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Working the Wire: Week 10 Waiver Tips

Mark Stopa

Mark Stopa

Mark Stopa has been sharing his fantasy insights for Rotowire since 2007. Mark is the 2010 and 2012 Staff Picks champion (eat your heart out, Chris Liss) and won Rotowire's 14-team Staff League II in consecutive seasons. He roots for the Bills and has season tickets on the second row, press level to the Rays.


The Jaguars passing offense: David Garrard has played surprisingly well of late. He's been terribly inconsistent, as usual, but he's exploited good matchups, including 8 total TDs against the Cowboys and Bills, and if you're going to be inconsistent, that's how you do it - do well in good matchups and poorly in bad ones. This week, Garrard gets the league's worst pass defense, the Texans, in what should be a high-scoring affair. If you're stuck with Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, or Philip Rivers on a bye, take a look at Garrard. Of course, the reasons Garrard is a good option in Week 10 are the same reasons I'd consider Mike Thomas, Mike Sims-Walker, and Marcedes Lewis.

Mike Tolbert, RB, Chargers: I've tried to be patient with Ryan Mathews, the Chargers first-round rookie, but at this point I have to admit - these ankle injuries are getting ridiculous! At this point, Tolbert should be owned in most formats, and he makes for a nice start if Mathews is inactive after the Chargers Week 10 bye.

Javarris James, RB, Colts: Last week, with Joseph Addai and Mike Hart both inactive, James carved out a role in the Colts backfield. Yes, he took a backseat to Donald Brown, between the 20s, but James got both short-yardage TDs. Plus, Brown has not played well, so it wouldn't be crazy to think James could get more carries going forward. James is still fourth-string, but Addai and Hart are injured, and James has upside on an explosive Colts offense.

Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers: This seems like a random suggestion, but I like Redman's upside if Rashard Mendenhall were to get injured. We're running out of weeks for that to happen, but who would you rather have on your bench, a guy like Marion Barber, who's splitting carries for a bad team, or a potential gem like Redman? I'd argue the chances of Redman being a fantasy starter at some point this season are higher than the chances of Barber doing so.

Chargers WRs and TEs: Starting at Wide Receiver for the Chargers this week are Chris Liss and Jeff Erickson - pick them up and plug them into your fantasy lineup. OK, that's a bit of a stretch, especially with the Chargers on a bye in Week 10. That said, it's clear that the NFL's MVP to this point, Philip Rivers, can make any WR or TE on his team be fantasy-worthy, be it Randy McMichael (in place of an injured Antonio Gates), Seyi Ajirotutu, Malcom Floyd, or Vincent Jackson.

James Jones, WR, Packers: I've been on Jones since the beginning of the year, and I'll admit it's been an unhealthy, perverse obsession (sort of like Liss with Randy Moss, except at least Liss is obsessed with a stud). Anyway, Donald Driver's injury has made Jones starter-worthy in virtually all formats, as he showed with last week's 8 catches, 123 yards, and a TD. Suddenly, Jones looks like Aaron Rodgers' second read, behind only Greg Jennings.

Blair White, WR, Colts: Anthony Gonzalez just got placed on IR, and Austin Collie is recovering from a concussion, so White's path to fantasy relevance just got a pit smoother. As we've seen with what Philip Rivers is doing with the no-name WRs in San Diego, stud QBs can turn receivers like Blair White into fantasy gold if they're pressed into a starting role.

Jacoby Jones, WR, Texans: Consider this my hunch that Jones scores from deep this week against a putrid Jaguars pass defense (267 yards/game, 8.7 YPA, 17 TDs). For that matter, Kevin Walter isn't a bad flyer, either.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Lions: This is the fourth week in a row I've mentioned a tight end who was facing the Bills, and it's worked every time except one. You should know the drill by now - the Bills are the worst in the NFL against tight ends, which the Lions coaches undoubtedly know and will inevitably incorporate into the game plan.

David Thomas, TE, Saints: The Saints have a bye this week, so I'm probably a week premature in recommending Thomas. Just keep him in mind because Jeremy Shockey appeared to suffer a serious rib injury last week. Thomas has been relevant in fantasy circles in the past when Shockey was injured.

Connor Barth, K, Bucs: A home matchup against a bad Panthers team should lend itself to a nice day for Barth.

Bucs D/ST: The Panthers offense is the worst in the NFL, and the Bucs face them at home this week. The Bucs have won games like this all year long, and, playing from the lead, their chances for a pick-six are better than essentially any team this week.

Dead to Me:

Cowboys RBs: I've been reluctant to bury Felix Jones and Marion Barber because the Cowboys have been a successful offense in years past. Tonight, though, I was looking at the league standings and asked myself "How are the Cowboys RBs any different than the Bills?" Yes, these backs have talent, but they're splitting carries on bad teams with bad defenses. I'm not burying the Cowboys offense, as I still think there are points to be had in the passing game, particularly as they play from behind. At this point, though, I'm not going to criticize anyone who cuts Jones or Barber. I'd make the caveat that a coaching change might give Felix Jones more touches, but I don't think the Cowboys offensive line is good enough for it to matter.

Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals: Terrell Owens is playing like a Pro Bowl WR and a top 5 fantasy WR. Ochocinco has the same QB and the same offensive line, so what's his excuse? I suppose you can't cut Ochocinco in medium and deep leagues, as he did have 108 yards a few weeks ago. But when Ochocinco is fighting with Carson Palmer even as Terrell Owens is shining, it's clear who has chemistry with the Bengals QB and who does not.