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Fantasy football waiver wire: Four non-QBs you should target in Week 10

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Fantasy football waiver wire: Four non-QBs you should target in Week 10

With the exception of Cowboys-Giants on Monday night, Week 9 is in the books.

There now remains just one undefeated team in the NFL after fantasy superstar Lamar Jackson led the Baltimore Ravens to a big win over the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. The Pats’ loss leaves Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers as the final team with a record unscathed by a loss.

The toughest week for fantasy players this season awaits, as Week 10 features six NFL teams who will be on a bye week: Jacksonville, Houston, Washington, Philadelphia, Denver, New England.

If you’re like me (and just about anyone else on earth who plays fantasy football) you’re going to need some fill-ins as the playoff push continues.

Here are four non-quarterbacks who could help you stay competitive in a week with the most teams on bye of any in the 2019 NFL season, all of whom are owned in 20 percent or less of fantasy leagues.

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts, WR

20 percent owned in Yahoo leagues

With T.Y. Hilton expected to be out at least another few weeks with a calf injury, the Colts’ No. 2 receiver will pick up most of the slack for Indianapolis in the passing game. Pascal caught five of his six targets Sunday against the Steelers, finishing with 76 yards and a touchdown.

He’s topped 50 yards in four of his last six games and will likely receive the lion's share of the targets for the team in the coming weeks. The one holdup on Pascal is the injury to quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who left Sunday’s loss with a knee injury and did not return.

There’s been no clarity yet on how long the QB will be out, but backup Brian Hoyer did toss three touchdowns in his absence, so it’s not like they’ll abandon the pass without Brissett.

There is a matchup with the lowly Miami Dolphins coming in Week 10, so Pascal is at least worth a roster spot for this week, and could be a sneaky play down the stretch.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TE

7 percent owned in Yahoo leagues

Don’t even get me started on how much of a bust O.J. Howard has been for fantasy players this season, but the Buccaneers have only scored under 20 points in a game once this season. When “Mr. Turnover” himself (it’s catchy, I know) Jameis Winston can actually complete a pass, he likes to look for Brate, especially in the red zone.

Howard missed Week 9 and isn’t expected to suit up for Week 10, leaving Brate as a potential value play as a bye week fill-in. The Cardinals have given up the most fantasy points to tight ends of any team this season, so at least give Brate a look if you’re in need of a tight end.

J.D. McKissic, Detroit Lions, RB

12 percent owned in Yahoo leagues

I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you: the running back situation on the waiver wire is brutal as Week 10 begins. With six teams on bye, coupled with a litany of injuries at the position, every league has at least two or three teams in need of a tailback this week.

One decent option for Week 10 could be McKissic. He got just four carries in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders but caught three of his four targets for 40 yards and a touchdown.

So if you’re in a PPR league, and are desperate for a running back, there are worse options than McKissic. 

Olabisi Johnson, Minnesota Vikings, WR

3 percent owned in Yahoo leagues

If you’re like me and reached on Adam Thielen in your fantasy draft, you’ve experienced a wide range of emotions in fantasy football this season. From that dominant two-touchdown game against the Giants in Week 5 to combining for one catch over the past three weeks, it’s been a mixed bag.

After Thielen left Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs with a hamstring injury, Johnson caught just one pass for four yards -- but it was for a touchdown. If Thielen continues to miss time, the Vikings don’t have many options outside of Stefon Diggs to throw to.

Johnson has two touchdowns over his last three games and could be a deep sleeper if you need a plug-in at the flex.

Chris Simms impressed with Raiders, who have been 'kicking some butt'

Chris Simms impressed with Raiders, who have been 'kicking some butt'

If you're impressed by the Raiders' recent turnaround, you're definitely not alone.

NBC Sports' Chris Simms is at a loss for words when it comes to describing what Oakland has accomplished after what only can be described as a hellish start to the season.

"Wow. I mean, I can't really say enough right now about what I've seen from the Oakland Raiders," Simms told NBC Sports California on Wednesday. "My old coach, Jon Gruden, has been kicking some butt, and I'm not saying that because he's my old coach. Trust me, I've talked crap about him before when he hasn't been good. I just think the way he is managing the football game right now is phenomenal."

Simms believes part of the 3-2 Raiders' recent surge can be attributed to Gruden putting his players in the right position to succeed.

"[The team] is playing extremely hard and physical on both sides of the football, but he's managing the offense the right way and managing it in a way that is giving it realistic expectations," Simms continued. "[He's] not asking it to do things that some of the players have not been able to do, and it's playing to their strengths. 

"They're running the football. [The offense is] playing smash-mouth football. When they drop back to pass, it's high-percentage passes. Let's take care of the football that way. And then when they look to strike deep or something like that, it's usually through a play-action pass or something Jon Gruden has designed in the chemistry lab in the week before through his film study."

The Raiders' consecutive wins over the Colts and Bears, in particular, really caught Simms' eye.

"I just really can't say enough about the Raiders and what they're doing right now," he said. "Those were two surprise victories for me, and they did it in a physical way."

[RELATED: Could Raiders be AFC West favorites after Mahomes injury?]

If the Raiders keep playing like they have the last two weeks, only more praise will follow.

Jon Gruden 'still not happy' with Vontaze Burfict's 12-game suspension

Jon Gruden 'still not happy' with Vontaze Burfict's 12-game suspension

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders hoped and prayed that NFL appeals officer Derrick Brooks would be lenient when it came to Vontaze Burfict's Week 4 hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle. 

The helmet-to-helmet hit got the Raiders middle linebacker ejected from the game, and caused the NFL to suspend Burfict for the remainder of the season. Burfict appealed the ruling and head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr spoke on his behalf, trying to make Brooks see Burfict had been a model player since arriving in Oakland, and one that has tried to change his game to adjust to the focus on player safety. 

That fell on deaf ears as Brooks elected to uphold the suspension, banning Burfict for 12 games. 

It was a suspension that is unprecedented for on-field action, and one that still has Gruden steaming. 

"You got to have linebackers, you know," Gruden told reporters Wednesday. "If someone comes out and wants to play old-fashioned, big-boy football, you got to have linebackers. Losing Burfcit's big. I'm still not happy about it. I'm just not happy about it. We believe in player safety. We coach it, we believe in it, we really stress it. But 12 games, I'm not happy about that. I'm not happy about it. But it is what it is and we'll get (Justin Phillips) and Dakota Allen and whoever the next man up is and get them ready to go." 

[RELATED: Raiders' Brown responds to domestic violence lawsuit]

With Burfict gone, the Raiders have only five linebackers on the active roster and have mostly played in their nickel defense since the ejection, relying on Tahir Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow to man the linebacker positions. 

Whitehead has been tasked with taking over the communication responsibilities on the defense with Burfict gone, and playing a majority of snaps in their base defense worked well in a Week 5 win over the Bears in London. 

Whether or not that strategy continues to work, though, remains to be seen.