Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire options that are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. I’ll list any players at the top who are above the 50% threshold (or are household names) but are still somewhat widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.
WEEK 10 BYES: New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans
Best Options if Available: Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 65%)
Derek Carr (Oak, 46%) — Carr has a hot hand in his last three games out of their Week 6 bye, throwing for a combined 867 yards and seven TDs with one INT in games against the Packers, Texans, and Lions in Weeks 7-9. He’s also averaged a healthy 9.7 YPA in that span and he got his favorite wide receiver, Tyrell Williams, back in the mix the last two weeks. Carr’s schedule isn’t too bad for the next four weeks (vs. LAC, vs. Cin, @NYJ, @KC) so Carr could keep the good vibes going.
Ryan Tannehill (Ten, 18%) — Tannehill has given this once-anemic passing game under Marcus Mariota some life since he stepped into the lineup the last four weeks. He needed some garbage-time production in Week 9 (he could need it again in Week 10) but he completed 27/39 passes for 331 yards, one touchdown, and two INTs against the Panthers. He also added 4/38/1 rushing to have a strong fantasy day in their loss. Tannehill is still averaging a healthy 8.4 YPA in his four appearances and his talented receiving corps suddenly have some life with Mariota sent to the bench. Tannehill’s schedule isn’t too bad in the upcoming weeks (vs. KC, bye, vs. Jax, @Ind) and, with six teams on bye, he’s worth streaming this week against the Chiefs.
Daniel Jones (NYG, 23%) — The rookie Jones has had a rough go of it recently since his dramatic win over the 49ers in Week 3, and he left some touchdowns on the field in a loss to the Cowboys in Week 9. He completed 26/41 passes for 210 yards, one touchdown, and one INT and he led them in rushing with 6/54 but he lost another two fumbles. In just eight appearances this season, Jones has 16 turnovers but he continues to show a lot of fight and a lot of promise each week. The Giants’ defense is going to force Jones to throw it quite a bit most weeks since they can’t slow down many offenses, but he’s not easy to trust right now even with a good matchup coming up this week (@NYJ, bye, @Chi, vs. GB). Jones is certainly better for fantasy formats that don’t deduct major points for turnovers.
Sam Darnold (NYJ, 26%) — Darnold infamously saw ghosts against the Patriots on Monday Night Football, and he still looks like a second-year player who has no confidence right now. Darnold has been miserable under pressure and that is bad news since their O-line is a disaster right now. The Jets lost to the hapless Dolphins in Week 9 with Darnold completing 27/39 passes for 260 yards, one touchdown, and one INT. Darnold does have five juicy spots in a row (vs. NYG, @Was, vs. Oak, @Cin, vs. Mia) but his recent performances didn’t give me any confidence that he’ll be able to take advantage of them. He’ll at least likely have his boy Chris Herndon (hamstring) back this week, but it’s tough to see Darnold completely turning everything around in a hurry.
Brian Hoyer (Ind, 0%) — Believe it or not, Hoyer is on the fantasy radar this week if he’s forced to start against the Dolphins. Jacoby Brissett left early in Week 9 with a knee injury and Hoyer came in and threw for 168 yards and three TDs against the Steelers. He also threw a pick-six to Minkah Fitzpatrick so it wasn’t all flowers for Hoyer, but he did a solid job considering the circumstances. Hoyer could be without T.Y. Hilton (calf) next week but it’s still a juicy spot against the Dolphins for those desperate for QB help.
Ryan Finley (Cin, 2%) — The Bengals pulled the plug on Andy Dalton after eight-plus seasons as the team’s starting quarterback. After an 0-8 start to the season, the Bengals are rolling with fourth-round pick Finley for the rest of the season. The Bengals liked Finley enough to move up a couple of picks in the draft to select the QB out of North Carolina State. They need to see if he’s a potential answer for 2020 and beyond or if they need to use a high pick in this year’s draft on a quarterback. Finley looks the part at 6’4”, 207 pounds but his arm strength doesn’t match his long body frame. However, he did look comfortable in the pocket in college and he has solid accuracy to potentially have some success out of the gate, especially with one of the league’s best WRs A.J. Green returning this week. He gets thrown right into the fire in the upcoming weeks (vs. Bal, @Oak, vs. Pit, vs. NYJ) so expectations should be kept in check, but it at least looks like he should be throwing it a ton like Dalton had in the first eight games — Dalton averaged 42.3 attempts/game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Mia, 6%) — The Dolphins have covered four straight spreads since Fitz took back over at quarterback and they picked up their first win of the season over the Jets in Week 9. Fitz ripped his old team for 288 yards and three touchdowns, giving him multiple touchdown passes in two straight games. It’s a tough week coming up with six teams on bye, but Fitz is back on the radar on the low-end with a matchup against the Colts looming this week.
Kyle Allen (Car, 8%) — It looks like Cam Newton (foot) isn’t coming back anytime soon and the Panthers could place him on the IR in the near future. Allen hasn’t been great of late but he completed 17/32 passes for 232 yards, two TDs, and one INT in a victory over the Titans in Week 9. He did throw three INTs in Week 8 against the 49ers and he could’ve had some additional passes picked against the Titans. Allen is mostly a game manager here who needs to get the rock to Christian McCaffrey, but he does have some exploitable matchups in the future (@GB, vs. Atl, @NO, vs. Was).
Nick Foles (Jax, 4%) — The Jags will be deciding between Minshew Mania and a once again healthy Foles during their bye this week. Minshew may be a fan favorite around the league but I think the Jags will make the right decision and insert Foles back into the starting lineup, especially since they invested an $88-million contract in Foles. If the Jags decide to start Foles when first eligible in Week 11, he’ll get a couple key divisional road games right out of the shoot (@Ind, @Ten, vs. TB, vs. LAC).
Best Options if Available: Adrian Peterson (Was, 56%), Duke Johnson (Hou, 59%), Mark Walton (Mia, 55%), Kareem Hunt (Cle, 59%)
Ronald Jones (TB, 39%) — Up until Week 9, I was only using Jones or any of these other Buccaneers backs (Peyton Barber and Dare Ogunbowale) when desperate since Bruce Arians was using the hot-hand approach between his backs every week. With that said, Jones has been the most reliable back here and he ran fairly well against the Seahawks in Week 9, posting 18/67/1 rushing and 2/15 receiving. Most importantly, Arians started Jones for the first time and he played a season-high 53% of the snaps while Barber saw season-lows in snap rate (14%) and carries (four). Jones has scored in three out of his last five games and it looks like Arians might finally be ready to commit more to him. Speaking on Monday after Week 9, Arians said Jones has earned the right to play more snaps because he’s been the most explosive (no kidding, Bruce!). Jones’ profile is on the rise in the second half of the year and this week’s game script could work in his favor as they should be home favorites against the Cardinals. RJII has the chance to climb into RB2 territory down the stretch, especially in non-PPR formats.
Ty Johnson (Det, 44%) and J.D. McKissic (Det, 12%) — Johnson and McKissic mostly split this backfield in Week 9, which is what everyone expected in Week 8 before Tra Carson came from out of nowhere to lead the backfield in touches. Carson (hamstring) ended up on the injured reserve before Week 9 and Paul Perkins had just three opportunities playing behind Johnson and McKissic against the Raiders. McKissic posted 4/32 rushing and 3/40/1 receiving on four targets while Johnson had 9/29 rushing and 3/7 receiving on three targets. Johnson led the backfield with 62% of the snaps while McKissic saw 38% and Perkins had 4%. The Lions did bring in Jay Ajayi for a look last week so the Lions could be in the market for another back. If the status quo holds in this backfield, both Johnson and McKissic are flex options going forward mostly because of their ability to catch the rock, which is important because this offense is revolving around Matt Stafford’s arm now.
Darrell Henderson (LAR, 25%) — Henderson has been a disappointment since he was drafted in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts this summer because he hasn’t had a role behind Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown. That’s changed the last three weeks with Gurley and Brown dealing with injuries. In Week 8 against the Bengals, Henderson posted 11/49 rushing and 2/20 receiving as he had more touches than Gurley in their blowout victory. Henderson brings much more explosiveness to this backfield than Brown and HC Sean McVay would be wise to work him in more as we enter the second half of the season. Henderson could go back to having no role out of their Week 9 bye when Brown returns, but I think there’s a chance they move Henderson ahead of Brown going forward. It’s worth stashing Henderson because he’d have a ton of value if Gurley misses more time in the future.
Derrius Guice (Was, 32%) — Guice has been on the IR since Week 1 with a torn meniscus but he’s on track to return after their Week 10 bye. The Redskins should give Guice a chance to be the lead runner ahead of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson when he returns since their season is going nowhere. However, nothing is guaranteed with this joke of an organization so we can’t take anything for granted. Compared to the rest of this team, Peterson and Thompson are playing pretty well so Guice is unlikely to see 60% or more snaps when he gets back, but he could carve out a fantasy-relevant role.
Kalen Ballage (Mia, 10%) — Ballage has proven to be pretty bad at football in his first year and a half but maybe something will click for him down the stretch since he’s going to get some extra playing time. The Dolphins traded away Kenyan Drake to the Cardinals before Week 9 and the NFL suspended Mark Walton for the next four games because of three off-season arrests that led to his release from the Bengals. Ballage could be the guy in this backfield for the next month (@Ind, vs. Buf, @Cle, vs. Phi) but I’m not expecting great results, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Myles Gaskin and/or Patrick Laird have roles while Walton is out. Ballage is averaging just 2.0 YPC (35/70/2 rushing) and he’s yet to top 20 rushing yards in a game. It’s been best to avoid this Miami backfield but Ballage could get double-digit touches while Walton is out, which gives him a chance at fantasy relevance.
Trey Edmunds (Pit, 1%) — With James Conner (shoulder) out of the lineup, Edmunds worked as the early-down runner in the Steelers backfield while Jaylen Samuels handled passing situations and some carries. Edmunds ripped off a 45-yard run on his first carry on his way to posting 12/73 rushing against the Colts while playing 27% of the snaps. Conner is tentatively expected to miss another game while Benny Snell (knee) is staring at a multi-week absence. Edmunds won’t be a sexy option against the Rams this week but he should at least have a chance to reach double-digit carries if you’re playing in a non-PPR format and scraping for RB help.
Alexander Mattison (Min, 32%) — Starting RB Dalvin Cook is having a huge season, but he has had some injury issues throughout his career dating back to his days at Florida State. The Vikings have just Ameer Abdullah behind Mattison and I’d expect Mattison to see a heavy workload if Cook missed time. He’s the best handcuff in fantasy right now and he’s close to having standalone value with how much work he’s getting each week.
Reggie Bonnafon (Car, 3%) — Bonnafon has emerged as the top option behind Christian McCaffrey after his 5/80/1 rushing performance against the Jaguars in Week 5. If McCaffrey would miss time, Bonnafon wouldn’t see the type of workload that CMC sees on a weekly basis but he could certainly find himself in the RB2 conversation.
Rashaad Penny (Sea, 30%) — Penny is simply a handcuff for Chris Carson at this stage of the season with Carson dominating snaps in this backfield. Penny would see most of the work if Carson is out with C.J. Prosise likely mixing in, as well.
Tony Pollard (Dal, 14%) — Pollard’s complementary role has evaporated a bit with Zeke back to dominating the work in this backfield. Elliott owners would be wise to scoop up Pollard if he’s thrown to the scrapheap if you want to handcuff your top-five pick.
Ty Montgomery (NYJ, 3%) — Montgomery has done little playing behind Le’Veon Bell — he was a little more active as a receiver in Week 6, though — but Montgomery would have RB2 potential as the lead back in New York.
Giovani Bernard (Cin, 5%) — Gio is a must-own in any week that Mixon is out of the lineup. Bernard is a capable runner and receiver who can take on a big role as we’ve seen in the past when Mixon has missed time. Gio is one of the best handcuffs in the league and it looks like he could have some low-end standalone value playing next to Mixon.
Ryquell Armstead (Jax, 2%) — It might be wise to scoop up Armstead if you’re a Leonard Fournette owner as he’s the clear #2 RB on this depth chart. Fournette doesn’t have the best history of staying healthy for too long.
Best Options if Available: Josh Gordon (Sea, 59%), Jamison Crowder (NYJ, 54%), Danny Amendola (Det, 50%)
DeVante Parker (Mia, 27%) — The Dolphins had been rolling with Preston Williams and Parker as their top two WRs, but Parker is now the clear go-to guy now that Williams is done for the season. Parker doesn’t have a ton upside since he’s playing on a bad team, but he’s had a better chance at success with Ryan Fitzpatrick back in the lineup and playing well the last four weeks. Parker has scored TDs in four of his last five games after posting 4/57/1 receiving on six targets against the Jets in Week 9. Parker has a scary floor and a limited ceiling as a low-end WR3 playing in this shaky offense but he’s at least getting enough weekly volume to make him more palatable, and his target share could be on the rise now that Parker is gone.
Zach Pascal (Ind, 19%) — T.Y. Hilton didn’t play in Week 9 because of a calf injury and it’s looking like he could miss another game or two, giving Pascal a chance at fantasy relevance. Unfortunately, they could be playing without breakout QB Jacoby Brissett for the next week or two after he suffered an MCL sprain against the Steelers. Even with Brian Hoyer stepping into the lineup, Pascal posted 5/76/1 receiving on six targets and he led the WRs with a 94% snap rate. He’s now topped 11+ FP in four of his last six games but he did fall under 3 FP in his other two contests. If Hilton is out again and Hoyer is under center this week, Pascal is a WR3 in a great matchup against the Dolphins.
Josh Reynolds (LAR, 1%) — The Rams are coming off their bye and Reynolds could be the Rams #3 WR after Brandin Cooks suffered his second concussion of the season. Cooks has an ugly history of concussions since he’s been in the league, and the Rams were concerned enough to send him to see a specialist in Pittsburgh over their bye week so they’re going to make sure Cooks is completely healthy before he steps onto the field again this season. Reynolds recorded 3/73/1 receiving on eight targets filling in for Cooks against the Bengals in Week 8. Reynolds has been the handcuff for these top three WRs in Los Angeles for the last two seasons. He averaged 3.7/50.7/.5 receiving per game on 6.8 targets per game as a starter in the final six contests last season when Cooper Kupp missed time.
A.J. Brown (Ten, 19%) and Corey Davis (Ten, 45%) — Quarterback play has kept Brown and Davis down this season but they have a chance to make some noise in the second half of the season. The Titans finally pulled the plug on Marcus Mariota and went with veteran starter Ryan Tannehill in Week 7, and the move has paid dividends for this Titans passing attack. Brown posted 4/81 receiving on seven targets against the Panthers in Week 9 while Davis posted 4/48 on five targets. Brown and Davis are middling WR4s going forward with the potential for more if Tannehill can continue to play at a much higher level than Mariota. They could play in a shootout this week against the Chiefs.
Cole Beasley (Buf, 29%) — Josh Allen is going to chuck it deep to John Brown or he’s going throw it underneath to his safety-valve Beasley. He’s never been a prolific scorer in the past but he’s remarkably run off TDs in three straight games as he caught both of his targets for 2/13/1 receiving against the Redskins in Week 9. Beasley has scored 9+ FP in seven of his eight games this season if you’re looking for a PPR option with a solid floor.
Deebo Samuel (SF, 13%) — Samuel has emerged a bit from these other young 49ers WRs in recent weeks, and he had the second-highest snap rate (66%) at the position behind Emmanuel Sanders in Week 9. Samuel played strong after the catch on his way to 4/40 receiving on seven targets against the Cardinals, but he did have a brutal drop in the end zone to crush his chances at a big fantasy game. One of the big problems for this passing attack has been a lack of volume since they’ve been dominating on defense and with their rushing attack. The 49ers schedule gets tougher in the second half of the season, which is good news for Samuels and this passing attack because Jimmy Garoppolo will have to sling the rock more often in closer games.
Hunter Renfrow (Oak, 2%) — Renfrow could be developing into the #2 WR for Derek Carr as he scored the game-winning touchdown in Week 9 with two minutes remaining against the Lions. He finished with 6/54/1 receiving on seven targets, which came a week after he ripped off a 65-yard touchdown against the Texans. The Raiders offense is going to revolve around Josh Jacobs, Williams, and Darren Waller every week, but Renfrow is working his way into fantasy consideration with his play the last two weeks.
Darius Slayton (NYG, 9%) — Slayton has some fantasy juice as the top outside WR for as long as Sterling Shepard is out of the lineup. Shepard is dealing with his second concussion of the season and he had a setback in his latest recovery, with concussion symptoms returning before Week 9 after practicing during the week. The rookie speedster out of Auburn hauled disappointed on Monday Night with just a six-yard catch on four targets against the Cowboys. You can consider Slayton on the low end for as long as Shepard is out of the lineup and he’s definitely a player to watch down the stretch as he develops some chemistry with his fellow rookie Daniel Jones.
Laquon Treadwell (Min, 0%) and Olabisi Johnson (Min, 3%) — I hope you’re not this desperate for help but this is a six-team bye week so I’ll include these Minnesota WRs, who have some value in deep formats if Adam Thielen (hamstring) can’t play against the Cowboys. With Thielen leaving early against the Vikings, Bisi caught a touchdown pass and Treadwell posted 3/58 receiving on five targets.
Best Options if Available: Gerald Everett (LAR, 62%), Darren Fells (Hou, 64%), T.J. Hockenson (Det, 58%), Vance McDonald (Pit, 52%), Jason Witten (Dal, 52%)
Jared Cook (NO, 42%) — Cook is expected to return to the lineup out of their Week 9 bye after missing two consecutive games with an ankle injury. Cook got to play only four-plus quarters with Drew Brees early in the year before the veteran QB injured his thumb, but Cook will get another chance with the future Hall-of-Fame QB in the second half of the year. The Saints are still looking for a consistent third option in this passing attack and Cook could be that guy, especially with two juicy matchups against the Falcons and Buccaneers looming out of their bye.
Mike Gesicki (Mia, 4%) — Gesicki has been emerging a bit since their Week 5 bye and he had his first true blow-up game against the Jets in Week 9, catching all six of his targets for 95 yards. He now has 15/195 receiving on 20 targets over his last four games and there’s a chance his role could increase now that top target Preston Williams (knee) is done for the season. Gesicki blew up the Combine two years ago and he could be coming into his own as we head into the second half of the season. It’s worth adding Gesicki this week to see if he really is in the midst of a breakout and since his role in this passing game could be on the rise.
Chris Herndon (NYJ, 30%) — Herndon was first eligible to return off his four-game suspension in Week 6 but he, unfortunately, picked up a hamstring injury before his return. Herndon has missed four additional games on top of his four-game suspension but he should make his 2018 debut this week against the Giants, although it’s looked like he was going to play for two weeks now. Herndon dressed in Week 9 but he was only available in emergency situations. When he’s finally healthy enough to play, Herndon has top-12 potential at the position over the rest of the season and Ryan Griffin has been blowing up the last two weeks in his stead.
Noah Fant (Den, 13%) — The Broncos traded Emmanuel Sanders away before Week 8 and it’s been Fant who has stepped into the #2 receiver role behind Courtland Sutton. He saw eight targets and had five catches in his last game with Joe Flacco in Week 8 and he exploded for 3/115/1 receiving on four targets in his first game with Brandon Allen in Week 9 against the Browns. Fant showcased his rare TE speed and physicality on a 75-yard touchdown catch, turning a crossing route into a score by running through and then away from the defense. Allen’s presence at quarterback does lower Fant’s floor a bit, but he does offer some potential for a breakout in the second half if he stays in his current #2 receiver role.
Jacob Hollister (Sea, 0%) — Hollister scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Buccaneers in Week 9, which was his second score of the day. He finished with 4/37/2 receiving on six targets and he’s quietly been somewhat active in this passing attack with 9/75/2 on 14 targets the last three weeks. He could easily go back to obscurity this week against the 49ers, but it should be noted that Russell Wilson absolutely loves targeting his TEs in the red zone. Seattle TEs have 31.9% of Wilson’s TD passes since the 2017 season, including 27.3% this season, so Hollister has a chance to stay a factor for non-PPR formats.
Jonnu Smith (Ten, 43%) — Smith had strung together two good games with Delanie Walker (ankle) out of the lineup in Weeks 7-8, but the third-year TE came up small against the Panthers in Week 9 with just 3/18 receiving on five targets. If Walker misses another game before their Week 11 bye, Smith has some life with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback and he’d be a strong streaming option this week against the Chiefs.
Kyle Rudolph (Min, 31%) — Rudolph is a TD-or-bust option but he has scored in two of his last three games. He has a little better chance of staying fantasy relevant this week against the Cowboys if WR Adam Thielen is unable to play through his hamstring injury.
Jack Doyle (Ind, 15%) — Doyle has a faint pulse right now with T.Y. Hilton (calf) out of the lineup for potentially the next couple weeks, but he could be playing with Brian Hoyer. He posted 3/22/1 receiving on four targets against the Steelers in Week 9 with Hoyer after Jacoby Brissett left early with a knee injury. Doyle isn’t an ideal option since he splits the tight end workload with Eric Ebron, and the Colts have been a run-heavy squad with their O-line dominating in the trenches. He does get a matchup with the Dolphins this week to give a little more upside than usual.
Dallas Goedert (Phi, 27%) — Goedert is tough to completely trust in a fantasy lineup since he’s playing next to one of the better fantasy TEs in Zach Ertz but he’s now topped 9+ FP in four of his last six games. Goedert finished second in receiving for the Eagles in Week 9 against the Bears with 4/39 on five targets, but he was a distant second to his fellow TE Zach Ertz who had 9/103/1 receiving. Goedert is a high-end TE2 with DeSean Jackson (hernia) out of the lineup going forward but the second-year TE is on a bye this week.
Baltimore Ravens (@Cin, 44%), Indianapolis Colts (vs. Mia, 36%), Cleveland Browns (vs. Buf, 58%), Green Bay Packers (vs. Car, 33%), New Orleans Saints (vs. Atl, 62%)
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