Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 10
Jake Locker (TEN): Jake Locker's injured shoulder has been deemed "nearly healed" by a source inside the Titans' organization, and this news comes on the heels of a 51-20 loss to the Bears. Matt Hasselbeck didn't play terribly while his team was being blown out, but he certainly didn't play well, averaging only 5.5 yards per pass attempt and finishing with a 70.4 quarterback rating. Locker very well may return to face Miami's 30th ranked pass defense next week. If not, he'll surely be back to face the Jaguars' 25th ranked pass defense the following week.
Marcel Reece (OAK): The Raiders are depleted at running back thanks to a misfortunate coincidence of both Darren McFadden and his backup, Mike Goodson, suffering high-ankle sprains in the same game. That leaves the Raiders with backfield options of Taiwan Jones, Owen Schmitt, and Marcel Reece. The coaching staff says that Jones needs to improve his ball security before they can trust him, and Schmitt is a fullback whose sole purpose in the league is to block. That leaves the Raiders with Reece, a wide receiver converted to a fullback who is a versatile weapon with a ton of playmaking ability. He took over the halfback role after McFadden and Goodson left the game, and should get most of the carries and plenty of receptions while those two miss time.
Vick Ballard (IND): Donald Brown was supposed to return and split carries with Ballard on Sunday, but came out of the game due to knee soreness before receiving a carry. That left Ballard to share carries with Delone Carter, who got only eight attempts compared to Ballard's 16. Ballard was also targeted six times, catching three passes for 38 yards. Playing on Thursday night, Brown will have little time to get healthy and Ballard will likely be the leader of the Colts' backfield again.
James Starks (GB): After receiving increased work in practice, Starks got the starting job for the Packers and carried the ball 17 times. Starks (17 carries, no targets) got most of the early down work, while Alex Green (11 carries, four targets) filled in as the passing down back. However, Green (4.8 YPC) was more effective running the ball than Starks (3.6), so Starks' carries could dip back down. Green is definitely the more valuable player in the Packers' backfield right now, but Starks is worth a pickup in deeper leagues.
T.Y. Hilton (IND): Hilton stepped up in a big way on Sunday, catching six balls for 102 yards and a touchdown. Though it was only his second good fantasy performance of the season, he'll likely get another shot to earn targets on Thursday with fellow wide receiver Donnie Avery ailing. Avery, who left Sunday's game with a hip injury, will have a short week to get ready for Thursday's game, and Hilton could receive the mass amount of targets Avery usually gets. Avery rarely gets much production out of his high target number, so if Hilton could put in another good performance in Avery's absence, he could earn himself the No. 2 receiver role.
Ryan Broyles (DET): Broyles didn't have as good of a fantasy performance on Sunday as he did the previous two weeks, but what he proved is that he can be a consistent PPR option even when he doesn't score. Catching all six of his targets for 52 yards in a game where the Lions didn't even need to pass much, Broyles can be relied on to put up solid numbers going forward.
Emmanuel Sanders (PIT): Sanders has yet to put together a good fantasy performance this season, but he'll have a shot at doing it this week with Antonio Brown doubtful for Monday night's game against the Chiefs. He's no sure thing to put up good numbers, but if you have players injured or on bye and need a fill-in, he's worth a shot as a risk/reward play.
Darrius Heyward-Bey (OAK): With their top two running backs injured, the Raiders are going to have to look to the pass more than they have through the first eight games. With defenses beginning to focus on shutting down Carson Palmer's favorite target, Denarius Moore, DHB will be an important part of the Raiders' attack. He's put up either 74+ yards or a touchdown in his past three games.
Brandon Myers (OAK): I've had Myers on this list a few times, and he finally showed owners what he can do when he gets in the end zone. He's caught 5+ passes in five of his eight games, but had failed to get in the end zone until this past Sunday. He finally showed his potential during the Raiders' comeback attempt against the Bucs, catching eight passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns. Carson Palmer loves using him as a safety net, and he may get more looks now that the Raiders' backfield is depleted. He's worth picking up as an injury/bye week fill-in or as a starter in deeper leagues.
Patriots: Owned in 70% of Yahoo leagues, this one may not be available to you, but it is definitely worth grabbing if no one has it. Ranked 11th in scoring defense and 3rd in takeaways, the Patriots have fielded a solid fantasy defense in most games this season. Their upcoming schedule consists of the Bills, Colts, Jets, and Dolphins, so you can pick them up and not have to worry about a new defense for a few weeks.