Fantasy football free-agent forecast: Week 10

Fantasy football free-agent forecast: Week 10

Fantasy football roster management tips, strategy and advice

Fantasy football free-agent forecast: Week 10

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Free-agent recommendations refer to 12-team leagues, unless specifically stated otherwise. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.

Bye weeks: Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets

Fantasy football waiver wire targets

Quarterbacks

1-week plug & play

Alex Smith, Washington Football Team at Detroit Lions

With Kyle Allen (ankle) done for the year, Smith will get the start after playing in his stead this past weekend vs. the New York Giants. The positive — 325 yards was a personal best in his 12 appearances in Washington — will be rightfully overshadowed by an uncharacteristically sloppy, three-INT outing. Smith completed 75 percent of his passes, which is more like him, and this week he faces a Detroit defense that has only five picks on the year. Quarterbacks have averaged a modest 23.9 fantasy points against the Lions, but stability should be the takeaway for gamers looking to get bye this week at the position. All eight opponents have gone for at least 20 PPR points vs. Matt Patricia’s group this year.

Availability: 87%
FAAB: $1-2

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins vs. Los Angeles Chargers

For anyone who follows my “Gamble of the week” series, I was a week premature on my love for Tua. Nonetheless, he showed he is ready for the pressure and spotlight, but he may have to go forward without WR Preston Williams (foot). Los Angeles has given up 16 passing touchdowns in eight games and also three more on the ground. The quality of the opponent has mattered vs. LA, so understand this is a somewhat risky recommendation. As recently as Week 8, though, the relatively inexperience Drew Lock was able to post 24.3 fantasy points. Tagovailoa may be asked to put the team on his back if the running game cannot get it going.

Availability: 38%
FAAB: $1-2

Watch list

Jake Luton, Jacksonville Jaguars

Luton should get the start in Week 10 at Green Bay while Gardner Minshew (thumb) heals. It was a good but not great showing in the rookie’s Week 9 debut, finishing with 304 yards, one touchdown and an interception through the air. He added a rushing touchdown. It was nice to see he wasn’t afraid to push the ball down the field, and the game wasn’t too big for him. The Packers will pose a much tougher matchup, so if he plays well, consider him a roster-worthy matchup play.

Availability: 78%

Running backs

Priority Free Agent

Kalen Ballage, Los Angeles Chargers

This one really isn’t top-level priority, and it is largely dependent on the injury status of at least Justin Jackson (knee). He exited early in Week 9 without registering a fantasy point. The Chargers had elevated Ballage to the active roster after learning of RB Troymaine Pope’s unavailability, which also could factor into the recommendation of Ballage. All of that put aside, Ballage generated 84 yards and a touchdown on 18 utilizations in Week 9 vs. the Las Vegas Raiders. Any back with that kind of workload belongs on a roster, so keep tabs on the updates for Jackson and/or Pope before deploying the former Dolphin and Jet. Los Angeles face Miami this week, so he’d be a likely fantasy option in the event at least Jackson is out of commission.

Availability: 94%
FAAB:
$5-6

1-week plug & play

Duke Johnson, Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns

David Johnson was knocked out of the Week 9 game with an apparent concussion, so his status for Week 10 is fully the driver behind this recommendation. Should the former Cardinal be unavailable, it will be Duke Johnson likely to see the bulk of the touches. He finished with 73 total yards and a score on 20 touches in Week 9. The matchup with Cleveland isn’t even all that enticing statistically, it’s just the reality of a versatile back having an increased workload with a chance for a TD vs. an opponent that has yielded seven in eight games is worth the risk.

Availability: 47%
FAAB:
$4-5

Wide receivers

1-Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Lazard (core) was close to returning last week, even making the trip with the team, as he works his way back from abdominal surgery. He was shaping up to be among the best fantasy flex weapons of 2020 prior to the injury. Don’t be put off by Marquez Valdes-Scantling scoring twice last week — he had two months to be effective and whiffed with regularity. Lazard will assume that role and should pick up where he left off vs. a Jaguars defense that has given up a wealth of big plays in the last several weeks. Most recently, three receivers have scored a TD in the last two games alone, and four players have at least 83 yards — a pair on just two grabs apiece.

Availability: 60%
FAAB:
$3-4

Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders

Seeing the field in Week 9 after missing one game, Patrick returned to form with a line of 4-29-1 … not exactly “run to the wire and grab this guy” material, but he was targeted nine times and now has a career-high 42 looks over just seven games into his third year. Patrick has at least seven targets in three of his last four games, and no fewer than four in any outing of the season. The matchup is friendly enough for a start, and Patrick belongs on rosters in all 12-team PPR formats. The position has scored once every 12.3 catches this year, and 10 receivers in eight games have made it into the double-digit territory for fantasy points.

Availability: 40%
FAAB:
$3-4

1-Week Plug & Play

David Moore, Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

Moore continues to get it done, scoring in consecutive games and posting at least 8.8 PPR points in five of his last seven games, including three of the last five with 13 or more. While his six targets in a Week 9 comeback bid marked a season high, he benefits from the increased odds of finding the end zone. Los Angeles will be laser-focused on slowing the explosive duo of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, a factor working in Moore’s favor.

Availability: 72%
FAAB:
$1-2

Watch list

Cam Sims, Washington Football Team

The undrafted, 6-foot-5 rookie caught three of four targets for 110 yards in Week 9. Alex Smith took over from the injured Kyle Allen (ankle) and figures to be the guy the rest of the way. Sims offers size and downfield skills to help complement Terry McLaurin in an offense that is pleading for someone to step up opposite the second-year standout. Keep an eye on Sims in Week 10 at the Detroit Lions in most conservative situations, but there’s a hint of appeal for gamers willing to take one of the wildest of fliers — at least the matchup is strong for TD efficiency.

Availability: 100%

Tight ends

1-Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

We’ve seen seven touchdowns by the position this year come against the Chicago defense, and Smith snared two of his own in Week 9. The downside is those were his only catches, but he has at least four targets in three of his last four games. The matchup sits inside of the top 10, and given Chicago’s relative strength vs. receivers, Kirk Cousins could be forced to look Smith’s way more than usual. He’s the future of the position for Minnesota, so there’s no reason to let him toil away behind Kyle Rudolph, which offers potential for more work down the stretch.

Availability: 56%
FAAB: $2-3

Kickers

1-Week Plug & Play

Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Philly returns from its bye and should be a little healthier. The Eagles have been so battered that it’s tough to properly gauge how they would have fared in terms of offering field goal opportunities. Elliott has been afforded fewer than two in all but one of his last five games. The Giants, on the other hand, have been an improved defense that has done a respectable job of limiting opponents on New York’s side of the field. Kickers have attempted at least two three-pointers in five straight contests and all but one game this season. The Giants have yielded 6-for-6 kicking in the last two games alone, and Elliott attempted a pair of kicks in the Week 7 meeting.

Availability: 83%
FAAB:
$0-1

1-Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Daniel Carlson, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos

The former Viking is probably owned in most competitive formats, given how consistently productive he has been. There is a chance he could get dropped after kicking only one field goal this past week, and gamers in more casual settings should look for Carlson on the wire. Just two teams have given up more field goal attempts in 2020, and both of them have played in more games. The Broncos have allowed the second-highest average per contest behind Chicago. Hang on to him if he’s indeed available.

Availability: 48%
FAAB:
$0-1

Defense/specials teams

1-week plug & play

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

It won’t be a total drubbing like we saw vs. Tampa Bay, only because what happened with the Bucs was one of those games in which the stars align to create the worst possible outcome. San Fran is so ravaged by injuries that we should expect plenty of opportunities for mistakes from a bevy of backup players. New Orleans has been good only twice this year in fantasy, so it’s not a slam dunk, but seeing this unit come to life in Week 9 at least offers the comfort of timing being on its side.

Availability: 65%
FAAB:
$0-1

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