James Starks may be back from injury soon and will probably take over as Green Bay's lead RB
With only four teams on a bye in Week 10, fantasy owners have survived the bloated bye weeks. However, don't forget that Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis and Oakland are on bye in Week 10. Thankfully, not many players suffered injuries in Week 9, so many of the waiver wire options are based on recent performance, rather than an injury-fill in.
Teams on bye: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (8 percent owned)
Over the past two weeks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have given up 857 yards and eight passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks (Derek Carr and Matt Ryan). While Cutler may not be at the level of those two quarterbacks, the Bucs can be beat through the air. Cutler just threw for 252 yards and a touchdown against the seemingly formidable Vikings before the Week 9 bye. He's not a must-add, but for Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr or Tyrod Taylor owners, he's certainly a viable fill-in with a plus matchup against the Bucs in Week 10.
Dion Lewis, New England Patriots (39 percent owned)
Lewis has resumed practicing, but has yet to be activated from the PUP list. The Patriots had a bye in Week 9, and there is some speculation that Lewis may play in Week 10. He's worth picking up, especially in PPR leagues, although his usage will be unknown. He tore his ACL last year and then this summer suffered a patellar stress fracture that required surgery in August, and is just now returning. It's hard to trust a player that is coming off those injuries, especially right away, but he is worth stashing at the end of fantasy benches because of the upside he can offer.
James Starks, Green Bay Packers (18 percent owned)
The Packers are as desperate for a running back as most fantasy owners were in Week 9 with six teams on bye and injuries. Starks may return in Week 10 for the Packers, mostly because they have no one else. Ty Montgomery has been limited, and no other running back on the team has shown an ability to run the ball. Starks has been out since Week 5 with a knee injury. Starks should be owned as he will be the running back for the Packers, but don't count on him for Week 10.
Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18 percent owned)
Barber is a case of the last man standing. Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Jacquizz Rodgers and now Antone Smith have all been injured at the running back position for the Bucs this year. Who's left? Barber. He certainly didn't do a lot with his 11 carries in Week 9 (31 yards), but he also had four receptions for 24 yards. If Martin and Rodgers aren't available, Barber will be the lead back against Chicago in Week 10.
Paul Perkins, New York Giants (6 percent owned)
While the Giants’ running game has been abysmal, Perkins is the best chance for fantasy owners to get some production. Perkins had 11 carries in Week 9, which is the most he's had this season. The Giants are looking to get him more involved, and it is possible he will have a bigger workload as the season goes on. Perkins isn't a must-start for Week 10 (vs. Cincinnati) but should be owned as a bench stash for the rest of the season.
Kapri Bibbs, Denver Broncos (5 percent owned)
Waiver wire darling Devontae Booker has disappointed even though he's been given the starting job in Denver. In Week 9, in what should have been a great matchup against the Oakland Raiders, Booker was given 10 carries which he turned into 22 yards. Bibbs, meanwhile, looked great on a 69-yard touchdown in Week 9. While it is hard to judge a player on one good play, the Broncos seem inclined to give him more work. With Booker struggling, Bibbs may find himself with more of a role. He should be picked up as a bench stash.
Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (30 percent owned)
Matthews was in this column last week, but since he is still less than 50 percent owned, he's here again. In the past five games, Matthews has five touchdowns. He's had at least four receptions or a touchdown in those past five games. He's the clear No. 1 receiver on the Titans, although it's not exactly an offense that throws the ball a lot. The Titans play Green Bay in Week 10, and the Packers’ secondary can be beaten. They've given up 11 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season. Matthews is a solid WR3 with upside for Week 10 and beyond.
Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19 percent owned)
Picking up Humphries isn't a sexy move. Your fellow leaguemates won't be rushing to get him off the waiver wire. However, he did get a garbage-time touchdown in Week 9, and he will be the No. 1 receiver if Mike Evans is out. Evans was concussed at the end of the Week 9 Thursday night game, so he must clear the protocol before he can play on Sunday. If Evans does miss time, Humphries is a must-own. If Evans is cleared to play, Humphries is just a desperation fill-in.
J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals (14 percent owned)
Mr. Nelson, welcome to your third week in the waiver wire column. The Cardinals were on a bye in Week 9, but they return in Week 10 to face the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers just allowed Drew Brees to throw for 323 yards with the Saints’ top two receivers having more than 65 receiving yards each. Nelson and Larry Fitzgerald should feast against the 49ers in Week 10. Pick up Nelson and start him.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (12 percent owned)
With Jeremy Maclin dealing with a groin injury, Hill may have more opportunities in Week 10. He has four touchdowns on the year, but his production has been sparse. His best game of the season was Week 8 against Indianapolis, where he had five receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. He followed that performance with three receptions for 11 yards. Hill is no sure thing, but he's a bye-week fill-in as a WR3 if Maclin sits.
Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (4 percent owned)
Travis Benjamin may end up missing Week 10, in which case Inman will have fantasy value. Tyrell Williams and Antonio Gates will step up, but Inman will fill in as a WR3. He's had at least 55 yards in the past three games with his receptions increasing from three to four to six. Inman may not be worth a waiver claim except in deeper leagues, but he's worth keeping an eye on this week. If Benjamin is out, he's a WR3. If Benjamin plays, Inman can be left on the waiver wire.
Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams (15 percent owned)
While Kendricks isn't going to have a 100-yard, two-touchdown game, he has been giving PPR fantasy owners double-digit fantasy points in the past three outings. He's had at least five receptions in the last three and has a touchdown as well. He's clearly just a safety net for Case Keenum, but dump-off receptions count for fantasy purposes. Kendricks is a viable fill-in, especially in PPR leagues.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (11 percent owned)
Fantasy owners may have forgotten about Fiedorowicz because the Texans were on a bye in Week 9, however, he's been quietly making his way onto the tight end radar. With three touchdowns in the past five games, he's been stepping up as Brock Osweiler's safety net. Fiedorowicz has at least four receptions in each of the past five games and has been part of the offense (as indicated by the targets he's receiving). Fiedorowicz is worth picking up and using, perhaps beyond a Week 10 fill-in.
New York Jets (38 percent owned)
The Jets host the Los Angeles Rams in Week 10 and, for those looking for a streaming DST, might be available. The Rams give up the most fantasy points to opposing DSTs. They've allowed opposing DSTs to earn a sack in every game, and the most points the Rams have put up in a game is 31 (Week 3). This game has the makings of being a low-scoring game, and the Jets should help fantasy owners in a week with some tough matchups.
Guys to keep an eye on
Many fantasy leagues have an "IR" spot as part of their roster If your league has this, you may want to consider picking up some players that may have been dropped. Adrian Peterson (31 percent owned) is eligible to return in Week 11, although that does seem unlikely. Sammy Watkins (36 percent owned) is eligible to return in Week 12, and Kevin White (11 percent owned) is eligible to return in Week 13. All three are a gamble, but a gamble that may pay off if these players can return to their original form.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.