After nine weeks of fantasy play, it’s time to brace yourself for bye week Hell. And, for many of us, it could not come at a more inconvenient time. If you are 4-5 or, gulp, 3-6, you are in must-win territory. And, to be in that kind of position with a few important players at rest can be maddening. The good news is that there are a few targets out there who can help.
I’m posting this at about 9am–as I sit down to record the Week 10 Waiver Wire Pod. I’ll add it to this space as soon as it’s done. I’ll then be updating this article until roughly 5pm. I’ll be out tonight at a game. If you have questions, get ’em in early. If you have Wednesday waivers, I’ll be online tomorrow morning as well.
The Broncos, Patriots, Eagles, Jaguars, Texans and Washington are on their byes this week.
Unless specified, all players in this article are owned at a less than 50 percent rate on Yahoo.
Daniel Jones, Giants
He has some very good matchups remaining on his schedule. In fact, Jones’ playoff matchups alone are worth rostering, if you are a team that looks like a playoff squad. He’s also a good plug-and-play option this week, because he visits the hapless Jets. Jones does have a Week 11 bye, so be mindful of that if your QB1 is either Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers, who are also at rest that week.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans
He’s hosting the high-flying Chiefs this week, so he’s a fantastic one-week option and you might even be able to roster a hook-up if either Corey Davis or AJ Brown can be had.
Sam Darnold, Jets
They host the Giants this week, so that will help as far as scoring points is concerned. The Giants can also score points, so this game has a shot at being “fun.” For fantasy that is. In reality, this is a study in mopishness. Again, the Jets play a great schedule.
Kyle Allen, Panthers
Panthers placed QB Cam Newton on IR. His season is over.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 5, 2019
With a handful of plus matchups on his remaining schedule, and Cam in the rear view mirror, Allen can now be added with more confiidence.
Nick Foles, Jaguars
Jaguars’ HC Doug Marrone announces Nick Foles is returning to his role as starting quarterback after team’s bye.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 5, 2019
If you want to get get ahead of the curve, maybe Foles can help you in a deep format or Superflex.
Ronald Jones, Bucs
Finally! After months of inconsistent usage, Jones was given the start and the lion’s share of the playing time versus Seattle in Week 9. He responded with a 20-touch effort where he gained 83 total yards and found the end zone once. Jones can step in for your RB1 this week. He has a sweet home matchup with the Cardinals. And, if that goes well, your Week 10 savior could also help you the rest of the way. Go get him!
And now this….
Bruce Arians names Ronald Jones the Buccaneers’ starting RB https://t.co/cgJpybb80z
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) November 4, 2019
Alexander Mattison, Vikings
As I’ve been saying all year, he’s arguably the most valuable handcuff option you can find and you also get some stand-along flex appeal. He should be rostered in all leagues. For help this week, there are maybe better options, but for those who can afford to think long term, Mattison could be a fantastic pickup. One injury and his value skyrockets.
Kareem Hunt, Browns
He’s rostered in more than half of Yahoo leagues but still available in four out of ten. Scoop him up if you still can. With the Browns past their bye, he could have weekly flex appeal, but his real upside would manifest itself in the event of a Nick Chubb injury. Hunt is a great pickup for those who rely on Chubb.
Darrell Henderson, Rams
From last week….. Henderson got more action than Todd Gurley in Week 8, and that’s obviously significant news in light of Gurley’s injury history. With Malcolm Brown also banged up, Henderson has a line on increased value. I’d submit that all of the Rams RBs need to be owned in 12-team leagues, and Henderson should now be owned in all leagues. If your Week 9 bye needs are light, this could be an opportunity to nab Henderson as a future investment.
If you nabbed him then, great. If not, go get him now.
Kalen Ballage, Dolphins
They dealt away Kenyan Drake and now Mark Walton is suspended for four games (personal conduct policy), so whatever it is that Kalen Ballage is, we’re about to find out. As of now, he has effectively zero competition for touches. They say opportunity is everything for running backs. The Dolphins are Ballage are about to put that theory to the test.
Derrius Guice, Washington
Washington has their bye this week, but Guice should return on the other side and he may be their starter the rest of the way. As well as old man Peterson has played, they want to get their future established, and that future is, hopefully, Guice. Unlike Peterson, Guice can make contributions as a receiver, which will help their quarterbacks. He’s a tricky add on a week with so many byes, so maybe you can steal him if your team is well stocked.
Ty Montgomery & Bilal Powell, Jets
Jets RB Le’Veon Bell had a MRI on his knee today.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 4, 2019
If Bell is going to miss time, both Jets backs are worthy short term flex options in my view. Again, it’s the schedule.
And now this….
Jets are signing RB Josh Adams to the active roster, I’m told
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 5, 2019
So maybe Adams is also a guy to add in super deep leagues, but this may not actually be about Bell. TyMo also got dinged up verusus Miami (on special teams, no less), so this move could be about him as well. This underscores my interest in Powell, who would be my top priority of this group.
JD McKissic, Lions
He played 38% of the Week 9 snaps and he has seen more targets since Kerryon went down–about 3-4 per game. If he gets just a mild uptick in playing time, he could end up being a PPR value. Ty Johnson has not stepped up, so anything is possible here.
Trey Edmunds, Steelers
Edmunds, an undrafted free agent who rushed 12 times for 73 yards Sunday. If James Conner misses more time and Benny Snell stays out, Edmunds could have some short term appeal as a deep flex.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins
As I said last week, he plays for a team who will be in throw-mode most of the time. The raw stats should be there and his target share will be rising with Preston Williams now out for the year. Add Parker anywhere and everywhere.
Zack Pascal, Colts
With T.Y. Hilton (calf) out and with Parris Campbell (hand) about to join him in the rehab room, Pascal steps into a primary role. He’s absolutely worthy of a WR3 play in Week 10. His matchup with the Dolphins is about as good as it gets.
Corey Davis & A.J. Brown, Titans
Corey Davis had been snatched up in most leagues but after a few mediocre outings, he’s more widely available. Brown is a player who can be flexed when needed but what he really brings is ceiling over the rest of the season in addition to this week’s great matchup with Kansas City. I’m stashing Brown everywhere I can and love him as a deep keeper option. His matchups the rest of the way are above average–particularly during the playoff weeks. But again, this week it is all about the matchup with Pat Mahomes, which should force Ryan Tannehill and company to the air.
Cole Beasley, Bills
Gives you something every week and found the end zone yet again in Week 9. The Bills travel to Cleveland this week and I’m fine with him in that matchup. Next week, it’s the Dolphins!
Phillip Dorsett, Patriots
Only Edelman is offering more consistent separation to Brady, which is why I see Dorsett maintaining his role. The Patriots have some super tasty passing matchups on the remaing schedule.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers
I said last week that he’s “criminally under-owned” and then he goes out and lays an egg versus the Colts. Still, I’d stick with him. He’s the clear number two weapon in the Steelers’ pass game. He has scored in three out of his last six starts and his role is growing. The Steelers have very good playoff matchups in Weeks 14 & 16, though they do have the Bills in Week 15, and that could be relatively tough.
Darius Slayton, Giants
— SNY (@SNYtv) November 5, 2019
This is obviously troubling news for Sterling and those who roster him. It’s also a big opportunity for Slayton, who has flashed serious play-making chops of the downfield variety. He should now be owned in all leagues until and unless Shepard comes back. I tend to doubt he will.
Danny Amendola, Lions
He’s going to have weekly WR3 or flex appeal in deeper PPR formats. He can be a solid bye week replacement in smaller to mid-sized ones.
Deebo Samuel & Dante Pettis, 49ers
It’s neither fun not pretty playing guys like this, but on a bye week that hits deep, they may be able to help. The 49ers are in throw-to-win matchups over the next two weeks. Even though Pettis scored a touchdown, Samuel is the better bet in my view–having played considerable more snaps.
Josh Reynolds, Rams
According to my guy Graham Barfield (a great follow!), “Reynolds has averaged a decent 3.3 receptions, 46.8 yards and 0.54 touchdowns per game in 11 contests when he’s played over 75 percent of Rams’ snaps.” Not exactly stellar and they are not emphasizing the wideouts as much as they did in 2018. Still, in deeper leagues, he’s a guy who can help you as a flex or WR3.
Albert Wilson, Dolphins
Preston Williams being done opens up opportunity for Wilson, who can be electric when he’s right. If he hits, the playoff matchups are excellent.
Olabisi Johnson, Vikings
He’s a good way to protect yourself in deeper formats, if you rely on Adam Thielen (hamstring), who appears to be roughly 50/50 to play this week.
#Vikings WR Adam Thielen’s strained hamstring is no worse after his brief appearance in KC, I’m told, but he’s unlikely to play Sunday against the #Cowboys. Could feel it pulling and need to calm it down. Note: Bye is 2 weeks away and team errs on the conservative side.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 5, 2019
Keelan Cole, Jaguars
He was a full-time player (5 receptions for 80 yards) with Dede Westbrook (shoulder) out, so keep tabs on him (and Westbrook) this week or add him preemptively in some situations–like if you rely on Dede.
Deon Cain & Chester Rogers, Colts
With both Hilton and Campbell banged up (see Pascal), Cain and Rodgers will both get enhanced opportunity. In PPR, I’d go with Rogers while Cain has more standard appeal.
N’Keal Harry, Patriots
In deep formats, he’s a player to add just in case he establishes a role with fantasy value. He could do it, because he has the ability to be a red zone force–winning in contested catch situations like Gronk used to do. In 12-team leagues with adequate bench space or better yet, in 14-team leagues, Harry is a solid guy to stash. I’d stay away in smaller leagues or leagues with short benches.
JJ Arecega Whiteside, Eagles
Eight weeks left in the regular season. I’d say if we’re going to see DeSean Jackson line up for the #Eagles again this season, it would be in the playoffs. And even then, no guarantees.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 4, 2019
It’s possible that JJAW doesn’t step up over the new few weeks but I’m thinking they give their talented second rounder a look see with D-Jax now down for a long while and all of the fantasy season. Mack Hollins is another guy to monitor and there are signs that Jordan Matthews could be heading back home.
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 5, 2019
So this is a situation to monitor, but I’d start with Arcega-Whiteside as a cheap add and see what happens. This is for deeper 12-team leagues and above.
Chris Herndon, Jets
He was active last week in case of emergency, so he is very close to making a material return. As I said last week, this has turned into a boy-who-cried-wolf scenario. Nevertheless, Herndon has major upside at a hard-to-fill position and he’s about to finally play. And, he will play for a team who will have to throw and throw often. The Jets, as I’ve been saying all year, have a choice schedule down the stretch. Herndon can be your weekly starter once he is locked in, and that should begin this week. No, really, this week.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles
DeSean Jackson’s injury means that they are going to need Goedert even more, and his playing time showed that last week. If he can just squeeze another target or two a week, he’s s atrong weekly play. He’s on the fringe of TE1 status now–a lot like the next guy on the list.
Noah Fant, Broncos
He’s their prized rookie tight end, and they have been shedding quality vets, like Manny Sanders. After Courtland Sutton, it appears that Fant is the next priority in terms of development, and again, make no mistake that this team is in full developmental mode. Fant had three catches last week and one went for a 75-yard touchdown. He’s on the verge of becoming a legit fantasy option. Roster the man.
Jared Cook, Saints
He’s expected to return soon (ankle)–probably this week, but I’m less enthused than most seem to be. If you like Cook, and with his upcoming schedule, it’s a defendable positition, I think he belongs about here I have him ranked in this group.
O.J. Howard, Bucs
As I said on the Week 9 pod, there are some good starts left on the schedule. It’s also worth remembering just how much of a freak this guy is. He gets Arizona this week, so he could win you a game all by himself if he can make a few big plays. The Cardinals have been beyond dreadful when it comes to preventing tight end stats. This week is the moment of truth. If O.J. starts and bombs here, just move on until 2020. Howard has also struggled with a hamstring recently, but he’s a good bet to make it back this week. At this time, he’d be a bit risky as your only option.
Jonnu Smith, Titans
There’s concern that Delanie Walker returning would make him a bit too thin to trust from a targeting perspective. So he’s a bit down the list relative to his upside. If Walker remains out, Smith is very playable.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
He posted a very encouraging statline on Sunday. Gesicki caught all six of his targets for 95 yards, and I have to say, he looked good in doing so. He was also open, which can be partially attributed to playing the Jets. We’ll if the subsequent shots hold up, but for now, in deeper leagues, he’s a guy to add.
Jacob Hollister, Seahawks
He was hyped going into last week’s plus matchup and he came through with two scores in the shootout, but I’m less bullish on him for the rest of the way. This team has major weapons and that’s before they added Josh Gordon. He did play 80% of the snaps, so he’s well out in front of Luke Willson.
Rhett Ellison, Giants
Not much clarity on Sterling Shepard’s status moving forward. Only that Pat Shurmur called it a “serious injury that requires serious response.”
Also, Evan Engram is dealing with a sore foot. Giants will monitor that this week. https://t.co/SkNHoV5L53
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) November 5, 2019
It’s probably nothing, so this is a free agent situation to monitor. If you are in a deep league with few options, and you rely on Engram. you might consider a preemptive add here. If you are looking for a cheap TE play in a super deep league, you can probably swoop in and add Ellison for free later in the week.