Now that we’ve reached the halfway point of the NFL season, we’ve officially seen enough football to determine which players have solidified roles in their respective offenses. Whether injuries have occurred or unexpected players have stepped up, we must react and make adjustments each and every week.
I’ll help you decide which fantasy football waiver wire pickups you should be making that could benefit your fantasy teams now, later in the season, or just for the upcoming Week 9.
Note: Free-Agent Acquisition Budget dollar bid prices for Week 9 are based on a season-long budget of $100. Adjust your percentage and scale accordingly for your league’s unique FAAB allotment and your remaining FAAB dollars.
Roster % is based on Yahoo! Fantasy leagues information as of 12 PM EST on Monday, November 1.
2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 9: Top Pickups
Jeremy McNichols & Adrian Peterson, RB, Tennessee Titans (5% & 6% rostered)
Derrick Henry suffered a significant foot injury in Week 8 which may cause him to miss the remainder of the 2021 regular season. This is a huge blow to the Tennessee Titans and all fantasy managers with Henry on their rosters, many of whom spent a top-3 draft pick on him.
The Titans were quick to react by signing future Hall-of-Famer Adrian Peterson to the practice squad on Monday, but no one will replace the historically elite production of King Henry. Tennessee will likely lean more on Ryan Tannehill and their passing game going forward, but will still need to feature a rushing attack to maintain a balanced offense.
While Peterson will need some time to learn the offense, Jeremy McNichols should be the next man up as he has the second-most touches in the Titans’ backfield. McNichols has just 38 yards on 7 rushes on the season, but his real value has been as a pass-catcher. He leads Tennessee’s backs in targets (27), receptions (21), receiving yards (203), and has the only receiving touchdown.
With Tannehill expected to air it out more during the second half, McNichols should see his role expand significantly, making him a top target in PPR leagues. Even if Peterson ends up handling the bulk of the carries, McNichols should remain Tennessee’s primary receiving back. Be careful spending too much on Peterson thinking he’ll be the bell-cow back.
- Jeremy McNichols Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $28
- Adrian Peterson Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $17
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Trevor Siemian, QB, New Orleans Saints (0% rostered)
Similar to Henry, Jameis Winston is expected to miss the rest of this season after tearing his ACL during Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian stepped up in his absence, completing 16 of 29 attempts for 159 yards and a touchdown while leading New Orleans to a 36-27 win over the defending Super Bowl champions.
While Siemian has been inconsistent throughout this career, he could flourish with the Saints’ supporting cast and Sean Payton‘s coaching. If he can keep the starting job, he’ll also benefit from the expected return of Michael Thomas in the upcoming weeks.
- Trevor Siemian Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $15
Boston Scott & Jordan Howard, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (19% & 2% rostered)
With lead running back Miles Sanders on injured reserve, the Philadelphia Eagles utilized a three-way backfield split between Boston Scott, Jordan Howard, and Kenneth Gainwell against the Detroit Lions. Scott and Howard were the most effective, as Scott finished Week 8 with 12 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns while Howard also had 12 carries for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
Both were heavily involved in Philadelphia’s 44-6 win over Detroit, which was a rout from start to finish. While the Eagles are unlikely to have many more blowout wins such as that one, the efficiency of Scott and Howard was encouraging nevertheless.
I’m combining these two running backs here as they both project to have similar value moving forward. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one you prefer, but the good news is that you have a chance to bid on both with the hopes of getting one of them. Scott has been involved all season while Howard saw his first snaps of 2021 with fresher legs.
- Boston Scott/Jordan Howard Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $8 each
2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 9: Best Players To Stash
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys (44% rostered)
Michael Gallup is expected to return to action for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9. He’s currently rostered in less than half of fantasy leagues but should be picked back up immediately if he’s available.
Even with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb eating from the same target share pie, Michael Gallup has been a consistent option for Dak Prescott. Gallup was targeted 105 times last season, finishing the year with 843 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He also received seven targets in Week 1 before suffering a calf injury.
Given the production of Cooper and Lamb, Dallas may opt to trade Gallup, which would enhance his fantasy value even more if he went to a team with less competition in the receiving corps. Even if he stays put, he’s still a worthy waiver add this week.
- Michael Gallup Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $9
Cedrick Wilson, WR, Dallas Cowboys (1% rostered)
Cedrick Wilson has recently emerged as a legitimate receiving threat for Dallas in Gallup’s absence, combining for 7 catches on 10 targets with 126 receiving yards and a touchdown in his last two games. He’s already scored three touchdowns this season and is averaging a whopping 14.8 yards per reception.
As long as Wilson continues to make the most of his touches, he should retain a significant role in the Cowboys’ high-powered offense. Don’t spend too much to acquire him, however, as his fantasy value will take a hit if Gallup returns and isn’t traded.
- Cedrick Wilson Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $3
2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 9: One-Week Streamer Plays
Mike White, QB, New York Jets (2% rostered)
Mike White played like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Week 8, completing 37 of 45 pass attempts for 405 yards and three touchdowns while leading the New York Jets to a 34-31 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. He even caught a pass for a two-point conversion — he did it all!
Zach Wilson is expected to miss at least one more week with a knee injury, but the Jets may not rush their franchise quarterback back if White continues to play like this. If White keeps it up, he may continue to start even after Wilson returns, as Wilson wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire prior to being injured.
White is worth a start in Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts, who give up the 9th most fantasy points to quarterbacks. He also has the potential to turn into more than a one-week rental player for fantasy squads.
- Mike White Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $6
New Orleans Saints, Defense D/ST (46% rostered)
The Saints’ defense was impressive against the Bucs in Week 8, sacking Tom Brady three times and intercepting him twice, including a game-clinching pick-six to cap off an amazing win.
New Orleans will face a much easier opponent this week in the Atlanta Falcons, who have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. Matt Ryan will also be without his most important weapon, Calvin Ridley, for the foreseeable future as he takes some time off to deal with his mental health.
Look for the Saints’ defense to enjoy another strong outing against a divisional foe in Week 9.
- New Orleans Saints Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $5