Top waiver wire pickups for Week 9
Note: This list includes only players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Terrelle Pryor (OAK): On Sunday, Pryor showed why he can generally be relied on in fantasy leagues. The Raiders jumped out to an early lead, prompting them to play conservatively. On top of that, the Raiders' receivers hurt Pryor with three drops, one of which turned into an interception. Finally, Pryor simply did not throw the ball very well against the league's second ranked pass defense. However, he still salvaged a solid fantasy performance by running for 106 yards and a touchdown. Pryor's dual-threat skill set makes it tough for defenses to completely shut him down - they often have to pick their poison, to a certain extent. Pryor may be able to get things going both through the air and on the ground in next week's matchup with the Eagles' 31st ranked defense.
Jake Locker (TEN): Making a surprise return from a hip injury in Week 7, Locker didn't play too bad, posting his fourth passer rating of 92+ in five games this season. He should be healthier and in better game shape coming out of his bye week, and he has averaged two passing touchdowns over his past four games. What makes Locker a good add as a bye week fill-in is that he faces the Rams, Jaguars, and Raiders over the next month.
Carson Palmer (ARI): He was on this list last week thanks to a weak upcoming schedule, and he didn't disappoint, topping an 80.0 passer rating for the first time since Week 1. As a matter of fact, his passer rating was an impressive 116.0. He's heading into a bye week, but afterwards he'll have the Texans, Jaguars, Colts, Eagles, and Rams. He'll generally register more than the 18 pass attempts he had in Week 8, as I don't expect the Cardinals to dominate many more teams in the way they dominated the Falcons.
Ben Tate (HOU): While he may have four broken ribs, Tate insists that he will play this week and claims that his injury is less painful than it was in Week 7. Arian Foster, on the other hand, looks questionable - at best - for Week 9. Tate is worth an add just in case Foster can't go, because he has proven that he can produce when given a full workload. In his nine career games with 12+ carries, Tate has averaged 89.3 rushing yards per game. He could get 20 carries against a Colts team ranked 29th against the run.
Shane Vereen (NE): He is expected to be ready to play when first eligible in Week 11, and he will resume a major role in the Patriots' offense - it's as simple as that. Vereen will be the passing-down back, which will net him about 50% of the snaps, and he'll also get some additional early-down work as both a running back and receiver from time to time. If he's available in your league, you should probably make room for him on your roster.
Andre Brown (NYG): Like Vereen, Brown is expected to play as soon as he is eligible in Week 10. The Giants will be thrilled to have him back, as Peyton Hillis has carried the load over the past two weeks, averaging a measly 2.8 yards per carry. Even Brandon Jacobs - who had one flukey good game - is an unreliable option due to his age and an unimpressive 3.5 yards per carry mark. Brown ran the ball only 73 times last season, but ripped off 5.3 yards per carry with eight touchdowns in ten games. It looks like he'll be the lead back in Week 10, making him an immediate fantasy option.
Jonathan Stewart (CAR): There may not be many healthy running backs on the waiver wire, but there are certainly some talented guys available who are soon returning from injuries. Stewart is the least intriguing of the three injured backs I've just mentioned due to his chronic health problems and uncertain workload, but it is also worth noting that he will be back the soonest. Stewart believes that he will be back in Week 9, and while I wouldn't advise starting him right out of the gate with DeAngelo Williams healthy, he's worth an add due to his unique talent and skill set.