Playing the waiver wire is what separates the elite fantasy gurus from the scrubs who can’t find a way to make the playoffs.
Every single week there are a handful of talented players who are just waiting to be selected off waivers. These guys can make a huge difference in the immediate term as a bye-week replacement or the long run as a potential weekly starter on your squad.
Let’s take a look at some of the best additions you can make to your roster in Week 9.
Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans
You may have forgotten about Jake Locker, as the Titans' emerging star just recently returned from a hip injury that sidelined him for three weeks and then went into the bye week to fully recover.
He should be back and better than ever in Week 9, with Tennessee traveling to St. Louis to take on the Rams.
It’s not the best matchup—the Rams held the Seattle Seahawks to just 14 points and conceded a mere 135 yards on offense—but Locker should be able to capitalize against an exhausted defense coming off a short week of rest.
This dual-threat quarterback has been dangerous through the air—1,047 yards and eight scores with just one interception while connecting on 94 of 152 passing attempts—and on the ground, rushing 18 times for 127 yards and another score.
Fantasy owners that want to replace a struggling starter or have a bye week fill-in should look no further than this third-year man out of Washington. He’s a dynamic playmaker who is only going to get better as the 2013 season drags on.
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Andre Ellington just put together a breakout performance in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons, but fantasy owners will have to stash this promising rookie on the bench if they pick him up heading into Week 9.
The Cardinals have an unfortunate bye to endure before Ellington can get back on the field and prove whether or not his 15-rush, 154-yard, one-score performance was a fluke or not.
How do you rank Ellington going forward in standard leagues?
This sixth-round pick seems to be the real deal, however, as he has mostly performed when given the opportunity. With the exception of a dismal Week 7 outing on national television against the Seattle Seahawks, Ellington has produced with his limited touches, especially in PPR leagues.
The 24-year-old is up to 43 rushing attempts for 333 yards and two scores in 2013 while also rewarding points-per-reception league owners with 22 catches for 198 yards and another touchdown.
Ellington is worth a scoop-and-stash in almost every format, as his talent is too great to pass over just because he cannot be used as a plug-and-play option this Sunday.
Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Speaking of breakout performances, Marvin Jones finally had his against the New York Jets this past week.
The second-year man out of Cal hauled in eight passes—on eight targets—and gained 122 yards. Most impressively, he found the end zone a whopping four times against a stingy Gang Green secondary.
While he’s obviously not going to repeat that sort of success—especially not with A.J. Green on the same field and likely to draw more red-zone targets—Jones is clearly the No. 2 option in this suddenly explosive Bengals offense.
It seems that opposing defenses are going to have to pick their poison when defending quarterback Andy Dalton’s weapons, as he now has two that are capable of torching defenses for massive gains and touchdowns.
Jones is a must-add for nearly every owner in every league format, as the 6’2”, 195-pound athlete is truly coming into his own in the second half of the season.