By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston)- Fantasy owners were able to escape from Week 8 without too many serious injuries, a nice change from the last few weeks that saw numerous fantasy contributors go down.
While we didn’t see too many players get hurt, we did see some breakout performances that could lead to increases in playing time for certain players. As we know, the biggest part of fantasy success is opportunity, and several players earned more opportunities with their big games this past Sunday.
The calendar has officially flipped to November, which means only a few weeks remain until the start of the fantasy postseason. Every year, there seems to be a couple of players picked up in the second half of the season that turn out to be league-winners. Don’t miss your chance to snag a possible game-changing player on the wire this week.
Here are the top waiver wire adds for Week 9.
QB Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders- Carr didn’t have to do much in Las Vegas’ Week 8 win over the Browns. The game had just 22 total points scored between the two teams as the Raiders dominated the time of possession in their 16-6 win. Carr attempted only 24 pass attempts and completed 15 of them for 112 yards and a score. However, the Raiders are likely going to have to lean on the offense a whole lot more in Week 9 with a matchup against the Chargers and impressive rookie QB Justin Herbert coming up. Carr is averaging over 240 passing yards a game in his career against the Chargers. With this game turning into a possible shootout between the two AFC West teams, Carr is a solid streaming option in Week 9.
QB Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings- I know, I know, it’s almost impossible to trust Kirk Cousins for fantasy purposes. In Minnesota’s impressive Week 8 win over the Packers, Cousins attempted just 14 passes, completing 11 of them for 160 yards and a touchdown. Those numbers are far from impressive, but considering how much success Dalvin Cook was having running the ball on Sunday, it could have been much worse. Cousins has quietly accumulated four multi-touchdown games this season, and a Week 9 matchup against the Detroit Lions could easily make it five. Phillip Rivers just threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cousins put up similar production in Week 9. Cousins is another solid streaming option this week.
RB Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills- Zack Moss received a season-high 14 touches against the Patriots in Week
8, and boy did he make the most of his opportunity. The rookie running back carried the ball 14 times for 81 yards (5.8 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in Buffalo’s 24-21 win, marking the second consecutive week in which he finished with an average yards per carry of 5.8 yards or more (he rushed the ball seven times for 47 yards in Week 7). Devin Singletary isn’t going anywhere, as he took 14 carries for 86 yards himself. The Bills seem to prefer using Moss near the goal line though, which means he should continue to offer at least FLEX value moving forward. An injury to Singletary would pave the way for Moss to become a bell cow back for the Bills, which would make him a must-start every week.
RB Damien Harris, New England Patriots- Harris has only been active for four of New England’s games this season. How has he done in those four contests? Harris reached the 100-yard rushing mark in two of his four games, including this past Sunday’s performance in which he ran for 102 yards on 16 carries (6.4 yards per carry) and a touchdown. While his production was great, the more important number to look at was his number of carries. Harris’ 16 carries were 10 more than any other Pats running back (Rex Burkhead, 6 carries), showing that he is clearly New England’s preferred ball-carrier. The Patriots have lost four consecutive games, but a Week 9 matchup against the Jets should snap that streak. Harris is averaging 5.7 yards per carry on 49 rush attempts this season, and is almost a must-start in Week 9 as the Pats travel to MetLife Stadium for a Monday night showdown against the winless Jets.
RB Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens- This recommendation goes for rookie J.K. Dobbins as well, as both backs went off in Mark Ingram’s absence in Week 8. Edwards led the team with 16 rush attempts, gaining 87 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and a touchdown against a tough Steelers rush defense. Edwards produced all of his stats on just 32 percent of Baltimore’s offensive snaps, as Dobbins was actually on the field for 66 percent of the snaps. Dobbins is likely unavailable in your league, but there’s a chance Edwards could still be sitting there on the waiver wire. If Ingram is back for the Week 9 contest against the Colts, it would be difficult to trust any of the backs as Baltimore seems to enjoy using a three man committee. But if Ingram remains out, both Dobbins and Edwards make solid FLEX plays. If you could choose between the two, I’d go for the rookie second round pick. But if Dobbins is already gone, grab Edwards in case he’s thrust into the starting role again in Week 9.
WR Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans- Believe it or not, Davis has been one of the most consistent fantasy receivers this season. Due to his stint with COVID, Davis has only suited up for five games this season, and in PPR leagues, Davis has managed double digit fantasy points in all five contests. The veteran receiver has caught a touchdown pass in three different games, and just recorded his second 100-yard receiving day on the year. More importantly, Davis has gotten a team-high 10 targets in two consecutive games, scoring touchdowns in both games. Even with A.J. Brown active, Ryan Tannehill has looked in Davis’ direction more (20 targets for Davis, 15 for Brown over the last two weeks). Davis’ early-season production no longer looks like a fluke.
WR Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears- Mooney has shown flashes at times this season, but Week 8 looked like his true welcome to the NFL performance. The rookie fifth-round pick was targeted six times against the Saints on Sunday and finished the game with five receptions for a season-high 69 yards and a touchdown. Mooney has now seen at least five targets in three consecutive games, although he only turned that into 11 receptions. Regardless of the quarterback play the Bears have gotten this season, several of Chicago’s pass-catchers have been able to turn into consistent fantasy contributors. Mooney is the next man to join that group. A Week 9 matchup against the Titans looks like a great opportunity for Mooney to continue his recent success.
WR Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco 49ers- It’s hard to imagine any team in the league has been hit by the injury bug harder than the 49ers. The reigning NFC champions are dealing with injuries up and down the roster on both sides of the ball. In Week 8, the 49ers were already down Deebo Samuel, who is expected to miss another game or two. They then lost star tight end George Kittle, and while we don’t know the extent of the injury yet, it’s hard to believe he’ll be on the field for SF’s Thursday night game against the Packers. With Samuel and Kittle out, it was Bourne that stepped up in the 49ers’ offense. Brandon Aiyuk got 11 targets, hardly a surprise with the way the rookie receiver has been playing in recent weeks, but Bourne was right behind him with 10 targets. He turned that into eight receptions for 81 yards, and could be looking at a similar outlook in Week 9. Keep the eye on the injury report over the next few days, but Bourne is looking primed for another big role in Thursday’s game.
TE Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team- Washington’s Week 8 bye has seemingly quieted the buzz around Logan Thomas. In the two weeks leading up to the bye week, Thomas caught seven passes total for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas was getting some love at the beginning of the season before awful quarterback play killed his fantasy value. Kyle Allen has brought a little bit of stability to the quarterback position for Washington, tossing two touchdowns in each of his last two games. Thomas will face the Giants in Week 9, one of the teams he recently caught a touchdown pass against. Thomas finished that game with three receptions for 42 yards and the score, and is firmly on the streaming radar for this rematch in Week 9.
TE Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers- It took him a few weeks to get comfortable in the new offense, but Ebron has looked like his usual self over the last few weeks. The Steelers tight end reeled in four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown in their win over the Ravens on Sunday. Ebron now has at least three receptions and 43 yards in five of the last six games while catching touchdowns in two of those contests. Pittsburgh has an extremely appealing matchup this coming week as they will travel to Dallas to take on the reeling Cowboys. While they did limit Dallas Goedert this past week, Logan Thomas caught four passes for 60 yards and a TD in Week 7. Ebron is firmly in the streaming mix for this Week 9 game.