Unless there are injuries, it gets more difficult to find under-the-radar fantasy football contributors as the season wears on. Of course, there are always more injuries as the season wears on, so it all comes down to who gets hurt and how serious the injury is. Latavius Murray has been battling an ankle injury for the past month, and Devonta Freeman has been taking advantage (even though fantasy owners have barely noticed); Jordan Howard has produced each of the past two games in Miles Sanders’ absence; and Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson both suffered head injuries on Sunday, opening the door for Brandon Bolden. Howard, Freeman, and Bolden should be among the top Week 10 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds even if none are particularly exciting.
Our full free agent list features more than just handcuff RBs. We also have some potential depth WR pickups (Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, Olamide Zaccheaus, Russell Gage, Tim Patrick) and a bunch of Week 10 streamer suggestions at QB, WR, TE, and D/ST, which you can find at the end of this list. Week 10’s list of teams on bye — Giants, Texans, Bears, and Bengals — doesn’t feature a ton of heavy fantasy hitters, but there are still several idle every-week starters. With plenty of key players still dealing with injuries, finding matchup-based sleepers will be important this week (and every week going forward).
It’s tough to say on Sunday night whether any of these players will be worth a waivers claim, never mind a high one. Howard is the most likely to merit a claim, as he should see ample carries next week. However, Sanders is eligible to return in Week 11, so investing a high claim in Howard is risky. If one of the Patriots backups is slated to start (which we probably won’t know by Tuesday night), they’ll be worth claiming. We likely will have a decent idea if Murray will be back this week since Baltimore plays on Thursday night. Given the matchup, either Murray or Freeman will be worth a claim, but Freeman would only command a top-five claim if Murray is out.
This will likely be another “free agent” week for most owners, but if you’re desperate for an RB, you might find yourself spending the No. 1 or 2 claim on someone like Howard. That’s how it goes at this point in the season, so do what you need to do to get by.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 10
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Howard was the Eagles’ primary ball carrier early in Week 9. He didn’t play quite as much in the second half, but he finished with 71 rushing yards on a team-high17 carries. He also found the end zone for the second straight week. The Eagles have made it a point to get their RBs involvedwhile Miles Sanders (ankle) has been out, and Howard has taken advantage. It’s important to remember that the Lions and Chargers are highly favorable matchups — more so than Philadelphia’s Week 10 opponent, Denver — but Howard clearly has a lot of upside if he’s going to get even 13 touches. He’s much more valuable in standard leagues, but he could work in PPR thanks to his TD potential. — Matt Lutovsky
It’s unclear when Latavius Murray (ankle) will return, but either way, Freeman has some flex upside. The veteran back has scored in three straight games while being the nominal leader in Baltimore’s backfield. His 15touches last week led the team, and even though the production was relatively modest (83 total yards), his touchdown made him worth playing. A highly favorable Thursday nightmatchup next week against Miami awaits, so Freeman might have some value even if Murray is back. — ML
Damien Harris (head) exited early, and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, who was over 100 total yards on the day, also was knocked out of the game because of a head injury. That left Bolden as the only healthy back for the Pats in the fourth quarter last week. If Harris and Stevenson can’t get cleared in time for Week 10’s game against the Browns, Bolden would start and J.J. Taylor would back him up. It’s not a great matchup, but Bolden has proven he can be a solid producer, especially in PPR leagues, when given the chance. We saw that last week when Bolden had 81 total yards on just 10 touches. All starting RBs have upside, so Bolden has plenty of potential value.Stevenson would be a higher priority pickup if it looks like he’ll be healthy and Harris will be out. — ML
Thomas (hamstring) should return in Week 10, and it’s not common for a player with top-five upside at their position to be on almost half of all waiver wires. He faces Tampa Bay right away, so we instantly like him as a top-eight option for Week 10. For the rest of the season, he should sit comfortably in rankings as a TE1. — Jackson Sparks
Only one Cleveland pass-catcher had more than two catches last week, which shows how low-powered its passing game is. Nonetheless, with Odell Beckham Jr. out of the picture, someone will step up with additional targets and big-play opportunities. DPJ is the best bet, and he showed his standard-league upside with two catches, 86 yards, and a TD against the Bengals last week. It will be tough to count on Peoples-Jones in PPR leagues, especially next week against New England, but DPJ is still worth adding for future weeks. — ML
Has the Moore breakout campaign begun? It sure feels like it. Against the Colts, he caught seven-of-eight targets for 84 yards and two touchdowns. He had that performance after drawing six targets in each of the two games prior. It’s worth noting Corey Davis (hip) missed the last two weeks, but it’s hard to imagine New York relegating Moore to spot duty based on what we’ve seen in recent weeks. All that said, you can’t really trust him against Buffalo next week, but he’s worth stashing for favorable matchups. — JS
Many fantasy owners thought Jerry Jeudy’s return from an ankle injury would dramatically hurt Patrick’s value, but that has not been the case. Against Dallas, Patrick caught four-of-five targets for 85 yards and a touchdown. We’ve been waiting for his target numbers to pick up, but he’s been efficient and effective with the targets he does get. That said, it’s time for his ownership to climb. It is worth noting Denver plays Philadelphia in Week 10, who have limited WRs as the third-best defense against the position. — JS
Bateman caught five-of-eight targets for 52 yards against Minnesota, marking his third straight game with six-plus targets in his young career. He continues to settle into this offense and looks to have a lot more upside than some other players out there on waivers. If you pick him up, he certainly draws starting consideration against Miami — the second-worst team against fantasy WRs — even if Sammy Watkins (hamstring) plays. — JS
After a frustrating Week 8 with zero targets, Gage appears to be back in Matt Ryan’s sights, as he drew eight targets in Week 9. Atlanta heads to Dallas in Week 10, and the Cowboys’ secondary has been a bottom-10 defense against WRs. Atlanta should attempt a ton of passes to keep up with Dak Prescott and co. — JS
Hyde’s fantasy outlook depends on the health of James Robinson (heel), but in his absence, Hyde took on a workhorse role against Buffalo. He totaled 22 touches for 73 yards, and while those aren’t overly impressive numbers, it was against the league’s best defense. If Robinson is out in Week 10, you almost have to start Hyde against Indianapolis based on pure volume. — JS
Every time we write off Stevenson, he gives us a reason to consider rostering him. Damien Harris left the game with a head injury and Stevenson accumulated 106 yards on just 12 touches. However, Stevenson also left the game with a head injury. We’ll have to monitor both of their statuses throughout the week, but if both are expected to miss any time, Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor would likely split backfield duties. New England plays Cleveland in Week 10, who has been a strong defense against fantasy RBs, but if Stevenson is expected to play and Harris is going to be out, Stevenson will have value. –JS
Murray (ankle) missed his third straight game in Week 9, but when he finally does return, he should be the lead back for Baltimore. The backfield still figures to be a committee, but Murray will have the most upside of all Ravens’ backs. If he plays in Week 10, it will be against a Miami defense that is a bottom-10 unit against running backs. –JS
Zaccheaus scored two touchdowns on just three targets against New Orleans and figures to be more valuable than Tajae Sharpe moving forward, as we expected initially. Of course, we can’t simply chase the touchdowns and should be somewhat concerned about the targets, but with Calvin Ridley (personal) out for at minimum the next two games, there are fantasy points to go around in this offense. We can start to viewZaccheaus as a streaming option in favorable matchups. Atlanta faces Dallas in Week 10, so he’ll warrant consideration immediately. –JS
This offense is comically bad, but Lindsay was the Texans’ leader in carriesin Week 9. It’s tough to find guaranteed touches at RB on the waiver wire, so Lindsay’s name stays on the radar. Houston has a bye in Week 10, so you don’t need to be in a rush to acquire him. –JS
Johnson turned seven touches into seven fantasy points in PPR leagues in Week 9, and for fantasy teams desperate for any kind of production, we should still monitor him moving forward. However, Houston is on a Week 10 bye, so feel free to forget about him this week. He’ll play Tennessee in Week 11, so maybe he will do something. He should be viewed as a streamer at RB — if that’s a thing. –JS
DeSean Jackson is officially gone, so Jefferson will have every opportunity to become a consistent producer in this offense. The Rams play San Francisco in Week 10, and although the Niners are statically strong again fantasy wideouts, this Rams’ passing attack is matchup proof. –JS
DeSean Jackson is signing with the Raiders, and he’ll presumably fill the deep-threat role that once belonged to Henry Ruggs. We can’t expect Jackson to be a weekly stud, but like every season over the past few years, he’ll fave his moments. Don’t drop someone with decent value for him, but if you have an extra roster spot, why not take the flier? We’ll see if he plays in Week 10, but Las Vegas is set to face Kansas City, so he could get off to a big start right away. –JS
We’re still waiting on Gallup (hamstring) to return from IR, but next week is supposed to be the sweet spot. If he does play in Week 10, he can immediately be viewed as a low-end WR3 or flex option against a struggling Falcons’ secondary. It might be safe to keep him on the bench even if he is active, though, given the injury concerns. –JS
When Will Fuller (finger) returns, he has to be considered a top waiver-wire option. With DeVante Parker (hamstring) on IR, Fuller can step in as at least the No. 2 WR in the offense. Tua Tagovailoa (finger) isn’t expected to miss a significant amount of time, so Fuller has every opportunity to be productive. Miami plays the Ravens in Week 10, and while Baltimore’s defense is weak against the pass according tototal defensestatistics,they’ve actually been a top-10 unit against fantasy WRs. –JS
Tampa Bay’s passing defense hasn’t been as bad in recent weeks, but they are still a bottom-12 team against fantasy QBs. Heinicke has a few QB1 games this season, and while he’s not a super-high floor or ceiling pick he has to be considered. –JS
Again, it’s a tough week for streamers at QB, so Jones has to be considered, too. We knew he’d have a tough road to success against Carolina, butCleveland is a bottom-eight team against fantasy QBs, and we’ve seen Jones be productive if the game script is favorable. Expect New England to be more willing to let it rip against a struggling Browns’ secondary. –JS
Assuming Tagovailoa (finger) is active, he’s a decent streaming consideration against Baltimore. Baltimore’s defense has allowed Derek Carr, Carson Wentz, Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, and Joe Burrow to have strong performances, and Tua can join that list based on pure volume if nothing else. In his first three games back from his ribs injury, he attempted 42 passes/game and will approach or exceed those numbers once again. –JS
Lawrence hasn’tbeen dependable even when the matchup is favorable but in a week where streaming options are limited, he warrants consideration. Indianapolis, his Week 10 opponent, has given up the 10th-most fantasy points per game to QBs. Of course, he struggled against Buffalo, but the Bills’ defense is in a much higher tier than the Colts’ defense.–JS
It was a bit surprising Hill didn’t start for New Orleans in Week 9, but he could eventually take over the Saints’ offense (as soon as Week 10.) Hill a great rushing quarterback, and Tennessee has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterback heading into Week 9. Hill doesn’t even need to succeed in the passing game to pay dividends for your fantasy roster, so he has one of the safest floors of all NFL quarterbacks — not just streamers. Assuming he takes over the starting job, he easily has QB1 potential the rest of the season. –JS
Hilton (concussion) was out last week, but he’ll presumably be ready to go against Jacksonville, who we all know leaves a lot to be desired in the secondary. –JS
Callaway caught just three-of-six targets against Atlanta, but he scored a touchdown, effectively saving his fantasy performance. He obviously hasn’t lived up to the hype this season, but we have to consider him as a one-week solution as he facesthe worst defense against fantasy WRs in the league. (Tennessee). –JS
Cobb is only attractive in Week 10 if Aaron Rodgers (reserve/COVID) is back, but Green Bay plays Seattle, who we know has struggled mightily in the secondary. Cobb wasn’t particularly productive with Jordan Love, but nobody was, so throw the stats from that game out the window. –JS
Detroit is statically decent against tight ends, but Freiermuth looks like he’ll draw targets in bunches moving forward. Since JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered aseason-ending shoulder injury, Freiermuthdrew 14targets in two games and caught one touchdown prior to this week. We not only like him this week, but his season-long outlook looks strong in PPR leagues. –JS
Los Angeles has given up five receiving touchdowns to tight ends and the teamallows the third-most fantasy points to the TE position. Conklin has flashed in some spots this year — including against Baltimore in Week 9–so he deserves consideration with favorable matchups. –JS
Indianapolis was allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to TEs heading into Week 9, and Arnold has totaled 30targets over the past fourgames — includingseventargets against Buffalo.He, like Freiermuth, could become a decent PPR option moving forward. The matchup with the Colts should get his season-long outlook started off strong. –JS
If Russell Wilson (finger) plays, consider this option removed from consideration, but Green Bay’s defense has been a lot better than people expected, and if Geno Smtih is at QB, we can expect an inefficient and turnover-prone offense on the other side of the ball. –JS
It may seem crazy to start a fantasy defense against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, but Mahomes leads the league in interceptions (10) and Kansas City has failed to score 21 points in three-of-four games leading up to Week 9. Las Vegas has a strong enough pass-rush to bother Mahomes, which has been the key to limiting his production and the entire offense. –JS
We’ll see who’s under center for the Saint in Week 10, but New Orleans is currently just ahead of Chicago, Miami, and Houston in offensive yards per game. They even trail the Jets. That said, we shouldn’t expect an offensive outburst against an opportunistic Titans defense. Kevin Byard is second in the league in interceptions (4) and Harold Landry is tied with T.J. Watt for second in the league in sacks (8.5).
You can consider this a boom-or-bust defense. Despite the struggles at times, the Eagles defense ranks 12th in fantasy points per game, and Denver is a bottom-10 team in fantasy points allowed to D/STs. It’s a tough week for streamers at multiple positions, so Philly has to be considered. –JS
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