Early Fantasy Football Waiver Wire for Week 9

Here's an early look at a few promising players worth picking up off the waiver wire heading into Week 9.
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Every week, the SI Fantasy team will post a full waiver-wire column early in the week so be on the lookout for that column. Every Sunday night, however, I will take an early look at a few waiver-wire options that could help you in the upcoming week or on a rest-of-season basis.

[Note: All players referenced in this post are available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues as their ownership levels are all below 50%.]

With that said, here are a few waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 9 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

Danny Amendola, WR, Detroit Lions (9% owned)

Matthew Stafford and the Lions' passing offense continue to put up prolific numbers—seven passing touchdowns and 706 yards over the past two weeks. One week after Marvin Jones exploded for four touchdowns, Kenny Golladay scored a pair of touchdowns as he racked up 123 yards on Sunday. In both outings, Danny Amendola was a productive performer.

Amendola now has back-to-back games with eight receptions on a total of 19 targets and 200 receiving yards in those two games combined. Counting the season opener, the slot receiver has three games with seven-plus catches and 95-plus yards. The Lions receivers get a favorable matchup in Week 9 against the Raiders, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points at the position entering this week’s games. If you’re in a full-PPR league, Amendola could be a WR3/flex option in Week 9.

Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears (11% owned)

Targeted only three times on Sunday, Anthony Miller converted all three targets into receptions for a season-high 67 yards against the Chargers. Before that, Miller had exceeded 50 receiving yards in consecutive games with 52 against the Raiders and 64 against the Saints, respectively. While Mitch Trubisky hasn’t played well in his second season, Miller has built some positive momentum heading into a plus matchup against the Eagles in Week 9.

Heading into Sunday Night Football, no team has allowed more wide receivers to eclipse the 100-yard receiving mark than the Eagles (seven). The next closest are the Giants (six) and Colts (five); everyone else has allowed only four or less 100-yard games to opposing wide receivers. Miller may be difficult to trust given the overall state of Chicago’s passing attack, but he’s not a terrible streamer with four teams on bye next week that will include elite wide receivers such as Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Cooper Kupp, etc.

Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans (19% owned)

With Delanie Walker (ankle) out this week, fantasy owners that streamed Jonnu Smith this week were happy. Smith had six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown in Week 8 against the Buccaneers. Smith now has more than 60 yards in back-to-back games. If Walker misses another game in Week 9, Smith won’t have as favorable of a matchup next week (at CAR) as he had this week, but he would still be on the TE1 (top 12) fringe.

Alex Erickson, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (7% owned)

Erickson’s teammate Auden Tate was listed on last week’s early waiver-wire list and Tate continues to produce with his sixth consecutive game of at least 50 yards or a touchdown. Given that Tate and Erickson have a bye in Week 9, both are only recommended for those looking ahead and in deeper leagues. Since Erickson is more likely to be available in deeper formats, I’ll discuss him here.

Even though the Bengals seem reluctant to part ways with A.J. Green, who has yet to play this season, moving him before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline would allow Cincinnati’s wide receivers to maintain their WR3 value going forward. Erickson had six catches for 97 yards on Sunday and he now has 14 catches on 21 targets for 234 yards over his past two games. Cincinnati will return from their Week 9 bye with two plus matchups as the Ravens and Raiders have surrendered the 12th- and second-most fantasy points, respectively, to opposing wide receivers this season.

Chris Conley, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (2% owned)

From Weeks 3 to 6, Chris Conley failed to exceed 30 receiving yards in a game and totaled only 73 yards over that four-game span. To begin the season, however, Conley had a couple of nice outings—6/97/1 and 4/73—and he’s now put together two more strong performances—3/83 and 4/103/1—over the past two weeks, respectively.

Fantasy owners shouldn’t expect another 100-yard week out of Conley, but he gets a favorable matchup against the Texans in Week 9. Not only have the Texans allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season (heading into Week 8), but one of Conley’s four productive outings was against the Texans in Week 2 (4/73).

Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2019 season. His fantasy rankings have placed him in the Top 20 in each of the past two seasons among all the industry experts tracked by FantasyPros.com, and he has been in the Top 25 in six of the past eight years.