Several players at both the running back and wide-receiver position were dinged up or suffered injuries in Week 9. The Fantasy Greek lists the most notable injuries that either occurred in Week , or remain relevant at this time, as follows:
|QB Robert Griffin III||Redskins||Ribs||Expected To Be Fine|
|QB Jake Locker||Titans||Shoulder||Missed Week 9|
|QB Brady Quinn||Chiefs||Concussion||Waiting To Be Cleared|
|RB Darren McFadden||Raiders||Ankle||X-Rays Negative; MRI Forthcoming|
|RB Mike Goodson||Raiders||Ankle||Does Not Appear To Be Serious|
|RB Darren Sproles||Saints||Broken Hand||Likely Miss Multiple Weeks|
|RB Donald Brown||Colts||Knee||Swollen Before Game; Could Be Limited In Week 10|
|RB Jamaal Charles||Chiefs||Neck/Head||Expected To Be Fine|
|RB Jonathan Dwyer||Steelers||Quad||Missed Week 9|
|RB R. Mendenhall||Steelers||Achilles||Missed Week 9|
|RB Chris Rainey||Steelers||Ribs||Unknown; Expected To Be Day-To-Day|
|RB Maurice Jones-Drew||Jaguars||Foot; Lis Franc Injury||Ruled OUT Week 10; Will Be Questionable Week 11|
|RB Cedric Benson||Packers||Lis Franc Injury||Out For 4 More Weeks|
|RB DeMarco Murray||Cowboys||Foot; Ligament Damage||Expected Miss Multiple Weeks; Missed Week 9|
|RB Ben Tate||Texans||Hamstring||Missed Week 9|
|RB Bilal Powell||Jets||Dislocated Shldr.||Practicing But Limited; Possible Return Week 10|
|RB Joe McKnight||Jets||High Ankle Sprain||Not Practicing; Possible Return Week 10|
|RB Beanie Wells||Cardinals||Toe Injury||Expected To Return Week 12|
|RB Javon Ringer||Titans||Torn MCL||IR – Done For Season|
|WR Jordy Nelson||Packers||Ankle||Should Be Fine|
|WR Percy Harvin||Vikings||Ankle/On Crutches||Will Likely Miss Week 10|
|WR Steve Johnson||Bills||Thigh||Unknown|
|WR Santana Moss||Redskins||Concussion||Will Need Medical Clearance|
|WR Antonio Brown||Steelers||Ankle||Not Expected To Be Serious|
|WR Kendall Wright||Titans||Elbow||Unknown; MRI Coming|
|WR Wes Welker||Patriots||Ankle||Expected To Be Fine|
|WR Chris Givens||Rams||Bruised Toe||Expected To Be Fine|
|WR Pierre Garcon||Redskins||Inflamed Toe; Torn Foot Tendon||Missed Week 9; Could Be Placed On IR After Bye Week|
|WR Danny Amendola||Rams||Dislocated Shldr.||Day-To-Day|
|WR GregJennings||Packers||Groin||Missed Week 9; Had Surgery; Could Be Back Week 11 or 12|
|WR Alshon Jeffrey||Bears||Hand Fracture||No Timetable For Return|
|WR Braylon Edwards||Seahawks||Knee||Practiced But Missed Week 9|
|TE Coby Fleener||Colts||Shoulder||Missed Week 9; Rule OUT of Week 10|
|TE John Carlson||Vikings||Concussion||Yet To Be Cleared To Practice|
|TE Aaron Hernandez||Patriots||Tweak Previous High Ankle Sprain||Missed Week 8; Could Return Week 10|
|LB Clay Mathews||Packers||Hamstring||Expected To Miss 2 Weeks|
|CB Vontae Davis||Colts||Knee||No Timetable For Return|
*Note: The status of some of these players may not have been officially announced by their respective teams but is based on the best available information. Of course, a player’s
status and availability can change at any time and may not be fully reflected
above. Check for the player’s news for any official update. This list is obviously not exhaustive.
The Fantasy Greek will focus on those players fantasy footballers can target off waivers to fill in while some of the injured players try to make their way back onto the gridiron, hopefully sooner, rather than later, and players that may be on waivers, that you can consider adding to your team. In Week 10, there is one Thursday night game between the Colts and the Jaguars. Also, the following teams are on a BYE in Week 10: the Browns, the Cardinals, the
Packers, and the Redskins. As you can see, two starting quarterbacks, two starting running backs, and several key wide-receivers, as well as a couple of defenses, will be unavailable this week in addition to the injuries listed above.
If you are planning ahead, in Week 11, four teams will be a on a bye. These teams are the Giants, the Seahawks, the Titans, and the Vikings. Make sure to set your line-ups in advance and play the match-ups. Also, make sure to look out for The Fantasy Greek’s Special Thursday Night Edition which will preview the Thursday night game with roster recommendations for setting your line-up in the match-up. The Quick Hits — short list of Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em players — will be posted along with our game previews for the weekend, later in the week.
In this week’s waiver target report, besides noting players that you can consider picking up off the waivers if available in your league, The Fantasy Greek will try to highlight players (as a match-up based play) that you may have to pick-up due to injuries, because your other players have a difficult match-up, or because you need a player as a one week fill-in due to the bye week. This week, you may want to consider the following players (if available on your waivers), if you need the help, or if you have the room on your bench. Please, do not drop a good player for any of the waiver-adds.
There will likely not be many options for a quarterback this week on waivers who also has a great fantasy football match-up. Nonetheless, we will mention a few quarterbacks that may or may not be on your waivers.
Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
Phillip Rivers, Chargers
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
Ryan Tannehill, Titans
Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
The Buccaneers Josh Freeman (247 yards, 2 TDs) has now tossed for multiple touchdowns four weeks in a row and for 245-plus yards four weeks in a row. Josh Freeman still has the fantasy football gods smiling down upon him because in Week 10, Freeman plays the Chargers, a team who before playing the Browns and the Chiefs the past two weeks, was allowing the eigth most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Also, if Freeman is on your waivers, he should be rostered in fantasy football and considered for a weekly start in the right match-up.
The Chargers Phillip Rivers (220 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) seems to have finally settled down. This week, Rivers takes on a Buccaneers team that Carson Palmer tossed 414 yards passing, four touchdowns, and three interceptions on just this past weekend. Obviously, to play Rivers this week will still require a bit of faith, but the match-up is right in a bye week.
The Bills Ryan Fitzpatrick is coming off his third game of the season where he failed to throw a touchdown. This week, however, Fitzpatrick faces the feel-good Patriots whose pass defense is in the top-ten of the most fantasy points allowed to the quarterback position. To give it some perspective, the Patriots are allowing about 280 passing yards, on average, per game, this season. In Week 4, Fitzpatrick faced this same Patriots pass defense and tossed 350 yards passing and 4 touchdowns on four interceptions. While the performance doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be fantasy significant. Consider Fitzpatrick a good pick-up and play in Week 10.
The Dolphins Ryan Tannehill (290 yards, 1 TD) has had four forgettable games, and four games by which he would have made for a decent, but not great fantasy football play. This week, the Dolphins take on a Titans team giving up an average of 272 yards passing per game, top-five in fantasy in terms of most fantasy points allowed. What’s more, the Titans just allowed 229 yards and three touchdowns to Jay Cutler. Tannehill makes for a bye week replacement this week.
The Jaguars Blaine Gabbert has put together two solid, back-to-back games in Weeks 8 and 9, amassing 523 yards passing, 3 touchdowns and two interceptions during that time. This week, the Jaguars play a Colts defense that in the last three games is giving up an average of 257 yards passing per game, and 1 to 2 TDs each game. While it will take a leap of faith to give Gabbert a look this week, for fantasy players desperate for a bye week replacement with a decent match-up, Gabbert is an option, albeit possibly not the greatest one.
With the number of injuries among running backs, and with the number of running backs on a bye this week (Trent Richardson, Alfred Morris, Alex Green/James Starks, and LaRod Stephens-Howling), the running backs available on waivers are likely thin. Yet, there are several that could be there and could be helpful in dealing with any bye issues you may have this week or as longer term grabs. As The Fantasy Greek has mentioned, this is not a week to pick up a running back just to pick up a running back. You have to have a need to get into the waiver wire mix for a running back. Any fantasy footballer with one of the top running backs in the league should consider hand-cuffing them with their back-up especially coming out of that running back’s bye week.
Marcel Reese, Raiders
Isaac Redman, Steelers
Vick Ballard, Colts
Joique Bell, Lions
Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons
Pierre Thomas, Saints
Mark Ingram, Saints
Chris Ivory, Saints
Ronnie Brown, Chargers
Raiders Darren McFadden suffered a high ankle sprain as did his back-up, Michael Goodson. It is genuinely unclear whether McFadden or Goodson will be available for this weekend’s tilt against the Ravens, but as it is generally known, a player that suffers a high ankle sprain is typically out for multiple weeks. What is clear is that the Ravens rush defense hasn’t been very good this season, allowing about 140 yards rushing on average per game. What is also clear is that McFadden has played like a true running back where Goodson and FB Marcel Reese have played more like a third-down back in the passing game. While McFadden hasn’t been ruled out of this weekend’s game, there is a good chance he or Goodson do not play. Consider Marcel Reese the Raiders “running back” to target off waivers for the weekend should McFadden and Good son be ruled out.
It’s unclear whether the Steelers Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer will miss Week 10. But, Isaac Redman (151 APY, 1 TD) may have played well enough that the Steelers choose to ride the hot hand, making Redman the starter for Week 10. To the extent Redman is still on your waivers, he is a player that should be on rosters until the issue of which running back is the Steelers starter is hashed out. Plus, whoever starts for the Steelers will have a favorable match-up against a Chiefs rush defense which has struggled this season and has been top-ten in most fantasy points allowed to running backs for a few weeks.
After returning from knee surgery, Colts Donald Brown hadn’t played in but one game before he began to experience swelling in his knee. As a result, Brown took a backseat to Vick Ballard (98 APY) in last week’s game. Even if Brown plays this week, he could be limited and Ballard could well have a similar role as he did last weekend. This week, the Colts face a Jaguars rush defense that was torched by the Lions running backs to the tune of 179 all-purpose yards and
4 rushing touchdowns.
The Lions Joique Bell (109 APY, 1 TD) got some significant work this past weekend with the Lions turning to an old-school running game to beat the Jaguars. Bell’s role has grown and could be significant this week against a Vikings rush defense which has been giving up 165 yards rushing on average over the last four games.
As many of you know, mid-week last week, Saints RB Darren Sproles was lost for the next few weeks due to a broken hand. As a result of this news, Pierre Thomas was expected to get Sproles touches this week. However, that did not happen, exactly. Rather, the distribution of yardage and touches was as follows among the Saints running backs: Pierre Thomas (70 APY, 8 touches); Mark Ingram (67 APY, 9 touches); Chris Ivory (50 APY, 1 TD, 11 touches); and, Travaris Cadet (5 yds, 1 FMBL, 1 touch). Putting the touchdown to the side, all of the Saints running backs, with the exception of Cadet, were all serviceable as bye week replacements and low-end flex-plays. None wil likely dominate the workload. This week’s opponent, the Falcons, has been susceptible to the rush and similar numbers such as the above among the running backs would not be unrealsitic this week.
If you haven’t noticed, the Saints rush defense is one of the worst in the league giving up close to 170 yards on the ground per game. Much like the Eagles, the Falcons should come out this weekend and do everything possible to establish a rushing game. As a result, Jacquizz Rodgers should make for a decent flex-play as fifty to eighty all-purpose yards would not be too much to ask for.
Ronnie Brown remains a relevant factor in the Chargers offense, generally as the team’s third-down back. Ronnie Brown won’t blow anyone away. But, as a bye week replacement, he makes for a decent play especially against a Buccaneers defense that allowed both Marcel Reese and Michael Goodson to combine for 147 yards receiving.
Some of the wide-receivers we mention below may surprise you because they could be on your waiver wire right now. Otherwise, waivers could be awfully thin this week at the wide-receiver position in terms of quality fantasy starters for Week 10. This is not a week to pick up a wide receiver just to pick up a wide receiver. You have to have a need to get into the waiver wire mix for a wide receiver. If anyone dropped Packers wide-receiver Greg Jennings, make sure to pick him up as he could get back on the gridiron in either Week 11 or Week 12.
Brian Hartline, Dolphins
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars
Danario Alexander, Chargers
Donald Jones, Bills
Ryan Broyles, Lions
Some fantasy players may have dropped Week 4 fantasy darling, the Dolphins Brian Hartline, after he had three consecutive weeks of sub par fantasy performances. The Fantasy Greek had Hartline as a player that could make for a start in Week 9 and he posted 107 yards passing. In Week 10, Brian Hartline can be started against a Titans pass defense that hasn’t been very good and gave up three touchdowns to Brandon Marshall this past weekend.
In Week 9, it was hard to ignore the Jaguars Cecil Shorts who had 195 yards receiving the previous two weeks. While Shorts had a forgettable game last weekend, Shorts is primed to rebound against a Colts pass defense that was top-five in most fantasy points allowed to wide-receivers entering Week 9.
With the Chargers Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal healthy scratches, recent free agent signee Danario Alexander (61 yards) made a genuine case for more playing time over Robert Meachem, who has fallen short of expectations. While it is a situation to monitor, Alexander has a potentially choice match-up against a Buccaneers pass defense that Carson Palmer torched last weekend.
There are two reasons Bills Donald Jones makes for a top waiver wire add this week. First, Steve Johnson suffered what sounded like a fairly good thigh bruise this past weekend. Whether that causes him to miss Week 10, or cause him to be limited, remains to be seen. Second, the Bills play a Patriots pass defense which was allowing 290 passing yards per game, second most in the NFL, two weeks ago. Besides, when the Bills played the Patriots in Week 4, Jones had 90 yards receiving and one touchdown.
Because the Lions went old school by emphasizing the running game, there wasn’t much more offense to go around except to Calvin Johnson. Still, if you are a fantasy footballer that could use the help, Lions rookie Ryan Broyles is an option. In the past three weeks, Broyles has totaled 140 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. This week, the Lions play a Vikings pass defense that gave up 173 yards passing and 3 touchdowns to rookie Russell Wilson in Week 9. Broyles makes for a decent pick-up and play.
Some of the tight-ends listed below may be on waivers, others may not be. The tight-ends are listed below either because of their recent impressive play, or their upcoming Week 10 match-ups, or both. We have several listed because there are so many tight-ends with favorable match-ups this week. For tight-ends, there are several that have disappointed after some strong starts that happen to have favorable match-ups this week.
Scott Chandler, Bills
Jermain Gresham, Bengals
Greg Olsen, Panthers
Martellus Bennett, Giants
Brandon Meyers, Raiders
Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
The Bills Scott Chandler has posted some very pedestrian stats (110 yards, 0 TDs, 1 FMBL) in the past four games. This week, Chandler should right the ship against a Patriots defense that has been top-five in most fantasy points allowed to the tight-end position and against a Patriots defense he posted 62 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns against in Week 4.
The Fantasy Greek called Bengals Jermaine Gresham (108 yards) a must start in Week 9 against the Broncos. This week, Gresham should make for another positive start against a Giants team that has struggled defending the position in the past. However, a repeat of Gresham’s Week 9 performance may not happen. Yet, seventy yards receiving would be a reasonable expectation.
In his last four games, the Panthers Greg Olsen has struggled to post any worthwhile fantasy points (139 yards total). This week, Olsen could be in line for an outstanding outing as the Panthers take on a Broncos defense that is one of the worst defending the position. The Panthers need to get Olsen actively involved in the offense this week.
Giants Martellus Bennett has been a relative non-factor in five of the last six games. In Week 10, Bennett takes on a Bengals defense that is around the top-five in most fantasy points allowed to the position including 56 yards and 1 touchdown last weekend to Broncos tight-ends.
All season long, Raiders Brandon Meyers hadn’t scored a touchdown. In three of the last four weeks, Meyers posted no more than 62 yards receiving. Then, in Week 9, Meyers scored not just once, but twice and posted 59 yards receiving. The Raiders play a Ravens team which has had its share of problems defending the tight-end position, and was top-ten in most fantasy points allowed entering Week 9. But for the two touchdowns, Meyers remains a TE2. Yet, this week, if you are looking for help, Meyers is certainly an option, and an option that could be on your waivers.
Vikings Kyle Rudolph was a fantasy football upstart (225 yards, 5 TDs) during the first five games of the season. In the past three games though, Rudolph has posted just 17 yards. The Vikings seem to want to get Rudolph back involved in the offense. The Vikings might be able to do it this week against a Lions defense which has been in the top-ten of most fantasy points allowed to the position. With Percy Harvin looking unlikely to play this week, Rudolph could be in the right place, at the right time.
DEFENSES / SPECIAL TEAMS (DSTs)
Here are six defensive units that could be on your waivers that you could consider playing given their Week 10 opponent.
If you haven’t noticed, the Steelers defense and special teams play has been improving over the course of the season. So, besides the fact the Steelers defense is playing better, the Steelers play against the Chiefs this week. The Chiefs are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing defenses/special teams.
Even though the Cowboys have allowed four games to get away from them, they have had four other games where they did not allow their opponent to score more than 19 points. Their pass defense is still one of the best in the league. This week’s opponent, the Eagles, has pass protection problems which have become legendary. As you might know, in Week 9, one of the worst defenses in the league, the Saints, had 7 sacks, 1 defensive fumble recovery, 1 interception, and 1 defensive touchdown against the Eagles. The Cowboys make for a strong play this week.
Along with the Chiefs, the Jaguars are atop the list of teams allowing the most fantasy points to opposing defenses and special teams. This week, the Jaguars play a Colts team whose defense has stiffened, having allowed only 46 points in the last three games, and whose rush defense has improved, holding its last three opponents to an average of just under 85 yards rushing per game.
The Lions DST has now had four decent outings in its last five games. This week’s opponent, the Vikings, has had its own share of problems. While the Vikings rushing offense remains good, the passing offense is struggling and the Vikings will likely be missing top playmaker, wide receiver Percy Harvin. This week, the Vikings could continue to struggle against a Lions defense that has been turning things around. For a second week in a row, the Lions make for a solid pick-up and play this week.
Even though the Patriots have their own defensive issues, the Bills had their own share of problems protecting the ball and their quarterback, and are ranked toward the middle of all teams in the league. In Week 4, the Patriots sacked the Bills Ryan Fitzpatrick three times, intercepted him four times, and had two defensive fumble recoveries en route to a victory.
Given all of the Dolphins shortcomings, the Dolphins defense and special team play has been good to very good several times this season. The Dolphins unit could continue to impress this week against a Titans team who the Bears defense dismantled by sacking the quarterback, intercepting the ball, forcing fumbles, and scoring twice. The Titans are eighth in most fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses and special teams.
Good luck this week!
The Fantasy Greek