Fantasy Football Week 9 Waiver Wire: Ezekiel Elliott's suspension, Jay Ajayi's trade give more backfield options to add

Almost everything important for the waiver wire this week had little to do with Sunday's game action. It's a rare occasion when that happens. 

The best guy to add this week played last Thursday with Alex Collins. And the big news happened Monday night and Tuesday morning with Ezekiel Elliott having his six-game suspension upheld, and Jay Ajayi being traded to Philadelphia.

Welcome to Fantasy relevance Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. Now, which one is any good? We'll address that below.

We also had Jimmy Garoppolo traded from New England to San Francisco. While Garoppolo isn't Fantasy relevant for Week 9, he might be in the near future.

Now, there were guys who played well Sunday who deserve to be added in all leagues, including Josh McCown, Paul Richardson, Robby Anderson and Jack Doyle. And we have more injuries to monitor, including Jordan Reed (hamstring), which is good news for Vernon Davis.

There also are six teams on a bye for the second week in a row (Pittsburgh, New England, Minnesota, Cleveland, Chicago and the Chargers), which means we all likely need replacements for various players in our lineup. As usual, we'll also give you kicker and DST streamers for Week 9.

But the big news is the running back situation for Dallas and Miami. I'd look for Collins first given his expanded role for the Ravens, with Morris and McFadden next, followed by Drake and Williams.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Morris will "certainly" get more carries, according to the Dallas Morning News, but he also said McFadden "should be a big part of this thing" as well. And I expect Drake to get more work on rushing downs than Williams, although both are just flex options at best as of now. 

Quarterbacks


Injuries of note: Carson Palmer (broken left arm), Jay Cutler (ribs), Joe Flacco (concussion), Jameis Winston (shoulder) and Andrew Luck (shoulder)

On a bye: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Case Keenum, Mitchell Trubisky and DeShone Kizer

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Priority list
45%
Josh McCown New York Jets QB
McCown has scored at least 22 Fantasy points in three games in a row and at least 17 points in four straight. He only had nine points at Buffalo in Week 1, and the Bills have allowed just one quarterback to score more than 15 points this season, which was Winston in Week 7. Still, Buffalo is banged up on defense and playing on the road. With the way McCown has played of late, he's worth using as a low-end starting option this week. McCown is worth about 5 percent of your FAAB dollars.
40%
Jacoby Brissett Indianapolis Colts QB
Brissett is worth a look in two-quarterback leagues, and he's coming off a solid performance on the road at Cincinnati in Week 8 with 233 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, which was good for 19 Fantasy points. This week, Brissett is facing a Texans defense on the road again, but Houston is allowing an average of 23.1 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks this year. If you're desperate, give Brissett a look this week in deeper leagues. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB dollars.
15%
Jay Cutler Miami Dolphins QB
Speaking of desperate, here's Cutler, who is expected to play in Week 9 against Oakland after missing Week 8 with injured ribs. Cutler was finally starting to play well – for him, anyway – before getting hurt against the Jets in Week 7. He had consecutive games with multiple touchdowns, and we hope he can build off of those performances, especially if DeVante Parker (ankle) returns as expected from his absence. Cutler gets to face a Raiders defense that is allowing an average of 18.5 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks, and Cutler could be useful in deep two-quarterback leagues. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB dollars.
6%
Jimmy Garoppolo New England Patriots QB
The Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick next year, and he's expected to be their quarterback of the future. But Fantasy owners want to know about Garoppolo's value now, and it's likely minimal heading into Week 9. He's not expected to play in Week 9 against the Cardinals, and we'll see if he starts in Week 10 against the Giants. The 49ers have a bye in Week 11, and we could see Garoppolo starting from Week 12 on. He'll likely be a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback most weeks, so he's only worth adding in deeper re-draft leagues. But Garoppolo should be owned in every dynasty league since he's now free of Brady and can run his own team in San Francisco. Garoppolo is only worth 1 percent of your FAAB dollars in re-draft leagues and 10 percent in dynasty formats.
2%
Ryan Fitzpatrick Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
If Winston is out, look for Fitzpatrick as a flier, even with a tough matchup at New Orleans. He played in one game this season at Arizona in Week 6 and ended up with 26 Fantasy points with 290 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He's worth 1 percent of your FAAB dollars.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, here is someone you can drop for this week.

  • Philip Rivers (96 percent): He's scored less than 20 Fantasy points in three games in a row and has a bye in Week 9. He then comes off his bye with matchups at Jacksonville in Week 10 and vs. Buffalo in Week 11. You can stash Rivers if you want, but I don't see him doing much to help Fantasy owners over the next three weeks. 
  • Andy Dalton (87 percent): Dalton played well, as expected, in Week 8 against the Colts with 22 Fantasy points, and you can definitely stash him for his Week 10 matchup at Tennessee. But you can't start him in Week 9 at Jacksonville, and I'd rather start McCown or Brissett instead. 
  • Andrew Luck (55 percent): He's been ruled out again for another week, and you have to start thinking the Colts may shut him down for the season. The only reason to own Luck now are in dynasty and keeper leagues. He might not be Fantasy relevant in 2017 with how things are looking now.

Running backs


Injuries of note: Leonard Fournette (ankle), Devonta Freeman (shoulder), DeMarco Murray (shoulder), Terrance West (calf) and C.J. Prosise (ankle)

On a bye: Le'Veon Bell, Jerick McKinnon, Latavius Murray, Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Melvin Gordon, Dion Lewis, James White, Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead, Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson

Add if available in shallow leagues (in this order): Marlon Mack (72 percent), Orleans Darkwa (67 percent) and Dion Lewis (75 percent) 

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Priority list
49%
Alex Collins Baltimore Ravens RB
We've been asking for the Ravens to give Collins more work, and they finally cooperated in Week 8 against the Dolphins. Collins had 18 carries for 113 yards and two catches for 30 yards, and every stat was a season high. He's still looking for his first touchdown, and he'll continue to share touches with Javorius Allen. But Collins looks like a difference maker, and he's worth starting as a No. 2 running back in Week 9 at Tennessee. Collins is worth at least 20 percent of your FAAB dollars.
60%
Alfred Morris Dallas Cowboys RB
We were hoping to get clarity on the situation of who would start if Elliott is out, and Jones seemed to indicate Tuesday it would be Morris. Jones did say McFadden and Rod Smith (2 percent) would also get work, but Morris should be added in all leagues. Morris has operated all season as the No. 2 running back in Dallas behind Elliott, but he's only had minimal touches. Through Week 8, Morris has 13 carries for 105 yards and one catch for 9 yards. Again, expect a split, with Smith also in the mix, but Morris has the chance to be a No. 2 running back heading into Week 9 against Kansas City. Morris is worth at least 20 percent of your FAAB dollars.
56%
Darren McFadden Dallas Cowboys RB
Even though Jones seemed to indicate that Morris would be the lead rusher, you should expect McFadden to still get plenty of touches. McFadden has been inactive all year, but he still has fresh legs, even at 30. Keep in mind he had a 1,000-yard season in 2015 before Elliott joined the team, and he ran well in the preseason. McFadden is still worth at least 15 percent of your FAAB dollars.
2%
Kenyan Drake Miami Dolphins RB
We don't know exactly who will be the lead back for the Dolphins now that Ajayi is gone. It seems like Drake will likely play on rushing downs, with Williams on passing downs, but we have to see how it all shakes out. Coach Adam Gase recently said Drake was his No. 2 running back behind Ajayi, and he just had a season-high in carries with six for 22 yards. Williams is better in the passing game, so consider that in PPR, but Drake could be headed for a heavy workload following the Ajayi trade. Drake is worth at least 10 percent of your FAAB dollars.
3%
Damien Williams Miami Dolphins RB
Williams is headed for more work with Ajayi gone, and he could be better than Drake, which isn't a stretch. He should definitely be more involved in the passing game. For the season, Williams only has 12 carries for 32 yards, but he also has eight catches for 50 yards. I like Williams more in PPR than standard formats, but he's still worth adding where available. He's worth at least 10 percent of your FAAB dollars.
34%
Matt Breida San Francisco 49ers RB
He's just a stash candidate for now behind Carlos Hyde, but as the 49ers continue to lose and look toward next season, don't be surprised of Breida starts getting more work. In Week 8 at Philadelphia, Breida led the team with four catches for 39 yards and a touchdown on six targets, and he also added five carries for 17 yards. Hyde should continue to get the majority of touches – he had 12 carries for 25 yards and four catches for 22 yards on nine targets against the Eagles – but if you have an open roster spot, grab Breida now. He's worth about 5 percent of your FAAB dollars.
15%
Devontae Booker Denver Broncos RB
Booker is another stash candidate, but it's nice that he's getting work behind C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles now. Anderson and Charles have had trouble staying healthy in recent years, and Booker could find himself in a featured role at some point this season. For now, he's done a nice job in the passing game with 10 catches for 114 yards on 13 targets in his past three games, and he had six carries for 40 yards and a touchdown in Week 8 at Kansas City. Booker is worth 5 percent of your FAAB dollars.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Mike Gillislee (79 percent): On a bye and he's scored five Fantasy points or less in six games in a row. 
  • Wendell Smallwood (62 percent): I was completely wrong on him in Week 8 vs. SF, and now Ajayi is in the mix. You can consider dropping LeGarrette Blount also. 
  • D'Onta Foreman (45 percent): He's now behind Alfred Blue as the No. 3 running back in Houston. 
  • Rob Kelley (69 percent): Bad offensive line and minimal touches is not a good recipe for Fantasy success.

Wide receivers

Injuries of note: Pierre Garcon (neck), Emmanuel Sanders (ankle), DeVante Parker (ankle), Mike Wallace (concussion), Corey Davis (hamstring), Chris Hogan (shoulder) and Kenny Golladay (hamstring)

On a bye: Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams

Add if available in shallow leagues (in this order): JuJu Smith-Schuster (74 percent), Sterling Shepard (73 percent), Marvin Jones (83 percent), Mohamed Sanu (76 percent), Rishard Matthews (74 percent) and Allen Hurns (80 percent)

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Priority list
46%
Paul Richardson Seattle Seahawks WR
I'm torn on the No. 1 receiver to add this week because none of these guys are must-start options. I'm going with Richardson because of his big-play ability, and he has the best quarterback of this group with Russell Wilson. In his past two games, Richardson has nine targets for eight catches, 166 yards and three touchdowns. He's worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week against Washington and is worth at least 5 percent of your FAAB dollars.
36%
Robby Anderson New York Jets WR
After Quincy Enunwa (neck) was lost for the season in training camp, the expectation was Anderson would take over as the No. 1 receiver for the Jets. They then acquired Jermaine Kearse, who has done a nice job this season in a featured role. But Anderson has come on of late with either 75 receiving yards or a touchdown in three games in a row. He has 23 targets for 13 catches, 215 yards and two touchdowns over that span, and he should continue to flash his big-play ability. Anderson is worth at least 5 percent of your FAAB dollars.
41%
Corey Davis Tennessee Titans WR
We hope this is the week Davis returns from his hamstring injury, and he's been out for the past five games. Coming off Tennessee's bye in Week 8, the expectation was Davis would be healthy, but he's still only practicing on a limited basis. He's worth stashing given his upside, and hopefully he'll be 100 percent for the rest of the season. Davis could be a huge difference maker in the second half of the season. He's worth at least 5 percent of your FAAB dollars.
55%
Josh Doctson Washington Redskins WR
Just throw him the ball. Doctson has a touchdown in three of his past five games, and he nearly scored in Week 7 at Philadelphia with another red-zone target. But he has yet to have more than five targets in any game, and that has to change. You should absolutely stash Doctson where available, although don't plan on playing him in Week 9 at Seattle. Still, there should be several good performances this season where Doctson helps your Fantasy roster. He's worth at least 5 percent of your FAAB dollars.
28%
Tyler Lockett Seattle Seahawks WR
Lockett has gotten more targets than Richardson of late, but he's not scoring touchdowns, which lowers his appeal. Still, he's worth adding in case the touchdowns start to come, and he also benefits from playing with Wilson. In his past two games, Lockett has 15 targets for 10 catches and 150 yards. He has yet to score this season, but those could come in bunches, and he's starting to become viable in PPR leagues. Lockett is worth at least 5 percent of your FAAB dollars.
63%
Jeremy Maclin Baltimore Ravens WR
Maclin returned from a two-game absence with a shoulder injury and immediately made an impact against Miami in Week 8 with three catches for 53 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He has a favorable matchup in Week 9 at Tennessee, but starting him this week hinges on Baltimore's quarterback situation with Flacco hurt. If Flacco starts, I like Maclin as a potential starter in all leagues. If Ryan Mallett starts then you have to downgrade Maclin to a No. 3 option. Still, Maclin should be added in all leagues, and he's worth at least 5 percent of your FAAB dollars.
55%
Cooper Kupp Los Angeles Rams WR
Kupp is coming off a bye in Week 8, and he's been the most consistent receiver for the Rams this year, at least from a Fantasy perspective. He has three games this season with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, which is more than Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. Jared Goff continues to look for Kupp in the red zone, and he's worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in deeper leagues in Week 9 at the Giants. Kupp is worth at least 3 percent of your FAAB dollars.
39%
Jamison Crowder Washington Redskins WR
Let's hope that what we saw in Week 8 against Dallas is a sign of things to come because Crowder has been a bust so far this year. He saw a season high in targets (13), catches (nine) and yards (123) against the Cowboys, and maybe Kirk Cousins will start leaning on Crowder more, especially with Reed hurt. He has a tough matchup in Week 9 at Seattle, but Crowder is still worth adding in deeper leagues. He's worth at least 3 percent of your FAAB dollars.
46%
Marqise Lee Jacksonville Jaguars WR
Lee comes off his bye in Week 8 with two games in a row with at least four catches for 72 yards, and he has nine catches for 155 yards on 16 targets over that span. Hurns has scored more touchdowns for the Jaguars, but Lee has been more consistent with his catches and yards. Jacksonville also is expected to get Dede Westbrook (5 percent) back on the field this week, and he's worth speculating on in deeper leagues. But Lee is also worth a look in most formats, especially PPR, and you can spend about 3 percent of your FAAB dollars to add him.
8%
Travis Benjamin Los Angeles Chargers WR
Benjamin had a breakout game in Week 8 at New England with five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown on nine targets, and he's now scored a touchdown in consecutive games. He's outplayed every Chargers receiver the past two weeks, and it's time to give him a look in deeper formats. The Chargers have a bye in Week 9, so you don't have to rush out to grab Benjamin now. But he is worth speculating on in deeper leagues for 1 percent of your FAAB dollars.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Terrelle Pryor (79 percent): He's no longer a featured part of the offense and has combined for three Fantasy points in a standard league in his past three games. 
  • Willie Snead (72 percent): Snead is expected to play a prominent role at some point this season, but he's not doing anything now and has minimal stash appeal. 
  • Martavis Bryant (67 percent): Bryant, as expected, was inactive in Week 8 at Detroit, and he's clearly behind Smith-Schuster now. Until we see him back in the mix for the Steelers, he can be left on the waiver wire in most leagues. 
  • Donte Moncrief (57 percent): He had a new low in Week 8 at Cincinnati with one target, and this has been a lost season for Moncrief with Luck out. He has no value unless Luck is back, and even then it would be a stretch to trust him.

Tight ends

Injuries of note: Jordan Reed (hamstring), Zach Miller (knee), Delanie Walker (ankle) and Charles Clay (knee)

On a bye: Rob Gronkowski, Kyle Rudolph, Hunter Henry, Jesse James and David Njoku

Add if available in shallow leagues (in this order): Tyler Kroft (78 percent) and Jared Cook (73 percent)

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Priority list
62%
Jack Doyle Indianapolis Colts TE
Doyle has been a solid Fantasy option of late, and he should be added in all leagues and viewed as a starter until he proves otherwise. In his past three games, Doyle has 32 targets for 25 catches, 215 yards and two touchdowns. He has a solid matchup in Week 9 at Houston, and we hope Doyle can be even better if Luck comes back at some point this year. Doyle is worth at least 15 percent of your FAAB dollars.
27%
Vernon Davis Washington Redskins TE
Reed is out again, which means Davis has the chance to be a No. 1 Fantasy tight end. The last time Reed was out this season was Week 3 against Oakland, and Davis had five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He's been fairly consistent even with Reed on the field with at least 60 receiving yards or a touchdown in four of his past five games. We don't know how long Reed will be out, but Davis should serve as a solid replacement option, even in a tough matchup at Seattle in Week 9. He's worth at least 10 percent of your FAAB dollars.
1%
Tyler Higbee Los Angeles Rams TE
This is all about the matchup with the Giants in Week 9, and even Gerald Everett (1 percent) is worth a look this week if you're stuck. The Giants have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, and a tight end has scored against the Giants in every game this year. Higbee has yet to score this year, and Everett only has one touchdown. We'll see what happens this week, but the track record against the Giants is worth buying into. Higbee and Everett are worth 1 percent of your FAAB dollars.
64%
Austin Hooper Atlanta Falcons TE
Hooper has been good when the targets have been there, especially in PPR, and let's hope that continues for him this week at Carolina -- and moving forward. He has three games this season with at least six targets, and he has at least 10 Fantasy points in PPR in each of those outings, including Week 8 at the Jets when he had four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown on six targets. Hooper is worth at least 3 percent of your FAAB dollars.
49%
Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers TE
Like last week, we'll continue to tell you to stash Olsen if you have an open roster spot. He's expected to return in Week 12, and he should be healthy from his foot injury. When that happens, Olsen could be a tremendous difference maker in the majority of leagues.
19%
Benjamin Watson Baltimore Ravens TE
The quarterback situation in Baltimore is worth monitoring, but Watson has scored both of his touchdowns this year from Mallett, if that matters. He's just a low-end starting option at best in deeper leagues, and his value would be higher if Wallace remains out. Watson is worth 1 percent of your FAAB dollars.
3%
Jonnu Smith Tennessee Titans TE
Smith is worth adding in deeper leagues in case Walker is out. Smith has two touchdowns on the season, and he's facing a Ravens defense that is top 10 in Fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Smith is worth 1 percent of your FAAB dollars.
1%
Adam Shaheen Chicago Bears TE
With Miller out for the rest of the season, hopefully we see Shaheen featured more on offense for the Bears. He's only worth speculating on in deeper leagues now since Chicago is on a bye. Shaheen is worth just 1 percent of your FAAB dollars.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, this is a tight end you can drop for this week.

  • O.J. Howard (57 percent): As I feared, Howard went from six targets in Week 7 at Buffalo to just two targets in Week 8 against Carolina. He will continue to be inconsistent, and now Winston is hurt. You should only stash him in deeper leagues.

DST streamers

  • Cardinals (37 percent) at SF 
  • Titans (35 percent) vs. BAL 
  • Giants (22 percent) vs. LAR 
  • Lions (48 percent) at GB 

K streamers

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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