Early Week 9 fantasy pickups: Secondary options step up big

Whether you’re sitting pretty in your Week 8 matchup or trying to overcome a deficit, Liz Loza and Matt Harmon have you covered with some waiver wire suggestions who could strengthen your team going forward.

Chris Conley, Jacksonville Jaguars (2 percent rostered)

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The Minshew magic continued in Week 8 against the New York Jets, and Chris Conley was a direct beneficiary of it. The receiver collected 4-of-7 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown — his second-straight week with seven targets. D.J. Chark, Jacksonville’s No. 1 wide receiver, broke out of his brief slump and caught a TD as well, but Conley may have won more than just today, as Dede Westbrook, who’s been acting as the No. 2 wideout for the Jaguars, had to leave Week 8’s game with neck and shoulder injuries.

If Westbrook misses time, Conley would see an expanded role following Sunday’s big game, and Jaguars wide receivers will get a juicy matchup in a divisional game against the Texans in Week 9 before their bye. Conley is worth an add.

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (24 percent)

Sure, Dalvin Cook has deservedly received most of the headlines in both fantasy and reality, but his backup, Alexander Mattison, is no slouch. Mattison is averaging an eye-opening 4.9 yards a carry in limited work this season, and perhaps even more importantly, he’s seen a slightly increased workload as the Vikings have opened up their passing game more of late. In his last three games, Mattison has touched the ball double-digit times twice, just adding to his qualifications as one of the more valuable handcuffs in fantasy. If Cook were to go down — sheesh. Mattison and the Vikes will now receive three-straight friendly matchups for runnings — @KC, @DAL, vs. DEN. Mattison should pretty much be rostered in all leagues.

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (26 percent)

In a week where Matt Ryan, Jared Goff, and Drew Brees are all going to be on bye, it’s understandable for fantasy gamers to be looking for a quarterback. Well, few signal-callers have a friendlier upcoming three-game stretch than Carr. He’ll face Detroit in Week 8, followed by the Chargers, and then, every quarterback’s dream, the Cincinnati Bengals. Carr also had a solid game in a loss at Houston on Sunday (285 yards, 3 TDs), so you could definitely do worse for a streamer.

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