Scott Engel is in his 10th season as the official Fantasy writer and analyst for Seahawks.com. Scott is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. He is a four-time FSWA award winner and 10-time nominee, including being named a finalist for the 2020 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award. You can also find more of his Fantasy analysis on RotoBaller.com, SportsLine.com, the Athletic and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Scott won two Fantasy Football dynasty league titles in 2020, including one in the prestigious Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) and he previously pulled off a three-peat in a highly competitive New York City league.
The Seahawks are one of four NFL teams on a bye in Week 9, along with the Buccaneers, Lions and the Washington Football Team. It certainly will not be easy for Fantasy players to replace DK Metcalf, who is the No. 5 Fantasy wide receiver overall on NFL.com with 145 total points. Tyler Lockett will be unavailable after he was the fifth most productive Fantasy wide receiver in Week 8, with 26.2 points. Fantasy leaguers will also have to find fill-ins for top starters such as Tom Brady, Mike Evans, D'Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson and Terry McLaurin.
We have already discussed overcoming the hurdles we face in bye weeks, and how all of us are dealing with key players being out. How you react to and plan for players who are unavailable can be the keys to well-earned victories. In addition to making sure you construct the best lineup, which may not always look ideal with top performers missing, yet can still be good enough to win, it is important to keep overall roster construction in mind. You should not drop a valuable player, even if he is one of your projected reserves, just because he is on a bye week unless you are in an absolute roster crunch. Do not trade away some of your best players based on the fact they are off for a week, unless you have a decisively losing record and need to make a roster shakeup prior to Week 9.
You also should take advantage of other league mates who may react in the moment to players being off by making transactions or attempting to do so. Savvy Fantasy players will always check the first waiver report of the week to see what idle or injured players have been cut and pounce on any opportunities. If you see Alex Collins become available this week, you should claim him immediately, as he has 15-plus rushing attempts in three of his past four games, and that sort of RB can always translate into a quality Fantasy return.
You may also receive trade offers that include players on bye weeks, and you can always take advantage of such potential Fantasy transactions. If you want to trade for a player like Metcalf, now is a good time to make such a move. The person who currently rosters Metcalf may be more open to dealing him this week because he will be on a bye week. The bye weeks also offer chances to improve your team, as an aggressive, opportunistic approach could lead to a satisfying roster upgrade.
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Week 9 Fantasy Football Waiver Recommendations
Players listed at each position in order of preference for roster additions.
Jeremy McNichols/Adrian Peterson, Titans: Derrick Henry's foot injury could put him out for the rest of the season, and McNichols and Peterson now become top free agent pickups in all leagues. McNichols is versatile and has averaged nearly 10 yards per reception this season while playing just over 14 percent of the snaps. Because of his receiving acumen, McNichols could emerge as a viable flex play. Peterson will likely operate as the main goal-line option and is certainly worth the add for depth. In PPR formats you may want to lean to McNichols.
Carlos Hyde, Jaguars: It is possible the former Seahawk may be asked to take on a larger role with the Jaguars because of James Robinson's heel injury. Last week in relief of Robinson, Hyde had 72 scrimmage yards and six receptions. It is always best to roster the top depth RBs behind your projected NFL starters, so it should be a priority to land Hyde if Robinson is already on your team.
Boston Scott, Eagles: Philadelphia may continue to employ a committee while Miles Sanders is out, yet it was Scott who delivered the best Fantasy production from the Eagles backfield in Week 8. Scott rushed for 60 yards and two TDs on 12 carries. It appears he should be the primary ball carrier for Philadelphia for now. Kenneth Gainwell will operate as a pass-catcher and Jordan Howard will likely get some goal-line work, but expect Scott to see the most rushing work among the three.
Mark Ingram, Saints: Ingram is still widely available in many leagues, and as we mentioned with Hyde, it is a good forward-looking move to roster the RBs who could step forward for an increased workload at any time. Those who roster Alvin Kamara should add Ingram as their "Fantasy insurance" player behind the Saints superstar.
Jamal Agnew, Jaguars: In Week 8, Agnew saw 12 targets and he has totaled 25 targets in his last three games. Agnew, who was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month in September, is a dynamic player on special teams, and Jacksonville is obviously trying to increase his role on offense. Much like the Falcons did with Cordarelle Patterson, the Jaguars are apparently intent on turning a major return threat into more of an offensive weapon. Add Agnew now before his possible breakout game makes him a hotter name on Fantasy waiver wires soon.
Tajae Sharpe, Falcons: With Calvin Ridley out, the Falcons need another WR to become a more featured target in their passing game, and Ridley looked like he is ready to take on the role in Week 8. He caught five of six targets for 58 yards. Sharpe has averaged 12.4 yards per catch in his career, so he is certainly capable of providing respectable Fantasy production with more playing time.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins: The Miami wideout returned to action last week and caught eight of his 11 targets for 85 yards against a smothering Buffalo defense. Tua Tagovailoa looked Parker's way often under pressure, and should be able to find him for some bigger gainers and TDs as the second-year QB continues to progress as a pro.
Van Jefferson, Rams: He has scored over 25 points in his last two games, and Jefferson has emerged as the downfield specialist in the potent Rams offense. When you are looking for an upside option, or need a promising fill-in for injuries or bye weeks, Jefferson is certainly worthy of consideration. He is averaging 16.3 yards per catch in his second pro season and we should see more big plays from Jefferson in the weeks ahead.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks: As we noted, some Fantasy players will drop a guy when he is on a bye week. Others may put a player onto free agency as he recovers from an injury. Wilson may actually be on waivers in some leagues, and with the Seahawks on bye, he could become available in more Fantasy leagues. Keep an eye on your transaction wire, and if Wilson pops up as available, immediately add him for your Fantasy regular season stretch run and playoff push. I have already put Wilson onto more than one of my rosters when seeing him on my Fantasy free agent list. Most experienced players will keep Wilson rostered, but in some shallow leagues or in situations where roster spots are tight for another team, you could get an opportunity to land him.
Taysom Hill, Saints: Jameis Winston is out for New Orleans, and once Hill returns from a concussion, he should be the starter for the Saints. Hill rushed for eight TDs last season, and had a 14-carry, 83-yard outing in early December vs. Atlanta. Hill certainly has rushing upside as a projected regular starter once he returns to action.
Pat Freiermuth, Steelers: The rookie was the third-highest scoring Fantasy TE of Week 8, totaling 14.4 points. Freiermuth has totaled over 27 points in his past two games and is emerging as a more frequent part of the Steelers passing game with JuJu Smith-Schuster out.
Dan Arnold, Jaguars: Arnold caught eight passes on 10 targets for 68 yards in Week 8. He also had six catches for 64 yards on eight targets in Week 6. Trevor Lawrence is looking for Arnold as a safe receiver on key passing downs. Continued targets can result in respectable output at the thinnest position in Fantasy Football.
Week 9 Lineup Choices to Consider
The Texans have allowed the most rushing yards to running backs. Myles Gaskin should get flex consideration. … The Chargers have allowed the second-most rushing yards to RBs, so you may want to start Boston Scott as a flex if you can add him off waivers. … The Jaguars have allowed eight rushing TDs to RBs, and Zack Moss should find the end zone in Week 9. … Elijah Mitchell is the only NFC RB with three 100-yard rushing games this season, so he should be locked in as a must-start Fantasy RB2 now. … The Dolphins allow the second-most Fantasy Points Per Game to WRs. Start Brandin Cooks as your third wideout. … The Bears allow the fourth-most receiving yards to WRs. This can be a week to consider streaming Chase Claypool. … Jaylen Waddle has seven receptions for 70-plus yards in two of his last three games and is an upside play vs. the Texans. … The Giants are 21st in FFPG allowed to WRs, so go with Hunter Renfrow in Week 9. He has five-plus receptions in six of his last seven games. … The Ravens are 25th in passing yards allowed to QBs. You could see a bounce-back performance from Kirk Cousins. … Carson Wentz has two-plus TD passes in his last five games and is a good streaming option vs. the Jets. … The Ravens allow the most FFPG to TEs, so consider Tyler Conklin if you are without Hockenson this week. … The Eagles have allowed six receiving TDs to TEs, tied for the most in the NFL. Jared Cook may find the end zone in Week 9.
Check out more of Scott Engel's 2021 Fantasy Football analysis and his full Week 8 rankings at RotoBaller.com. Enter promo code "seahawks" at checkout for an additional discount on the RotoBaller Fantasy Football season pass.
Fantasy Insider Scott Engel identifies players to target on the waiver wire in the lead up to Week 9 of the 2021 season.