Unless there are injuries, it gets more difficult to find under-the-radar fantasy football contributors as the season wears on. Of course, there are always more injuries as the season wears on, so it all comes down to who gets hurt and how serious the injury is. Latavius Murray has been battling an ankle injury for the past month, and Devonta Freeman has been taking advantage (even though fantasy owners have barely noticed); Jordan Howard has produced each of the past two games in Miles Sanders’ absence; and Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson both suffered head injuries on Sunday, opening the door for Brandon Bolden. Howard, Freeman, and Bolden should be among the top Week 10 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds even if none are particularly exciting.
Our full free agent list features more than just handcuff RBs. We also have some potential depth WR pickups (Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, Olamide Zaccheaus, Russell Gage, Tim Patrick) and a bunch of Week 10 streamer suggestions at QB, WR, TE, and D/ST, which you can find at the end of this list. Week 10’s list of teams on bye — Giants, Texans, Bears, and Bengals — doesn’t feature a ton of heavy fantasy hitters, but there are still several idle every-week starters. With plenty of key players still dealing with injuries, finding matchup-based sleepers will be important this week (and every week going forward).
MORE WEEK 10: Full waiver list
It’s tough to say on Sunday night whether any of these players will be worth a waivers claim, never mind a high one. Howard is the most likely to merit a claim, as he should see ample carries next week. However, Sanders is eligible to return in Week 11, so investing a high claim in Howard is risky. If one of the Patriots backups is slated to start (which we probably won’t know by Tuesday night), they’ll be worth claiming. We likely will have a decent idea if Murray will be back this week since Baltimore plays on Thursday night. Given the matchup, either Murray or Freeman will be worth a claim, but Freeman would only command a top-five claim if Murray is out.
This will likely be another “free agent” week for most owners, but if you’re desperate for an RB, you might find yourself spending the No. 1 or 2 claim on someone like Howard. That’s how it goes at this point in the season, so do what you need to do to get by.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 10
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Brandon Bolden, RB, Patriots. Damien Harris (head) exited early, and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, who was over 100 total yards on the day, also was knocked out of the game because of a head injury. That left Bolden as the only healthy back for the Pats in the fourth quarter last week. If Harris and Stevenson can’t get cleared in time for Week 10’s game against the Browns, Bolden would start and J.J. Taylor would back him up. It’s not a great matchup, but Bolden has proven he can be a solid producer, especially in PPR leagues, when given the chance. We saw that last week when Bolden had 81 total yards on just 10 touches. All starting RBs have upside, so Bolden has plenty of potential value. Stevenson would be a higher priority pickup if it looks like he’ll be healthy and Harris will be out.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Ravens. It’s unclear when Latavius Murray (ankle) will return, but either way, Freeman has some flex upside. The veteran back has scored in three straight games while being the nominal leader in Baltimore’s backfield. His 15 touches last week led the team, and even though the production was relatively modest (83 total yards), his touchdown made him worth playing. A highly favorable Thursday night matchup next week against Miami awaits, so Freeman might have some value even if Murray is back.
MORE WEEK 10: Full waiver list
Jordan Howard, RB, Eagles. Howard was the Eagles’ primary ball carrier early in Week 9. He didn’t play quite as much in the second half, but he finished with 71 rushing yards on a team-high 17 carries. He also found the end zone for the second straight week. The Eagles have made it a point to get their RBs involved while Miles Sanders (ankle) has been out, and Howard has taken advantage. It’s important to remember that the Lions and Chargers are highly favorable matchups — more so than Philadelphia’s Week 10 opponent, Denver — but Howard clearly has a lot of upside if he’s going to get even 13 touches. He’s much more valuable in standard leagues, but he could work in PPR thanks to his TD potential.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Browns. Only one Cleveland pass-catcher had more than two catches last week, which shows how low powered its passing game is. Nonetheless, with Odell Beckham Jr. out of the picture, someone will step up with additional targets and big-play opportunities. DPJ is the best bet, and he showed his standard-league upside with two catches, 86 yards, and a TD against the Bengals last week. It will be tough to count on Peoples-Jones in PPR leagues, especially next week against New England, but DPJ is still worth adding for future weeks.
Elijah Moore, WR, Jets. Moore caught seven-of-eight targets for 84 yards and two touchdowns on Thursday night, and while some of that performance can be chalked up to garbage time, the fact he did it with a second- and third-string quarterbacks still makes it impressive. He had that performance after drawing six targets in each of the two games prior, so it’s clear he’s becoming a bigger part of the offense. It’s worth noting Corey Davis (hip) missed the past two games, but it’s hard to imagine New York relegating Moore to spot duty based on what we’ve seen in recent weeks. He’ll be tough to trust against Buffalo next week, but he’s worth stashing for favorable matchups.
For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including more streaming options at every position, check out our full Week 10 list.