Happy Halloween, fantasy football players! I thought about ways to make this a “Spooky Waiver Wire” article, but what’s scarier than 12 teams on bye between two weeks? Teams on bye for Week 9 include the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers. That means we’ll be losing the likes of Jordan Howard, Melvin Gordon, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown, just to name a few.
Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens – 5.5% Owned (NFL.com Leagues)
Terrance West was originally the starting running back for the Baltimore Ravens. He has not practiced since Week 5 with a calf injury, and since then, Alex Collins has been splitting the work with fellow running back Javorius Allen. Collins has gotten double-digit carries since Week 5, although he has not been very active in the passing game. He had a good game with over 100 yards on the ground against a decent defense in the Miami Dolphins, and will have pleasing match-ups coming up in Tennessee and Green Bay. If Terrance West remains inactive moving forward, Alex Collins remains a decent FLEX option.
Matt Breida – San Francisco 49ers – 1.1% Owned
Yes, Matt Breida is the backup to running back Carlos Hyde in San Francisco. However, the 49ers are 0-8 and likely have nothing to play for. Therefore, the team should see what they have in Matt Breida. The Niners have already moved linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Navarro Bowman, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they shipped out Carlos Hyde as well. That’s not to say you should pick up Matt Breida only if Hyde gets traded, as I think he’s worth a pickup regardless. Breida is active in the passing game (which makes up for his smaller number of carries) and has proven that he can break off big plays. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues, especially in PPR formats.
Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – 10.6% Owned
Today seems to be the “backup running back” special (spooky, right?). What’s truly scary, however, is that the Colts refuse to utilize wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and running back Marlon Mack. However, that seems to be changing as Mack has gotten double-digit touches in the last two games. The rookie out of South Florida has also scored in three of the six games he’s played in. Marlon Mack has shown some big-play potential and has upside in a somewhat underrated Colts offense. He’s worth a start in deeper leagues with a good match-up.
Robby Anderson – New York Jets – 2.4% Owned
Remember when I recommended Jets tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins because the team just didn’t have anyone else to pass to? As luck would have it, they do have another weapon in the passing game, and his name is Robby Anderson. Anderson flashed talent late last season, and seems to have carved out a role for himself in this offense, averaging 6.5 targets a game. He has three touchdowns on the season and has logged four games with over 50 yards. A telling sign of his role is the game against New England in which he was targeted 12 times, meaning that the offense will look to him when they need something big. He’s worth a start in most leagues, even against a stout Buffalo defense this Thursday, and depending on who you have on bye this week.
Paul Richardson – Seattle Seahawks – 11.2% Owned
Of all the games this Sunday that I thought would have almost 80 total points, Houston vs Seattle was not one of them. Paul Richardson had himself a day, receiving 105 yards and two touchdowns on six catches, including a 48-yard catch to help the Seahawks win. As mentioned before with Robby Anderson, the fact that the offense went to Richardson for the clutch play bodes well for his role in the offense. What also bodes well is that the Seattle Seahawks just can’t find a running game, leading the offense to pass much more. He has five touchdowns on the season, and needs to be owned in all leagues.
Josh Doctson – Washington Redskins – 4.2% Owned
Even though he only caught one pass for a one-yard touchdown this past Sunday, Josh Doctson is a key part of the Redskins offense. The main reasons for picking him up are that he was given the start over fellow wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, and also has three touchdowns over the last five games. The Redskins will play some scary passing defenses in the coming weeks, but the top corners will likely stick to the top receiver on the Redskins. In this case, it helps that Josh Doctson is not the top receiver for Washington yet, as he will be more able to find targets. He’s worth a start in deeper PPR leagues.
Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – 10.9% Owned
Even with a seemingly sputtering Falcons offense, Austin Hooper has been getting his share. The numbers haven’t been flashy since his Week 1 explosion against the Bears, but he has been consistent. Over the last few weeks he has averaged just under six targets per game. With opposing defenses focusing on star wide receiver Julio Jones, Hooper could find his way through the cracks for some decent production. He’s worth starting for those going through the bye-pocalpyse, or those just in deeper leagues.
A.J. Derby – Denver Broncos – 1.0% Owned
Although at the time of writing he has yet to play in Week 8 (and is listed as questionable for Monday Night), A.J. Derby has a chance to produce in this Denver offense, especially if wide receiever Emmanuel Sanders continues to be plagued by injury. He has averaged just under five targets a game over the last four games and has shown talent that could yield more targets. He faces a few tough defenses in the coming weeks, but could prove to help owners in a pinch if necessary.
Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – 67.3% Owned
This is one of those waiver wire pick-ups where he’s probably owned in your league, but if not, he must be. This is especially true with tight ends Rob Gronkowski, Hunter Henry, and Kyle Rudolph all going on bye in Week 9. Doyle is averaging just under seven targets a game. In two of his last three games, Jack Doyle has double-digit targets to go along with two touchdowns. As mentioned before, the Indianapolis Colts just refuse to use star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, and for the time being Jack Doyle is the top pass catcher for that offense. He needs to be owned and started in all leagues.