Fantasy Football: Waiver Wire’s Top Pickups After Week 9

November 3, 2014 Updated: November 4, 2014

*This column ranks the most notable waiver wire pickups following Week 9 of the NFL season(Monday night game has yet to be played). These are general rankings based on player value and are not meant to be exact, especially between players of different positions. The players listed are all owned in less than half of ESPN fantasy football leagues. 

1.Ryan Mathews, RB

2. Mark Sanchez, QB

3. Tre Mason, RB

4. Ryan Tannehill, QB

5. Terrence West, RB

6. Mike Evans, WR

7. Alfred Blue, RB

8. Martavis Bryant, WR

9. Bryce Brown, RB

10. Bobby Rainey, RB

11. Charles Sims, RB

12. Matt Asiata, RB

13. Anthony Dixon, RB

14. Cowboys DST(vs Jags)

If Ryan Mathews has been dropped and forgotten about in your league, now is prime time to scoop him up. Mathews will likely return to every-down duties after the Chargers’ Week 10 bye. Playing in a high octane Chargers offense (yes, this week was a very poor indication of that), Mathews is legitimately a rest of the way RB2 if all things go right. Meanwhile, Mark Sanchez has reappeared in Fantasy Football. Call me crazy, but the former Jets flameout is an elite fantasy option now that Eagles starting quarterback Nick Foles will miss extended time with a collarbone injury. By elite I don’t mean Tom Brady-elite, but more or less the value Foles provided. So, a weekly top 12 option. But actually, no one has found this a crazy notion. Chip Kelly‘s ‘O’ is super QB-friendly  didn’t Sanchez throw for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns on Sunday (two picks as well)? Speaking of QB’s, Ryan Tannehill has pretty much entrenched himself as a top of the line QB2. Grab him if you need a streamer or quarterback help  he should be owned in more than half of fantasy leagues. As in Week 7, Tre Mason was the Rams’ feature back in Week 9. The problem is, sandwiched between the two weeks is a week where the Rams ran a three-back-committee, causing Mason to fed an inadequate 7 carries. The only doubt on Mason is that we don’t for sure if he is the Ram’s feature back for good – the Rams, being the ineffective team they are, may pull another Week 8. But if he is, Mason is a bottom-end RB2 the rest of the way. Meanwhile Browns starting back Ben Tate has seemingly ran for negative yardage for quite a few weeks now. Terrence West led the Browns in touches Sunday, and he could develop into the starting back’ the rest of the way. This bodes extremely if the Browns can somehow get their running game going again. Mike Evans looked really good on Sunday, scorching the Browns for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. He really is a middle man’s Vincent Jackson, and at only 21 years of age. Evans has major upside going forward, its just the Bucs don’t have the best options at quarterback. Fire Evans up as a WR3. Ben Roethlisberger exploded again for 6 TD’s Sunday night, which bodes well with Martavis Bryant developing into the Steelers’ top red zone option. Roethlisberger won’t throw for 5 TD’s every game, and Bryant is still a rookie competing with Antonio Brown for catches, though he’s worth a flier as a WR3/WR4. Running backs ranked 9-13 are all flier type material. I honestly don’t really like the Bucs backfield whatsoever – this may turn into an ugly time share between Doug Martin, Charles Sims, and Bobby Rainey. Fantasy owners may have forgotten about the Bills backfield during their bye  Bryce Brown still has potential, but his timeshare with Anthony Dixon, and the impending return of Fred Jackson are both troubling. For those who weren’t paying attention, Matt Asiata had his second three-touchdown game of the season versus the Redskins. Good for him, but I think fantasy owners all know what he’s about by now. And finally, the Dallas Cowboys Defense are of course the defensive pickup of the week due to a date with the offensively inept Jacksonville Jaguars.