Week 9 Waiver Wire: Delanie Walker and Other Top Bye-Week Replacements
Six teams will enjoy a bye in Week 9, much to the chagrin of fantasy owners everywhere.
Teams getting the break this week are the Denver Broncos, the Detroit Lions, the New York Giants, the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Aside from the Jags, each of these teams has a true fantasy stud or two that must be replaced, and there are plenty of options on the waiver wire to do so.
Let's take a look at some top targets who are available to fill the void.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
Now that quarterback Jake Locker is healthy and on the field again for the Titans, taking a chance on Walker is a good bet this week. To prove he was back, Locker threw for 326 yards and two scores to just one pick in Week 7 against a San Francisco 49ers defense that ranks No. 8 against the pass this season.
Walker was a beneficiary of that success as he recorded three catches for 52 yards and a score in the same game. It was the first time Walker had seen the end zone in two games, which was the exact amount of time Locker missed.
In all, Locker and Walker have connected for three touchdowns this season and more success is likely coming the tight end's way now that his favorite QB has shaken off some rust. Walker ranks third on the team in receptions, targets and yards this season, but his trio of scores leads all Titans receivers.
Week 9 won't present the greatest matchup for Walker as he will square up against a St. Louis Rams defense that is ranked No. 12 against the pass and No. 3 against tight ends in fantasy. But still, when you have lost a top tight end to a bye like Julius Thomas or Vernon Davis, you'll need some luck in order to match their weekly output.
Mike Tolbert, RB, Carolina Panthers
If you ask any DeAngelo Williams owner what bugs them the most, it's that Tolbert has gotten the majority of the goal-line carries for the Panthers this season. Despite the fact that Williams has double the carries that Tolbert has in 2013-14, it's Tolbert who owns three touchdowns to Williams' one.
Last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their defense, which ranks No. 19 against the pass and No. 7 against the run, Tolbert had a season high in receiving yards (29) and was one yard short of his season high in rushing yards (35).
Tolbert also found the end zone for the second time through the air this season, giving him five scores in total and at least one in four of his last five games. His touches also have a chance to increase this week as Williams came up limp against the Bucs on Thursday night with a bruised quadriceps that has him listed as questionable, per ESPN.com.
A favorable matchup awaits Tolbert and the Panthers in Week 9 as they welcome the Atlanta Falcons into town. Matt Ryan and company may have a dangerous offense, but Atlanta's defense ranks No. 22 defending both the pass and the run this season, so Tolbert has a golden opportunity to make some noise on the ground and through the air.
Jason Campbell, QB, Cleveland Browns
Not only did the Cleveland Browns give the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs a run for their money in Week 8, quarterback Jason Campbell shined in his debut with a new team.
Campbell threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns while completing 61 percent of his passes. He also showed a bit of athleticism as he ran the rock three times for 17 yards. These numbers are made to look more impressive when you consider the Chiefs own the No. 4 pass defense in the NFL, and Campbell didn't toss a pick.
The Browns won't be up against such a stiff foe this week as the Baltimore Ravens come to Cleveland off a bye week that followed a tough loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7. Baltimore ranks No. 16 against the pass this season and has allowed the 19th-most points to quarterbacks in fantasy.
If Campbell was able to use weapons like Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron to have success against KC's elite squad, burning Baltimore for similar or better numbers looks like a good bet. Heck, even Brandon Weeden managed to throw for 227 yards in Baltimore earlier this year without turning the ball over.
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