With trade deadlines having passed in many fantasy football leagues, the waiver wire the only way most owners can improve their teams. That should lead to increased competition for pickups in Week 10 even though this week's crop of top adds isn't particularly appealing. Handcuff/committee running backs like Duke Johnson, Jordan Wilkins, and Kalen Ballage lead the way, but plenty of interesting pass-catchers (Curtis Samuel, Jakobi Meyers, Austin Hooper) are also on the radar. If even a couple owners have an excess of FAAB budget burning holes in their pockets, we could see some bidding wars. If you get left out, that means you'll have to rely on the free agent wire, which will be even more picked over.
As we'll do every week this season, let's break down the top pickups and project how much of your FAAB budget you should bid on them. Keep in mind, if you have excess money and are in desperate need at a certain position (especially if you're on the playoff bubble), you should be willing to go over the projected bid amounts.
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Week 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire QB pickups
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA). Tua attempted just 28 passes in his first road start, but he threw for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also added 30-plus yards on the ground. If you play in a deeper league and haven’t had good quarterback play all year, then Tua is a must-add for you. He gets a fantastic matchup this week against the Chargers, who seem to let all their opponents put points on the board. I’m looking at Tua to possibly eclipse 300 passing yards for the first time in his career Sunday, especially if Joey Bosa is out again for Los Angeles. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10%
Derek Carr (LV)/Drew Lock (DEN). Choose your adventure! These two face off against each other this week, and they’re both in play. Carr has been a pretty popular waiver recommendation, but the fantasy production hasn’t been great the past few games. He’s definitely taken on more of a “game manager” role lately with just 47 pass attempts over his past two games, but overall he hasn’t been terrible. Lock is a quarterback who has been throwing it down field more and more. Once we get passed the fact that Denver runs a pretty conservative offense to start, they open things up more as the game progresses. Either that, or they fall behind and are forced to throw more. Lock is coming off his first 300-yard performance this year, and he’s attempted 40-plus passes in three straight games. Lock may have the higher ceiling than Carr, and he’s easily more available, as well. Proj. FAAB Bids: 6-7%
Week 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire RB pickups
Duke Johnson (HOU). It really comes down to how much you want to spend on a potential one-week rental, but Duke is going to be heavily targeted this week. David Johnson left Sunday’s game after being evaluated for a concussion, and Duke stepped in and received just about every meaningful running back touch. He returned about 17 points in PPR formats on 20 touches, so, naturally, if David is going to miss time then we have ourselves a logical waiver target here. Once DJ left the game, Duke saw 52-of-64 snaps and lined up as a receiver on eight plays, as well. You can’t argue against the potential workload. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-13%
Jordan Wilkins (IND). I know there are many in the fantasy community who are concerned about Jonathan Taylor. I’m not as optimistic as I was a week ago, but I also don’t think the sky is falling. Taylor’s ball security issues may cost him touches, but I do believe they want to keep going back to him. He lost work to Wilkins on Sunday, but Wilkins didn’t do much with it (39 yards on 11 carries in a tough matchup). But if Wilkins is going to be receiving double-digit touches per game, then that warrants a roster spot. I don’t know if I want to trust Wilkins on a short week against Tennessee, but perhaps your more desperate than I am. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12%
J.D. McKissic (WFT). If you didn’t have Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey in your lineup this past week, there was a good chance you were frustrated with the performance(s) of your running back(s). However, McKissic went out there and had himself quite the day. Getting 14 targets will certainly help, and he caught nine passes for 65 yards and finished with over 17 PPR points as the third-best running back in PPR formats last week. I don’t think this is necessarily a trend for Washington, though. Alex Smith and McKissic seemingly had a connection going in this game, but the game script required them to throw more, and Smith didn’t really go deep too much. The other thing we like about McKissic is that he is the third-down guy. Antonio Gibson only has a touch or two on third down, so that's a plus for McKissic. The Giants gave him the short passes underneath, and Smith took advantage. With the Lions, Bengals, and Cowboys on tap, I still believe those matchups cater more to Antonio Gibson, but with Smith under center I do think McKissic gets a little extra work. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12%
Wayne Gallman (NYG). Say what you will about the Giants, but with Devonta Freeman (ankle) out, Gallman has managed to find the end zone in three straight games now. He’s been getting 13-15 touches per game in that span, as well, and that’s borderline RB2 territory if examining strictly the workload. Gallman has a tough matchup this week as the Giants are hosting Philadelphia, who are coming off their bye. Philly is allowing nearly a touchdown per game to running backs, but the yardage will be hard to come by. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10%
Kalen Ballage (LAC). I can’t believe it’s actually come to this, but Ballage is worth an add in deeper leagues. It is a nice story after he was turned into a joke by Adam Gase, but Ballage is coming off a good enough game where he found the end zone and looked pretty good at times. It was a little surprising that Joshua Kelley didn’t get more work. Plus, we need to keep in mind that Austin Ekeler (hamstring) will be coming back in the not-too-distant-future. Keep in mind Troymaine Pope didn’t play in this game either, so once Justin Jackson (knee) went down, the Bolts were left with just Ballage and Kelley to run the ball. Don’t go crazy with this bid, as Los Angeles has to dance with Miami this week and they just held Chase Edmonds to 70 yards on 25 carries. Proj. FAAB Bid: 4-6%
Week 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire WR pickups
Curtis Samuel (CAR). If Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) does have to miss a game or two, I really like how this shapes up for Samuel. Sure, it means Mike Davis primarily gets more work, but Samuel was a receiver the Panthers were gladly letting run the ball a couple times each game, as well. He has 22 carries through eight games, and he’s found the end zone four times over his past three games. He’s also caught 19-of-20 targets over that span. He’s getting a heavier workload than D.J. Moore, which is a tough pill to swallow, but Carolina is getting creative in how they involve Samuel. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-13%
Jakobi Meyers (NE). With the Patriots lacking a few weapons on offense, Meyers turned out to be their top receiving option Monday night against the Jets. For the second straight week he saw double-digit targets and turned them into a dozen catches for 169 yards. Now, it was against the Jets of all teams, so don’t expect that kind of production next week against Baltimore. However, we should expect elevated targets, which makes him worth a grab off waivers. Remember, don’t chase last week’s production in fantasy. We should be looking at opportunity, and that is certainly there for Meyers going forward. On the Jets side of the ball, Breshad Perriman had a huge night with two touchdowns. He’s not as much of a necessity as Meyers since the Jets are on bye next week, but he’s worth monitoring for possibly next week’s waivers. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
K.J. Hamler and Tim Patrick (DEN). By all means, if Jerry Jeudy is out there, he is absolutely the priority target over Hamler and Patrick. But we saw a mini-breakout game from Hamler, while Jeudy will get all the accolades from this performance. Hamler caught six-of-10 targets for 75 yards and now faces the Raiders, who aren’t exactly great at stopping wide receivers. While most of the attention will be directed to Jeudy and Noah Fant going forward, Hamler is a nice under-the-radar receiving option each week as long as the targets are there for him. For Patrick, he actually had himself a fine day. He caught just four passes, but he did see nine targets and he found the end zone. Patrick is the better red-zone target, while Hamler is better for volume and moving the ball between the 20s. Hamler is 5-9 and Patrick is 6-4. Pick your poison. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Nelson Agholor (LV). This guy just seems to find the end zone each week. He’s scored in four of his past five games and the upcoming schedule doesn’t seem too awful for him either. Next week the Raiders host the Broncos, then the Chiefs in Week 11, followed by the Falcons and Jets. Do any of those teams scare you from a fantasy perspective? The matchups are either inviting or the game script will call for more passing. And we already saw the Raiders drop 40 points on Kansas City earlier in the year where Agholor found the end zone. The targets will fluctuate, but with my faith in Henry Ruggs essentially gone this year, I’m investing a little more in Agholor. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Darnell Mooney (CHI). I know he plays for the Bears, but the targets have been there for him. He’s available in over 80 percent of leagues, has seven straight games with at least five targets, and is coming off a game against Tennessee where 11 targets were thrown his way. He didn’t manage to do too much with them, but Mooney gets a very good matchup this week against Minnesota, who give up the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Danny Amendola (DET). Amendola is one of those guys that is eternally on the waiver wire. The ownership never budges to the point where he no longer qualifies, so he’ll always have some PPR appeal. I was brave enough to use him in my cash lineup in DFS last week and was pretty relieved that it paid off. He reeled in seven catches on 10 targets for 77 yards. He now has three straight games with at least 50 receiving yards. That’s not great by most metrics, but with Kenny Golladay (hip) possibly out, the Lions have to get creative with how they distribute the ball. Marvin Jones Jr. saw just four targets, but found the end zone. T.J. Hockenson saw eight targets and scored, as well, but it was Amendola who saw the most targets. Amendola’s stock takes a slight hit if Matthew Stafford has to miss time with a concussion, but it’s possible this veteran wideout is in line for extra targets in Week 10 against Washington. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Week 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire TE pickups
Austin Hooper (CLE). Hooper is the best option at tight end if Dallas Goedert isn't available in your league. Prior to his appendectomy, he had 23 targets over his previous three games catching five passes in each contest over that span. Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) is out for the year, so this should lead to Hooper being a steady option in Cleveland’s offense. Kevin Stefanski has already said he expects Hooper to return this week, which we should believe since Hooper was looking better at practice last week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-13%
Jordan Reed (SF). It’s not the prettiest offense right now, but Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers will probably still keep their tight ends involved. This bodes well for Reed and Ross Dwelley. The 49ers have been hit with a barrage of injuries on both sides of the ball, and remember, Reed is no stranger to injuries or concussions. But he’s looked good at times filling in for George Kittle (foot), who may not return until Week 16 or 17 if he even does come back. I’d much rather target Goedert or Hooper if they’re available, but Reed should be on your radar in deeper leagues. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Logan Thomas (WFT). With Kyle Allen (ankle) done for the year, Alex Smith has been named the starting quarterback for Washington. Thomas’ job as a tight end is relatively safe, and with Smith under center I still think he could see five-to-six targets per game. Smith may not go as deep as Allen did, but there’s still work for Terry McLaurin and Thomas. Either way, Thomas is a good enough tight end you can get on the cheap. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5%
Week 10 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire D/ST pickups
New Orleans Saints. The Saints put together one hell of a performance on both sides of the ball Sunday night. The defense returned 16 fantasy points against a very good offense and forced three interceptions after coming into this game with only four. The pass rush was also looking good, so congratulations if you were brave enough to start this defense. In Week 10 they’ll host the 49ers. San Francisco’s injuries, COVID-19 circumstances, and disappointing season are well documented. We can look to stream the Saints with confidence this week.
Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles were dropped in about 30 percent of leagues heading into their bye, but now they're getting set to face the Giants. The game actually opened with the over/under sitting at 40.5, but that’s been bet up to 44 as of Tuesday morning. Given the higher scores we’ve seen this year, that’s not a surprising trend, but we’re still looking at one of the lower expected scoring totals on the slate. Prior to their bye week, the Eagles defense had allowed just 30 points to their past two opponents, and they forced seven sacks and six turnovers over those two games, as well.
Miami Dolphins. I’m a little weary that maybe this is the week the Dolphins come back down to Earth. They’ve had the ability to return double-digit fantasy points, as we saw against the Rams when they came into town a couple weeks ago. This time, Miami will host the other Los Angeles team, and Justin Herbert is averaging 300 passing yards and three total touchdowns per game. But Miami’s secondary has stepped up lately, and this defense is finally playing to Brian Flores’ expectations. They may be worth taking a shot on in deeper leagues.
Tennessee Titans. I’m curious to see if this D/ST is real or if Sunday’s performance was just a flash in the pan. They did play the Bears, but if there were ever a follow-up performance in store for Tennessee it would come against Indianapolis at home on a short week. The Titans traded for Desmond King, who scored a touchdown in his debut with the team, and this is typically a defense that we’ve seen get progressively better as the season goes on under Mike Vrabel. Perhaps they’re now starting to turn the corner. Tennessee is favored by less than a field goal, and the over/under has been getting bet down.
Proj. FAAB Bids: <1%