By Jack Thomason
(670 The Score) Here are my top 10 waiver adds for 10- and 12-member leagues.
1. Wayne Gallman (RB, New York Giants) – For most at this point, it’s about healthy running backs who are receiving touches. Gallman fits this bill. He led the way with 14 touches and totaled 79 yards Sunday. The big positive, especially in full-point PPR leagues, is that he saw seven targets and caught six passes. He’s now totaled 33 touches (13 being receptions) for 178 yards combined in the last two weeks. The Giants face off against a tough Cardinals rushing defense in Arizona, so he won’t have an easy game, but neither was the game against the Eagles’ rushing defense and he still tallied 13.9 points in PPR leagues.
2. Keelan Cole (WR, Jacksonville Jaguars) – While many of us thought Dede Westbrook would be the one to shine Sunday, it was Cole who did all the damage. He racked up 186 yards and a touchdown on seven catches and also led the way with nine targets. Marqise Lee is going to miss some time, and that will thrust Cole and Westbrook into prominent roles until Lee returns. With the way the Jaguars and Blake Bortles have played of late, I’d have no issue using Cole as a WR3 or better against the 49ers this week.
3. Peyton Barber (RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Doug Martin was a healthy scratch for Monday’s game due to a rules violation. I’m only putting Barber third because of the uncertainty on whether the Bucs will commit to Barber as their starter the rest of the way. If they do, he’s the No. 1 addition. Barber has outplayed Martin for a couple weeks now and will once again have the opportunity to shine. Grab him if he’s available and you need a running back. He’d be in the conversation as an RB2 for championship week due to the volume he’d handle even in a tough matchup against Carolina next week.
4.Martavis Bryant (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers) – This is an easy one. Antonio Brown is out with a partially torn calf, and Bryant has been volatile enough this season that there’s a good chance he’s on waivers. With Pittsburgh in must-win situations to maintain a bye week after losing to New England, Bryant is going to have to pick up some serious slack. The Steelers are also playing the Texans, who have been crushed by big plays.
5. Mike Wallace (WR, Baltimore Ravens) – This season has been a tale of two halves for Wallace and the Ravens’ offense. After a horrific start, Wallace has averaged 7.5 targets, 4.5 receptions, 66.7 yards and 0.3 touchdowns per game over his last seven contests. Now, he gets a dream matchup against the Colts this Saturday. Since Week 4, the Ravens are averaging 28.5 points per game, which is among the league leaders. Wallace could have a big day against a burnable Colts secondary missing key players.
6. Theo Riddick/Tion Green (RB, Detroit Lions) – Ameer Abdullah was back and healthy Saturday, but he received just four touches and played only 13 percent of the snaps. Riddick had 11 touches and Green 10, but Riddick offers that stability and floor given his work in the receiving game. For that reason, he’s worth the early waiver pickup and Green can be seen as a boom-or-bust play, likely needing to get into the end zone to be fantasy relevant. The matchup will be ripe for the taking though, as Detroit travels to Cincinnati. The Bengals have been shredded by the run and are dealing with significant injuries defensively.
7. Bilal Powell (RB, New York Jets) – Powell has seen double-digit touches in all but three games this year. The Jets are without starting quarterback Josh McCown and are pounding the rock to stay competitive. They’ll play a Chargers team that’s been gashed by the run for the majority of the year, and Powell has scored in two of his last three games. There’s a good shot if the Jets get into the end zone, it’ll be Powell who does the job. Either way, he’ll be set up for a sizable workload in a good matchup.
8. Randall Cobb (WR, Green Bay Packers) – If for any reason Cobb is on waivers because of the tough stretch while Brett Hundley was quarterback, run to grab him. With Davante Adams dealing with a concussion, there’s a good chance Cobb will be elevated to the No. 2 receiving role instead of No. 3. And with Aaron Rodgers back, Cobb gets another big boost. The reason he’s down here and not higher is only because of caution that the Packers may sit Rodgers next week. If Adams is out and Rodgers is in, Cobb is arguably the top pickup if you’re in need of a receiver. He had 14 targets Sunday, cashing for 84 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.
9. Kerwynn Williams/Elijhaa Penny (RB, Arizona Cardinals) – Much like with Gallman, this is about healthy running backs getting touches in a good matchup. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon about Williams’ quad injury and whether he will be healthy enough to play against the Giants this weekend. If either Williams or Penny gets the nod as the starter, he’d be worth a flex play given the Giants’ propensity to allow points to opposing running backs. They’ve allowed 100 yards rushing or more in eight straight games.
10. Kendall Wright (WR, Chicago Bears) – Wright has seen a whopping 24 targets the last two weeks and has converted them into 17 receptions and 188 yards. The Bears are early 6.5-point favorites over the Browns, and while this should be a game with a heavy dose of Jordan Howard, Wright should see plenty of action through the air. You could do worse if you’re in need of a point-per-reception flex play, given the Browns rank bottom 10 in all major passing categories.
Just missed: Nick Foles, Jimmy Garoppolo, Bears Defense, Carolina Defense, Greg Olsen (top add if available and in need of a TE1), Eric Ebron, James White, Mike Gilislee, Tyrell Williams and Damiere Byrd.
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.