Steve Miller | October 29th, 2019
It’s that time of year – the time where fantasy rosters feel stagnant and stale. I am always looking to wheel and deal in late October to help stack my lineup for the playoffs, but I’m also keeping an eye on the waiver wire for a late season gem. Guys like Jaylen Samuels last season or Tim Hightower a few years back can become late season league winners in fantasy football, you just have to pick them up.
So, let’s take a look at some options on the week nine waiver wire:
Kenyan Drake (62%)
Oh, what a difference a week makes. For those of you who chased Chase Edmonds‘ great performance (myself included), the injury bug bit you. Edmonds will now miss a few weeks, and David Johnson should be back before he is. In the wake of the top two running backs hitting the pine, the Cardinals went out and traded for Drake. If you’re really weak at running back, Drake makes for a decent filler and could hold value throughout the season if the other two running backs can’t stay healthy. Drake fits this offensive scheme well.
Diontae Johnson (12%)
He’s a stud when Mason Rudolph is on the field and it looks like that’s going to be the case next week, so if you’re looking for a bye-week fill-in, Johnson might be that ticket. In Rudolph’s four starts, Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster have been virtual clones. Each has 27 targets, three touchdowns, though Johnson trials JuJu 274 to 240 in yardage. Johnson is available and as long as Rudolph is starting, he’s a flex-worthy player and a guy to own in 12-team leagues.
Mark Walton (34%)
With Drake headed to Arizona, this backfield appears to be up for grabs, and second-year back Walton looks to be the favorite for lead duties. Walton handled 11 carries to Kalen Ballage‘s three last night, though neither back was particularly impressive. Personally, I won’t be rostering him, as I don’t want to ever start a Dolphins player this year (so far, so good), but for those zero-RB teams, he’s going to get touches, and volume is king in fantasy.
Jamaal Williams (62%)
The “lesser” of the two running backs, Williams quietly scored a pair of touchdown in the win this past week. I say quietly because Aaron Jones has been the RB1 since week two this year, and Williams is simply his “second-fiddle” if you will. However, Williams’ past three weeks have been very strong. He has a receiving touchdown in all three games, plus 100 yards on the ground once, two touchdowns once, and at least three catches in every game. He’s not a lock to find the end zone in the future, but the Packers offense is clicking and both backs are feasting. Sign me up.
Chris Herndon (28%)
I’ve talked about Herndon before and the same message bodes true here. Tight end is a weak position and Herndon has the talent to succeed. I wouldn’t be starting him but in leagues with a deeper bench and thin tight end waiver options, Herndon is a great stash.
Kareem Hunt (58%)
We’re just one week away from Hunt returning to the field (possibly) and I’m trying to grab him in every format. Running backs with Hunt’s level of talent are few and far between, and the Brown’s schedule is lighter on the back half. I expect Hunt to see 12-15 touches in the first few games back, easing the load on Nick Chubb, and possibly seeing far more of the targets. He has a chance to be a fantasy champion maker this year.
A.J. Green (84%)
It sounds like Green is nearing a return. While he is available in just 16% of leagues, it’s 16% too many. He may only be active for a handful of games, but if he is getting back to form after a few weeks, he’ll be a prime flex player during the fantasy playoffs.
Jaylen Samuels (21%)
Saving the best for last and by best, I mean biggest opportunity. It appears James Conner is dealing with an AC joint injury (see our own Dr. Beth Sullivan for more information on Conner’s injury), which means Samuels is in a position to be the workhorse back in Pittsburgh, for at least next week it seems. Samuels won titles for teams in 2018 and could be a key piece in getting teams to the playoffs here in 2019. Pick him up, and if he’s the starting guy, he’s in my starting lineups.
That’s it – go forth and conquer your league mates.
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