Week 9, with six teams on bye, is finally behind fantasy owners. However, Week 10, with four teams on bye, looms ahead. While the injuries pile up and some players aren’t going to be available, fantasy owners need to be looking at the waiver wire.
Fantasy owners should take a long, hard look at their roster. If some players are on there that have been hanging around since the draft, now is the time to cut bait. John Brown? Taylor Gabriel? Austin Ekeler? Those guys can be dropped for depth if needed.
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Minnesota
Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers (3 percent owned)
While it’s rare that a rookie makes an amazing mid-season debut and then continues to follow it up with strong performances, Mullens does get to face the New York Giants on "Monday Night Football" in Week 10. He came out of nowhere in Week 9 to complete 16 passes for 262 yards, including three touchdowns. Granted, that was against an Oakland Raiders team that has basically phoned in the season, but it’s worth a shot to see what Mullens can do against an equally bad Giants team in Week 10.
Duke Johnson Jr., Cleveland Browns (48 percent owned)
The Cleveland Browns have changed their offense, and in Week 9, Johnson emerged from nowhere to become fantasy relevant again. He had nine targets and he caught all of them. He ended with 78 yards and two touchdowns. It seems that Baker Mayfield has realized that he can throw short, dump passes to his running back. It worked, and fantasy owners in PPR leagues need to pick up Johnson on waivers.
Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks (24 percent owned)
Chris Carson has been injury-prone all year. He’s performed well when he has been healthy and able, but he hasn’t been healthy and he still isn’t. He was dealing with a hip injury before Week 9, and he played through it only to leave mid-game with a thigh injury. It’s not clear if this is definitely a new injury or an aggravation, but he will likely miss time in the future, and Davis is the next man up. Davis should be owned in all formats.
Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons (44 percent owned)
While Week 9 was the Tevin Coleman show, Smith quietly had 10 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown as well. He’ll be given the goal-line work, and playing a complementary role to Coleman. The Falcons face the Cleveland Browns in Week 10, and he’s a flex option for that game, especially with four teams on bye.
Josh Adams, Philadelphia Eagles (10 percent owned)
Fantasy owners may have forgotten about Adams because the Eagles were on bye in Week 9. However, in Week 8, Corey Clement was the forgotten back. Adams had nine carries for 61 yards and looked like the best back of the bunch. It may be hard to start him in Week 10, but he should be a speculative add.
Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (9 percent owned)
Fantasy owners in PPR formats desperate for some points can look to Riddick. He’s going to be second fiddle to Kerryon Johnson, but he’ll be involved in the passing game. He missed time with a knee injury, but returned in Week 9. While the Detroit Lions looked awful on offense, Riddick had seven receptions for 36 yards. He’s not a must-add, but he will provide some value in PPR leagues.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (39 percent owned)
The news broke that Geronimo Allison may miss a significant amount of time due to a core muscle injury. He had been on the injury report with a groin injury, and missed Week 9. In Allison’s absence, MVS was the No. 2 behind Davante Adams, catching three of his six targets for 101 yards. He has two 100-yard games in the past three weeks, and should be owned in all formats.
Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears (11 percent owned)
With Allen Robinson out the past two weeks, it seemed that Taylor Gabriel would be the immediate beneficiary. However, it was Miller that was the biggest beneficiary. In Week 9, Miller had five receptions for 49 yards. In a game where Mitchell Trubisky only completed 12 passes for 135 yards, Miller is a solid option. He’s a WR3 against Detroit in Week 10.
Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2 percent owned)
In the past two weeks, Humphries has 15 receptions on 18 targets. He had 76 and 82 yards in those two games and two touchdowns. While Ryan Fitzpatrick is at quarterback, it seems he likes looking to Humphries. Mike Evans will still be No. 1 while DeSean Jackson will be a boom-or-bust option who may or may not catch a long touchdown. Chris Godwin has fallen out of favor, and Humphries should be picked up and stashed in deeper leagues.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (39 percent owned)
Doyle was on bye in Week 9, but will be a borderline TE1 against Jacksonville in Week 10. He finally returned in Week 8 after missing time with a hip injury. He had six receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown in Week 8. If he’s available, fantasy owners should grab Doyle.
Chris Herndon, New York Jets (14 percent owned)
Herndon has been on the waiver wire column for weeks, and many fantasy owners haven’t been interested in a New York Jets tight end. In an ugly Week 9 game, he had four receptions for 62 yards, although he didn’t find the end zone. Herndon, admittedly, isn’t a great fantasy option, but fantasy owners searching for a bye-week fill-in could do worse.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
New York Jets (38 percent owned)
The Jets face the Buffalo Bills in Week 10. It’s clear the Bills are sticking with Nathan Peterman, at least until either Josh Allen or Derek Anderson is able to return. The Bills' offense is struggling, and while Peterman is the best-case scenario for an opposing DST, this offense isn’t going to put up a ton of points, regardless of who is at quarterback.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.