Week nine of the 2021 NFL season is in the books and if you weren’t sure before, now you know the football gods hate you. Oh, you got Josh Allen? You got Matt Stafford? Looks like you got got! Everything that could go wrong for you in week nine, went terribly, horribly, soul-crushingly wrong. The only thing that will go right for you is the waiver wire. No team is perfect, but there are always gems to be had. If I don’t mention someone whom you think I should be talking about, just know there are many reasons why I overlooked them. Maybe they are owned in most leagues. Maybe they are so bad I don’t even consider them. Maybe it’s because your opinions cannot be trusted. After all, you are here. So let us examine the best week ten waiver wire players for your championship run…
Week Ten Waiver Wire Quarterbacks
Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts (55% rostered)
While Wentz is slightly above my preferred halfway point of being rostered, he is such a cut above most waiver-wire options that I feel I need to bring him up. This is in no way an endorsement of Carson Wentz the football player. However, Carson Wentz the fantasy football player is pretty baller. In week nine, he passed for 272 yards and 3 touchdowns. Over the last four weeks, Wentz has averaged out as the QB9. Anyone performing at that level should be rostered in every format.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (23% rostered)
For the second week in a row, Justin Fields has finished as a top-ten fantasy quarterback. In week nine, Fields had 291 passing yards, 45 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. I’ve been telling you all year that Justin Fields is going to be a league winner. Every week, he gets better. If you need quarterback help, you want to grab Fields before it is too late. It might still be a bit rocky for a few more weeks, but if you have the bench space, he will finish strong.
Week Ten Waiver Wire Running Backs
Devonta Freeman, Baltimore Ravens (18% rostered)
While I have been hesitant to get on board the Devonta Freeman train, it is getting pretty difficult to deny that he should be rostered. Against the Vikings this past week, Devonta Freeman had 83 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Over his last three games, Freeman has scored double digits and been a top 24 running back in all three weeks. Moreover, Freeman is on the field for 58% of the team’s snaps, compared to Le’Veon Bell’s 23%. Freeman is the lead back on a Baltimore Ravens offense that runs the ball more than any team in football. You’d be silly not to roster him.
Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles (12% rostered)
It is so weird talking about Jordan Howard two weeks in a row. In week nine, Howard saw his usage with the Eagles increase from 25% of the team snaps to 40%. Howard finished the week with 71 yards and 1 touchdown. I’m just not sure I trust him. Does anyone really believe in a Jordan Howard reemergence?
Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (9% rostered)
The only reason I am bringing up Brandon Bolden is that both Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson left the game against the Carolina Panthers with head injuries, so there is a chance that Bolden will be the lead back due to attrition. I’m not sure this makes him a good option, but he is definitely someone to consider.
Week Ten Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
Elijah Moore, New York Jets (21% rostered)
The number one fantasy football receiver in week nine was Elijah Moore, with 7 catches for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. While it is easy to dismiss those numbers as garbage-time production, I am not going to do this. The reason I am going to say that this is the start of the emergence of Elijah Moore is that I was and still am an Elijah Moore truther. Moore was a fantasy football darling in the pre-season. With two solid games in a row, it isn’t crazy to think that Moore could finally be starting to put things together.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (25% rostered)
Tim Patrick is a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, coated in mystery. By all logic, he should not be as productive as he is. Right now, he is the WR29 on the season, despite being 44th in targets and 38th in receptions. Patrick is tied for 13th in targets, but that is only part of his productivity. He also is 26th in yards. Patrick’s numbers paint a very clear picture of a guy who is very boom or bust. As Jerry Jeudy gets healthier, the sustainability of Patrick’s production is going to decrease. If you like gambling, (and since you play fantasy football, you probably do) go ahead and grab Patrick. If you like winning, maybe find a better option.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (16% rostered)
Russell Gage strikes me as a very interesting wide receiver prospect. With Calvin Ridley possibly gone for the season, there are a lot of vacated targets in Atlanta. Russell Gage is the clear-cut number two option, behind Kyle Pitts. In week nine, Gage had 7 catches for 64 yards. Atlanta is a bad team that likes to throw the football and will be playing from behind a lot. I think Russell Gage is going to have some very sneaky value throughout the second half of the fantasy football season.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns (10% rostered)
In week nine, Donovan Peoples-Jones had 2 catches for 86 yards and 1 touchdown. With Odell Beckham Jr. banished from Cleveland, it is easy to look at Donovan Peoples-Jones as the heir apparent. Peoples-Jones was the number two receiver on the Browns with three targets. Three. Let that sink in for a second. The number two guy only had three balls thrown to him. This is the problem with Donovan Peoples-Jones. Cleveland doesn’t want to throw the football. They want to run the football. The Browns have the fourth-fewest passing attempts in the NFL and two of the teams with fewer attempts have already had their bye week. Even if Donovan Peoples-Jones is the heir apparent to Beckham, all that means is you are probably cutting him in two weeks the way you already had cut Beckham because he was a huge disappointment.
Week Ten Waiver Wire Tight Ends
Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers (37% rostered)
Last week, Pat Freiermuth was the TE2 and I said he was still just a rookie tight end, which would limit his upside throughout the fantasy football season. A lot of rookies would have let those words get to them and underperformed in week nine. Not Pat Freiermuth. He practiced hard this week and ended up the TE1 for week ten, with 5 catches for 43 yards and 2 touchdowns. Freiermuth did this against a Chicago Bears defense that has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. For perhaps the first time in the history of fantasy football, I am going to endorse burning a waiver on a rookie tight end. Pat Freiermuth looks good and his usage has steadily increased this season. Pretty much any tight end you pick up on the waiver wire is going to be trash. At least with Freiermuth, maybe he won’t be?
Logan Thomas, Washington WTF’s (50% rostered)
Logan Thomas is expected to be activated from Injured Reserve and be available against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week ten. This does not change the fact that Logan Thomas has never been, and probably never will be, a good tight end. Yes, Thomas will do okay at fantasy football, but you will hate every moment of rostering him. First, you have to hope that Taylor Heinicke can get Logan Thomas the football, which based on the 2021 season is a pretty big ask for a guy with a 63.9% completion rating, ranking 26th among NFL quarterbacks, and behind such notable star quarterbacks as Davis Mills, Jacoby Brissett, and Jared Goff. Then you have to hope that he improves on his 20% contested catch rate to actually catch that poorly thrown ball. All while hoping Washington doesn’t just completely collapse. While I will admit that Logan Thomas should probably be rostered, I’d much rather someone else do it.