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Through The Wire - Week 10

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 11/9/20 | Updated: 11/10/20

Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league. I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Teddy Bridgewater, CAR – We’ve covered Teddy ad nauseum here this season, but he’s still just 30-50 percent owned in fantasy leagues and he’s coming off a monster game at KC. Adding Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) back can only help his upside heading into a matchup against the reeling Bucs defense.

Tua Tagovailoa, MIA – Like Bridgewater, he’s appeared here before, but is only 20-30 percent rostered. With his speed, accuracy, smarts and poise, I’m excited about the next few matchups (LAC, @DEN, @NYJ, CIN, KC). After watching him complete 20 of 28 pass attempts for 248-2-0 and adding 35 yards on seven carries during Sunday’s big win over the Cardinals – just his second start as a pro – I’m not sure there’s any limit to his fantasy upside.

Jake Luton, JAC – We listed Luton (2-5 percent owned) as someone to consider last week, and he played well for an NFL debut, completing 26 of 38 pass attempts for 304-1-1, adding a 13-yard rushing TD in Sunday’s 27-25 loss to the Texans. More than the raw numbers, it’s interesting that the Jaguars offense opened up – with the rookie averaging an impressive 8.0 yards per passing attempt. Gardner Minshew still has prohibitive injuries to his thumb, so Luton could be worth another start next Sunday against the Packers.

Garrett Gilbert, DAL – The Cowboys offense looked completely different with Zack Martin healthy and Gilbert at the helm. The 29-year-old journeyman appeared at ease in the Cowboys offense on Sunday against a tough Pittsburgh pass rush and defense – completing 21 of 38 passes for 243-1-1 and adding 28 rushing yards on three carries. Gilbert's future depends on the status of Andy Dalton (concussion) moving forward and what the coaching staff decides – since he’s obviously got the weapons to succeed and be a decent QB2.

Other QBs to consider: Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr, Nick Foles, Mason Rudolph (if Roethlisberger is inactive)


Cam Newton, NE – UPDATE: Cam missed a few open throws and stumbled a bit here and there but finished with an acceptable fantasy performance (274-0-0, 16 rushing yards – including two rushing touchdowns) in Monday night's 30-27 win over the Jets. Unfortunately he’s dealing with a sore neck after the MNF game and is a risky play next week against the Ravens.

Drew Lock, DEN – Lock threw for 313-2-1 on 25-for-48 passing, adding seven rushes for 47 yards and an additional score during the loss to the Falcons, but those numbers were fueled in part by a terrible second-half Falcons defensive effort. Still, he’s been a better QB in his past two outings after coming back from injury and faces a weak Raiders defense in Week 10.

Duke Johnson

Running Backs

Duke Johnson, HOU – With David Johnson (concussion) out, Duke Johnson (15-20 percent owned) rushed 16 times for 41 yards and a TD. He added 4-32-0 and could be the man again next week if David Johnson can’t get through the protocol in time for the Week 10 matchup against the Browns.

J.D. McKissic, WAS – McKissic is clearly a huge part of the Washington offensive game plan each week; he caught another nine of a team-high 14 targets for 65 receiving yards, adding three rushes for 17 yards on Sunday. Game script be damned, McKissic faces a Lions defense next week that ranks poorly against opposing RBs.

Kalen Ballage, LAC – Justin Jackson sustained a knee injury early in Week 9 and Ballage (universally available) ended up with the most carries (15), rushing for 69 yards and a TD (and adding 2-15-0 receiving) in the 31-26 loss to the Raiders. Ballage had only been elevated from the practice squad on Saturday and led the backfield after injuries to Troymaine Pope (concussion, inactive) and Jackson. Joshua Kelley retains a limited role but the Ballage/Pope/ Jackson situation requires more updates. Ballage’s long-term value is further complicated by the ultimate return of Austin Ekeler (hamstring) from IR, but he could worth a look if nobody else is available outside Kelley.

Salvon Ahmed, MIA – The Dolphins running game should be a complete mess, with Miles Gaskin (MCL) now on IR for a minimum of three games and Jordan Howard running like he’s wearing cement cleats, but Tua and Ahmed (seven carries for 38 yards versus the Cardinals) carried them to victory. Howard may have chipped in a TD, but Ahmed needed three less carries than Howard to effectively double the veteran back’s yardage total. Ahmed is definitely worth considering in deep formats if Matt Breida (hamstring) misses another week of action.

Other RBs to consider: Boston Scott (if Miles Sanders is still out) Ryan Nall, Gus Edwards, Anthony McFarland Jr.


Justin Jackson, LAC – Reports had Jackson returning after the first quarter injury, he didn’t get any touches so we’ll have to stay tuned.

Zack Moss, BUF – Moss had 18 rushing yards and a TD with 2-30-0 receiving on Sunday, leading the team with a modest nine carries as Devin Singletary received just two totes. The rookie is poised for a much larger role in the offense moving forward.

J.K. Dobbins, BAL – Dobbins has 12 carries for 30 yards and caught both his targets for five yards on Sunday. The rookie’s workload could be reduced again when Mark Ingram (ankle) returns from injury.

Damien Harris, NE – UPDATE: Harris rushed 14 times for 71 yards before leaving with a chest injury during the fourth quarter of MNF. He’s not part of the passing game but has played well lately and should be monitored (along with the progress of Sony Michel) ahead of his Week 10 matchup.

Malcolm Brown, LAR – On a bye in Week 9, his usefulness depends on the status of Darrell Henderson in Week 10.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Tee Higgins, CIN – If he’s somehow still available because the Bengals were on a bye, you have to add him. I say this as someone who is looking at him (and CeeDee Lamb) on the waiver wire in a 10-team non-PPR league with a bunch of dummies. I know he and Lamb are owned in about 75-80 percent of leagues, but I have to mention them. Tee is a complete beast and CeeDee (who seemed like a legitimate drop last week in redrafts) seems to now have a QB. Okay, on to the less obvious adds.

John Brown, BUF – The offense looks sharp again with “Smoke” healthy, and he’s a solid risk-reward WR3/flex in 12-team leagues moving forward. Brown is owned in about 50-60 percent of leagues and should be owned in most formats.

Brandon Aiyuk, SF – Don’t get it confused – his 60 percent ownership in ESPN leagues is a reflection of the COVID diagnosis that kept him out of Thursday’s game, not his ability. This future NFL superstar should be owned in all formats moving forward regardless of opponent and who’s the QB for the 49ers.

Jakobi Meyers, NE – UPDATE: Meyers (10-20 percent owned) went for 12-169-0 and was targeted 14 times in the MNF win over the Jets – a whopping 40 percent of Newton's 35 attempts. The Ravens are a different team than the Jets, and there are injuries for the Pats that need to be monitored, but Meyers is clearly the WR1 on this offense (22-287-0 on 30 targets over his last three games) and should be added in all formats.

Breshad Perriman, NYJ – UPDATE: Perriman (10-15 percent owned) hauled in 5-101-2 on seven targets in the loss to the Patriots but was clearly a top target for Joe Flacco – his former teammate in Baltimore – on this winless Jets team. He could be a big factor down the fantasy stretch run if the Jets continue to fall behind and he stays healthy – and this performance bodes well considering Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios were also healthy. The problem for prospective owners is that the Jets are on a bye, but they return to face the Chargers in Week 11. It’s a risk-reward situation for certain.

Michael Gallup, DAL – Like with CeeDee, a lot of folks were throwing in the towel, but the addition of Gilbert at QB could change things. I’ve always liked Gallup’s ability and upside, so stay tuned – or add him before the Week 10 bye before somebody else takes the risk. And it is a risk adding him – unless you have lots of roster space.

Richie James, SF – Don’t get too excited about his 9-184-1, because a bunch of 49ers WRs are on the way back, but James (universally available) could be a big part of the offense if they use him like they did on Thursday night.

Gabriel Davis, BUF – I’ve been a fan for a while now based on his athleticism and ability to go get tough balls in traffic, but we could see a lot more of him moving forward as defenses focus on stopping Stefon Diggs and John Brown. In this case, it’s addition by addition (of both other WRs and more red zone chances), not subtraction, for the capable rookie.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Allen Lazard, TE Jimmy Graham, Chris Conley, Nelson Agholor, Damiere Byrd, KJ Hamler, Demarcus Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Denzel Mims, TE Mo Alie-Cox, TE Logan Thomas


Marvin Jones, Jr, DET – He had 3-43-1 but lost Matthew Stafford to a concussion during the game and wasn’t as involved with Chase Daniel at the helm, so stay tuned.

Mike Williams, LAC – Williams finished with 5-81-0 on seven targets on Sunday. He should see another favorable matchup next at Miami.

Curtis Samuel, CAR – Samuel saw nine targets and caught them all for 9-105-1, adding three rushes for 13 yards in the loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. Even with the return of CMC, he continued to have a minor role in the ground game, helping him retain solid flex play status against the Bucs in Week 10.

Laviska Shenault, JAC – Shenault suffered a hamstring injury during the first quarter. Boo!

UPDATE: Shenault reportedly has a chance to play Week 10 against the Packers, so stay tuned.

Jalen Reagor, PHI – On a bye week 9, Reagor is a solid add this week.

UPDATE: Reagor will help with returning punts moving forward, which only adds to his involvement and could mean more looks in the offense.

Kendrick Bourne, SF – The 49ers activated Bourne from the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday after missing Thursday’s game, and I still like him. Deebo Samuel’s hamstring issue may not be gone just yet, so Bourne could be a factor this week at NO.

UPDATE: Bourne is back on the COVID list, so he’s safe to drop for now.

TE Dalton Schultz, DAL – Schultz had 4-48-0 on seven targets and the arrow could be pointing up with Gilbert at QB.