Thomason: Top Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 9

By Jack Thomason–

(CBS) Here are my top 10 waiver adds for 10- and 12-member fantasy football leagues with Week 9 upon us.

1. JuJu Smith-Schuster  (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers) – Smith-Schuster had been out-snapping Martavis Bryant over the last four weeks, then got his chance to shine Sunday with Bryant inactive due to behavioral issues. Smith-Schuster recorded a franchise-record 97-yard touchdown catch and totaled and 186 yards on six receptions overall. He will be a key cog in the offense moving forward and should be owned in all formats.

2. Alex Collins (RB, Baltimore Ravens) – Collins has looked liked the best back in Baltimore for a while now, and it really showed last Thursday night, when he balled out for 143 total yards on 20 touches to Javorius Allen’s 57 total yards on 18 touches. This was the first game Collins out-snapped Allen. A lot had to do with the score and the Ravens playing with a lead, but I’m not sure they can deny the boost that Collins provides the offense with his tenacious running style.

3. Marlon Mack (RB, Indianapolis Colts) – Mack has been in a near 60-40 split with Frank Gore when it comes to touches over the last two weeks. Mack has also had the explosive plays and the touchdown, which bodes well as he continues to see increased playing time. While Mack is still developing as an NFL runner, he has elite athleticism and agility to make big plays and be productive. The ageless Gore won’t be completely phased out, but there’s enough touches to go around given the Colts are often playing from behind.

4. Jack Doyle (TE, Indianapolis Colts) – Doyle isn’t getting a ton of love, but he was good for six catches in each of his last two games prior to his 14-target, 12-catch performance this past Sunday. He’s definitely Jacoby Brissett’s favorite target and his 121 yards and one touchdown are proof. He’s a TE1 moving forward and needs to be owned. He’s providing consistency at a position that lacks just that.

5. Corey Davis (WR, Tennessee Titans) – It’s a personal feeling, but I believe Davis could be in store for a huge second half. He’s been out since Week 2 with a hamstring injury and returned to practice Monday, albeit in limited fashion. If he’s healthy and ready to roll, he should be a target hog in an offense that has lacked consistency from its passing game. Davis drew 10 targets in his only full game this year, logging six catches for 69 yards.

6. Jamison Crowder (WR, Washington Redskins) – Crowder had been a bust through seven weeks of the season. He finally popped Sunday, ripping off 123 yards on nine receptions and 13 targets against the Cowboys. He played 95 percent of the snaps and between he and Vernon Davis, they should fill the void of Jordan Reed over the middle of field. Crowder’s stat line was more in line with what folks thought they’d see when they drafted Crowder as their WR2.

7. Vernon Davis (TE , Washington Redskins) – We’ve seen what Davis can do in Reed’s absence. Earlier this year, Davis tallied five receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown when Reed was inactive and logged more than 82 percent of the snaps. After Reed injured his hamstring Sunday, Davis logged more than 81 percent of the snaps. While he drew four looks, I expect him to be a large part of the passing game until Reed returns.

8. Rex Burkhead (RB, New England Patriots) – Burkhead was gaining a lot of steam heading into the season as a favorite to dominate the workload in the Patriots’ backfield, but it hasn’t panned out. However, he played the second-most snaps (27) and tied for the second-most touches (11) this past Sunday. He produced 83 yards on seven receptions and four carries and now that he’s healthy and back in action, he should remain a big part of New England’s offensive plans. Buyer beware though, as predicting the Patriots’ backfield is near impossible. James White is the only constant.

9. Robby Anderson (WR, New York Jets) – Anderson continues to lead the New York Jets with 6.5 targets per game and now has back-to-back games with touchdowns as well. Quarterback Josh McCown is playing well and loves taking shots to Anderson deep. Anderson scored a long touchdown and had his largest game of the year Sunday, hauling in six receptions and breaking 100 yards for the first time. He’s a solid WR3 moving through the remainder of the bye weeks and possibly longer.

10. Paul Richardson (WR, Seattle Seahawks) – Richardson continues to make splash plays for the Seahawks and leads the team in touchdowns with five. Seattle is still struggling to run the ball and is leaning heavily on Russell Wilson’s arm, so Richardson playing 72 percent of the snaps is still going to provide opportunities. Richardson is coming off a six-reception, 102-yard, two-touchdown performance and looks to have a nice schedule down the stretch.

Just missed:  Josh McCown, DeAndre Washington, J.D. McKissic, Josh Doctson, Tyler Lockett, Austin Hooper, Greg Olsen and Dion Sims.

Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert and co-host of “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today,” which can be heard every Sunday during football season from 8-9 a.m. CT on WSCR-670 and 670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter@jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.

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