Fantasy football can be an extremely fun game to play. It can also be highly frustrating at times. Nothing is more annoying than needing to make a last-minute waiver-wire move because someone in your starting lineup is out for the week.
Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about it. However, I’m going to try and help.
Every week I will have six players you can grab off the waiver wire at the last minute and throw into your lineup. Some will succeed, while others will fail. Unfortunately, that’s how the game of fantasy football is played.
All the players in this article are rostered in under 35% of ESPN leagues.
Jacoby Brissett (QB – CLE) vs. Miami Dolphins (12.5% Rostered)
Can we call it a revenge game if Brissett only played one year in Miami? Nonetheless, the veteran quarterback has played well for the Browns this season, scoring nine touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. Furthermore, Brissett has been a consistent streaming option for fantasy players this season, whether they needed a bye-week substitution or a last-minute injury replacement. The veteran quarterback has averaged 14.1 fantasy points per game, his highest average since he started for the Indianapolis Colts in 2019. More importantly, Brissett is coming off his best performance of the year, scoring 20.3 fantasy points against the Cincinnati Bengals.
While the Dolphins have a talented defense on paper, they have struggled on the field. Miami has surrendered 22.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, the most in the NFL. Furthermore, they had no answer for Justin Fields last week, as the Chicago quarterback had a career-high 42.7 fantasy points against the Dolphins. More importantly, quarterbacks have scored 16.5 or more fantasy points against Miami in all but three games this season. While he won’t score 42 fantasy points, Brissett could have his second straight game with 20 or more fantasy points.
Jerick McKinnon (RB – KC) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (18.1% Rostered)
Earlier this year, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a fantasy superstar and the lead back in Kansas City. However, things have changed lately. The veteran McKinnon leads all running backs on the team in snaps played this season. Furthermore, he has played the most running back snaps in four straight games, including last week, where he played 62% of the snaps compared to 17% for Edwards-Helaire. Meanwhile, McKinnon has at least three receptions or 36 receiving yards in four straight games. More importantly, the matchup this week is appealing.
The Jaguars have surrendered 21.6 half-point PPR fantasy points per game to running backs this season, the 10th-most in the NFL. They have given up 70 or more rushing yards to running backs in five of their last six games. More importantly, Jacksonville has struggled to slow down pass-catching running backs. They have surrendered 435 receiving yards to running back this season, the second-most in the NFL. The Jaguars have also given up the most receptions to the position (60) this year. If McKinnon can’t play because of injury, Isaiah Pacheco (rostered in 23.3% of ESPN leagues) is an excellent backup option.
Jaylen Warren (RB – PIT) vs. New Orleans Saints (10.9% Rostered)
Arguably the biggest fantasy bust this season has been Najee Harris. The second-year running back averaged 15.5 half-point PPR fantasy points per game as a rookie but has averaged only 9.4 fantasy points per game this year. His yards per rushing attempt has dropped by 15.4%, while his targets per game have dropped by 36.7%. Meanwhile, Warren has earned more of a role over the past few weeks, with Harris struggling. Before the team’s Week 9 bye, the rookie had a career-high 75 scrimmage yards and nine fantasy points on only nine touches.
Furthermore, there has been speculation that the Steelers could bench Harris for Warren, but that is unlikely. However, the rookie might have earned more work after his performance in Week 8. Meanwhile, the Saints have struggled to slow down opposing running backs lately. New Orleans has surrendered over 100 rushing yards to the running backs in over half of the games this season, including two of the past three contests. They have also given up four rushing touchdowns to the position over the past three weeks. While Warren lacks top-20 upside, he is a possible flex option this week.
Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR – CLE) vs. Miami Dolphins (17.8% Rostered)
Cleveland’s passing attack flows through Amari Cooper. The former Dallas Cowboys receiver has been a pleasant fantasy surprise this season, averaging 12.9 half-point PPR fantasy points per game, making him the WR11 for the year. However, Peoples-Jones has stepped up as a consistent No. 2 option lately. Over the past five weeks, the former Michigan receiver has averaged 6.5 targets and 8.9 fantasy points per game, scoring at least seven fantasy points in every contest. Furthermore, he scored a season-high 10.1 fantasy points in the Browns’ last game. Meanwhile, the matchup this week is excellent.
Miami has surrendered 28.2 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the 11th-most in the NFL. They have given up at least one receiving touchdown to opposing wide receivers in three of the past four games and 67% of their games this year. The Dolphins will likely try to contain Cooper by shadowing him with star cornerback Xavien Howard. Therefore, Peoples-Jones will have an easier matchup against Miami’s other cornerbacks. The third-year receiver is averaging 13.9 yards per reception this season. All it takes is one blown coverage for Peoples-Jones potentially to score double-digit fantasy points.
Kalif Raymond (WR – DET) vs. Chicago Bears (4.5% Rostered)
The Detroit passing attack looks drastically different than it did to start the year. T.J. Hockenson got traded to the Minnesota Vikings, DJ Chark hasn’t played since Week 3 with an ankle injury, and Jameson Williams hasn’t played this year. Meanwhile, the Lions ruled Josh Reynolds out on Friday with a back injury, meaning he will miss his second straight contest. With so many receivers unable to play, Raymond has stepped up for the Lions, averaging 6.7 targets and 7.8 half-point PPR fantasy points per game over the past four games.
Meanwhile, the Bears have struggled to slow down opposing wide receivers lately. Over the past three weeks, wide receivers have averaged 175 receiving yards, 1.3 receiving touchdowns, and 31.2 fantasy points per game against Chicago. Furthermore, they have surrendered 42 or more fantasy points to wide receivers in two of their past five matchups. Amon-Ra St. Brown should have a strong performance against the Bears. However, Raymond is a solid last-minute replacement for fantasy players.
Foster Moreau (TE – LV) vs. Indianapolis Colts (7.1% Rostered)
Fantasy players should check their waiver wire for Cole Kmet. The Chicago tight end is rostered in 37.2% of ESPN leagues, just missing the number needed to qualify for this article. If Kmet isn’t available, Moreau is an excellent backup option. The Raiders placed Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow on injured reserve this week, knocking both out for at least the next four games. Meanwhile, Moreau will see an uptick in snaps and targets with both players out of the lineup. The veteran tight end has at least four targets in every game since Week 1. Furthermore, he has averaged 6.3 targets per game over the past three weeks.
More importantly, the matchup this week is fantasy-friendly. The Colts have surrendered 10.7 half-point PPR fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, the 12th-most in the NFL. Furthermore, they have given up at least 7.1 fantasy points in all but one game this year. Meanwhile, Indianapolis surrendered seven receptions and 71 receiving yards to Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith last week. By comparison, the duo averaged 3.5 receptions and 40.4 receiving yards per game before last week’s game. Moreau lacks top-five upside this week, but he should see the volume needed to end the week as a low-end TE1.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.