By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston) Week 9 is upon us, which means we have officially reached the back nine of the 2019 NFL season.
The calendar flips to November in a few days. Before you know it, the fantasy football playoffs will be here.
With only five weeks remaining before leagues begin the fantasy postseason (most leagues’ playoffs begin in Week 14), you need as much help as you can get in order to help you reach the promised land.
With that said, here are the top waiver wire adds heading into Week 9.
QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans– Don’t look now but in his first two starts of the 2019 season, Tannehill has a 5:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio to go with over 500 passing yards. The 31-year-old quarterback didn’t go crazy this past Sunday against the lowly Buccaneers defense, but Tannehill did finish the game with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Titans are always going to be a run-heavy offense, so Tannehill isn’t likely to throw for 300 yards a game. However, the veteran quarterback has shown more than enough to warrant streaming consideration, depending on the matchup, for the remainder of the season.
QB Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders– Carr picked apart the Texans’ secondary in Week 8, throwing for 285 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 27-24 loss. While his completion percentage of 60% is a little lower than we’d like, he has done a good job of limiting his interceptions. Through the first seven games of the season, the 28-year-old has thrown only four interceptions compared to 11 touchdowns. Oakland has a matchup against the Lions coming up, who just allowed rookie Daniel Jones to throw for 322 yards and four touchdowns. Carr is once again on the streaming radar in Week 9.
RB Mark Walton, Miami Dolphins– Well, it finally happened. Kenyan Drake has been sent packing, shipped off to Arizona for a conditional draft pick. The trade opens up the door for Walton to become Miami’s featured back. Yes, I am aware that we are still talking about the Miami Dolphins offense here. But still, it’s not often that you get an opportunity to snag a team’s featured back. His ceiling is still limited due to the overall putrid state of the Dolphins, but Walton is certainly worth an add now that the backfield is his. Barring an injury during Monday Night Football, go snag Walton on the waiver wire for Week 9.
RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers– Yes, he’s back on the waiver wire list. Mostert was here in the beginning of the season following the injury to Tevin Coleman, and now he’s landed back on here after running backs Matt Breida and Jeff Wilson were both banged up in Sunday’s blowout win over the Panthers. Mostert touched the ball nine times in garbage time Sunday, and yet again showed his big play abilities, taking a carry 41 yards for a touchdown. If Breida is unable to suit up for Thursday’s game against the Cardinals, Mostert could land on the FLEX radar.
RB Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins– Remember him? After spending the first half of the season on injured reserve, Guice is finally nearing a return to the field. The second-year back has been out since tearing his meniscus in the season opener, but it appears like he will soon be returning to practice for Washington. With Chris Thompson also expected back very soon, the Redskins’ backfield is all of a sudden looking a bit crowded. But with the playoffs now out of reach, Washington will likely be playing for the future, meaning Guice should not have an issue taking control of the backfield once healthy. He’s still a few weeks away, but now is the time to go grab the talented second-year running back.
WR Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs– No Patrick Mahomes? No problem. With Matt Moore under center for the Chiefs, the rookie second-round pick was able to find the end zone Sunday night against the Packers. Hardman finished the game with just two receptions on two targets, but gained 55 yards along with the touchdown. The rookie has also looked dangerous on punt returns, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him bust out a long return for a touchdown in the coming weeks. It sounds like Mahomes could be back on the field within the next week or two, which will only boost Hardman’s value rest of season.
WR Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills– For the second consecutive week, Beasley scored a touchdown. More importantly, over the past two games, the veteran slot receiver was targeted 13 times by Josh Allen. Beasley was able to turn seven targets into three receptions for 41 yards and a score in Week 8. With an upcoming matchup against the putrid Redskins, Beasley appears to be in line for another solid performance. His usage in the red zone lands him in FLEX consideration.
WR Demaryius Thomas, New York Jets– Take out the upset win over Dallas and the 2019 season could not be going worse for the New York Jets. While concerns surrounding Sam Darnold continue to grow as the second-year quarterback’s struggles are increasing, it hasn’t affected Thomas’ fantasy value. The veteran receiver caught all five passes thrown in his direction Sunday, finishing with 63 yards. Thomas now has 14 targets over the last two weeks, and that figure could grow even larger following Tuesday’s trade deadline. Robby Anderson has been a popular name on the rumor mill, and if the speedy receiver is shipped out of New York, Thomas’ target share will only get bigger. The Jets are entering the soft stretch of the schedule, which makes Thomas an interesting add on the waiver wire.
TE Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans– Delanie Walker’s ankle injury has opened the door for Smith to firmly enter the fantasy picture. Going up against Tampa Bay in Week 8, the third-year tight end reeled in six of seven targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. Smith has totaled nine receptions for 142 yards over the last two games with Tannehill as the starting quarterback. Considering the state of the tight end position this season, those are pretty strong numbers. As long as Walker remains out, Smith should continue to put up low-end TE1 numbers.
TE Darren Fells, Houston Texans– I’m just as surprised as you are to see Fells’ name on this list, but after his breakout performance against the Raiders on Sunday, the veteran tight end deserves it. The 33-year-old caught all six of his targets in Week 8, gaining 58 yards and two touchdowns. Deshaun Watson has shown a tendency to lean on Fells in the red zone, which should keep the tight end in fantasy relevance for the remainder of the season (he has seven catches for 75 yards and five touchdowns on seven red zone targets). Fire Fells up against the Jaguars in Week 9.
Matt Citak is a contributing writer for CBS Local. Follow him on Twitter here for all things fantasy football, New York Giants and more.