Waiver Wire Week 10: Top Pickups and DropsNovember 6, 2018
Week 9 may have hurt your fantasy football lineups due to the number of unlikely stars who popped up, but it also gave owners a valuable look into the future.
Thanks to the unconventional week in which stars emerged at all positions, there's an opportunity before the Week 10 slate to pick up hot names on the waiver wire to improve your playoff push.
Conversely, there were players who once again failed to deliver in Week 9, and with another group of fantasy stars available for pickup, there are plenty of names worth dropping.
Some of the roster adds will raise questions about your roster-building strategy, but they'll be worth making as you reap the results in Week 10 and beyond.
Top Pickup: Alex Smith, Washington (Owned in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues)
There aren't many alterations you can make at quarterback at this point in the season because the majority of the players at the position are known quantities.
Washington's Alex Smith won't blow you away with his numbers, but he'll do enough to produce a decent point total if your starter is on a bye week.
In Week 9, Smith threw for 300 yards for the first time as a member of the Redskins, but he did so while playing from behind.
In two career games against Week 10 opponent Tampa Bay, Smith has 431 passing yards, four touchdowns and an interception.
If anything, Smith is going to provide stability, while other options out on the waiver wire like San Francisco's Nick Mullens, Denver's Case Keenum and Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders can't be trusted as much.
Drop: Matthew Stafford, Detroit
It's going to be a rough few weeks for Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions.
After losing his top target, Golden Tate, in a trade-deadline deal to Philadelphia, Stafford failed to throw a touchdown for the first time in 2018 while producing his second-lowest yardage total in Week 9.
A Week 10 visit to Chicago followed by home games against Carolina and the Bears could make for a brutal November for the 30-year-old signal-caller.
With three tough matchups ahead, Stafford should be seen as an expendable part of your roster unless you want to stick with him and hope he can put up impressive numbers in garbage time.
Top Pickup: Elijah McGuire, New York Jets (Owned in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Willingly adding a New York Jets running back is a risky proposition, but Elijah McGuire is worth taking a flyer on.
McGuire carried the ball six times for 23 yards and caught three passes for 37 yards in the Jets' 13-6 loss to Miami.
While those numbers don't pop out immediately, it's worth noting the attention McGuire got out of the backfield in the passing game.
If he continues to get targets from quarterback Sam Darnold, McGuire will be a valuable asset in PPR leagues for owners looking for a sleeper in the coming weeks.
Drop: Mark Ingram, New Orleans
Since returning from his four-game suspension, New Orleans running back Mark Ingram has been underwhelming.
In the Saints' Week 9 win over the Los Angeles Rams, Ingram rushed for 33 yards on nine carries, but more importantly to fantasy owners, he fumbled for the second time in four games.
With Alvin Kamara firing on all cylinders alongside Drew Brees in the New Orleans offense, Ingram is slated to take a back seat to the hot hand and more versatile player at running back.
Since he's recorded 75 total yards on one occasion in four games, Ingram isn't worth starting, and if there's a better option available in your league, it might be time to let the Alabama product go.
Top Pickup: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay (Owned in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues)
If you don't pick up Green Bay wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling this week, there's a good chance he'll be gone from the waiver wire when you search for him after Week 10.
The wideout has turned into one of Aaron Rodgers' top targets over the last three games, as he has a pair of 100-receiving-yard performances.
Since the start of October, Valdes-Scantling has been targeted on 27 occasions in four games and has found the end zone twice.
The chemistry between Rodgers and Valdes-Scantling will continue to grow in Week 10 at home against Miami, and by the time the Packers visit Seattle in two weeks, the rookie from South Florida could be a must-start player in all leagues.
Drop: D.J. Moore, Carolina
Carolina's D.J. Moore is a player we might have been flat-out wrong about in fantasy circles.
The 21-year-old out of Maryland showed potential in Week 2 against Atlanta with 51 receiving yards and a touchdown, and although he hasn't been ignored by quarterback Cam Newton, he also isn't skyrocketing up the depth chart.
Moore has eight receptions in his last three games, five of which came in Week 8 against Baltimore, and he only had one catch on two targets in Sunday's victory over the Buccaneers.
With running back Christian McCaffrey still one of Newton's top options in the passing game and tight end Greg Olsen healthy, Moore's opportunities to shine will be limited, especially as Newton trusts his reliable options with four of the next five games on the road.
Top Pickup: Jeff Heuerman, Denver (Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues)
The tight end market is still nowhere close to deep, but there's a new option on the waiver wire worth looking at.
Denver's Jeff Heuerman had his best game of the season in Week 10 against Houston, as he caught 10 of his 11 targets for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Heuerman's caught a touchdown in each of his last two games, and he's been targeted over five times on four occasions in 2018.
With Keenum displaying trust in Heuermann, the 25-year-old should get more looks as the season rolls on.
Heuerman isn't a top-10 tight end yet, but he could work his way into the conversation of most reliable players at his position if he continues on his current trajectory.
Drop: Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona
Just like Moore, Arizona's Ricky Seals-Jones was a player we might've hyped up too fast.
After breaking out for 69 yards in Week 6, Seals-Jones put together identical showings against Denver and San Francisco, with two catches for 12 yards on four targets.
If you don't have a top-end tight end like Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce, you should have little patience with your options at the position, and because Seals-Jones turned in a pair of disappointing outings before Arizona's Week 9 bye, he should be cut in favor of other players who've shown more consistency recently.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.