Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 10
November 9, 2015 | Evan Sandel
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James Starks (39% Yahoo, 40% ESPN)
Starks has now outplayed Eddie Lacy in two of the Packers’ last three games. The odd game out was the Packers’ dud against the Broncos in which both backs were swallowed up. This Sunday, Lacy put up a mere 10 yards on five carries before fumbling and being benched, thus allowing Starks to dominate the remainder of the contest.
It appears the Packers still want to get Lacy involved, but his consistently disappointing performances have left him with zero wiggle room.
If this is a running back committee, it’s time to start thinking of Starks as the lead back until Lacy can prove otherwise. At this point, Starks isn’t just a handcuff, he’s the preferred fantasy option.
The Detroit Lions’ league-worst defense marches into Lambeau Field next week, a game in which both backs should perform well. If you’re a Lacy owner, trying to sell high on him after this contest might be a smooth move.
Karlos Williams (36% Yahoo, 41% ESPN)
Karlos Williams saw his ownership plummet from 82% in week four all the way down to 36% today (Yahoo). Some owners abandoned him when he got concussed, others when LeSean McCoy got healthy. For Shame! Rex Ryan’s ground-and-pound offense is more than capable of sustaining two fantasy running backs, as was proven in spades this Sunday when Karlos and Shady combined for a staggering 229 yards and three touchdowns.
Even with Shady fully healthy, Karlos is a must-own player as the preferred goal-line option in a Rex Ryan offense. Re-add in all formats.
Dorial Green-Beckham (13% Yahoo, 9% ESPN)
In Sunday’s contest against the Saints, DGB saw a season high in targets with 10, and receptions with 5, which he turned into 77 yards. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping but the implication that Green-Beckham is being more incorporated into the offense is very significant.
Beckham is a beast at 6’5, 247lbs and can somehow move that imposing frame 40 yards in 4.49 seconds. He’s incredibly talented to boot; he was drafted by the Titans near the top of the second round, and the only reason this rookie fell even that far is a shockingly long list of off-the-field issues.
If Green-Beckham continues to be the Titans’ most targeted receiver going forward, the upside here is sky-high. Unfortunately, the basement is zero, as DGB is a significant risk to be suspended for behavioral issues. With Mariota looking like the truth, if Green-Beckham can keep himself in check, and David Cobb can perform well after coming off the IR in week 10, the Titans will have a strong young team for years to come.
Go ahead and roll the dice on DGB; the potential rewards outweigh the risks.
Devin Funchess (14% Yahoo, 7% ESPN)
One pick after the Titans selected DGB, Devin Funchess was claimed by the Panthers. When Kelvin Benjamin went down at the beginning of the year there was a lot of speculation that Funchess would be the one to fill his shoes as Carolina’s no.1 receiver. That hasn’t yet come to pass, as Cam Newton has leaned on his all-pro tight end and spread the ball around to his receivers fairly evenly. Funchess, however, had the best game of his professional career on Sunday, collecting 71 yards and a score on a mere three catches, and he may now be in line for more work.
Part of the reason for the Panthers bringing the rookie along slowly could be that he spent his freshman and sophomore years at Michigan playing tight end. With only one year of experience at wide receiver, it’s reasonable to give the young man some time to adjust.
The Panthers are undefeated thanks to an amazing performance from Cam Newton, who is having a career year despite being starved for weapons. If Riverboat Ron Rivera is ready to take the reins off of Devin Funchess, there’s a lot of potential for fantasy success there.
Funchess should still be considered a stash, but may start working his way up fantasy depth charts sooner than later.
Blake Bortles (52% Yahoo, 55%ESPN)
In his last three games Blake Bortles has averaged 20.8 standard fantasy points against the stalwart defenses of Houston, Buffalo and the New York Jets.
Bortles has produced the ninth most fantasy points of all quarterbacks despite having passed his bye.
Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, TJ Yeldon and Julius Thomas are all legitimate weapons.
Bortles’ fantasy playoff schedule is absolute cake. He’ll face Indy, Atlanta and New Orleans in weeks 14,15 and 16.
If the Jags’ defense wasn’t composed of Swiss cheese, their W/L record would be far better, and we’d be hearing everyday about how the Jags are “on the rise.” Fortunately, this isn’t the concern of your fantasy team.
If Bortles is still available in your league, go scoop him up.
Richard Rodgers (24% Yahoo, 30% ESPN)
Rodgers saw a season high 9 targets and turned them into two touchdowns and an amusingly low 19 yards. Rich-Rod is locked in as A-Rod’s safety blanket and is routinely near the top of the Packers targets list. Unfortunately for Rich-Rod’s upside, that’s a rather long list. Tight End is one of the shallowest positions in fantasy football and as the season wears on, the pool evaporates rather quickly. Rich-Rod is at least on a prolific offense and regularly sees endzone targets.
Rodgers is one of the best tight end options still widely available, but hopefully this isn’t where you’re going for a starter.
David Cobb – Coming off the IR next week and only having to overtake plodder Antonio Andrews for early down work, there might be an always-much-needed starting RB here soon. Stash a.s.a.p.
Jay Ajayi – Looked very solid in his debut last week. The 3-5 Dolphins have to give the kid some run so they know how to proceed when Lamar Miller hits free agency after this season.
Marcus Mariota – Had an amazing game, but against a porous Saints defense — he also benefited from some crazy deflections. Looks like the future and has a fairly easy slate. Solid QB2 right now, with QB1 upside.
Shaun Draughn – Had a nice day but will disappear when Carlos Hyde returns, which is expected to be in week 11. It’s possible he and/or Pierre Thomas retain some passing game value. I’d only speculate here in 14-team leagues.
Cole Beasley – 112 yards and two touchdowns can’t be ignored, but he’s been a ghost all season. With the return of Dez Bryant and his ability to open up opposing defenses, it’s conceivable that Beasley can find a Welkeresque role in the slot.
Owen Daniels – 102 yards and a touchdown can’t be ignored, but he’s been a ghost all season. The signing of Vernon Davis may very well just lead to a committee and make both TEs fantasy irrelevant. If you’re compelled to pick one up, take Davis.
Jacob Tamme – Has had two solid games in a row, but can be left alone. Leonard Hankerson will return from injury after the bye and resume no.2 pass catcher duties.
Dion Lewis – Is out for the year with a torn ACL. The primary effect will be LeGarrette Blount seeing more carries. The secondary effect will be a timeshare at passing back. James White and Brandon Bolden are both worth speculative adds, especially in PPR formats. It’s impossible to say which is the better option, because Belichick. I’m going with White, based solely on the fact he was initially penciled in for the passing down duty at the beginning of camp, before Lewis usurped him.