Fantasy Waiver Wire Week 10: Damien Harris injury could put Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel among top free agent pickups


AT some point in their fantasy football careers, most owners have vowed to avoid the Patriots backfield. You never know who's going to get the most carries in any given week, and random guys emerge out of nowhere all the time. With that in mind, we have not one but two Pats RBs (Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel) prominently featured on our list of the top Week 10 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Waste of time? Maybe, but after Damien Harris exited Monday's game early because of a chest injury, Burkhead and Michel join the list of handcuff/committee RBs who might have value next week and beyond (Duke Johnson, Kalen Ballage, Jordan Wilkins, Gus EdwardsWayne GallmanRyan NallCordarrelle Patterson). Not all will be worth waiver claims, but most will be picked up after waivers clear around 4-5 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning in Yahoo and ESPN leagues.

Our full free agent list features more than just mildly interesting RBs, though -- we also have plenty of mildly interesting WRs (Curtis SamuelJalen Reagor, Allen Lazard, Jakobi Meyers, Richie James, Nelson Agholor), as well as a few fully interesting TEs who should be back to full health this week (Jordan Reed, Austin Hooper). As always, we also have a host of Week 10 QB, TE, and D/ST streaming recommendations, which can be found at the end of this list. You can also find a new kicker or get ideas for baby names with the help of our Week 10 kicker rankings. (We like No. 11 the best, but No. 16 is good, too. Thumbs down on the poor spelling of No. 4.)

WEEK 10 FANTASY: Full waiver list | RB Handcuff Chart

Whether to use a high waiver claim this week depends on several factors. The health of backs like David Johnson (concussion), Damien Harris (chest), Justin Jackson (knee), Mark Ingram (ankle), and Devonta Freeman (ankle) could greatly affect whether Duke Johnson, Burkhead/Michel, Ballage, Edwards or Gallman are worth anything next week. From there, you need to determine how badly you need a running back, specifically in Week 10. The same can be said at WR, where guys like Reagor, Lazard, and Meyers, among others, could have rest-of-season staying power, but none are sure things. You'd have to be pretty WR-needy to use even a mid-tier waiver claim on any of them when there's bound to be at least a couple of similar receivers who will be available as free agents. 

Reed and Hooper might actually have the most long-term value of this group, as many fantasy teams are struggling at TE right now. Both could -- emphasis on "could" -- be TE1s the rest of the way, so if that's the one big hole on your roster, a middle-to-low waiver claim on one of them isn't out of the question.

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

Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 10

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

Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots. Burkhead was splitting carries with Damien Harris from the start on Monday, and he seemed to be the preferred option along the goal line, plunging in a one-yard touchdown in the third quarter. All told, he finished with 12 carries for 56 yards and added another 11 yards on three catches. We've seen Burkhead pop up for the random big game in the past -- remember his three-TD outburst in Week 3? -- so we're not sold on him taking over even if Harris (chest) is out next week against Baltimore. However, given his versatility and the Patriots ground-heavy attack, he makes for good bench depth, especially in PPR leagues.

Sony Michel, RB, Patriots. Remember him? Michel has been on the shelf since the start of Week 4 because of a quad injury and COVID issues, but he returned to practice last Thursday and figures to be activated soon. In three games this year, Michel was averaging 6.7 yards per carry, though he did almost all of his damage in the third game (nine carries, 117 yards) after struggling in Weeks 1 and 2. Either way, he figures to be a factor in this backfield even if Damien Harris (chest) is healthy, and if Harris misses time, Michel could easily jump to the top of the pecking order in one of the NFL's most run dominant offenses. Stash him now. 

WEEK 10 FANTASY: Top pickups | FAAB budget plannerBuy-low, sell-high

Jakobi Meyers, WR, Patriots. Meyers has clearly emerged as New England's top receiver over the past three games, and in Week 9, he set career highs in catches (12), targets (14), and yards (169). The week before, he caught six-of-10 targets for 58 yards. The 6-2, 200-pound Meyers doesn't fit the mold of Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola, but he's clearly the Pats most trusted possession receiver and will likely continue to be even when N'Keal Harry (concussion) returns. New England plays Baltimore next week, but games against the Texans, Cardinals, and Chargers after that could be very profitable for Meyers. He's a must-have in PPR leagues.

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

Breshad Perriman, WR, Jets. Perriman has battled injuries all year, but he returned from a concussion in Week 9 and caught a season-high five passes (eight targets) for 101 yards and two TDs. Fantasy owners might be remembering Perriman's torrid end to last season while in Tampa and think a repeat is coming, but before getting too excited, keep in mind that New York has a bye next week and Sam Darnold is probably worse for Perriman than Joe Flacco. Also, Jamison Crowder figures to be New York's top target, and rookie Denzel Mims (eight targets on Monday) will also be involved. Even so, Perriman has big-play ability and should see a decent amount of targets when he's on the field. Against the Cargers in Week 11, Raiders in Week 13, Seahawks in Week 14, and Browns in Week 16, that could pay off for fantasy owners. 

Austin Hooper, TE, Browns. Hooper had really been starting to come on before an emergency appendectomy landed him on the sidelines ahead of Week 7. In the three games prior, he caught 15-of-23 passes for 143 yards and a TD. He's slated to return this week in a favorable matchup against Houston, and given the Browns lack of top-flight receivers, he should continue to be prominently featured. With the TE position as thin as it's been all season, Hooper could be the missing piece for teams in need a tight end. 

For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including top RB pickups Duke Johnson, Kalen Ballage, and Gus Edwards and potential breakout WRs Jalen Reagor and Allen Lazard, check out our full Week 10 list.

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