We’re entering Week 10 of the fantasy football season and the bye weeks are almost over as the playoff races heat up. Fantasy owners who survived this part of the season can think about plugging in their star players and riding them into the stretch run.
The most notable injury of Week 9 happened during a random practice, when Deshaun Watson tore his ACL. It takes yet another QB1 off the fantasy market and is a massive blow to the Houston Texans as a whole. Lamar Miller is back in low-end RB2 territory, while Will Fuller is a boom-or-bust WR4. DeAndre Hopkins is about the only safe play left. We saw how awful Tom Savage was on Sunday.
The other notable injury is to Jameis Winston, who re-aggravated his bum shoulder and will likely be forced to sit out Week 10. That leaves the starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick, which is yet another hit to Mike Evans’ fantasy value, to say nothing about already-disappointing Doug Martin and DeSean Jackson. The 2-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are circling the drain and taking their offense with it. Abandon ship if you’re not an Evans owner.
Let’s also take a look at the Week 10 bye teams and see who won’t be available to use this week. Once again, there is a lot of star power missing from fantasy lineups.
Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco, Alex Collins, Javorius Allen, Jeremy Maclin, Benjamin Watson
Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce
Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper, Jared Cook
Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz
So without further ado, here are the top five waiver wire players in Week 10, owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! standard leagues.
1. WR Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (45 percent)
It’s been a frustrating year for the first-round wide receivers, to say the least. Davis, Mike Williams, and John Ross have all been ravaged by injuries, turning their rookie seasons into glorified redshirt years.
Three WRs went in top 10 picks: Corey Davis, Mike Williams, John Ross. They have a combined 11 catches this season. That is all.— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) November 6, 2017
At least Davis has a good shot at reversing the trend, finally coming back from a hamstring injury that’s kept him out since Week 2. He only had two catches for 28 yards, but it’s in the details — Davis played 39 of 52 snaps, showing that he’s close to 100 percent. The last time he was healthy in Week 1, Marcus Mariota fed him 10 targets for six catches and 69 yards. The talent is absolutely there, and if the health cooperates, Davis could be a major factor in the fantasy stretch run.
2. WR Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (37 percent)
Last week, the talk in the fantasy world was the impending debut of Dede Westbrook, who had an impressive preseason but got shut down with injury. He was expected to make his return in Week 9, but the Jags held it off another week. Meanwhile, Lee keeps putting up quality numbers, getting eight catches for 75 yards and a touchdown (his first of the season). He’s clearly taken over as the No. 1 receiver, making Allen Hurns an afterthought in the process.
Lee’s target share might go down when Westbrook hits the scene and Leonard Fournette gets out of the doghouse, but I’ll believe it when I see it. For now, he’s a quality WR4 with a decent matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers this week.
3. RB Matt Forte, New York Jets (42 percent)
It was easy to write off Forte before the season — 31 years old, slowed down by injuries, and losing the starting job to Bilal Powell. Since coming back from a knee injury in Week 6, however, Forte’s been a useful PPR flex player thanks to his receiving abilities — 23 catches for 164 yards over the past four games. Last Thursday, he had his best game to date, racking up 96 total yards and two touchdowns on 18 touches. Powell is still productive and this is still a committee for the time being, but Forte still has a little juice left and isn't going away.
4. QB Josh McCown, New York Jets (34 percent)
Still hanging around and keeping his team in games when they shouldn’t, McCown has been a not-terrible streaming option during the bye weeks. He didn’t have to do much on Thursday, only throwing for 140 yards as the Jets ran the ball down the Buffalo Bills’ throats. McCown is who he is, and his fantasy ceiling can only go so high even when he’s avoiding turnovers. But matchups are everything in fantasy football, and McCown gets a great one this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ dismal defense. Fire him up if you’re stuck with Wentz or Carr on a bye.
5. RB Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (13 percent)
The Seahawks tried a committee, and it failed. They tried establishing Eddie Lacy as the workhorse, and it also failed. Now Lacy has a groin injury and probably won’t play on Thursday, which means Rawls should be the starter — unless C.J. Prosise and/or J.D. McKissic steal touches again. The Seahawks’ run game remains a total mess, but they’re going to keep trying it, so here we are. At least Rawls finally got a little production in Week 9, getting 70 total yards on 11 touches against Washington. We can probably expect that to be his optimistic ceiling against the Arizona Cardinals. Rawls is a bargain-basement RB3 if you’re particularly desperate this week.
Honorable mentions: Marlon Mack, Tyler Kroft, Josh Gordon, Robert Woods, Eli Manning, Julius Thomas, Dede Westbrook