By Jeff Specker, Sports Writer
Navigating the waiver wire can be difficult, but it’s a crucial part of winning your fantasy football league. The ability to snag players that are having a breakout season is vital, just ask Odell Beckham Jr. owners from last year. According to ESPN, OBJ was owned on nearly one-third of championship fantasy teams. Along with raw breakout seasons, you also have to watch for injuries. Just because injuries may hurt your team doesn’t mean they can’t help you either. When stars go down (LeVeon Bell) backups get their chance to shine, not only on the gridiron, but in the virtual world as well.
Before we get started I am going to shamelessly plug that my advice has been just about golden so far this year including suggestions such as Devonta Freeman, Andy Dalton, Antonio Gates (before his return from injury), Stefon Diggs, DeAngelo Williams, and Willie Snead.
Below are some waiver pickups that might help for week nine.
Antonio Andrews RB – The Titans brought in a new head coach this past week in Mike Mularkey who immediately dubbed Antonio Andrews the workhorse. The new look Titans offense will feature plenty of early down runs in which Antonio Andrews figures to be heavily involved with Dexter McCluster mixing in as the change of pace option. While his ceiling isn’t incredibly high, it is hard to find a RB this late in the season that is handling 15+ carries per game, making Andrews a must add in all formats. Antonio’s final line in week 9 was 19 carries for 88 yards and 1 reception for 23 yards.
Karlos Williams RB – Karlos Williams, the backup behind Lesean McCoy in Buffalo, was on a tear early in the year, averaging over 12 fantasy points (standard) through the first four weeks of the season. A concussion sidelined Karlos until week nine, and he picked up right where he left off handling 9 carries for 110 yards and 2 TD’s against the Dolphins this past Sunday. Lesean McCoy was in and out of the game throughout the day as he suffered multiple injuries to his right shoulder, leaving Karlos as the presumed starter for week 10. If you miss out on the Antonio Andrews sweepstakes, Karlos Williams makes for a strong RB2/Flex option in all formats.
Richard Rodgers TE – Rodgers is a typical boom or bust player, dependent heavily on touchdowns for points in a Green Bay offense that doesn’t rely very heavily on the tight-end position. However, Rodgers has seen an increase in targets recently with the dip in performance of other Green Bay wideouts and has flung into the top 15 fantasy tight-ends on the season and he’s due to play a weak Detroit defense twice in the next four weeks.
James Starks RB – We are now approaching week 10, and the leading rusher for the Green Bay Packers is Starks with 334 yards. Eddie Lacy didn’t help matters by fumbling and being benched in the 2nd quarter Sunday, before exiting in the 3rd quarter with a groin injury. This is still an incredibly murky situation in Green Bay, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the feature back owners took in the first round isn’t going to emerge from this season long slump, and James Starks is a guy who should be owned in all formats. If Lacy can’t get healthy this week, James Starks will see 15+ carries against the Detroit Lions, giving him solid RB2 value in 10+ team leagues.
Dorial Green-Beckham WR – The talent of Dorial Green-Beckham has never really been in question, but the volume hasn’t been high enough to warrant consideration in most leagues to this point in the season. With new coach Mike Mularkey in town, this could be a turning point in the Titans offense as DGB entered the week with just 9 total targets in his last 3 weeks before seeing a whopping 10 targets to go with 5 receptions for 77 yards. Kendall Wright (knee) was out this week, and is expected to return soon which will limit DGB’s upside, but he is in a position to breakout if given enough targets. I probably wouldn’t start him, but he could add some nice WR depth to a bench, or make a decent play for anyone struggling with byes.