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6 Last-Minute Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups & Injury Replacements (Week 10)

6 Last-Minute Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups & Injury Replacements (Week 10)

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.

Last-Minute Waiver Wire Pickups & Injury Replacements

All the players in this article are rostered in under 35% of ESPN leagues.

Derek Carr (QB – NO) vs. Minnesota Vikings (29.9% Rostered)

The veteran quarterback has been one of my favorite streaming options over the past few weeks. Carr completed 73.5% of his pass attempts for 211 yards, two touchdowns, and 16.7 fantasy points in the Week 9 win over the Chicago Bears. However, he started the year playing poorly. The veteran averaged 8.2 fantasy points per game over the first four weeks, scoring more than 8.5 fantasy points only once. Yet, the former Fresno State star has scored at least 15.7 fantasy points in five consecutive games, averaging 16.9 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Carr had two passing touchdowns in 60% of those contests.

Fantasy players should expect the veteran to stay hot this week against the Vikings. Minnesota has won five of their past six games. More importantly, their defense has played better after severely struggling to start the year. However, the Vikings are still an appealing fantasy matchup for opposing quarterbacks, surrendering 16.6 fantasy points per game. Last week, they gave up 268 passing yards, a touchdown, and 14.7 fantasy points to Taylor Heinicke despite not having his No. 1 wide receiver – Drake London. Carr and the Saints are clicking offensively and should keep that going this weekend.

Keaton Mitchell (RB – BAL) vs. Cleveland Browns (23.2% Rostered)

Over the past three weeks, Gus Edwards has been the RB1, averaging 22.2 half-point PPR fantasy points and two rushing touchdowns per game. However, the veteran is a touchdown-or-bust running back. Nearly 40% of his fantasy production has come from rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Edwards has averaged 5.4 fantasy points per game in the five contests he didn’t find the end zone. More importantly, Mitchell was the RB5 in Week 9, scoring 19.9 fantasy points. The rookie had only nine rushing attempts but had more rushing yards and outscored Edwards despite his two touchdowns (19.9 vs. 17.2).

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken recently said Mitchell had earned more opportunities. Meanwhile, the Browns have an excellent run defense. They have surrendered only two rushing touchdowns to running backs this season, the third-fewest in the NFL. However, Cleveland has struggled with limiting big plays. The Browns have allowed a 7.3% explosive run rate, the second-highest in the league (per Fantasy Points Data). Don’t be surprised if Mitchell breaks off a big run or two while Edwards is kept out of the end zone, leading to the rookie outscoring the veteran.

Unfortunately, Mitchell showed up on the injury report on Thursday with a hamstring injury. If the former East Carolina star can’t play this week, fantasy players can pivot to Justice Hill (20.2% rostered). While Edwards has clearly surpassed Hill in the backfield pecking order, the former Oklahoma State star is still the RB38 for the year, averaging 6.9 fantasy points per game. In the five games with at least seven rushing attempts, he has averaged 7.8 fantasy points per contest. If Mitchell can’t play, Hill will see an uptick in rushing attempts.

Jaleel McLaughlin (RB – DEN) vs. Buffalo Bills (22.5% Rostered)

After starting the year slow, Javonte Williams had an outstanding performance heading into the team’s bye week. The former UNC star had 30 touches for 98 scrimmage yards and 17.3 half-point PPR fantasy points in the Week 8 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately, McLaughlin’s role has diminished lately. Over the past three games, he has averaged seven touches for 42.3 scrimmage yards and 5.1 fantasy points per game. However, the rookie has been the better running back this season.

According to Fantasy Points Data, McLaughlin has a higher explosive run rate (10.5 vs. 6.7%), missed tackle forced per rushing attempt average (0.42 vs. 0.23), and yards after contact per attempt average (4.87 vs. 3.01) than Williams. Meanwhile, the Bills have surrendered 19.8 fantasy points per game to running backs, slightly above the league average. However, they have the fourth-highest explosive run rate allowed (6.1%) and the highest yards after contact allowed per rushing attempt average (3.46) in the NFL. Hopefully, McLaughlin sees enough touches to break off a big run and find the end zone Monday night.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – NE) vs. Indianapolis Colts (28.4% Rostered)

Not much has gone right in New England this season. While there is plenty of blame to go around, injuries have played a meaningful role in the team’s struggles. Kendrick Bourne suffered a torn ACL in Week 8, while DeVante Parker missed last week’s game with a concussion. Many were excited to see what Demario Douglas would do as the de facto No. 1 receiver for the Patriots last week. However, Smith-Schuster had more half-point PPR fantasy points than the rookie despite running 20 fewer routes (36 vs. 16).

Furthermore, the veteran led the team in receptions (six) and targets (seven) while finishing second to Douglas in receiving yards (55 vs. 51) last week in the team’s first game without Bourne. Meanwhile, Indianapolis has struggled to contain opposing wide receivers, giving up 27.4 fantasy points per game. They have surrendered over 215 receiving yards to the position in a third of their matchups this season. While Smith-Schuster won’t return to his former superstar form from his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the veteran should have a solid fantasy performance in Germany.

Kyle Philips (WR – TEN) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.3% Rostered)

Unfortunately, Philips has spent most of his career injured. However, the former UCLA star has been solid since the team’s Week 7 bye. The second-year receiver caught all three targets for 24 receiving yards in Week 8, scoring 3.9 half-point PPR fantasy points despite running only 13 routes. Last week, Philips ran 19 routes but finished second to DeAndre Hopkins in target per route run rate (32% vs. 26%) among qualifying Titans. More importantly, he led the team in receptions (four), receiving yards (68), and receiving first downs (five) against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Meanwhile, Tennessee won’t have Treylon Burks this week because of a concussion. More importantly, the Buccaneers have surrendered 35.7 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, the second-most in the NFL. They have given up at least 42.9 fantasy points to wide receivers in three of their past four games. Last week, Noah Brown ran 71% of his routes from the slot and scored 24.3 fantasy points against Tampa Bay. Philips has run 71.2% of his routes from the slot this season. While he won’t have 24 fantasy points, the second-year receiver should score double-digits.

Irv Smith Jr. (TE – CIN) vs. Houston Texans (4.7% Rostered)

Cincinnati has an offense loaded with star talent everywhere but the tight end position. Therefore, some thought the team could acquire a tight end before the NFL trade deadline. However, the Bengals stood pat and got Smith more involved in the passing game. Last week, the former Alabama star had three receptions on four targets for 26 receiving yards and a touchdown, scoring 10.1 half-point PPR fantasy points. Furthermore, he finished third on the team in first-read targets in Week 9, only behind Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins (per Fantasy Points Data).

However, Higgins won’t play this week because of a hamstring injury, while Chase could be limited with a back injury. Meanwhile, Houston has given up 12.5 fantasy points per game to tight ends, the third-most in the NFL. Over the past two weeks, they have surrendered three receiving touchdowns and 29.2 fantasy points to tight ends. Furthermore, Cade Otton scored both Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiving touchdowns against the Texans in Week 9. Fantasy players with Travis Kelce on a bye should feel confident starting Smith as a bye-week replacement.

Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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