Week 10 was certainly tilting for many fantasy players. On one hand, we witnessed some very reliable players produce next-to-nothing:
Perhaps you started A.J. Brown on Thursday evening only to get 3.1 PPR points.
Maybe you went into Sunday needing points from D.K. Metcalf, only to see him have two catches for 28 yards.
Sunday night, Michael Thomas-led teams were certainly hoping for him to look, like, well, Thomas — but instead he produced like Mike Thomas (the Bengals version) with only 2 catches for 27 yards. Yikes; not what teams needed in must-win Week 10.
On the other hand, we also had some missed “boom weeks”:
Miles Sanders saw 15 out of the 19 carries for the Eagles only to concede goal line work to Boston Scott and Corey Clement? You have got to be kidding me.
Nick Chubb teams’ waited out his time on the IR in anticipation of massive weeks ahead and a league-winner returning as their RB1. In a 10-7 snooze fest, Chubb found daylight in the end of the fourth quarter breaking out on a 50-plus yard scamper, only to duck out of bounds on purpose. Points left on the field are never what you want to see out of your studs.
In the end, we move on from Week 10, and stare at Week 11.
Injuries keep piling up and rosters keep churning. We are less than two weeks from a Thanksgiving triple-header. The tail-end of fantasy regular seasons is here. Some teams are in good spots and can build their rosters for the playoffs with depth and handcuffs. Other teams need to win the next three weeks to even enter the playoffs. Know your own team needs when making waiver wire adds.
Also a very important scheduling note to remember: This year, we see a Week 13 bye for both Carolina and Tampa Bay. That means in a pivotal final week of fantasy football, we will see no Mike Davis (assuming Christian McCaffrey is still out), no D.J. Moore, no Robby Anderson, no Curtis Samuel, no Mike Evans, no Chris Godwin, no Antonio Brown, no Rob Gronkowski, no Ronald Jones, and no Tom Brady. The lack of reliable fantasy assets is brutal for teams that had been leaning on these players to this point. Take a look at your roster and plan for Week 13 now if possible. Whether that is allocating FAB coin or rostering players now that you can use as fill-ins in a couple of weeks — know your roster and act accordingly.
This week is also an important week to roster handcuffs. If you have room at the end of the roster, consider adding back-up running backs. This time of year especially, these are potential lottery ticket-types that can pay out in a big way. It happens every year, and it is not always the obvious names that help teams win fantasy titles. If you have read this column all-season, you know that we are not always looking for the obvious, popular ‘cuffs (Tony Pollard, Alex Mattison, etc., etc.); what we really want to do is find this year’s DeAndre Washington.
As always, our threshold is players rostered in less than 20% of Yahoo! Leagues.
Jameis Winston QB New Orleans (3%)
Drew Brees is set to miss two or even three games (maybe more). Taysom Hill is always a thorn in the side for fantasy managers, but teams that stream quarterbacks, and especially in SUPERFLEX leagues, should add Winston. He has a juicy match-up against Atlanta this week.
Jalen Hurts QB Philadelphia (1%)
Carson Wentz looks awful for Philadelphia, despite a slew of weapons. The Eagles seem to publicly be behind Wentz as their starting QB, but a clunker this week at Cleveland could turn the tide. Hurts time could be quickly approaching. He would immediately have a rushing floor, and the upside that comes with it, if handed the starting job.
Kalen Ballage RB LA Chargers (20%)
We recommended Ballage last week for Week 10 Waiver Grabs and he did not disappoint. The Chargers leaned on him in the passing game with 6 targets producing 5 catches, and he added 68 yards on the ground. For whatever Ballage has done (or not done) in the past, he cannot be ignored. He is clearly the back to roster in Los Angeles until Austin Ekeler returns. If he is still available, go get him for this weeks game against the Jets.
Tony Pollard RB Dallas (19%)
Time to handcuff.
Pollard would be an immediate RB2 if Ezekiel Elliott were to miss time. Pollard is a talented back, but the Cowboys offense without Dak Prescott makes him less enticing than he was earlier in the season. Still, he is a valuable piece to roster nonetheless.
Carlos Hyde RB Seattle (11%)
Musical chairs in the Seattle backfield. Hyde could return this week to a large role against the Cardinals if Chris Carson misses. Every time Pete Carroll talks about the Seahawks’ backfield, he mentions Hyde. Take note and act accordingly.
Alex Collins RB Seattle (0%)
Collins would be in play if Hyde and Carson miss. He is a workman-like option, but would be the goal line back and see 10-plus carries in what could be a high-scoring game.
Salvon Ahmed RB Miami (8%)
Ahmed looked good last week against the Chargers.
He had 21 carries for 85 yards and 1 score. This is a hot-hand situation where you could get another usable start this week against the Broncos. If Ahmed runs well and Myles Gaskin is slow to come back from injury, this could be the back to own in Miami.
Matt Breida’s return would be one to monitor so check the Tuesday practice reports. A lot of people will discount Ahmed, but the tape does not lie and 21 carries shows confidence. The Dolphins also cut Jordan Howard.
Brian Hill RB Atlanta (8%)
Another handcuff to roster if you have the room. If Todd Gurley were to miss time, Hill would see a ton of volume.
Jordan Wilkins RB Indianapolis (18%)
Wilkins continues to see work in the Colts’ backfield. Right now, this backfield is a bit of a mess with three backs seeing work. Wilkins should be rostered where there is room. If another Colts back went down, he would see an increase in opportunity.
Devontae Booker RB Las Vegas (3%)
Booker has become a handcuff-plus. The last two games, he has run very well with 149 yards and three scores. If Josh Jacobs were to miss time, Booker could be a league-winner.
Jordan Reed TE San Francisco (19%)
Reed looks like the TE to roster in San Francisco as he was clearly ahead of Ross Dwelley this past week (he had 5 catches for 62 yards). The 49ers are on a bye, but if you are struggling at TE, Reed is one to grab.
Dalton Schultz TE Dallas (16%)
Schultz is a boring option but consistently sees targets for Dallas. He has 15 receptions his last two games, and now faces a Vikings defense that cannot stop the pass. He is a nice stream for this week and an add for TE needy teams.
Richard Rodgers TE Philadelphia (5%)
We have to mention that Dick Rod’ led the Eagles in receiving this past weekend. Zach Ertz looks to come back from the IR and Dallas Goedert is back as well, but Rodgers (or Rod) is one to monitor if either miss time again.
Trey Burton TE Indianapolis (18%)
TE stays a dumpster fire.
Burton looks to be a low-end TE2 option, but the game-flow could force the Colts to try and keep up with Green Bay. Burton is also a threat as a wildcat QB. This is a play for the truly needy.
Michael Pittman WR Indianapolis (10%)
Pittman has led the Colts in receiving back-to-back games.
This past week, he turned 7 catches into 101 yards. The second-round pick looks like the real deal. The Colts limited passing attack holds him back, but he is a WR3 moving forward and can be used as a FLEX. For dynasty teams, consider seeing how much the Pittman owner loves him and make an offer before the trade deadline. He looks like a player who could be a WR1/WR2 in the future
Breshad Perriman WR NY Jets (8%)
Perriman is coming off of a 2 score, 101-yard effort against New England with Joe Flacco consistently looking for him. Flacco will see another start. This week, he gets a juicy match-up against a Chargers secondary that has been shredded. There is a chance he finds the end zone once again.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling WR Green Bay (18%)
Valdes-Scantling has been playing some great football. He has over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns his last two weeks. He is also third in the NFL with touchdowns over 40 yards. This is the ultimate boom/bust FLEX. He cannot be trusted, but if you are in a pinch and want to use a high-ceiling play, he certainly has shown big-play ability. If you need WR depth, add away.
Rashard Higgins WR Cleveland (17%)
“Hollywood Higgins” has not been what I thought he would be after Odell Beckham Jr. went down for the year. Last week he did see a nice target share in a bad weather game. If you need WR depth, Higgins can be added as a low-ceiling play that will at least see a few targets.
David Moore WR Seattle (5%)
Moore has looked great as the number three wideout in Seattle. Tyler Lockett showed up on the injury report with a knee injury. The Seahawks play Thursday. If Lockett misses, Moore is a solid play this week right away. Moore can also be treated as one of the better WR handcuffs in the league due to his strong play and chemistry he has seen with Russ Wilson.
Denzel Mims WR NY Jets (5%)
I have written a lot about Mims and really like his game. He is part of a three man WR group in New York with Perriman and Jamison Crowder. You have to like the chances that the Jets increase Mims’ role after the bye.
Josh Reynolds WR LA Rams (5%)
Reynolds was on our Dumpster Dive this past week and produced big time with 8 catches for 94 yards. This is three straight games with at least 8 targets for Reynolds. The Rams are consistently using him and he is producing. This is a very good add for this week and moving forward. The match-up this week is not a good one as Tampa Bay has been strong against wideouts, but Reynolds should be rostered in every league.
K.J. Hamler WR Denver (4%)
Hamler has now seen 10 targets in back-to-back games. His role is solidified in a middling Denver offense. The second-round rookie could be a nice dynasty stash this offseason if Denver improves at quarterback.
Olamide Zaccheus WR Atlanta (0%)
Zaccheus had four catches for 103 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago against Denver with Calvin Ridley missing. Ridley’s status is up-in-the-air for this week. If Ridley misses, Zaccheus is a nice dart throw spot start; this could be a Dumpster Dive sneak preview.
Gabriel Davis WR Buffalo (1%)
Davis is a baller.
The rookie had 4 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown last week against the Cardinals. This is one of the best offenses in the league and Davis, while sporadic in usage, continually produces when given opportunities. This is a no-brainer dynasty stash as well.
Best of luck to everyone in Week 11!