2014 Fantasy Football Week 10 Waiver Wire Targets
Week 9 is in the books and there wasn’t as much turmoil as there usually is in a given week. Six teams - the Falcons, Bills, Bears, Lions, Packers and Titans will return refreshed after taking their week of rest. This will be another hard week that sees many owners wishing they built their lineup around having one specific week off, but don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for. Hopefully plenty of owners are still in the hunt. I wrote an article last week to help identify players who have favorable schedules, please feel free to check it out.
Teams on their bye this week are the Texans, Colts, Vikings, Patriots, Chargers and Redskins. There is plenty of talent there to build a lineup so there may be some owners stuck with rolling out the skeleton crew. Ownership percentages are for ESPN and Yahoo leagues respectively.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (40.4%/57%): Tannehill has turned into an absolute stud since his bye week. His most recent performance totalled 288 yards on 24 completions, three touchdowns and no picks. Over the last four games, he’s thrown for less than 200 yards once and has a 8:3 touchdown to interception ratio. He’s also rushing more and more effectively. He has totals of 49, 48, 48, and 47 yards over his past four games respectively. He is quietly entering into the QB1 conversation and is owned in less than half of ESPN leagues.
Mark Sanchez, Eagles (0.4%/5%): Nick Foles is out at least six weeks with a broken collarbone. That puts him out of your lineup until about Week 15 or Week 16. Sanchez threw for 202 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in relief of Foles Sunday. Despite his shortcomings as the Jets’ starter for years, he could be a decent quarterback replacing Foles for the rest of the season. The Chip Kelly system is the main reason for that speculation and defenses will always have to stay honest against LeSean McCoy. Sanchez could be a rollercoaster but I think he’ll have more good games than bad.
Mike Glennon, Buccaneers (3.6%/7%): There has been speculation that he may be benched in favor of a healthy Josh McCown. But at this point, for the one-win Bucs, they should stick with the young gun. With the playoffs out of reach, why turn to a 35 year-old quarterback instead of giving 24 year-old Glennon as much experience as possible in hopes of developing him? He sees a relatively easy road the next few games in the Falcons and Redskins who should buoy his numbers and keep him in the QB2 conversation for anybody in 2-QB leagues.
Alex Smith, Chiefs (35.9%/46%): Although he gets the Bills defense who have 18 interceptions this week, he is known as a game manager and that is just what he is. He’s only thrown four interceptions all year, albeit three came in Week 1 so we can’t say he hasn’t thrown multiple picks in a game. I don’t think he throws more than one this week if he throws any and he’ll be a solid option for those with quarterbacks on bye.
Zach Mettenberger, Titans (1.2%/2%): He threw for almost 300 yards, two touchdowns and one pick in his debut start two weeks ago. The Titans didn’t play this weekend as its their bye week and that can only mean good things for the chemistry of this offense. If he’s given the keys to the team the rest of the season, he could put in some good games but not without some growing pains. Right now, he’s a rookie to watch but not depended on with a tough schedule upcoming.
Bye Week Fliers: Brian Hoyer, Browns. Kyle Orton, Bills.
Adrian Peterson, Vikings: Even with so much up in the air regarding his suspension, Peterson did accept a deal on his court case and pleaded no contest (which is slightly different than just "guilty" or "not guilty").That being said, the NFL will have to make a decision to reinstate him after serving the 8 game suspension. He may be eligible to play as early as Week 11 (Vikings on a bye in Week 10). We say "MAY be able to play" because the NFL has yet to determine if they are going to continue his suspension. It's worth taking a chance on and picking him up this week.
Tre Mason, Rams (49%/37%): Who to own in the Rams backfield - Mason or Cunningham? The answer is definitely not Zac Stacy anymore. Mason is the first running back to own after getting another start and racking up 19 carries, especially if you are not in a PPR league. Cunningham will continue to take snaps away from Mason because Mason doesn’t play a role in the passing game. It is rare to find a player who will have workhorse-like carries this late in the year so he should be owned just based on the opportunity.
Benny Cunningham, Rams (8.3%/17%): Cunningham is still the Rams’ primary receiving back as he caught three balls on three targets for 38 yards. Those 38 yards were good enough for him to be the leading receiver for the Rams this week as well. That is not good, but it shows that Cunningham is a part in the game plan. Since Cunningham is clearly behind Mason in carries, you would have to be in a PPR league for Cunningham to be relevant. He’s worth being stashed for matchups where his receiving abilities will be highlighted.
Matt Asiata, Vikings (26.8%/31%): He’s on a bye this week but he has to be mentioned based on his 3-touchdown performance on Sunday afternoon. He’s still the goal-line back for the Vikings and if you’re desperate he’s worth possible flex starts against the porous Bears and Packers in the couple weeks after his bye week. Those matchups give Asiata a good chance of scoring.
Theo Riddick, Lions (2.1%/5%): Regardless of Reggie Bush’s injury status, the Lions have said they will keep Riddick involved. That is not good news for Bush owners so don’t forget about Riddick after his bye in Week 9. He’s someone to wait and see how many touches he gets and what he does with them. If for some reason Bush can’t play or is limited against the Dolphins, Riddick gets a bump to a low-level flex play.
Terrance West, Browns (31%/23%): He out-touched Ben Tate, 16-14 on Sunday and even though Tate was trusted to run out the clock, West was the better running back. This backfield has changed hands frequently this season so it’s a situation to monitor. I picked West as the inevitable starter coming into the season because he had the most upside. Tate isn’t banged up at the moment so he will continue to at least split carries with West limiting both players fantasy value but I still think West is the one to own in the future if you can stash him.
Jonas Gray, Patriots (17.6%/18%): He wasn’t exactly the Patriots runner between the tackles against the Broncos Sunday that everyone thought coming off a 17 carry game two weeks ago. Still, he is the Patriots “big back” and his stats will depend on the game plan. Rookie James White has been a healthy scratch and both Brandon Bolden’s and Shane Vereen’s contracts are up at the end of the year so the rest of the way could be a bit of an audition for Gray. He’s worth stashing in dynasty or keeper leagues because of his potential for next year and could even have some good games peppered over the rest of the year.
Bye Week Fliers: Toby Gerhart, Jaguars. Charles Sims, Buccaneers. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers.
Mike Evans, Buccaneers (31.8%/61%): He is most likely already owned in your Yahoo league, but if you’re in ESPN leagues, he may not be. He doesn’t have a very consistent or accurate quarterback which will hold him back but he has the physical ability to compensate more than some other receivers. He has easy matchups against the Falcons and Redskins to help push you towards the playoffs. He should also be a great pick for keeper or dynasty leagues to see if the Bucs can right the ship at quarterback.
Martavis Bryant, Steelers (22.1%/43%): He now has five touchdowns since his debut just three weeks ago. He is for real and is clearly an important player in balancing out defenses who choose to shift coverage to Antonio Brown. He is a WR3/flex option as Ben Roethlisberger isn’t going to throw six touchdowns per game consistently. He is usually looked to after Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell to score so he holds the upper hand over Markus Wheaton.
Harry Douglas, Falcons (1.9%/3%): This week, the Falcons have a matchup against the defense allowing the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season - the Bucs. The Falcons had a much needed bye week last week and should come out firing on all cylinders against a team they decimated in Week 3. Douglas had caught 2-of-2 for 14 yards and a touchdown before he left that game with an injury. He has a high chance of scoring again against the Bucs defense so I see him as a WR3/flex this week.
Kenny Britt, Rams (8.6%/9%): While Benny Cunningham was the Rams leading “receiver”, Britt was not far behind. He caught the lone touchdown pass of the day from Austin Davis but totaled only 32 yards on two catches. It was a forgetful performance buoyed by the touchdown but besides Jared Cook, Britt seems to be the next go-to man for Davis. He is not going to be very relevant unless he gets into the endzone but is mentioned because the Rams don’t have much to throw to after Brian Quick was lost for the season. He’s only worth consideration in deeper leagues or if you are desperately thin at receiver.
Jarvis Landry, Dolphins (7.8%/8%): He continues to catch almost everything that is thrown his way and is now clearly ahead of Brian Hartline in the pecking order. Ryan Tannehill is turning into a star before our eyes and Landry is going for the ride. He’ll continue to be the second passing option behind Mike Wallace. With matchups that will require Tannehill to throw against because of their run defenses, Landry should continue to see five to seven targets per game as he grows with Tannehill. He’s worth stashing now while he is budding.
Bye Week Fliers: Jerricho Cotchery, Panthers. Cecil Shorts III, Jaguars. Markus Wheaton, Steelers. Jordan Matthews, Eagles
Mychal Rivera, Raiders (2.2%/2%): For the second week in a row, Rivera put up big numbers. He followed his seven catch, 83 yard performance with an eight catch, 38 yard and a touchdown encore. Next week, the Raiders play the Broncos and while that doesn’t bode well for Derek Carr, his receivers don’t get negative points for the interceptions he’ll throw. The Raiders will be playing from behind in this one so Rivera could at least get some garbage time points.
Charles Clay, Dolphins (20.2%/44%): This weekend, we had another Charles Clay sighting. He’s been underwhelming and a dud most of the year. He can’t be dubbed consistent yet but he has shown flashes of his 2013 self over the past few games. He has caught 13 balls for 158 yards and two touchdowns in four games since the Dolphins bye in Week 5. If he can continue his upward swing, he could finish the year strong and be a great late year addition for many fantasy owners.
Owen Daniels, Ravens (28.3%/30%): After a minor knee surgery a few weeks ago, Daniels appears to have not missed a beat. He caught six balls for 53 yards while fellow tight end, Crockett Gillmore was the one who scored a touchdown. Daniels was targeted a team-high nine times Sunday night as he was clearly part of the plan. He’s a low-end TE1 in PPR leagues and much of his value is dependent on touchdowns. He’s not a bad fill-in though for anyone who has a tight end on bye this week.
Coby Fleener, Colts (18.7%/30%): He’s heading into his bye week but he put on quite the performance Monday night. He finished with four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. Fellow tight end Dwayne Allen also caught four balls and a touchdown so this is clearly a job split in two. Although Fleener doesn’t score all that often compared to Allen, he still has the same potential upside. It just depends on who is featured that game. There are worse options if you are streaming tight ends after this week.
Tim Wright, Patriots (11%/23%): He put up a complete donut on Sunday against the Broncos. He wasn’t even targeted in the game but that is what comes with being in the Patriots offense. You never know who is going to be involved the most behind Gronk each week but Tim Wright certainly has the tools. He hasn’t had any major yards in any game, topping out at 85 in Week 5, but he’s caught three touchdowns which has helped his fantasy numbers. Hopefully with the Patriots on a bye this week, they can figure out a way to get Wright more involved consistently. Until then, he’s a boom/bust tight end.
Bye Week Fliers: Heath Miller, Steelers. Scott Chandler, Bills. Clay Harbor, Jaguars.
Detroit D/ST: Since they were on a bye last week, someone may have dropped them. Make sure to pick them up as they are a top-5 defense.
Steelers D/ST: They are playing the turnover happy Jets who are still unsure of their starting quarterback this week so there’s much to like in this matchup.
Packers D/ST: The Bears are imploding but this one may come back to bite me as they return from their bye.
Ravens D/ST: This unit has created a turnover in every game but two this year. They see the Titans this week who give up the 23rd most fantasy points to opposing defenses.
Mason Crosby, Packers: 11/12 FG, 25/25 XP
Graham Gano, Panthers: 17/19 FG, 16/16 XP
Chandler Catanzaro, Cardinals: 16/16 FG, 18/18 XP
Shaun Suisham, Steelers: 14/15 FG, 25/25 XP
Shayne Graham, Saints: 13/14 FG, 24/25 XP