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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets for Week 9: Buy Keke Coutee, Aaron Jones, More

Oct 31, 2018 10:00 PM EDT

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Keke Coutee, Aaron Jones

  • Ryan Collinsworth breaks down his best fantasy football waiver wire targets for Week 9, from handcuffs to top streaming quarterbacks and more.
  • With Will Fuller out for the season with a torn ACL, Keke Coutee is set up to work as the Texans' No. 2 wide receiver.
  • While there's an argument that Aaron Jones is too touchdown-reliant, he deserves to be rostered for his upside.

We have six teams on byes in Week 9: The Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. So expect heated competition on waivers as many fantasy owners look to stream replacements for bye-week players.

But not to worry. Each week I break down top waiver-wire targets to help your fantasy team navigate byes, injuries, suspensions, running-back committees and probably some relationship problems along the way.

I highlight players who are owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN fantasy leagues. I also recommend an auction price (in parentheses) for each player for leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget system (which I highly recommend, by the way). All recommendations are made based on a $100 FAAB budget.

Fantasy Football Injuries to Monitor for Week 9

For updates throughout the week, check out our NFL Injury Report.

It’s Cuffing Season

In life there are few absolute certainties: Death, taxes and fantasy football injuries. In this section, I highlight players to target on waivers when top players inevitably get hurt or suspended.

Keke Coutee, WR, Houston Texans ($25)

Coutee had a phenomenal start to his season, catching 17 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown in his first two weeks. Then he plummeted back down to earth in Weeks 6 and 7, managing only four receptions for 36 yards and no touchdowns combined.

Coutee is also nursing a nagging hamstring injury he suffered in the preseason and he missed the Texans’ Thursday night matchup against the Dolphins in Week 8. However, Will Fuller has been diagnosed with a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

That unfortunate news for Fuller is excellent news for Coutee.

Coutee will almost certainly slot in as the Texans’ No. 2 receiver for the rest of the season. He’s earned 30 targets through four games and should maintain, or even improve, that volume without Fuller demanding targets downfield. Moreover, without Fuller as a field-stretcher, Houston could opt for more short-to-intermediate passes, which greatly benefits Coutee as its slot receiver.

When healthy, Coutee is a starting fantasy WR2/WR3. Spare no expense in acquiring him if he’s available in your league this week.

Doug Martin and Jalen Richard, RBs, Oakland Raiders ($20)

Martin and Richard had nice fantasy performances in Week 8 and are each available in around 50% of ESPN leagues.

As expected, Martin commanded a dominant share of the Raiders’ rushing workload, while Richard led the team in targets and receptions. Martin is a nice RB2/flex target in standard settings, while Richard should deliver minimum flex value in PPR formats.

Oakland’s offense should provide sufficient volume to make them both viable fantasy starters with drastically different on-field roles for the Raiders.

Top Streaming Quarterback Options

Each week, I highlight top quarterback streaming options for Late Round QB-truthers. These quarterbacks are week-to-week options and are not necessarily viable long term.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2)

Head coach Dirk Koetter announced Monday that FitzMagic would return as the Buccaneers’ starter against the Panthers this week.

This is a move many saw coming after Jameis Winston’s pathetic four-interception performance against the Bengals. Winston was benched with 4:16 remaining in the third quarter, and in his place, Fitzpatrick threw for 194 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Buccaneers on an 18-3 run to close the game.

At this point, we know what we’re getting with Fitzpatrick: He’s capable of throwing for 400-plus yards in a game … or three-plus interceptions.

Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ryan Fitzpatrick

He’s as Jekyll-and-Hyde as quarterbacks come, but if you’re looking for a dart throw streaming option in Week 9, there’s no better upside play than Fitzy.

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys ($1)

While Fitzpatrick is a nice upside play, Prescott is the best floor option thanks to his rushing upside.

He’s averaged 57.5 rushing yards and has scored a rushing touchdown in each of his past two games. He was PPR QB2 in Week 6 and QB8 in Week 7. Now he draws an advantageous matchup against the Titans in Week 9.

Buy and Hold

The following players with season-long upside deserve immediate roster consideration.

Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers ($20)

It might finally be time to buy in on Jones.

He posted an excellent line against the Rams, rushing for 86 yards and a touchdown, while Jamaal Williams earned only four carries for nine yards.

Jones has looked like the Packers’ best running back this season but has suffered from frustratingly low usage in the Packers’ backfield committee with Williams and Ty Montgomery. However, if Jones’ most recent game is indicative of his future role, he could finally secure the No. 1 job for Green Bay.

Still, Jones relies on his elite rushing efficiency to maintain fantasy relevance. The Packers average 21.6 rush attempts per game, which ranks 29th in the NFL. Without high volume to buoy his floor from week to week, Jones might be more touchdown-reliant than fantasy owners would prefer.

Still, he continues to prove himself as a talented young running back and he deserves to be rostered for his upside alone.

Elijah McGuire, RB, New York Jets ($15)

McGuire inspired plenty of hype this offseason, with some reports suggesting he could earn the Jets’ No. 1 running back job by season’s start. A broken foot in July derailed that pipe dream and landed him on Injured Reserve to start the season.

However, he’s eligible to return from IR this week, and if he’s healthy, he has a chance to see an extended run in the Jets’ backfield.

Bilal Powell is on IR with a neck injury, and backup Trenton Cannon was underwhelming in limited action last week. Jets coaches have praised McGuire for his versatility, which could earn him an ample workload filling Powell’s previous role.

Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts ($12)

After missing five straight weeks with a hip injury, Doyle finally returned for the Colts in Week 8, catching six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. He out-snapped Eric Ebron 57 to 17 and out-targeted Ebron seven to three.

While Doyle’s performance is encouraging, Ebron’s role in the offense isn’t going away any time soon. Ebron has frequently operated out of the slot for Indianapolis, which means there’s likely room in the Colts’ offense for both tight ends.

Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jack Doyle

Indianapolis is on bye this week, but Doyle is still worth stashing on your bench due to his top-10 upside for the rest of the season.

DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins ($10)

The much-maligned Parker posted a huge receiving line this past week, catching six passes for 134 yards. A flurry of trade rumors have surrounded Parker this season, but with Albert Wilson (hip) out for the season and Kenny Stills (groin) questionable, Parker could secure a dedicated role as the Dolphins’ field-stretcher.

He’s a boom-or-bust option in a subpar offense, but he offers flex upside and is worth stashing on your bench.

David Moore, WR, Seattle Seahawks ($7)

Don’t look now, but Moore has quietly produced stellar numbers over his past three games.

Since Week 5, he’s caught nine passes for 182 yards and four touchdowns. He has averaged 13.5 PPR points per game over that stretch, which is good enough for WR11 status.

The Seahawks run the ball as much as any team in the NFL, which limits Moore’s target volume. However, his consistent red-zone usage has made up for his low receptions. He’s an intriguing streaming play from week to week to fill in for players on bye.

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The Watch List

Every week, I highlight players who should be on your watch list — players to monitor who aren’t necessarily worth an add this week but who could develop into viable season-long options. Current ESPN ownership percentage for each player is in parentheses.

  • Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears (8.6%)
  • Antonio Callaway, WR, Cleveland Browns (11.3%)
  • Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (48.9%)
  • Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals (20.4%)
  • Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (12.2%)
  • D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers (10.4%)
  • Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons (32.7%)
  • Jermaine Kearse, WR, New York Jets (12.9%)
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Green Bay Packers (3.3%)
  • Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints (17.1%)
  • Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (25.7%)
  • Vance McDonald, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (44.0%)
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