Week 10 Waiver Wire: Top Pickups
It never ceases to amaze.
The silver lining is the chaotic results help us get through the bye weeks and injuries—Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) owners are holding their collective breath—by lining up options for us off the waiver wire. We break down ones to add, monitor and ignore (by position) in this weekly must-read slideshow.
Quarterbacks: Nick Foles, Big Ben Rise Up to Be the Top Fill-Ins Going Forward
Quarterbacks to Add
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
If seven touchdowns and an uptempo attack don't excite you, nothing can. Foles has put the Eagles' quarterback question to bed for the time being and rates as a must-add quarterback even in standard formats.
If you are a frustrated Matt Ryan or Eli Manning owner—or facing the loss of Aaron Rodgers (shoulder, see below)—Foles has to be your top waiver priority this week.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Not only is he coming off 400 yards and four touchdowns, but he is also facing a Bills defense that has given up a league-high 20 touchdown passes to date. The Steelers are good bet to get healthy against a suspect opponent in Week 10 at home. In fact, you might be lucky you missed out on Foles and got "stuck" with Big Ben (available in one-third of CBS Sports leagues) as your bye-week replacement.
Quarterbacks to Monitor
Case Keenum, Houston Texans
You have to love what he did in the first half against the Colts and how he got the ball to Andre Johnson, but Arizona isn't an overly favorable matchup this week. There are some big-time players on that defense and in that secondary. Keenum needs to show some consistency before he is a viable addition outside of two-quarterback formats.
Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans
Don't completely give up on Locker after this one disappointing week. He still has legs for some rushing scores, and the Titans have a slew of targets in their passing game. You have to start him against the lowly Jags in two-quarterback leagues, but you don't have to own him otherwise, unless you’re desperate.
Quarterbacks to Ignore
Seneca Wallace, Green Bay Packers
Regardless of Rodgers' (shoulder) status, you cannot like what Wallace did Monday night against the Bears. Sure, the Eagles are suspect against fantasy quarterbacks (sixth worst) and the pass (dead last), but the Packers will be a ground-and-pound team if Rodgers is out any significant amount of time. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel didn't speculate on the severity of Rodgers' injury, but he did have an ominous quote for Rodgers' owners for Week 10:
"Seneca needs to play better and he definitely will with a full week of practice," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy told McGinn. "There's nothing like live reps. It was evident [Monday night]."
Josh McCown, Chicago Bears
He had some moments filling in for the injured Jay Cutler (groin), but ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen tweeted Monday night that Cutler plans to practice and play Sunday against the Lions. That puts Cutler on add lists in deeper leagues and leaves McCown on the scrap heap.
Jason Campbell, Cleveland Browns
The term "game manager" was coined for guys like Campbell, who actually had a solid week with 262 yards and three touchdowns. There is garbage time to come in the second half of the season, assuming the Browns stick with Campbell, but you don't have to own him heading into his bye week.
Running Backs: Options Are Opening Up More at This Position...Finally
Running Backs to Add
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
If talent was the lone deciding factor in fantasy moves, Stewart would be the No. 1 addition in all fantasy leagues this week. But alas, circumstances and matchup dictate a player's value, too. Stewart proved healthy and more productive than DeAngelo Williams this week, so we should expect Stewart to get more and more of the touches going forward. Williams is older and less explosive, and Stewart is a physical runner who might even be able to do his own work inside the 10-yard line.
The problem with trusting him in lineups, in addition to the timeshare with Williams and goal-line back Mike Tolbert, is the 49ers still have one of the run defenses of which fantasy owners need to be wary.
Chris Ivory, New York Jets
Apparently 32 percent of CBS Sports leagues didn't see Ivory becoming the Jets' full-fledged feature back. Well, after another 139 yards and a touchdown, he should be considered just that now. He has fully distanced himself from Bilal Powell, who had just nine carries for 29 yards.
The Jets are a lot livelier than anyone anticipated, and the running game is going to be a No. 1 priority going forward. Ivory should be owned and active in all leagues after their Week 10 bye.
Andre Brown, New York Giants
He is returning from the Designated for Return IR this week and has a special "package of plays" waiting for him in Week 10, according to Dave Hutchinson of The Newark Star-Ledger. You should bank on the Giants running with Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jacobs this week in a power running game, but Brown will be the feature back once he is back up to speed. It might be by the second half of this Sunday's game against the Raiders.
Brown told Hutchinson:
The coaches just told me to be ready. ... They threw me some special plays out there. They want to get me back in football shape. They want to kind of ease me into this thing. That's what they plan on doing and we'll go from there.
Mike James, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We are not willing to degrade a Seahawks defense that has given up back-to-back big games on the ground, so we have to like the potential of James now. The rookie pounded out 158 yards in Seattle and draws the Dolphins in Week 10. Miami has given up the second-most points to fantasy running backs to date. The matchup makes James a start in all standard leagues.
Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden (hamstring) is likely headed for another game-time decision, so the Raiders could be giving the ball to Jennings more against the Giants this Sunday. Jennings was his best yet against the Eagles, rushing for 102 yards and a touchdown—albeit mostly in a blowout. Jennings won't have much value if McFadden is healthy, but how often is anyone expecting that?
James Starks, Green Bay Packers
As much as Eddie Lacy has become a fantasy star, Starks is still in the mix for touches and touchdowns with the now-run-heavy Packers. Starks will become even more important if Aaron Rodgers (non-throwing shoulder) is out for any period of time. Starks should be good for around 40 yards and a touchdown in any given week—plenty of production for back-needy owners—especially Week 10 against the Eagles.
Ben Tate, Houston Texans
Arian Foster (back) has another injury to add to his resume, and Tate might be looking at maintaining a large role in what should still be a run-friendly Texans offense. Arizona is not a great matchup in Week 10 (second-best against fantasy backs), but Tate is a must-add in all leagues for his potential workload, regardless of whether Foster winds up on the right side of his likely game-time decision.
Running Backs to Monitor
Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles; Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers; and Robert Turbin, Seattle Seahawks
This trio are all mere handcuffs right now, but with the bye weeks settling down, you would be wise to stash these premium backups in some of the better offenses in football. They might even prove starter-worthy in the right matchup down the stretch, regardless of the veteran back ahead of them on the depth chart.
Shonn Greene, Tennessee Titans
Chris Johnson's touchdown vulture is healthy again, which puts Jackie Battle off the fantasy radar. Greene is not quite an add in most fantasy leagues yet, though, unless you need a CJ2K handcuff. Johnson is going to get the bulk of the duty and fantasy points, while Greene will be left with scraps. If you're desperate for a running back starter, though, Week 10 vs. Jacksonville stands to be a decent matchup to expect a short touchdown run or two.
Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers
We are still bullish on Tolbert as an addition in fantasy, despite another short touchdown Sunday. Stewart (ankle) is back and will continue to get more of the pie, and D-Williams isn't going away either. Sure, Tolbert looks capable of one one-yard touchdown per week, but the Panthers face a good defense in the 49ers this Sunday, so Week 10 is a bad time to bank on it.
Running Backs to Ignore
Darrel Young, Washington Redskins
If you need a reason to ignore the fact that this fullback went off for three touchdowns—much to the dismay of Alfred Morris owners—just look at the production of Roy Helu after his own three-touchdown game a few weeks ago. Helu has barely totaled three fantasy points in the two games since, much less sniffed a touchdown.
Young was a circumstantial contributor in Week 9 and cannot be counted on going forward. Morris is still big enough to do his own goal-line work when Mike Shanahan's team chooses to allow him to.
Jeremy Stewart, Oakland Raiders
A fullback with a garbage-time touchdown in an offense that doesn't scare anyone is not worth considering.
Wide Receivers: There Is a Lot of Fantasy Fool's Gold to Pick Through Here
Wide Receivers to Add
Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints
You can never be sure when Sean Payton is going to dial up his frequent Drew Brees darts, but you should figure Moore is going to be one of the more priority locations, especially with Marques Colston (knee) and Darren Sproles (concussion) banged up. The upcoming matchup against Dallas (second worst in the NFL against the pass) is beyond enticing here, regardless of Colston or Sproles' status.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle is taking its sweet time with Percy Harvin (hip), according to the Seattle Times' Bob Condotta, so the loss of Sidney Rice (knee) for the season thrusts Baldwin into fantasy pertinence in the meantime. Golden Tate is already owned in your league, but Baldwin was the more productive target for Russell Wilson against the Bucs.
The Falcons are in the bottom 10 of fantasy against wide receivers, so Baldwin can sneak up for another 70 yards and a touchdown this week.
Riley Cooper, Philadelphia Eagles
With Nick Foles putting Philly's quarterback question to bed for the time being, you have to like the prospects of Cooper going forward. Backup quarterbacks tend to have a better rapport with the receivers further down the depth chart, and that is Cooper behind DeSean Jackson. Cooper just might be Foles' favorite target, making the slot receiver a solid play next week against the Packers.
Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots
As mentioned in my Bleacher Report takeaways on Monday, Dobson has made it academic guessing which of Tom Brady's rookie receivers will get the most work and the most looks. Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce aren't getting a sniff with Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski back; meanwhile, Dobson is taking off. Consider him a solid addition if you have receiver needs and roster space through the Pats' Week 10 bye.
Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers
We have to bury the hatchet on our misplaced love affair with Vincent Brown, particularly with the emergence of rookie Keenan Allen as Philip Rivers' go-to man. With Brown's disappointing year, though, Royal has been fantasy-viable as Rivers' underneath target.
With a shootout with Peyton Manning looming, you are going to want to have the likes of Royal (available in over 30 percent of CBS Sports leagues) in your fantasy lineup, especially if you are still struggling with byes.
Wide Receivers to Monitor
Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers
We have long expected the Panthers to develop someone other than Steve Smith or tight end Greg Olsen in the passing game, and LaFell has to be the most likely beneficiary of Cam Newton's expected productivity. LaFell isn't a great start against the 49ers defense this week, but consider him one of the intriguing sleepers for the stretch run.
Marlon Brown, Baltimore Ravens
The lanky rookie receiver was supposed to drift into fantasy obscurity with Jacoby Jones healthy, but he continues to be a touchdown threat for Joe Flacco opposite Torrey Smith. Brown isn't a first choice among fringe fantasy receivers, but he is at least important to his team when all the attention goes to Smith—as it should in a divisional matchup against the Bengals this week.
Mike Brown, Jacksonville Jaguars
No relation to the Ravens' Marlon. The Jags will have to turn to Mike Brown with the loss of Justin Blackmon (suspension) for the season. Cecil Shorts is a must-start fantasy option because of the Jags' garbage time to come, but Brown is the secondary target in that offense now.
We understand FantasyPros.com's ranking of him as a top pickup this week, but we have to tell you about the matchup he will be facing: The Titans are surprisingly the No. 1 team in fantasy against wide receivers to date.
Wide Receivers to Ignore
Jerricho Cotchery, Pittsburgh Steelers
He has had some huge moments this season, but he is still a third—or fourth, if you count tight end Heath Miller—option for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders will get more targets and fantasy points in most weeks, while Cotchery will merely be used when the Steelers are playing catch-up. You expect Steelers games to be far less loose going forward than the one against the Pats last week.
Davone Bess, Cleveland Browns
It used to be he was only useful for five catches for 50 yards, but somehow Jason Campbell helped Bess get into the end zone twice Sunday. Those scores and throws are going to go to Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron in most weeks, so don't bank on consistent production from this Browns slot receiver. Even Greg Little (seven catches for 122 yards) is more intriguing, even if he's equally off the fantasy radar in standard leagues.
Marquise Goodwin, Buffalo Bills
Yes, EJ Manuel (knee) is nearing a return and Goodwin is a burner, but that should merely mean more production for the Bills' primary weapons like Stevie Johnson and Scott Chandler. Goodwin is behind not only those guys, but also fellow rookie Robert Woods and second-year burner T.J. Graham.
Robert Meachem, New Orleans Saints
Unless you have been under a rock for the past five years, or are just new to fantasy football, there is nothing to see here. Meachem is one of the most mystifying receivers in football. Sure, Brees can make him productive from time to time, but there are a slew of targets in that offense you should consider over this weekly pariah.
Tight Ends: This Position's Roller-Coaster Ride Appears to Have Finally Leveled
Tight Ends to Add
Tim Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Not only has Wright been consistently productive with fellow rookie Mike Glennon having taken over at quarterback, but the converted wide receiver is also facing a favorable matchup in Week 10. The Dolphins have allowed the second-most points per game to tight ends. Wright is a convenient bye-week stopgap here.
Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams
Kellen Clemens has his limitations, and a shaky quarterback's best friend is the tight end. Lance Kendricks will still vulture some end-zone targets, but Cook is the better fantasy option of the two for St. Louis. He is your fallback option if you missed out on Coby Fleener or the aforementioned Wright.
Tight Ends to Monitor
Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills
The potential return of EJ Manuel (knee) can make Chandler one of the top 15 fantasy tight ends down the stretch. Chandler isn't a great play against the Steelers' fourth-ranked pass defense, though.
Zach Ertz and Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles
There won't be many weeks Nick Foles throws for three touchdowns, much less seven. Ertz and Celek remain in a timeshare, and the Eagles still don't have a tight end-heavy scheme. Either in this duo is a low-end fantasy option still.
Tight Ends to Ignore
Andrew Quarless, Green Bay Packers
Some thought Quarless could emerge in wake of Jermichael Finley's neck injury, but the status of Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) clouds anyone in the Packers' passing game, especially a low-end tight end. Cut Quarless for one of those above now.
Tom Crabtree, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; and Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns
They both vultured a touchdown from more useful fantasy options this past Sunday, but neither will be anything more than something else for opposing defenses to prepare for in the red zone going forward.
Defense/Special Teams: Miami Dolphins' Unit Gaining Steam
Defense/Special Teams to Add
Coming of a surprising week, the Dolphins draw the lowly Bucs on Monday Night Football. This unit can get after the passer and force rookie quarterback Mike Glennon into some mistakes. The Dolphins are available in over 70 percent of CBS Sports leagues, too.
Not only are they a surprising sixth among fantasy units in standard leagues, but the Titans also get to face the lowly Jaguars at home this week. The Jags are the third-most favorable matchup for opposing defenses/special teams to date.
Yes, Case Keenum showed he has some juice, but the shaky status of Arian Foster (back/hamstring) makes the Cardinals a viable streaming option against the Texans, who have been second worst in fantasy against opposing defenses/special teams. The Cardinals have a solid run defense and secondary, and they play a lot better at home.
Defense/Special Teams to Monitor
They are still allowing way too much on the ground, but that was a promising performance Monday night against the Packers. This was a top-five unit coming into the season, but it has been getting dropped in many leagues. You might have a chance to pick up the Bears in leagues right now.
New York Giants
We still cannot trust the brief rebound they had going into the bye, but you are going to see some fantasy owners jumping on the Giants defense in fantasy because of the home date against the Raiders coming off a bye and an ugly Raiders loss. If the pass rush and secondary continue to play as well as they did going into the bye, this could be a sleeper unit for the stretch run.
Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and New York Jets
There are some good defenses that might be cut because they are on bye in Week 10. This trio will all prove useful in fantasy crunch time, so consider stashing these if they are cut amid the bye-week and streaming crunch.
Defense/Special Teams to Ignore
This unit has had its moments, but you don't have to burn a roster spot on it with the Browns heading into their bye week. They are a mere fringe play when the matchup is favorable down the stretch still.
Seneca Wallace might start for the Packers against the Eagles this coming Sunday in place of Aaron Rodgers (shoulder), but it still shouldn't be enough for you to trust this suspect unit in fantasy. The Eagles are still in the bottom 10, and the Packers will play conservatively at home, pounding the rock and avoiding sacks and turnovers that make for fantasy points.
Kickers: Caleb Sturgis and Robbie Gould Should Prove More Useful This Week
Kickers to Add
Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins
He has everything going for him in fantasy right now. He is through his bye week, and he has a strong leg, an emerging offense and a matchup looming against a team in the bottom 10 of fantasy against kickers.
Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
He had fallen to the fantasy fringe, but the Lions have given up the most field-goal attempts (and makes) in the NFL and the second-most points in fantasy to date. A potential return of Jay Cutler (groin) should help the offensive production overall, too.
Kickers to Monitor
Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots; Ryan Succop, Kansas City Chiefs; and Nick Folk, New York Jets
Three potential top fantasy kickers are hitting their byes, so they stand to be roster casualties this week. Gostkowski is the least likely to be dropped, but Succop or Folk might be in even better situations with the defensive teams they have, coupled with the shakier quarterback play in the red zone.
Kickers to Ignore
Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams; Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens; Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons; Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings; and Randy Bullock, Houston Texans
These guys were among the top preseason picks at the position, but they are all coming off terrible weeks and largely disappointing first halves. You can buy low here, but until any of their offenses show more spunk, you likely don't have to just yet.
Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this season. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game. You can also listen to him on his podcast that he deprecatingly dubbed the Fantasy FatCast.