Fight Fire with Fliers – Week 9

Fight Fire with Fliers is a weekly fantasy football series that discusses emergency free agent adds or stash candidates for deep rostered or 14-plus team leagues. The post publishes on Saturdays following typical weekly waiver runs, allowing forward thinking managers a last minute opportunity to roster players ahead of their breakouts.

The Flier Catalogue had some shake-ups after last week. Arguably the best RB in the league had a season-ending injury, Mark Ingram is now back in New Orleans, Noah Fant is out with COVID, Pittsburgh is honing-in on a throwback to a Heath Miller archetype at TE and in lieu of Dak Prescott, Cedrick Wilson was throwing 35 yard receptions.

Week 9 fantasy football waiver wire pickups: Adrian Peterson, Jeremy  McNichols, Derrick Gore and more – The Athletic
Jeremy McNichols, courtesy of the Athletic.

The Flier Catalogue

Jeremy McNichols took a meteoric leap after Derrick Henry’s foot injury. As discussed last week, Darrynton Evans moved to season-ending IR and left no competition for McNichols behind Henry. The addition of Adrian Peterson is a stumbling block to early down work for McNichols, but rarely have midseason additions at the RB position immediately taken a dramatic role in the offense. The dawn of the pass-first Titans may well be upon us and McNichols 77 percent rostership is a signal towards that end. Shallow leagues may do well to consider Ryan Tannehill amidst these bye weeks. Ty Johnson also backdoored a TD late in a futile whir of Jets offense, which may well keep him off the wire in deep leagues for another week.

Another TE joined the promotions section, with Pat Freiermuth landing another TD after seven more targets. The absence of Eric Ebron was clearly a boon, but remember there was a bye week for Pittsburgh in between two Freiermuth double-digit PPR performances. The continuity despite the bye lends to a belief that this target share could be solidifying despite a traditionally longer acclimation period for rookie TEs. I’m favoring him over Jared Cook and Cole Kmet this week, in a similar range as CJ Uzomah but with higher floor and lower ceiling.

Leaving the list is Tony Jones, Jr., who is still awaiting return from the short term IR. Ingram will not jeopardize any opportunity for Jones upon return, as Jones has the speed and versatility to fill the Alvin Kamara skill set. Ingram will, however, reduce the likelihood of league rostership and thus diminish his priority over others listed at RB. In a corresponding and surprising adjustment, Nico Collins rejoins the candidate list with consistent targets for several weeks. He may have more dynasty appeal than in-season, but with the lack of alternative options in Houston he will have the chance to progress and demonstrate skill development.

Week 9 Additions

Cedrick Wilson WR Dallas (Two percent, Yahoo!)
Wilson has been consistently involved in the Dallas offense since the absence of Michael Gallup. Although Gallup is looming, possibly even returning this week, there is now an ankle issue with CeeDee Lamb. Wilson has a TD in three of seven games and a reasonable depth of target that make his fewer targets considerably more meaningful than his doppelganger Olamide Zaccheaus. There is also the dynasty prognosis of a potential departure for either Gallup or Amari Cooper in the off-season, which may keep Wilson relevant beyond 2021.

Denver Broncos TE Albert Okwuegbunam Eyeing Triumphant Comeback in 2021 -  Sports Illustrated Mile High Huddle: Denver Broncos News, Analysis and More
Albert Okwuegbunam, courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

Albert Okwuegbunam TE Denver (Three percent, Yahoo!)
Echoes of Knighthawk7734 float through my head… Teddy Bridgewater is not an ideal downfield passer (a euphemized paraphrase). Thus, Okwuegbunam, who has displayed pass-catching competence and efficiency on minimal targets, may be a necessity in short-field situations this weekend with the absence of Fant. There is no long-term expectation here, however he is worth a dice-roll when staring at options like Kmet or Austin Hooper, even though their respective teams are alarmingly reluctant to throw to or even roster actual WRs.

Jason Astarita (@AstaritaJason) is a professional in the sports gambling industry. He has an MS in Psychology (Industrial and Organizational) from Southern New Hampshire University and completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of San Diego. His passion for fantasy sports is over a decade old, but has recently been theorizing on the novel format of Superflex Best Ball in the Dynasty Fantasy Football arena. Ever interested in draft theory and roster construction, feel free to reach out on twitter with any insights or queries! #superbestball

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