The fantasy football season has entered the home stretch. Week 10 marks the point of the season in which teams start clinching berths in the playoffs or the consolation brackets. That being said, the rest of the season begins to play a factor in waiver wire pick-ups. Therefore, I will include rest-of-season schedules for all of my recommended players.
Chris Ivory – Jacksonville Jaguars – 8.3% Owned (NFL.com Leagues)
Chris Ivory is hands-down the second-most valuable “handcuff” to own going into the playoffs. For those who don’t know, a “handcuff” is the backup to a star player (typically in the case of a running back). Chris Ivory is a must-own player (especially for Leonard Fournette owners) because he flashes talent when given the opportunity. He’s been the lead back in Jacksonville the last two weeks in Fournette’s absence. Fournette missed Week 8 due to an ankle injury, and he missed last Sunday’s game for violating a team rule. Chris Ivory obviously isn’t a must-start every week. However, if Leonard Fournette is inactive, Ivory is given the volume (17 and 20 carries in the last two games, respectively) to garner a start in your lineup.
Schedule Rest of Season – vs LAC, @ CLE, @ ARI, vs IND, vs SEA, vs HOU, @ SF
Damien Williams/Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins – 18.9%/30.2% Owned
I’ll admit, when Jay Ajayi was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, I wanted nothing to do with either of these backs. However, their performance on Sunday night (albeit against a weak Oakland defense) was enough to change my mind. I include both names here because they both have enough value to pick up off waivers. Not only did they get decent volume, but they did enough with that volume to have value. Of course, it was only one game, but the trend is good for these two running backs. Damien Williams was better in the passing game, whereas Kenyan Drake was better on the ground (even with a lost fumble) and got a few more carries than Williams (nine to William’s seven). I think both running backs are decent FLEX options, Williams in PPR and Drake in all formats.
Schedule ROS – @ CAR, vs TB, @ NE, vs DEN, vs NE, @ BUF, @KC
Devontae Booker – Denver Broncos – 1.9% Owned
Booker’s future upside comes from C.J. Anderson’s bad performance last Sunday. Anderson rushed nine times for 13 yards, averaging a horrid 1.4 yards per carry. The Broncos were losing almost immediately in Sunday’s game and were forced to pass, but that doesn’t excuse how little Anderson produced. Devontae Booker is rushing for 4.6 yards per carry this season, and the Denver coaching staff could look to him for an answer to the offense’s struggles. If things continue to trend downward for C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker is worth picking up.
Schedule ROS – vs NE, vs CIN, @ OAK, @ MIA, vs NYJ, @ IND, @ WAS
Travis Benjamin – Los Angeles Chargers – 4.8% Owned
Before Week 8, Travis Benjamin seemed to be a boom-or-bust player. He went from five catches for 105 yards in Week 3 to to zero catches in Week 6 to one catch for a 42-yard touchdown in Week 7. Over the course of the season, however, there has been a subtle trend pointing to Travis Benjamin being a favorite for quarterback Phillip Rivers. He has scored three touchdowns on the season (one in each of his last two games), and is beginning to see more targets (nine in his last game). However, he has a somewhat difficult schedule coming up, with match-ups against Jacksonville, Buffalo, and Washington. Benjamin will be someone to keep in mind for those juicy match-ups (Dallas, Cleveland, and the Jets) and could come up clutch for your team, especially in PPR formats.
Schedule ROS – @ JAX, vs BUF, @ DAL, vs CLE, vs WAS, @ KC, @ NYJ
Devin Funchess – Carolina Panthers – 49.3% Owned
Devin Funchess proved on Sunday that he is the No. 1 receiver for Carolina following the Kelvin Benjamin trade. He led all Panthers wide receivers in receptions (five) and yards (86). Funchess has seen his fair share of targets this season (seven per game) and has found his way to the end zone three times. He has caught 50 yards or more in five games so far this season, and looks to increase his production now that Kelvin Benjamin is in Buffalo.
Schedule ROS – vs MIA, Bye, @ NYJ, @ NO, vs MIN, vs GB, vs TB
Mohamed Sanu – Atlanta Falcons – 27.0% Owned
Quarterback and 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan has looked lackluster this season. That, combined with peculiar play calling, has dirtied the names of most Falcons fantasy weapons. Mohamed Sanu, however, has been somewhat consistent this season, averaging just over six targets per game to go along with his seven targets in the red zone. In his last three games, Sanu has 20 targets, 15 receptions, 162 yards, and two touchdowns. He could also play a key role for fantasy owners in the playoffs, as the Atlanta Falcons still need to play Tampa Bay (30th against the pass) twice, including once in Week 15 (usually the semi-finals for most leagues). Mohamed Sanu is a great pick-up for most formats.
Schedule ROS – vs DAL, @ SEA, vs TB, vs MIN, vs NO, @ TB, @ NO
Dion Sims – Chicago Bears – 0.1% Owned
Some upside to Dion Sims is that he will likely be taking over Zach Miller’s role, particularly in the red zone. That being said, this pick is one of those that will depend on match-ups and how likely Dion Sims is to score touchdowns. Speaking of match-ups, Sims certainly has some good ones (Green Bay and San Francisco, as well as Cleveland to close out the season).
Schedule ROS – vs GB, vs DET, @ PHI, vs SF, @ CIN, @ DET, vs CLE
Vernon Davis – Washington Redskins – 21.3% Owned
This season, Vernon Davis has had a nice floor, receiving at least 50 yards in five of his eight games. He played a big role in Washington’s victory over Seattle last Sunday, catching six passes (of nine targets) for 72 yards. His role was increased in part due to injuries to fellow tight end Jordan Reed and wide receiver Jamison Crowder, but he has still been consistent with them on the field this season. Davis seems to be the security blanket to quarterback Kirk Cousins, and could help fantasy owners in a pinch.
Schedule ROS – vs MIN, @ NO, vs NYG, @ DAL, @ LAC, vs ARI, vs DEN
C.J. Fiedorowicz – Houston Texans – 1.5% Owned
If you look at C.J.’s fantasy player profile, you’ll see that he hasn’t scored any points since Week 1. This is because he has been on Houston’s injured reserve, but he will be activated back to the active roster before Sunday’s game. If you forgot about Fiedorowicz, then, odds are, the rest of your league did as well. Fiedorowicz is a reliable target, especially in the red zone. Even though quarterback Tom Savage has only thrown one touchdown in his career, Fiedorowicz could be a steal from the waiver wire.
Schedule ROS – @ LAR, vs ARI, @ BAL, @ TEN, vs SF, @ JAX, vs PIT
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen could return to practice this week and is eligible to return Week 12 (after the Panthers’ bye). If you can spare a spot on your bench, be sure to stash him.