Can you believe we are in Week 10 of the NFL season? This week's topic is geared more toward those in deeper leagues with 12+ teams and 20+ roster spots. Some comments and thoughts will still apply to others who don't specifically fit those criteria, but for the most part, this is for those who have limited choices on the waiver wire.
This week I want to focus on some proactive waiver wire claims that could propel your team forward if one or more of these pickups hit. We often see a waiver gem help teams in the playoffs and this year should be no different. Keep in mind that a proactive waiver claim isn't intended to be a quick solution but more of a shark move that has the potential to give your lineup a boost. Examples of notable waiver pickups from this year include Geno Smith, Eno Benjamin, Jamaal Williams, Tyler Boyd, and Mecole Hardman, among others. Several of these players have made a sizeable impact on rosters everywhere. Last year, Cordarrelle Patterson, Khalil Herbert, Pat Freiermuth, Darrel Williams, Chuba Hubbard, K.J. Osborn, and Kadarius Toney fit these criteria and were instrumental in helping many fantasy rosters in the stretch run in 2021. These waiver pickups weren't expected to amount to much when picked up, but the potential for success was there. Making good on such moves can fix or strengthen your team and/or your season. Many players have already made themselves known, but that doesn't mean others won't appear. Here's a look at some players to target at each position.
PROACTIVE & REACTIVE WAIVER PICKUPS
Proactive & Reactive
Deshaun Watson, Cleveland - Watson may still be lurking on your waiver wire. If you have a QB2 that isn't performing, swap him out with Watson. You never know when you might need your QB2 outside of a bye-week replacement. You don't want to be headstrong for the playoffs only to have your QB1 get hurt late in the season, leaving you with an underperforming QB2. Upgrade this position with Watson if available.
Case Keenum, Buffalo - If Buffalo has to turn to Keenum for a few weeks while Josh Allen heals for the playoffs. In case of emergency, break the glass. Keenum is a capable, veteran quarterback. There will be a drop-off in numbers across the board, but he may be able to keep the boat afloat while Allen mends.
Tyler Huntley, BAL - If you have Lamar Jackson on your roster, Tyler Huntley is a good bench stash for the "just in case" scenario. We saw Huntley perform admirably last season when Jackson injured his ankle. He is an above-average backup quarterback who knows the Baltimore system well. Consider adding him to your roster as a Jackson handcuff.
Taysom Hill, NO - Andy Dalton is already the replacement for Jameis Winston, who is out with a fractured back and a torn tendon. He is not returning anytime soon. If Dalton endures an injury that will keep him out of the lineup, Taysom Hill becomes the de-facto quarterback. Hill is a points machine, he only needs increased reps to make a difference in the box score more consistently. If he is inserted as a quarterback, you may be able to earn fantasy points as a passer in the tight end position.
Teddy Bridgewater, MIA - Tua Tagovailoa is doing his thing, racking up points in Mike McDaniel's top-flight offense, but one big hit to his head might keep him shelved for a game or two. Teddy Bridgewater would assume the backup role, and he showed he can produce in this offense if given a chance.
Ultra-deep proactive - Quarterbacks who could wind up starting at some point or maybe in Week 17, 18
- Jordan Love, GB - The Packers are not far from packing it in for the season. They have been snakebitten by injuries, they aren't playing well, and the division is slipping away thanks to Minnesota's 7-1 start. Could Green Bay insert Jordan Love into the offense to see what he can do? If the team fails to improve, they likely will. The sunset of Aaron Rodgers' career is fading fast. Is Love next in line? We may find out soon.
- Joe Flacco, NYJ - The Jets are 6-3, but it's not exactly Zach Wilson's arm winning those games. Wilson has made some poor decisions but the team has bailed him out on more than one occasion. If the Jets start to stumble, they could replace Wilson with Flacco.
- Kyle Trask, TB - If there are no more milestones for Brady to reach and if the team is out of the playoff race late in the season, then maybe Tampa will want to see what they have in Kyle Trask.
It's a challenge to find many running backs still available, especially in deeper leagues, but here are a few that you could benefit from.
Gus Edwards, BAL - A hamstring strain has kept Gus Edwards out of the lineup for the Ravens, and Kenyan Drake has performed well in his absence. Once Edwards is healthy, which should be Week 11 (Week 10 bye), he should start to see more action. Let people chase points with Drake, while Edwards is the better play for the stretch.
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