if fewer Fantasy owners found themselves in dire straits as a result of said injuries. Until next week, go get ’em!

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