Last week, it felt like waivers had run dry on everything but tight ends. Fortunately for lineups running on fumes, we’ve got a script flip heading into Week 11. There are solid pickups and ‘staches at running back, wide receiver and even quarterback, with a few names that could make the difference in a playoff run.
Let’s just hope a couple of them pan out. We need reinforcements down the stretch.
As always, these are the most intriguing players who are rostered in less than 60 percent of NFL.com leagues. If you have questions, my DMs are open: @MattOkada on Twitter … or X … or whatever it is.
- The First Read: Vikings, Texans among five wild cards that could shape second half of 2023 NFL season
- NFL stats and records, Week 10: Texans' C.J. Stroud, Chargers' Justin Herbert reach new passing heights
- 2023 NFL season, Week 10: What We Learned from Sunday's games
Over the last three weeks, Dobbs has averaged 24.3 fantasy points per game, scoring 23, 25 and 25 in those contests. You might say his fantasy value is sky high. Out of this world. To the moon. [Insert additional aerospace puns here.] Seriously, though, between productive passing and elite rushing, Dobbs has somehow become a legitimate fantasy consideration moving forward. He has seven games with 40-plus rushing yards this season and has scored a rushing touchdown in four straight. Plus, his 50 combined points over his two games as a Viking have all come without Justin Jefferson, who could return from his hamstring injury very soon. Dobbs has an elevated floor, a shockingly good ceiling and — with upcoming matchups against the Broncos and Bears — I’d consider him a legitimate QB1 for the foreseeable future.
I’m not excited about this. If you read all the way down to the D/ST section, you’ll know I expect an interception from Love just about every week, but the Chargers have been an absolute pleasure cruise for fantasy QBs this season. They’ve allowed 20-plus fantasy points to six of nine opposing quarterbacks so far, and the other three are Tyson Bagent, Aidan O’Connell and Zach Wilson. Love might not be the fantasy breakout he looked like through the first few weeks of the season, but he’s a more viable option than any of those guys. I’m calling my shot: Love joins the 20-plus-point list in Week 11 (logging his first such performance in seven games). He’s streamable in one-QB leagues and a locked-and-loaded starter in two-QB leagues.
GUY TO ‘STACHE: Yeah, it’s a short list this week. Good thing we have Patrick Mahomes, Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts coming back off their byes. That said, if for some reason you’re planning out future QB streamers, feel free to tuck Baker Mayfield somewhere on your bench. He remains consistently productive, and, after a tough Week 11 matchup with the 49ers, he gets the extremely fantasy-friendly Colts defense in Week 12.
NOTE: Jaylen Warren is still available in nearly 40 percent of leagues and is coming off a 100-yard performance in the Steelers’ win over the Packers on Sunday. He is a weekly flex and viable RB2 in a pinch. Get him rostered.
With Dameon Pierce out once again in Week 10, Singletary stepped up and posted the best performance of his career. He shouldered an astonishing 30 carries for 150 yards and a touchdown on the ground — suggesting somewhat emphatically that he can carry a workhorse load despite his 5-foot-7, 203-pound frame. He has been the unquestioned bell cow in Pierce’s absence, and Pierce had been the least-efficient RB1 in the entire league prior to his injury (3.0 yards per carry). I think it’s entirely possible that Singletary simply takes control of this backfield regardless of Pierce’s timeline and/or return. And even if the two split time moving forward, Singletary has been the hotter hand in an offense that is providing scoring opportunities galore. In committee situations over the previous two seasons in Buffalo, Singletary was the RB20 overall. He is the top add at running back.
A Week 9 superstar and Week 10 Guy To ‘Stache, Mitchell had a respectable encore on Sunday, logging 30-plus yards both rushing and receiving and scoring on an extremely impressive touchdown run in the first quarter. While he only managed four touches on 11 snaps, he still out-touched Justice Hill and out-produced Gus Edwards (albeit entirely on the TD scamper). One of his two targets resulted in a 32-yard reception, the other was a drop in the end zone (which we will take as encouraging usage). Mitchell looks very much like De’Von Achane Lite: an extremely explosive, one-play-to-make-your-day change-of-pace back on a productive, run-heavy offense. We’re going to need more than four touches to feel decent about starting Mitchell, but he is absolutely worth rostering for the upside he brings if more opportunities come.
Gibson has been extremely disappointing over the full picture of the 2023 season, but things are looking (ever so slightly) up in recent weeks. He has increased his fantasy output in three straight games, scoring 12-plus in consecutive weeks with an impressive 16.5 points in Week 10. Importantly, he has now snagged five catches in three straight games, with 42 receiving yards in each of the last two. It feels like fantasy managers have known this was possible for years, even if Ron Rivera and Co. are only just now figuring it out. But better late than never. Given the proclivity of the Commanders’ defense to give up points and put the offense in deficits, there should be plenty of opportunity for Gibson to continue this positive trend of pass-catching production. For now, he’s a deeper flex play in PPR leagues, and there is more upside to be had if Gibson’s role continues to grow (or if anything happens to Brian Robinson).
We might have witnessed a changing of the guard in Minnesota on Sunday. During a 27-19 victory over the Saints in which the Vikings led for the vast majority of the game, Chandler had 15 carries and a goal-line touchdown, while Alexander Mattison had eight carries before suffering a concussion midway through the third quarter. While he did get a some of his carries after Mattison exited, Chandler had actually logged eight carries, 40 yards and the touchdown before Mattison was injured. Minnesota had acquired Cam Akers a few weeks ago to potentially usurp both Chandler and Mattison, but with Akers now done for the season and Mattison in concussion protocol, it’s not impossible Chandler finds his way into a valuable role going forward. He’s worth a speculative add.
The Titans’ rookie backup back had a decent showing in Week 10 with four catches for 42 yards on five targets in a game Tennessee trailed throughout. While it was somewhat indicative of the relevance he can have playing behind Derrick Henry, I’m not including him here for the occasional week of flex production. Spears is in consideration for the most valuable ‘stache in fantasy heading into the winter. Should anything happen to Henry (knock on wood), Spears would have RB1 upside through the fantasy playoffs. Remember, D’Onta Foreman averaged 90 yards from scrimmage per game starting in relief of Henry over the last six weeks of 2021.
GUYS TO ‘STACHE: If you just glanced at Sunday’s box scores, you might have expected Rico Dowdle to top the RB list this week after scoring nearly 14 fantasy points in the Cowboys’ annihilation of the Giants. What you’d be missing with that assessment is that Dowdle did most of his work with the game well in hand. Still, he has looked good in relief of Tony Pollard and is an excellent handcuff. Seattle rookie **Zach Charbonnet** looked solid yet again in Week 10, putting together 10.2 fantasy points with four catches and 7.3 yards per carry. The Seahawks seem interested in involving the second-round pick more and more, so I’m interested in rostering him.
Cooks was a popular sleeper pick in 2023 fantasy drafts, as he has done nothing but produce at every stop throughout his decade-long career. For the first five weeks, that looked like a busted pick. But things have changed as the Cowboys’ offense has picked up steam. Cooks posted a monster 32.3 fantasy points against the Giants in Week 10 on the merits of nine catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. We can chalk up a huge chunk of that production to the hapless New York defense, but Cooks also posted 14-plus fantasy points in two of his prior three games (against the Rams and Chargers). Most importantly, Dak Prescott is the hottest quarterback in the league right now, averaging 361 yards per game and throwing a whopping 11 touchdowns since coming off the Cowboys’ Week 7 bye. With the passing attack producing like this, Cooks is likely to have several more start-worthy games before the year is up. This Sunday’s game against a Panthers defense that’s been stingy to wideouts wouldn’t be your best bet, but the next five weeks — vs. the Commanders, Seahawks, Eagles, Bills and Dolphins — provide one of the best stretches of fantasy opponents you’ll see. Sign me up.
Without context, Brown would appear to be the hottest waiver commodity of the week. He’s scored 51.5 fantasy points over the last two games with a pair of touchdowns and an absurd 325 yards over that span (behind only CeeDee Lamb’s 342 for most in the NFL). So, what’s the context? Well, Nico Collins missed Sunday’s game (in which Brown had season highs in targets and catches), and back in Week 9, C.J. Stroud had a record-setting, WR-elevating performance we’re unlikely to see again. In the entire season prior to Week 9 (with Collins atop the depth chart), Brown had accumulated just 114 yards (and no touchdowns). Which leaves us with a difficult question: Has Brown played himself into a larger role moving forward, or does he return to obscurity when Collins returns to the field? Mark me down somewhere in the middle. Brown will absolutely descend back to the WR3 position on the Texans’ depth chart with Collins back … but given the way Stroud is throwing the rock, that might still be good enough for a WR3 position in fantasy, as well. That could make him a flex-able play with upside. And if Collins is sidelined or hampered by his calf injury beyond missing this past week, Brown becomes a strong start.
Last week, we identified Douglas as a streamable wide receiver with an upside unfortunately capped by Mac Jones and the Patriots’ anemic offense. Lo and behold, Douglas posted 14.4 fantasy points in Germany thanks to six catches for 84 yards on nine targets. He was far and away the No. 1 wideout for New England, with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kayshon Boutte combining for just two targets. Maybe Bailey Zappe takes over for Bill Belichick’s offense and brings a spark after Jones was benched for the final drive in a loss to the Colts, or maybe Jones continues plodding his way to 200 passing yards and an occasional touchdown. Either way, Douglas is getting the targets and has the talent to provide spot-start fantasy value down the stretch. If you need a WR3 or a weekly flex option, you could do worse.
GUYS TO ‘STACHE: Both rookie Jayden Reed (19.4 fantasy points) and sophomore Romeo Doubs (12.1) caught touchdown passes for the Packers and posted solid fantasy lines in Sunday’s loss to the Steelers. Reed now has 80-plus yards in two of his last three games, and Doubs has six touchdowns on the season — all while Christian Watson continues to vastly underperform. The mixed usage makes all of them hard to trust, but I don’t mind ‘staching Reed and Doubs for good matchups (like this week’s game against the Chargers) and tight spots down the stretch. Arizona WRRondale Moore’s eight targets on Sunday might look appetizing, but I prefer the upside of Michael Wilson (six targets) as he builds chemistry with Kyler Murray. If you have the room, the Cardinals rookie could be a diamond-off-your-bench option for later in the year.
To ensure McBride gets his due on this week’s waiver wire, I’ve excised all other prospective tight ends from the column. This is a one-man show. Pick. Him. Up. I wrote last week that McBride’s floor game against the Browns (with Clayton Tune at QB) was just that: his absolute floor. The second-year tight end has averaged 23.3 fantasy points in his other two games post-Zach Ertz. With Kyler Murray at the helm for the first time on Sunday, McBride caught eight of nine targets for 131 yards.
Take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Here are the names I would take over McBride for the rest of season: Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson and Mark Andrews. That’s it. Period. McBride should be on 100 percent of rosters by Wednesday morning. Let’s make it happen.
I know, the Chargers’ defense is not good. At least not for real football. In fantasy, however, it has actually had some big days in streaming matchups against error-prone offenses: 8 fantasy points against the Vikings, 14 against the Raiders, 9 against the Bears and 27 against the Jets. Coming off an absolute disaster against the Lions, L.A. has a shot at a bounce-back performance versus a Packers offense that hasn’t scored more than 20 points since Week 2. No QB has thrown more picks this season than Jordan Love (10). It’s risky, but there’s reward to be had here.
The Jaguars were an all-around disaster against a fresh 49ers team in Week 10, resulting in an embarrassing 34-3 loss. Prior to that dud, their D/ST had averaged 10.7 fantasy points per game over the previous three games. And here’s a news flash for you: The Titans are not the 49ers. This coming Sunday, Josh Allen (the pass rusher) and Co. will be coming for Will Levis and a Tennessee offense devoid of dynamic playmakers. And Duval is going to be hungry for vengeance after Sunday’s home debacle. The Jags are a strong start.
The Lions’ D/ST has been a bit spotty this season, with negative-fantasy-point duds against both the Ravens (in Week 7) and the Chargers (on Sunday). Those are both productive offenses that boast dynamic passing attacks — neither of which can be said of Detroit’s Week 11 opponent, the Bears. Outside of those two duds, the Lions have averaged 11 fantasy points in their other five games since the Week 2 shootout loss to Seattle. Whether it’s Tyson Bagent or Justin Fields at QB for Chicago, I’d feel confident rolling out Aidan Hutchinson and the rest of Dan Campbell’s boys.
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