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NFL Week 9 fantasy football waiver wire targets

2RWF1G3 Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard runs against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

• Several quarterback options: A few common names on this list put up big numbers amid a week of several quarterback injuries.

• Big games out of free agent tight ends: Recent waiver targets Jake Ferguson, Logan Thomas and Trey McBride are still available in several leagues, and each scored a touchdown this past week.

• Wait for the trade deadline: The trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, which is before most fantasy leagues require managers to turn in waivers. Trades could shift who the best running backs and wide receivers off the waiver wire this week are.

Estimated Reading Time: 18 minutes


Week 8 of the 2023 NFL season is just about in the books. Here are the players you should be targeting in your fantasy football leagues, including targets in smaller leagues and deeper leagues, as well as players to avoid.

Jump to a position group:

QB | RB | WR | TE

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Quarterback

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (Rostered in 31.2% of leagues on ESPN)

Arizona opened Murray’s 21-day practice window a week and a half ago, and he was a full participant in practice this past week.

  • The Cardinals already stated Joshua Dobbs will start for at least one more week.
  • The team’s coaching staff will want to see if Murray is the franchise’s long-term quarterback or if they should draft a signal-caller, so we can expect Murray to be the starter for the rest of the season once healthy.
  • Murray has averaged at least 18.6 PPR points per game in all four of his seasons, but his fantasy production — including his rushing workload — was on the decline in 2022.
  • This is his first season with the new coaching staff, which adds uncertainty.
  • He might be the only quarterback available off the waiver wire for the rest of the season who has several top-five finishes as realistic outcomes.

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (30.3%)

Howell completed 39 of his 52 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns as the Commanders attempted a comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles.

  • Howell remains the clear league leader in dropbacks (369) this season with 369. Patrick Mahomes is in second with 342.
  • Howell’s quality of play hasn’t been as good as plenty of other quarterbacks, but the volume has led him to 2,146 passing yards (fifth) and 13 touchdowns (tied for sixth).
  • This was the third time in the past four weeks that Howell finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback.
  • He’s not only worth having on your roster but is also worth starting when the Commanders are underdogs or expected to be in a close game.
  • Washington has a rough matchup against the New England Patriots next week. The Commanders could be favorites, and New England has been good at stopping fantasy quarterbacks but not as good against the run.

Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints (20.9%)

Carr completed 19 of his 27 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Carr was off to a slow start this season, but he has finished as a top-15 fantasy quarterback in each of his past four games.
  • He ranks in the top 10 this season in both dropbacks and passing yards.
  • He might not be a fantasy starter in most weeks, but he’s a particularly good option for anyone looking for a quarterback this upcoming week.
  • The Saints have a strong matchup against the Chicago Bears next week. Chicago averaged 18 fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks before this past week, and Justin Herbert just threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns against them.
  • With so many quarterback injuries this past week, Carr is a great option for any fantasy team with a short-term injury at the position.

Will Levis, Tennessee Titans (0.9%)

Levis completed 19 of his 29 passes for 238 yards and four touchdowns in his first NFL start.

  • There were reports Malik Willis would also see significant playing time at quarterback, but he took only two snaps.
  • Levis accomplished his big game with an unsustainably high big-time throw rate. His 12.3-yard average depth of target was the highest among quarterbacks this week — and the seventh highest in a game this season.
  • Only three of his non-touchdown passes went for first downs.
  • While he’s unlikely to continue scoring this many fantasy points on such few passes, it was still very good for a quarterback’s first start.

There is no guarantee Levis remains the starter once Ryan Tannehill is healthy, but it’s generally good to take chances on rookies who are playing well.


Running Back

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (42.9%)

Miles Sanders was a full participant in practice this past week, but Hubbard still commanded the backfield.

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