NFL fantasy football — waiver wire week 9 recommendations

Brendon Fairbairn

Illustration with the text Fantasy Football League Opinions and Predictions in the bottom left corner. The illustration being is 2 hands catching a football
(Graphic Illustration by Nick Perl | The Collegian)

As the NFL season continues and we leave week eight, your fantasy team picks become crucial. Unfortunately, again, there are new injury reports to consider. In week eight, we saw the best fantasy football player go down with a foot injury that puts him out indefinitely.

Of course, I am talking about Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry. There is no timetable on his return, but head coach Mike Vrabel should be hopeful for his return this season. If you’re like me and have Henry in one of your leagues, I have the perfect replacement for him. 

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Adrian Peterson is signing with the Titans because of the Henry injury, but I think the five-year veteran Jeremy McNichols will have more fantasy value than Peterson. He already knows the playbook and has chemistry with quarterback Ryan Tannehill and other players. He might not be a power back, and that’s OK — his receiving ability gives him more fantasy value.

McNichols only has 38 rushing yards on the season, but that was due to Henry having most of the workload. His receiving stats are a different story; he already has 203 receiving yards and one touchdown.

With Henry out of the mix, McNichols’ volume in the rushing and passing game will go up a lot. I know Peterson is one of the greatest running backs of all time, but we saw in Detroit that he is not the same player we saw 10 years ago. I feel like this move for Peterson was more for depth, and McNichols will get most of the workload.

Take my advice and make a claim for McNichols, who is only owned in 2.1% of leagues. I feel like everyone will be on Peterson but won’t realize he is 36 years old and on the verge of retirement. I mean, he was a free agent for a reason. Be ahead of everyone else and capitalize on their mistake of picking up Peterson.

Unfortunately, New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston tore his ACL Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is out for the season. Former Denver Broncos seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian stepped in and led the Saints to a victory, but this isn’t a waiver claim for Siemian. It is for Taysom Hill, the Swiss Army Knife for the Saints who plays offense, defense and special teams. He was in concussion protocol the last few games but is expected to return this week against a weak Atlanta Falcons secondary.

He only has 12 passing yards this season but has 77 yards on the ground and three rushing scores. We got a glimpse last year of Hill’s fantasy production when he took over for an injured Drew Brees. In his 2020 season, he had 928 passing yards, four touchdowns through the air, 457 rushing yards and eight scores on the ground, which gave him 148.62 fantasy points on the season. 

I think Hill is a possible streaming option for week nine because the Falcons have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. He might not be a QB1, but I think he is worth a bench spot if you don’t have a solid backup quarterback. Hill is owned in about 1% of leagues, but I expect that to change by this week. Make your claim for him now. 

My final waiver wire pick is Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker. He was injured the last three games but is finally back and healthy. Last Sunday, against a good Buffalo Bills secondary, he had eight catches on 11 targets with 85 receiving yards and 16.5 fantasy points. Will Fuller is still out, and Parker remains one of the best receivers in Miami. 

Tua Tagovailoa is also back and is having a high passing volume, which helps Parker’s fantasy production. He also has a favorable matchup against the Houston Texans this weekend, as they have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers. I have had Parker on my team all year, and I think you should pick him up as well — he can be a very consistent flex starter for you when healthy. Right now, he is only owned in about 56% of leagues, so there is a good chance he is on waivers in your league. 

Any of these three players will help your team this week, especially if one of your starters is on a bye week. We are almost over all the bye week humps, so snagging these players now will assist you in a playoff run. I will be back next week with more waiver wire tips to help you in week 10 and help your fantasy squad to the playoffs. 

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Reach Brendon Fairbairn at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Fairbairn_7.