Week 10 Fantasy Football: Top 10 Free Agents in 12-Team Leagues

Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterNovember 6, 2012

Week 10 Fantasy Football: Top 10 Free Agents in 12-Team Leagues

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    The following countdown touts the top 10 waiver-wire pickups heading into Week 10 (standard-scoring rules/12-team leagues).

    Obviously, free-agent quarterbacks like Alex Smith, Russell Wilson, Brandon Weeden and Sam Bradford are the likeliest candidates for most points on a weekly basis. But I would also place an equal or higher priority on landing possible dynamos at wide receiver, running back and tight end.

    For a listing of this week's top 30 free agents, click here.

10. RB Alex Green, Green Bay Packers

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    2012 Stats: 362 Total Yards (264 Rushing)

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. In his last five games, Alex Green has quietly racked up at least 63 total yards for the pass-happy Packers.

    2. Green has averaged 21.5 touches in his last four games. Last week against the Cardinals, he needed only 13 touches to produce 78 total yards.

    3. On the receiving front, Green has collected 10 catches, 15 targets and 82 yards in the last three outings.

    4. The Packers are an offensive juggernaut, and whoever claims the starting-tailback job (either Green or James Starks) would be a respectable fantasy asset from this point forward.

9. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders

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    2012 Stats: 19 Catches, 289 Yards, 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Of his last three games, Darrius Heyward-Bey has modestly collected either 74 yards and/or one touchdown each time.

    2. I say "modestly" because DHB (Week 3 concussion) is starting to resemble the wideout who had a superb finishing kick to last season—two games of 100-plus yards, three touchdowns and 60 targets from Weeks 12-17.

    3. The Raiders are largely a pass-first offense. Just imagine the additional bump in throws if running back Darren McFadden (sprained ankle) missed time to injury. (QB Carson Palmer attempted 61 passes in Week 9.)

    4. A top-40 receiving talent during the preseason, Heyward-Bey has a higher ceiling than most waiver-wire free agents.

8. RB Joique Bell, Detroit Lions

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    2012 Stats: 452 Total Yards (193 Rushing), 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Joique Bell tallied 109 total yards (73 rushing) and one touchdown last week, on a mere 16 touches.

    2. The Lions seemingly have confidence in Bell during multiple game situations (first down, 3rd-and-long, short-yardage, goal-line). They're even comfortable using him in straight-up time shares with Mikel Leshoure.

    3. On the same day that Leshoure rushed for three touchdowns against the Jags (Week 9), Bell notched more rushing yards and total yards than his backfield mate.

7. LaRod Stephens-Howling, Arizona Cardinals

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    2012 Stats: 283 Total Yards (184 Rushing), 3 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. In his last three games, LaRod Stephens-Howling has accounted for 246 total yards and two touchdowns.

    2. Stephens-Howling has a relatively clear path at being the Cardinals' No. 1 tailback for Weeks 11 and 12. After that, Beanie Wells (currently on IR) may be ready to reclaim that role.

    3. With the Cardinals on a bye this week, savvy GMs can acquire Stephens-Howling for a reasonable free-agent price.

6. QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

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    2012 Stats: 1,639 Yards Passing, 13 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Russell Wilson has thrown five touchdown passes in his last two games.

    2. Since Week 6, Wilson has racked up at least 20 fantasy points (standard-scoring leagues) three times.

    3. Wilson has averaged 27 pass attempts in his last four games.

    4. The Seahawks' slate for Weeks 14 (vs. Arizona) and 15 (at Buffalo) could appeal to fantasy owners in need of an emergency starter during the playoffs.

5. QB Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

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    2012 Stats: 1,659 Yards Passing, 12 TD

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Alex Smith has ranked as a top-20 quarterback since Week 5.

    2. Through eight games, Smith has accounted for either 300 yards passing and/or multiple touchdowns four times.

    3. Against the Cardinals on Oct. 29, Smith completed 18 of 19 passes (232 yards and three TDs) for an incredible completion mark of 95 percent.

    4. For those seeking a stealth starter for the fantasy-playoff period of Weeks 14 and 15, Smith has attractive matchups with the Dolphins and Patriots, respectively.

4. RB Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts

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    2012 Stats: 360 Total Yards (266 Rushing), 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Vick Ballard has racked up 98 total yards and/or one touchdown in each of his last three games.

    2. In the Colts' win over the Dolphins (Week 9), Ballard logged the majority of touches over Delone Carter and Donald Brown.

    3. The steadily improving Ballard (53 touches since Week 7) could be Indy's feature back for the foreseeable future, regardless of Brown's health and Carter's contribution.

3. TE Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders

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    2012 Stats: 39 Catches, 442 Yards, 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. In terms of catches (eight), targets (13) and touchdowns (two), Brandon Myers had the greatest output of any NFL tight end in Week 9 (vs. Tampa Bay). He also drew the most targets of any Raiders playmaker that day.

    2. Of his last four games, Myers has crossed the PPR-elite threshold (among tight ends) of five catches, 80 yards and/or one touchdown three times.

    3. Since Week 7, Myers has two outings of double-digit targets.

    4. Myers has a golden chance to be a top-10 tight end from this point forward. This could lead to "automatic-starter" status during the fantasy playoffs in 12-team leagues.

2. WR Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams

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    2012 Stats: 32 Catches, 395 Yards, 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Danny Amendola (shoulder) is a good bet to return to the Rams for their Week 10 clash with the 49ers.

    2. Through five healthy games, Amendola has collected double-digit targets four times—including a season-high 16 in Week 2. In that meeting with the Redskins, he caught 15 balls for 160 yards and one touchdown.

    3. Provided Rams QB Sam Bradford can stay upright throughout the season, Amendola could be a top-15 asset in points-per-reception leagues.

1. RB Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    2012 Stats: 428 Total Yards (274 Rushing), 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Isaac Redman rushed for a career-best 147 yards against the Giants in Week 9. Redman's performance came at a time when the injury-depleted, hotel-free Steelers really needed him to step up.

    2. Redman's 28 Sunday touches were seven times the number of any other Steelers playmaker—including wide receiver Mike Wallace (3 catches, 66 yards, 1 TD) and tight end Heath Miller (4 catches, 48 yards).

    3. Redman has notched 100-plus total yards in back-to-back games—the second time in his young career.

    4. For consecutive weeks, a Steelers running back has been the No. 1 asset in the free-agent countdown (Jonathan Dwyer grabbed previous honors).

    It's a show of respect for the Pittsburgh offense and coordinator Todd Haley.

    On the flip side, it's indicative of how unsettled things are in the Steelers' backfield without Rashard Mendenhall, who's dealing with Achilles soreness.