We are officially past the midway point of the 2020 fantasy football season and entering crunch time to earn your spot in the fantasy playoffs. When identifying the free agents to pick up off the waiver wire, it is crucial to not only fill a need for bye week or injured players but also add quality players to your roster for the playoff push. The four teams on a bye in Week 4 include the Eagles, Rams, Browns and Bengals. Playmakers like Kareem Hunt, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Darrell Henderson and Miles Sanders are all out of action.
Here are Sports Illustrated’s suggested pickups for Week 9.
Phillip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts: Fresh off the team’s bye week, Rivers and the Colts had their best offensive performance of the season. Rivers was very efficient in Week 8, completing 23 of 33 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns. The Colts’ upcoming schedule includes two matchups each against the Titans and Texans plus the Packers and Raiders. In other words, six of the next seven games are against weaker passing defenses. Rivers could end up helping some fantasy teams with their playoff push.
Others QBs to consider: Tua Tagovailoa-Miami Dolphins, Nick Mullens-San Francisco 49ers
Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills: For the second week in a row, Moss outproduced Devin Singletary in PPR formats. Both rushers saw 14 attempts with Singletary finishing with 86 yards and Moss gaining 81 yards. But it was the Buffalo rookie that found the end zone twice. Running backs come at a premium in fantasy and despite the uptick in production, Moss is still available in 48% of Yahoo leagues.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens: With Mark Ingram out of the lineup in Week 8, Edwards rumbled his way to 87 yards and a score off 16 carries. While rookie J.K. Dobbins led the team with 113 yards, he’s already rostered in 68% of leagues, Edwards, on the other hand, is rostered in only 30% of leagues. With Mark Ingram not expected back for Week 9, Edwards and Dobbins will once again form a productive one-two punch as the Ravens take on the Colts.
Nyheim Hines/Jordan Wilkins, Indianapolis Colts: The hype surrounding rookie Jonathan Taylor at the start of the season has quieted the last few weeks and is about to die down even more. Both Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins outproduced their rookie teammate in Week 8. Wilkins led the team with 20 carries, 89 yards and one rushing touchdown while Hines caught three passes for 54 yards and two scores. Meanwhile, Taylor had 11 carries but mustered just 22 yards.
DeeJay Dallas, Seattle Seahawks: With Seattle’s top three running backs all out of action in Week 9, rookie DeeJay Dallas found the end-zone twice. Chris Carson is not expected to miss much more time, but given the scarcity of running backs on good offenses, Dallas is a solid option for those playing in a 12- or 14-team league.
Other RBs to consider: JaMycal Hasty-San Francisco 49ers, Cam Akers-Los Angeles Rams, Samaje Perine-Cincinnati Bengals
Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs: One of our mantras at SI Fantasy is rostering players on good offenses. Mecole Hardman fits that philosophy to a T. Hardman was the perfect bye week replacement in Week 8 as he put together his best performance of the year. The Chiefs second-year receiver caught seven passes for 96 yards and a score. Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes are playing some of the best football in the entire NFL. Opportunities to get players on the league’s best offense don’t come around often but since Hardman is available in 70% of leagues, this is one of those chances fantasy football players can’t pass up.
Marvin Hall, Detroit Lions: Detroit’s top receiver Kenny Golladay left Week 8’s matchup with a hip injury in the first half and did not return But when the door closes on one player, it opens for another and Marvin Hall took advantage of the boost in playing time. Hall led the team with 113 yards on four catches against the Colts and has a juicy matchup against the Vikings in Week 9. Assuming Golladay misses action, Hall could emerge as a WR3 for fantasy teams this week.
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots: With Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry both out of action in Week 8, Cam Newton’s options were limited. But Meyers did the most with the starting nod. He caught six passes for 58 yards and with Edelman out at least a month, Meyers could see a lot more work in the coming weeks.
Braxton Berrios, New York Jets: With Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman both inactive for Week 8, Berrios led the Jets with eight catches. He only totaled 34 yards, so adding Berrios is only appealing if you play in a PPR league. With the Jets playing from behind so often, New York has no choice but to abandon the run and pass the ball. That bodes well for a player like Berrios, who will remain a viable starter in PPR leagues if Crowder continues to miss action.
Other WRs to consider: Kedrick Bourne-San Francisco 49ers, Darnell Mooney-Chicago Bears, Hunter Renfrow-Las Vegas Raiders, Willie Snead-Baltimore Ravens, Auden Tate-Cincinnati Bengals
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers: The targets heading toward Ebron have been pretty consistent all year. His target floor is five and his ceiling is eight. His yardage has been consistent as well. Ebron had at least 40 yards in five of his last six games. But what hasn’t been consistent is his touchdown count. Ebron has just two all year, including one this past weekend. He’s not a TE1 but fantasy teams that need a bye week replacement or a safe albeit capped option at tight end should look to add the Steelers playmaker.
Other TEs to consider: Trey Burton-Indianapolis Colts, Gerald Everett-Los Angeles Rams