There is never a shortage of talent available as waiver wire pickups in fantasy football. You just have to look in the right places and take advantage of opportunities. With that said, it’s time to get down to business as we help you scour the waivers for possible additions to your fantasy squad.
10. Dontrelle Inman – Chicago Bears WR (0.7% owned in ESPN leagues)
Dontrelle Inman made an impact right away following his trade from the Los Angeles Chargers to the Bears, as the wide receiver had six catches on eight targets for 88 receiving yards. He wasn’t able to score, though the fact that he drew the most targets right away in his Bears debut suggests that he’s going to be a touchdown threat any given week. The Bears don’t operate a particularly electrifying offense, but the potential volume of targets Inman is bound to receive is not congruent to the percentage of ESPN leagues he’s currently owned.
9. Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers RB (1.9% owned in ESPN leagues)
The Chargers’ backfield isn’t all about Melvin Gordon anymore. That’s after Los Angeles backup running back Austin Ekeler had a total of 119 yards and two touchdowns in a 20-17 overtime loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday. Ekeler’s snap count has been on a rise of late, and against the Jags, he had 23 total snaps, six more than in any week prior to Week 10.
The rookie out of Western State isn’t going to overtake Gordon this season, but a fair amount of opportunities to showcase what he’s got is coming his way. Gordon owners should handcuff Ekeler. Owners who are streaming could also benefit picking up Ekeler now, as the Chargers face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Bills are second overall in fantasy points allowed per game to running backs.
8. Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers RB (2.3% owned in ESPN leagues)
Football was brutal to Packers running backs last Sunday—except for Jamaal Williams. Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery sustained injuries in their Week 10 matchup with the Bears, which could get them sidelined at least for Green Bay’s Week 11 contest against the Baltimore Ravens at home.
Both Jones and Montgomery exited the Chicago game early, paving the way for Williams to monopolize work on the ground, rushing for 67 yards on 20 carries. That’s not going to land his picture next to the definition of efficiency in the dictionary, but he’s likely to be the team’s starter versus the Ravens. Note that the Ravens have the fifth-worst run defense in the NFL and have allowed the ninth most fantasy points to running backs so far this season.
7. Marcedes Lewis – Jacksonville Jaguars TE (2.9% owned in ESPN leagues)
If you think that your uncle could score on the Cleveland Browns, you are probably right. Teams have found plenty of ways to rupture Cleveland’s defense, one of which is to toss the ball to their tight ends. The Browns are allowing 230 passing yards and 11.1 fantasy points to opposing tight ends per contest, so even if you’re not particularly looking for a tight end, Marcedes Lewis could be a streaming option worth a flex start this week.
6. Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers WR (3.6% owned in ESPN leagues)
Curtis Samuel was expected to ascent to the WR No. 2 role in Carolina following the departure of Kelvin Benjamin, and while the rookie only had three catches for 23 yards on five targets in Week 9’s win over the Atlanta Falcons, Cam Newton will keep on heaving balls in the former Ohio State Buckeyes wideout’s direction with the Panthers slim receiving unit.
5. Rod Smith – Dallas Cowboys RB (14.5% owned in ESPN leagues)
With Ezekiel Elliott apparently running out of appeals—or so it seems—the Cowboys turned to the pair of Alfred Morris and Rod Smith to perform the functions usually reserved for Elliott. What’s a bit surprising, however, was that Smith appeared in far more snaps than Morris, 38-22, during last Sunday’s 27-7 annihilation at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons. Morris had more carries (11) than Smith (3), though.
It’s not yet safe to assume which of the two will be featured the most going forward, however. Smith only had 14 rushing yards against the Falcons along with 15 yards on four receptions.
4. Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars QB (15.4% owned in ESPN leagues)
Even Blake Bortles could look good when pitted against the Browns’ defense. Cleveland is allowing 26.7 points per game, the third most in the league. The Browns are also scoring just 15.7 points per game, which means there will be extra offensive plays for Bortles to try to load up on passing yards and toss touchdowns.
The Browns often shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers, but its bound to get even crueler for Cleveland as they face the Jags’ unforgiving defense, which should give Bortles and the Jags’ offense more soil to bury the Browns. Cleveland has surrendered at least two touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in seven of their last nine games.
3. Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans WR (34.4% owned in ESPN leagues)
Forget that Davis only had 48 yards on four receptions in last Sunday’s 24-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals and remember that the rookie wide receiver led the team in targets with 10. Target volume trumps total yards when predicting future fantasy success, which is the case for Davis here. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota will continue to throw at Davis, who might just be shaking off some of the rust from a long layoff due to a hamstring injury.
2. Danny Woodhead – Baltimore Ravens RB (39.4% owned in ESPN leagues)
People might have forgotten Danny Woodhead since he’s been out of the field since Week 1 thanks to a hamstring injury, but it’s time to start believing in the running back. There’s no official word yet on when Woodhead will take the field again, but it makes sense to pick him up now while others haven’t. For all we know, he could be back out on the field in Week 11 against the Green Bay Packers.
Even if he doesn’t make his return next Sunday, you’d have to hope that the PPR-favorite Woodhead is going to be back just in time for the fantasy playoffs.
1. Marqise Lee – Jacksonville Jaguars WR (42.6% owned in ESPN leagues)
Marqise Lee is the third Jaguar on this list, so you know where we’re going here. Lee’s value, however, is more than just about his chances of abusing Cleveland’s suspect defense. Regardless of the matchup, Lee is getting tons of looks from Bortles. Lee is coming off back-to-back weeks in which he received at least 11 targets.
Against the Chargers last week, Lee caught six passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. A week before that, he had 75 receiving yards on eight catches, also with a score. What’s to stop us from expecting he’ll continue the good times against the winless Browns?