With 10 weeks in the books, I can say with certainty that this has been one of the most grueling fantasy seasons I’ve ever experienced. Somehow I have managed to be ranked top 3 in all of my leagues. Nevertheless, it seems as though there have been more key injuries and letdowns this year than ever before. The only players that were picked top 10 in fantasy drafts, and have actually lived up to their expectations, are Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas. Every other player has either been hurt or just simply hasn’t produced. With that being the case, this was really a year that tested the managing capabilities of fantasy owners, and the work doesn’t stop now. Similarly to last week, there are a decent amount of superstars on a bye, so this will be another week where the waiver wire is crucial. As usual, I will include my start/sit predictions at the end of the column.
Waiver Wire — Receivers
On a bye: Davante Adams, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown
Key Injuries: Tyler Lockett (leg), Emmanuel Sanders (ribs), Adam Thielen (hamstring), T.Y. Hilton (calf), Brandin Cooks (concussion), Sterling Shepard (concussion), Alshon Jeffery (ankle), A.J. Green (ankle), Will Fuller (hamstring), Dede Westbrook (shoulder), Corey Davis (hip)
The 2019 2nd round pick put on a nice display following Sanders’ injury. Samuel finished the night with eight catches for 112 yards on 11 targets. He certainly looks like he could be the No. 1 receiver in San Francisco if Sanders isn’t good to go. In the 49ers high octane offense, Samuel could be in line for a big day this weekend with the Cardinals coming to town. Samuel is one of the better options this week on the waiver wire.
Slayton had a monster week against the Jets, notching 10 receptions for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Slayton will face some pretty generous matchups in the future with Miami, Philadelphia and Washington ahead. There is no doubt that Tate is still the No. 1 receiver in New York, but as long as Evan Engram and Shepard remain out, Slayton could be a solid receiver going forward.
It looks as though Thomas might be stepping into the No. 2 role, behind Jamison Crowder. The 11-year veteran was targeted nine times on Sunday, catching nine of those passes for 84 yards. The remainder of the Jets’ schedule is incredibly favorable for receivers, as they will take on the Redskins, Raiders, Bengals and Dolphins in the next four weeks. The Jets’ offense is still fairly unpredictable, so I would say Thomas is a solid stash option.
Other Players Worth Considering: Dede Westbrook, A.J. Brown, Hunter Renfrow, Russell Gage
Waiver Wire — Running Backs
On a bye: Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, Saquon Barkley, Chris Carson, Derrick Henry
Key Injuries: Saquon Barkley (undisclosed), Devonta Freeman (foot), Matt Breida (ankle), Chase Edmonds (hamstring), Benny Snell Jr. (knee), Jordan Wilkins (ankle), Ty Johnson (concussion), Chris Thompson (toe), Giovani Bernard (knee)
With Freeman out, Hill is the top free-agent pickup this week. Hill finished his week 10 contest with 20 rushes for 61 yards and a 10-yard touchdown reception. With Ito Smith on IR, Hill will remain the primary running back in Atlanta, until Freeman returns. Hill should be considered a mid-tier RB2 this week but doesn’t hold too much long term value as Freeman is expected to return at some point. Either way, Hill should be your top priority this week.
Guice is finally back, and it remains to be seen whether he can actually stay on the field for a change. It looks like Guice will share the backfield with Adrian Peterson, but I would expect Guice to receive the bulk of the workload. The Redkins seem to have some favorable matchups for running backs going forward, however, they are still the Redskins. I have been saying to pick up Guice for a couple of weeks now, but he is still available in some leagues. Guice should be slotted right behind Hill in terms of priority.
This one is basically directed toward Barkley owners. Since the Giants are obviously out of playoff contention, it has been speculated that the Giants could shut Barkley down for the remainder of the year. I don’t know how likely that really is to occur, especially with Pat Shurmur coaching for his job. Regardless, if you have an extra roster spot it would seem reasonable to take a flyer on Gallman as he could deliver a nice return on investment, should the Giants elect to sit Barkley.
Other Players Worth Considering: J.D. McKissic, Kalen Ballage, Raheem Mostert, Alexander Mattison
Miles Sanders/Jordan Howard