This is Waiver Wire Week 10!
The season is flying by. Fantasy managers looking for immediate help will not find much available this week, but there are some interesting upside options and players whose roles could grow throughout the second half of the season into the fantasy playoffs. This is also a good week to add some handcuff RBs as players begin to breakdown during the course of a long and tiring season.
The Bye Weeks are still a hurdle for fantasy managers, and Week 10 is no different. It’s important to try to be a week ahead with Byes. It is wise to save that valuable FAAB and do not have to spend extra to cover up for poor Bye Week management.
UPCOMING BYE WEEKS
Los Angeles Rams
NOTE: All players listed are available in 75 percent of Yahoo Leagues or more unless they are listed as a SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD.
Joshua Dobbs | Minnesota (17%)
Dobbs had a shocking and inspirational performance in Minnesota’s 31-28 win over Atlanta. When Kirk Cousins was lost for the season, the Vikings acquired Dobbs from Arizona. Dobbs was QB19 on the season and was viewed as a sufficient fill in that could keep Minnesota treading water as they attempted to return to the NFC playoffs. The plan was to start rookie Jaren Hall as Dobbs became acclimated to the offense.
The plan was turned upside down when Hall was knocked out of the game, and Dobbs was rushed into the lineup. Without knowing the playbook or teammates names, Dobbs ended up with three TDs, 66 rushing yards, and 158 passing yards. It was not all great. Dobbs lost two fumbles, but there were more positives than negatives. Dobbs is a high-end QB2 and will have multiple QB1 weeks the rest of the way based on his rushing ability and the quality of the Minnesota skill position players.
Gardner Minshew | Indianapolis (26%)
Minshew had a disappointing performance this week, but he remains a locked-in QB2. The remaining schedule has some landmine games, but Superflex managers should make sure to add Minshew Magic.
Taylor Heinike | Atlanta (11%)
Heinike was named Atlanta starter moving forward. Even without Drake London, Heinike had 268 passing yards and a TD and added 30 rushing yards. Heinike had four top-15 performances last season, and he should be a locked-in QB2 for the rest of the season. His ceiling will be higher when London returns to the lineup.
Keaton Mitchell | Baltimore Ravens (5%)
Sometimes, being ahead of schedule on the Waiver Wire is a bad thing. We recommended Mitchell for multiple weeks earlier this season, and many managers, including myself, picked him up. When it comes to bench spots, it is hard to sit and wait. Therefore, like many, I cut multiple Mitchell shares.
This Sunday, he finally got a chance to show off his explosive speed and dynamic ability. Mitchell saw a lot of second-half action and exploded for a 40-yard TD run. He added an additional 60-yard run. Justice Hill and Gus Edwards combined for 18 carries and Edwards added two TDs, so there are some hurdles for Mitchell. However, it is hard to put him on the bench after production like this. He is the No. 1 Waiver Wire add this week.
SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Leonard Fournette | Buffalo (31%)
Fournette could make his debut this week against Denver after signing with the Buffalo practice squad. James Cook and Latavius Murray combined for an abysmal 24 rushing yards and three yards per carry in Buffalo’s loss to Cincinnati.
SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Kenneth Gainwell | Philadelphia (28%)
Gainwell scored a TD in Philadelphia’s huge NFC East win over Dallas. Last week against Washington, Gainwell had five receptions. He is still a weekly part of the Philadelphia offensive plan, although his volume is nowhere near starting level. Gainwell has multiple paths to second half production. If the 8-1 Eagles continue to roll, Gainwell could see an outsized role if they rest players. Gainwell also could see some additional touches with Dallas Goedert potentially missing some games with a forearm injury. At the very least, Gainwell is high end handcuff option.
SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Jaleel McLaughlin | Denver (29%)
Javonte Williams has dominated the backfield touches, but adding McLaughlin makes sense for his contingent upside and his ability as a receiver. He is well ahead of No. 3 back Samaje Perine. Denver also could give him a bump in usage post-bye week. If WIlliams misses time, McLaughlin would be a low-end RB2 or high-end RB3.
Elijah Mitchell | San Francisco (20%)
Mitchell should be valued higher than a number of the other handcuff options. This is due to the quality of the San Francisco offense, and the reliance they have on utilizing the RB position (aka Christian McCaffrey). If CMC were to miss time, Mitchell would score about 50-60 percent of his fantasy points- aka RB2 numbers.
SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Jamaal Williams | New Orleans (29%)
Williams has quietly cut into Alvin Kamara‘s workload. He has seven and six touches in the last two weeks and had a season high three targets this past week. If anything were to happen with Alvin Kamara, Williams would stand to gain the most.
Joshua Kelley | LA Chargers (23%)
Rico Dowdle | Dallas (3%)
Tank Bigsby | Jacksonville (10%)
Ty Chandler | Minnesota (1%)
Michael Carter | NY Jets (1%)
Zamir White | Las Vegas (2%)
Matt Breida | New York Giants (4%)
Trayveon Williams | Cincinnati (0%)
All of these players would gain considerable value if the starter ahead of them were to miss time. Williams makes this list, but I have the least amount of confidence in him against the other players available. Kelley and Carter play on Monday Night Football. White had an equal amount of touches as Ameer Abdullah, but I believe he would be the more useful player fantasy-wise if Josh Jacobs were to miss time. Chandler is back on our handcuff radar with Cam Akers suffering an Achilles injury. With a light week of available RB production, consider rostering one of these handcuffs if you have the roster space open.
SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD: DeMario Douglas | New England (35%)
I had Douglas as a top-five Waiver Wire addition the past two weeks, but he is still available in 65 percent of Yahoo Leagues. Douglas had similar volume as in Week 8, but he posted a season-high and a team-leading 55 receiving yards in New England’s loss to Washington.
He tied for the team lead in targets and was second to JuJu Smith-Schuster in receptions. His trajectory for the second half of the season is pointing up.
SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Quentin Johnston | LA Chargers (35%)
Check and see if Johnston is available in your league. Josh Palmer is set to miss Monday Night Football (at least), and the Chargers thinning WR depth is creating a huge opportunity for the disappointing Johnston.
Khalil Shakir | Buffalo (6%)
Shakir continued to produce, with four catches for 57 yards in Buffalo’s loss to Cincinnati. He out targeted Gabe Davis 4-2. Shakir is the No. 4 option in the passing game, but Buffalo has struggled running the football and will air it out often. Shakir showed his ceiling in Week 8 with 92 receiving yards. He is a valuable player to roster on the Waiver Wire for Week 10 with the impending bye weeks.
Michael Wilson | Arizona (12%)
Wilson is a must add player with Kyler Murray set to make his return. Murray should instantly elevate the fantasy production of the entire offense, and Wilson should be a major beneficiary. He has been knocking on the door fantasy wise with 52 or more receiving yards in three of his last five games. That should be his fantasy floor now, and the fear of the low scoring 18- and 26-yard outputs he had against Seattle and Cincinnati should be eased. Add Wilson BEFORE the big game. It is coming in the second half of the season.
Noah Brown | Houston (2%)
Brown exploded with a career high 153 receiving yards, including a 75-yard TD reception in Houston’s wild 39-37 win over Tampa Bay. Robert Woods is dealing with a foot injury, and Brown took advantage of the opportunity with a standout performance. The athletic Brown will benefit from Houston playing predominantly in three WR sets. Do not overpay here- Tank Dell, Nico Collins and Dalton Schultz are all heavily involved, but the No. 3 WR in Houston has been a fantasy friendly spot in multiple weeks this season.
Zay Jones | Jacksonville (19%)
Jones will return to the Jaguars WR rotation soon after missing multiple games with a knee injury. He scored a TD in two of his three games played. “Big Play Zay” will be an upside flex option whenever available.
Marvin Mims | Denver (13%)
Rational coaching would mean finding the talented Mims increased opportunities post Bye Week.
The Broncos second round pick has been a source of fantasy frustration for managers craving more playing time, but he has a 113 yard and 73-yard performance earlier in the season. This is a speculative addition, but one that could pay off.
Cedrick Wilson | Miami (0%)
Wilson nearly had two TD catches in Miami’s loss to Kansas City. He cannot be used unless Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle were to miss time, but if either did, he would have considerable contingent value.
Jamison Crowder | Washington (1%)
Deep league managers can take a look at Crowder. He has been targeted 13 times the past two weeks and has filled in for the injured Curtis Samuel.
Jalen Tolbert | Dallas (0%)
Tolbert is a speculative addition for the second half of the season. The second-year pro posted season highs with five targets and caught a TD pass. Veterans Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup have been ahead of Tolbert, but it could tighten up with Dallas looking to expand the role of the younger player
SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Jonnu Smith | Atlanta Falcons (28%)
Smith was cut in many leagues after 40 combined yards in Weeks 7 and 8. In Sunday’s loss to Minnesota, Smith exploded for a season-high 100 receiving yards and a TD. He was targeted six times and caught five of them. His production was notable as this was Taylor Heinike’s first start. Smith has been up and down sometimes, but he is currently the TE11 on the season.
Cade Otton | Tampa Bay (6%)
I had Otton in my Waiver Wire and Sleepers column. Yes, I realize that I ran pure, but thank you. Otton had a career-high fantasy performance in Tampa Bay’s loss to Houston. He finished with season highs in targets (nine) and yards (70) and tied a season high with six catches. Additionally, he scored on two TD receptions. The second-year pro now has been targeted at least six times in three straight games. I have referred to Otton as a break glass in case of emergency option, but with this week’s performance he is showing he is more than that.
Luke Musgrave | Green Bay (22%)
I have had Musgrave in this column so many times that I feel like I am his hype man.
He is firmly back on the right track after a four catch, 51 yard and a TD performance this week in Green Bay’s win over the Los Angeles Rams. Musgrave will be firmly on the TE1 radar for the rest of the season.
Juwan Johnson | New Orleans (10%)
Johnson quietly returned from injury in Week 8 and had noticeably increased production in Week 9. He caught all five of his targets and scored a TD. This was his first TD of the season, but I am still interested in adding him as a speculative second half of the season stash. He caught seven TDs last year, and his chemistry with Carr was the talk of training camp.
Daniel Bellinger New York Giants (1%)
Darren Waller is now on the IR, and Bellinger posted season highs in catches (three), targets (three), and yardage (43). He is an every down player in a bad offense.
Overall Top 10
1- Keaton Mitchell RB Baltimore
2- DeMario Douglas WR New England
3- Khalil Shakir WR Buffalo
4- Michael Wilson WR Arizona
5- Cade Otton TE Tampa Bay
6- Noah Brown WR Houston
7- Joshua Dobbs QB Minnesota
8- Kenneth Gainwell RB Philadelphia
9- Luke Musgrave TE Green Bay
10- Jonnu Smith TE Atlanta