Every Tuesday, Arthur Arkush shares his top nine waiver wire targets for fantasy football players. This will focus exclusively on players owned in less than 50 percent of all Yahoo! leagues.
A note of caution: just because a player is on this list, it doesn't mean readers should exhaust their claim priority and/or waiver budget. Those decisions should be based on individual roster makeup, injuries and other outside forces.
Have specific roster questions for your fantasy team? Tweet @ArthurArkush
Just missed the cut: Bills RB Mike Gillislee, Chiefs QB Alex Smith, Packers RB Knile Davis, Bucs RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Browns QB Cody Kessler, Patriots WR Chris Hogan, Washington WR Jamison Crowder
9. Washington TE Vernon Davis: He lives — just not his jump-shot touchdown celebration, which, like all things fun in the NFL, is dead. But Davis finding pay dirt, and fantasy relevance, for the first time in two-plus seasons was kinda fun, right? Davis is probably just a speculative add based on Jordan Reed's scary concussion history. The former 49er can still move, though, and Detroit's tally of touchdowns allowed to opposing tight ends is up to seven.
8. Bills WR Robert Woods: He finally found the end zone and, in turn, top-nine standing in this column, where he's previously been on the outskirts. The Bills are one of the hottest teams in the league and Woods, despite a pedestrian 9.6-yard catch average, is Tyrod Taylor's top target in Sammy Watkins' absence. He's not a source of big plays, limiting his ceiling, but he should hit pay dirt at least a few more times and there's comfort in knowing what you're getting until Watkins' (potential) return.
7. Titans WR Kendall Wright: This must be the uninspiring possession receiver edition of the 9 route. But in fairness to Wright, his sprawling 48-yard touchdown grab last week was not only a chunk play, it left me so inspired, I don't know when I'll ever sleep again. I also don't know if Wright will ever have another 8-133-1 outing again — at least not with the Titans, as his contract is up — but I do know more than I need to about the rest of Tennessee's WR corps. The Titans have a chance to move above .500 with an exploitable schedule over the next six weeks (two with the Colts, Chargers, Jaguars, Packers, Colts, Bears).
6. Lions RB Zach Zenner: Is it possible the feature back Detroit covets has been under its nose all along? It's more plausible than Justin Forsett being that guy, as Zenner showed in the win over L.A. with 77 yards on 16 touches. It didn't exactly elicit fond Barry Sanders memories on Sanders' homecoming, but Detroit's backfield remains in tatters. Zenner has an intriguing skill set — and matchup versus Washington, a defense whose improvements we're not yet buying.
5. Packers WR Ty Montgomery: With Knile Davis on board, Montgomery's heavy presence a week ago in a shorthanded backfield probably isn't sustainable. But he has appeared to move ahead of lower pedigree players like Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis and, yes, Jared Abbrederis (sigh). Montgomery, shortly after his arrival last season, was dubbed a "jumbo Randall Cobb" by his coaches. The explosion and versatility Cobb has provided in the past is badly missing in Green Bay's offense, and Mike McCarthy has been tinkering. Plus, Davante Adams (concussion) is a long-shot Thursday night vs. the Bears, likely elevating Montgomery to a starting role.
4. Colts TE Jack Doyle: New money, same old injury issues for Dwayne Allen, who's week-to-week with an ankle, after again being out-produced by Doyle. Add to that injuries to Phillip Dorsett and Quann Bray, and Doyle, already fantasy's No. 9 scoring tight end, has a chance to prove his worth in between the twenties in addition to the red zone.
3. Jaguars RB Chris Ivory: Remember all that cute stuff last week from Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson about T.J. Yeldon taking ownership of the feature role? About that, Chris Ivory, fresh off the bye, saw his snap percentage increase to a season-high 40 percent in Chicago. He received five more carries than Yeldon and, while neither back was effective, Ivory had a one-yard scoring plunge and was the clear short-yardage option.
2. Rams WR Kenny Britt: We wrote last week about Britt's renaissance campaign, before the 28-year-old former first-rounder turned in his best performance — 7-136-2 versus Detroit — since his Titans days. His 16.4-yard average is hovering right around his career mark, so before chalking this up as a fluke... actually, you go ahead and do that, while I add a WR3 with upside (even in the Rams offense!) to my WR-needy squads.
1. Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi: The second-year back said he thinks Adam Gase has found his workhorse after laying waste to the Steelers en route to 204 yards and two TDs on 25 carries for the best fantasy performance by any player in Week Six. Ajayi's breakthrough, wherein he was vaulted ahead of healthy starter Arian Foster, places him first among all backs with 5.7 yards per carry. Indeed, it was a beastly showing and, whether Gase covets a heavy lifter or prefers to ride the hot hand, Ajayi is clearly both right now. We're not completely sold — yet — and he has a pair of tough division opponents up next, but this signals the rare opportunity to add a back with a feature role now his to lose in a run-first offense.