By Jack Thomason–
(CBS) If you missed the playoffs, your season might be done. But if you’re headed to the playoffs or you play in a keeper or dynasty league, your job isn’t done just yet.
In a keeper of dynasty league, you should still be scouring the waiver wire looking for opportunities to add young players who could emerge down the stretch. Many keeper leagues will enforce a penalty of the round a player was selected for his following year’s keeper status. Well, if you find a diamond in the rough now, the advantage of having a keeper worth a final-round pick is huge. So much of this depends on how your leagues operate, but just a friendly reminder that the season isn’t finished in certain formats just because you’re eliminated.
Here are my top 10 waiver adds for 10- and 12-member leagues:
1. Malcolm Mitchell (WR, New England Patriots) – Mitchell played 85 percent of the snaps this past Sunday and saw a season-high 10 targets. He turned those into 82 yards and eight receptions, running his three-week total to 17 receptions, 222 yards and three scores. Jump on board now if it isn’t too late. He’s quickly becoming a hot target for Tom Brady in a top-tier offense.
2. Ladarius Green (TE, Pittsburgh Steelers) – In a season in which tight end has been miserable and owners are without Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed, we’re all looking for a leg up. Green may be just that. He continues to see increased snaps, and the Steelers are looking for someone to take pressure off of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Green caught six of 11 targets for 110 yards and a score last week. He’s been making big plays down the field by stretching the seam, and nothing should stop that moving forward. The opportunity is there.
3. Charles Sims (RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Sims is expected to be activated from injured reserve and should assume his third-down receiving role right away. The Buccaneers have relied heavily Doug Martin since his return from injury and with as hot as they are right now, I’m sure they want him healthy down the stretch. The Buccaneers have two matchups with the Saints in the fantasy playoffs, which could be big for Tampa Bay running back owners. Also, Martin injured his back Sunday, and although it’s been reported he’s fine, it’s a reminder of how quickly things can change.
4. Kenneth Dixon (RB, Baltimore Ravens) – We’ve seen back-to-back games now with 10-plus touches for Dixon, and he has hit 78 yards or more in both. While he hasn’t found the end zone yet, he’s been a viable RB3/flex option, and you know the routine if anything were to happen to Terrance West.
5. Taylor Gabriel (WR, Atlanta Falcons) – Julio Jones is suffering from a turf toe injury, Mohamed Sanu has a groin injury and Gabriel looked every bit as explosive as advertised Sunday. He almost scored his sixth touchdown, coming up just inches short in the fourth quarter against the Chiefs, but he still saw six targets and may be even more involved if these injuries linger to the other starting receivers.
6. Mike Gillislee (RB, Buffalo Bills) – Did you see LeSean McCoy not getting up off the ground? Have we seen that on multiple occasions already this year? Then you know why Gillislee is a must-add, especially if you’re a McCoy owner. Buffalo is the run-heaviest team in the NFL, and Gillislee is a good runner in his own right. We saw him be productive at the goal line with two scores Sunday as well. If you own McCoy, grab some peace of mind and add Gillislee. Otherwise, stash him and hit the lottery if McCoy doesn’t get back up on one of these extended stays on the turf.
7. Ted Ginn, Jr. (WR, Carolina Panthers) – Greg Olsen, Kelvin Benjamin and the rest of the Panthers have been in a real slump, but one player who continues to produce is Ginn, who has that special deep speed to outrun defenders and exploit matchups downfield. We’ve seen it now for three straight games with him scoring in all of them and hitting 80 yards or more in two of those three. Ginn is coming off a 10-touchdown season, so maybe he’s getting hot at the right time.
8. Tyler Boyd (WR, Cincinnati Bengals) – Boyd isn’t offering a ton of upside right now, but he’s a rookie, continues to get better and is one of the few remaining receiving targets in the Bengals offense. He’s seen 23 targets over the last three weeks and has converted 15 of them for 182 yards and one touchdown. He’s better suited in PPR formats, as he has at least four receptions in each of the last three games.
9. Brandon LaFell (WR, Cincinnati Bengals) – With A.J. Green out of the lineup, LaFell has seen 16 targets. He hasn’t done much with them until last week, when he tallied 95 yards and a score on five receptions. He gets a date with the Browns this week, and that alone gets him on the list along with Boyd if you’re in need of a WR3 in a playoff matchup.
10. Dontrelle Inman (WR, San Diego Chargers) – Quietly, while Tyrell Williams has been a beast, Inman has racked up double- points in PPR league in four of his last five games and scored in his last two. Williams is dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder too, so Inman may have a little more upside than normal. He’s seen an average of seven targets per game over the last five contests, and the Chargers have a nice playoff schedule.
Just missed: Derrick Henry, Alfred Morris, Andre Ellington, DeAngelo Williams, Justin Forsett, Christine Michael, Paul Perkins, Tyler Lockett, Paul Turner and Marqise Lee.
Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert and co-host of “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today,” which can be heard every Sunday during football season from 8-9 a.m. CT on WSCR-670 and 670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.