As we head into week 9, there is a plethora of useful running backs and wide receivers to help you navigate byes and injuries. 

I group the adds by position and then within the position, rank them in order of preference. The sherpa will only advise players who are rostered in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.

NEW FEATURES – I have made the FAAB suggestion a percentage of whatever your budget is instead of raw dollars. I also separated the quarterback section into suggestions for single and multi-QB formats. 

This went to press before the New York/Tampa Bay game.

Single QB – One streamer could help in a pinch

Nick Foles (1-5%) – If you can stomach it, Foles does have 2 very nice matchups ahead against Tennessee and Minnesota. He can be a spot starter with byes and COVID uncertainty hitting full force. 

Superflex / 2QB – A potential season ender opens up opportunity 

Nick Mullens  (50%+) – Incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo is now out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain. While this is likely true I also think that the 49ers could use this to shelve him for the rest of the season. I think SF may be content to ride out the string with Mullens who at times appears to be a better passer than Jimmy G. The undrafted free agent has been a pleasant surprise in his brief NFL career, but he can run this offense. If he’s un-rostered in a multi-QB league it’s time to open up the check book.  

RBOne add looks like a lead back for the rest of the season while another can provide solid production

Damien Harris (35-50%) – Harris now averaged over 5.8 yards per carry in 3 of his 4 active games. He has 2 games over 100 yards and looks much better than Sony Michel has since his sophomore year of college. I can’t see why New England would want to give any other running back carries even with a healthy roster.  I have put an aggressive bid suggestion because while the Patriots offense is gross, at this point in the season a 15-20 touch running back that isn’t an injury fill in is hard to find.  

Zack Moss (25%) – The Bills have a split backfield but Moss is seeing the more fantasy friendly touches. He had 14 carries for 81 yards but got into the endzone twice from inside the 10 yard line. His mate Singletary also saw 14 carries for a hefty 86 yards but doesn’t get looks when Buffalo is close to scoring. The rookie can be a viable FLEX with this role. Like Harris he’s a little more enticing than other names here because he’s earning the touches rather than getting them by default due to injury.

Jordan Wilkins (20%) – Wilkins has always performed well when given touches, but the Colts told us they weren’t interested by drafting Jonathan Taylor in the second round while also having Marlon Mack in the fold. There were whispers that JT had an ankle injury in week 8 which limited his production. The unfortunate facts are Wilkins looked better and JT has not really done much to distance himself. If Wilkins continues to produce, this is a team with playoff aspirations and they won’t hesitate to play the best plays regardless of draft capital. 

Gus Edwards (10%) – With Mark Ingram out, Edwards did about exactly as expected. He got 16 carries and was very efficient with them totaling 87 yards and converted a short touchdown. However, he won’t be used as a pass catcher and while his role in the offense is secure, he’s going to find it hard to crack double digit fantasy points without a score. 

Nyheim Hines (10%) – The versatile back saw 5 carries and 5 targets en route to his big 2 touchdown performance. If JT should miss time, he could see a slight uptick in volume. He’s probably still a desperation FLEX as Wilkins will see the majority of the backfield work. 

Cam Akers (5%)Darrell Henderson sat in the second half with a thigh injury and Akers saw his first real work since returning from injury. He looked good as his usual elusive self. Sean McVey said that Henerson’s injury wasn’t serious and he should be fine after the bye. This is mostly a reminder than Akers is one injury away from being a major pickup in all formats. If you have room, I would stash him now. 

DeeJay Dallas (5%) – The de facto starter for Seattle came through in a huge way with 2 touchdowns but the 5 receptions were very exciting. He will likely fall back into the shadows when Chris Carson is active, but Dallas showed he can stick around and be a fantasy starter when called upon. 

Brian Hill (5%) – Has logged double digit carries in 2 of the last 3 weeks, and active in the passing game with about 2 receptions each week. 

Troymaine Pope (5%) – A 5th year journeyman, Pope was called up from the practice squad prior to week 8 against Denver. He exceeded any reasonable expectations by turning 15 touches into 95 yards. Justin Jackson is still the lead back while Austin Ekeler is out, but Pope may become the second of a 1-2 punch for Los Angeles. The big news here is that Joshua Kelley is droppable now. 

Eno Benjamin (0%) – If you have bench space, stash the exciting Benjamin while Kenyan Drake is out. The rookie has an exceptional college production profile and may see the old Chase Edmonds role with Edmonds becoming the lead back. 

WR – 

Jalen Reagor (20%) – Tied for team lead in opportunities with 7 (6 targets, 1 carry) immediately off the IR. He was targeted on a flat route off motion for his touchdown, and was inches away from another touchdown but the ball was punched out on a good play by the CB. I liked seeing the Eagles manufacture touches for him. He is their best playmaker with Miles Sanders out, and they used him as such. The offense will continue to be clunky because of the OL but I think it only gets better from here for Reagor. 

Mike Williams (15-20%) – I wish I could foretell when MW would see 5 or more targets because that’s all he really needs to be a WR3 or better for fantasy. However, he has a knack for disappearing without notice. Attached to Herbert’s arm and about to enjoy a decent stretch of matchups, Williams is absolutely worth a bench spot and not a bad thing to roll the dice in your starting lineup if you need a big week. 

Kendrick Bourne (10-15%) – Bourne has never been looked upon as “the guy” but when thrust into action has typically performed. He saw 10 targets in week 8 and should continue to see more work with Deebo Samuel out and George Kittle on the shelf for the long haul. 

Darnell Mooney, Anthony Miller (10-15%) – The breakout has been brewing for a while, but finally Mooney say 6 targets and hauled in 5 receptions for 69 yard and a score. This was his best game as a pro, and the rookie looks poised to be the second in line behind Allen Robinson. Meanwhile, Miller also saw a season high in targets with 11. Both these WRs could be spot starts in great matchups against Tennessee and Minnesota over the next 2 weeks. 

Allen Lazard (10%) -No one has stepped up behind Davante Adams to secure a consistent WR2 role for Green Bay. Lazard is back practicing and would likely walk into a useful role as Aaron Rodgers’ second receiving option. 

Corey Davis (10%) – Back to back 10 targets games with a healthy A.J. Brown will get you noticed. Davis (and the rest of the pass catchers) are likely to continue to be called upon, because the Titans’ defense won’t allow for a slow grind it out style. 

Denzel Mims (5-10%) – Was targeted early and had 2 catches for 42 yards in the first quarter before going silent for the rest of the game. Still, it he led the team in receiving yards in both weeks he’s been active. Unfortunately the schedule is not getting any easier, so it’s unlikely a manager will want to send Mims out to secure a fantasy W. If things progress by week 13 and 14 against Las Vegas and Seattle he could become relevant. 

Curtis Samuel (0-5%) – Yes he had a great game, hitting pay dirt twice but still is the 4th option in the passing game. His rushing use will likely dry up with the return of Christian McCaffery, but doing due diligence he should at least be considered for those who have limited FAAB left.  

Marvin Hall, Quintez Cephus (0-5%) – The 4th year pro Hall had his first career 100 yard game with the Lions in comeback mode and Kenny Golladay on the sideline. In week 1, Cephus saw 10 largely fruitless targets but he could work his way into a meaningful role with Golladay now looking top be out for a while.   

TE – 

Dallas Goedert (15%) –  With Zach Ertz on IR, Goedert should see a hefty amount of targets and has the athletic ability to produce. 

Robert Tonyan (5%) – As described above, the second target on the Packers is still up for grabs and Tonyan certainly is a candidate. At least until Lazard comes back he is a TE1 for fantasy. 

Logan Thomas (5%)Kyle Allen has breathed some new life into this offense and Thomas has been the second option in the passing game all season. The bar for TE is so low, I still like him in a good matchup. Right out of the bye the WFT gets the tough Giants on an short week but then dates with the Lions, Bengals and Cowboys look promising. 

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