I have only included players who are rostered in less than 50 percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues. A player’s roster percentage will appear in parentheses next to their name. Denny Carter is mercifully handling the kicker section of this article which will be added Tuesday mornings. Updates from Monday Night Football will be added on Tuesday mornings as well. Be sure to check out the Waiver Wire Q&A Monday at 6PM ET.
Joshua Dobbs, Vikings (17%)
Dobbs didn’t put up historical numbers in Week 9, but he did give one of the greatest performances you’ll ever see. After joining the team via trade on Tuesday, he took no first-team reps throughout the week and was forced to enter the game in the first quarter after Jaren Hall suffered a concussion. He threw for 158 yards and two scores while adding 66 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Dobbs has topped 40 rushing yards in six games this year and has four rushing touchdowns. He is also getting a massive upgrade in weaponry in Minnesota.
Will Levis, Titans (44%)
To no one’s surprise, Levis came back to Earth in Week 9, throwing for 262 scoreless yards and an interception. The good news is that he is in a perfect rebound spot versus the Bucs this week. Tampa Bay entered Week 9 facing the fourth-highest pass rate over expected. That was before giving up 470 yards and five touchdowns to fellow rookie C.J. Stroud.
Baker Mayfield, Bucs (48%)
Mayfield has been at the bottom of the quarterback list in this waiver wire series for weeks and he’ll remain here as long as he keeps playing well (and is rostered on less than 50 percent of teams). He is 16th in passing yards and 11th in passing touchdowns before Monday Night Football. He’s doing that while setting career lows in sack rate and interception rate. Mayfield’s ceiling isn’t elite, but he is a high-floor option for teams in need of a single start as bye weeks continue to roll through.
Keaton Mitchell, Ravens (5%)
Mitchell entered Week 9 with no career carries. He had been active for two games after missing the bulk of the season while on injured reserve. Mitchell then announced himself to the world with a monstrous performance versus the Seahawks. He gashed them for 138 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Mitchell was an interesting prospect coming out of ECU. He rushed for 2,584 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons combined. He added 500 receiving yards over those two years. He blazed at the combine with a 4.37 40-time but only weighed in at 191 pounds. He could be the lightning to Gus Edwards’ thunder.
Zach Charbonnet, Seahawks (44%)
In Week 8, Charbonnet set career highs across the board in his usage metrics. That seemed to be a blip as Kenneth Walker was dealing with a calf injury earlier in the week. He was off the injury report this week, but it didn’t matter. Charbonnet’s role stuck. He out-snapped Walker for the second week in a row and logged a route rate over 50 percent again. Charbonnet isn’t going to dethrone Walker, but he could force a committee that offers him low-end RB3 value while still holding onto massive contingent upside.
Tyjae Spears, Titans (41%)
Spears has finished the week as an RB3 or better five times based primarily on his role as the pass-catching specialist for Tennessee. He has at least four targets in six games this season. The downside is that he only has one week with double-digit PPR points. He’s all floor and no ceiling. That’s marginally useful as a bye-week option and Spears remains a Derrick Henry injury away from elite upside.
Antonio Gibson, Commanders (45%)
Gibson is simply Spears without the upside. He has 10 catches for 70 yards over the past two weeks but only eight carries. Gibson has run a route on just under half of the Commnaders’ passing plays this year. However, with how pass-heavy Washington has been, Gibson ranks fourth in routes among running backs.
Tank Dell, Texans (48%)
Dell earned over half of the Texans’ air yards for a second time this year. He also picked up a 28 percent target share while running a route on 87 percent of C.J. Stroud’s dropbacks. Most importantly, he saw his first and second end zone targets of the year.
Double move TD to Tank Dell. Gets the CB to false step, twist. It's over. pic.twitter.com/S9V5T5HMli
Dell put on a show in Week 9 and punished anyone who didn’t hold onto him through his recent slump. Knowing that breakout receivers are hard to come by and the year is already halfway over, Dell is worth at least 30 percent of the FAAB budget, if not more.
Noah Brown should draw some attention on the waiver wire as well. Brown caught six balls for 153 yards and a score in the Texans' Week 9 shootout. However, both his target share and air yards share were below 20 percent. He house-called a 75-yard score which juiced his fantasy numbers, but the underlying metrics show him as a clear WR3 for the team. I am letting other managers burn their FAAB on him.
Wan’Dale Robinson, Giants (20%)
Robinson had been running a route on a vast majority of his team’s dropbacks leading into Week 9. That changed with just a 56 percent route rate versus the Raiders. On the other hand, he had also been targeted exclusively at the line of scrimmage, destroying his weekly ceiling. That too changed in Week 9. His 7.4 aDOT went down as a season high. If he can pair this improved route tree with a full-time role, Robinson could push for WR3 numbers.
Odell Beckham, Ravens (25%)
Beckham has been capped at two-thirds of the Ravens’ routes since Week 1, but he has made the most of that role in recent weeks. Over his past three games, Beckham has a 21 percent target share and a 28 percent air yards share. On a Baltimore offense that has been white hot over the past month, Beckham’s role makes him worth a dollar or two of the FAAB.
Demario Douglas, Patriots (35%)
Douglas has run a route on 81 percent of the Patriots’ dropbacks over the past three weeks and has a 17 percent target share. With their receiving corps falling apart, the Pats have also gotten more creative with his usage. Douglas has been playing more on the outside recently and has three screens plus three carries in that stretch of games.
Luke Musgrave, Packers (22%)
Musgrave’s route rate got up to 81 percent last week, putting him in the ballpark of where his role was at the start of the season. A concussion pumped the breaks on his breakout a few weeks ago, but Matt LaFleur appears comfortable with him as a full-time player and an integral part of the team’s passing attack once again. Musgrave earned a 17 percent target share in Week 9.
Jonnu Smith, Falcons (28%)
Smith refuses to not be a thing, earning a 17 percent target share versus the Vikings that included this 60-yard score.
— NFL (@NFL) November 5, 2023
Smith has finished as a TE1 four times this year. With the Falcons passing out a 12-personnel at a league-leading rate, there’s room for both Smith and Kyle Pitts to post usable numbers, though Pitts managers are undoubtedly frustrated at his middling role in recent weeks.
Cade Otton, Bucs (6%)
Otton has been running plenty of routes this season but hasn’t made much of his role, achieving TE1 status in just one game before Week 9. That changed in a fast-paced game versus the Texans. He earned a 32 percent target share and converted that into six catches for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns. I remain skeptical that he won’t revert to the low-value TE2 he was earlier in the year, but this explosive performance could earn him more looks in the coming weeks. He is at least worth a flyer for teams in need of some juice at tight end.
Kicker (Presented by Denny Carter)
Cairo Santos, Bears (1%)
Santos, who once made a Cameo video addressed to me for a fantasy bit with Pete Overzet, is in an excellent spot Thursday night against the Panthers, who -- it should go without saying -- are down unfathomably.
Chicago is a 3.5-point home favorite here. Santos has had multiple field goal tries in every game that has seen the Bears hang in there with the opponent. I think -- with or without Justin Fields -- they can do that Thursday against Carolina. Santos, who has made 12 of 13 field goal tries this season, is an ideal process play.
Blake Grupe, Saints (33%)
Last week’s top kicker waiver option made one of two field goal attempts and all three extra points. The process, things of that nature.
Grupe is live again as a waiver pick in Week 10 against the Vikings. The rookie has multiple field goal tries in six of his nine games this year and the Vikings have allowed the tenth most field goal attempts through Week 9. I like this game’s sneaky shootout appeal too.
Matt Gay, Colts (41%)
With at least two field goal attempts in four of his past five games, Gay has turned into a fairly reliable fantasy option attached to the Minshew-led Colts offense. In Week 10, Gay has all the trappings of a solid process play: The Colts are 6.5-point favorites against the Patriots, who have given up the fourth most field goal tries this year.
Patriots opponents are averaging 3.7 red zone possessions per game, the sixth-highest mark in the league. I like the Colts to move the ball at will against New England. That should work out quite well for Gay.