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Looking for the best players to target on the waiver wire this week? Well, the Fantasy Ticker is just the place for that. Here are the top five pickups you should be looking to add to your roster in Week Nine.
These players should be free agents in many leagues. Pounce on them if you can.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford (owned in 45 percent of Yahoo! leagues)
It took until Week Eight, but one of the people's favorite preseason sleepers has awoken. Missing the previous five games with a shoulder injury, Stafford returned Sunday and had a big day against the Redskins, throwing for 212 yards and four TDs, three of which went to WR Calvin Johnson. With a big arm, stellar arsenal of weapons and favorable schedule down the stretch, Stafford could make a fantasy impact in the second half. Add him as a backup with the knowledge that he has the potential to be a starter.
Patriots RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (53 percent owned)
A popular pickup early in the season, Green-Ellis was dropped in many leagues after his rushing numbers fell off. But if he can run for 112 yards and two TDs on 17 carries vs. the Vikings' stout front, he can run on anyone. "The Law Firm" now has a score in each of his last five games; even the best backs have trouble producing at that level consistently. While the Patriots like to divvy up carries and could be getting Fred Taylor back from injury soon, Green-Ellis has separated from the pack a bit and should continue to be the team's lead back and primary goal-line option. He easily could go off again in Week Nine at Cleveland.
Chargers RB Darren Sproles (39 percent owned)
Although he has done so quietly, Sproles actually has been a relatively productive member of the Chargers' offense lately. After catching nine passes for 70 yards in Week Seven, he came up with 77 yards from scrimmage and a TD in Sunday's win over the Titans. While Sproles is third in line for carries in San Diego, he could be moving up the list quickly. Not only are RBs Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert both dealing with injuries, but the Bolts are also without their top three wideouts. That has created more opportunities for the "Lightning Bug," who should continue to see ample touches until the Chargers' skill players get healthy.
Cardinals WR Steve Breaston (40 percent owned)
This season, a healthy Breaston has meant an impressive Breaston. Sidelined for three contests after undergoing minor knee surgery, the Arizona wideout returned Sunday and completely tore up the Bucs' secondary, snagging eight passes for 147 yards. It was Breaston's second 100-yard effort in his four outings, but it's unlikely to be his last. He and QB Derek Anderson seem to have a good rapport, and with defenses focusing so much attention on Larry Fitzgerald, Breaston often faces single-coverage. There's a lot to like about the receiver, especially in PPR leagues, and he should be a nice asset the rest of the way.
Chargers WR Vincent Jackson (41 percent owned)
If an owner in your league lost patience in Jackson, you could be the lucky beneficiary. Holding out for a long-term contract but never getting one, Jackson finally signed his one-year tender last Friday in order to ensure that he'd be an unrestricted free agent in 2011. After sitting out his team-imposed three-game suspension, V-Jax will be eligible to return in Week 12, just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Given the Chargers' rash of injuries at wideout, Jackson will have a major role right off the bat, and motivation certainly won't be a factor, as he's trying to prove worthy of a multiyear deal. As his 68-1,167-9 receiving last season shows, Jackson is a stud receiver, so if you have the roster space to hold him for a few weeks, it could benefit you greatly in December.