Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 10

Just like last week, under-the-radar RBs lead our list of the top Week 10 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Some notable new injuries (Justin Jackson, David Johnson, David Montgomery) opened the door for a few running backs (Kalen Ballage, Duke Johnson, Ryan Nall), while other backs took advantage of existing injuries or other issues (Jordan Wilkins, Gus Edwards, Wayne Gallman, Jordan Howard) to post decent stats. While none are overly exciting, all could have value in future weeks and should be on the radars of fantasy owners.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Our full free agent list is a bit light this week, as only a handful of pass-catchers (Tim Patrick, David Moore, Nelson Agholor, Jimmy Graham, Irv Smith Jr.) had notable games, and there were thankfully few other big injuries. We still have our usual Week 10 streaming recommendations at QB, TE, and D/ST, which can be found at the end of this list.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

As has been the case the past few weeks, the decision whether to use a high waiver claim comes down to how badly you need a running back or maybe a tight end. Guys like Ballage, Johnson, Edwards, and Gallman might have no more than one week of usefulness (if that), so unless you’re desperate in Week 10, it’s probably best to hold back a high claim and see if a bigger injury happens in the coming weeks. All of those RBs are worth middle and low waiver claims, but you don’t need to reach for them if you’re set at RB (or unless you’re playing defense against your Week 10 opponent).  —  Matt Lutovsky

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.

  • David Johnson exited Week 9’s game because of a concussion, and Duke took over the Texans’ backfield, running 16 times for 41 yards and a score and adding another 32 yards on four catches (four targets). It’s possible if David is out next week against the Browns, Houston will have another running back handle more carries, but Duke would still get the bulk of the backfield touches. That makes him a solid standard-league start and a virtual must-play in PPR leagues. — Matt Lutovsky

  • Ballage took advantage of an early injury to Justin Jackson (knee) in Week 9, leading the Chargers in carries (15) andrushing yards (69) and scoring a TD. He also had two catches for 15 yards. Ballage wasone of the worst backs in the league last year with the Dolphins, averaging just 1.8 yards per carry on 74 rushes, but clearly something was working for him in his Chargers debut. It’s unclear how serious Jackson’s injury is or when Austin Ekeler (hamstring) will be back, but Ballage figures to continue to see significant carries while both are out. That could mean good things againsat the Dolphins and Jets in the coming week weeks. —ML

  • Edwards had a tough day in Week 9, averaging just 2.1 yards per carry against a tough Colts run defense, but he still carried 11 times, just one fewer than JK Dobbins (30 yards), and operated as Baltimore’s goal-line back again, punching in a one-yard touchdown. If Mark Ingram (ankle) is out again next week, Edwards would be in line for around a dozen touches in a more favorable matchup against New England’s mediocre run defense. —ML

  • Wilkins managed just 39 yards on 11 carries against the Ravens, but he was Indianapolis’s primary running back after Jonathan Taylor’s first-half fumble. Taylor saw just one more carry the rest of the game, and given his fumbling history, he could remain in the doghouse for a while. Wilkins was already eating into Taylor’s workload, so he could be useful next week in a favorable matchup against the Titans. If he performs well, he could be a flex back most weeks going forward. —ML

  • Gallman continued to work as the lead back for the Giants with Devonta Freeman (ankle) out. Against Washington, he handled 14 carries and turned them into 68 yards and a TD. It marked his third straight game with a TD, and even if Freeman does return in the future, Gallman may retain a role as a goal-line back given how well he has played in that area. He’s worth owning and should be a volume-based RB2 against the Eagles in Week 10 and could be a top-20 play if he’s still the starter when the Giants face the Bengals in Week 11. —Jacob Camenker

  • It was assumed that the return of Christian McCaffrey would lead to a downtick in opportunities for Samuel. Instead, he emerged as one of Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite receiving targets in Week 9. Samuel finished the day with nine targets — third on the team behind Robby Anderson (13) and McCaffrey (10) — 105 yards, and a TD. He also had three touches as a runner and generated 13 yards there. It seems that Bridgewater will continue to look to get Samuel the ball with teams still focused on Anderson and D.J. Moore, so Samuel can be trusted in Week 10 as a flex against the Bucs and a potential WR3 against the Lions and Vikings in more favorable matchups in the following weeks. —JC

  • Shepard is just a hair over 50 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, but it should be much more than that. Shepard has emerged as one of Daniel Jones’ favorite targets, and he has averaged 8.7 targets per game since returning from a toe injury that held him out for about a month. Shepard has a high floor, especially in PPR, because of the targets he receives, and he should be a WR3 the next few weeks against the Eagles, Bengals, and Seahawks secondaries. —JC

  • Reagor (thumb) returned to action in Week 8 before being on bye in Week 9. He played a prominent role in the Eagles’ offense and racked up six targets against the Cowboys. He only had three catches for 16 yards and a TD, but he also ran for six yards and caught a two-point conversion pass. He should be a primary threat on the outside for the Eagles and could be a WR3/flex play with the Eagles facing a favorable schedule that should encourage passing (Giants, Browns, Seahawks, and Packers the next four weeks). —JC

  • Lazard (core) didn’t play in the Packers’ Week 9 game, but he’s set to return from IR soon. It will likely come this week in a favorable matchup against the Jaguars. Considering that he had six catches for 146 yards and a TD in his last game, he needs to be added. —JC

  • During the first half of the season, Brown averaged 11.2 touches per game for just a shade under 50 yards. He should continue to split time in the Rams backfield with Darrell Henderson and though the rotation has been unpredictable, Brown seems to be the one constant piece of it. The Rams have a few tough game against the Seahawks, Bucs, and Cardinals upcoming, but Brown needs to be owned regardless as he could eventually re-emerge as the lead back in that backfield. It should also be noted Darrell Henderson suffered a thigh injury in Week 8, and even though he’s expected to be fine for Week 10, it’s something to monitor. —JC

  • David Montgomery exited the Bears’ loss to the Titans with an unknown injury late and he didn’t return. If Montgomery has to miss time, the Bears only have two RBs on their roster. One of them is Patterson, who has been on the field quite a bit this season. He saw seven touches for the Bears against the Titans and totaled 40 yards. The converted receiver could be a nice option in PPR leagues if Montgomery has to miss time. The Bears are playing the Vikings, Packers, and Lions the next three weeks, and none of those teams are good against the run. —JC

  • The other Bears RB to consider if David Montgomery is out is Nall. The Oregon State product is the only other true RB on the roster, and he came in to replace Montgomery late and was able to catch four passes for 35 yards and a TD. His production came in garbage time, but he will still have TD potential as he profiles as more of a goal-line back than his teammate Patterson. And again, the Bears are playing the Vikings, Packers, and Lions in the next three weeks, so if Montgomery misses time, Nall could generate some yardage against those weaker defenses. —JC

  • Patrick returned to form in his first game back from a hamstring injury that kept him out for a couple of weeks. Against the Falcons, he totaled four catches for 29 yards and a TD while seeing nine targets, good for the third most on the team. Patrick should continue to be one of Drew Lock’s favorite targets, and with a favorable matchup against the Raiders upcoming, Patrick can be started as a flex with high TD upside. —JC

  • Mooney stats against the Titans don’t exactly jump off the page. He racked up 43 yards on five catches. So, why should you pick him up? He led the team with 11 targets and continues to have opportunities to make plays deep. Nick Foles just doesn’t always hit him when he is open, but he should have a chance to hit Mooney for a long TD next week against a Vikings team that has struggled badly against WRs for most of the season. —JC

  • Another week, another Agholor TD. In four of his past five games, Agholor has reeled in a touchdown, including his 45-yard score against the Chargers. The only game he didn’t notch one in was a brutally windy and rainy day in Cleveland. Agholor is a boom-or-bust option, but he can be trusted in good matchups moving forward. The Raiders are playing the banged-up Broncos, Chiefs, and Falcons in the next few weeks, so Agholor can be used as a flex in those contests. —JC

  • Moore may not be the most inspiring name, but the Seahawks’ No. 3 receiver has been quite productive this year. He is coming off a game where he saw six targets (fourth most on the team) and caught four passes for 71 yards and a TD. He’s now scored in back-to-back games. He may be more of a boom-or-bust deep threat, but with the Seahawks having some favorable opponents down the stretch — Eagles (Week 12), Giants (Week 13), Jets (Week 14) — he could be a sneaky-good pickup. —JC

  • With the 49ers’ top three receivers and top tight end out on Thursday night, James took advantage of the opportunity handed to him. He managed to rack up nine catches for a whopping 184 yards and a TD on 13 targets. He was explosive and consistently found open space against the Packers defense. It’s unclear what role James will play with the 49ers moving forward with most of their weapons set to return from the COVID list soon, but if Deebo Samuel (hamstring) misses another game, perhaps James will get more opportunities to produce after the big numbers he put up and the rapport he showed with Nick Mullens. —JC

  • Ezekiel Elliott doubled up Pollard’s carries against the Steelers, but it was Pollard who outgained Elliott 57-51 on the ground during the game. Pollard is an explosive athlete, and if Elliott, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, ever has to miss time, Pollard would instantly be an RB2. He’s a top-tier handcuff with some flex appeal. If you’re a Zeke owner, you have to get Pollard just to be safe. —JC

  • As long as Myles Gaskin (knee) is out, the Dolphins RB spot is going to be unpredictable. That said, Breida is probably the best option on the roster, as he has averaged 4.9 yards per carry during his career and probably is the most explosive RB option on the roster. Of course, Breida is dealing with a hamstring injury, so it’s hard to know when he’ll play, but he’s still worth having around since he’ll be a high-end flex if he is active. You could also make a case for Jordan Howard as a TD-dependent option or for Salvon Ahmed, who led the Dolphins in rushing against the Cardinals with 38 yards, but Breida’s upside is higher and thus, he is the top Dolphins back to target if you choose to go after one. —JC

  • Kalen Ballage isn’t the only Chargers back to pick up. Kelley racked up 14 touches against the Raiders and was able to total 59 yards. He was used more as a receiver than Ballage, and depending on how Justin Jackson (knee) is doing, Kelley could take over as the primary receiving option at RB. The Chargers are playing each AFC East team the next four weeks (Dolphins, Jets, Bills, Patriots), so as long as Kelley is getting touches, he will have a chance to put up some decent numbers. —JC

  • McKissic continues to be one of the favored receiving options for the Washington Football Team. Against the Giants, McKissic saw a team-high 14 targets and caught nine passes for 65 yards. He won’t do a lot on the ground, as that’s mostly Antonio Gibson’s terrain, but in PPR leagues, McKissic can be a legitimate RB2 if he keeps seeing this receiving volume. He should do just that with Alex Smith set to start over Kyle Allen (ankle), and with a favorable matchup upcoming against a Lions defense that cannot stop running backs at all. —JC

  • Who would’ve thought that in 2020, Alfred Morris would still be fantasy-relevant? Morris has served as the complement to Wayne Gallman with Devonta Freeman (ankle) sidelined and against Washington on Sunday, Morris gashed his former team for 67 yards on nine carries. He should continue to have opportunities to tote the rock behind Gallman and with games against the Eagles and Bengals upcoming, Morris should be owned as a flex play with upside. —JC

  • Booker ate into Josh Jacobs’ workload a bit against the Chargers in Week 9. Jacobs still led the Raiders backfield in carries (14), but Booker had eight of his own and gained 68 yards and a TD. Booker looks like the top handcuff for the Raiders, and if he continues to get action, he could be a decent flex option against weaker defenses. Either way, if you’re a Jacobs owner and you’re worried about him losing some carries amid his recent injury (knee) and illness issues, feel free to scoop up Booker since he looked so good. —JC

  • The Texans have had their share of trouble against the TE position this year. They had been allowing the 10th-most FPPG to the position before Tyler Eifert racked up four catches for a season-high 48 yards against them while playing with a rookie quarterback. Hooper, now healthy after emergency surgery to remove his appendix a couple of weeks ago, should be ready to post big numbers against Houston coming off a bye. —JC

  • Reed only played 13 snaps on Thursday Night Football in Week 9, but the 49ers were just trying to protect him as the veteran came off IR. He had two targets on those 13 snaps and should only see his role increase as he gets healthier. At the very least, Reed has sky-high upside against the Saints in Week 10, as the Saints have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to TEs this season (11). —JC

  • Graham pretty consistently has gotten targets from Nick Foles, and that continued against the Titans. He saw six on the day and caught all six of them for 55 yards and a TD. Graham may not always produce on his targets, but he has the opportunity. There aren’t many TEs you can say that about across the NFL. —JC

  • Irv Smith Jr. had just two catches against the Lions in Week 9, but they both went for TDs. Given how thin tight end is, it may be worth adding Smith if you’re weak at the position. The Vikings will skew run-heavy in the red zone, but that could lead to more opportunities for Smith off play-action if he’s out there as a blocker. —JC

  • Burton has at least four targets in every game this season and has played a role as a red-zone runner for the Colts in recent weeks. He had a tough game against a very good Ravens defense in Week 9, but he should have a better chance to succeed against a Titans defense that just allowed 55 yards and a TD to Jimmy Graham.–JC

  • In five games prior to a rain-soaked Week 8 dud, Carr had averaged 297.4 yards and 2.4 TDs per game. Then, in Week 9 against the Chargers, he had just 165 passing yards but still had two TDs on the day. Carr will get a chance to continue his hot streak against the Broncos, who had allowed the 10th-most FPPG to QBs entering Week 9. —JC

  • The Texans just allowed 300-plus passing yards and a two TDs (one passing, one rushing) to sixth-round rookie Jake Luton and had allowed the ninth-most FPPG to QBs this season before their game against the Jaguars. Mayfield is coming off a clunker against the Raiders, but that came in a massive rain/wind storm. Excluding that game, Mayfield has logged multiple TDs in five of his last six outings. He should be a solid streamer even without Odell Beckham Jr. at his disposal (assuming he clears all COVID protocols next week). —JC

  • After a mediocre first start at the NFL level, Tagovailoa found a lot more success against the Cardinals and their weaker defense. He totaled 248 passing yards and two TDs, and he showed off his mobility with 35 yards on the ground. Now, Tua gets to take on a Chargers defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to QBs. He’s a high-end streamer and he should only get better the more he plays. —JC

  • Lock has had his share of issues this season, but his performance the last two weeks from a fantasy standpoint has been solid. He has averaged about 280 passing yards and three TDs in his past two games, and while a lot of his production has come in garbage time, it still counts for fantasy purposes. Lock gets to take on a weak Raiders defense in Week 10, so he can be trusted as a streamer for at least one more week. —JC

  • The Eagles have seen their ownership dip below 44 percent during their bye week, but coming out of it, they get to take on the Giants. The Eagles forced two Daniel Jones turnovers and sacked the quarterback three times the last time these squads faced off and with a week off to prepare, they should have chance to do damage against a weak Giants offense one again. —JC

  • The Packers defense just put the hammer down on Nick Mullens and the 49ers. They forced two turnovers, added a sack, and limited the 49ers to three points before garbage time in the fourth quarter. The Packers should have an equally high ceiling against a Jaguars offense that may once again be led by Jake Luton, a sixth-round rookie who logged a pick, a fumble, and was sacked twice in his starting debut against the Texans. — JC

  • Washington was averaging 3.1 sacks per game heading into Week 9, good for the sixth most in the NFL. The Lions have let Matthew Stafford be sacked three or more times in a game four time this year, and he left Week 9 early because of concussion worries. Washington has a strong defense and a high sack floor, so they can be trusted against a Lions offense that will be missing No. 1 WR Kenny Golladay (hip). —JC

  • The Bears are bottom six in scoring offense and total yardage this year. The Vikings haven’t been inspiring on defense and their cornerback group has been weak, but they should have a chance to contain the Bears. —JC



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