Waiver Wire Watch: Week 10 Targets
You made it! Or maybe you didn’t. In that case, you wouldn’t even be reading this, so why am I addressing you? Uh, anyway, the week of six byes is bye-bye, so take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor with this week’s Waiver Wire Watch. Oh, and sorry in advance for recommending Eli Manning. When he scores eight points this week and you are left alone in the dark, sucking your thumb, just know that I share your pain. Maybe buy some Haagen Dazs just in case. I know I will.
Throughout this series, we will be using PPR scoring, a $100 FAAB budget and a 50% threshold for player ownership. The intro to Week 1’s edition of Waiver Wire Watch (WWW) goes into far more detail about that. Please also use the linked sources to take a moment to familiarize yourself with Josh Hermsmeyer’s air yards and our own Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) metrics. I’m going to be using AirYards.com and aFPA more and more as the year goes on. As always, John Paulsen will edit this piece and reorder/adjust the prices as necessary.
- Baker Mayfield, 38% owned ($3)
- Marcus Mariota, 27% owned ($4)
- Eli Manning, 15% owned ($1)
- Alex Smith, 43% owned ($1)
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Things didn't look good early for Mariota on Monday night, but once he knocked off the bye-week rust, he showed glimpses of the player we expected him to be this year. Those flashes pushed him up to 22.8 points, a mark he has bested only once in his last 27 games. (Yes, you read that correctly.) While things haven't been great for Mariota for the better part of two years, there is still plenty of upside locked away somewhere. The next two weeks against the Patriots and Colts, a pair of bottom-eight defenses in terms of aFPA to quarterbacks, will give him ample chance to show us the guy who averaged 24.2 points over an eight-game stretch back in 2016 still exists.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
Look, I don’t like going back to the Eli well either. Many of you may not have a choice though, what with QB1s Kirk Cousins and Deshaun Watson and popular streamers Joe Flacco and Case Keenum all on bye. The good news is the Giants are coming off a bye of their own to face a bad 49ers defense. Better still, the Giants get an even worse defense in the form of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Week 11. Quarterbacks have combined for 40 passing touchdowns against only three interceptions against the Bucs and 49ers, setting Eli up for a couple solid showings indeed.
Alex Smith, Washington Redskins
Smith is a mess. Despite a season-high 46 passes against perhaps the worst pass defense in the league on Sunday, he sits as the QB14 with 16.4 points going into Monday Night Football in a week where there were six teams on bye. Only Nick Foles all the way back in Week 1 also failed to hit the 20-point threshold against Atlanta this year. So why am I recommending Smith this week? The Redskins face a similarly bad Tampa Bay defense Week 10, giving the veteran another shot at a decent outing. Just don’t expect fireworks.
Still Worth a Look
I’ve been talking about Baker Mayfield’s amazing schedule for weeks, so there’s no reason to stop now, right? The Falcons and their awful pass defense is up next. Since Atlanta lost two key defenders Week 1, they have given up 27 PPG to starting quarterbacks. Those same seven signal callers have averaged only 17.7 points in games against opponents other than the Falcons. This isn’t how projections work necessarily, but if we take that 52.5 percent scoring increase and apply it to Baker’s fantasy output thus far, we are looking at a shade over 22 points. That doesn’t factor in the regime change in Cleveland or the fact Mayfield had his best game of the season both statistically and on film just last week. This has all the makings of a potential breakout performance.