Let’s face it, the fantasy football season is a series of disappointments and bad news for some owners. The games rarely play out as we’d like and each week summons a new rash of injuries to scratch. Inherently, some percentage of teams have underperformed based on bad beats. In head-to-head formats, those teams in the middle of the pack are likely out of the race for best regular season record. That’s not to say those same teams can’t catch fire in their late-season match-ups and make an unexpected playoff run. Sometimes an innocuous waiver wire addition is all it takes to turn a fantasy season around. If you’re one of the many owners looking to make a late push for the postseason, working the wire proactively is a must.
On the other hand, if you’re one of the select few coasting to the playoffs on the back of a great start, it’s time to start using your waiver claims defensively. Survey your league, see who your biggest threats are, and stifle their attempts to improve via free agency. You can also try to block your upcoming opponent from filling a need on his or her roster. If your upcoming contest looks like cakewalk, look ahead to future weeks and shore up your team’s issues with byes and bad match-ups. Don’t let that little plumber hang around in search of a hammer; knock him out with a barrel. Whether you’re a fake football Donkey Kong or a fake football Mario, the Week 10 Waiver Wire is your guide to the best widely-available players to target.
Better late than never: Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Mike Glennon
After his first two starts of the season, Jason Campbell heads into his team’s bye week with 561 passing yards, 5 TDs, and 0 INTs. The Browns’ schedule after the week off is a mixed bag of good and bad match-ups for their new QB, but Campbell has proven startable in deep leagues.
While many of us will be sad to see the “Tuel Time” nickname go away, fantasy owners can’t help be glad to hear E.J. Manuel has been cleared to play. Thad Lewis should also be healthy enough to go in Week 10, so act accordingly if you need to own a piece of the Buffalo passing game.
Aaron Rodgers absorbed a huge blow to his non-throwing shoulder on Monday night and subsequently dealt a potentially huge blow to his fantasy owners. There’s reason for optimism if you’re a Rodgers owner, but Seneca Wallace is worth a look if you want to play it safe.
BLTN: Mike James, Andre Brown
Darren McFadden keeps finding new ways to McFrustrate his fantasy owners. The injury-prone Oakland starter left Sunday’s game early in the second quarter and didn’t return. In his stead, Rashad Jennings blew up for 176 total yards and a score on 22 touches. Marcel Reece chipped in 22 receiving yards on two catches and a rushing goose-egg on 1 carry. Jennings is the clear handcuff to McFadden, but Reece could have minor value in PPR leagues if this situation morphs into more of a timeshare.
Shonn Greene didn’t reach the 15-carry mark Mike Munchack touted him for leading up to Week 9, but he did score a 5-yard touchdown on the Titans’ opening drive. It’s easy to overlook Greene’s contribute relative to Chris Johnson’s monster game, but Greene has the goal-line role on lockdown and TDs are a valuable fantasy commodity.
With Justin Blackmon blacklisted indefinitely, Mike Brown ascends to the Jaguars’ starting lineup. Cecil Shorts should garner the majority of attention from opposing defenses and that creates potential for James to produce in Jacksonville’s perpetual state of garbage time.
Doug Baldwin posted his best stat line of the season on Sunday against the Bucs. His 10 targets were nearly double that of all other Seattle wideouts combined. I’ve been a Percy Harvin doubter pretty much all season, but it’s not for lack of opportunity in the Seattle offense. The targets are there to go around. With Sidney Rice out for the year and Harvin still on the mend, Baldwin offers a lot of potential down the stretch.
Jason Avant’s disappearing act on Sunday was Riley Cooper’s gain as the latter grabbed 5 of his 6 targets for 139 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cooper is developing a connection with quarterback Nick Foles on some level, but I’m not ready to put a ton of stock into a breakout performance in a soft match-up (sorry Raiders fans). Meanwhile, this Philly offense has an aroma reminiscent of the New Orleans Saints. It’s hard to know who to trust on a week-to-week basis aside from LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson.
Just as Terrance Williams had value while Miles Austin was the #2 WR in Dallas, Cole Beasley has value while Terrance Williams is the #2 guy. Beasley actually out-targeted Williams 9 to 7 on Sunday, hauling in 6 of those passes for 68 yards. Since Week 5, he’s caught at least 4 passes in every game except one. In those 4-catch-or-better performances, Beasley is averaging 6.25 fantasy points per game in standard scoring. You’re not doing backflips for that sort of production, but steady reception and yardage can do wonders for PPR owners.
Garrett Graham has been mentioned here in the Waiver Wire before, but we expected more from him after Owen Daniels was lost for the year. His usage is slowly trending up, but Case Keenum’s tunnel vision for Andre Johnson is worrisome for Graham’s prospects. With that said, his Week 10 match-up against Arizona is literally as good as it gets in terms of fantasy points allowed to the tight end position. Graham is a great bye-week add for owners of Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Cameron.
Once upon a time, John Carlson was a promising fantasy tight end for the Seahawks. He’s playing for the Vikings now and their starter, Kyle Rudolph, just broke his foot. Carlson didn’t do much in relief of Rudolph on Sunday (4 catches for 23 yards), but the 6 targets aimed his way are promising for future weeks. The receiving options in Minnesota are limited and Carlson could carve out a nice niche in the passing game with check-down artist Christian Ponder under center.
For more evidence on the variability of the Eagles’ offense, allow me to present Zack Ertz. The rookie tight end caught 5 passes for 42 yards and a score against the Raiders. Those 10 fantasy points were his best total since earning half that in Week 2. Ertz is the clear starter ahead of Brent Celek at this point, but don’t expect a repeat of Sunday every week.