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. I’ll
also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous
Wentz, IND – Wentz was really sharp
on Thursday night, completing 22 of 30 passes for 272-3-0 in the
Colts' 45-30 win over the Jets. He also rushed four times for 13
yards in a bounceback performance that solidified his status as
a high-upside QB2. The talented signal caller now faces a vulnerable
Jaguars in Week 10, though the enigmatic Jacksonville unit just
looked amazing in Week 9 by limiting fantasy stud Josh Allen to
a handful of points.
Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield (30-35%
owned) completed 14 of 21 passes for 218-2-0 yards in Sunday's
41-16 win over the Bengals. Mayfield has been operating as a game
manager this season but has a couple favorable matchups (DET,
@BAL) after he faces the stingy Patriots defense in Week 10. He’s
worth a look in 12-team leagues.
UPDATE: Mayfield may be throwing
a bit more than normal with two Browns RBs slated to miss Week
10 because of COVID.
Bridgewater, DEN – Bridgewater (25%
owned) wasn’t spectacular on Sunday, but he was efficient. He
didn’t need to be great behind the defense’s dismantling of the
Cowboys, but the next few weeks could dictate more offensive firepower.
The veteran QB completed 19 of 28 pass attempts for 249-1-0 adding
three rushes for -1 yards and one TD. The Week 10 matchup against
Philadelphia is a good one.
NYJ – White was injured early on Thursday night and gave
way to a solid fantasy performance from Josh Johnson, but Week
10 is up in the air, as coach Robert Saleh wouldn't commit to
either White (forearm) or Zach Wilson (knee) as his starter against
the Bills. Both QBs are expected to resume practicing this and
could be cleared in time for Sunday.
Tagovailoa, MIA – Tagovailoa (left
finger/ribs) is viewed as day-to-day after missing Week 9 against
the Texans. As Thursday night’s matchup against the Ravens approaches,
Tua (who reportedly really wanted to play Sunday) is a question
mark. Jacoby Brissett could be in line for another start in a
game that could see more offensive fireworks than the usual Dolphins
Hines, IND – Hines (40-45% owned)
is a tough back to decipher, basically because he makes the most
of his limited opportunities and makes you wish you played him
when he goes off. On Thursday night he rushed six times for 74
yards and a touchdown, securing four of six targets for 34 yards.
He and the Colts have a favorable Week 10 matchup against the
Jaguars – and even in a secondary role he could have a big impact.
Johnson, CLE –UPDATE:
With the news that both starting RB Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton
have tested positive for COVID, the next man up is Johnson, who
fared well in Week 7 against the Broncos, running for 146 yards
and a score in a dominant performance. The matchup against New
England isn’t great but the volume makes him a solid RB2
if Chubb is sidelined.
Howard, PHI – Howard (less than
10% owned) assumed lead back status in Week 9, rushing 17 times
for 71 yards and a TD in the narrow loss to the Chargers. He saw
a bigger workload share than both Boston Scott (10 carries for
40 yards) and Kenneth Gainwell (two carries for three yards and
a TD), and appears to be settling into a starting role for while
Miles Sanders (ankle) is sidelined.
Freeman, BAL – In the absence of
Latavius Murray, Freeman (12-15% owned) stepped up with 13 carries
for 79 yards, hauling in two of three targets for 4 yards and
a touchdown in the Ravens' exciting 34-31 overtime win over the
Vikings on Sunday.
Stevenson, NE – Before he left the
game with a head injury, Stevenson (5-10% owned) had 10 carries
for 62 yards, adding two catches for 44 yards. Both he and Damien
Harris could land on the team’s injury report ahead of next Sunday's
game against the Browns, but Stevenson has earned more playing
time with his Week 9 performance and will get touches if he’s
healthy enough to play.
Benjamin, ARI – Benjamin (0% owned)
saw a bunch of snaps after Chase Edmonds left the game with an
injury, carrying nine times for 39 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's
31-17 win over the 49ers. James Conner will probably log the most
touches against the Panthers but Benjamin may have carved out
a change-of-pace/secondary role if Edmonds can’t go in Week 9.
UPDATE: Benjamin drew praise from
Kliff Kingsbury this week and the coach said he earned more snaps.
He should be picked up in all 12-team leagues and could become
an instant RB2 if Conner were to miss time.
Carter, NYJ – Carter (now largely
unavailable at 85-90% owned after his monster Week 8 performance)
rushed 13 times for 49 yards caught one of two targets for 37
yards in the Jets’ lopsided loss to the Colts on Thursday night.
Carter's next matchup is a tough one against the Bills in a Week
10 divisional clash, but he could be in line for more receptions.
Of course, the Bills offense just struggled immensely against
the Jags, so game script is not set in stone.
Peterson, TEN – In his Titans debut
on Sunday night, Peterson (50% owned) rushed 10 times for 21 yards
and a TD while catching his lone target for five yards in the
surprising win over the Rams. The veteran back led the team in
carries and received the goal-line work, so he’ll likely be a
low-ceiling RB3 moving forward unless the matchup is demonstrably
McKissic, WAS – Washington was on
a Week 9 bye but draws the Bucs in Week 10, when McKissic could
see another huge receiving workload in a negative game script.
Gore, KC – Gore followed up a promising
breakout performance with just three carries for 13 yards and
1-6-0 receiving against the Packers.
McNichols, TEN – McNichols (55-60%
owned) logged seven carries for 24 rushing yards and 3-11-0 in
Sunday’s night’s big win over the Rams. The Saints are on the
docket in Week 10, which could mean more touches.
Scott, PHI – See above under the
Howard blurb. Scott’s fantasy performance was pedestrian in comparison.
Hyde, JAC – Hyde (10-15% owned)
ran for 67 yards on 21 carries against Buffalo on Sunday, adding
a six-yard catch on two targets. It was enough for the Jags to
earn a win despite an ability to throw the ball. It's still unclear
whether default starter James Robinson will suit up against the
Colts in Week 10, but Hyde will fill in as the starter if he can’t.
UPDATE: Robinson is expected to
play in Week 10, effectively killing Hyde’s value.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Zaccheaus, ATL – Zaccheaus (0-1% owned)
isn’t the first option in the Falcons offense, but he’s getting
red zone looks. He caught all three of his targets for 58 yards
and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 27-25 win over the Saints and could
be factor in Week 10 against the Cowboys.
Gage, ATL – Gage (15-20% owned)
is actually the guy who is the safer fantasy play in Week 10,
He caught seven of eight targets for 64 yards in Sunday’s 27-25
win over New Orleans and should see a steady diet of looks in
the absence of Calvin Ridley.
Aiyuk, SF – Aiyuk is trending up
in a big way, and Sunday he caught six of eight targets for 89
yards and a TD in the loss to the Cardinals. He’s just 45-50%
owned and could be available in some 12-team leagues.
Moore, NYJ – Moore hauled in seven
of eight targets for 84 yards and two TDs in the Jets’ 45-30 loss
to the Colts on Thursday night, and could see more looks coming
his way in the next few weeks.
Swaim, TEN – Swaim caught all four targets for 29
yards and a TD in Sunday's 28-16 win over the Rams. Last week
he logged 4-23-1, so he’s trending up as a high-end TE2.
DEN – Patrick seemed to get in a groove against Dallas,
recording four receptions on five targets for 85 yards and a TD
in the surprising upset. He’s about 25% owned and could be in
line for a few more big games.
Beasley, BUF – Beasley (ribs) caught
eight passes for 33 yards on 11 targets against Jacksonville on
Sunday, about the only Bills payer who had a decent day, and only
in PPR. What a crazy week.
Wilson, DAL – Wilson had just 2-28-0
as the Cowboys offense sputtered, and his fantasy utility is waning.
Cobb, GB – Cobb caught three passes
for 50 yards on five targets against Kansas City on Sunday and
should get Aaron Rodgers back in Week 10 against the Seahawks.
Engram, NYG – Engram did well in Week 10, recording
3-38-1 in Sunday’s 23-16 win over the Raiders. He didn’t get traded
at the deadline and the Giants may have learned that he’s worth
using more in the red zone.
Crowder, NYJ – Crowder caught 5-38-0
on seven targets on Thursday night, and has at least six targets
and four catches in all five games he's played this season. He’s
going to have a big game one of these weeks.