usatsi-15224926-168392141-lowres.jpg
USA Today Images

There's going to be a ton of injury news to keep up with this week, with the likes of Jameis Winston (knee), James Robinson (ankle), Sam Darnold (concussion), and Davante Adams (COVID-19) all at least looking to be in doubt for Week 9, but nothing will be as impactful as what we learned Monday morning: That Derrick Henry will miss at least six weeks, and potentially the rest of the season, after suffering a foot injury in Week 8 that will require surgery. 

I wrote about Henry's injury and the Titans decision to sign Adrian Peterson Monday, and what that means for Fantasy. And ... I'm not exactly beating down the door or blowing up my FAB budget to make sure I can add Peterson this week:

But it's hard to see him being a must-start option at this point. Peterson has never been a great pass-catching option, and he had just 12 catches in 16 games for the Lions last season, and that was a team that threw to their running backs quite a bit. The Titans don't do that nearly as much, and even with Henry seeing an expanded role as a pass catcher this season, he was still barely on pace for 40 catches in 17 games. I would take the under on that pace for Peterson even if he does end up the lead back.

Which is all to say, Peterson's best-case scenario is he falls into that Elijah Mitchell/Damien Harris/Antonio Gibson/Nick Chubb archetype of players who rely heavily on volume and touchdowns to be Fantasy starters. And he would almost certainly fall toward the lower end of that hierarchy. Maybe you could be looking at between 60 and 70 all-purpose yards per game, with a touchdown being the difference between a low-end RB3 performance and a low-end No. 2 performance most weeks. 

That's going to be one of the key situations to follow for Week 9, especially with waivers set to run tonight. For more on what will be another busy week for Fantasy, make sure you tune in to Fantasy Football Today on CBS Sports HQ at noon ET, and for help locking in your waiver-wire claims join Jamey, Adam Aizer, and me on the FFT YouTube stream tonight at 8 p.m., where we'll be taking your questions live for an hour. If you've got any questions before then, as always, you can email me at Chris.Towers@ViacomCBS.com with the subject line "#AskFFT" to be included this week -- including in tomorrow's trade mailbag. 

And here's what we've got on tap in today's newsletter: 

  • ➕Top Week 9 Waiver Wire Targets
  • 📈Week 9 Rankings📉

➕Top Week 9 Waiver Wire Targets

malcolmbrown.jpg
Rondale Moore scores in Week 2.  Douglas DeFelice / USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully, this week's waiver options will be able to make an impact, and there are a few who certainly have the opportunity. You can find Jamey's entire breakdown here. We're gonna need the help: 

Jamey Eisenberg's top targets

  1. Boston Scott (39% rostered) -- Kenneth Gainwell was the top waiver-wire priority last week, and all I can say about that is ... pobody's nerfect? It might have just been a game script situation, as the Eagles had the most run-heavy play split of any team in the league this season in their 44-6 win over the Lions and Gainwell may just be the primary passing down's back. But Scott is a solid pass catcher and they clearly trust him more as a runner. The presence of Jordan Howard complicates things, but I'd bet on Scott being the best back here for Fantasy. 
  2. Taysom Hill (4%) -- I might prefer Justin Fields if I just need a starter this week, and I'm not sure Tua Tagovailoa should be far behind Hill even if you're looking longer term, but Hill should probably be the priority of you're chasing upside. We just don't know if he'll play this week. 
  3. Adrian Peterson (0%) -- As I said before, there's a pretty good chance Peterson is useful for Fantasy but a pretty slim chance he's a must-start guy. You've gotta figure out what that's worth to you. My ideal approach might be to add Peterson and then immediately trade him away to some RB-needy team. 
  4. DeVante Parker (51%) -- Parker has played three games with Tua Tagovailoa as the starter this season and he has 77 yards in each of them. The Dolphins have been pretty pass-heavy and Tagovailoa has looked much better of late. Add in a matchup against the Texans and Parker is a solid starter this week, at least. 
  5. Pat Freiermuth (18%) -- With Juju Smith-Schuster out for the season, there's room for another pass-catcher to step up for the Steelers, and Freiermuth has 14 targets over his past two games. I'm not ready to crown him as a must-start TE, but there's clearly upside here with the second-round rookie. 

📈Week 9 Rankings📉

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Reinhold Matay / USA TODAY Sports

Here's where things stand for me in my first run through of the Week 9 rankings for PPR leagues. You can find Jamey, Dave, and Heath's rankings right here:

Quarterbacks

With Jameis Winston out for the year with a torn ACL, we're hoping Taysom Hill will be able to start for the Saints, because he's got plenty of upside as a Fantasy quarterback.  We've seen glimpses of that over the years with his rushing prowess, especially near the end zone, and we got an extended glimpse in 2020, when he averaged 23 Fantasy points per game in four starts. He's got easy top-12 potential for Week 9's great matchup against the Falcons, and beyond. 

The problem is, we're not actually sure if he's going to start. Hill hasn't played since Week 5 against Washington when he suffered a concussion on a pass route, and it's not even clear if he has practiced since. Hill had 465 passing yards, two touchdowns and 131 rushing yards with two more touchdowns in two starts against the Falcons last season, but if he isn't able to play, the Saints will turn to Trevor Siemian to start. Siemian might be a fine backup, but he's a lot less interesting for Fantasy -- and he would probably be pretty bad news for the Saints offense as a whole. So, let's hope Hill is able to get back to 100% this week. 

  1. Josh Allen @JAX
  2. Lamar Jackson vs. MIN
  3. Patrick Mahomes vs. GB
  4. Dak Prescott vs. DEN
  5. Kyler Murray @SF
  6. Matthew Stafford vs. TEN
  7. Jalen Hurts vs. LAC
  8. Justin Herbert @PHI
  9. Aaron Rodgers @KC
  10. Tua Tagovailoa vs. HOU
  11. Ryan Tannehill @LAR
  12. Derek Carr @NYG 
  13. Taysom Hill vs. ATL
  14. Daniel Jones vs. LV
  15. Carson Wentz vs. NYJ
  16. Joe Burrow vs. CLE
  17. Kirk Cousins @BAL
  18. Teddy Bridgewater @DAL
  19. Justin Fields @PIT
  20. Ben Roethlisberger vs. CHI
  21. Trevor Lawrence vs. BUF
  22. Mac Jones @CAR
  23. Baker Mayfield @CIN
  24. Jimmy Garoppolo vs. ARI

Running backs

With another superstar running back going down with an injury, you might think the position is especially thin for Week 9, but that actually isn't really true at the top, at least. Of the top 12 in preseason ADP, eight are going to be available for sure and should be considered must-start Fantasy options, and two more -- Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey -- could be back from their injuries. At least among the top options, things are OK. 

Of course, if you've been paying attention you know that the top of the position is hardly the only thing that matters, and it gets a lot dicier once you get outside of the top 12. Cordarrelle Patterson is my No. 11 RB for this week, and he's got a tough matchup against the Saints coming off a pretty ugly game for the Falcons offense without Calvin Ridley. He's no sure thing, and neither is Michael Carter, my No. 12 RB in PPR leagues. His passing game role has been super valuable with Mike White at QB throwing 40% of his passes to running backs, but he also hasn't done much as a runner and really only has two good Fantasy games for the season. You should start him, but you shouldn't necessarily feel great about it. 

And things only get sketchier from there, with a menagerie of backups and small-sample-size heroes making up much of the RB2 tier. 

  1. Najee Harris vs. CHI
  2. Austin Ekeler @PHI
  3. Ezekiel Elliott vs. DEN
  4. Alvin Kamara vs. ATL
  5. Aaron Jones @KC
  6. Dalvin Cook @BAL
  7. Darrell Henderson vs. TEN
  8. Jonathan Taylor vs. NYJ
  9. Joe Mixon vs. CLE
  10. Nick Chubb @CIN
  11. Cordarrelle Patterson @NO
  12. Michael Carter @IND
  13. Josh Jacobs @NYG
  14. Devontae Booker vs. LV
  15. Chase Edmonds @SF
  16. Elijah Mitchell vs. ARI
  17. Myles Gaskin vs. HOU
  18. Khalil Herbert @PIT
  19. Damien Harris @CAR
  20. Chuba Hubbard vs. NE
  21. Darrel Williams vs. GB
  22. Mike Davis @NO
  23. Boston Scott vs. LAC
  24. Zack Moss @JAX
  25. Melvin Gordon @DAL
  26. Carlos Hyde vs. BUF
  27. Javonte Williams @DAL
  28. Adrian Peterson @LAR
  29. AJ Dillon @KC
  30. James Conner @SF
  31. Ty Johnson @IND
  32. Tony Pollard vs. DEN
  33. David Johnson @MIA
  34. Devonta Freeman vs. MIN
  35. Devin Singletary @JAX
  36. Kenyan Drake @NYG
  37. Brandon Bolden @CAR
  38. Nyheim Hines vs. NYJ
  39. D'Ernest Johnson @CIN
  40. Kenneth Gainwell vs. LAC
  41. Alexander Mattison @BAL
  42. Salvon Ahmed vs. HOU
  43. Damien Williams @PIT
  44. Jeremy McNichols @LAR
  45. Sony Michel vs. TEN
  46. Rhamondre Stevenson @CAR
  47. Mark Ingram vs. ATL
  48. Derrick Gore vs. GB

Wide receivers

Week 7 was the worst bye week for Fantasy this season, but Week 9 is coming close at wide receiver, with Terry McLaurin, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, D.K. Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett all out this week. And with Calvin Ridley (personal reasons) away from the team and Davante Adams, Julio Jones, and T.Y. Hilton in question as the week opens, and the deepest position in Fantasy is looking a bit shallow.

Even assuming Adams will get the two negative COVID-19 tests he needs to be cleared, you might find yourself struggling to fill out your WR spots this week, but the good news is there are some guys on waivers I'm actually OK grabbing and sticking into my lineup, starting with DeVante Parker. Parker has at least 77 yards in three of five games -- including all three with Tua Tagovailoa -- and he's got a great matchup against the Texans to take advantage of this week. He's a top-24 WR for me this week, and I'd also be willing to use Jarvis Landry (WR31), Jamison Crowder (33), and Brandon Aiyuk (36) if I was in a pinch. 

  1. Davante Adams @KC
  2. Cooper Kupp vs. TEN
  3. Tyreek Hill vs. GB
  4. Deebo Samuel vs. ARI
  5. A.J. Brown @LAR
  6. Justin Jefferson @BAL
  7. Ja'Marr Chase vs. CLE
  8. Stefon Diggs @JAX
  9. Diontae Johnson vs. CHI
  10. Keenan Allen @PHI
  11. Mike Williams @PHI
  12. CeeDee Lamb vs. DEN
  13. DeAndre Hopkins @SF
  14. Marquise Brown vs. MIN
  15. D.J. Moore vs. NE
  16. Brandin Cooks @MIA
  17. Courtland Sutton @DAL
  18. Amari Cooper vs. DEN
  19. Michael Pittman vs. NYJ
  20. Tee Higgins vs. CLE
  21. Jaylen Waddle vs. HOU
  22. Robert Woods vs. TEN
  23. Chase Claypool vs. CHI
  24. DeVante Parker vs. HOU
  25. Adam Thielen @BAL
  26. DeVonta Smith vs. LAC
  27. Sterling Shepard vs. LV
  28. Jerry Jeudy @DAL
  29. Emmanuel Sanders @JAX
  30. Marvin Jones vs. BUF
  31. Jarvis Landry @CIN
  32. Cole Beasley @JAX
  33. Jamison Crowder @IND
  34. Jakobi Meyers @CAR
  35. Hunter Renfrow @NYG
  36. Brandon Aiyuk vs. ARI
  37. Darnell Mooney @PIT
  38. Laviska Shenault vs. BUF
  39. Mecole Hardman vs. GB
  40. A.J. Green @SF
  41. Corey Davis @IND
  42. Allen Robinson @PIT
  43. Kadarius Toney vs. LV
  44. Tim Patrick @DAL
  45. Rondale Moore @SF
  46. Henry Ruggs @NYG
  47. Rashod Bateman vs. MIN
  48. Russell Gage @NO

Tight ends

On the Fantasy Football Today Facebook page last week, someone pointed out that, hey, maybe tight end isn't such a disaster anymore. And he was right! But, it's the kind of thing you don't want to acknowledge out loud, lest you jinx it. And, guess what happened: Zach Ertz, Noah Fant, Dalton Schultz, Mike Gesicki, Tyler Higbee, Ricky Seals-Jones, Hunter Henry and Rob Gronkowski all flopped. Tight ends are very easily scared, you see, you can't acknowledge when they are doing well.

In all seriousness, that's just the way this position works. There just aren't that many truly special players who can make an impact every week, so most of them are pretty touchdown dependent most weeks. A bunch of those players are still starting-caliber tight ends for me in Week 9, but it was just a reminder that the truly elite players are still rare, and they still stand out. 

  1. Travis Kelce vs. GB
  2. Darren Waller @NYG
  3. Mark Andrews vs. MIN
  4. Kyle Pitts @NO
  5. Dallas Goedert vs. LAC
  6. Mike Gesicki vs. HOU
  7. Dalton Schultz vs. DEN
  8. Noah Fant @DAL
  9. Pat Freiermuth vs. CHI
  10. Hunter Henry @CAR
  11. Jared Cook @PHI
  12. Dan Arnold vs. BUF
  13. Tyler Higbee vs. TEN
  14. Evan Engram vs. LV
  15. Tyler Conklin @BAL
  16. Cole Kmet @PIT
  17. Zach Ertz @SF
  18. David Njoku @CIN
  19. Austin Hooper @CIN
  20. Anthony Firkser @LAR
  21. Mo Alie-Cox vs. NYJ
  22. Tommy Sweeney @JAX
  23. Blake Jarwin vs. DEN
  24. C.J. Uzomah vs. CLE

Top-150 Flex Rankings

  1. Najee Harris vs. CHI
  2. Davante Adams @KC
  3. Cooper Kupp vs. TEN
  4. Austin Ekeler @PHI
  5. Tyreek Hill vs. GB
  6. Ezekiel Elliott vs. DEN
  7. Alvin Kamara vs. ATL
  8. Deebo Samuel vs. ARI
  9. A.J. Brown @LAR
  10. Aaron Jones @KC
  11. Justin Jefferson @BAL
  12. Dalvin Cook @BAL
  13. Ja'Marr Chase vs. CLE
  14. Jonathan Taylor vs. NYJ
  15. Darrell Henderson vs. TEN
  16. Travis Kelce vs. GB
  17. Stefon Diggs @JAX
  18. Joe Mixon vs. CLE
  19. Diontae Johnson vs. CHI
  20. Keenan Allen @PHI
  21. Darren Waller @NYG
  22. Nick Chubb @CIN
  23. Mike Williams @PHI
  24. CeeDee Lamb vs. DEN
  25. DeAndre Hopkins @SF
  26. Marquise Brown vs. MIN
  27. Cordarrelle Patterson @NO
  28. Michael Carter @IND
  29. D.J. Moore vs. NE
  30. Brandin Cooks @MIA
  31. Mark Andrews vs. MIN
  32. Courtland Sutton @DAL
  33. Josh Jacobs @NYG
  34. Devontae Booker vs. LV
  35. Amari Cooper vs. DEN
  36. Chase Edmonds @SF
  37. Michael Pittman vs. NYJ
  38. Elijah Mitchell vs. ARI
  39. Tee Higgins vs. CLE
  40. Kyle Pitts @NO
  41. Jaylen Waddle vs. HOU
  42. Myles Gaskin vs. HOU
  43. Robert Woods vs. TEN
  44. Khalil Herbert @PIT
  45. Chase Claypool vs. CHI
  46. DeVante Parker vs. HOU
  47. Damien Harris @CAR
  48. Dallas Goedert vs. LAC
  49. Adam Thielen @BAL
  50. Chuba Hubbard vs. NE
  51. DeVonta Smith vs. LAC
  52. Sterling Shepard vs. LV
  53. Jerry Jeudy @DAL
  54. Emmanuel Sanders @JAX
  55. Darrel Williams vs. GB
  56. Marvin Jones vs. BUF
  57. Jarvis Landry @CIN
  58. Mike Davis @NO
  59. Cole Beasley @JAX
  60. Mike Gesicki vs. HOU
  61. Jamison Crowder @IND
  62. Boston Scott vs. LAC
  63. Jakobi Meyers @CAR
  64. Dalton Schultz vs. DEN
  65. Zack Moss @JAX
  66. Melvin Gordon @DAL
  67. Hunter Renfrow @NYG
  68. Carlos Hyde vs. BUF
  69. Brandon Aiyuk vs. ARI
  70. Javonte Williams @DAL
  71. Darnell Mooney @PIT
  72. Adrian Peterson @LAR
  73. AJ Dillon @KC
  74. Noah Fant @DAL
  75. Laviska Shenault vs. BUF
  76. James Conner @SF
  77. Mecole Hardman vs. GB
  78. A.J. Green @SF
  79. Corey Davis @IND
  80. Allen Robinson @PIT
  81. Kadarius Toney vs. LV
  82. Ty Johnson @IND
  83. Tim Patrick @DAL
  84. Tony Pollard vs. DEN
  85. David Johnson @MIA
  86. Devonta Freeman vs. MIN
  87. Devin Singletary @JAX
  88. Rondale Moore @SF
  89. Kenyan Drake @NYG
  90. Henry Ruggs @NYG
  91. Rashod Bateman vs. MIN
  92. Pat Freiermuth vs. CHI
  93. Brandon Bolden @CAR
  94. Russell Gage @NO
  95. Odell Beckham @CIN
  96. Nyheim Hines vs. NYJ
  97. D'Ernest Johnson @CIN
  98. Hunter Henry @CAR
  99. Nelson Agholor @CAR
  100. Kenneth Gainwell vs. LAC
  101. Jared Cook @PHI
  102. Robby Anderson vs. NE
  103. Tyler Boyd vs. CLE
  104. Dan Arnold vs. BUF
  105. Christian Kirk @SF
  106. Bryan Edwards @NYG
  107. Sammy Watkins vs. MIN
  108. Tyler Higbee vs. TEN
  109. Zach Pascal vs. NYJ
  110. Alexander Mattison @BAL
  111. Darius Slayton vs. LV
  112. K.J. Osborn @BAL
  113. Evan Engram vs. LV
  114. Salvon Ahmed vs. HOU
  115. Tyler Conklin @BAL
  116. Cole Kmet @PIT
  117. Tajae Sharpe @NO
  118. Zach Ertz @SF
  119. Marquez Callaway vs. ATL
  120. Jamal Agnew vs. BUF
  121. Allen Lazard @KC
  122. Damien Williams @PIT
  123. Jeremy McNichols @LAR
  124. Van Jefferson vs. TEN
  125. David Njoku @CIN
  126. Sony Michel vs. TEN
  127. Elijah Moore @IND
  128. Austin Hooper @CIN
  129. Kendrick Bourne @CAR
  130. Danny Amendola @MIA
  131. Marquez Valdes-Scantling @KC
  132. Rhamondre Stevenson @CAR
  133. Mark Ingram vs. ATL
  134. Quez Watkins vs. LAC
  135. Nico Collins @MIA
  136. Derrick Gore vs. GB
  137. Demarcus Robinson vs. GB
  138. Le'Veon Bell vs. MIN
  139. Deonte Harris vs. ATL
  140. Anthony Firkser @LAR
  141. Dare Ogunbowale vs. BUF
  142. Ty'Son Williams vs. MIN
  143. Mo Alie-Cox vs. NYJ
  144. Terrace Marshall vs. NE
  145. Josh Reynolds @LAR
  146. Tommy Sweeney @JAX
  147. Mohamed Sanu vs. ARI
  148. Olamide Zaccheaus @NO
  149. Blake Jarwin vs. DEN
  150. Rex Burkhead @MIA