At this stage in the game, an ability to peruse the fantasy waiver wire and make the right decision will set a select few owners apart from the rest with playoffs inching closer.
Week 10 saw plenty of breakout stars emerge in strong fantasy performances, with most unexpected—a couple were rather predictable, and savvy owners surely took advantage.
Below are four performers in for major days that will give a jump-start to any fantasy lineup. Even better, they have value owners may find useful the rest of the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tennessee Titans (0.5 percent)
Owners are surely wary of Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he is worth an add in all leagues now that starter Jake Locker appears to be lost for the season per ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Titans believe QB Jake Locker suffered a Lisfranc injury that could require season-ending surgery.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 11, 2013
Fitzpatrick actually showed signs of fantasy life last week after Locker's injury. He ended Sunday as the weekend's fourth-highest fantasy producer at the position thanks to his 264 yards and two touchdowns.
Now Fitzpatrick has time to prep for an Indianapolis defense that allows on average at least 17 points per game to the position. A week after that he will face an Oakland team that ranks second-to-last at 20.85 points per game to quarterbacks.
In very deep leagues, Fitzpatrick is worth a start. He's a great bye-week quarterback as well.
Andre Brown, RB, New York Giants (25.2 percent)
This was easy to see coming.
For weeks the New York Giants were in desperate search of a ground game, which even led to guys like Peyton Hillis on the roster.
In Week 10, Andre Brown returned from his injury that had placed him on short-term injured reserve. He corrected the Giants' problem immediately with 115 yards and a touchdown for 17 fantasy points—and a spot as the sixth-most productive back on the week.
Want even more motivation to scoop up Brown? Three of his next four games come against defenses that rank in the top 12 of points allowed to the position.
Franchise runners are hard to find in an initial draft, but Brown is available on the wire. Get him.
Brandon LaFell, WR, Carolina Panthers (5.3 percent)
Alright, it's time to take Brandon LaFell seriously as a consistent producer.
Over his last four games, LaFell averaged four receptions for 45 yards, including a performance of four receptions for 48 yards against San Francisco in Week 10.
LaFell is a nice add and a No. 3 wideout or flex option. In eight games, LaFell has caught three or more passes, so lineups lacking in consistent producers should go for the add—consistency at any position is rare this year.
John Carlson, TE, Minnesota Vikings (0.1 percent)
Hey, we tooted this horn last week.
With starter Kyle Rudolph sidelined for at least a month, the veteran John Carlson had a major opportunity to explode in Minnesota.
Carlson did just that with seven receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown as the No. 1 scoring tight end as of Sunday night.
Tight end is arguably the worst fantasy position of all, but Carlson is a reliable target—bad quarterbacks look for a safety net, and Carlson is it for guys like Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman.
With defenses transfixed on Adrian Peterson, Carlson will see plenty of opportunities, especially in the red zone. He's worth an add in all leagues and will remain productive enough for starter consideration.