As the injured and/or Covid list continues to grow our bar for replacement players has to get a little bit lower.
Looking to the waiver wire doesn't offer a lot of certainty, but it certainly offers some upside. The one exception to the lack of floor is Sterling Shepard.
Shepard has dominated targets for the Giants since returning and he was close to a 25% target share in games with Daniel Jones last year. He has a good matchup against Washington, and I really can't think of any reason he'd still be available in more than half of leagues.
If you don't want to risk the Tampa Bay situation and you can't find Shepard, a pair of Jaguars would be my next choice, Keelan Cole and Laviska Shenault. Jacksonville is doing all it can to leak out that they expect their passing game to be better with rookie Jake Luton starting. Cole and Shenault have both topped double-digit Fantasy points in four of seven games and have a great matchup against the Texans.
If you really want to shoot for the moon (and have no floor at all), Mecole Hardman is still available in nearly half of leagues. Hardman has six targets in two games this season and topped 18 Fantasy points in both of them. Sammy Watkins is out again, leaving Hardman with more opportunity to blast off.
After Shepard, the waiver-wire options at receiver are long on upside but short on reliability.
More Week 9 help: Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: All Positions | Starts & Sits, Sleepers & Busts | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: QB | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: RB | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: WR | Biggest Questions | Waiver Wire | Trade Values | Cut List | Winners and Losers | Believe It or Not
Week 9 WR Preview
The following players are not being projected to play Week 9:
NYG N.Y. Giants • #19
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are both in play.
ATL Atlanta • #18
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheus could be flexes.
T.Y. Hilton WR
IND Indianapolis • #13
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
There probably isn't a Colts receiver to start in Week 9.
Numbers to Know
- 22.5 -- Marvin Hall's average depth of target. He could be an interesting boom-or-bust flex if Matthew Stafford is cleared to return.
- 8.1 -- Mecole Hardman is the only receiver besides Deebo Samuel averaging more than 8 yards per catch after the reception.
- 10.6 -- Only Jamison Crowder has more targets per game than Keenan Allen's 10.6.
- 45.4% -- Terry McLaurin's has accounted for nearly half of his team's air yards, which leads the NFL.
- 27 -- The Vikings have thrown more than 27 passes in a game just twice all season.
- 15 -- Emmanuel Sanders had three straight games with at least 15 Fantasy points before he went on the Covid list.
- 4 -- Four different players have led the Steelers in targets this season. JuJu Smith-Schuster is still not one of them.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
NYG N.Y. Giants • #3
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Shepard has 18 targets in two games since returning from injury. Considering he had a target share near 25% with Daniel Jones in 2019, it seems safe to assume Shepard will be a borderline No. 2 receiver in PPR and a solid No. 3 in non.
Keelan Cole WR
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #88
Age: 28 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Cole won't cost you much in terms of FAAB and the quarterback change is scary, but he scored double-digit PPR points n four of seven games before the bye and topped 15 points in three of those games. This Jacksonville passing game should still be high volume, and the Texans pass defense is not very good.
JAC Jacksonville • #10
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
I'd rather roster Shenault than Cole or Bourne if I didn't need a starter. I'm hopeful Shenault really takes off after the bye, but the quarterback change and his lack of involvement before the bye make it hard to trust him.
Scott Miller WR
TB Tampa Bay • #10
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Miller actually leads Tampa Bay in receiving yards this season. But even as high as I have him projected I recognize Brown (and possbly Godwin) pose a serious risk.
SEA Seattle • #16
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
I don't really buy the every other week thing with Lockett, but I do buy that the Bills will be more focused on taking away Metcalf this week, which should make things easier for Lockett. Truth be told, I'll have a lot of lineups with Lockett, Metcalf and Stefon Diggs this week.
CHI Chicago • #12
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
The Bears should be chasing the score against the Titans. The Titans secondary, while improved, is still not very good. And Robinson wasn't thrilled with his reduction in targets the past couple of games. Expect Nick Foles to feed him early and often in this game.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 9 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big-time last season.