Week 10...here we are people. The fantasy playoffs are right around the corner. This is the time of the year when a waiver pickup, or lack thereof, could win you your championship or sink your team. Some of you are riding the struggle bus this season, and some of you are cruising by that bus in a Ferrari, making fun of the kids still ride the bus. Let’s hope you are in the Italian sports car, but in case you aren’t, I am here to help. Much is made about the initial draft in fantasy, and many believe that is where one wins their fantasy league. I am here to let you know that is a fallacy and rarely does anyone win their fantasy championship without at least dipping their toes in the waiver pool. Before I researched players and watched more than just the local games, I thought I drafted well every year. I’ll be the first to admit; I never drafted well. I was never aware of this until I realized the trend for my teams each year was starting 1-4 and realizing my team stunk. It was through my ineptitude to draft as a fantasy GM that I realized the real importance of the waiver wire. Hence the Waiver Wizard was born.
*Notable Players on Bye:
QB: Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, Gardner Minshew II, Carson Wentz.
RB: Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, Sony Michel, James White, Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, Leonard Fournette, Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Adrian Peterson.
WR: Courtland Sutton, D-Hop, Kenny Stills, D.J. Chark, Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook, Mo Sanu, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Alshon Jeffrey, Terry McLaurin.
TE: Zach Ertz, Noah Fant...I guess, Darren Fells.
*Not an official logo ______________________________
Join the Waiver Wizard in finding some magic for your fantasy roster in week 10, and beyond.
*All roster % are based on ESPN platform statistics, and I TRY not to mention anyone above ~55%*
Jacoby Brissett(56.9%)/Brian Hoyer(Unowned): It looks like Brian Hoyer will get the start this week over Brissett. Brissett suffered an “MCL-ish” type sprain, according to head coach Frank Reich. Great analysis there, Frank…Luckily Reich does not double as the team doctor. Anyhow, Brian Hoyer is a more-than-capable backup in the NFL, and he gets to face Miami at home in his first start of the season. Congratulations, Mr. Hoyer! You may have just earned yourself a bright, shiny new contract after this week. Miami finally got their first win against the Jets, but I highly doubt a 2-7 record is in the cards after this week. If Brissett somehow plays, you can obviously start him, but be wary of re-injury in that situation. Keep an eye on injury reports throughout the day, but I would say the safe bet is to pick up Hoyer if you are in a bind.
Jimmy Garoppolo (33.5%): Garoppolo is coming off of his best fantasy performance of the season against Arizona, a game in which no one thought would be close. AZ held their own with the undefeated ‘9ers, which forced Jimmy G to sling the ball to the tune of 317 yards and 4 TDs. The game script in this one was forecast as a run-heavy euthanasia of the Cardinals defense, but it turned out to be a slugfest. San Fran has a favorable schedule over the next three weeks as they face SEA, ARI again, and GB, all at home. Brady’s big little brother (yes, you read that right) is coming into his own, and I expect to see a more balanced offense from SF in the coming weeks. In case you needed more analysis: SEA has given up at least 15 FP to QBs in every game this season, and at least 17 FP in their last six games; GB has allowed at least 19 FP to QBs in four of their previous six. We all know how bad the Cardinals defense is…go pick up Jimmy G!
Stand Alone Value –
Alexander Mattison (21.0%): Mattison makes the Waiver Wizard column again this week to emphasize how vital handcuffs are, especially if you own a top-tier RB. Mattison has some stand-alone value as well, but if you are the Cook owner, make sure you stash Mattison...just in case. Open bench spot? Grab Mattison and enjoy a fantasy ‘ship on me if Cook goes down.
Ronald Jones II (37.8%): ROJO is a confusing player to read. One week he gets the lion’s share of the RB carries, the next week he is remediated to only a handful. HOWEVER, since the bye week in Week 7, Rojo has seen 29 carries to Peyton Barber’s 14. TB is not a particularly run-heavy team, but if you need an RB2 or flex fill-in this week, Jones is a viable option against Arizona. AZ is middle-of-the-pack in terms of FP allowed to RBs on the season, and this game should be a high-scoring affair. I don’t see a scenario where Rojo is game-scripted out against the Cards, so you will be fine starting him.
Kareem Hunt (59.2%): This is the second week in a row I have mentioned Hunt. Nobody is sure what Hunt’s role will be in the CLE offense, but they surely did not sign him to warm the bench for Chubb. I would not start him in his first week back, but he is worth a bench stash to see how the Browns will utilize him going forward. Hunt could potentially be a league-winner if something were to happen to Chubb, or he could simply be a decent RB2/flex play ROS.
Zach Pascal (6.6%): The 2nd-year Old Dominion product has suddenly become the #1 receiver in a capable offense, at least until T.Y. Hilton comes back from injury. Pascal has shown flashes throughout the season, especially when Hilton was absent or limited in games. Now that Hilton is officially out for the foreseeable future, Pascal will assume the lead role for the Colts pass-catchers. In games that Hilton has missed or played limited snaps, Pascal has averaged 5.3 targets/gm, 67 ypg, and has caught two TDs. Against HOU, a game in which Hilton played fully, Pascal had his best game of the season catching six of seven targets for 106 and two scores. This guy is a good WR.
Jamison Crowder (54.7.%): Crowder just destroyed me in my own fantasy matchup this week, so this hurts me to have to relive his outstanding performance by writing about it. Crowder has seen five targets in every single game this season, so the volume is there regardless of the offensive struggles of the Jets. The next five games for the Jets could not possibly be any better for WRs, as they face NYG, @WSH, OAK, @CIN, and MIA. Crowder is clearly Darnold’s favorite target to this point, so he is a great pickup for a team that will be playing catch up in most games going forward.
Hunter Renfrow (2.9%): The Raiders have been quite the surprise this season, much to the chagrin of the Raiders fans that will no longer have a team next season. It’s almost like rooting for a guy your girlfriend is leaving you for…it’s just weird. On a relevant note, Hunter Renfrow has emerged as a reliable slot target for Derek Carr. Renfrow has seen at least three targets in every game this season, and eleven targets in his last two. Renfrow only has two TDs on the season, but both of those came in his previous two games, where he also added 142 receiving yards. I believe Renfrow could be a reliable PPR flex going forward.
Derek Carr (37.3%): This is Carr’s second consecutive week on the Waiver Wizard Column. Carr has quietly been playing very well of late. In his last three games, Carr has averaged 289 passing yards, 2.3 TDs/gm, and has thrown just 1 INT. Oakland’s next four games are against LAC, CIN, NYJ, and KC. LAC has given up points to the QB position when playing a competent QB (exception being Rodgers last week), Kansas City and Cincy are allowing the 7th and 10th most points to the position on the season, and the Jets have allowed at least 16 FPPG in all but two games this season. Carr has Tyrell Williams back healthy, and Hunter Renfrow has emerged as a legitimate target in the offense. Carr is a legit streaming candidate over the next four weeks, and worth a waiver add.
Ryan Tannehill (8.0%): Ryan Tannehill has come back to life, and he brought the Titans offense with him...somewhat. Since Tannehill has taken over the starting job, the Titans are 2-1 (2-2 overall since Mariota benching) and have shown competence on the offensive side of the ball. Tannehill’s last three games have seen him average 279 p/ypg and six passing TDs (1 rushing TD). The Titans are at home against KC this week and could see the return of Patrick Mahomes, which will force the Titans to throw the ball to keep pace. The Chiefs have allowed the 7th most FP to QBs on the season, and I expect Tannehill will have to throw the ball 30+ times in this game. TEN has a bye in Week 11, but Tannehill should be a fine play this week at home against the Chiefs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (4.4%): FITZ-MAGIC IS BACK BABY! Of course, the Dolphins have nowhere near the WR talent that Fitzpatrick had last year in TB, but he does have some weapons. DeVante Parker has played well, Albert Wilson is back from injury, and Mike Gesicki has emerged as a quality tight end target. Fitz loves to chuck the ball all over the field, and he does not particularly care where it lands. His DGAF attitude can hurt his production at times, but if you need a streamer at QB, he’s not the worst option this week @ IND.
Derrius Guice(32.6%): Guice is eligible to return from IR after Washington’s Week 10 bye. The Redskins will face the Jets, who have allowed at least 16 FPPG to RBs in every game this season outside of last week’s game against MIA (devoid of RB talent). The following week WAS will be at home against DET, who have given up more points to the RB position than any other team in the NFL not named the Kansas City Chiefs. AP will undoubtedly retain his workload, but Guice might be a good stash this week while he is on bye, with the hope he earns a share of the backfield going forward.
Raheem Mostert (7.3%): Mostert probably belongs in the next section (See Pure Handcuffs), but he has been great when he sees ample volume (at least nine carries). That volume, however, has not been easy to come by in a crowded SF backfield. Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida are the clear-cut 1 & 2, but neither back is particularly durable. Almost weekly, Breida is on the injury report but somehow finds a way to play. Coleman has already missed a portion of the season due to injury as well, so Mostert would be a good bench stash if you own any of the SF backs.
Pure Handcuffs – There isn’t much need for an in-depth analysis of these players. However, should the guy ahead of them on the depth chart go down with an injury, they could become league-winners. If you look down your roster and see a guy that you feel could be shipped off to Dropsville, stash your handcuff. Bilal Powell has been added to this list because Le’veon Bell is set to have his second MRI of the season, this time on his knee rather than his shoulder. The upcoming schedule for the Jets is more than favorable, so if Bell is out, Powell should be a nice pickup.
Rashaad Penny (38.5%)
Reggie Bonnafon (1.6%)
Ryquell Armstead (1.9%)
Tony Pollard (13.0%)
Josh Gordon (54.0%): Gordon made the Waiver Wizard Column last week as a speculative add, not knowing where he might end up. I’m not sure there was a better landing spot for Gordon than Seattle with Russell Wilson. MAYBE New Orleans with Brees would have been the best fit, but there is not much of a drop-off, if any, with Wilson in Seattle. Gordon is expected to play Monday night against SF, but I am not expecting him to be a game-changer this soon after being signed to a new team. Sure, Gordon is a phenomenal talent, but I think he will be more of a diversion rather than a usable asset this week. If you need WR help, or you want a potential WR depth stash for the fantasy playoffs, Gordon could fill that role.
DeVante Parker (22.8%): Parker also made the column last week, and if anyone read this, I am not sure why he is still just 23% owned. Parker has been a bit lucky in the TD department, and will surely regress to the mean, right? If you had asked me that same question last week, I would have said yes. However, with Preston Williams now out for the season, Parker becomes the clear-cut #1 for FitzMagic. Fitzpatrick loves to throw the ball no matter how tight the window, no matter how far down the field, and no matter the time on the clock. Parker is a physical presence at 6’3”/209lbs., and he is pretty darn good at football. Parker has seen an average of eight targets/gm over his last three games, and those were WITH Preston Williams in the lineup. Go get DeVante, people!
Keelan Cole (0.1%): Keelan Cole is more of a speculative add right now, as Doug Marrone has named Nick Foles the starter for Week 11 as the Jags head into their Week 10 bye. With Minshew benched, Dede Westbrook seems to be the safest bet with Foles under center. However, Westbrook is owned in far too many leagues to make the column. If you need depth at WR and you can wait a week or two, Cole will be a decent waiver add. I would not use my priority waiver claim on Cole, but he is worth some looks.
Vance McDonald (43.9%): Let’s do the Vance Dance! McDonald has seen eleven targets in the last two games with Rudolph under center, and the Rams have given up at least 11 FPPG to the TE position each of the previous five weeks. Cleveland and Cinncinati are better than average against tight ends, but Rudolph is still checking the ball down a ton, and I don’t see that ending any time soon.
Jack Doyle (35.5%): Eric Ebron has had trouble staying healthy this season, and Doyle has still seen a relevant target share even with Ebron in the game. Since the bye week in Week 6, Doyle has caught at least three passes on four or more targets. These aren’t astounding numbers by any means, but in the tight end landscape, it is more than acceptable.
Mike Gesicki (2.3%): Gesicki was highly touted coming out of Penn State, but did not see much action in his rookie campaign. Gesicki caught just 22 balls on 32 targets in 2018 but has already surpassed his yardage total from 2018. He is also only one target and reception away from his 2018 totals, so it is safe to say the Penn State phenom is on his way to a much more productive 2019. The Dolphins sophomore tight end has averaged 5 targets/gm over the last month, and with Fitzpatrick hurling the ball, there is much more upside than with Rosen.
Jason Witten (50.0%): Old reliable, Mr. Cowboy himself has carved out quite a role in the new-look Cowboy’s offense. Witten has seen 4 targets in all contests thus far, with totals of 9 and 7 targets in two of his last three games. Dak will always look to Jason as a security blanket, so Witten provides one of the most stable TE floors around. With the TE landscape the way it is, I am surprised he is still owned in just 50% of leagues.
Jacob Hollister (0.4%): Since Will Dissly was placed on IR, Russell Wilson has been searching for his next TE target. I believe he has found that in Hollister. Wilson is throwing the ball at a much higher rate than in 2018, and the Seattle defense is not what it used to be. Because the defense is lackluster, Wilson is throwing the ball all game, which means more targets for all Seattle pass-catchers. This will benefit Hollister going forward.
Irv Smith Jr. (1.5%): Coming into the season as the heir apparent to the longtime Viking Kyle Rudolph, Smith Jr. has started to come into his own of late. Typically rookie TEs do not emerge in their first season (see Gesicki), so the premature success is nice to see. Irv received at least 6 targets in two of his last three games, and with the more balanced offense, he should retain a solid floor.
Colts D/ST (37.7%): The Colts get MIA at home this week. That is all you really need to know. Miami is putrid on offense, even with Fitzpatrick slinging the ball around like a mad man. Indy would be my #1 streaming defense on the week.
Ravens D/ST (33.9%): The Ravens go up against Cincy in Week 10 in Cincy. The Ravens are finally healthy on the defensive side of the ball and managed to hold the “unbeatable” Patriots to just 20 points on Sunday night. Oh, and did I mention the Bengals are starting a rookie QB this week? Ravens should have a nice day at the office this week.
Giants D/ST (2.7%): You think I’m crazy, I know...and maybe I am. I think the Giants are a decent play this week against the reeling Jets Offense. The G-Men surprisingly have three defensive TDs on the year, and although they are playing an “away” game, they’re still at home against the turnover-prone Jets. Darnold is seeing ghosts against everyone apparently, as he has produced at least one turnover in each of his last four games (9 INTs, 1 FUML). They are a one-week streamer, don’t get it twisted, but they should produce this week.
Steelers (61.6%): The Steelers have been exceptional since the addition of Minkah Fitzpatrick and show no signs of slowing down. The AFC North has been weak this year outside of the Ravens, and the Steelers have the pleasure of playing all of those teams multiple times. They get the Rams in Week 10 at home, a team that has had its struggles on offense. Pittsburgh should be a solid defense going forward.