Week 10 waiver wire: A pair of rookies carry league-winning potential

Steven Psihogios
·9 min read
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 08: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Miami Dolphins rookie star Tua Tagovailoa could help you win your league, proving why he was one of the best college prospects ever. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Forgotten, unwanted and possibly full of potential. No, I’m not describing myself, but this week’s available players on the waiver wire.

Some teams in your league may have been hit hard by the Week 9 bye week and were forced to drop some helpful talent to fill out their roster. Unluckily for them, you are going to swoop in and ruin their hopes of re-adding them to their lineup.

This is fantasy football, there are no friends in fantasy football.

Here are the top-10 players that are available in 50% of Yahoo fantasy football leagues or more this week.

WR Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles (24% rostered on Yahoo)

There are very few players available on the waiver wire that possess league-winning potential, but Reagor is clearly one of them. The 2020 first-round pick played his first game since returning from a thumb injury in Week 8 and produced encouraging results. He caught three of his six targets for 16 receiving yards and a touchdown while adding a two-point conversion. This Eagles team, WR Travis Fulgham aside, doesn’t have any playmakers at the receiver position. Reagor, who was dominant at Texas Christian University despite dealing with less-than-stellar QB play, can be the spark Philadelphia needs. Rookie wide receivers like CeeDee Lamb, Chase Claypool, Justin Jefferson, Jerry Jeudy, Brandon Aiyuk and Tee Higgins are near-weekly starters for fantasy managers, and it’s certainly possible for Reagor to have a similar impact.

And for those who missed it, his first game back against the Cowboys was so close to being even more productive.

WR Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns (24% rostered on Yahoo)

Come on fantasy football managers, we’ve got to have a little more patience than this. After one bad game for Higgins against the Las Vegas Raiders (3-1-14-0), he was dropped in 28% of Yahoo leagues. This is where context matters, though. During that Week 8 contest, it was reported that winds reached 50 miles-per-hour. Good luck doing anything, let alone throwing a football accurately, in that kind of wind.

With WR Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season, Higgins will remain a starter in Cleveland’s offence. The Browns may not have the best passing attack, as they’ve passed the ball the fourth-least frequently of any team in the NFL this season, but he’s going to be on the field for nearly every passing play. There are not too many players with that kind of opportunity. Higgins is a WR3 against the Houston Texans in Week 10.

RB J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (25% rostered on Yahoo)

If you need a running back, this week’s waiver wire is exceptionally bleak. McKissic is the best of a bad bunch, as he’ll likely see more passing game work with QB Alex Smith under centre. He led all RBs with 13 targets this past week, and he seems to have established a palatable floor in deeper leagues as his lowest fantasy point output since Week 2 is 5.30. If you have Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott or Clyde Edwards-Helaire on bye, McKissic can unimpressively fill the void. He’s a high-end RB3 in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions, who are allowing the most fantasy points to RB.

RB Duke Johnson, Houston Texans (17% rostered on Yahoo)

If RB David Johnson misses Week 10 with a concussion, Duke Johnson is a fine plug-and-play option for those desperate at RB. Duke Johnson didn’t do much on the ground, rushing 16 times for 41 yards and a score in Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he did add four receptions for 32 yards. Let’s be honest, the standard for running backs has been lowered significantly in fantasy football. Johnson will get the majority of the touches if David Johnson sits, and that’s enough to warrant an add.

RB Kalen Ballage, Los Angeles Chargers (2% rostered on Yahoo)

Chargers RB Justin Jackson injured his knee in Week 9 against the Las Vegas Raiders and didn’t record a touch during the contest. Surprisingly, the player who benefitted the most was Ballage. He rushed 15 times for 69 yards and a touchdown while snagging two receptions for 15 yards. It helps his case that rookie RB Joshua Kelley once again stumbled, rushing nine times for just 28 yards. If Jackson misses any amount of time, it’s fair to expect that Ballage will pace this backfield. A matchup against the Dolphins, who are allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to RB is on tap.

WR Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers (31% rostered on Yahoo)

Samuel has been heavily involved in the Panthers’ offense recently, leading all wide receivers in touches with 26 over the past three weeks. It seems head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady have figured out how to use the explosive talent. The team has been lining him up as a receiver and in the backfield, as he’s handled seven carries over the past three weeks. Samuel’s 0.46 fantasy points per touch are tied with WR Tyreek Hill for second-most amongst WRs since Week 7. He’s developing into a low-end WR2, although he has a matchup with the Buccaneers, who are surrendering the 10th-fewest fantasy points to WRs.

WR KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos (2% rostered on Yahoo)

Given the amount of time the Broncos have spent playing from behind these past two weeks, their passing attack has emerged as one of the best for fantasy football. Only Chicago Bears QB Nick Foles (93 pass attempts) has thrown the ball more than Denver QB Drew Lock (89 pass attempts) since Week 8. Hamler, who seems to have shaken off his early-season hamstring injury, has become more involved in the offense. He’s played over 50 offensive snaps in each of the team’s last two games and his 10 targets were second-most on the team against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9. He’s a high-end WR4 against the Raiders in Week 10 and has the speed and upside to be much more as he continues to acclimate to the NFL.

WR Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (21% rostered on Yahoo)

Similarly to his teammate Hamler, Patrick is worth adding in fantasy football. Since WR Courtland Sutton suffered his season-ending injury, Patrick has operated as the ‘X’ receiver in this offense when healthy. After missing Week 8 with a hamstring injury, Patrick returned to nine targets. Although he only turned them into four receptions for 29 yards, he was able to score a touchdown to salvage his day. He’s a mid-range WR3 against the Raiders.

WR Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts (7% rostered on Yahoo)

Tied for the team lead in targets for Week 9, Pittman Jr. corralled four receptions for 56 yards, which was the highest output on the team. Pittman Jr. is a tantalizing prospect, as he couples his 6-foot-4, 223 lbs., frame with impressive speed for his size, recording a 4.52-second 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. Veteran WR T.Y. Hilton may not be ready to suit up on Thursday Night Football for Week 10, which would continue to vacate some targets for Pittman Jr. and boost his appeal. The 2020 second-round pick’s matchup against the Tennessee Titans is much friendlier than Week 9’s battle against the Baltimore Ravens’s secondary. He’s a WR4 for if Hilton sits this one out.

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (25% rostered on Yahoo)

After an underwhelming debut against a tough Los Angeles Rams defense in Week 8, there was some overreaction regarding Tagovailoa as a prospect.

Really, after one game?

Well, Tagovailoa stymied “edgy” talk show hosts in Week 9, matching QB Kyler Murray stride-for-stride, and ultimately besting the 2019 first-overall pick. He completed 20 of his 28 passes for 248 passing yards and two scores while throwing zero interceptions. He gets a juicy fantasy matchup in the Chargers for Week 10, as Los Angeles is surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points to QB in 2020. He’s a high-end QB2, and someone worth stashing on your bench if you’ve been streaming the position.

WR Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots (14% rostered on Yahoo)

With the Patriots struggling to find playmakers on offense, Meyers stepped up against a poor Jets defense. The 24-year-old was QB Cam Newton’s favourite target, as he saw 14 targets, catching 12 for 169 receiving yards. It’s worth mentioning again that it was against the Jets, but we’ll find out if he’s for real in Week 10 as he battles the vaunted Ravens secondary. He’s a low-end WR3 in that matchup.

DST Stream of the Week: Green Bay Packers (38% rostered on Yahoo)

The Jets are on bye this week, which makes the QB Jake Luton-led Jaguars the offense to pick on in fantasy football. I have to give Luton some credit, he took advantage of a good matchup in the Texans last week, throwing for over 300 yards while adding one touchdown and one interception. The Packers haven’t been as kind as Houston to opposing passers, as Green Bay is allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to this position this season, If CB Jaire Alexander (concussion) is able to play, it’ll be very tough for Luton and the rest of the Jacksonville passing attack to mustre much offense.

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