Week 9 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Grabs: The Albatross

by Richard Savill
Week 13 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Grabs
Credit: Sammie Davis

Credit: Sammie Davis

One of the unsung and disturbing creatures in literature is the albatross from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The albatross is actually not a sinister character as in Poe's The Raven, but right from the introduction of the albatross, it hangs in the atmosphere throughout the rest of the tale. The saying, "like an albatross around one's neck", comes from the poem.

The problems for the Mariner stem from his rather arbitrary decision to shoot the albatross with a crossbow. This act unsettled the crew because at the time they weren't sure the albatross was a good omen or bad. The one thing certain among them was that killing the albatross could be a dangerous move. The mariner wrestles regretfully with the decision and thus the albatross "hangs around his neck" forever.

Have I mentioned fantasy football? Well, I guess I should get to that. You are starting to see the results of your early trades, drops, pickups, starts, sits and there is probably one key move that has defined your fantasy season to this point.

Do you have an albatross in your fantasy season? If so, it's best to leave it be - or is it?

Week 9 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Grabs

Bye Week: Cardinals, Bears, Bengals, Texans, Patriots, Redskins

I guess I could pull another quote from the The Rime of the Ancient Mariner when it comes to waivers these past few weeks and that is "water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink."

As usual, the percentages refer to Yahoo ownership and the players chosen are no higher than around 35%. You need to cut players, so why not get some advice from Alex Hamrick's drop list column?

Quarterbacks

Plenty of quarterbacks remain usable for Tom Brady owners. Andy Dalton and Kirk Cousins are off this week as well, so getting first crack at the night club quarterbacks isn't too important, so avoid making a claim and wait until Wednesday to select your bye filler with a free agent.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (23%)

Week 9 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Grabs

Credit: Keith Allison

Before the Ravens bye week, Flacco couldn't settle into a rhythm against the Jets who are mild against fantasy quarterbacks. He plays the great rival Pittsburgh at home this week. On paper, the Steelers are a much tougher opponent than the Jets, but this rivalry tends to throw stats out the window. Last year when the Steelers visited, Ryan Mallet started for the injured Flacco and put up 15 fantasy points.

That's not great you say, but remember the Ravens were without many playmakers last season due to other injuries. These Steelers-Ravens games are not always defensive wars that are low scoring either. It is also not unusual when Flacco plays the Steelers at home that he exceeds a 100 passer rating. Coming off a low performance like the Jets, expect the team well-rested and ready. Start Flacco.

Running Backs

Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs (9%)

A waiver grab dependent on the availability of Spencer Ware. Ware owners should try to claim him anyway. I know that might make a crowd of Chiefs on your bench with Jamaal Charles already occupying a spot. However, West needs owning in case Ware doesn't get an all-clear from the concussion protocol in time for Sunday. Charles keeps having issues with his knee recovery, so I doubt we'll see much of him until later this month.

Tim Hightower, New Orleans Saints (5%)

Okay, this is just plain wrong. Mark Ingram rode the pine all day on Sunday after a fumble resulted in Seahawks touchdown. Ingram has averaged 12.7 rushing attempts per game and he's never been over 18 yet. Hightower carried 26 times for 102 yards. More importantly, there was no John Kuhn in sight for the goal line punches. Hightower got it all and even though he didn't score, it was total poison for Ingram owners to witness.

Hightower is on the fringes of speculation, because we just might see Ingram right back out there. I'll bet on Ingram back in regular duty against the soft 49ers, but if you want to try and out-guess Sean Payton, you can risk starting Hightower in this heavy bye week. If reports about Hightower working heavy with the first teamers comes along, take that for what it's worth. Nothing is fantasy serious with Sean Payton.

Ronnie Hillman, Minnesota Vikings (3%)

A better speculative addition than Hightower for me is Ronnie Hillman. The running game without Adrian Peterson really looks awful. Matt Asiata is currently getting the volume, but nothing is working for the Vikings. The team gave up against the Bears and there was no spirit in their determination to win the game.

I would grab Hillman on the possibility of a shakeup where they give him an opportunity to wake up the offense. As for starting him, just wait for the news throughout the week. Although Asiata dampens some upside for volume, you might see Hillman announced as the starter. If that's the case, it would be nice to have Hillman locked away before the waiver rush.

Robert Kelley, Redskins (35%)

First, the Redskins are on a bye, and second, Matt Jones might return to his role as feature back if healthy enough. The Vikings were opening holes like swiss cheese for Jordan Howard on Monday night, so a steady running attack eventually wears them down. Stash Kelley.

Antone Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1%)

A grab dependent on the availability of Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers. Another injury fill replacement for the Bucs looks likely especially since this is a short week for the team. Considering how Koetter just runs the life out of running backs, you can count on decent production. I'll include Peyton Barber (7%) here as well, because we are really unsure which running back Dirk wants to work on (or into) the ground. Both should be picked up and both should have opportunity. I'll give Smith a slight edge.

Wide Receivers

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (3%)

Week 9 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Grabs

Credit: Brook Ward

One of the top grabs this week. If Nick Foles starts in place of the very seldom injured Alex Smith, I believe it adds upside to Tyreek Hill's value. He's still the number two behind Maclin, but at least a pecking order of some measure is forming in Kansas City. Foles, while having no real value himself, is better than Smith for medium and long range bombs.

With the Chiefs running backs below par in health, the passing game suddenly takes on extra importance. I still expect the Chiefs to run first, especially if Spencer Ware plays, but the opportunities for both Maclin and Hill certainly have a better chance of trending up than down. The Jaguars are a great matchup too; they are among the top ten in allowing fantasy points to receivers.

J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals (3%)

The Cardinals are in the bye week, but you need to roster Nelson anyway. The writing was on the wall for Michael Floyd several weeks ago and now he is no longer an amigo. J.J. Nelson holds that spot and you might be able to flex Nelson at your pleasure. Nelson is a speedy receiver and if he breaks coverage, goodbye. I would say JJ Nelson and John Brown share similar attributes, so I expect the edge in targets will always go to Brown one week, and Nelson the next.

It would really help matters for everyone if Palmer could break out of his slump. Eventually, a poor quarterback will affect the receivers, so it would really give upside to all if Carson Palmer could return to better form.

Dorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles (9%)

Mentioned in this column last week. Well, the usage keeps going up for DGB and on Sunday he was targetted twice his usual amount. The Eagles are desperate for a big playmaker, but Green-Beckham isn't quite there yet. They have another name you might start hearing about, Bryce Treggs, but that's for another column. Green-Beckham really looks like that slow learner type, but eager to get it right. I am noticing that the more he plays, the better he gets. Stash and play cautiously in good matchups. Nelson Agholor's drops are pulling him way off the radar now. Count DGB as the Eagles number two.

Tight Ends

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (14%)

Affectionately known as "Fido", Fiedorowicz is making himself the prime target of Brock Osweiler. Just like name Fido suggests, he is a consistent and steady fantasy tight end producer. There aren't many of those in the NFL. His last four games show steady targetting of seven per game with the odd touchdown thrown in. For PPR, you need something better than just a plug. Fido is playable even in bad matchups, so get him on your roster if you are sick of streaming junk tight ends.

For the watch list...

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (12%)

Okay, the production is up. Alright, way up. Patterson gets far too many looks from Sam Bradford and is a fantasy deceiver. Keep him watchlisted, but there's no sense in putting a waiver claim for him. If you are desperate in this bye week, Victor Cruz would be far the better choice.

Kapri Bibbs, RB, Denver Broncos (7%)

How do you like your new shiny running back? You know who I mean - Devontae Booker. Get him handcuffed with this guy. Bibbs has no standalone value to anyone, but Booker briefly left the game on Sunday and is dealing with a shoulder injury. Rather than watch the status of Booker's condition, owners need to insure themselves now just in case. Non-owners will be watching and ready to pounce if you do not. Bibbs would be a bulging volume play if Booker can't go on Sunday.

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