With the holidays right around the corner, the fantasy football season approaches its stretch run as owners make a final push towards the playoffs. This is also the final week we have to worry about byes, but the waiver wire will continue being an important factor.
Week 10 was full of even more critical injuries. Devonta Freeman suffered his second concussion of the season and the Atlanta Falcons hinted that he could miss multiple games. Marcus Mariota has a banged-up shoulder, Will Fuller cracked some ribs, and the Green Bay Packers ran out of running backs again. Aaron Jones went down with a sprained MCL and Ty Montgomery injured his ribs once again.
Oh, and Richard Sherman tore his Achilles, leaving the Seattle Seahawks’ defense more vulnerable than ever. With depth concerns front to back, they’re no longer a stay-away matchup for opposing fantasy players.
For the last time this year, let’s go over the bye teams and notable players who won't be available in Week 11.
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Devin Funchess, Curtis Samuel, Ed Dickson
Indianapolis Colts: Jacoby Brissett, Frank Gore, Marlon Mack, T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle
New York Jets: Josh McCown, Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Austin Seferian-Jenkins
San Francisco 49ers: C.J. Beathard, Jimmy Garoppolo, Carlos Hyde, Marquise Goodwin, George Kittle
So with that out of the way, let’s dive in with a look at the top five waiver wire players, owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! standard leagues.
1. RB Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots (11 percent)
The Patriots are changing things up in their backfield, which has been a strange committee most of the season. Mike Gillislee was kicked out of the lineup and made a healthy scratch Sunday night, while Bill Belichick honed in on Dion Lewis and Burkhead as the top two options. Burkhead made the most of his volume with 63 total yards and a touchdown on 13 touches, playing 36 snaps to Lewis’ 21. As always, Patriots running backs are hard to predict, but Burkhead is worth owning in most leagues.
2. WR Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (48 percent)
One week after a quiet return from a hamstring injury, Davis’ Week 10 performance was ... well, less quiet. He did lead the team with 10 targets, but only managed four catches for 48 yards and fumbled away a potential touchdown. Still, Davis is getting the looks, and given his raw talent and draft pedigree, we figure Marcus Mariota will continue looking his way. Davis will be tested by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.
3. RB Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers (six percent)
Williams is the next man up with both Jones and Montgomery down. He got a healthy workload with 20 carries against the Chicago Bears, but only got 67 rushing yards out of it. Williams will likely get fed the rock with the Packers desperately trying to hide Brett Hundley, but it’s questionable whether the fourth-round rookie is up to the task. A downhill plodder who doesn’t contribute in the passing game, Williams will be a risky RB2 against the Baltimore Ravens.
4. RB Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings (43 percent)
It seems like Murray has his best performances in every other game. In Week 7, he exploded for 18 carries, 113 yards, and a touchdown before disappearing in Week 8 (20 touches, 47 total yards). After the Vikings’ Week 9 bye, Murray came back to have 68 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries against Washington. He’s been as boom-or-bust as any running back, especially with Jerick McKinnon in the same backfield. However, note the number of carries he’s getting — 81 in the past five games since Dalvin Cook went down. Murray has plenty of volume, and that will keep him in the RB2 mix when the Vikings play the Los Angeles Rams.
5. WR Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns (22 percent)
Finally back from a broken hand, Coleman is set to make his return after going on injured reserve in Week 2. The bad news: he’s playing the Jacksonville Jaguars and their elite secondary. It’ll be interesting to see how much Coleman plays after missing the past seven games — perhaps Hue Jackson will have him on a snap count. Regardless, Coleman is the team’s best receiver by a country mile and should be getting fed targets like a No. 1 receiver. He could be a quality WR3 once he’s back to full speed.