If you’re looking for immediate help on the waiver wire for Week 9, there isn’t a lot of it. Injuries have ravaged the position of late, which has sent many fantasy managers to the waiver wire already. With that in mind, there are still a couple of viable options, as well some players to consider for the long term, who are still available in the majority of ESPN leagues and are worth taking a look at.
Mark Walton, Miami Dolphins (12 percent rostered)
If you’ve been reading this column and haven’t picked up Walton already, you’ve probably missed out on your chance to grab him at a cheap price if your league uses FAAB bidding. He was already trending in the direction of more playing time and now Kenyan Drake has been traded to the Cardinals. Kalen Ballage will also receive some work and will probably be more involved in the red zone, but Walton is the better add of the two. With that being said, if you can’t grab Walton, taking a flier on Ballage, who is only rostered in seven percent of leagues, could also be a wise move.
Benny Snell/Jaylen Samuels/Trey Edmunds, Pittsburgh Steelers (6.5/11.7/0.0 percent)
James Conner appeared to suffer a shoulder injury on his final play in Week 8 garbage time. It remains to be seen what the extent of the injury is, but it will be worth watching. Samuels was inactive with a knee injury and Snell left with a knee injury of his own. This will be a situation to monitor.
Chris Thompson, Washington (40 percent)
Thompson has missed the last two weeks with a toe injury, which is probably why he isn’t more widely rostered. Although Adrian Peterson is the primary running back for Washington, Thompson is more involved in the passing game, racking up 27 receptions for 276 yards on 38 targets across six games. Coach Bill Callahan has already said that he is hopeful Thompson will return for Week 9 against the Bills, making Thompson a viable add for those who play in PPR leagues.
Tra Carson, Detroit Lions (zero percent)
While all the hype surrounded Ty Johnson taking over a featured role in Week 8, it was Carson who led the team in carries without Kerryon Johnson. He only turned his 12 carries into 34 yards, but Ty Johnson received just seven carries while J.D. McKissic carried the ball once. If you’re desperate or in a very deep league, Carson is at least worth taking a chance on.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (18 percent)
We’ve reached the handcuffs portion of this week’s article. With their being so few viable options available, taking a chance on a backup who could thrive if his team’s starter went down might not be a bad idea. Dalvin Cook has been a monster for the Vikings, who have built their offense around running the ball. Even with Cook being extremely busy, Mattison already has three games this season in which he has received at least 10 carries. In all three of those contests, he rushed for at least 58 yards. If you already have Cook on your team, rostering Mattison should be a priority if you can afford the bench spot. Even if you don’t have Cook on your squad, Mattison is someone to consider if your bench has the room.