Each week of the NFL season, we will identify fantasy football waiver wire pickups specifically for those of you looking for streaming options in deeper formats (including IDP leagues). These are players available in a majority of ESPN Fantasy leagues (or close) who have enticing matchups in the week ahead that make them worthy of consideration for your lineups.
While you might notice some overlap with Field Yates' pickup column that publishes on Mondays, an important distinction is that the options mentioned in this column are focused solely on this week's matchup and not the players' values for the remainder of the season.
In spite of ups and downs for the Dolphins, Brian Flores continues to publicly support Tagovailoa. Since Week 6, the second-year quarterback has averaged 23.8 fantasy points per game. Even after a tough performance against the Buffalo Bills, Tagovailoa should have a much better showing this week against a Texans defense that has been a fantasy bonanza for quarterbacks for quite a while now. Matthew Stafford, Kyler Murray, Carson Wentz, Mac Jones and Josh Allen have averaged 21.38 points per game against Houston over the last five games.
In terms of total completions, Fields' last two games were his best. Fields has thrown touchdown passes in three of his last four games. He completed 19 of 27 passes for 175 yards in Week 8. In addition, Fields carried the ball 10 times for 103 yards in his best fantasy point performance (27.1) of his young career. With the Bears providing him more opportunities as a rusher, he makes for an attractive streaming option this week against the Steelers. Over the last five games, Pittsburgh's defense has allowed Baker Mayfield, Geno Smith, Teddy Bridgewater, Aaron Rodgers and Joe Burrow to average 18.7 points per game. The rookie could surpass that mark in Week 9.
Mark Ingram II, RB, New Orleans vs. Falcons (23.9%)
Last Friday, Ingram signed a one-year, $2.8 million contract extension with the Saints, and his familiarity with New Orleans' offensive scheme allowed him to play a change-up role against the Buccaneers. Ingram rushed six times (one in the red zone) for 27 yards and added two receptions for 25 yards. From the time Sean Payton took over the Saints in 2006, the team has relied heavily on its running backs, so looking at former Saints back Latavius Murray may provide the best harbinger of Ingram's opportunity; between 2019 and 2020, Murray had an average of 11.6 opportunities per game. Ingram should be able to provide fantasy managers with flex/RB3 value this week against a Falcons defense that allows the seventh-most points per game to running backs.
As a result of Miles Sanders' ankle injury, the Eagles placed him on injured reserve on Friday. Last week against the Lions, Kenneth Gainwell was expected to see a steady amount of touches. The optimism slowly dwindled with reports that Jordan Howard practiced with the Eagles' starters and then Scott's strong performance on Sunday. He rushed 12 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns against Detroit, playing 45% of the snaps. With the Chargers allowing the fifth-most points per game to running backs, Scott is on the RB3/flex radar with upside against a vulnerable Chargers defense that allowed Damien Harris to turn 23 rushing attempts into 80 yards and a touchdown last week.
Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills at Jaguars (3.0%)
Last week, Davis caught four of five targets for 29 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins. He tied his season-high in targets (5) as the Bills used more four-wide receiver sets. In terms of passing yards (276.3) and attempts (39.3), Buffalo ranks sixth in both categories. With the Jacksonville Jaguars allowing the seventh most points per game to receivers, Davis should see a similar volume of targets this week.
Conklin has averaged five targets per game over Minnesota's last four games. Essentially, he's operating as the Vikings' third receiving option averaging 7.8 points per game. In this week's matchup, Conklin faces a Baltimore Ravens defense that has allowed some impressive fantasy performances in recent weeks from C.J. Uzomah (24.1), Jared Cook (12.5), Mo Alie-Cox (8) and Noah Fant (16.6).
Josiah Deguara, TE, Green Bay Packers at Chiefs (0.2% rostered)
Robert Tonyan suffered an ACL injury last week and is out for the season. He had 28 targets, 18 receptions and 204 receiving yards through eight games and Deguara will be expected to fill the void. He will face a Chiefs defense that has given up the second most points to tight ends. On Monday Night Football against the Giants, this defense allowed two touchdowns to Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph, and we all know how proficient Aaron Rodgers is in the red zone.
Green Bay Packers at Chiefs (29.6%)
This season, the Chiefs have turned the football over 19 times and have allowed Patrick Mahomes to be sacked 16 times. As a result of Kansas City's franchise quarterback's pressing, disastrous results have occurred at times. Mahomes and the Chiefs face a Packers defense that is coming off of a two-sack, three-takeaway game against the Cardinals. If you need a streamer this week, you can depend on the Packers.
Miami Dolphins vs. Texans (20.9%)
The Dolphins' defense will take on a Texans offense that ranks 31st in total yards (281.1) and points scored (30.1). Miami's pass rush should shine regardless of whether Davis Mills or Tyrod Taylor is under center.
Las Vegas Raiders at Giants (20.6%)
This week, the Raiders' pass rush should pose problems for the Giants' offensive line. The DST20 is currently averaging 5.9 points per game, but has a good chance to surpass that against the Giants this week.
Jake Elliott, K, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chargers (1.7% rostered)
On Sunday, Elliott made all three of his field-goal attempts and added five extra points. With the Chargers' defense allowing the fifth most points (9) to kickers per game, this momentum should continue.
Individual Defensive Players (IDP)
Zach Allen, DT, Arizona Cardinals at 49ers (0.8% rostered)
Allen is in a unique position to step up for the Cardinals now that J.J. Watt is out for the season. Last week he played a season-high 78% of snaps and had a sack in each game over the last two weeks.
Baron Browning, DT, Denver Broncos at Cowboys (4.5% rostered)
It appears that Browning has been appointed the Broncos' LB1. His eight tackles, including one for a loss, showed his talent and ability last week.
Brandon Jones, S, Miami Dolphins vs. Texans (1.3% rostered)
Last week, Jones rushed the passer a career-high 18 times while playing 96% of the snaps against the Texans. This is exactly what IDP owners want from their defensive back.