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Waiver Wired: Week 10

by Raymond Summerlin
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to the tenth edition of Waiver Wired for the 2015 season. As is always the case, this column is your guide to the best players available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues. Some of these players are plug-and-play options who can help this week while others are stashes who may become useful in the future.

Each profiled player comes with a recommendation of what size league they should be owned. This does not mean they cannot be owned in shallower leagues, but they are not must-adds in the smaller formats. Also, a watch list will follow every position group. These are players who could be useful in deeper formats, but they are not yet must-own players in shallower leagues. Finally, the deep cuts section highlights running backs and wide receivers who are owned in less than five percent of Yahoo leagues. Now that the explanation is out of the way, let’s move on to the action.

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The Drop List
QB: Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford
RB:
Alfred Morris, C.J. Spiller, Rashad Jennings
WR:
Andre Johnson, Mike Wallace, Torrey Smith
TE:
Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas, Kyle Rudolph

Matt Ryan is not a must drop, but he is not the type of fantasy asset which must be held through a bye week. Ryan also faces the Panthers twice in the fantasy playoffs, although those games are sandwiched between the Bucs, Jags, and Saints. Alfred Morris is playing terrible and not getting carries, and I cannot imagine a week where I would feel comfortable starting Rashad Jennings. Andre Johnson is just not good anymore, and Mike Wallace does not fit the Vikings’ offense – and also might not be that good anymore. Julius Thomas has caught 46 percent of his passes this season and is averaging 4.5 yards a catch the last two games, and Jordan Cameron has not had a 35-yard game since Week 2.

Quarterbacks
1. Tyrod Taylor
2. Marcus Mariota
3. Brian Hoyer
4. Matt Cassel

Running backs
*Antonio Andrews owned in 51 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 add if available.
1. Karlos Williams
2. James Starks
3. Joique Bell
4. James White
5. Isaiah Crowell
6. Alfred Blue

Wide receivers
1. Dorial Green-Beckham
2. Kamar Aiken
3. Marvin Jones
4. Dontrelle Inman
5. Nate Washington
6. Devin Funchess
7. Rueben Randle

Tight ends
1. Eric Ebron
2. Crockett Gillmore
3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Defense/Special Teams
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Oakland Raiders
3. Baltimore Ravens
Looking Ahead: Jacksonville Jaguars

Kickers
1. Connor Barth
2. Chris Boswell
3. Greg Zuerlein
Looking Ahead: Matt Bryant

QUARTERBACKS
1. Tyrod Taylor, Bills – Owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues
This will likely be the last week Taylor is on this list this season, so make sure to add him if he is available. We saw how explosive the Bills’ offense can be when healthy against the Dolphins, and Taylor would have had a much bigger game had Buffalo not been able to cut through Miami’s run defense like a hot knife through the most pathetic butter in the history of butter. The Jets’ run defense should present more of a problem, and the potential absence of LeSean McCoy could give Taylor even more opportunities against a suddenly suspect secondary. Taylor is a back-end QB1 everywhere this week.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

2. Marcus Mariota, Titans – Owned in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is not a great week for streaming quarterbacks, so taking a shot on a longer-term investment is not a terrible way to go. Mariota will be tough to use in shallower leagues this week against the Panthers, who had given up less than 19 fantasy points to every quarterback this season before Aaron Rodgers exploded in the second half last week, but his schedule down the stretch is enticing. He faces the Jaguars twice, Raiders, newly-terrible Jets, Patriots, Texans and Colts over the final seven weeks of the season. If the offensive line shakeup continues to offer protection, Mariota has demonstrated the ceiling to be a QB1 play in good matchups. He should be owned in most leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Brian Hoyer, Texans – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
Brian Hoyer might not be a great option this week against a Bengals’ defense which has given up zero 21-point games to quarterbacks, but he deserves some respect as the 14th-best quarterback on a per-game basis this season, especially considering two of those appearances were not even starts. The Texans attempt the most passes per game in the league, and Hoyer has an elite weapon in DeAndre Hopkins to pepper with targets. He is worth a look even in a tough matchup this week, and he will be a recommended start the next two games against the Jets and Saints.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

4. Matt Cassel, Cowboys – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
As mentioned previously, It is not a great week for quarterback streamers, but Matt Cassel may be worth a shot if you are desperate. Cassel played well against the Eagles Sunday night but for one terrible interception, and he should be expected to grow in the offense as his understanding increases and Dez Bryant nears full health. Cassel gets a plum matchup this week with the Bucs, who have given up 14 total touchdowns to quarterbacks the last five games at least two in each of those contests. He is a dart throw with a scary floor, but Cassel could put up low-end QB1 numbers this week.
Recommendation: One-Week Streaming Option

Watch List: Jay Cutler did what he was expected to by dropping 345 and two scores on the Chargers’ secondary, but he faces the Rams and Broncos in his next two games. Cutler will pop back up on the streaming radar after those matchups.  … Alex Smith gets the Broncos this week, but he has a great schedule down the stretch and especially in the playoffs, facing the Chargers, Ravens and Browns Weeks 14-16. He will be a great streaming option in several weeks to come. … Sam Bradford has fallen to less than 50-percent owned for good reason. He has just two multiple-touchdown games this season. … It looks like Teddy Bridgewater will play this week in a good matchup, but his ceiling is capped and his floor is extremely low. … Jameis Winston has not turned the ball over since Week 4 and would have had a better day against the Giants if Mike Evans decided to bring his hands to work. … Landry Jones should get the start this week in a good matchup, but the same was true when he scored 8.2 points against the Chiefs Week 7. … Ryan Fitzpatrick looks like he will play through the torn ligaments in his thumb and through his recovery from the subsequent surgery. He remains a solid QB2. … There would be some value in using whoever starts for Cleveland this week against the Steelers, but no one really knows who that will be. I would personally like to see what Johnny Manziel could do, but I have a feeling they will stick with Josh McCown.

RUNNING BACKS
1. Karlos Williams, Bills – Owned in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues
I was asked in my weekly waiver wire chat which backup running back had the best chance to be a DeAngelo Williams- or Charcandrick West-level pickup if the starter went down. I went through a few situations, but the name I landed on was Karlos Williams. One week later, we find ourselves perhaps in that situation. To be clear, Williams is not a blow-all-your-FAAB pickup because LeSean McCoy does not look poised to miss more than a week, if even that, but it is an important reminder how valuable Williams would be if McCoy ever did suffer a season-ending issue. Even in a tough matchup against the Jets, Williams will be an RB2 if McCoy sits, and he will have standalone value in easier matchups moving forward even with McCoy on the field.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

2. James Starks, Packers – Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues
The odyssey of Eddie Lacy deserves an emotional halftime speech from Bob Costas which makes us think deeply about our place in this and every universe. Lacy has failed to reach 50-yards rushing in all but two games this season, has as many games with negative fantasy points as 10, and appeared to be playing behind James Starks against the Panthers even before a “groin injury” knocked him out of the game for good. It is possible Lacy has not been healthy all season, but of all the non-injury busts in a decimated first round, Lacy’s fall from grace has been the most surprising. The good news is Starks has been the dual-threat back Lacy was expected to be this season even if he has also struggled on the ground, and Starks is available in the majority of fantasy leagues. The bad news is the offensive coordinator has already said they “definitely” need to get Lacy “going,” and it still remains unlikely Lacy is completely discarded from the offense. It does not sound like Lacy’s “groin injury” is going to force him to miss any time, so Starks will not even get the backfield to himself for one week. Starks needs to be owned everywhere, but it will be difficult to trust him in fantasy lineups unless Green Bay truly moves on from Lacy.  
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

3. Joique Bell, Lions – Owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
The story has not changed on Joique Bell over the bye week. He was the clear starter against Chiefs in London, and he should be expected to emerge from the bye still holding the starting reins. His ceiling is not high in the Lions’ anemic running game, but he could be useful in deeper formats.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

4. James White, Patriots – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
James White is theoretically the next in line for the Patriots’ passing-down role after Dion Lewis went down with a torn ACL. Brandon Bolden was active last week over White because of his abilities on special teams, and White handled the majority of the snaps when Dion Lewis was out Week 7 against the Jets, although it is important to note Brandon Bolden was inactive with a hamstring injury in that game. Even if White is the guy, however, Bolden could have a role and, more importantly, White has never shown himself to be a capable NFL runner. The reason Lewis was so much more valuable than Shane Vereen was is his ability to be a true threat as a traditional running back, and White simply has not flashed those skills. White’s ceiling is nowhere near the heights Lewis hit this season, and his floor is as a weekly inactive. Tread lightly.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

5. Isaiah Crowell, Browns – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
The battle for early-down work in Cleveland appears to be over. Isaiah Crowell played his best football of the season in the first half against the Bengals Thursday night before Cleveland made their weekly decision to stop doing things that work in the second half, and Robert Turbin did not play a single snap in the game. The Cleveland running game has been a wasteland most of the season, but Crowell is at least the starter. That has value in deeper formats.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

6. Alfred Blue, Texans – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
I was not a proponent of Alfred Blue following Arian Foster’s season-ending injury, and not much has changed after a 14-39 performance and a bye week. That said, he is an NFL starting running back. The volume alone has value in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.  

Watch List:
I am still not buying Charles Sims as a starter outside of PPR leagues, but I do think he can be valuable in those formats. … There could be an opportunity in the Raiders’ backfield this week with Latavius Murray in the concussion protocol, but picking who will carry the load is a tough task. Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones would be the favorites … Matt Jones looked to have something going late in the first half against the Patriots, but he fumbled in the third quarter and was not heard from again. Even in a cake matchup against the Saints, neither he nor Alfred Morris is worth using. Even the usually reliable Chris Thompson face-planted in a good spot. … Christine Michael played zero snaps against the Eagles. He is behind Rod Smith on the depth chart. … Tevin Coleman is just a handcuff. … Antonio Andrews ran well in his audition. David Cobb and Dexter McCluster are just complementary pieces at this point. … King of garbage time Theo Riddick remains a PPR play. … Pierre Thomas played just four snaps, but his value could stick even if Carlos Hyde returns after the bye week. The same cannot be said for Shaun Draughn. … Orleans Darkwa does not look poised to take hold of the Giants’ four-headed rotation.

Deep Cuts: Jordan Todman will be a name to watch this week if DeAngelo Williams's foot issue turns out to be a big concern. Todman would be worth a start if Williams sits. ... Buck Allen remains the handcuff to Justin Forsett, but that is about it. … Ahmad Bradshaw scored a touchdown, but his touches will be limited as long as Frank Gore is healthy. … Bilal Powell should return to third-down duties once healthy. … Brandon Bolden could also have a role with Dion Lewis out for the season. … Jay Ajayi played just seven snaps, but he gained 41 yards on five carries. He is the backup to own in Miami. … Toby Gerhart was a healthy scratch this week, which leaves Denard Robinson as the T.J. Yeldon handcuff. … Rod Smith is apparently the No. 2 in Dallas. This is an odd world. … If Latavius Murray sits, Jamize Olawale and even Roy Helu, who was inactive last week, could have roles. The Oakland backfield will be too big a mess to deal with even if Murray misses.

WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Dorial Green-Beckham, Titans – Owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
I wrestled with putting Dorial Green-Beckham at the top of this list after he failed to shine in his previous opportunities, but the reality is he has the most upside of any receiver wildly available and this performance came after interim coach Mike Mularkey promised to get the rookie more involved. DGB played the most snaps of his NFL career against the Saints Sunday, and he responded with five catches for 77 yards, all of which came in the second half and overtime. Green-Beckham used his size well on a back-shoulder catch early in the third quarter, and he set up the game-winning touchdown in overtime by whipping Brandon Browner on a delayed route across the middle. With Kendall Wright looking like he could miss another game, Green-Beckham should again have a big role against the Panthers. He will be tough to start in that matchup, but he is a high-upside add in a week with few.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

2. Kamar Aiken, Ravens – Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues
Nothing has changed on Kamar Aiken over the bye week. He still looks poised to take over the majority of the targets left behind when Steve Smith ruptured his Achilles’ tendon. Aiken was targeted on almost half of Joe Flacco’s passes after Smith left Week 8, and he saw nine targets when Smith missed Week 5. He is a WR3 on volume alone.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

3. Marvin Jones, Bengals – Owned in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues
I really do not know what else to say about Marvin Jones at this point. He is averaging almost seven targets a game over the last six and has two WR1 level performances in those games. Jones will be up and down, but he is a weekly WR3.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

4. Dontrelle Inman, Chargers – Owned in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is difficult to properly rank Dontrelle Inman because of the uncertainty surrounding Malcom Floyd’s shoulder and the upcoming bye, but he at least deserves some consideration in shallower leagues. Inman played all but one snap Monday night against the Bears, converting 3-of-5 targets for 28 yards. Inman dropped what would have been a decent gain on the failed final drive and he lost a fumble in the second quarter. Monday night was not a good one for Inman, but the opportunity is too big to ignore. If Floyd is out for the season, as it looked he may be on the field, then Inman is the No. 4 passing option on one of the most explosive passing offense in the league. That is worth something.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

5. Nate Washington, Texans – Owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
Nate Washington would be higher on this list, but he faces a difficult matchup with the Bengals this week, and Cecil Shorts appears ready to come back from his hamstring injury. There are enough targets to go around in Houston’s voluminous passing attack, but Washington has seen almost two fewer targets a game with Shorts in the lineup this year. Washington is still the receiver I prefer of the two, but I will like him a lot better in nicer matchups once Shorts gets hurt again.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

6. Devin Funchess, Panthers – Owned in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues
Devin Funchess showed out against the Packers, catching a 52-yard bomb and a touchdown on his way to 71 yards. He still played just 18 snaps and saw just four targets, which was two less than Jerricho Cotchery, and Ted Ginn is still the No. 1 receiver in Carolina. Funchess is the only receiver on the roster with anything resembling upside, however, and he could start to gain a bigger role after showing competence for the first time this season. I am not holding my breath, but he is worth a speculative add in deep leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

7. Rueben Randle, Giants – Owned in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues
I feel like I say it every week, but it is true every week. Randle is good for five targets every game in a decent passing offense. He is unlikely to top 75 yards, but he does have a reasonable shot at a touchdown. That is worth something in deep formats.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

Watch List: Marquess Wilson failed to make a mark Monday night, and he will be unusable in two tough matchups against the Rams and Broncos even if Eddie Royal continues to miss. … Ted Ginn remains the No. 1 receiver in Carolina, but that has not led to consistent fantasy points all season. … Nelson Agholor should be 100 percent next week, and none of the other receivers have played well enough to steal his starting job. … Dwayne Harris fell back to earth last week, and he has four or fewer targets in three of his last four games. … Jamison Crowder surprisingly kept his high-volume role with DeSean Jackson back, but he is averaging just nine yards a catch and is scoreless in 50 targets.

Deep Cuts: Wes Welker is a name, but he is not worth owning in the Rams’ low-volume and dysfunctional passing “attack.” … I prefer Nate Washington’s inefficient deep game to Cecil Shorts’ inefficient dink-and-dunk, but both could have value in deeper leagues in the Texans’ volume passing game. … Mohamed Sanu is about a low-ceiling as players get, but he is good for 3-5 catches most games. … Cole Beasley exploded for two touchdowns on 11 targets last week, but he had just three targets total the two weeks before and is a low-yardage-upside slot receiver. He is a PPR play at best. … Justin Hunter played fewer snaps than Dorial Green-Beckham against the Saints … With Breshad Perriman out at least a couple more weeks, Chris Givens could become the deep threat Joe Flacco is desperate for. … Griff Whalen was second on the Colts in receiving yards against Denver and has 11 targets over the last two games. … Albert Wilson is the No. 2 receiver in Kansas City for what that is worth. … Robert Woods was invisible last week, but he is in the enviable position of being the other receiver against the Jets. Allen Hurns, Michael Crabtree, and Danny Amendola have averaged a 7-103-1 line collectively in that role the last three weeks.

TIGHT ENDS
1. Eric Ebron, Lions – Owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
Eric Ebron lost some snaps to Brandon Pettigrew before the bye, but he still played 46-of-60 and saw five targets. He has exactly that many targets in four of his six games this season, and he gets to play a Packers defense which has been dominated by tight ends the last three weeks. There is a scary floor with Ebron because of his inability to become an even passable blocker, but he should get the snaps in a game the Lions should lose big. Ebron is a borderline TE1 this week.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

2. Crockett Gillmore, Ravens – Owned in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues
We have still yet to see how the Ravens will cope with the loss of Steve Smith, but an expanded passing-game role for Crockett Gillmore is not out of the question. Gillmore has at least three targets in every game he has played in this year, and he has been a factor in the red zone all season. Gillmore is a risky start this week against a reasonably tough Jaguars’ defense, but he could develop into the No. 2 passing option in an offense lacking weapons.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bucs – Owned in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues
Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ return has been on hold for seemingly forever, and he may have lost his chance to be a big contributor for the Tampa offense. Vincent Jackson (knee) could return this week, but as we have learned with ASJ, the Bucs are conservative when it comes to injuries. Even if both Seferian-Jenkins and Jackson are back, the sophomore should have a role as the seam-stretcher in an offense in desperate need of people who can actually catch the ball. The Cowboys have been solid against tight ends in part because of Byron Jones, but Seferian-Jenkins will be worth a streaming look this week in deeper formats.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.  

Watch List: Jacob Tamme is not good enough to hold through the bye, but he will be worth a look against the Colts in two weeks. … Richard Rodgers saw nine targets and caught two touchdowns against the Panthers, but he has yet to surpass 50 yards this season and has averaged 9 yards or fewer per catch in all but one game. He is a touchdown-or-bust TE2 at best. … Owen Daniels blew up, but that job should be Vernon Davis’ in the coming weeks. … Coby Fleener is just is not consistent enough with Dwayne Allen healthy. … Charles Clay’s one target last week was a matter of game flow, but he has let down in favorable spots all season. … Will Tye did not have a great game, but he saw six targets with Larry Donnell sidelined. Unfortunately, the Patriots are very good against tight ends. … Both of Garrett Celek’s targets were touchdowns. He should be the “starter” with Vernon Davis in Denver, but he will not be worth using after the bye.  

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS
1. Pittsburgh Steelers – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
Pittsburgh has quietly been playing good defense this season. Even last week when they gave up 35 points and did not record a sack, the defense managed to force four takeaways to salvage a decent fantasy day against a hot offense. The Browns offense is anything but hot, and they have given up at least three sacks in all but two games this season. The Steelers should be a great play at home.

2. Oakland Raiders – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Raiders DST has been limited this season by a lack of sacks and because they are one of eight teams without a defensive or special teams touchdown, but they have recorded an interception in seven straight. If Teddy Bridgewater does not play, this is an easy call at home. Even if Teddy makes it back, however, Oakland had been very good against the run until last week and has the defense which should limit Minnesota’s one-dimensional attack.

3. Baltimore Ravens – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
Baltimore has been a disaster against the pass this season, and I fully expect them to give up a lot of fantasy points to Blake Bortles and company this week. If your league penalizes for points and/or yardage, the Ravens are a terrible play. That said, Bortles turns the ball over at an astounding rate and is battling Matt Schaub for the pick-six crown. The Ravens have forced the fewest turnovers in the league this season, but they are on a historically-low pace which likely will correct at some point. This seems like a good week.

Looking Ahead: Baltimore will be in another good spot against a Rams team which lacks the weapons to threaten their passing weakness, but Jacksonville is the most interesting play at home on Thursday night against a Titans offense which has been prone to mistakes and sacks this season.

KICKERS
1. Connor Barth, Bucs – Owned in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues
Connor Barth has been money since taking over the kicking duties in Tampa Bay Week 5. He has at least three made field goals and at least 11 fantasy points in every game. This week he gets a Cowboys defense which has faced the fifth-most field goals this season. Money in the bank.

2. Chris Boswell, Steelers – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
Chris Boswell did me right last week by connection on 3-of-4 attempts including the game winner, and I am going right back to the (Bos)well – terrible, but I had to – this week. The Steelers host the Browns, who have faced multiple field goals in all but three games this season, and Boswell has attempted multiple field goals in three of his last four including two four-attempt games.

3. Greg Zuerlein, Rams – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Greg the Leg showed why he can be a monster in yardage bonus leagues by drilling a 61 yarder on his way to four field goals including another 50 yarder against the Vikings. Zuerlein has struggled with accuracy recently and missed one last week against Minnesota, but he has at least two attempts in each of his last four games. The Bears face over two field goals a game, and Zuerlein seemed to snap out of his funk last week. He is a high-upside option, but there is some risk in this offense.

Looking Ahead: Matt Bryant will likely be dropped in a lot of leagues over the bye week, but he has a great matchup at home with the Colts Week 11. 

Raymond Summerlin
Raymond Summerlin is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter at @RMSummerlin.