NFL fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 9

Now that the NFL’s trade deadline has come and gone, it is time to shift our attention back to fantasy football and the Week 9 waiver wire.

Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals
Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages
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RB Waiver Wire Pickups, Fantasy Football Week 9

Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. is available in 55 percent of Yahoo Fantasy football leagues. If he is available in your league, he should be the top priority until Kyren Williams returns from injury. He was mentioned in last week’s column.

Emari Demercado, Arizona Cardinals (37 percent rostered)

With Keaontay Ingram being virtually phased out of the Cardinals backfield, Emari Demercado has stepped into a three-down role until James Conner is eligible to return from IR. Demercado has seen at least 17 touches in two straight games and has received double-digit opportunities in three of the Cardinals’ last four games.

With Conner being required to miss at least one more game before the team can activate him, Demercado figures to have at least one more game with a voluminous workload. With so many high-profile running backs such as Christian McCaffrey, Jahmyr Gibbs/David Montgomery, Travis Etienne, and Javonte Williams having a Week 9 bye, Demercado makes for a great short-term fill-in option.

In Week 8, Demercado earned a season-high 20 rushing attempts which he converted into 78 rushing yards. Unfortunately, a matchup with the Browns' daunting defensive unit awaits Demercado and the Cardinals in Week 9, but he should be locked into 12-plus touches. Opportunity is the most important aspect of fantasy football and Demercado will have plenty of it until Conner returns to action. Only rostered in 37 percent of Yahoo Fantasy football leagues, Demercado needs to be rostered with Conner’s timetable to return being unclear.

Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks (42 percent rostered)

Don’t look now, but Zach Charbonnet led the Seahawks backfield in snaps (56 percent) in Week 8 while running back Kenneth Walker (44 percent) took a backseat to the second-round rookie. Not only did Charbonnet outsnap Walker, but he outperformed him as well. Charbonnet turned just five carries into 53 rushing yards and added two receptions for 11 yards while Walker had eight carries for 66 yards, adding one reception for four yards.

It is important to note that Charbonnet’s increased snap count coincides with Walker battling a calf injury he suffered in Week 7 that forced him to sit out a majority of practice leading up to Week 8. However, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s recent comments may suggest this was more about wanting to get Charbonnet involved in the offense than it was about Walker’s injury:

Charbonnet has been productive when given the opportunity, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. If he can carve out a more consistent role for himself, he will become a viable running back for fantasy football managers.

Walker isn’t going to completely go away (barring injury), but Charbonnet is going to continue eating into his workload as the season progresses. He is someone that needs to be added and stashed on fantasy benches while Week 9 should provide us with some additional clarity on the backfield split between these two talented running backs.