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

waiverwiremckissicusatsi.jpg
USATSI

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.

Rams' loss puts 49ers atop NFC West ahead of rivals' Week 6 meeting

Rams' loss puts 49ers atop NFC West ahead of rivals' Week 6 meeting

It’s Sept. 29, and the 49ers are in sole possession of first place in the NFC West.

Yes, the times are a-changin’ by the Bay.

After the Bucs’ impressive 55-40 win over the Rams in Los Angeles, the 3-0 49ers sit alone atop the division. It’s the first time San Francisco has been alone in first place since the end of the 2012 season, per ESPN’s Nick Wagoner.

Here's how the NFC West standings look after Week 4:
49ers 3-0
Rams 3-1
Seahawks 3-1
Cardinals 0-3-1

The 49ers, off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1998, were idle Sunday as they observed their bye week. While some have doubted the legitimacy of the 49ers’ hot start because of their weak early season schedule, the fact that Tampa Bay, the team the 49ers beat on the road in Week 1, just laid the smackdown on LA shows San Francisco truly might be for real.

NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Ian Williams, a former 49er, certainly believes so.

[RELATED: Ex-49er Gore joins legendary NFL list with 15K career yards]

San Francisco returns from its Week 4 bye to face the 2-2 Cleveland Browns at Levi’s Stadium on Oct. 7 on “Monday Night Football.” If the 49ers win that one, they’ll be undefeated when they face the Rams in Week 6 in a showdown for NFC West supremacy.

Bring it on.

Why 49ers' Richard Sherman continues to play with chip on his shoulder

Why 49ers' Richard Sherman continues to play with chip on his shoulder

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Nine seasons after being drafted in the fifth round, that chip on that landed squarely on Richard Sherman’s shoulder has yet to move. 

The 49ers veteran cornerback may have changed team colors and employers but the motivation remains the same. It almost seems that Sherman enjoys the fact that his demise has been greatly exaggerated. 

“When you get picked in the fifth round it’s the ultimate lack of respect,” Sherman said. “I don’t think you ever lose that no matter how much success you have, no matter how many accolades.” 

It’s been five years since the Sherman has received All-Pro honors and three since he has attended a Pro Bowl. Those goals are not only in his sights, but they are also incentives in his contract. 

Sunday’s pick-six in Tampa was a just a step on Sherman’s path back from the Achilles injury that cut short his final season with the Seahawks. It was his first interception as a member of the 49ers after tallying 32 over his seven seasons in Seattle.

Week 1 was also a step in regaining the respect that Sherman feels has waned since he was a member of the "Legion of Boom." He recognizes the shortened attention span of the NFL audience but that doesn’t mean he agrees with it. 

“They way people judge corners is so hot and cold,” Sherman said. “They are always looking for a new person to crown. I don’t think we have enough people respecting the guys who have done it for eight, nine, ten years. 

“I’ve seen every one-hit wonder, I’ve seen every flash in the pan. And then next year the guy is non-existent, and you just play through all that.” 

Opposing quarterbacks, however, clearly still respect Sherman as he was rarely tested on the field in 2018. Sherman’s value as a mentor and on-field coach to the young secondary -- Ahkello Witherspoon in particular -- might be his most important contribution. 

Sherman, however, doesn’t want his leadership qualities to be what he is most recognized for. Sunday was his first interception returned for a touchdown since 2013 and it inspired him to quote his favorite artist, Drake, on social media. 

Sherman has spoken about feeling much improved after the staples were removed from his ankle in February. Sunday’s performance allowed him to announce his return publicly. It proved to himself and fans alike that he is still a force to be reckoned with.

[RELATED: Nick Bosa misses practice again, could still play vs. Bengals]

“I needed to put it on tape and make an impact on the game and be able to change the game in a way that I’m used to doing.” 

Hopefully for 49ers fans, Week 1 was only the beginning.