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Through The Wire - Week 10

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 11/9/21 |

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.


Carson Wentz, IND – Wentz was really sharp on Thursday night, completing 22 of 30 passes for 272-3-0 in the Colts' 45-30 win over the Jets. He also rushed four times for 13 yards in a bounceback performance that solidified his status as a high-upside QB2. The talented signal caller now faces a vulnerable Jaguars in Week 10, though the enigmatic Jacksonville unit just looked amazing in Week 9 by limiting fantasy stud Josh Allen to a handful of points.

Baker Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield (30-35% owned) completed 14 of 21 passes for 218-2-0 yards in Sunday's 41-16 win over the Bengals. Mayfield has been operating as a game manager this season but has a couple favorable matchups (DET, @BAL) after he faces the stingy Patriots defense in Week 10. He’s worth a look in 12-team leagues.

UPDATE: Mayfield may be throwing a bit more than normal with two Browns RBs slated to miss Week 10 because of COVID.

Teddy Bridgewater, DEN – Bridgewater (25% owned) wasn’t spectacular on Sunday, but he was efficient. He didn’t need to be great behind the defense’s dismantling of the Cowboys, but the next few weeks could dictate more offensive firepower. The veteran QB completed 19 of 28 pass attempts for 249-1-0 adding three rushes for -1 yards and one TD. The Week 10 matchup against Philadelphia is a good one.

Other QBs to consider: Derek Carr (65%), Trevor Siemian (5%), Jacoby Brissett (1%)


Mike White, NYJ – White was injured early on Thursday night and gave way to a solid fantasy performance from Josh Johnson, but Week 10 is up in the air, as coach Robert Saleh wouldn't commit to either White (forearm) or Zach Wilson (knee) as his starter against the Bills. Both QBs are expected to resume practicing this and could be cleared in time for Sunday.

Tua Tagovailoa, MIA – Tagovailoa (left finger/ribs) is viewed as day-to-day after missing Week 9 against the Texans. As Thursday night’s matchup against the Ravens approaches, Tua (who reportedly really wanted to play Sunday) is a question mark. Jacoby Brissett could be in line for another start in a game that could see more offensive fireworks than the usual Dolphins game.

Running Backs

Nyheim Hines, IND – Hines (40-45% owned) is a tough back to decipher, basically because he makes the most of his limited opportunities and makes you wish you played him when he goes off. On Thursday night he rushed six times for 74 yards and a touchdown, securing four of six targets for 34 yards. He and the Colts have a favorable Week 10 matchup against the Jaguars – and even in a secondary role he could have a big impact.

D’Ernest Johnson, CLE – UPDATE: With the news that both starting RB Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton have tested positive for COVID, the next man up is Johnson, who fared well in Week 7 against the Broncos, running for 146 yards and a score in a dominant performance. The matchup against New England isn’t great but the volume makes him a solid RB2 if Chubb is sidelined.

Jordan Howard, PHI – Howard (less than 10% owned) assumed lead back status in Week 9, rushing 17 times for 71 yards and a TD in the narrow loss to the Chargers. He saw a bigger workload share than both Boston Scott (10 carries for 40 yards) and Kenneth Gainwell (two carries for three yards and a TD), and appears to be settling into a starting role for while Miles Sanders (ankle) is sidelined.

Devonta Freeman, BAL – In the absence of Latavius Murray, Freeman (12-15% owned) stepped up with 13 carries for 79 yards, hauling in two of three targets for 4 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' exciting 34-31 overtime win over the Vikings on Sunday.

Rhamondre Stevenson, NE – Before he left the game with a head injury, Stevenson (5-10% owned) had 10 carries for 62 yards, adding two catches for 44 yards. Both he and Damien Harris could land on the team’s injury report ahead of next Sunday's game against the Browns, but Stevenson has earned more playing time with his Week 9 performance and will get touches if he’s healthy enough to play.

Eno Benjamin, ARI – Benjamin (0% owned) saw a bunch of snaps after Chase Edmonds left the game with an injury, carrying nine times for 39 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 31-17 win over the 49ers. James Conner will probably log the most touches against the Panthers but Benjamin may have carved out a change-of-pace/secondary role if Edmonds can’t go in Week 9.

UPDATE: Benjamin drew praise from Kliff Kingsbury this week and the coach said he earned more snaps. He should be picked up in all 12-team leagues and could become an instant RB2 if Conner were to miss time.

Other RBs to consider: David Johnson (35%), Mark Ingram (25%), Phillip Lindsay (15%), Brandon Bolden (5-10%), Ty Johnson (5%), Jerick McKinnon (1%), Rex Burkhead (1%)


Michael Carter, NYJ – Carter (now largely unavailable at 85-90% owned after his monster Week 8 performance) rushed 13 times for 49 yards caught one of two targets for 37 yards in the Jets’ lopsided loss to the Colts on Thursday night. Carter's next matchup is a tough one against the Bills in a Week 10 divisional clash, but he could be in line for more receptions. Of course, the Bills offense just struggled immensely against the Jags, so game script is not set in stone.

Adrian Peterson, TEN – In his Titans debut on Sunday night, Peterson (50% owned) rushed 10 times for 21 yards and a TD while catching his lone target for five yards in the surprising win over the Rams. The veteran back led the team in carries and received the goal-line work, so he’ll likely be a low-ceiling RB3 moving forward unless the matchup is demonstrably favorable.

J.D. McKissic, WAS – Washington was on a Week 9 bye but draws the Bucs in Week 10, when McKissic could see another huge receiving workload in a negative game script.

Derrick Gore, KC – Gore followed up a promising breakout performance with just three carries for 13 yards and 1-6-0 receiving against the Packers.

Jeremy McNichols, TEN – McNichols (55-60% owned) logged seven carries for 24 rushing yards and 3-11-0 in Sunday’s night’s big win over the Rams. The Saints are on the docket in Week 10, which could mean more touches.

Boston Scott, PHI – See above under the Howard blurb. Scott’s fantasy performance was pedestrian in comparison.

Carlos Hyde, JAC – Hyde (10-15% owned) ran for 67 yards on 21 carries against Buffalo on Sunday, adding a six-yard catch on two targets. It was enough for the Jags to earn a win despite an ability to throw the ball. It's still unclear whether default starter James Robinson will suit up against the Colts in Week 10, but Hyde will fill in as the starter if he can’t.

UPDATE: Robinson is expected to play in Week 10, effectively killing Hyde’s value.

Brandon Aiyuk

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Olamide Zaccheaus, ATL – Zaccheaus (0-1% owned) isn’t the first option in the Falcons offense, but he’s getting red zone looks. He caught all three of his targets for 58 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 27-25 win over the Saints and could be factor in Week 10 against the Cowboys.

Russell Gage, ATL – Gage (15-20% owned) is actually the guy who is the safer fantasy play in Week 10, He caught seven of eight targets for 64 yards in Sunday’s 27-25 win over New Orleans and should see a steady diet of looks in the absence of Calvin Ridley.

Brandon Aiyuk, SF – Aiyuk is trending up in a big way, and Sunday he caught six of eight targets for 89 yards and a TD in the loss to the Cardinals. He’s just 45-50% owned and could be available in some 12-team leagues.

Elijah Moore, NYJ – Moore hauled in seven of eight targets for 84 yards and two TDs in the Jets’ 45-30 loss to the Colts on Thursday night, and could see more looks coming his way in the next few weeks.

TE Geoff Swaim, TEN – Swaim caught all four targets for 29 yards and a TD in Sunday's 28-16 win over the Rams. Last week he logged 4-23-1, so he’s trending up as a high-end TE2.

Tim Patrick, DEN – Patrick seemed to get in a groove against Dallas, recording four receptions on five targets for 85 yards and a TD in the surprising upset. He’s about 25% owned and could be in line for a few more big games.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Tre’Quan Smith, Van Jefferson, Donovan Peoples-Jones, TE Donald Parham


Cole Beasley, BUF – Beasley (ribs) caught eight passes for 33 yards on 11 targets against Jacksonville on Sunday, about the only Bills payer who had a decent day, and only in PPR. What a crazy week.

Cedrick Wilson, DAL – Wilson had just 2-28-0 as the Cowboys offense sputtered, and his fantasy utility is waning.

Randall Cobb, GB – Cobb caught three passes for 50 yards on five targets against Kansas City on Sunday and should get Aaron Rodgers back in Week 10 against the Seahawks.

TE Evan Engram, NYG – Engram did well in Week 10, recording 3-38-1 in Sunday’s 23-16 win over the Raiders. He didn’t get traded at the deadline and the Giants may have learned that he’s worth using more in the red zone.

Jamison Crowder, NYJ – Crowder caught 5-38-0 on seven targets on Thursday night, and has at least six targets and four catches in all five games he's played this season. He’s going to have a big game one of these weeks.