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Fantasy Football: 5 waiver-wire targets before Week 9

2RT3C40 New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) warms up before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

• If you can’t start New Orleans Saints QB Derek Carr in Week 9, he’s never going to be startable: With a treasure trove of weapons and a favorable matchup against the Chicago Bears, Derek Carr could earn his third top-12 finish this season.

• The Los Angeles Rams might favor Darrell Henderson, but they’ll likely need to get RB Royce Freeman involved for support in a favorable matchup: The Rams will need to establish the run now more than ever with an injury to Matthew Stafford, which could result in a viable fantasy week for Royce Freeman.

Dallas Cowboys WR Brandin Cooks is on a two-game touchdown streak and will look to make it a third: Consider Cooks a viable streamer this week against an Eagles defense allowing just under 40 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

With the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos all out on a Week 9 bye, fantasy managers may find themselves scrambling for some last-second flex plays with favorable matchups to fill the gaps. Here are five players to consider adding from the waiver wire heading if you’re in a pinch heading into Week 9.

WR:CB Matchup Chart


QB Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints

Streaming Carr isn’t for the faint of heart, my friends. It’s not likely to be pretty, but in a week following the loss of Kirk Cousins for the season and four top-13 fantasy scorers missing on a bye week, we’ll need to get creative to put together our very best lineups.

Despite the general joke that has been the Chicago Bears this season, their rushing defense has been stout, as its allowed the third-fewest rushing yards for a league-low 3.3 yards per carry average. The Bears are allowing the third-lowest EPA per carry this year, which can only mean one thing — the Saints are going to have to throw the ball early and often. To date this season, the Bears are allowing the fourth-most completions, third-most passing yards and the fifth-highest passing touchdown percentage to opposing quarterbacks. Fire up Carr with hopes that he can deliver some of those touchdowns to his talented group of receivers.

Available in 69% of ESPN leagues and 33% of Yahoo! Leagues.


RB Royce Freeman, Los Angeles Rams

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