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9 route: Top 9 fantasy football waiver targets in Week 11

November 15, 2018

In a fairly meh week on the waiver wire, what better time to discuss a few stream-worthy quarterbacks who appear to be saving their best for nut-crunching time this season? We’ll get there soon.

First, a reminder: The ‘9 route’ is our weekly guide to helping maximizing your success on the fantasy football waiver wire. Only players owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! leagues are eligible. A few guys who barely missed the cut but would be among our top-9 waiver priorities: RB Royce Freeman and TE Vance McDonald, both at 52 percent ownership.

Let’s get to this week’s list, our first of the season featuring multiple quarterbacks:

9. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson

Hell. Yes. We never want to see a player get injured — assuming Baltimore didn’t dream up Joe Flacco’s balky hip during the bye week to open the door for Jackson’s starting debut — but it’s time to free the former Heisman in an attempt to spark the Ravens’ reeling offense. You’ve probably heard by now that Jackson is under the tutelage of two dual-threat QB whisperers in Marty Morninwheg and James Urban, and we’ve already seen his unique skill set sprinkled into Baltimore’s offense, yielding a pair of touchdowns and a 5.0-yard rush average. No fantasy QB room has a softer remaining slate than Baltimore’s, beginning with the historically bad Bengals at home Sunday. Again, it’s time.

8. Titans QB Marcus Mariota

It’s a smaller sample size, but Mariota actually is QB7 overall in the past two games — Tennessee’s most impressive of the season — when he’s averaged 8.8 yards per attempt and tallied five touchdowns vs. two turnovers against the Cowboys and Patriots. Mariota’s rapport with Corey Davis appears to be peaking, with Davis snaring 13 of his 20 targets for 181 yards and a score. Tennessee now visits the Colts, who in all their pluck just allowed Blake Bortles to throw for 300-plus yards with two touchdowns and no turovers for the first time this season.

7. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

He’s fantasy’s QB9 overall in his past four games, when he’s totaled nine touchdowns to four turnovers against the NFL’s 10th, 4th, 6th and 1st-rated scoring defenses. Over his next four games, Prescott visits Atlanta (No. 29 in scoring) and has a three-game homestand against Washington, New Orleans (league-worst 220.2 fantasy points allowed to QBs) and Philly. Ezekiel Elliott is beginning to assert his dominance, aided by Amari Cooper’s arrival and an O-line beginning to move people again. And Prescott is starting to be a run threat again, with his best three fantasy games on the ground coming during this stretch.

6. Cardinals TE Ricky-Seals Jones

RSJ commanded a career-high nine targets, parlayed into five catches for 51 yards on Sunday, the second game in which interim coordinator Byron Leftwich called Arizona’s offense. The numbers aren’t overly exciting, but with George Kittle, Rob Gronkowski and David Njoku resting in Week 11, and Oakland nothing if not a disaster defensively as the Cardinals come to town, owners can do worse. And it’s clear the Cardinals are a lot better with Leftwich, who’s reincorporating not only Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson but RSJ, whose 13 looks and seven grabs are both his high-water marks over any two-game interval this season.

5. Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny

Can Chris Carson return on a short week after being sidelined Sunday with a hip injury to battle the Packers? Perhaps. Either way, Penny, the Seahawks’ explosive first-rounder, finally has our attention ... and we can only assume he has Pete Carroll’s, too. In his first 100-yard game as a pro, Penny ripped off gains of 38 and 24 yards, plus and 18-yard house call — his first in the NFL. To wit: Carson has three runs of at least those distances ... on 111 carries this season. We’re big Carson fans, too, but the cream might be rising to the top of Seattle’s backfield just as the 22nd-ranked Packers run ‘D’ arrives in town.

4. Eagles RB Josh Adams

We’ve been trumpeting Corey Clement all season, so this is a tough pill to swallow. But Adams’ 17 touches and 114 yards from scrimmage lead Philadelphia’s backfield over the past two games, when he’s been only narrowly out-snapped by Wendell Smallwood, with Clement a distant third. After visiting New Orleans on Sunday in a battle with game-script concerns, Adams’ Eagles host a Giants squad that’s permitted 14 total touchdowns to backs, more than all but the Chiefs and Bucs.

3. Texans WR Keke Coutee

Houston’s rookie says there’s a good chance he’ll play despite still battling a hamstring injury when the Texans visit Washington. That means there’s a good chance he’ll produce for owners, who enjoyed his double-digit outputs in his first two games prior to being slowed by the hamstring. Coutee returns to a lineup that swapped out injured Will Fuller for aging Demaryius Thomas, but that still leaves him flanked by a pair of matchup problems in an offense that’s averaging more than 26 points during its red-hot run to the top of the division. Washington’s secondary isn’t playing well, allowing multiple passing touchdowns in five of its past seven games, not including this past Sunday, when Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 406 yards but couldn’t stay out of his own way in the red zone.

2. Bears WR Anthony Miller

He’s up to four receiving touchdowns, trailing only Calvin Ridley among rookie wideouts, after authoring his best day as a pro Sunday vs. the Lions — 5-122-1 receiving, including 55- and 45-yard downfield chunk gains. Frankly, Miller might be tied with Ridley had Mitch Trubisky not struggled with his downfield accuracy earlier in the season, when he missed Miller on at least two more would-be long scoring connections. Even in Chicago’s spread-it-around pass attack, Miller has five catches in consecutive weeks and a team-leading 26 targets over his past four games. After Minnesota on Sunday night, he’ll get another chance to feast on the Lions on Thanksgiving.

1. Rams WR Josh Reynolds

If Sean McVay calls Reynolds a starter-caliber receiver, it’s good enough for us. Add to that the fact that the Rams’ big, athletic second-year wideout caught two touchdowns on five targets in his last start in place of Cooper Kupp, who is done for the season with a torn ACL, and we’re even more intrigued. He’s averaging 14 yards per reception. He stands to benefit from playing alongside Gurley, Cooks and Woods and in an offense orchestrated by McVay. And the Rams host the Chiefs, who are playing better defensively but not good enough to prevent Vegas from assigning the highest point total ever (64 ½) to the most anticipated game of the season.

QBs

1. Dak Prescott

2. Marcus Mariota

3. Lamar Jackson

4. Eli Manning

5. Case Keenum

6. Blake Bortles

7. Josh Rosen

8. Baker Mayfield

9. Joe Flacco

RBs

1. Josh Adams

2. Rashaad Penny

3. Derrick Henry

4. Jalen Richard

5. Wendell Smallwood

6. Javorius Allen

7. Frank Gore

8. Corey Clement

9. Malcolm Brown

WRs

1. Josh Reynolds

2. Anthony Miller

3. Keke Coutee

4. Josh Doctson

5. John Ross

6. Maurice Harris

7. Christian Kirk

8. D.J. Moore

9. Tre’Quan Smith

TEs

1. Ricky Seals-Jones

2. Jeff Heuerman

3. C.J. Uzomah

4. Gerald Everett

5. Jonnu Smith

6. Nick Vannett

7. Hunter Henry

8. Jesse James

9. Adam Shaheen

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