Does your fantasy team need some waiver wire help to fill out key positions for the stretch run? Here are a few of my top suggestions to plug in for injured or bye week players as you make your playoff push.
Duke Johnson Jr, Cle RB
After being relegated to a near-invisible role for nine weeks, Johnson finally broke out with 9 receptions for 78 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. He also rushed once for eight yards, but Johnson has always been more of a threat catching the ball out of the backfield. With Hue Jackson and Todd Haley out for good, we can see Johnson recapture the PPR-friendly usage rate he had in previous seasons and he needs to be owned in standard leagues.
Royce Freeman, Den RB
Freeman has missed the last two games with an ankle injury and was likely dropped in most leagues as the Broncos head into their bye week. While it’s true that Phillip Lindsay’s productiveness has eaten into Freeman’s value, there is still hope that the Broncos could try to see what they could get out of their third round pick as they enter tank-mode in their lost season. He’s worth a stash and could be the difference-maker in the fantasy playoffs.
Cordarrelle Patterson, NE WR
It looks like the Patriots are serious are serious about using Patterson as their second running back, as he now has accumulated 11 carries over the past two weeks. With a workload that features rushing, receiving, and returning, Patterson’s sheer volume can garner him FLEX consideration. He averaged 5.45 yards per carry so expect the Pats to keep rolling him out there as long as Sony Michele is injured.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB WR
Two weeks in a row on this list means time is running out to go and pick him up. MVS was held without a catch in the first half but hauled in three passes for 101 yards to end the game. He’s locked in as a WR2 for the rest of the season and has either 100+ yards or a touchdown over the last four weeks. Get him while you can.
Brett Maher, Dal K
Now that bye weeks are over for most teams, it’s time to find a kicker you can confidently play for the rest of the season. Maher is only owned in 27.8% of leagues as of this writing but he has been solid through the first ten weeks, making 28 of 31 attempts. The Cowboys have been an offense that tends to stall for the last 3 years under Dak Prescott so Maher should have top-10 value at the kicking position for the rest of the year.
Latavius Murray, Min RB
Dalvin Cook made a surprise return before the Vikings’ bye week and looked spry, taking 10 carries for 89 yards, including a 70-yard gallop in the second quarter. There’s no reason to expect the Vikings not to gift Cook the lion’s share of the snaps starting in Week 11, so if you are able to trade Murray for anything now would be the time to do it, otherwise you’re going to be left with nothing but a handcuff.
Cole Beasley, Dal WR
Beasley was heating up prior to the Cowboys’ bye week, hauling in 16 catches on 19 targets in Weeks 6 and 7. That busy workload is bound to come to a halt with the arrival of Amari Cooper, and Beasley only caught 3 targets for 16 yards in Cooper’s first game last Monday. Beasley didn’t see his first target until under five minutes in the game and will be an inconsistent play down the stretch. Drop him in 14 team leagues.