Scott Engel is in his eighth season of providing Fantasy Football coverage for Seahawks.com. An inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame, he is in his 23rd year as a Fantasy analyst and professional. You can now find more of his work and weekly rankings on RotoBaller.com and hear him every Saturday night on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio*.*
Last week, Fantasy players received satisfying performances from many of their top Seahawks players. Tyler Lockett caught six passes for 100 yards and DK Metcalf enjoyed the first two-TD outing of his career. Chris Carson ran for 90 yards and a score. Those three players, plus Russell Wilson, are regular starters on many Fantasy squads.
Maintaining a quality Fantasy core with players such as the ones mentioned is very important right now, because the waiver wire is very thin. Due to injuries and bye weeks, many savvy Fantasy owners have claimed a good amount of the most appealing free agents, and you usually aren't going to find anything ideal on the list right now. But there are some guys who can help you survive when your main performers are out for any reason in the near future. We help you plug those holes by identifying the best pickups as Week 9 approaches.
Week 9 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets
Adrian Peterson (44 percent owned in NFL.com leagues): Washington has turned back to the running game recently and is featuring Peterson as a focal point of the offense. Peterson has 275 rushing yards in his past three games and should continue to provide adequate Fantasy production. He still displays excellent vision and runs with a lot of determination.
Mark Walton (16.4): Kenyan Drake was traded to Arizona on Monday, and Walton is now the clear lead back for the Dolphins. He has registered 29 touches in his past two games, displaying versatility, and his workloads should start to increase a bit as he settles in to a RB1 role for Miami. He could indeed emerge as a viable flex player.
Rashaad Penny (37.1): We always recommend rostering guys who could be needed to step up at any time to assume a larger role. Handcuffing is a must in Fantasy Football. Penny returned in Week 8 to total 55 yards on eight carries, an average of 6.8 yards per attempt. Penny is very efficient when he gets touches, and in any instances where the workload will elevate, he has a lot of promise as a Fantasy performer.
Diontae Johnson (8.2): The rookie totaled a season-high 84 yards on Monday and could be primed for more big plays. The Steelers started to open up the downfield passing game more under Mason Rudolph and may have found their man for big gainers. Pittsburgh has been searching for a top WR complement to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Johnson may be their guy to effectively pair with JJSS.
Danny Amendola (4.9): The Lions have been exhibiting an aggressive passing game behind Matthew Stafford. Kenny Golladay is their big target, and Marvin Jones is the splash play threat. Amendola has been surging in his role as a high percentage receiver who can make things happen after the catch. He has two consecutive games with eight receptions and has totaled 200 yards in those outings.
Robby Anderson (51.0): He has just 53 receiving yards in his past two games, but the big plays will now start to become more frequent as the Jets have a more friendly schedule from now through Week 14. They face Miami (fourth in AFC Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to WRs), Washington, Oakland (second in AFC FFPG allowed to WRs), Cincinnati (fourth in AFC yards allowed to WRs) and Miami again.
Darren Fells (17.9): He was the second-highest scoring TE on NFL.com in Week 8, with 23.80 Fantasy Points. He delivered his second two-TD outing in four games and his second six-catch game in his past three games. The Texans have made the TE a more important position in their passing game this season.
Mike Gesicki (0.6): He totaled 92 receiving yards in Weeks 6 and 7 and Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting to look his way more often. Gesicki is an immensely talented TE who is starting to show signs of progressing to the point where he may become more useful in Fantasy.
Derek Carr (13.3): He was the sixth-highest scoring QB in Week 8, with 23.40 points. Carr is starting to look like he is in a groove over the past two games, with 578 passing yards and five TD passes. He gets the Lions next, and they have the lowest-ranked pass defense in the league. There are also dates ahead with the Bengals' 22-ranked pass defense, and the Jets (24th).
Ryan Tannehill (7.8): He already has a 300-yard game and a three TD outing in his first two starts as a Titan, and his supporting cast in Tennessee is maybe the best he's ever been associated with.
Seahawks Fantasy Outlook
This should be a big week for the passing game against Tampa Bay's 31st ranked defense in that category. Russell Wilson is a must-start in all formats, and Tampa Bay allows the fourth-most FFPG to opposing WRs. Tyler Lockett is a surefire Fantasy WR1, and DK Metcalf should definitely be used as a Fantasy WR3 this week. The rookie has moved into the Top 20 Fantasy WRs on NFL.com and could finish with possibly one of his best yardage totals of the season so far.
Seahawks Fantasy Mailbag
For answers to your Fantasy questions early every week,fill out the bottom of this formon Sunday nights or early Mondays for priority consideration. You can also tagmeor @Seahawks on Twitter.
Arron C of Columbus Ohio asks: Should I cut Kyler Murray and look for another QB on waivers?
Engel: That all depends on who you are replacing him with, but Murray is not a definite drop candidate, as he is the eighth highest scoring QB on NFL.com so far. Before Week 7, he had not scored less than 16 Fantasy points in a game, and Murray is a dual threat with a lot of upside and promise. Murray has scored just over 17 Fantasy Points in the past two weeks, but it would be reactionary to cut him right now. Add a second QB and stream him with Murray based on matchups. He does get the 49ers' league best pass defense in two of the next three games, but he also has a matchup with Tampa Bay and he does have promise for your Fantasy playoffs.
Rob Mac asks: Rank these Slot WRs going forward in a PPR, considering schedules also. Golden Tate, Christian Kirk, Jamison Crowder.
Engel: This comes down to a decision between Tate and Crowder, the most proven Fantasy performers in this mix. We have already detailed the Jets' schedule going forward regarding Robby Anderson. It's very appealing for Fantasy purposes. Tate is the best pure Fantasy producer of the three. He has averaged 17.5 FFPG over his last three outings. But Sterling Shepard may return soon to slightly cut into his production. Still, Fantasy playoff matchups with Philadelphia (most NFC FFPG allowed to WRs), Miami and Washington give him the edge here. Tate will still be very productive overall even when Shepard comes back, and has looked more reliable than Crowder so far this year.
For more from Scott Engel, get the RotoBaller.com 2019 Fantasy Football Package, which includes his lineup rankings and regular weekly columns. Enter code "Seahawks" at checkout for a discount.
Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 8 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.