Fantasy football waiver wire recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.
Check back for any updates throughout Monday and Tuesday as more injury news becomes available.
Bye weeks: Broncos, Rams
Fantasy football waiver wire targets
Priority free agents
1) QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers: Superman returns to Krypton, err Carolina, and is poised to start in Week 11. He came in cold Sunday and accounted for two scores. The veteran may not be the physical terror he once was, and he’s always an injury liability, but Cam’s scoring prowess on the ground and weaponry around him creates a must-own situation in 12-plus-team leagues. Carolina faces Washington and Miami in the next two games before going on bye. Following the week off, the schedule isn’t terrible (ATL, @BUF, TB, @NO, TB). It may not always be pretty, but we’re approaching the playoffs, and injuries can derail an otherwise strong roster. Newton offers insurance and matchup-based utility.
2) RB Wayne Gallman, Atlanta Falcons: Cordarrelle Patterson can’t do it alone, and Mike Davis has been substandard in 2021. Gallman saw 15 carries to Davis’ four in Week 10, generating 55 yards plus another 21 via his lone reception on two targets. The latter domain belongs to Patterson, but the backfield may quickly be turned over to Gallman as the bell cow. He played admirably while replacing Saquon Barkley in New York last year, and an opportunity is all it takes at the most volatile position in the game. Week 11 brings in the New England Patriots on a short week, and Cordarrelle Patterson is dealing with a minor ankle sprain, but given the short week, he’s iffy to play. The remaining schedule is a mixed bag, but Gallman belongs on rosters until this picture becomes a little clearer. There’s more long-term potential here than what Rhamondre Stevenson offers, although the rookie is more gifted.
3) RB Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots: This one kind of stinks because of the situation and through no fault of Stevenson’s. The Patriots were without starting back Damien Harris (concussion) vs. Cleveland, creating an opportunity for the rookie to rack up 100 yards and a pair of scores on 20 totes. He has the chops to get it done, and there will be opportunities in Week 11 at Atlanta, provided Harris sits again. That said, if the Alabama product returns after only a one-game absence, Stevenson becomes unplayable in all but the most desperate of situations. He should be rostered, even though the Pats love to play games with the touches, but gamers are in a tough spot knowing how much to invest. Spend up if you’re a Harris owner.
4) WR Marcus Johnson, Tennessee Titans: The Titans called Johnson’s name six times in Week 10 with Julio Jones (hamstring) on IR and ineligible to play until after Tennessee’s Week 13 bye. Johnson hauled in five passes for 100 yards on the nose and did not score. He’s going to see single coverage and has no one of note but A.J. Brown to steal looks from him. The Titans may toy with fantasy owners and work in Nick Westbrook-Ikhine more than a single target some weeks, and Chester Rogers occasionally is in the mix, too, but no one aside from Brown in this receiving corps has shown the ability to get into triple digits like Johnson. He tallied an individual 100-yard performance in each of the past two seasons as a seldom-used Indianapolis Colts reserve. Johnson should have deep-league utility in the next two weeks (HOU, @NE) before Jones is able to return.
5) TE Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings: Conklin has at least five targets in each of those games, and he was getting it done with scoreless volume until finding the end zone twice in Week 10 on just three grabs for 11 yards. In Week 11, the Vikings host the Green Bay Packers — a defense that has put the clamps on tight ends in 2021. Injuries and personnel changes at linebacker could give Conklin some utility this week, but he’s primarily included here after four straight games in PPR double figures. Minnesota’s standout receiving duo keeps defenders focused away from Conklin, and defensive attention paid to Dalvin Cook around the stripe makes him just that much more dangerous.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns: Aside from Week 7 vs. a strong Los Angeles Rams unit, the rookie has been targeted at least five times in each of the most recent six games (Week 9 bye). St. Brown landed four of six looks for 61 yards against Pittsburgh and continues his AFC North road stand with a trip to Cleveland. The Browns allowed WRs to average top-10 figures for receptions, yardage and scoring efficiency in the five weeks leading up to the Patriots’ unheralded cast of wideouts scoring twice and going for 157 yards on eight catches by the team’s top duo. St. Brown has a quality matchup and could be used in a pinch if you’re without one of six useful wideouts from the two bye teams.
TE Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles: Trautman — an offseason sleeper for many until a late-summer injury — never really clicked with Jameis Winston but has settled in nicely over the last few weeks. He has season highs in receptions each of the past two games, and Trautman’s number has been called 6.33 times, on average, in the last three contests. Philadelphia allowed ridiculously good stats to TEs over the five-week span entering Week 10, and while Denver tight ends didn’t score Sunday, they combined for 136 yards on eight grabs.
PK Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers: Regardless of whether Ben Roethlisberger (COVID) returns, Boswell has fared well the past two weeks. He heads on the road to face a Los Angeles Chargers group that has given up serious work to kickers of late. The team entered Week 10 as the sixth-weakest unit at limiting kickers in fantasy, and Minnesota’s Greg Joseph added two field goals as well as a trio of TD-cappers to the tally. The injury woes on Pittsburgh’s end, even if Big Ben returns could lead to increased work for Boswell.
PK Zane Gonzalez, Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Football Team: Gonzalez has scored 17 fantasy points twice in the last three games, including in Week 10, and he stands to benefit from Newton’s return to the offense. The Panthers face a Washington group that has given up two field goal attempts in three straight contests and at least that many six times overall this year. Carolina probably won’t be a well-oiled machine in Cam’s first start of the year, which could lead to hiccups in Washington territory.
Miami Dolphins D/ST at New York Jets: Regardless of which quarterback Robert Saleh decides to start, the Dolphins should make a heck of a splash in fantasy. This defense has nine sacks over the last two weeks and six takeaways, including one defensive score. The Jets are somewhere between hapless and hopeless at the moment, and even a veteran with Joe Flacco’s pedigree shouldn’t be considered a huge upgrade over Mike White, presuming Zach Wilson (knee) is unable to play.
Grab & stash
RB D’Onta Foreman, Tennessee Titans: Getting touches but doing almost nothing with them … he could have utility down the stretch, perhaps starting this week vs. his former employer, Houston. The rest of the schedule leans in his favor, and Foreman should be rostered in deeper formats. Those in more casual leagues can treat him as a matchup-based flier.
Keep your eye on ’em
WR Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints: The veteran receiver likely is rostered in deep/competitive formats, but he widely available in more casual settings. That’s bound to change to a degree after he caught four of seven targets for 44 yards and a score in Week 10, his second week out of the last three with 12 or more PPR points. Ahead, however, it gets dicey against the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills, so see how he performs before investing in relaxed leagues. He can be bumped into the “grab-n-stash” column for advanced leagues.
The following fantasy-relevant players are eligible to return from the Reserve/Injured list and could be on waivers, but inclusion below doesn’t guarantee coming back in the upcoming week. The date when the player was placed on IR is in parentheses.
- PK Rodrigo Blankenship, Indianapolis Colts (10/16)
- TE Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (10/6)
Deep diving for running backs
If you’re in a competitive league, it is unlikely running backs are just chillin’ on the waiver wire. But that doesn’t mean gamers aren’t still in need of “break in case of emergency” running backs. These players could be available for a dumpster dive:
- Matt Breida, Buffalo Bills (apparently he’s a thing now)
- Ameer Abdullah, Carolina Panthers (continues to see targets)
- Jaret Patterson, Washington Football Team (Antonio Gibson insurance)
- Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals (TD flier)
- Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers (TD flier)