The Waiver Wire Roundup
Week 10 of the NFL season just wrapped up, and if you're a Fantasy Football player that means you're scanning the waiver wire for players to help take your team to the next level. Fortunately, I've already done that for you. Each week I will be listing players owned in less than 50% of Fantasy Football leagues that can help turn your team into a Championship contender. Unfortunately the weather dictated a lot of game-script this past week, so let's hope the forecasts don't change this week.
Jameis Winston (3% owned)
With Drew Brees expected to miss a couple of weeks with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, Winston becomes the pickup of the week. In an offense where just about any QB could succeed, Winston is in a prime position to replicate what Teddy Bridgewater did last year; which ended up netting him a nice contract with the Carolina Panthers. With Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Cook, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara to throw to, anything less than a QB1 status would mean that Winston is no longer a viable QB in the league.
Salvon Ahmed (8% owned)
With Matt Breida and Myles Gaskin out, it was Ahmed who ended up leading the Miami backfield in back-to-back weeks. On Sunday he led all Miami RBs with 21 rushes for 85 yards and a TD. Ahmed was also the only Dolphins' RB who ran a route in that game as well. Ahmed has carved out a role for himself, and even if Breida is able to return this week, there's a high probability that the former is kept with a significant role. Ahmed isn't a reliable play for the ROS, but as long as Myles Gaskin is out he's a borderline RB2 and a decent FLEX play.
Rex Burkhead (24% owned)
As a player who should be owned in more rosters than this, Burkhead has shown he has HC Bill Belichick's trust. He's essentially supplanted James White as the pass-catching RB, and given how bad the Patriots have been he's been utilized often. Surprisingly, it's been Burkhead who's gotten a lionshare of the snaps in the RZ as well. Scoring in consecutive weeks, Burkhead has a plus matchup against the Texans who have let RBs score at will. He'll be a FLEX play this week.
Carlos Hyde (11% owned)
HC Pete Carroll has suggested Hyde will return to the lineup this week, and if he does you can expect him to be the Seahawks' RB to carry the load until Chris Carson returns from injury. In his lone game this year as the lead RB, Hyde put up 68 yards and a TD while catching three of four passes. That was against the Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks opponent this Thursday? Also, the Arizona Cardinals. If what Carroll says is true and Hyde is able to go, he's a safe RB2 play in a big matchup between divisional rivals.
Kalen Ballage (20% owned) I never thought Kalen Ballage would find his way into one of these articles, but here we are. Anthony Lynn has called upon the former Dolphins/Jets' RB to lead his backfield while Justin Jackson and Austin Ekeler are out with injury. Somehow ballage has supplanted Joshua Kelley despite being an absolute sieve in pass protection. He's been used as a workhorse in the Chargers' system, and runs an alarming amount of routes making him absolutely fantasy relevant. He faces Adam Gase and the Jets this week, a team who released him earlier in the season. This is a juicy matchup and revenge game for him where he will find himself as a safe RB2 play.
Michael Pittman Jr (10% owned)
It's taken some time, but Frank Reich and the Colts have finally started to gameplan for the rookie WR. He's had back-to-back weeks with at least 7 targets, and has been involved in the running game as well. This week the Colts face the Packers where TY Hilton will be covered by Jaire Alexander, which means Pittman has the ability to once again breakout. With a very friendly schedule coming up, Pittman can provide some excellent value going forward and should be a WR4/5 for the rest of the season.
Sammy Watkins (38% owned)
After an extended layoff, Sammy Watkins finally is expected to make his return to the lineup after the Chiefs' bye week. In an air raid offense, Watkins is expected to have big value as the solid #2 WR for the Chiefs offense. Prior to his injury, Watkins was averaging a hair under six targets per game and managed to score in two contests. The rest of the season is friendly for the Chiefs and their passing attack, which allows Watkins to be a boom/bust WR3 play for the ROS.
Jakeem Grant (5% owned)
Jakeem Grant has made himself relevant in recent weeks, and with WR Preston Williams out for an extended period of time is moreso than ever. Grant is the sole starting WR who's familiar with Tua dating to practice where both were on the 2nd team. In the first game of Williams' absence, Grant scored a TD while hauling in four of five targets for 43 yards. He's managed to score in 2 of the last 3 weeks, and has a great schedule for the next three weeks. Presuming Preston comes back after that, Grant can provide some lift as a WR4 during this time.
Josh Reynolds (5% owned)
Reynolds has been coming on as of late, without injury to Cooper Kupp or Robert Woods. In the last three weeks he's ran more routes than them as well, and on Sunday was the most targeted WR by QB Jared Goff. Reynolds is trending upwards and at this point it's getting hard to ignore. He's now scored over 12 points in PPR formats in 3 of the last 4 weeks, while having at least 8 targets as well. He's scored twice over that time and seems to benefit from defenses having to focus on Kupp and Woods. He's a solid WR3 for the ROS regardless of matchup, until proven otherwise.
Willie Snead IV (1% owned)
While the Ravens offense can't support more than two pass-catchers, it's safe to say that Snead has much more upside here than Marquise Brown. In two of the last three weeks Snead has at least 7 targets, and has scored twice. He's becoming the WR that Lamar Jackson goes to when he's scrambling outside the pocket, and his sure hands make him a reliable target to do so. With a great ROS schedule, Snead should fit comfortably as a WR5 with potential to move up as the season progresses.
* Players to keep an eye on going forward: Breshad Perriman, Devontae Booker, Allen Lazard, Steven Sims Jr, Cam Sims, Cam Akers, Henry Ruggs III, Cordarrelle Patterson, Marvin Hall, Randall Cobb.
Each week I'll be here to give you the who's who for waiver wire pickups to help lead your Fantasy team to the ultimate goal: To bring home a championship. Hopefully some of the names on this list find their way onto your team, and may the odds forever be in your favor.