Welcome to the Week 9 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2021 season. Nearly at the halfway point of the longest and most chaotic season riddled with an infinite number of injuries, the wire continues to be observed and scraped for talent in order to plug any immediate holes all the while keeping one eye on the fantasy postseason. With so few impact players remaining, FAAB suggestions should be taken with a grain of salt and increased/decreased for necessity, especially when expecting a bidding war for a(ny) backfield player.
As a refresher, The Drop List consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended additions are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the Watch List contains in-depth notes on fringe waiver adds, and Deep Cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.
The Drop List
Having broken the fifth metatarsal in his foot on Sunday, Derrick Henry will reportedly miss “6-10 weeks” and push to return if the Titans are in a tight postseason race at the end of the year. In other words, his best-case scenario leaves managers debating whether or not to play him off foot surgery for all the marbles in the most important fantasy matchup of the season. I lean towards the (realistic) expectation that he won’t return at all and would drop him for Adrian Peterson outright as a one-for-one trade-off…Dalvin Cook has handled 49-of-56 backfield touches since returning at full strength in Minnesota’s last two games, rendering Alexander Mattison useless on seven total touches behind him. Strictly a contingency option for as long as Cook is healthy, Mattison, a league-winning stash in 10-team leagues, may not be able to stay rostered on shallower benches while patching for injuries and bye weeks…There’s no way to know just how long Calvin Ridley will be out after stepping away from football to preserve his mental health. As someone who also struggled mentally during the pandemic and ultimately settled into a friend’s basement with cold water, I genuinely wish Ridley all the best and hope he comes back stronger…Allen Robinson followed up his season-low 12.5% target share on Justin Fields’ season-high 32 pass attempts against the Bucs with another three-catch dud for 21 yards. Robinson has not eclipsed 65 receiving yards in 10 consecutive games, scoring only one touchdown in that span, dating back to last year.
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Overall Top 5
High-Stakes Top 5
For those looking to roster the best available player(s) regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus players’ actual positions for both recreational and high-stakes (FFPC, NFFC, etc.) formats, the latter which have far fewer viable players available with every passing week. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in those leagues ahead of Week 9. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster — touches, high-upside bench stashes, targets, one-week spot-starters, etc.
Contingency Top 10
For those looking to stash the best available backup(s) with minimum standalone value, the rankings above were designed to help prioritize direct backups in the event a player in front of them were absent. These are listed in the precise order I would stash them ahead of Week 9. Presumed targets, touches, environment, remaining schedule, etc. are included in the process.
Michael Carter rostered in 68 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 RB add if available.
J.D. McKissic rostered in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 RB add if available.
Cole Beasley rostered in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 WR add if available.
Brandon Aiyuk rostered in 51 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 WR add if available.
George Kittle rostered in 93 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 TE add if available.
1. Miami Dolphins
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Las Vegas Raiders