You guessed it, more injuries leading to some very important Waiver Wire decisions. Let's dive right in and look at the best candidates that could be available in your leagues.
Will Levis, Tennessee Titans (7% rostered) – After a stagnant ad underwhelming start to the season for Tennessee’s offense, the rookie Levis finally got a chance and sparked the Titans to a big win over the Atlanta Falcons. Levis was a prospect that many projected to go very early in Round 1, but fell to the second and got his first start this past week. He put together 238 yards and 4 touchdowns for a huge day, and most importantly didn’t turn the ball over. I imagine Levis will continue to be the starter going forward, so he’s a must-add in Superflex leagues, and a nice bench stash in 1QB. Levis has a tough schedule upcoming against the Steelers, Bucs and Jaguars with all three games on the road. There’s probably a better starting option still in 1QB leagues, but unless you have a top guy Levis should definitely be added to the bench to see how he navigates these next few games. In Superflex leagues he’s worth a ton of FAAB or high waiver priority.
Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (46% rostered) – I imagine Howell is owned in most leagues at this point, butcheck to see if he’s out there. He put up his best game of the season this past week against Philly and has been over 18 fantasy points in 5 games this season. Since the disaster game in Buffalo, Howell is averaging over 20 points per game and gets an attractive schedule upcoming against the Patriots, Seahawksand Giants. He still has the potential for a dud given the high amount of turnovers and sacks he takes, but has shown to have a ton of upside. A few rush attempts each game adds a little to the floor also.
Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers (26% rostered) – After a tough 3 games stretch to start his career, Young has bounced back nicely over the last 3 games. He hasn’t provided a ton of ceiling, with his best game of 20 points coming 3 weeks ago, buthas shown improvement week to week and put together 12 and 14 points the last two weeks. It’s nothing to write home about, but Young gets the Colts and Bears the next two weeks, two of the worst defenses in the NFL, so you should toss him on the end of the bench to see if he continues to improve.
Leonard Fournette, Buffalo Bills (10% rostered) – After rumors of Buffalo being interested in trading for a back, like Derrick Henry, they went a different direction and signed free agent Fournette to a cheap deal. I don’t see a world where Fournette comes in and becomes the absolute bellcow, but at best could replace Latavius Murray as a compliment to Cook and sees a handful of touches each game. Not someone you’ll grab and start immediately, but stash him on the bench a few weeks to see how involved he becomes in the offense.
Not much else too interesting this week, so here’s a few guys that have high ownership and most likely wouldn’t be available, but worth a check and are top priorities if available.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (73% rostered) – The clear leader in the Raven’s backfield. Over 20 points in back-to-back weeks.
Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams (59% rostered) – Out touched Royce Freeman again even though Freeman got the TD. Double digits in back-to-back weeks.
Emari Demercado, Arizona Cardinals (46% rostered) – 18+ opportunities in back to back weeks. Clear leader until Conner is back.
Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (67% rostered) – Looks to have taken over lead role from Sanders. 17+ opportunities each of the last two weeks.
Demario Douglas, New England Patriots (6% rostered) – Douglas seems to be one of the last men standing for New England’s receiving room. Kenrick Bourne unfortunately tore his ACL and will miss the season after a solid breakout to start the year. Juju Smith Schuster is slowly coming back from his own injury, and Davante Parker left this past week’s game early. Douglas was drafted by New England this past draft, and has seen his snaps significantly jump over the last two weeks. He’s played 62% and 77% of snaps the last two weeks, and seen over 6 targets in both games. Great matchups against Indianapolis and New England upcoming could put Douglas in the FLEX consideration the next two weeks.
Khalil Shakir, Buffalo Bills (4% rostered) – Shakir had his best game of the season this past week, playing 65% of snaps (season high) and caught 6 of 6 targets for 92 yards. There could be some sustainability to Shakir’s usage, given that it’s coincided with tight end Dawson Knox going on IR. The Bills ran two TE sets at a high rate, and the loss of Knox could mean a philosophy shift on offense with more receivers on the field, benefitting Shakir until Knox is back. Dalton Kincaid has seemingly broken out which probably keeps Shakir as the #4 option in the passing game, but the Bills throw a ton so Shakir should still see 5-6 targets each game for a few weeks.
Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders (55% rostered) – Slightly higher roster ownership, but I’ve seen Dotson get dropped in a ton of leagues, and he’s seen 8+ targets each of the last two weeks. Howell is cooking right now and throwing the ball a ton, so long as he continues to see around 8 targets per game, he should be in FLEX consideration. We know he has the talent, as evident by his rookie season, we just need to see Howell continue to feed him consistently.
Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers (37% rostered) – Johnston had sky-high hype once Mike Williams was lost for the season, and has failed to deliver at all since, scoring 3 or less PPR points in every game this season, up until Week 8. Johnston isn’t someone I would grab and start immediately, but he caught 5 of 6 targets for 50 yards against the Bears. He was a first round pick this past year, and has huge upside, so worth stashing to see if he continues to get more work.
Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals (30% rostered) – The top tight end prospect in the draft two years ago, McBride has been stuck behind Zach Ertz so far in his career. Ertz recently went to IR and in his first opportunity as the lead guy, McBride put together a monster performance, playing 82% of snaps, catching 10 of 14 targets for 95 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown came very late in the game when it was out of hand, but 14 targets is incredible. McBride was already seeing 5-6 targets the last few games with Ertz, and should continue to be heavily involved. If you missed out on Kincaid, McBride should be a nice consolation prize.
DST Stream of the Week
Green Bay Packers (12% rostered) – After a good start to the season, the Rams’ offense has been sputtering lately, and we saw QB Matthew Stafford leave the Dallas game early with a hand injury. The Rams bye is in Week 10, so there’s a high chance we see Stafford sit Week 9 to try and heal up for two weeks. The Packers are only 2-point home favorites at the moment, but I imagine that line swings heavier towards Green Bay if news comes out about Stafford expecting to miss, and the Over/Under creeps lower. Never a bad idea to target a DST at home against a back-up QB.
Good luck everyone and as always, stay true.