Fantasy Football Waiver Picks for Week 10
Week 9 was a great reminder of how important roster maintenance via the waiver wire can be. Not only was it a brutal bye week, but numerous injuries necessitated action from fantasy owners- often just to even fill out a minimum number of starters.
For Week 10, the bye week won’t sting as much, but there are still plenty of opportunities to exploit- not just for this week, but for the playoff push. Savvy fantasy owners should already be looking ahead at injured stars on IR that can make a big difference come playoff time.
Most of us are still in a week-to-week mode, and that’s what this column is for. Here are my pick for who you should be targeting in fantasy free agency this week.
Week 9 Byes: Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders
Waiver Wire Pickups: Quarterbacks
Joe Flacco – Clearly most fantasy leaguers aren’t Wacco for Flacco as he continues to be widely available on most league’s waiver wires. Understandable, as Flacco currently sits as the QB20 for the 2016 season. He’s a solid starter unlikely to have a devastating, single-digit performance, but equally unlikely to appear in the top-5 weekly ranks. However, if Flacco does make an appearance on that list, a short-rest home matchup with the Browns could be all that’s missing. Flacco is my No. 1 streaming play for this slate.
Ryan Tannehill – Overall, Tannehill has been a big disappointment this season. He’s never looked fully comfortable in Miami’s offense and now he’s no longer padding his stats with solid rushing numbers (only 23 rushing yards in the past six games.) However, I do have some interest in Tannehill as a streamer for Week 10, as the Dolphins travel to San Deigo to face a Chargers secondary that just gave up four touchdowns to Marcus Mariota and allows an average of over 23 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Jay Cutler – Cutler’s first start since reclaiming the starting gig went better than expected as the Bears upset the Vikings on Monday Night Football. In that game, Cutler threw for 252 yards without a turnover. The Bears have an appealing Week 10 matchup with Tampa’s weak secondary.
-Ownership data based on ESPN public leagues
Waiver Wire Pickups: Running Backs
Dion Lewis – Lewis was back at practice for the Patriots during their bye and again on Monday. The best guess here is that he’ll be activated this week and should start to play an immediate role as the change-of-pace runner and pass catching specialist. James White has done an admirable job in that role, so Lewis may not take over the role immediately, but he’s the more talented runner and better back to own for the fantasy playoffs.
Tim Hightower – Sean Payton was true to his word as both Hightower and Mark Ingram got extensive work and production against San Francisco’s pathetic run defense. Expect this timeshare to continue this week as the Saints have a home matchup with Denver’s sagging run-stopping unit. The Broncos just allowed 215 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground to Oakland. If the Saints can get half that production, Hightower has some flex value this week.
Waiver Wire Pickups: Wide Receivers
Rishard Matthews – Over the past five weeks, Matthews has quietly produced WR24 numbers. Matthews has really heated up in Tennesee’s two most recent games against inferior secondaries, with three touchdowns receptions and averaging over 18 fantasy points per tilt. The Titans play Green Bay in Week 10- an average pass defense- but Matthews deserves flex consideration and should continue to lead the Titans’ receiving corps in targets.
J.J. Nelson – In case you missed it in Week 8, Nelson was promoted to the starting lineup in Arizona’s three-wide offense, supplanting the erratic Micheal Floyd. In that Week 8 loss at Carolina, Nelson was huge, catching 8 of 12 targets for 79 yards and two touchdowns. The only reservation I have on spending more for Nelson is that he’ll likely be behind Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown in weekly targets, and the Arizona passing game has sputtered more or less for half the season.
Brandon LaFell – LaFell actually leads the Bengals in touchdown receptions with 4 on the season and has become a trusted red zone target for Andy Dalton. The problem is the inconsistency. While LaFell has scored all four of his touchdowns in the Bengals’ last four games, he’s also been under 50 receiving yards in five or Cincinnati’s eight contests. With TE Tyler Eifert back, it’s possible that LaFell will see less red zone targets, but could also benefit from lesser coverage as defenders are forced to account for Eifert. LaFell is a volatile weekly play but has some appeal on weeks when the Bengals will look to lean on their passing attack.
Waiver Wire Pickups: Tight Ends
Cameron Brate – Brate in the 20th ranked PPR tight end, so he’s barely on the fantasy radar. But with star wideout Mike Evans currently sidelined, Brate could be in for a huge increase in targets this week at home- where he’s scored all three of his touchdowns.
Will Tye – It appears that Tye has supplanted Larry Donnell as New York’s starting tight end. In Week 9, Tye out-snapped Donnell 46-0, while catching four passes. There’s limited upside here, but Tye’s worth a pick up in a one-week spot start.
Deep Sleeper Adds
- Quarterbacks – Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum
- Running Backs – Kenneth Dixon, Adrian Peterson, Ronnie Hillman
- Wide Receivers – Marqise Lee, Sammie Coates, Tyreek Hill, Bryce Treggs
- Tight Ends – Richard Rodgers, Austin Hooper, Ladarius Green