Derrick Henry is becoming more than just DeMarco Murray's handcuff
Even with six teams on a bye in Week 9, the waiver wire report for fantasy owners looking for replacements or a boost at a particular position is slim. Without major injuries, backup players aren't must-owns. Some of the players on this list are even on a bye in Week 9, so be sure to be aware of what your fantasy team needs and fill those first. Some players may be a good stash, but a good stash is only valuable if you have room on your bench to stash those players.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New England, Washington
Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos (12 percent owned)
While Siemian has done better in real life than in fantasy, he's not a bad option as a bye-week fill-in for Week 9. He faces the Oakland Raiders, who have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. They have allowed seven TD passes in the past four weeks, and while most quarterbacks aren't going to throw four against them like Drew Brees and Philip Rivers did, they can be scored on through the air.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (48 percent owned)
In many leagues, Henry was likely dropped as the bloated bye weeks began. His ownership rate is below 50 percent, but it should be much higher. Not only is he DeMarco Murray’s handcuff, but Henry may start to have value on his own. In Week 8, he had 16 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. He also added four receptions for 37 yards. Most of this was because Murray had to miss some of the game with a toe injury. If the toe injury turns out to be anything serious, Henry becomes a must-start.
Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins (35 percent owned)
Kelley was the clear starter with Matt Jones out, and he had 21 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. Chris Thompson did get five receptions, but Kelley was the primary ball carrier for the Redskins. Fantasy owners need to note that the Redskins are on a bye in Week 9, so Kelley is more of a Week 10 stash, but he may be worth it. Jones was struggling even before the knee injury, and it doesn't appear that the Redskins are in any hurry to restore him as their primary RB with Kelley in the mix.
Charcandrick West (7 percent owned)
Spencer Ware owners should be sure to grab West off the waiver wire this week. Ware had a great matchup in Week 8, but had to leave the game early with a concussion. He'll be in the league's concussion protocol for the week, and if he cannot be cleared before Sunday, West will likely be the starter. The Chiefs face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9, and West would fill in as a RB2 if Ware were to miss time. It's unclear what Jamaal Charles' status will be, but fantasy owners shouldn't count on him.
Peyton Barber and Antone Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (7 percent and 1 percent owned)
With Doug Martin still sitting out with the hamstring injury and Jacquizz Rodgers now dealing with a foot sprain, the Buccaneers are struggling to find a running back. Barber and Smith will likely share carries and desperate fantasy owners can look to pick either up to fill a running back slot in Week 9. Smith had more playing time in Week 8 and will be a better PPR option. Similar to Minnesota, think of Smith as Jerick McKinnon and Barber as Matt Asiata.
Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns (42 percent owned)
Coleman was on this list last week and was 41 percent owned. With only a one percent increase in fantasy ownership, Coleman is still available in many leagues. He has been cleared to practice, so he is on track to play in Week 9. Coleman will immediately fill in as the No. 2 wide receiver for Cleveland, behind Terrelle Pryor. Coleman had a terrific game (5 rec., 104 yds., 2 TDs) in Week 2 before breaking his hand, but his role in the offense at this point is unclear. The Browns face the Cowboys in Week 9 and it is a tough matchup. Coleman is still worth owning, especially because he can be started as a WR3 this week.
Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18 percent owned)
With only five receptions for 75 yards over two games, Humphries isn't a great fantasy option. However, the Bucs do play the Falcons in Week 9 (on Thursday night) and wide receivers do usually fare better on Thursday nights, and Atlanta does allow fantasy points to the position. Humphries is a desperation play at wide receiver, but for injury-decimated teams, he may be available on waivers.
Rishard Matthews and Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans, (24 percent owned and 6 percent owned)
Both wide receivers have limited value in an offense that isn't going to get them the ball often enough to truly be trusted. However, at San Diego in Week 9, both have some value as the Chargers can be beat through the air. Matthews is averaging about four receptions over the past four games, but he only had more than 40 yards in one of those games. He had added three touchdowns, but he is touchdown-dependent. Wright has come on in the past few weeks as well, but he had been inconsistent. Neither wide receiver is a must-add, but either can serve as a desperation bye-week fill-in.
J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals (2 percent owned)
Nelson was on this list last week at zero percent owned. Savvy fantasy owners that followed practice reports saw that Michael Floyd and John Brown were limited, and while both were active, it was Nelson that was the shining star for the Cardinals in Week 8. He's now earned a starting WR spot, per the Cardinals, following his eight-catch, 79-yard, two-touchdown effort. The eight catches were more than he had entering that game, but Nelson's arrow is pointing up. He's worth a look as a WR3 when the Cardinals return to action in Week 10.
Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (44 percent owned)
With Steve Smith injured, Pitta has seen more work, but he is still a TE2. He has 10 receptions for 76 yards in two games. With the Ravens coming off a bye, and no practice reports for Week 9 yet, it's hard to determine what Smith's status will be for Week 9. If he is out, Pitta is a solid TE2 and should be picked up. If Smith does return, he's a low end TE2 and is just a bye-week fill-in if available.
Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (37 percent owned)
Ebron hadn't played since Week 4, but he finally returned on Sunday and looked pretty good in the process – seven receptions for 79 yards. Facing the Vikings next week, this seems like the situation where a tight end comes back, plays well, is picked up in over half of fantasy leagues, and then sorely disappoints the following week. Fantasy owners searching for a tight end for Week 9 can use Ebron, but don't be surprised if he puts up a 2-20-0 stat line.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (15 percent owned)
This is a name just to keep in mind as the Texans are on a bye in Week 9. He's had at least four receptions in every game since Week 4 and has three touchdowns in that span as well. He's clearly a part of the offense, especially as the wide receivers are not living up to expectations, and rookie Will Fuller left Sunday’s game with a leg injury. Tight ends tend to be a safety net for quarterbacks that are struggling, and that's where Fiedorowicz fits in. He's a TE2 for those looking beyond Week 9.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Atlanta (9 percent owned)
Even with some seemingly difficult matchups, the Atlanta DST has yet to give fantasy owners negative points this season (depending on league scoring). The Falcons face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9 on Thursday night. While the Thursday night games have been hit or miss, fantasy owners that picked up the Tennessee Titans DST last week ended up with a few points. The Bucs have helped opposing DSTs wind up with positive fantasy points every week so far this season, and with Atlanta's defense actually looking better in recent weeks, the Falcons aren't a bad streaming option for Week 9.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.