Week 9 marks the continuation of the “bye week blues”—with six teams on bye, so it’s more important now than ever to be alert on the waiver wire. Be sure to check out Rotoballer.com’s Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Tool for up-to-the-hour waiver wire advice and ideas, and to follow me @Roto_Dubs for quick-hitting news and analysis.
Sparkplug Sproles a Not-So-Sneaky RB2
Ryan Mathews has clearly fallen out of favor with head coach Doug Pederson and the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff, and as he loses touches, diminutive veteran Darren Sproles gains them. In the Eagles heartbreaking overtime loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night, Sproles out-touched Mathews 20-5, and cemented himself as the back to own in the quick-hitting, short-range Philadelphia offense. His value is even higher in PPR formats, but Sproles should be usable in all formats as a RB2 from here on out.
Explosive Rookie Ready to Return for Cleveland
Cleveland Browns rookie wide out Corey Coleman exploded onto the fantasy scene in Week 2, posting 104 yards and two touchdowns on five catches. Unfortunately, a broken hand has kept him off the field since then. He is currently cleared for practice, and should be able to suit up unimpeded against the Cowboys in Week 9. With either Josh McCown or Cody Kessler under center for the Browns, there is some life to that offense, and Coleman has a great shot to step in and make an immediate impact opposite Terrelle Pryor.
Saints Workhorse in the Doghouse
Saints feature back Mark Ingram was benched towards the beginning of the Saints’ game against the Seahawks in Week 8 after a fumble, and was inexplicably not given another touch. It’s incredibly unlikely that one fumble caused a complete benching (there seems to be something else at play here), but regardless of the reason it appears that the Saints will now employ a timeshare in the backfield. Veteran Tim Hightower, who thrived at the end of the 2015 season when Ingram was placed on IR, will split touches with Ingram moving forward according to head coach Sean Payton, meaning Ingram’s days of RB2 production are likely over.
NFL Sleepers of the Week
Each week we will identify three players worth taking a shot on in deeper leagues.
Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons’ rookie tight end will draw the start on Thursday night with Jacob Tamme out, and should finally be able to showcase his excellent ball skills and above-average speed.
Charcandrick West, RB, Arizona Cardinals – With Jamaal Charles still not recovered from his ACL surgery and Spencer Ware struggling with concussion protocol, West should be the feature back in a great matchup against the Jaguars in Week 9.
J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals – Nelson is currently the #2 WR in Arizona, and has 163 yards and two TDs on 11 catches over his last two games. He’s flex-worthy in deeper leagues.