Week 10 Waiver Wire Pickups (2020 Fantasy Football)
Kudos to all of the fantasy managers who wisely kept Mike Davis on their roster.
Christian McCaffrey made his long-awaited return from an ankle injury in Week 9. Despite chatter of a split backfield, the superstar running back promptly registered 151 total yards and two touchdowns on 18 rushes and 10 receptions. Davis touched the ball just six times in 26 snaps, signaling the end of his temporary fantasy utility.
That was before McCaffrey injured his shoulder late in Sunday’s loss to Kansas City. He’s currently day-to-day, but it’s possible this year’s consensus 1.1 selection goes right back to the sideline. If that happens, Davis is once again Carolina’s featured back.
Had everyone dumped Davis the second the Panthers activated CMC, the valuable backup would have highlighted every waiver-wire column in the galaxy. However, Davis remains rostered in 74% of Yahoo leagues. While some managers still have a chance to scoop him back up, most will have to settle for a smorgasbord of middling consolation prizes.
Note: Rostered percentages provided via Yahoo leagues.
Top 5 Waiver Targets of Week 10
Jakobi Meyers (WR – NE): 12% Rostered
Cam Newton once again locked onto Myers with Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry out of the lineup. A week after receiving 10 targets against Buffalo, Meyers snagged 12 of 14 targets for 169 yards in Monday night’s comeback win over the Jets. Having collected 287 receiving yards in his last three games, the 24-year-old is the top (and only) Patriots receiver to roster.
J.D. McKissic (RB – WAS): 24% Rostered
Davis, Alvin Kamara, and Ezekiel Elliott are the only running backs with more receptions than McKissic’s 34 this season. That’s why he’s the RB34 in PPR scoring following Week 9’s nine-catch bonanza in Washington’s second loss to the 2-7 Giants. Nobody wants to see Alex Smith stand in the pocket and take punishment behind a leaky offensive line. Now that he’s likely to replace Kyle Allen, who is out for the season with a dislocated ankle, expect a lot more drop-off passes.
McKissic saw 14 targets on Sunday. When Smith entered Week 5’s contest late in the second quarter, five of his 17 passes went to the change-of-pace back. An overlooked option for too long, McKissic is a must-add in PPR formats.
Jalen Reagor (WR – PHI): 24% Rostered
Reagor recorded his first career touchdown upon returning from a thumb injury that cost him five games. Since that performance occurred right before Philadelphia’s Week 9 bye, the rookie remains available in nearly three-fourths of Yahoo leagues. This year’s No. 21 overall pick brandishes far more upside than the typical waiver-wire wideout, and he’s seen a healthy 16 targets in three games. Be sure not to forget about Reagor when submitting free-agent claims for Week 10.
Duke Johnson Jr. (HOU – RB): 16% Rostered
David Johnson left Sunday’s game early with a concussion, and Duke Johnson responded by scoring his first touchdown of 2020. Neither the Browns nor Texans have presented the latter Johnson with a significant role in recent years, but Houston gave him 20 touches (16 carries, four catches) in a 27-25 win over Jacksonville that presented a strong opportunity for the starting tailback. If David can’t suit up this weekend, Duke should handle a featured role against his former team.
Curtis Samuel (WR – CAR): 30% Rostered
Early in the season, the fantasy community had countless discussions about whether Robby Anderson has supplanted D.J. Moore as Carolina’s top receiver. Is Samuel surpassing Moore as well? Since missing Week 6 with a knee injury, Samuel has registered 225 total yards and four touchdowns. The Panthers continue to deploy him in the running game and, as was the case Sunday, out of the backfield to catch a shovel pass that extended his touchdown streak to three games. He also hauled in all of his season-high nine targets for 105 yards in a game which saw Moore settle for 18 yards on three targets. Carolina is clearly committed to involving the 24-year-old in creative capacities, making Samuel well worth rostering as a high-upside WR3/4 type.
Notable Players 35-50% Rostered
Philadelphia Eagles D/ST: 43%
Prior to their Week 9 bye, the Eagles recorded a combined seven sacks, five takeaways, and a defensive score in back-to-back NFC East victories. The rested unit gets the Giants again just three weeks after offering investors nine fantasy points. Only the Steelers and Buccaneers have more sacks than Philadelphia, and Big Blue is averaging a middling 18.7 points per contest.
Austin Hooper (TE – CLE): 41%
Before missing two games to an emergency appendectomy, Hooper was kicking into gear with five catches in each of his last three games. He accrued 23 targets after receiving just 10 in the prior three contests. During his absence, Baker Mayfield lost star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for the season, further narrowing his pass-catching options. Hooper, meanwhile, returned to practice last week and looks poised to return on the heels of Cleveland’s Week 9 bye. Look for him to regain the low-end TE1 status he was gradually earning in October.
Allen Lazard (WR – GB): 38%
As mentioned last week, Lazard is nearing his return off the IR from core muscle surgery. He returned to practice prior to Week 9, but a Thursday night tilt complicated his path back to Green Bay’s lineup. The 24-year-old could come back just in time to face a soft Jacksonville secondary, and the Packers have an alluring schedule (vs. PHI, at DET, vs. CAR, vs. TEN) from Weeks 13 – 16.
Gus Edwards (RB – BAL): 37%
The Gus Bus is hardly speeding down the highway. Furthermore, it could get a flat tire once Mark Ingram returns from an ankle injury that has cost him the past two games. While Edwards hasn’t piled up the yardage with or without Ingram, he’s notched a touchdown in each of Baltimore’s last three games. On Sunday, the Ravens fed him five times inside the 10. That goal-line involvement should at least land him on rosters in deeper, non-PPR leagues.
Notable Players 10-35% Rostered
Tony Pollard (RB – DAL): 34%
Given Dallas’ free-fall without Dak Prescott, Pollard is no longer an elite handcuff with league-winning potential. He is, however, getting consistent backfield work alongside Ezekiel Elliott. Although Elliott played against Pittsburgh despite hamstring concerns, Pollard parlayed nine carries into 58 yards. Elliott settled for just 51 rushing yards on 18 handoffs. He has also played in 66% of the Cowboys’ snaps or fewer in three of the last four weeks, and Pollard has averaged 10 touches during that timeframe. Pollard has earned this role, and probably more by out-performing Elliott in limited opportunities.
Jordan Wilkins (RB – IND): 25%
As expected, Wilkins didn’t get another 20 carries. He didn’t fade into the background either, drawing 11 handoffs compared to just six for Jonathan Taylor. Wilkins also led the Colts’ backfield in snaps …. barely:
Colts final HB snap count
Jordan Wilkins 23
Nyheim Hines 22
Jonathan Taylor 22
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) November 8, 2020
Wilkins may not help fantasy managers adding him as much as he hurts those relying on Taylor. However, he doesn’t look to be vanishing entirely anytime soon. Like Edwards, he’s a touchdown-dependent matchup play worth rostering beyond shallow leagues.
Wayne Gallman Jr. (RB – NYG): 25%
Once again playing without Devonta Freeman, Gallman found the end zone for the third consecutive contest. He’s handled 43 carries in those games, with his carries rising to a season-high 14 last Sunday. Although he’s conceding running opportunities to the recently signed Alfred Morris, Gallman is the Giants’ back to roster — and use as a potential flex play — as long as Freeman remains sidelined. There’s at least some hope of him sticking around in a committee once Freeman comes back, perhaps as soon as this Sunday.
Nelson Agholor (WR – OAK): 24%
The 25 targets are unappetizing, but Agholor has nevertheless tallied five touchdowns, including four in his last five games. He’s making the most of his opportunities, averaging a whopping 20.4 yards per reception with a 14.5-yard average depth of target.
— NFL (@NFL) November 8, 2020
You can’t trust him on a weekly basis; that one game without a touchdown since the start of Week 4 didn’t even contain a single catch. However, there’s certainly lofty weekly upside with Agholor continuing to sync with Derek Carr downfield.
Anthony Miller (WR – CHI): 21%
Darnell Mooney (WR – CHI): 14%
Nick Foles has attempted 133 passes in his last three starts. That’s resulted in 24 targets and 152 receiving yards apiece for Miller and Mooney. Continuing the parallels in their recent stat lines, the former saw 11 throws his way in Week 8 before the latter got 11 targets the ensuing week. Mooney at least scored a touchdown and broke off a 50-yard strike in Week 8. Accounting for 15.0 air yards per target, he offers more upside as a complement to Allen Robinson.
Drew Lock (QB – DEN): 20%
For the third straight week, Lock boasted the highest single-game fantasy tally of his career. It was also the third consecutive contest in which he attempted at least 40 passes. Those who streamed the rookie against Atlanta received 313 passing yards, 47 rushing yards, and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in a losing effort. Lock once again looks like a top waiver-wire option under center against the Raiders, who have relinquished 25.2 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Notable Players <10% Rostered
Ross Dwelley (TE – SF): 8%
Last Thursday night was the Richie James Show in San Francisco, but he should quickly fall back down the depth chart behind Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. The 49ers, however, still won’t get George Kittle back anytime soon. Although Dwelley received just three targets on a severely short-handed offense, he caught all three of them for 54 yards. He played 42 snaps to the activated Jordan Reed’s 13, establishing him as the 49ers tight end with a path to fantasy relevancy.
Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – IND): 7%
After snagging just one six-yard grab in his return from a calf injury, Pittman produced a team-high 56 receiving yards on seven targets in Week 9’s 24-10 loss to Baltimore. Keep an eye on the 6’4″ rookie, as he still brandishes deep-play and red-zone upside if developing a rapport with Philip Rivers. The Colts have yet to establish a top target or reliable fantasy skill-position player, but Pittman is the most intriguing one to monitor in deeper leagues.
Breshad Perriman (WR – NYJ): 7%
Denzel Mims (WR – NYJ): 6%
For all their faults, the winless Jets have a fairly solid receiver corps. A PPR hero for weeks earlier in the season, Jamison Crowder scored a touchdown in his return. Yet he wasn’t the star of Monday night’s late loss to New England. Perriman, who entered the bout with 118 yards on the season, recorded 101 yards and two touchdowns. Although unlikely to match last winter’s Herculean finish, he’ll serve out the season as Gang Green’s premier deep threat. Perriman appears to have a strong rapport with Joe Flacco, as the duo connected for 62 yards when he made his previous start in Week 6.
Mims has not achieved such a breakout performance in his nascent career. Yet he followed a pair of 42-yard outings with 62 on primetime. He has a lower ceiling, but a higher floor than Perriman in deep leagues. The newcomer also wouldn’t be hit as hard if the Jets go back to Sam Darnold
Danny Amendola (WR – DET): 2%
Amendola reels you in with a random high-volume performance, only to achieve little a majority of the time. Last year, he reached 95 receiving yards in four games, but failed to hit 50 any other time. Although he has established a higher baseline in 2020, the 34-year-old set season-highs Sunday with seven catches and 10 targets. It’d be easier to write this off as a fluke had Kenny Golladay not sat out with a hip injury. As long as the star receiver is sidelined, Amendola could offer some sneaky volume in deep PPR leagues.
Kalen Ballage (RB – LAC): 1%
Is Anthony Lynn spinning a wheel before every game to see who gets touches? Troymaine Pope might as well have spent the first eight weeks in the Vatican before suddenly emerging to receive 15 touches in Week 9. He promptly disappeared Sunday, and a much-maligned name took his spot. Ballage averaged 1.8 yards per carry for the Dolphins last season before getting cut by the Jets in 2020. That just means he was due for an opportunity! Filling in for Justin Jackson, who left early with a knee injury, Ballage turned 15 rushes into 69 yards and a touchdown. This will likely prove another mirage in Los Angeles, especially with Austin Ekeler lurking, but Ballage is somehow back on the radar in truly deep leagues.
Alex Smith (QB – WAS): 1%
It’s amazing that Smith is even able to play football, so throwing for 325 yards in relief of Kyle Allen feels like a fairy tale despite throwing three interceptions in a loss. Given the life-threatening injury he faced two years ago, nobody can reasonably expect the QB4 from 2017. But it’d be pretty cool if he returned value in two-quarterback leagues, which is feasible with Detroit, Cincinnati, and Dallas on the horizon.
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