Pick up Justin Fields, Kyren Williams ahead of Sunday
We arced Week 7 of the 2022 NFL season and as head coach Bill Belichick would say, “We’re in Week 8.” Now is the time to look into the crystal ball and see which players we should be targeting on the waiver wire now for a big win later.
Recall: Week 9 is Bye-Nado 1 with six teams — the Browns, Cowboys, Broncos, giants, Steelers and 49ers – bye. You will need to find week-long replacements for Amari Cooper, Nick Chubb, Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb, Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Courtland Sutton, Saquon Barkley, Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle and Brandon Ayuk.
Week 9 Early Whistleblower Targets
QB Justin Fields Bear (40% registered)
Maybe I was a season (and a half) too early with my Justin Fields love.
Fields has been the QB4 since Week 5 behind only Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. He was impressive against the patriots Monday night, when he completed 13 of 21 attempts for 179 yards, a landing and an interception. The dual threat also veered on 14 hasty attempts for 82 yards and a touchdown to earn QB5 honors in Week 7.
Fields’ mobility is a huge fantastic asset; 2 year quarterback averages over 50 rushing yards per game (85 in the last two weeks). I would hesitate to throw it this weekend against the Cowboyswhose defense ranks second in defensive DVOA and first in passing DVOA, according to Football Outsiders.
After that he should be a low-end QB1 in week 9 against the dolphins with six teams goodbye. Miami allows the sixth-most fantasy points for quarterbacks and has been cut by the two moving quarterbacks — Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen — they’ve faced this year. Fields is a great option for Prescott or Wilson managers.
QB Taylor Heinicke Commanders (seven%)
Replacing the injured Carson Wentz, Heinicke looked solid in his season debut for the Commanders in Week 7. He completed 20 of 33 attempts for 203 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and led the team to a upset victory over the Packers.
Heinicke was up and down as the Commanders starter in 2021. He was QB16 in 16 games played and completed 65% of his attempts for 3,419 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Like Fields, Heinicke is a dual threat and has rushed for 313 yards and a touchdown.
It is a streaming option that can be used during the Bye-Nado against the vikings, whose defense ranks 24th in defensive DVOA. They allowed the two mobile quarterbacks they faced this year – Jalen Hurts and Fields – to finish in the top 13 at the position.
WR Joshua Palmer and DeAndre Carter, Chargers (22% and 5%)
Palmer and Carter could be in line for increased goals once the Chargers return from their Week 8 break.
Keenan Allen returned from a five-game absence with a hamstring injury in Week 7. The WR78 in half PPR scoring, Allen caught two targets for 11 yards and did not play in the second half. It was somewhat predictable that he would return to action after such a long absence.
Mike Williams stole the show with seven caught on nine targets for 86 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he was injured and will likely be out for several weeks with a sprained ankle.
Palmer missed last week with a concussion, but is likely to return after the break. He would be my favorite addition to Carter, although Carter saw a season high of 94% snaps in Week 7.
I expect Allen to be Los Angeles’ WR1 while Williams is out, followed by Palmer and Carter, with Gerald Everett also seeing additional targets. The Chargers have a somewhat soft schedule coming up with the Falcons, 49ers, Chiefs, Cardinals, Raiders, dolphins and Titans lined up over the next seven weeks – five of which rank in the bottom ten in the DVOA pass.
RB By Ernest Johnson, Browns (1%)
Johnson hasn’t had any rushing attempts this season, but he could end up being a fantastically valuable asset if the Browns move on from Kareem Hunt, who is believed to be on the trade block.
It was the Nick Chubb Show in Cleveland and Hunt was stuck singing in the chorus. He is the RB25 in the PPR half and the clear No. 2 behind Chubb, who is the RB2 overall. Hunt is currently averaging 11.6 touches per game, which could be funneled into Johnson if Hunt ends up on a new team.
There are plenty of teams that could benefit from additional running back depth, including the Broncos, Invoices, Rams, Buccaneerschiefs, cardinals, sea hawks and Eagles, just to name a few. Johnson is worth a speculative addition.
RB Kyren Williams, Rams (42%)
Williams was the Rams’ fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft against Notre Dame. He missed the first six games of the season with an ankle injury that required surgery, but was designated to return from injured reserve.
The rookie could be in line for a heavy workload from the start, which seems to be the plan according to Athleticism.
Cam Akers, who was expected to start this year, is sidelined due to friction with the coaching staff. It looks likely to be traded, and now that Christian McCaffrey is officially off the tablethe Rams may have to make do with what they already have.
With Akers sidelined, Darrell Henderson Jr. led the Rams backfield in Week 6. He saw 12 carries for 43 yards and scored a touchdown and added two receptions for nine yards. His health has deteriorated throughout his career, however, which has forced him to miss seven games in 2021.
It could be a split between Henderson and Williams (once activated), or Williams could be No. 1 if Henderson were to be sidelined. It’s worth adding in a great backfield to win.
TE Evan Engram, jaguars (43%)
Over the past three weeks, Engram has quietly averaged 7.7 targets per game and is TE9 in half PPR. He’s yet to find the end zone this year, but his goals have kept him afloat for fantasy at a position often criticized for volatility.
I don’t like his upcoming game in Week 8 against the Broncos’ top-notch pass defense, but he’s been relatively consistent playing on a team that often finds himself in negative play scripts.
In Weeks 9 and 10, he faces the Raiders and Chiefs, which should easily get him into the TE1 conversation. Engram will be a good week-long replacement for managers Freiermuth or Kittle.
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