After an eventful Week 9 in fantasy football filled with breakout players, disappointments, and injuries, it’s time to look ahead. With four teams on bye in Week 10, fantasy owners will need to carefully consider potential replacements as we are now in the second half of the season. So who are some of the early waiver wire pickups to target in Week 10 for your fantasy lineups? Let’s look at who is deserving of those priority claims.
Week 10 Waiver Wire: Quarterback pickups to target for your fantasy team
Tua Tagavailoa (Miami Dolphins)
After struggling in his NFL debut in Week 8, Tagavailoa broke out for 248 yards and two passing touchdowns with 35 yards rushing in a win against the Cardinals. Despite losing Preston Williams to an injury, Tua showed off his elite accuracy (71.4% completion percentage) and rushing upside. He now faces a Chargers defense that has given up at least 29 points in each of the last four games. With the Dolphins struggling to run the ball without Myles Gaskin, Tagavailoa may be asked to take on even more against the high-powered Chargers offense in what could be a good back-and-forth affair. Tagavailoa could be a low-end QB1 in Week 10 in a year where we’ve seen Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert also break out.
Teddy Bridgewater (Carolina Panthers)
Against a tough Chiefs defense, Bridgewater put up a strong effort with 310 yards passing and two touchdowns in Christian McCaffrey’s return. Bridgewater touts one of the best skill player trios in the league, with McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Robby Anderson as well as Curtis Samuel also stepping up as of late. He may not have the upside that other quarterbacks have, but he is a threat for two-plus touchdowns a week with some rushing yards as well. He faces a Tampa Bay defense in Week 10 that just got decimated by Drew Brees for four touchdowns this past weekend.
Running back waiver wire pickups to target in Week 10
Duke Johnson (Houston Texans)
After David Johnson went down with a concussion, Duke Johnson stepped up with 73 scrimmage yards and a touchdown on 20 touches. He wasn’t particularly efficient, but he got almost all of the running back work in the other Johnson’s absence. If David Johnson were to miss Week 10, Duke Johnson would be a top-24 running back against a weak Browns defense. With the Texans offense playing well following Bill O’Brien’s firing, Duke Johnson could be in for a big game if he were to be the lead back in Week 10.
J.D. McKissic (Washington Football Team)
With Alex Smith expected to be under center for the remainder of the season following Kyle Allen’s injury, that boosts McKissic’s rest-of-season outlook going forward. McKissic has at least six receptions and 40 yards in all but one of his last five games, including a nine-catch, 95-yard performance in Week 9.
As a preferred target of Smith’s, McKissic may even be the number two option in the passing game behind Terry McLaurin. McKissic also faces a fragile Lions defense who has been given up substantial receiving numbers to opposing running backs as of late. The Lions have given up 45+ yards receiving and three touchdowns to opposing running backs over the last three games. He is a low-end RB2 going forward in PPR leagues.
Jordan Wilkins (Indianapolis Colts)
While Wilkins didn’t necessarily impress in Week 10, he still had the most carries of any Colts running back. Despite Jonathan Taylor scoring a touchdown, he had a fumble that is sure to hurt his case for more work. Wilkins has 128 yards rushing and a touchdown on 31 attempts over the last two games. He now faces a Titans defense that has been struggling as of late, and Wilkins could be in line for more and look healthier after dealing with a groin injury leading up to last week’s game. While he doesn’t see a lot of receiving work, he should retain his lead back status and even see some goal-line work over Taylor going forward.
Kalen Ballage (Los Angeles Chargers)
It seems hard to believe – not only did Kalen Ballage play in another NFL game, but he also played extremely well. After being called up from the practice squad, Ballage saw a lot of work following Justin Jackson’s injury. Ballage finished with 69 yards rushing and a touchdown on 15 carries with another 15 yards on two receptions. He had more touches than Joshua Kelley. While he was reverted back to the practice squad following their Week 9 loss, he could be called back up if Jackson can’t go in Week 10. Plus, the Chargers play the Dolphins, so Ballage has the “revenge game” narrative working in his favor as well.
Wide receiver waiver wire pickups in Week 10
Curtis Samuel (Carolina Panthers)
Samuel continues to be on a tear as he finished with a season-best 105 yards receiving and a touchdown on nine receptions with 13 yards rushing as well. He has now scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three games as he continues to rely upon him more in the Panthers high-upside offense.
While he may still be “boom-or-bust” going forward, he has become a very integral part of their offense with his explosiveness in the passing and rushing game. If McCaffrey were to miss time with his shoulder injury, we could see Samuel get even more rushing work. He has established a nice floor and has become a weekly touchdown threat for the Panthers as a top Week 10 waiver wire target.
Jalen Reagor (Philadelphia Eagles)
In his return from injury in Week 8, Reagor only had 13 yards receiving on three receptions but had a touchdown and two-point conversion on six targets. That is second on the team to Travis Fulgham, and his role should only expand more as he gets back in game shape. On a team ravaged by injuries and looking for skill players to step up, Reagor could turn into the team’s number two or three option in the passing game.
Plus, he benefits from Fulgham attracting extra attention due to his size and strength, opening up more opportunities for Reagor. We could see that on display in Week 10 as the Eagles face the Giants and Fulgham could receive shadow treatment from James Bradberry. Reagor is an upside WR3 moving forward, which makes him a perfect waiver wire target.
Jakobi Meyers (New England Patriots)
With Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry missing in action, Meyers has stepped up with 18 receptions for 227 yards on 24 targets in the past two games. He also just had 12 receptions for 169 yards against the Jets and should continue to see plenty of work even when Harry does return as the Patriots defense continues to hemorrhage points and force their offense to pass more.
Meyers has flashed in his young career and has easily become Cam Newton’s preferred target. While the Patriots do face a tough test in Week 10 with the Ravens, expect to see Meyers be force-fed targets once again. While not a well-known name, Meyers has the chance to be one of the best waiver wire pickups in Week 10.
Allen Lazard (Green Bay Packers)
Before suddenly going down with an injury after his Week 3 breakout (six receptions, 146 yards, and a touchdown), Lazard had stepped up as the Packers number two wide receiver behind Davante Adams. Despite Marquez Valdes-Scantling having two touchdowns in Week 9, Lazard is expected to step into his old role once he returns from the injured reserve list. With him being designated to return, Lazard should be back in Week 10 and has a welcome matchup against a weak Jaguars defense. While he may not have his typical number of snaps in his return in Week 10, he should be all systems go by the time Week 11 hits, just in time for the fantasy football playoff stretch.
Week 10 tight end pickups
Austin Hooper (Cleveland Browns)
Prior to going down due to an emergency appendectomy, Hooper had been playing well with at least 52 yards and/or a touchdown in his three previous games. With Odell Beckham out for the season and the Browns run game struggling, Hooper could step right back into a prominent role going forward. The Browns have also struggled on defense, which could force them to abandon the run to pass more. Baker Mayfield doesn’t have a lot of reliable targets in the passing game, and there is a reason why Cleveland made Hooper one of the highest-paid tight ends in football. He should have weekly low-end TE1 potential going forward and is one of the top waiver wire targets this week.
Jordan Reed (San Francisco 49ers)
While Reed did not have the blow-up performance we expected in Week 9 in his return, he was also working his way back from an injury that took him out of commission for five games. In his last full game before his injury, Reed had a terrific 50 yard and two-touchdown performance on seven receptions. With George Kittle expected to be out for over a month and the 49ers’ running back and wide receiver group dealing with multiple injuries and issues, Reed could take on even more work in Week 10 as he becomes more healthy.
He has the upside in the vast wasteland known as tight ends in fantasy football to be a weekly TE1 and now faces a Saints defense that has struggled at times against opposing tight ends. He is a high-upside TE2 in Week 10, which should make him a valuable but one of the cheaper waiver wire pickups this week.
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Doug Moore is a fantasy football writer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter at @DMooreNFL.