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: Texans TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, Packers RB James Starks, Jaguars RB Chris Ivory, Ravens QB Joe Flacco, 49ers RB DuJuan Harris, Vikings WR Adam Thielen, Buccaneers RB Peyton Barber, Jaguars WR Marqise Lee, Giants RB Paul Perkins
9. Titans WR Rishard Matthews: The Titans need help at receiver this offseason (also: the sky is blue, water is wet and the Cubs are World Series champions — man, saying that won't get old for quite some time). Meantime, Matthews has provided the most assistance to Marcus Mariota among Tennesee's WR corps the past two weeks and gets a Green Bay secondary that's ravaged, still, by injuries.
8. Bears QB Jay Cutler: The thinking here isn't unlike that of Ryan Pace and John Fox when it comes to the quarterback they inherited last offseason. We could do a lot worse. And Cutler, after shaking off five weeks of rust in a surprisingly solid effort against the formerly formidable Vikings in Week Eight, can do a lot better against a bad Bucs defense. His Pro Bowl guards and slot receiver are back, and Alshon Jeffery and Jordan Howard are again front and center, where they'll stay.
7. Giants WR Roger Lewis: Admittedly, I don't know a ton about Lewis, the rookie from Bowling Green with explosive touchdowns in two of his past three games. But PFW deemed the UDFA a draftable prospect with off-field concerns, yet he's saving the fireworks for on the field, where his role increased last week in Victor Cruz' absence and should only continue expanding.
6. Steelers TE Ladarius Green: This is it. This actually appears to be it, the long-awaited Steelers debut of Green, coming Sunday versus the Cowboys' smoke-and-mirrors 'D.' Considering Pittsburgh has sunk to third place in the AFC North, forget patience; Ben Roethlisberger needs Green. Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton can't be counted on. Eli Rogers, coming off his first 100-yard game, is another Steeler to consider on waivers if, like us, you're of the belief the offense is still a powder keg.
5. Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon: Terrance West has averaged 1.3 yards per carry the past two games, vs. Pittsburgh and at the Jets. Dixon, well, he's also managed 1.3 YPC. It's not pretty for either, but the show must go on, and with the Ravens suddenly the best in a suddenly mediocre AFC North, prepping for the Browns (do we really need a joke here?), a fantasy back is gonna do work Thursday night. The Ravens would love it if that someone is Dixon.
4. Falcons TE Austin Hooper: I know what you're thinking: oh great, another Stanford tight end, boooorrrring. Well, they can't all be as exciting as Coby Fleener or Zach Ertz, but Hooper might surpass both of those frustrating fantasy tight end's rookie production. Matt Ryan is looking his way more often with Jacob Tamme on the shelf, and Hooper clearly has more juice than the guy he may not give his role back. Speaking of juice, Taylor Gabriel is another emerging playmaker in Atlanta — just what that offense needs! — who might be worth kicking the tires on.
3. Cardinals WR J.J. Nelson: The only thing that's changed since Nelson was listed in this space two weeks ago is Bruce Arians making his starting role official. Well, actually, your fantasy fortunes may have changed if you heeded our advice and added Nelson before he lit up Carolina for 79 yards and a pair of scores. He's still really fast, in a vertical offense, albeit one with protection concerns, and the 49ers are awful.
2. Washington RB Rob Kelley: In his first NFL start, the undrafted rookie from Tulane rumbled for 87 yards and a score on 21 carries — one shy of Matt Jones' career-high. Jay Gruden has lowered Jones on the depth chart coming out of the bye, declaring the running game, albeit a fluid situation, currently "runs through" Kelley. Gruden's offense, first and foremost, is about ball control. It's a small sample size, but Kelley has 38 totes, at a 5.0-yard clip, without a fumble. Jones lost two in his first 36 carries as a rookie, and clearly his ball security and durability issues remain in Year Two. Washington's upcoming schedule isn't ideal, but neither is paying Kirk Cousins $20 million for one season. Such is NFL life.
1. Broncos RB Kapri Bibbs: With rookie Devontae Booker failing to seize his opportunity in C.J. Anderson's absence, next up for the Broncos' sputtering ground game is Bibbs, the second-year back whom Gary Kubiak has praised since the summer. His 69-yard catch-and-run score Sunday night, illustrating his patience and vision — two vital traits in Kubiak's scheme — was Denver's longest play from scrimmage this season. Kubiak has vowed it'll earn Bibbs more touches for a run game on life support. Bibbs and/or the Saints' 'D' might be the necessary defibrillator.