Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league.
Fitzpatrick, MIA – Josh Allen (85-90%
owned) and Kyler Murray (85-90% owned) are obvious adds with great
Week 10 matchups if they are available in your leagues, but we
might see Fitzpatrick (just 4.4 percent owned in ESPN leagues)
become a hot QB pickup this week after the win over the Jets.
The veteran completed 24-of-36 passes for 288 yards and three
touchdowns on Sunday. He’s really starting to connect with his
wide receivers and TE Mike Gesicki.
Rivers, LAC – Rivers is 60 percent
owned and got solid performances from Mike Williams and Hunter
Henry in Week 9 in the win over the Packers, though he passed
for 294 and no TDs. Still, he’s got a great matchup in Week 10
against the Raiders and should be a top streamer as a bye-week
fill-in for Deshaun Watson owners.
Carr, OAK – The matchup against
the Chargers doesn’t look as good after they shut down Aaron Rodgers
and the Packers, but Carr is playing well – completing 20-of-31
passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Detroit.
He’s owned in just 35-40 percent of ESPN leagues.
Minshew, JAC – We may have seen
the last (for now) of Minshew, who played poorly in London (309-0-2)
and is on a bye in Week 10. There’s a chance he retains the starting
job once Nick Foles gets back in uniform in Week 11, but it’s
a long shot. He’s safe to drop in redrafts.
NYJ – Darnold started off okay and threw a TD pass on
the opening drive but retreated into ghost mode and ended up completing
27-of-39 passes for 260-1-1 in the Jets’ Week 9 loss to the Dolphins.
He’s not learning from his mistakes, and he’s very careless with
the football, which is a problem – though the matchup in Week
10 against the Giants should be a chance to get right.
Garoppolo, SF – Garoppolo was sharp
on Thursday night, completing 28-of-37 passes for 317-4-0 in the
win over the Cardinals. He’s now the only undefeated QB who’s
played in all of his team’s games.
Allen, DEN – Allen showed poise
in his NFL debut, completing 12-of-20 passes for 193 yards and
two touchdowns in Denver’s Week 9 victory over the Browns. He
didn’t really need to be flashy, and questions about his arm strength
remain a concern. Still, he proved to be a capable game manager
in his first game.
Williams, KC – He had a monster
game on Sunday against a tough opponent (125 rushing yards and
a TD on 12 carries, 2-3-0 receiving) and is owned in about 70
percent of ESPN leagues. I even dropped him in a 10-team format
where I needed to make some room, but he’s back! Williams should
be added if an owner in your league made the same mistake I did.
Jones, TB –UPDATE:
No longer “Bad Ronald,” Jones had 20 touches (18 carries,
two targets) last week against Seattle and scored a TD for the
third time in his last five games. Bruce Arians said he’s
“been more explosive” and has earned the right to
start for the Bucs – a role Jones (35-50 percent owned)
is taking advantage of and could lead to decent numbers in a Week
10 matchup with Arizona.
McKissic, DET – McKissic rushed
the ball just four times and tallied 32 yards on the ground while
catching three of four targets for 40 yards and a TD during Sunday’s
31-24 loss to the Raiders. He’s the clear pass catching back and
seemed to do well even in a more traditional RB role when asked
this week. He should be added in 12-team PPR leagues, as he could
play a larger role in the Lions’ upcoming road matchup with the
Ballage, MIA –UPDATE:
Mark Walton’s four-game suspension (related to his three
offseason arrests) vaults Ballage (8-15 percent owned) into a
workhorse role ahead of the Week 10 matchup in Indy. The team
may choose to add another live body, or utilize backup RBs Patrick
Laird or Myles Gaskin, but those backs haven’t seen any
real action this year and Ballage knows the system. He’s
a viable flex option this week and moving forward.
Armstead, JAC – He’s only a super
deep league PPR add, but his 5-65-0 receiving output in Week 9
ensures he could be part of negative game script for the Jags
– and they have those occasionally.
BAL – As good as the Ravens running game is, just about
anybody succeeds behind this excellent offensive line. Edwards
had 27 rushing yards and a TD on Sunday night and is a fine handcuff
if you’re an Ingram owner, or bench stash if you’re stockpiling
backup RBs in good spots.
Guice, WAS – Guice sat out Week
9 but is still on track to play in Week 11, and with Adrian Peterson
looking good as a workhorse back, he may have a tough road even
Coleman, SF – Coleman finished with
just 23 yards on 12 carries in the 49ers’ Week 9 win over the
Cardinals, adding 3-13-0. Coleman couldn't find much running room
while Matt Breida (questionable heading into the game) had some
Samuels, PIT – Samuels rushed eight
times for just 10 yards in the Steelers’ Week 9 win over the Colts,
but he went nuts in PPR leagues with 13 catches (on 13 targets)
and 73 receiving yards. He almost scored but was stopped inches
short of the goal line. We’ll keep an eye on the injuries to the
Williams, GB – The Packers lost
and Williams was better than Aaron Jones on Sunday, though he
rushed only twice for 10 yards. The versatile, tough RB added
six receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown, and he could be getting
more looks as teams focus on stopping Jones.
Drake, ARI – Drake had a career-type
day with his new team, rushing 15 times for 110 yards and a touchdown
in the Cardinals’ Week 9 loss to the 49ers, adding four receptions
for 52 receiving yards. His value is dependent on the Arizona
backfield injuries, but he’s clearly still an effective back when
he gets a chance in a decent offense.
Henderson, LAR – The Rams were on
a Week 9 bye, so we’ll have to wait and see what’s up with Henderson
and this bizarre backfield situation once they head into Pittsburgh
in Week 10.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Crowder, NYJ – If Darnold could
have gotten out of his own way in the second half on Sunday, Crowder
(55-60 percent owned) may have had an even bigger day. As it was,
the veteran WR finished with 8-83-1 (on nine targets) Sunday and
is a big part of the Jets’ offense.
Sanu, NE – We liked him before,
and now we like him even better, as the former Falcon was a popular
target for Tom Brady on Sunday night. Sanu (60-65 percent owned)
hauled in 10-81-1 on 14 targets and will be the No.1 WR add if
he’s not already rostered.
McDonald, PIT – McDonald caught 5-30-1 on Sunday
on seven targets and ha a great matchup in Week 10 against the
Rams. He’s just 45-50 percent owned and had enormous upside this
Fant, DEN – To say that Allen and Fant got off to
a god start is an understatement. The rookie finished with 3-115-1
in the win over Cleveland and could see plenty of targets in the
coming weeks. The promising TE is rostered in just 5-10 percent
Parker, MIA – He had 4-57-1 on six
targets Sunday and could benefit from even more targets with Preston
Williams out for the season. Only 20-25 percent owned, Parker
is a solid waiver wire option in all formats.
UPDATE: Williams is out for the
year and Parker will be popular this week. Albert Wilson and Allen
Hurns (and to a lesser degree Jakeem Grant) should see increased
targets as well.
Metcalf, SEA – Metcalf hauled in
six spectacular catches for 123 yards and a TD on nine targets
in the Seahawks’ Week 9 win over the Bucs on Sunday, including
several huge grabs in the fourth quarter and OT that were essential
to Seattle’s victory. He’s one of the most athletic and exciting
WRs in the NFL.
Amendola, DET – Amendola was quiet
Sunday (3-29-0 on five targets) in what became a shootout that
focused on bigger throws to Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. He’s
still an option in deeper leagues and will be boom-or-bust depending
on game plan/script factors.
Gallup, DAL –UPDATE:
Gallup had an acrobatic circus catch-and-dive TD in the fourth
quarter, giving him 2-33-1 on six targets on the day. It was his
first score since Week 5 and second of the season, and he’ll
be a WR3/4 or flex option next week facing the Vikings in Dallas.
Slayton, NYG –UPDATE:
Slayton caught just one his four targets for 6 yards in the Giants’
Week 9 loss to the Cowboys and failed to get in the end zone.
With Evan Engram healthy and Golden Tate and Cody Latimer getting
frequently targeted, he might be safe to drop in most formats.
Renfrow, OAK – Renfrow followed
up his breakout game with another big week, recording 6-54-1 on
seven targets. He’s becoming a viable WR3 in the Oakland offense.
Griffin, NYJ – Griffin finished Sunday with six catches
for 50 yards on eight targets, but the loss to Miami may have
been avoided had he hauled in a second-quarter score that was
overturned on review. Officials ruled he never had full possession
as he made an athletic grab near the back of the end zone. Darnold
ended that possession with a terrible INT that he clumsily threw
toward the goal line into the arms of a Miami DB.