Top waiver wire pickups for Week 10
Note: This list includes only players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Jay Cutler (CHI): Everyone dumped Cutler after his Week 7 groin injury, but he has recovered faster than anticipated and looks on track to start in Week 10. What Cutler will bring back to Chicago's offense is a career-high 91.7 passer rating and 12 touchdowns. He now has a blossoming Alshon Jeffery to throw to, forcing defenses to pay attention to more than just Brandon Marshall. He's a back-end QB1 with a juicy fantasy playoff schedule, so if you don't have an elite option at quarterback, grabbing Cutler isn't a bad idea.
Nick Foles (PHI): Let's not go overboard with Foles here - he's not going to set more records any time soon. What he has done, however, is secure a starting job for the foreseeable future in an uptempo offense. He unfortunately can not play against the Raiders' porous secondary every week, but he is worth plug-n-play consideration against teams like the Redskins, who the Eagles will play in Week 11.
Case Keenum (HOU): It looks like Keenum will be holding on to the Texans' starting quarterback job. An aggressive, wing-it-downfield type signal caller, Keenum let's his receivers go up and make big plays - not a bad strategy when you have Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins on your squad. With both running backs banged up, the Texans may have to rely a bit more on the pass than they had planned, but I don't think they mind that so much with the way Keenum has been playing. Set to face OAK, NE, and JAX twice down the stretch, it's a good time to add Keenum if you need a quarterback.
Chris Ivory (NYJ): I thought that Ivory was poised for a big year with the Jets as long as he stayed healthy, and I was shocked early in the season when he struggled to get anything going. He now seems to be getting comfortable behind an underrated Jets offensive line, and head coach Rex Ryan is giving him the bulk of the carries. Ivory's vicious, tenacious running style perfectly embodies what Ryan wants in a running back, and as long as he is healthy, Ivory should continue to get plenty of work and pound defenses into submission. Week 8's 49-9 loss was an outlier for Ivory (six carries, 11 yards) that can not be taken too seriously, as Ivory is an injury-prone, early-down back - there is no reason to play him in a blowout. That blowout loss is bookended by two hundred-yard performances in which Ivory has averaged 121.5 rushing yards per game.
Andre Brown (NYG): Set to return from a broken leg in Week 10, Brown needs to be picked up in anticipation of him becoming the lead back for the Giants. Brandon Jacobs, Peyton Hillis, and Michael Cox are not reliable options, and Brown is a 26-year-old who averaged 5.3 yards per carry last year with eight touchdowns in ten games. The Giants' offensive line is playing much better than they were earlier in the season, so Brown should be able to find some holes and put up nice numbers. I wouldn't play him this week, as he has not played in live action since August, but he should get a big enough workload to use as a fantasy starter in Week 11.
Shonn Greene (TEN): The Titans' coaches said that they wanted to get Greene 15 carries in Week 9, but a rejuvenated Chris Johnson went absolutely nuts, so the Titans wisely continued to feed him his most carries since Week 2, as well as his largest total workload of the season. Greene still managed ten touches, with which he ran for 38 yards, caught a pass for 28 yards, and scored a touchdown. He should continue to get this many touches, and could get more if Johnson goes back to struggling. Greene is also the short-yardage and goal-line back, which makes him a solid pickup for owners scrambling to find a running back.
Rashad Jennings (OAK): After Darren McFadden left Week 9's game with a hamstring injury, Jennings went off statistically. He rumbled for 102 yards and a touchdown on the ground while adding seven catches for 74 yards through the air. He'll likely be the starting back in Week 10 thanks to McFadden's tendency to recover slowly from injuries. What concerns me, however, is that the Raiders' Week 10 opponent - a revitalized Giants team - has given up a combined 78 rushing yards over their past two games. With the Raiders' offensive line injured and untalented, Jennings is not a lock to put up starting-caliber numbers. That being said, he is still worth a spot start while McFadden is sidelined, and is a more reliable short-term option than Shonn Greene.
Shane Vereen (NE): I have Vereen last in the running backs section simply because he is not eligible to play yet, but he will be the best of this group once he takes the field. As I said last week, his role on passing downs will get him about 50% of the snaps, while he'll get addition playing time as a wide receiver and occasional early-down back. He's a big part of a top-ten scoring offense - get him on your team if you can.
Aaron Dobson (NE): Kenbrell Thompkins is officially in the doghouse, which means that Dobson has the starting perimeter receiver gig more or less to himself. The rookie played on 90.6% of the Patriots' snaps in Week 9 and burned the Steelers for a 5/130/1 line. His chemistry with Tom Brady is finally coming to fruition, and he could possibly end up being a monster fantasy scorer when he comes out of the team's Week 10 bye.
Doug Baldwin (SEA): Sidney Rice is out for the season, and the Seahawks look like they will play it safe with Percy Harvin by holding him out through their Week 12 bye. That leaves Baldwin as a starting receiver in an explosive offense. The 25-year-old UDFA posted his best line of the season in Week 9 with six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. He takes on two porous secondaries (ATL and MIN) over the next two weeks.
Mike Brown (JAX): Though he was not able to take advantage of Justin Blackmon's early-season suspension due to a back injury, Brown is now healthy and ready to take advantage of Blackmon's season-ending suspension. Over his past three games, Brown has 12 catches for 212 yards and a touchdown. With Blackmon suspended indefinitely, Brown will be the No. 2 receiver for the remainder of the season. He should get plenty of targets on a team that is almost always playing from behind.
Riley Cooper (PHI): As was the case with Foles, don't get too excited about Cooper's 5/139/3 line from Week 9 - he won't get to roast D.J. Hayden every week. That being said, Cooper has had strong performances in each of the last three games that Foles has been behind center. They seem to be developing a strong chemistry and Foles should continue to look for his massive target on a regular basis. He's worth an add if you need a receiver, but keep in mind that Cooper did not have a hundred-yard game in his career until Week 6 of this year - his fourth season in the league. Don't expect him to maintain this lofty production.
Tim Wright (TB): Continuing to impress with both his athleticism and his chemistry with Mike Glennon, Wright has now posted rock solid fantasy numbers in three of the past four weeks. He now looks like the primary red zone option with Mike Williams out for the year, leaving him with some nice upside. You can expect 4-5 catches for about 50 yards on a weekly basis from Wright, so any week he scores a touchdown, you'll probably end up with legit TE1 fantasy production.
Joel Dreessen (DEN): Julius Thomas has a sprained ankle, and while it is not considered a serious injury, the Broncos will not rush him back. If Thomas misses Week 10's game against the Chargers, Dreessen and Jacob Tamme will both get a significant bump in snaps, and we all know that Peyton Manning likes to utilize his tight ends. Dreessen is the better pickup than Tamme, as he gets more looks in the red zone. Something to consider here is that the Chargers have defended tight ends very well; they just held Jordan Reed to four catches for 37 yards - as far as receptions and receiving yards, it was his worst fantasy output of the season.
Miami Dolphins: There is not a whole lot on the waiver wire this week as far as defenses. The Dolphins, however, have a nice matchup with the winless Buccaneers, who came back down to earth after a surprisingly efficient start against the Seahawks in Week 9. The Buccaneers' 31st ranked offense will have to deal with a Dolphins defense that forced four turnovers against the Bengals on Thursday night. Given what is available this week, this is a solid streaming option.
Houston Texans: Yes, this defense has been wildly disappointing, but they'll have a great chance to turn things around this week against the Cardinals. With Matt Schaub no longer behind center, the team is no longer turning the ball over at a high rate, making life easier on the defense. This has led to the Texans giving up 22.0 points per game over their past two contests, both of which were against strong offenses (KC and IND). They'll now take on the worst group of pass blockers in the NFL. J.J. Watt will have an opportunity to feast on Carson Palmer, and the defense is a solid bet to bounce back as a whole.