With six NFL teams on bye weeks, there’s a good chance that teams in your fantasy league (maybe you!) will be forced to drop players they don’t want to drop in favor of bye week fill-ins. This is a great opportunity to acquire players that you may not have a chance to pick up the rest of the season so keep an eye on who is dropped and take advantage while you can. As much as it stinks to let your players become available on the waiver wire, it hurts even more when the replacements you pick up don’t get the job done. Here are a few RB/WR/TE streamers that I feel can make up for losing the players you may have had to drop this week.
* Players marked with an asterisk below can also be found in the priority waiver wire adds article referenced at the end.
Ronald Jones II* (RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
It’s been a hazy backfield situation to speculate on all season, but we may finally have some clarity with Jones as the Bucs’ true RB1. Jones saw 20 combined touches in Week 9 (82 all-purpose yards, one TD) and HC Bruce Arians gave him the public vote of confidence that fantasy owners have been waiting on all season. This makes Jones not only a Week 10 streaming option, but also a long-term hold as a potential low-end RB2 with a solid built-in floor due to consistent volume. I hesitate to call him anything more for now since he has not contributed much as a receiver so far in his career (nine total targets last season, 11 this season). He’s a no-brainer add in leagues of all sizes and faces the middling Cardinals defense in Week 10.
Kalen Ballage (RB, Miami Dolphins)
With Kenyan Drake jettisoned to the Cardinals and Mark Walton facing suspension, the Dolphins RB carousel continues to revolve and now gives us a look at Ballage. I’m not going to try to sell you on the player because the numbers say everything up to this point (35 carries for 70 yards, 2.0ypc, 2 TDs). This is a recurring theme in this article, but identifying the ideal streaming candidate starts with a player’s talent, opportunity/ role, and opponent. Ballage’s prospect grade was a 5.46 (“NFL backup or special teams potential”) so that gives you an idea of the talent. Serviceable, but not a standout from what has shown up on tape. As far as his Week 10 opponent, the Colts have been top-8 against the run this season. The opportunity, however, is the selling point here. However inefficient Ballage may be, he is now a lead back who should see 15+ touches a week, plus goal-line work. You play him for the volume and chance for a touchdown with hopes for FLEX-level productivity.
Josh Reynolds (WR, Los Angeles Rams)
The 2019 Rams offense hasn’t looked like the juggernaut we saw last season, but this is still a very effective unit that has been able to put together drives and support multiple viable fantasy options. With Brandin Cooks likely facing an extended absence after entering the concussion protocol for the second time this season, Reynolds should see enough snaps to merit consideration as a WR3/ low-end FLEX in the right matchup. In addition to the expanded role and fantasy-friendly team context, my optimism for Reynolds comes from the fact that we’ve seen him replace an injured starter before (Cooper Kupp last year) and fill in capably (402 receiving yards and five TDs in 2018). One drawback to note with Reynolds is his efficiency, or lack thereof, with Jared Goff. Reynolds had an uninspiring 55% catch rate in 2018 (29 catches on 53 targets) and has just five catches on 18 targets so far this year. Part of that can be attributed to his 13.6yd average depth of target leading to lower completion percentages and it means that Reynolds needs around seven or more targets each week to have a floor you feel okay about.
A.J. Brown (WR, Tennessee Titans)
My Corey Davis recommendation a few weeks back was a flop so I’m returning with an olive branch to the Titans passing game in the form of A.J. Brown. Brown has received seven or more targets in two of three Ryan Tannehill starts and has nine-plus PPR fantasy points in each of those starts. In a run-first offense that’s bottom-five in pass attempts per game (30.8), there will undoubtedly be some frustrating weeks ahead for Brown. The blueprint against the Chiefs has been to control the clock with a steady rushing attack, so while Week 10 has the look of a “Derrick Henry game,” I think Brown will still be able to provide a decent enough floor not to burn you given his big-play ability (six catches of 20+ yards and three catches of 40+ yards this season). If Patrick Mahomes returns from injury to play for the Chiefs this week, the Titans may have no option but to bail on the run game and pass to keep pace.
Additional WRs to consider: DeVante Parker*, Zach Pascal*, Hunter Renfrow
Gerald Everett (TE, Los Angeles Rams)
This is more or less a “check to see if he’s available” note, but if you need a tight end and Everett is out there, he is a worthy add as a potential low-end TE1 the rest of the way. As mentioned with Reynolds earlier, the Rams will have more targets available moving forward with Cooks out for the foreseeable future. The last five games have been a mixed bag for Everett who has had three games of 15+ PPR points and two games of less than four PPR points. The down weeks are never fun, but Everett gets a boost in terms of ceiling compared to other tight ends in his range due to his ability to rack up efficient yardage totals even on weeks he doesn’t score.
O.J. Howard (TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
For those who drafted Howard, I apologize if I’m hitting a nerve here. You didn’t draft him with the expectation that his name would be popping up in streamer articles by Week 10. As someone who really liked Howard going into the season but didn’t actually end up with him in any leagues, the fact that he’s become more available is exciting considering how devoid of high-end potential the tight end market is. At the end of the day he’s still an exceptional talent and gets to face the 32nd-best (aka the worst) defense against TEs this season in the Cardinals. If Howard comes out strong in his return from a hamstring injury, you won’t want to be a week late, so scoop him up now for little-to-no cost.
Accountability is everything so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Raheem Mostert (RB, San Francisco 49ers): Matt Breida has proven to be an epic healer and should never be assumed out if he is questionable. With Breida in the lineup last Thursday, Mostert was relegated to mop-up duty and registered minus-two yards on just one carry. I stand by my optimism in him as a talent, but the volume is just not there right now with a healthy 49ers backfield.
Duke Johnson (RB, Houston Texans): If you decided to kick off your Sunday nice and early with Duke Johnson in the London game, your fantasy day got off to a smashing start on the strength of his five catches for 68 yards plus a receiving touchdown. His day on the ground was much less eventful (seven carries for 13 yards), but it’s the pass-catching ability you’re signing up for anyway.
Diontae Johnson (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers): Week 9 was literally the worst week of the season to recommend Johnson as he had his least productive game of the year, collecting just one catch on two targets for three yards against the Colts. Donte Moncrief was released by the Steelers this week, however, cementing what was already a steady role in the offense for Johnson moving forward. He’s someone to keep on your watch list but not a must-hold by any means.
Danny Amendola (WR, Detroit Lions): Amendola showed his floor last week, hauling in three catches on five targets for 29 yards. He wasn’t able to catch fire with a third-straight double-digit performance but is still a decent PPR option in deeper leagues if you need a replacement at WR.
Chris Herndon (TE, New York Jets): The anticipation over Herndon’s return from suspension/ injury was matched by the anticipation for this cushy stretch of the Jets’ schedule. Both turned out to be massive disappointments in Week 9 as Herndon was active but didn’t play a snap and the Jets lost to the winless Dolphins. Herndon is a solid stash for TE-needy teams but shouldn’t find your starting lineup until he displays his health in an actual game.
Make sure to check out the priority waiver wire adds article every Tuesday for more insight on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday. Good luck in Week 10!
(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)
I have a few WR’s on bye this week. Would you rather stream reynolds, renfrow or taylor gabriel
Reynolds and Renfrow are my preferred options of the three. I would probably go with Renfrow in PPR (higher catch rate/ safer floor but lower average depth of target/ lower ceiling) and Reynolds in Standard (lower catch rate/ less stable floor but has the higher ceiling/ can do more with less targets). Everyone in the Bears offense [other than David Montgomery and Allen Robinson] is outside the circle of trust for me right now so I would put Gabriel third of that group.
Thoughts on Jared Cook? He logged a full practice yesterday. I have Engram who definitely will not be playing this week, and possibly next week, at the least. So I would be looking at Cook as a possible multi-game replacement.
I also have Noah Fant and Hollister on my list too. But Broncos are on bye this week and I don’t want to commit to Hollister before I see what Josh Gordon’s usage looks like. Ravens TE are in an oddly even split committee so I don’t want to mess with it if I don’t have to.
Frankly I’m not too high on Jared Cook in general but I can definitely see a path to relevance these next couple weeks considering the matchups and Brees’ return. Week 10 (vs Atl) should produce a ton of fantasy goodness for both teams and Week 11 (@ TB) he gets to face the second-worst D/ST against TEs. Streaming TEs is such a crapshoot so I think you’re justified in rolling with a player who has favorable matchups and is part of a productive offense. Depending on what you’re looking for, other options to consider in that range are Doyle/ Witten/ Jonnu Smith (PPR floor plays) and Ebron/ Rudolph (red zone/ TD upside).