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NFL Week 9 fantasy football waiver wire targets

Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Carolina Panthers running back D'Onta Foreman (33) runs the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers RB duo remain must-adds: D’Onta Foreman had no problem leading the Panthers backfield without Chuba Hubbard, but both backs should have a prominent role as we advance.

Rondale Moore puts up big numbers: Moore remains a clear starter in Arizona. He scored and put up 100 yards in Week 8.

Greg Dulcich TE1 streak continues: Dulcich has been a top-12 fantasy tight end every week he’s been on the Broncos' active roster.

Estimated reading time: 18 minutes

Jump to a position group:

QB | RB | WR | TE


Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (Rostered in 26.2% of leagues on ESPN)

Fields threw for two touchdowns and ran in a third en route to the third-best quarterback performance for the week.

  • This was Fields' fourth consecutive game as a top-12 fantasy quarterback.
  • His 76 carries, 423 rushing yards and three touchdowns are all second-most among quarterbacks this season.
  • He's a fantasy starter almost for his rushing production alone.
  • Fields’ 10.1-yard average depth of target is the highest among starting quarterbacks this season, which will give him opportunities for big plays in the passing game.
  • He’s slowly seeing improvements in his wide receivers: N’Keal Harry has emerged as his new WR2, while Byron Pringle has returned to practice. 

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (42.6%)

Goff threw for one touchdown and over 300 yards in the Lions' loss to the Dolphins.

  • He ranks ninth on the season in passing yards (1,904), even though the Lions were on a bye last week. 
  • His 12 passing touchdowns are tied for seventh at the position.
  • Goff has recently put up some bad statistical games, but he was missing several key players.
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown was back to his usual role in Week 8, and D’Andre Swift was at least on the active roster again.
  • Both D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams will ideally be back by the fantasy playoffs.
  • Detroit has the eighth-best schedule for quarterbacks over the rest of the season.

Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons (24.0%)

Mariota racked up three touchdowns, 253 passing yards and 43 rushing yards in the Falcons' overtime victory.

  • Mariota was the QB12 heading into this week and put up his fourth top-10 fantasy performance of the season.
  • His 10.0-yard average depth of target is the second-highest among starters, but he relies heavily on his rushing production.
  • He ranks top-five in both rushing attempts (54) and rushing touchdowns (2).
  • The Falcons have the second-easiest schedule for the rest of the season. They could win the division, making it unlikely they will make a quarterback change anytime soon.

Andy Dalton, New Orleans Saints (20.4%)

Dalton put together a solid 229-yard performance with two passing touchdowns in the Saints' blowout victory.

  • Because of this game script, Dalton's fantasy numbers were relatively low compared to the other quarterbacks. The Saints' dominance worked against his fantasy value.
  • Dalton remains one of the highest-graded quarterbacks of the season due to his accurate passes.
  • He has a stronger hold on the Saints' starting job after the shutout victory.
  • His next two opponents are bottom-nine in terms of allowing fantasy points to QBs. He can be a particularly strong fill-in for teams that need a bye-week replacement.
  • He could eventually get Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry back, which would only help Dalton’s numbers.

P.J. Walker, Carolina Panthers (2.1%)

Walker threw for 300 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers' loss to the Falcons.

  • His 494 passing yards over the last two weeks are the seventh-most at the position.
  • His PFF grade will likely rank in the top 10 over that time, so he'll probably keep his starting job for the foreseeable future.
  • He probably won’t be a consistent fantasy starter outside of superflex leagues, but he is the best option available in deeper leagues where the four players above are taken.

Running Back

Nyheim Hines, Buffalo Bills (45.7%)

Hines joins the Bills via trade, where he will have a chance to be the top man on a team that scores a lot of touchdowns.

  • Hines is a much better receiver than Devin Singletary. His 1.67 yards per route run over the last three seasons are tied for second-best among running backs with at least 500 routes run. Singletary’s 0.74 is the third-worst.
  • Singletary is still the better rusher, so Hines is unlikely to start.
  • Buffalo typically rotates by drive rather than situation, so we could see both backs get used interchangeably, or the team could change how they rotate their running backs.
  • The trade means Hines should play more than he did in Indianapolis. There is a chance Hines could become a viable fantasy player in Buffalo depending on how much playing time he receives and the Bills' willingness to throw to running backs more often.
  • Every running back available on the waiver wire is a part of a two or more-man committee. Hines is not the safest bet of the group, but he has the most upside in arguably the best offense in the NFL.

D’Onta Foreman (66.1%) & Chuba Hubbard (35.6%), Carolina Panthers

Foreman had no problem taking the lead in the Panthers backfield without Hubbard, putting up a dominant game on the ground.

  • Foreman took a clear majority of snaps in most situations, leading to his dominant game on the ground.
  • He gained 118 yards on 26 carries and scored three touchdowns.
  • It’s worth remembering that Hubbard had double the carries and ran more routes than Foreman in three quarters before his Week 7 injury.
  • Foreman has rarely played on third downs over the last two weeks, which indicates that Hubbard will still see the receiving work when healthy.
  • We would expect Foreman to lead the team in carries, given how well he has played, but that is still no sure thing.
  • The Panthers have been very reliant on their backs, so both players are worth rostering, regardless of how the snaps are split.


Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (47.8%)

Herbert continues to be the Bears' most productive running back on the ground, which is earning him more carries.

  • Herbert isn’t playing nearly as much as David Montgomery, but he typically touches the ball whenever he’s on the field.
  • The Bears continued their tradition of using only Montgomery over their first two drives. 
  • Herbert ran the ball 16 times compared to Montgomery's nine after that point.
  • He has 564 rushing yards to Montgomery's 361 this season despite Montgomery having just one more carry.
  • Herbert has reached the point where he could be considered for starting lineups in games Chicago can keep close.
  • The Bears’ schedule has been more difficult than average over the first half of the season but will be easier over the second half, leading to more rushing opportunities.


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