Week 10 is in the books and boy was it a thrilling one. Kyler Murray‘s late-game heroics surely vaulted him back into the MVP discussion while Russell Wilson definitely took a step back. But that’s not why you’re here. You’re here for help filling out your lineup.
We are in the final stretch of bye weeks. It’s a light one as Week 11 sees four teams on bye; the 49ers, Bears, Bills, and Giants. Then no teams are off in Week 12 before the Buccaneers and Panthers take a break in Week 13. But let’s help you replace Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and more in this week’s waiver wire.
Week 11 Waiver Wire: Indy 500
New Orleans Saints
Usually, when we talk about injury replacements impacting the waiver wire, it’s at one of the skill positions. But New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is set to have an MRI after taking a big hit in the first half against the 49ers. If he misses time, Jameis Winston could be handed the keys to one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL; ranking fifth in points per game.
Lest we forget, Winston threw a career-best 33 touchdown passes last season. He won’t be slinging it nearly as often or as far as he did in 2019 but he could be more efficient. If Brees’ reaction was any indication, he’ll miss next week against the Atlanta Falcons. They’re allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and that’s with them coming off of their bye. Winston could earn a nice contract out this if it extends multiple weeks.
Yes, this space to push Jordan Wilkins a couple of weeks ago. No, that hasn’t worked out. Yes, we are going right back to the Indianapolis Colts well. This time we turn our focus to Nyheim Hines who was a footnote in the section on Wilkins. He was Week 10’s RB4 through Sunday’s games and has the steadiest role between him, Wilkins, and rookie Jonathan Taylor.
Indy draws the Green Bay Packers in Week 11. They’ve given up a league-worst 15 touchdowns to running backs, four of which have been receiving (tied for second-most), and have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs. The same caveats apply here as with Wilkins. This is still a three-headed committee. Week 11 just might present an opportunity for multiple strong performances from this backfield. But Hines is looking like the safest bet right now.
Is the University of Washington becoming the Miami Dolphins personal ‘Running Back U’? Probably not but like the injured Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed stepped into the starting role and racked up 90 yards on 22 touches against the Los Angeles Chargers. Not overly efficient but he also found the end zone and handled 21 of 25 running back carries. Gaskin is set to miss at least one more game on IR setting Ahmed up so handle another hefty workload.
He faces the Denver Broncos on the road in Week 11. That was once a matchup to avoid but they are middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to the position in 2020. They also just gave up the RB2 performance to Josh Jacobs and RB6 to Devontae Booker (pending Monday Night Football) of the Las Vegas Raiders in the same game. Miami is playing well defensively and they are trying to limit rookie Tua Tagovailoa’s exposure. These all bode well for Ahmed.
As mentioned earlier, we are almost out of the woods on bye weeks. With only a handful of fantasy assets out this week and just two teams with byes remaining, bench depth is becoming less important. At certain positions, that is. Running back is the most valuable position because of how monopolized the touches are compared to wide receivers where teams routinely go four and five-deep. There isn’t a lot of depth at tight end as it is and things get murky as guys specialize down the depth chart.
Running back is fairly straight forward for the most part. Chances are, with all injuries this season, you’ve already seen who would be your starting back’s replacement and how he would be used. Be proactive and snag up that backup if you have space on your bench. Receivers that you wouldn’t start are less valuable than your starting runners handcuff. This doesn’t apply to all backups, but certain guys (Alexander Mattison, Latavius Murray, Jamaal Williams, etc.) need to be picked up just in case. Even if the case is to block your opponent if pettiness is your thing.
Michael Pittman Jr.
His dad was a Super Bowl-winning member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but the 6-foot-4 rookie out of USC is trying to make his mark on the outside. He did that in Week 10, checking in as the WR15 through Sunday. Pittman caught seven of eight targets for 101 yards and took a handoff 21 yards in his best game as a pro. His 15 targets over the past two games lead the team and came with the Colts both trailing and leading signaling a stable role. That’s notable because it was the first time Indy had Pittman, Zach Pascal, and T.Y. Hilton all active this season.
He’ll see the Green Bay Packers in Week 11. While Indy isn’t a high-volume passing attack by nature, ranking just 20th in attempts, Richie Jame hung a 9/184/1 line on the Packers a coulple of weeks ago. Hines and the guys running the ball might be the bigger worry. But it’s clear there is a desire to get Pittman going and a need for him to do so. It’s tough counting on rookies, though.
In a tremendous showing of personal fortitude, Corey Davis played last Thursday in the Tennessee Titans loss to the Indianapolis Colts. It was a modest performance, just 11.7 PPR fantasy points. But it was Davis’ sixth time in seven games scoring 10-plus PPR fantasy points this season. The one miss was against the Bears lockdown corners. If you were worried about the A.J. Brown, don’t. Davis’s two biggest games came in Weeks 7 and 8 with Brown in the lineup.
He gets the Ravens in Week 11. The matchup could be better as they’ve allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. But they have allowed solid outings to Jakobi Meyers and JuJu Smith-Schuster in recent weeks. Davis is right on the threshold for making this list but he also has better staying power than any receiver on the wire right now.
Los Angeles Rams
This one could be tricky. Josh Reynolds led the Los Angeles Rams in Week 10 with 10 targets, catching eight for 94 yards. All team-highs. He’s quietly behind only Cooper Kupp’s 31 targets with 27 of his own over the last three weeks. Kupp, if you remember, received a whopping 20 looks two weeks ago. Reynolds has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four games.
The risks here are three-fold. First, Reynolds is third in the pecking order on his team. Kupp and Robert Woods will generally garner far more looks. Second, the Rams are a run-first operation with three talented backs. Jared Goff moved the ball almost at will through the air in Week 10 and they still scored all their touchdowns on the ground. Last, but not least, L.A. faces Tampa in Week 11. They are 11th in fantasy points allowed to receivers but have shown cracks in recent weeks, allowing useful performances to several players.
We’re getting even more dangerous now. Willie Snead snagged five of seven targets for 64 yards and two scores against the Patriots in primetime. It was Snead’s third game in a row with four-plus catches. It’s light work, but he has been effective with it; he caught five of seven targets for 106 yards a couple of weeks ago.
Snead is like Reynolds. His team is run-first with a good defense to keep it on schedule. But the Baltimore Ravens rushing attack is an even greater presence with Lamar Jackson. So Snead is behind the running game first and second even before getting to Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews. Surely the WR7 in Week 10 has some long-term value. Brown and the offense have struggled so perhaps Snead can show some consistency against the Titans who are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett
Los Angeles Rams
In what has been an oscillating thing, Tyler Higbee led the Rams tight ends in production in Week 10 with three grabs (on six targets) for 60 yards. Gerald Everett had nine targets just a week ago. Both have the ability to be top-10 at the position but, more often than not, they just cannibalize each other. Everett got hurt towards the end of last season allowing Higbee to take off and we may need to see a similar occurrence to see one elevate fully.
Still, the state of the tight end position is such that if you find yourself needing one, there are worse offenses to attach yourself to. Goff is still 11th in pass attempts despite his team’s preference for the ground game. Tampa, L.A.’s opponent in Week 11, is allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to tight ends and this game could be a struggle on the perimeter.