Newton won't return this week, but by next week it may be too late to pick him up
The fantasy football waiver wire for Week 9 has some interesting names. Four teams are on a bye this week leading up to six teams on a bye in Week 10. Fantasy owners should be looking at their teams and looking ahead to the next two weeks to see what they might need. The players on this list are some options, but at this point, filling out a roster is equally as important. On draft day, you don’t necessarily look at bye weeks, but heading into Week 9, it's time.
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (41 percent owned)
Fantasy owners needing a quarterback for Week 9 should not grab Newton for that purpose as the team has already said he will not be back under center on Sunday. The Panthers are likely looking at a Week 10 return (at Green Bay), at the earliest. The team is trying to get Newton as healthy as possible as they certainly have playoff aspirations and Kyle Allen is not going to be able to lead the team to the playoffs. Newton should be owned as he can easily step in as a borderline QB1 for the last third of the season.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (26 percent owned)
Since the Week 6 bye, Carr has two games with 285 yards or more, five touchdowns, and one interception. With Tyrell Williams healthy again, Carr has his No. 1 receiver backs, and it helps spread the field for Darren Waller. The Raiders face the Lions in Week 9, a game that has the potential to turn into a shootout. He's a QB2 for that week, but for those that are without their quarterback because of a bye, Carr is a solid fill-in.
Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (32 percent owned)
As of Tuesday morning, Penny is still a member of the Seahawks. It is possible he will be traded, which may increase or decrease his fantasy value depending on where he ends up. Assuming he stays with the team, Penny is Chris Carson's handcuff. He'll see work if Carson is injured or if the team has enough of a lead that they feel comfortable putting him in. Penny should be someone to keep an eye on throughout the day on Tuesday as he may be worth grabbing if he finds a new team.
Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams (27 percent owned)
The Rams are on a bye in Week 9, so Henderson will not be useful this week. However, with Malcolm Brown injured, he has been Todd Gurley's handcuff. He has also gotten plenty of work, even with Gurley playing. In Week 8, Gurley had 10 touches; Henderson had 13. He has yet to score a touchdown this season, but it seems like one is coming. Gurley owners should have Brown on their bench.
Tra Carson, Detroit Lions (0 percent owned)
Carson is someone to look at in deep leagues. The Detroit backfield is really a situation to be avoided in most formats. Kerryon Johnson struggled a bit until he was injured. Ty Johnson seemed like the logical backup, but the Lions didn't use him as much as fantasy owners hoped that they would. Rather, Carson was the running back that had the most carries (12 for 34 yards). That's not to say that the trend will continue, but those in very deep leagues can consider grabbing Carson, although the league has to be very deep to consider starting him.
Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions (10 percent owned)
With the running back situation messy, the Lions are likely going to throw the ball as much as possible. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones are certainly solid options, but Amendola has been more involved over the last two weeks as well. He's had eight receptions in each of the last two games for 105 and 95 yards, respectively. The Lions face the Oakland Raiders in Week 9, and Amendola is a WR3 for that matchup.
Alex Erickson, Cincinnati Bengals (7 percent owned)
The Bengals are on a bye for Week 9, but Erickson has been a large part of the Bengals offense the past two weeks. He has 21 targets over two weeks and he’s caught 14 of those for 244 yards. If fantasy owners have an open roster spot, Erickson is worth picking up for the last part of the season.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (4 percent owned)
The two touchdowns in Week 8 may have been a fluke, but Slayton is proving that he is part of the Giants' offense. His usage, however, will vary. He had two receptions in Week 8. Those two receptions just happened to go for touchdowns. Sterling Shepard (concussion) will likely miss at least another week, which puts Slayton on the field. It is possible his usage will increase, but until it does, he’s only a deep league option.
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (20 percent owned)
Goedert is going to be hard to trust as Zach Ertz is still the No. 1 tight end in Philadelphia. However, his production has put him on the TE2 map. Goedert has scored a touchdown in the past two games and he's had at least four targets in the past three weeks. The Eagles face the Bears in Week 9, which may be a tough matchup, but one of the tight ends will likely have a decent day. The question is which one?
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (19 percent owned)
With Delanie Walker out in Week 8, Smith led the team in targets and receiving yards. He had six receptions on seven targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. Walker is dealing with an ankle injury on his previously-injured ankle so it is possible that a multi-week absence is coming. There was a connection between Ryan Tannehill and Smith, so as long as Walker is out, Smith flirts with TE1 status.
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (13 percent owned)
Fant had a team-high eight targets in Week 8 with Emmanuel Sanders gone. While he didn’t do much with those targets (5/26/0), the team is going to need him in Week 9. Joe Flacco is out with a neck injury, and Brandon Allen (who?) is the starting quarterback for Week 9. While the focus is likely going to be on the running game, Fant should also play a role as inexperienced quarterbacks often look to their tight end. He’s a TE2.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Philadelphia Eagles (39 percent owned)
The Eagles face the Chicago Bears in Week 9. The Bears have struggled on offense, and Mitchell Trubisky is certainly prone to being sacked or intercepted. The Bears have announced that Trubisky will continue to be their starter in Week 9. The Eagles DST had 10 sacks against the Jets in Week 5. While they haven't reached that number again, it's certainly possible that they may have half that many against Trubisky.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.