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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Rookies dominate Week 10 priority pickups

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Another four teams are on bye in Week 10 — the Bears, Bengals, Giants and Texans — leaving fantasy managers with new problems to solve.

Below, you'll find a few priority pickups, all available in over 50 percent of leagues and approved for immediate use.

Quarterbacks on the wire

Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos (26% rostered)

All Teddy Bridgewater did on Sunday was pass for 249 yards and one score while rushing for a second TD, directing a convincing win on the road against Dallas, a team that entered the week at 6-1. His touchdown pass was a well-thrown deep sideline shot to Tim Patrick, victimizing Trevon Diggs.

We don't think of Bridgewater as any sort of mad bomber, but his 8.7 intended air-yards per target ranks among the league leaders.

Denver has defied prediction to this point in the season, so perhaps we shouldn't even discuss matchups with this squad. But the Eagles are up next, and, well...

Bridgewater has a great chance to deliver a second straight top-10 positional finish. He's the guy who gets to throw to Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Patrick and friends, which gives him a shot at multiple TDs each week.

Recommended waiver offer (assuming $100 budget): $7

Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (18%)

Jimmy Garoppolo didn't actually have a poor game on Sunday for fantasy purposes (326-2-1), but his team couldn't keep pace with a junior varsity version of the Cardinals offense, led by Colt McCoy. The Niners dropped to 3-5 and the division is basically a lost cause. At some point, just maybe the team will decide to take a long look at the dual-threat quarterback they selected third overall in the draft (after dealing multiple firsts and a third to acquire the pick).

We haven't actually seen Trey Lance on the field since Week 5, which is kinda wild. He is, without question, the team's quarterback of the future. This current edition of the Niners is only technically a playoff threat and definitely not on a Super Bowl trajectory. Lance, at some point soon, needs to play. San Francisco faces the Rams on Monday night in Week 10 before the schedule takes an exceedingly friendly turn...

Not every start will be an instructional video with Lance, obviously, but he'll have a fantastic receiving corps at his disposal and he's a gifted, willing runner. Lance carried 16 times for 89 yards against Arizona back in October. When he's starting, you'll want him.

Offer: $6

Other QBs of interest: Ben Roethlisberger (if you simply have nowhere else to turn, please note that he faces the Lions in Week 10), Taysom Hill (he's clearly just a long-term flier, in case Trevor Siemian can't hold the job; Hill completed his two pass attempts in his return against Atlanta).

Running backs to prioritize

D'Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns (39%)

Without much question, D'Ernest Johnson should be your running back priority this week if he's available to you. This one shouldn't require much thought or explanation. Nick Chubb reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and Kareem Hunt remains on IR with a calf injury. The last time Johnson handled a full workload for Cleveland, he erupted for 168 total yards and a touchdown on 24 touches, absolutely pummeling Denver's defense. Go get him if you can. Johnson is gonna be a very chalky building block for DFS lineups, too, at only $13. 

We should note that Chubb has at least a chance to return this weekend against New England, as he's in the protocol for vaccinated players. But as of this writing, Johnson is looking like the team's clear No. 1 back. 

Offer: $21

Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots (6%)

You know it's a slow week on the wire when we highlight a guy who just exited a game with a head injury. It's clearly way too early to know Rhamondre Stevenson's status for Week 10, but we can definitively say he was a big part of the game plan against Carolina on Sunday. Before checking out, Stevenson gained 106 total yards on a dozen touches, leading the team in both rushing and receiving (which, admittedly, is not saying much).

Also, one of our guiding principles here is that if you hit a guy with a stiff-arm like this...

...we gotta promote you. That's just too good.

Stevenson was a preseason star for New England, you might recall, but his game-day status has been a mystery leading up to every week of the regular season. After Sunday's performance, he really has to remain involved when healthy. Here's hoping he's good to go against Cleveland next week (followed by Atlanta and Tennessee).

Offer: $8

Devonta Freeman, Baltimore Ravens (20%)

Somehow, in the pickup frenzy that surrounded Eagles and Titans running backs last week, we all forgot about Devonta Freeman. It's understandable in a way, because he's a boring vet coming off a bye. Freeman had scored in back-to-back games, however, and he made it three straight with a spike in Sunday's win against the Vikings. He caught a short second-quarter TD and gained 83 scrimmage yards on 15 touches.

Freeman split carries with Le'Veon Bell, as expected, and, naturally, Lamar Jackson led the team in rushing. Still, Devonta has carved out a meaningful role for a run-committed team. Baltimore has a pair of friendly matchups on deck (at Mia, at Chi), so Freeman belongs in the flex discussion.

Offer: $8

Various other add-worthy RBs: Jordan Howard (didn't have it in me to give a full blurb to yet another Eagles back, but Howard had the biggest day in Week 9, rushing for 71 yards and one score), Mark Ingram (because we might have an injury worry with Alvin Kamara), Alex Collins (he's available in just over 50% of Yahoo leagues and we don't yet know if Chris Carson will return for Week 10), Brandon Bolden (he produced 81 scrimmage yards on Sunday and both Stevenson and Damien Harris checked out with possible concussions), Eno Benjamin (he should be looking at double-digit touches each week for however long Chase Edmonds is sidelined with his ankle issue), Sony Michel (he scored the week's most garbage-ish touchdown and it's worth noting that Darrell Henderson picked up a seemingly minor ankle injury), Jeff Wilson Jr. (he didn't make an appearance in Sunday's loss, although he was active ahead of his original return timetable; we know the coaching staff loves him, so he'll see the field at some point soon), Jaret Patterson (coming off bye, he had a significant role in Week 8 with Antonio Gibson still battling an injury).

Wide receivers and tight ends deserving attention

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (36% rostered)

Yup, we're re-hyping him, because Rashod Bateman has not yet been sufficiently added. He hasn't seen fewer than six targets in any game since making his regular season debut in Week 6. Bateman caught five balls for 52 yards on eight chances against Minnesota on Sunday, with a few highlights included...

The rookie will face Miami next week, a team that ranked next-to-last against the pass entering Sunday. Bateman is pretty much a perfect complement to Marquise Brown and the early returns have certainly been encouraging. The breakout game is coming soon.

Offer: $10

Elijah Moore, New York Jets (27%)

We don't generally make a habit of recommending elements of the Jets' passing game, but Elijah Moore erupted with WR1 numbers on Thursday night against the Colts. He caught touchdown passes from both Mike White and Josh Johnson en route to a 7-catch, 84-yard, 2-TD effort.

Moore has seen 20 targets over his last three games, too, so it's not as if the big performance came without warning. He's just awfully smooth, an excellent separator who feasted at the collegiate level for Ole Miss (86-1,193-8 in 2020). Again, his current environment may not be ideal, but, at 6-8 targets per game, he can help.

Offer: $8

Additional WRs to consider: Donovan Peoples-Jones (he's next in line for the 3-5 targets per game that would have otherwise gone to OBJ and he made a long house-call against the Bengals on Sunday), Tim Patrick (he delivered another 85 yards with a long touchdown, not that you guys care; he will apparently not escape eligibility for this column), Russell Gage (rebounded from a dud with an 8-target, 7-catch, 64-yard effort), Van Jefferson Jr. (he basically never comes off the field and he's seen 20 targets in his last three games), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (obviously the Jordan Love experience was, um ... not great, but at least MVS is healthy and back in the mix).

TEs deserving attention: Tyler Conklin (he's drawn 19 targets over his last three games, snagging 13), Dan Arnold (the team's offense might be a wasteland, but Arnold has caught a dozen balls for 128 yards over his last two games), Pat Freiermuth (an extremely promising talent who apparently lives in the end-zone).

Defenses to target

Tennessee Titans (10%)

It feels like forever ago, but this defense opened the season allowing 30-plus points in back-to-back games to Arizona and Seattle. Somehow, over the past five weeks — facing a few of the NFL's top quarterbacks — the Titans D has scored double-digit fantasy points four times. Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry were simply game-wreckers on Sunday night against the Rams, which is really nothing new for those guys. Over the next three weeks, Tennessee faces New Orleans, Houston and New England, so we can assume this defense has a few sacks and takeaways ahead.

Offer: $1

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