Ten weeks are in the books and the push for the fantasy playoffs is on! Every week—and every win—is crucial. We’re almost done with bye weeks, but you’ll still have to navigate around the four teams that are inactive this week: the Packers, Giants, Seahawks and Titans. Let’s take a dive into the waiver wire to find players that can help you at every position if you’re in a bind due to bye weeks or because of injury.
Below are players I recommend adding who are owned in fewer than 40% of leagues on Yahoo and/or ESPN. All point totals referenced are for half-PPR leagues.
Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers
Allen doesn’t have the fantasy ceiling Cam Newton once had, and is a better real life QB than fantasy QB, but he’s been solid enough to play in deep leagues at times this season. He’s only averaged a little more than 12 fantasy points per game this season, but that’s largely due to his two absolute busts against the Texans and 49ers. Allen has a juicy matchup on tap this week at home against the Falcons. Atlanta may have inexplicably shut down Drew Brees and the Saints offense this past week, but they’re still one of the worst defenses in football (real life and fantasy). Although Allen has a 24.3-point performance under his belt this season, expecting him to finish with somewhere between 15-20 points in Week 11 is more realistic.
Sam Darnold, New York Jets
A trendy streamer for a couple weeks now, Darnold is a solid option yet again this week against the Redskins on the road. The Jets QB is coming off a 21.7-point performance against the Giants in Week 10 and—if tight end Ryan Griffin maintained his touchdown catch all the way to the ground—what should have been an 18.5-point performance against the Dolphins. While the Washington defense has been stingier to fantasy QBs over the last month, they’ve given up four 20-plus point performances this season, allowing three touchdown passes in each one of those games. If you need a multi-week option, Darnold has some juicy matchups ahead with the Raiders, Bengals and Dolphins on the schedule after this week.
Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Do you want to take a gamble? Foles is available in 90% of ESPN and 80% of Yahoo leagues ahead of his first start since injuring his clavicle in Week 1. Foles has been all over the place (in both fantasy and real life) so far in his career. Maybe you get a 471-yard, 4-TD performance like he had against the Texans last season. Maybe you get a 163-yard, 1-TD on 38 attempts performance like he had against the Raiders in 2017. He’s a true wild card with a high ceiling and a low floor going up against a middle of the road pass defense. Is he rusty? Rested? He did have 7 fantasy points in his only quarter of action this season. Are you feeling lucky?
Brian Hill, Atlanta Falcons
Opportunity knocks for Hill in Atlanta after a tough weekend of injuries for the Falcons. Devonta Freeman suffered a foot sprain against the Saints on Sunday, one day after the team placed back-up Ito Smith on IR. Hill took advantage of his expanded role, to the tune of 61 yards on 20 carries, plus a 10-yard touchdown catch. He has a legit shot at being the starter for the high-powered Falcons offense against a Panthers team that ranks in the bottom 10 against fantasy RBs. Keep an eye on the result of Freeman’s MRI, but put in a claim for Hill regardless.
Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins
Guice makes this list for the second week in a row because he’s still available in more than 60% of leagues on both ESPN and Yahoo. The second-year back was activated off IR last week during Washington’s bye and is expected to play in some capacity this week. Don’t expect him to immediately dethrone Adrian Peterson as the top back in D.C., but he should have a significant role in Bill Callahan’s run-first offense. If you just need a one-week fill-in, look elsewhere. But he does have a couple enticing matchups coming up, including a home date with the Giants in the fantasy championship.
J.D. McKissic, Detroit Lions
The Lions offense is the walking wounded right now. Starting QB Matthew Stafford is injured. Starting RB Kerryon Johnson is injured. Now back-up RB Ty Johnson is injured too, suffering a concussion on Sunday against the Bears. They are running out of options in Detroit. If Ty Johnson misses this week’s game, backfield duties will be shared by McKissic and Paul Perkins. McKissic led all Lions in rush attempts (10) and receptions (6) against the Bears and could replicate those numbers against the Cowboys this week. Dallas has struggled against pass-catching backs so far this season, so McKissic will be elevated into flex territory this week.
Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Barber is only in play if you’re chasing touchdowns. Ronald Jones is the clear-cut starter now in name and total volume, but Barber is still getting a similar share of carries and got the goal-line work and touchdown on the game-winning drive against Arizona. The upside is maybe a dozen fantasy points against a strong Saints run defense, but if you’re desperate at least you can count on a decent chance of double-digit touches. It’s slim pickings out there.
Bilal Powell, New York Jets
Powell is a necessary handcuff for Le’Veon Bell owners given the uncertainty of the star RBs knee/ankle injury. He was a question mark until late Saturday night going into Week 10 after having an MRI earlier in the week. Bell suited up against the Giants and had 22 touches, but you never know when those injuries could flare up again. If they do, Powell has emerged as the clear No. 2 option in the Jets backfield over Ty Montgomery. Powell had seven carries on Sunday and has a history of being a solid fantasy fill-in for injured starters in the past. With four consecutive juicy matchups coming, you want to make sure you have a monopoly on the Jets backfield if you’ve already invested in Bell.
Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills
Solid. That’s the best word to describe Beasley as a fantasy wide receiver this season. He’s the WR48 for the season, averaging nine fantasy points per game. He’s within a half-point per game of bigger name receivers like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Larry Fitzgerald, yet is available in more than two-thirds of leagues and has been for some time. Beasley had touchdowns in three straight games before last week, but his 4/74/0 in Week 10 was perfectly fine. He’s averaging 6.7 targets per game this season and has a favorable matchup against the Dolphins this week. Miami is bottom 10 in the NFL when it comes to defending slot receivers, so Beasley should be able to reach the double-digit fantasy point plateau for the fifth time this season.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants
Slayton won’t be able to help you in Week 11, but will likely be the most-added player off the waiver wire this week so he’s worth mentioning. He exploded against the Jets in Week 10 with 10 catches for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns on 14 targets. Daniel Jones looked his way early and often, as no other Giants player eclipsed the eight-target or five-catch mark. While the volume was out of place, the touchdowns weren’t. It was Slayton’s second multi-touchdown game in the past three weeks and fifth touchdown of the season. There’s a good chance that Sterling Shepard has already played his last snap of the season, so the opportunity for success is there. As a bonus, the Giants have a great playoff schedule for fantasy WRs, matching up with the Eagles, Dolphins and Redskins in Weeks 14-16.
Demaryius Thomas, New York Jets
While it’s been true for awhile now, it’s finally time we admit that the No. 2 pass-catching option in the Jets offense is Thomas—not Robby Anderson. Thomas was targeted nine times in Week 10, the third time he’s seen that number of targets since New York’s bye week. He caught six of those for 84 yards. The end zone has eluded Thomas thus far, but if he continues to get the volume of looks, the touchdowns will eventually come. The next month looks amazing for the Jets passing game with the Redskins, Raiders, Bengals and Dolphins on the schedule. Expect Thomas to flirt with double-digit fantasy points in each of those matchups.
James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers
Is Washington finally starting to find more of a role in Pittsburgh’s offense? Washington led all Steelers WRs in receptions and receiving yards for the second game in a row, finishing Week 10 with 6/90/1 on seven targets. He’s averaging nearly six targets per game since Pittsburgh’s bye week and is coming off his first double-digit fantasy point performance of the season. Even if you don’t throw him right into your lineup this Thursday night on the road against the Browns, it’s worth noting that he only plays one defense ranked in the top 10 against fantasy WRs the rest of the way (the Bills in Week 15). Also keep in mind that JuJu Smith-Schuster has been banged up at various points this season. If he misses time, Washington becomes start-worthy in all formats even after bye weeks conclude.
Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton may not be throwing him passes any more, but Tate should continue to be heavily featured in the Bengals offense moving forward. Who knows when A.J. Green will return, if at all. Tate’s unremarkable three catches for 36 yards in Ryan Finley’s first start may scare some off, but that will be the toughest matchup he’ll have to face in the next month. His six targets in Week 10 were encouraging, despite averaging 8.7 per game over the previous six weeks, because it showed a willingness by Finley to look his way even against strong cornerbacks. Tate is a sneaky start this week against a Raiders team that ranks in the bottom five against fantasy WRs this season. You may not be able to wait another week to add him.
Randall Cobb, Dallas Cowboys
The decision to add Cobb or to leave him on the waiver wire comes down to whether or not you believe the target volume will continue for one more week. He’s coming off back-to-back eight-target games with mixed results. He has six catches in each of the last two games, but in Week 9 it was for just 35 yards as opposed to 106 yards and a touchdown last week. The Lions are fairly solid against slot receivers, but not enough to scare anyone away.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Is Rudolph a thing again? With four touchdowns in his last four games it certainly seems like he is. He’s averaging nearly five targets and 11.2 fantasy points per game over the last four weeks. Like pretty much every TE outside of the top 8-10, Rudolph is touchdown-dependent to even be relevant. But if you’ve been relying on Evan Engram, Jimmy Graham, Jonnu Smith or streamers to get you by at the position, Rudolph has a decent matchup at home against the Broncos this week. Maybe he’ll extend his touchdown streak to three games
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
It feels strange to talk about a team’s second tight end option as often as we do, but you can’t ignore that Goedert is on the field all the time. Since Week 4, Goedert is only averaging seven fewer snaps per game than Zach Ertz. Carson Wentz looks to Goedert quite frequently in the red zone, and the TE has touchdowns in two of his past three games. You’ll be looking for that touchdown to bail you out against a Patriots team that has completely stifled opposing TEs so far this season. However, the path beyond Week 11 is a lot more favorable with the Seahawks, Dolphins, Giants, Redskins and Cowboys on the docket to end the season.
More Advice from SI Fantasy:
—Tuesday’s Bull Market Fantasy show with Jim Cramer
—Frankie Taddeo’s droppables, with some big-name players you shouldn’t feel bad about cutting
—Bill Enright’s injury report has the impact on everyone who got hurt in Week 10
—Frankie Taddeo dishes out awards in his Week 10 superlatives