Working the waiver wire each week is crucial if you’re going to make it in your fantasy football league. Guys rise up depth charts because of injuries or benchings, some have mid-season breakouts, and others are still available just because they’re flying under the radar. Whatever the case, there are always valuable contributors waiting for you to claim them. I’m giving you guys who are owned in under 50% of ESPN leagues as of writing. So, check your waiver wire right after reading this and pick up a difference-maker for your fantasy squad for Week 10.
Drew Lock (17.7% owned)
Does your team need a savior at quarterback for the playoffs? Well, here’s a mediocre quarterback who’s rocking a cool 73.6 passer rating. Hey, we’re more than halfway through the season. You’re lucky you have the chance to get an actual starter.
Lock’s coming off a top-five week fantasy-wise, with 360 passing yards and two scores through the air to go along with 47 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. I don’t expect you to be impressed that an NFL quarterback was able to shred the Atlanta Falcons and their JV-level pass defense. And I especially don’t expect you to think that Lock is suddenly going to go for 40+ rushing yards a game. What I do expect is the second-year signal-caller to have at least one more weekly finish as a QB1.
That performance against Atlanta was Lock’s second-straight top-10 finish among QBs in fantasy after his 248 passing yards and three touchdowns against the L.A. Chargers in Week 8. The Falcons and Chargers have two of the four worst defenses in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Well, the Broncos have the Raiders on the schedule for Week 10. And Vegas is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to QBs. Subsequent games against the Saints and Dolphins aren’t particularly imposing matchup, either. Lock has a deep core of skill-position talent around him, and he seems to be building better chemistry with them every week.
It’s a risky play, but 12- or 14-team leagues, or those with a Superflex position, could get some luck with Lock in these next few weeks.
Wayne Gallman (22.6% owned)
And so finally, a starting running back emerges for the New York Giants. He’s certainly not an ideal option, but Gallman has exceeded expectations filling in for Devonta Freeman while the latter has dealt with an ankle injury. Matter of fact, in fantasy, Gallman’s been better than almost every back over the past few weeks.
The fourth-year pro’s on a three-game streak with at least 54 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. That kind of consistent production was good enough to make Gallman RB 6 in standard and RB 5 in PPR over that span. Obviously, he won’t keep averaging a touchdown a game. That’s ok though because he should keep getting plenty of work in the coming weeks.
The Clemson grad’s averaging a healthy 14.3 touches per game over his recent tear. If that feels like a lot for a running back on a 2-7 team, it’s because that team’s actually been pretty competitive—Big Blue’s five most recent games were all decided by three points or fewer. That should remain the case for the next couple of games, and Gallman should continue to get a sizable workload. The Eagles will be at MetLife Stadium this Sunday, then the Giants travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals following their Week 11 bye. Both of those teams have losing records, and both are in the bottom 10 for rushing yards allowed.
Freeman has a chance to return to action this week, but are the Giants really about to make a guy averaging 3.2 yards per carry their bell cow back again? They fucking better not. Gallman needs to be the guy now, and I like his chances to put up a few more double-digit performances. He’s a quality rental.
Jakobi Meyers (16.2% owned)
No one’s coming to save the Patriot’s group of no-name pass catchers, so Cam Newton’s just going to have to make do with what he’s got. Based on the target share over the past few weeks, it looks like Meyers is his go-to guy.
The former undrafted free agent has certainly looked the part of a number-one option of late. In New England’s last three games, Meyers averaged 10 targets, 7.3 receptions, and 95.7 receiving yards per game. During that span, he was WR 9 in standard and 12 in PPR since Week 7. The crazy thing is that he has room to be even productive. Meyers still hasn’t scored a touchdown in either of his two seasons. That’s pretty abnormal for a guy with 72 targets and 653 receiving yards in his career.
Since last season, the league is averaging 146.2 receiving yards per passing touchdown, which makes Meyers an extreme outlier. Touchdown rate is an unpredictable thing, but it’s insane that he hasn’t scored with the usage he’s getting. He has to regress toward the mean sooner rather than later. That’s just math.
So assuming he scores at some point soon, with the number of targets and yards he’s getting, and with the Texans and Chargers on the schedule in two of the next four games, Meyers is going to keep racking up points. Like, WR2-worthy points. He’s the must-add of the Week 10 Waiver Wire.
Tim Patrick (15.8% owned)
A pick for this list in Week 5, I’m still high on the third-year wideout. Only now, I’m imploring you to scoop him up on the Week 10 waiver wire. Like I said above when talking about Lock, Denver’s passing game was in rare form against the Falcons. While Patrick didn’t quite have the day Jerry Jeudy did, his four catches for 29 yards and a score were good for 12.9 points in PPR. And with that, Patrick has scored double-digit points in PPR in four of his last five games.
The stat sheet from the last few games says that Jeudy’s now the clear-cut number one option in this offense, while Patrick, Noah Fant, and K.J. Hamler are all jockeying for targets. Let’s talk fantasy though: Patrick leads Denver’s wide receivers in points across all formats. When you include tight ends, Noah Fant has a marginal edge on Patrick only in PPR. Surprised? Well, if the Utah alum keeps leading his team in both targets inside the red zone and receiving touchdowns, he’ll remain the Denver wideout you want for fantasy.
As I said before, I think Lock has another big performance in him sometime over the next few weeks. Naturally, the Broncos’ receivers would benefit if that ends up being the case. Look for Patrick to put up some solid numbers across all formats over the next month. He’s well worth rostering.
Irv Smith Jr. (5.0% owned)
If I have to pick a tight end to grab on the Week 10 waiver wire, it needs to be the only one who scored twice last week, right?
Sure, Smith’s two touchdowns for 10 total yards probably aren’t indicative of any impending breakout. Even after his first pair of scores on the season, the second-year tight end’s placing in the low 20s for the position across all formats. At the same time, his finish as TE 4 on the week is a continuation of a month-long boon in opportunities and production. Smith’s ninth in standard and 13th in PPR in points per game among tight ends since Week 5. Over that timeframe, he’s seen at least four targets and put up double-digit points in PPR format in three of four games.
Smith’s now Kirk Cousin’s third option in the passing game. That might not seem like it means much for a team throwing the fewest pass attempts per game. Don’t discredit efficiency though, because when Captain Kirk throws the ball, it goes deep, and it gets the job done. Cousins is averaging a league-best 8.9 yards per pass attempt. For Smith, his average depth of target is 7.7 yards, which is a top-10 mark among tight ends with at least 20 targets. Smith is trending upward, and he looks like he’ll be a quality TE2 over the rest of the season.