Fantasy football: Top 10 waiver wire Week 10 pickups

If you’re still fighting for the playoffs, check out these top 10 waiver wire Week 10 pickups who can give you a boost coming down the stretch.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver J.J. Nelson (14) is one of the top pickups from the waiver wire Week 10. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you are still jockeying for position or cruising to the finish line, your fantasy team can probably use some extra fuel for the home stretch. For many fantasy leagues, the playoffs are just a few weeks away, so check out my top 10 pickups from waiver wire Week 10 to help your team finish strong.

After back-to-back weeks with six teams on a bye, there are just four teams off in Week 10 and Week 11. This week, though, the Colts, Raiders, Lions, and Bills are all on a Bye which takes lots of fantasy options off the board. If injuries or bye week trouble has your roster stretch to the max, check out these fill-in options from the wavier wire week 10.

To help you find those solid options, each Tuesday you can find my weekly waiver wire post here on I focus on the top ten options who are available in more than half of ESPN leagues. So far this season, players like Dak Prescott, Spencer Ware, Theo Riddick, Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa, Donte Moncrief, Corey Coleman, Charcandrick West, Jordan Howard, Ty Montgomery, Jimmy Graham, and Matt Ryan have been on my waiver wire pickup list when they were available in over 50% of leagues. Those players won’t be found in my waiver wire week 9 picks, though, since the ownership percentage is already over 50%.

Each week, I make sure to include players at each of the main fantasy football positions: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and team defense. The players are listed in the general order that I would target them, but be sure to take into account your league’s specific roster requirements and your team’s strength and weaknesses. I’ve included each player’s ownership percentage as of Tuesday morning at the top of their page. If you’re in deeper leagues or are looking for more options, check out the final slide of this post where I’ve listed some extra other options from the waiver wire week 10.

If you have any specific questions about your team or other players who may be available, you are welcome to drop them in the comments section at the bottom of the page or give me a shout out on Twitter. You can keep up with all our coverage by following  @FansidedFantasy on Twitter and by dropping a bookmark on our  fantasy football hub.

With those quick reminders out of the way, let’s get started with the top 10 pickups from the waiver wire Week 10 which include some short-term options and some to grab and stash for later on this season.

Washington Redskins running back Robert Kelley (32) is one of the top RB to target on the waiver wire week 10. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Kelley-RB-Washington (26.2%)

My top pickup form the waiver wire Week 10 is Robert Kelley who just stepped up to seize the running back job in Washington. While there are some names later on this list with higher ceilings, none have fewer question marks at this point than Kelley.

Coach Jay Gruden stated on Monday that Kelley had taken over the early-down work from a injured (and ineffective) Matt Jones. Jones struggled with fumbles and too many empty runs while Kelley has consistently moved the ball when given the chance. On the season, Kelley has 190 yards on 38 rushes (50 YPC) and he had 87 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals in Washington’s last game which took place in London before their Week 9 bye.

Kelley will look to continue to grind out yardage in Week 10 against a tough matchup as the Vikings come to DC. He does have a tough schedule the rest of the way, in general, but there are a few potentially favorable matchups. Kelley doesn’t get involved at all in the passing game and his matchups keep him as an RB3 at this point, but he has a clear path to his workload and should find a team in all fantasy formats.

Aug 12, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver J.J. Nelson (14) against the Oakland Raiders during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Nelson-WR-Arizona Cardinals (9.8%)

The Cardinals made an important move going into their bye week confirming what fantasy owners already were seeing on the field. Coach Bruce Arians confirmed that J.J. Nelson is now a starting wide receiver which puts him on the radar as a hot pickup coming out of the team’s bye week on the waiver wire week 10.

Nelson is a big-play burner who is in his second yard out of UAB. He has passed Malcolm Floyd and should get plenty of run alongside John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald. Carson Palmer has already been funneling passes his way and Nelson looks to be a great fit for Bruce Arians vertical passing attack.

In Week 8, Nelson had the best game of his career hauling in a pair of touchdowns to go with eight catches for 79 yards. Even in the ugly tie in Week 7, Nelson had three catches for a solid 84 yards against Seattle. Carson Palmer could definitely use some more weapons since he has relied so heavily on Larry Fitzgerald, but Palmer struggled before the bye leaving some questions as to how much he has left at this point in his career.

Even with that being the case, Nelson is the top receiver to grab this week due to his huge upside. If the Cardinals can get healthy and get their deep-passing game going again, Nelson could be a WR2 most weeks. AT this point, I’d be more comfortable with him as a depth addition or WR3, but he’s in a great matchup coming out of the bye week as the Cardinals face the 49ers. Nelson will definitely be a startable option in that matchup, so play him with confidence if you can grab him off the wire. Looking further ahead, Nelson has some really nice matchups (New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami) and a few tough ones (Minnesota and Seattle) which makes him a nice piece to consider adding add to your rotation at the least.

Oct 9, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) stiff arms New York Giants outside linebacker J.T. Thomas (55) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports

James Starks-RB-Green Bay Packers (18.3%)

Starks could be in the right place at the right time and step into a golden opportunity to make a fantasy football impact down the stretch. If you can add him from the waiver wire Week 10, he could be a monster down the stretch.

Starks didn’t look great earlier this season when he was splitting time with Eddie Lacy,t though, which is why he isn’t at the top of this list. He only managed 42 yards on 24 rushes (1.8 YPC) while adding 50 more yards on five catches. However, Starks has stepped in with nice results before and been a fantasy factor as recently as last year.

With Lacy out for the season, Starks will only have to contend with converted-WR Ty Montgomery for carries when he does get back on the field. Montgomery has been pretty good as a receiver out of the backfield, but he hasn’t been able to get any touchdowns either rushing or receiving. Starks probably won’t step right into the  full-time feature-back role, but he definitely could provide a nice option on short yardage nd goalline work.

Starks needs to show he’s healthy before I’d drop him in any lineups, but if he does step up, he could be a difference-maker for your fantasy team. He’s a great add even though he’s not a great start until he shows he’s fully healthy with a big role in the Packers’ backfield.

Nov 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) reacts after scoring a touchdown as tight end Delanie Walker (82) watches during the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Rishard Matthews-WR-Tennessee Titans (11.2%)

The Titans are a run-first offense, but Rishard Matthews has been stepping up enough to make his way onto our top 10 targets on the waive wire Week 10. Matthews joined the Titans after a good year in Miami last year, and has been the team’s go-to option sine rookie Tajae Sharpe has regressed and Delanie Walker is banged up.

Matthews has caught five touchdowns in the last five weeks after hauling in a pair of scores against San Diego on Sunday. He had a season-high six catches for 63 yards agents the Chargers and posted his best fantasy week of the season.

Even though they’re hesitant to throw the ball too much, Tennessee has a very favorable schedule ahead for WR before their Week 13 bye week. Matthews will get the Packers in Week 10 before facing the Colts and the Bears before the bye. As long as you don’t need him Week 13 (Bye) or 14 (Denver) Matthews can be a solid option as a deep-league WR3 or an emergency fill-in the rest of the way.

Cameron Brate-TE-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (38.6%)

The Buccaneers are quickly running out of weapons as the season goes on. They already lost Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Antone Smith, Louis Murphy, Russell Shepard, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, and Jacquizz Rodgers. Mike Evans is the team’s go-to WR, but even he is in the concussion protocol at this point leaving Jameis Winston with very few options to get the ball to on offense.

One player who has shown a strong connection with Winston who is still available for the Bucs is Tampa TE Cameron Brate. Brate caught five passes for 43 yards and a touchdown this past week against the Falcons and has four touchdowns on the season.

The big Harvard-Alum is a Red Zone option and can move the chains over the middle as well. This week, the Bucs will limp into a home game against the Bears. Whether Evans is cleared to return (as expected) or not, there should be plenty of targets available for Brate. He’s a strong streaming TE play and can be added for the rest of the season as a TE with upside since he should be very busy in the coming weeks.

November 6, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back DuJuan Harris (32) scores a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter at Levi

DuJuan Harris-RB-San Francisco 49ers (31.4%)

The 49ers fell to 1-7 on the season losing their seventh straight game and have a point differential worse than every team in the NFL except the Browns. However, just because San Francisco is an afterthought for the playoffs doesn’t mean that there is no fantasy football value to be had.

In fact, the 49ers offense didn’t look horrible in their loss to the Saints scoring 23 points and totaling 486 yards. Those totals are even more impressive when you remember that they achieved those totals without their starting RB and best skill player Carlos Hyde. Hyde is week-to-week with a shoulder injury, and in his place DuJuan Harris has emerged as a fantasy football RB option on the Waiver wire week 10.

Harris had a nice game against the Saints bad run defense totaling 59 yards on the ground on his ten carries and doing most of his damage as a receiver where he added 83 yards and a touchdown on five catches. As long as Carlos Hyde is out, Harris will continue to be a startable RB3 as a flex option since its clear he’ll be very involved in the 49ers offense. His value will drop once Hyde returns, but while Hyde is sidelined he makes sense to add.

Nov 8, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis (33) is tackled by Washington Redskins defensive back Tanard Jackson (36) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Dion Lewis-RB-New England Patriots (30.2%)

If you’re looking for a running back pickup that can help you in the fantasy football playoffs, one name to check for on the waiver wire week 10 is Dion Lewis of the Patriots.

Lewis was the team’s primary back and a fantasy stud last season totaling over 600 yards rushing and receiving with four touchdowns in the seven games he played before blowing out his knee. He needed a “cleanout” procedure in preseason which landed him on IR designated to return. He’s expected to return this week against Seattle and should step right back into his role as the team’s primary receiving back and one of the “mismatch” options that Brady exploits on a regular basis.

Lewis will be hard to start this week in a tough matchup in his first game back, but he is definitely someone that should be owned (stashed) in all formats for the rest of the season. Lewis has sky-high upside, and he is a great snatch-and-stash from the waiver wire week 10.

Oct 30, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan (15) is knocked out of bounds after making a catch for a first down with Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) defending during the first quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Hogan-WR-New England Patriots (30.0%)

Dion Lewis isn’t the only weapon the Patriots will be looking to set up for playoff success in the coming weeks. Tom Brady has shown a nice connection with Chris Hogan and the receiver has made the most of his limited targets to make himself an option on the waiver wire Week 10.

Hogan has caught 11 of the 12 passes thrown his direction over the last four weeks since Brady’s return. He went a perfect 4-for-4 against his former team from Buffalo in Week 8 totaling 91 yards and a touchdown. It was his first trip to the end zone since Week 1 against Arizona, but a good sign that he’s growing in his understanding of what Bill and Brady are trying to run.

Hogan is an up-and-down play from week to week simply because the Patriots have so many different weapons. Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennet, Dion Lewis, and even James White could get more looks than Hogan in any given week, but he  played almost every snap in Week 8 and continues to be the team’s second WR coming out of their bye week. Hogan is a WR4 most weeks, but you can start him and hope Brady throws him the ball more if you’re forced to grab a plug-and-play option.

Oct 31, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) drops back to pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Cutler-QB-Chicago Bears (3.6%)

Last week, I did something I never expected to do and recommended Colin Kaepernisk as a streaming QB option. It worked out pretty well as he had a big game against the Saints, so I’m digging deep again this week for my QB streaming option from the Waiver wire week 10.

I wouldn’t have though Jay Cutler would be a fantasy option again this season, but I actually think he makes a lot of sense this week if you need a one-week stop-gap. With Andrew Luck, David Carr, Matthew Stafford, and Tyrod Taylor all on their bye weeks, many owners are looking for a QB boost and Cutler may be coming back just at the right time.

Last week, Cutler led the Bears to a very nice win on Monday Night football over the Vikings. He threw for 252 yards relying heavily on Zach Miller and Alshon Jeffery and would have had an even bigger week with more touchdowns. He only threw one score which went to Jeffery who he definitely has a strong connection with.

The reason I think Cutler sets up well this week is a good matchup against the Bucs. Remember, this is the same Tampa defense that made Case Keenum look good. They rank fifth in most fantasy points per game allowed to opposing QB’s and Cutler should be able to put together a strong game after getting two weeks to prepare for them. I’m not a huge Cutler supporter long-term, but he makes sense as a one-week patch from the waiver wire Week 10.

Baltimore Ravens D/ST (48.9%)

The Ravens defense shut down a rusty Big Ben in Week 9, and they have a great matchup in Week 10 as they take on the Browns.  If they’re available in your league, they should definitely be your top defense to target on the waiver wire week 10.

Baltimore doesn’t usually pile up sacks, and this week was no exception. They only dropped Big Ben twice, but the did force a turnover and blocked a punt which they returned for a touchdown.

In ESPN standard scoring, Baltimore has at least ten fantasy points in four of their last seven games and at least 15 in three of their last six. Looking ahead, they play Callas and Cincinnati in weeks 11 and 12, so at this point they’re just a one-week add that you can replace with another streaming D option next week.

Nov 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Paul Perkins (28) runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Other Waiver Wire Week 10 targets

These options are also available in over 50% of ESPN and make good pickups as well. They’re listed in the general order that I would target them if the top 10 aren’t available in your league.

QB: Joe Flacco-Baltimore Ravens, Carson Wentz-Philadelphia Eagles, Alex Smith-Kansas City Chiefs

RB: Paul Perkins-New York Giants (4.2%),Tim Hightower-New Orleans Saints, Kenneth Dixon-Baltimore Ravens, C.J. Prosise-Seattle Seahawks, Thomas Rawls-Seattle Seahawks (for when he returns), Bilal Powell-New York Jets, Peyton Barber-RB-Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kapri Bibbs-Denver Broncos, Jalen Richard-Oakland Raiders

WR: Sammie Coates-Pittsburgh Steelers, Cameron Meredith-Chicago Bears, Dontrelle Inman-San Diego Chargers, Kendall Wright-Tennessee Titans, Adam Humphries-Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Anquan Boldin-Detroit Lions,

TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz-Houston Texans, Jack Doyle-Indianapolis Colts, LaDarius Green-Pittsburgh Steelers, Vance McDonald-San Francisco 49ers, Austin Hooper-Atlanta Falcons, Charles Clay-Buffalo Bills

D/ST: Bears D/ST, Rams D/ST, Jets D/ST, Washington D/ST

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