It’s about that time again as you scroll through potential waiver wire pickups ahead of Week 10 to see if there’s any meat left on the bone this far into the season. It should be apparent to you by now whether you have a shot at your fantasy league’s playoffs or not, but with the amount of injuries cropping up in recent weeks there’s always movement to be made.
We had a melange of injuries in Week 9 with Daniel Jones suffering a significant knee injury, which will likely cost him the rest of the season. Josh Downs was also ruled out with a knee injury during the Colts’ victory over the Panthers. The Vikings saw Cam Akers hurt with what is feared to be a torn Achilles, and K.J. Osborn was ruled out with a concussion.
What does it all mean? Some of those mentioned are certain to miss significant time and others won’t miss any. It’s up to us to make some sense of the fallout that will come from these injuries and other uncertain situations around the NFL.
Week 10 Bye Weeks
Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles
Week 10 Waiver Wire Pickups
Keaton Mitchell, Baltimore Ravens
- Rostered: 4% of Yahoo leagues
- Week 9 fantasy points: 20.4 (RB4)
- Upcoming schedule: Browns, Bengals, @Chargers
Keaton Mitchell was an undrafted rookie out of East Carolina in 2023 and was placed on injured reserve shortly after making the Ravens’ 53-man roster. On Sunday against the Seahawks, he logged his first NFL carry. He finished the 37-3 victory with nine carries for 138 yards and a touchdown.
Being employed as a running back in Baltimore is a capricious occupation. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill have already established a one-two punch at running back, and Lamar Jackson might be the best running quarterback in the league. Between those three and Mitchell, they carried the ball 37 times on Sunday but it was a true running back by committee. Hill had the highest share with 13 (35.1%).
Having said that, as we approach the point where fantasy football seasons descend into disaster, your roster might need a thorough cleanse of players you’re never going to actually use – like Miles Sanders or Roschon Johnson.
The Ravens are 7-2, sit two games clear of the Browns, Steelers and Bengals in the AFC North, and they’re really good this time of year. They will find themselves in a lot more run-orientated game scripts going forward. Mitchell might not produce like he did on Sunday, but to do what he did in his second game as a pro certainly merits consideration.
Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders
- Rostered: 45% of Yahoo leagues
- Week 9 fantasy points: 12.6 (RB16)
- Upcoming schedule: @Seahawks, Giants, @Cowboys
Gibson equaled his season-high six carries on Sunday against the Patriots and also saw his customary large role in the passing offense with five targets. He caught all five of them for 42 yards, finishing with 11 touches and 76 all-purpose yards.
Those numbers don’t jump off the page, and his numbers on the year don’t either (26 carries, 124 yards, zero touchdowns on the ground; 25 catches, 227 receiving yards and one touchdown). His 12.6 fantasy points in Week 9 were his highest this season after a slow start, but he has carved out a nice role for himself with his pass-catching abilities.
Sam Howell continues to air it out and had another 45 attempts on Sunday. He has only attempted fewer than 40 on one occasion in the last six weeks. The Seahawks (20.6) and Giants (21.8) are giving up the 11th and sixth most fantasy points to running backs.
Tank Dell, Houston Texans
- Rostered: 48% of Yahoo leagues
- Week 9 fantasy points: 29.6 (WR1)
- Upcoming schedule: @Bengals, Cardinals, Jaguars
Dell had slipped out of the fantasy football world’s consciousness after a three-week spell that saw him catch just seven passes with no touchdowns. The bye week didn’t help in Week 7 but last week against the Buccaneers, Dell showed us why we were so excited about him during the opening few weeks of the season.
He finished the Buccaneers game with six catches on 11 targets for 114 yards and a couple of touchdowns. C.J. Stroud parlayed all the early promising signs into 470 yards and five touchdowns against the Bucs. That’s not going to happen every week, but Dell sits just behind Nico Collins with 43 targets.
Prioritize Dell as one of your waiver wire pickups, or if you’re in a deeper league and he’s already gone, pick up his teammate below.
Noah Brown, Houston Texans
- Rostered: 2% of Yahoo leagues
- Week 9 fantasy points: 27.3 (WR3)
- Upcoming schedule: @Bengals, Cardinals, Jaguars
If Tank Dell is already rostered in your league, you might be interested in Noah Brown. Brown filled in for the Dallas Cowboys last season when injuries hit and had some impressive numbers with two games at 85-plus yards while going for 50+ in the last four games of the season. He is on the Texans now and has landed in an environment that has become hospitable to wide receiver fantasy production.
His six catches in Week 9 went for 153 yards and a score, and while that came on six targets with others ahead of him in line for looks, you simply don’t finish with 27.3 PPR fantasy points and not get mentioned as a waiver wire pickups. The Houston Texans are 4-4, and they may have their starting quarterback for the next decade in C.J. Stroud.
Brown has shown up in the last three weeks for the Texans despite not showing up in the box score. He had five targets in the two weeks prior to Week 9 after missing weeks 2-5.
Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
- Rostered: 14% of Yahoo leagues
- Week 9 fantasy points: 13.2 (WR18)
- Upcoming schedule: Panthers, @Lions, @Vikings
The Chicago Bears are going nowhere. They are 2-7 and don’t know if they have their 2024 starting quarterback on the roster. Justin Fields has been injured now for the last three weeks with Tyson Bagent stepping in, but he threw three interceptions and fumbled late on during Sunday’s loss to the Saints. They might be the first ever team to have the first two picks in the NFL draft if tanking season is kind to them.
Mooney hasn’t taken off as some would have hoped since Justin Fields came to town, but he had his best outing on Sunday against the Saints with six receptions and 82 yards. He hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since Week 1, and starting any player is a gamble in the Bears offensive system.
Fields is back on the practice field and could be ready for the Carolina Panthers next week. The Panthers are surprisingly good against wide receivers, averaging 23.3 fantasy points a game, which is the fifth-lowest in the league. But it could be that the Bears let the handbrake off in the second half of the season and send Fields out to see if he has the passing chops to be their quarterback for the future. And if he doesn’t? Well, at least they’ll be losing in style and losing with a purpose.
Wan’Dale Robinson, New York Giants
- Rostered: 20% of Yahoo leagues
- Week 9 fantasy points: 13.5 (WR16)
- Upcoming schedule: @Cowboys, @Commanders, Patriots.
Daniel Jones is done for the season with an ACL injury, and Wan’Dale Robinson finally caught a touchdown. He finished the day with four catches from five targets for 35 yards and a score.
Tommy Devito looks like he will be the signal-caller for the Giants going forward, and the Dallas Cowboys are the worst kind of defense for an undrafted rookie quarterback. After that, the schedule does soften up. The Commanders and the Patriots are among the bottom five teams against wide receivers in fantasy football this season.
Robinson is continuing to get healthier and the offense is adjusting to life without Darren Waller for the next few weeks. It’s a stretch that Robinson continues to catch touchdowns, which he will need to be considered as a fantasy starter, but when the Giants scheme for him, he can prove a PPR flex option.
Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Rostered: 5% of Yahoo leagues
- Week 9 fantasy points: 23 (TE3)
- Upcoming schedule: Titans, @49ers, @Colts
Cade Otton came up big for Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers on Sunday despite eventually falling short against the Houston Texans. He had a season-high nine targets and matched a season-high with six catches for 70 yards. He caught two touchdowns to finish as TE3 last week.
Darren Waller is injured and Dallas Goedert will miss time with a fractured arm. Travis Kelce is on a bye next week, so there will be a scramble for tight ends on the waiver wire. The Titans are only giving up 6.5 fantasy points per game to tight ends (fifth-lowest in the league), so keep your expectations in check but Otton is an option if you need a quick fix.
Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons
- Rostered: 28% of Yahoo leagues
- Week 9 fantasy points: 21 (TE5)
- Upcoming schedule: @Cardinals, BYE, Saints
The Atlanta Falcons don’t seem quite sure what they’re doing. Desmond Ridder was benched for Taylor Heinicke in Week 9 after Arthur Smith assured everyone that Ridder’s benching at the end of Week 8 wasn’t performance based.
Now, Smith says Ridder might come back in as the starter for Week 10. Bijan Robinson has carried the ball 11 times on consecutive weeks and has only caught two passes in the last three weeks. He was averaging 4.3 catches for the opening six weeks of the season and is averaging just 0.66 in the last three.
Expect the unexpected with this offense and this team. That includes Jonnu Smith, who keeps producing with three top-five finishes in PPR weeks so far this season.
Smith caught five passes for 100 yards and a score to finish Week 9 as TE5 in PPR leagues. The Falcons are now 4-5 after they flopped against the immortal Joshua Dobbs and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Things get slightly easier in the coming weeks, so keep Smith on speed dial.