Each week, we identify six players to target on fantasy waiver wires, plus a lightly owned team defense. These fantasy assets are all available in a majority of Yahoo leagues.
Amendola is a near lock to deliver top-20 numbers at his position over the final six weeks of the fantasy season — and possibly top-10 in PPR formats — which makes him, without question, your priority pick-up. Julian Edelman suffered a Jones fracture to his left foot on Sunday, an injury likely to sideline him for the remainder of the regular season, though perhaps not in playoffs. Edelman will undergo surgery on Monday. Not surprisingly, Amendola was peppered with short-range targets in Sunday's win over the Giants, hauling in 10 of 11 for 79 yards (a classically Edelman-ish stat line). Let's also remember that all those Dion Lewis targets are up for grabs as well. When waiver claims clear this week, Amendola and Brandon LaFell really should be universally owned. Danny isn't exactly Edelman, but he can deliver a decent impression of No. 11 over the next two months.
FAAB bid: $19 ($100 budget).
Predictably, Kamar Aiken dominated the targets from Joe Flacco on Sunday (14), but Givens managed to catch four balls on seven chances, including a late go-ahead touchdown reception. Steve Smith Sr. is sidelined for the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles and first-round rookie receiver Breshad Perriman (PCL) remains without an ETA, which leaves Aiken and Givens as the primary options in Baltimore's passing game. Givens is a serious vertical threat, perhaps the only legit field-stretcher on the team's depth chart. In all likelihood, he'll be a boom/bust fantasy option over the final weeks, worth starting when he sees a favorable match-up (like the Browns in Week 12, for example).
FAAB bid: $12
Cecil Shorts III, WR, Houston Texans, 8%
Here's the rare case in which we feature a player in Pickups of the Week who can be used same-day, on Monday night. Shorts has put in full practices for Houston this week, returning from a multi-game hamstring issue. He averaged nine targets per game over the first five weeks of the season, hauling in 26 passes. Nate Washington unexpectedly surged when Shorts was sidelined by injury, so it's entirely possible that Cecil won't return to his full September workload. Still, you can expect to see him draw 5-8 targets per game while healthy, and he, like Washington, will continue to benefit from the extreme attention paid to DeAndre Hopkins. Houston quarterback Brian Hoyer has generally played well enough to support more than one ownable, startable fantasy receiver.
FAAB bid: $6
OK, this one isn't for everyone. But if you're among the thousands of Yahoo fantasy owners dropping Peyton Manning today, Osweiler might just be the best replacement option on the wire. Peyton is dealing with multiple injuries at the moment, including plantar fasciitis, and he's coming off a miserable performance against the Chiefs, in a non-competitive game (5-for-20, 4 INTs). Peyton has already been ruled out for the game at Chicago in Week 11.
So Osweiler it is. He's a fourth-year QB who's only rarely seen the field as a pro, and he wasn't extraordinarily impressive in mop-up duty against KC (6.1 Y/A, TD, INT, 3 sacks). But he has serious arm strength, uncommon size (6-foot-8), plus he has the sort of athleticism and mobility that should make him a nice fit for Gary Kubiak's system. This could all work out, at least for fantasy purposes. Osweiler is the guy who gets to throw to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders (if healthy), which clearly helps. The Bears defense has been better than expected — it's substantially improved under coordinator Vic Fangio — but the team has still allowed 17 passing TDs while only picking off five balls. It's easy to see a path to a top-15 positional finish for Osweiler in the week ahead. We should expect Manning to return for Week 12, but it's of course not a given.
FAAB bid: $11
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins, 18%
You might recall that Ajayi slipped to Round 5 in the draft, due presumably to long-range concerns about his knee, as well as a heavy collegiate workload. Ajayi was indisputably one of the biggest talents at his position in his draft class, however, and he was an enormously productive back at Boise State — he finished with 2,358 scrimmage yards last season on a whopping 397 touches. A rib injury delayed to start to his pro career, but he's been terrific in a cameo role since his debut in Week 9. He carried five times for 41 yards at Buffalo, then six times for 48 at Philly (8.2 YPC). He's on the fringes of the flex status for fantasy purposes, a necessary handcuff for Lamar Miller owners. Ajayi hasn't yet caught a pass for Miami, although he was a more than competent receiver as a college player (50 REC in 2014). Not such a bad end-of-bench flier, all things considered. An injury to Miller would make Ajayi a must-own, must-start RB.
FAAB bid: $7
Jacob Tamme, TE, Atlanta Falcons, 18%
Tamme was mass-dropped by fantasy owners heading into his bye, and he deserves to be mass-added this week. Over his last five games, he's been targeted 43 times and twice reached 90 receiving yards. Tamme has a favorable home match-up on deck against the Colts, a team that allows the fifth-most passing yards per game (279.3). He's a trusted-if-not-spectacular weapon, a strong PPR play. Expect five or more catches for 60-plus yards.
FAAB bid: $4
Kansas City Chiefs defense, 40%
KC was tremendous at Denver on Sunday (5 sacks, 5 picks), and the team's schedule in the closing weeks seems fantasy friendly, loaded with turnovers. The Chiefs travel to San Diego in Week 11, where they'll face an injury-ravaged receiving corps and no serious running threat. And you might just want to hold KC through the fantasy playoffs, because KC gets Baltimore and Cleveland in Weeks 15 and 16.
FAAB bid: $4
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