Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 10 Waiver Wire Targets

Each week throughout the season PDW will be posting a list of those players worth targeting on your weekly waiver wire. These lists will be made up from PDW contributors as well as fantasy partner content. Please check back weekly for the hot pickups. 

This week’s picks are courtesy of our friends at numberFire.

Peyton Barber, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

ESPN Ownership: 12.1%
Yahoo Ownership: 18%

Perhaps the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ running back position is cursed. Doug Martin aggravated his hamstring strain during the team’s Week 6 bye, Charles Sims is on injured reserve with a knee injury, Jacquizz Rodgers sprained his foot in Week 8, and Antone Smith was lost for the season after injuring his knee against the Atlanta Falcons. The last man standing, for now, is undrafted free agent rookie Peyton Barber.

Barber handled a majority of the work against the Falcons, starting the game and carrying the ball 11 times. He also caught four balls in that game, demonstrating his ability to play all three downs. Mike James is the only other running back on this roster at this point, so Barber will handle a majority of the work until either Martin or Rodgers can return.

Barber may have gone undrafted, but he has talent — he ran for 4.3 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns in the SEC as a 19-year old sophomore last year at Auburn. Starting running backs are hard to find in fantasy football, so Barber’s youth and opportunity make him a primary waiver target this week.

Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants

ESPN Ownership: 4.2%
Yahoo Ownership: 6%

If you’re looking for a running back to stash now for a fantasy playoff run, Paul Perkins is one of two guys to pick up this week. Before the New York Giants’ Week 9 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, Perkins never played more than 15 snaps or touched the ball more than five times in a game. But all that changed on Sunday, as Perkins played a season-high in snaps (22) and led the Giants’ running backs in touches (14).

With Shane Vereen on injured reserve and Rashad Jennings plodding his way to 2.6 yards per carry, Perkins has an opportunity to take control of this backfield over the second half of the season. Perkins is a great all-around talent — he totaled more than 4,200 yards and 32 touchdowns during his three collegiate seasons at UCLA.

He won’t have championship-winning upside like David Johnson did a year ago, but he has the talent to be a weekly RB2 as long as he earns 15 touches per game — which is becoming increasingly more likely after his workload increase in Week 9.

Chris Ivory, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

ESPN Ownership: 41.8%
Yahoo Ownership: 33%

Speaking of running backs who had a season-high snap count in Week 9, Chris Ivory was on the field for 34 plays against the Kansas City Chiefs after not playing more than 30 snaps in a game since Week 1.

With offensive coordinator Greg Olson gone, the Jacksonville Jaguars looked to establish the running game and take some of the responsibility off the shoulders of quarterback Blake Bortles. Ivory made the most of his opportunities on Sunday, rushing for 107 yards on a season-high 18 carries.

The Jaguars led the NFL through eight weeks in pass-run ratio at 67.8 percent. Against the Chiefs in Week 9, they passed the ball on just 54.7 percent of their plays despite trailing the entire afternoon. If this is a sign of things to come, then Ivory’s fantasy value will skyrocket over the next eight weeks with a greater dedication to the run game.

If you’re in a league with deeper benches or 12 or more teams, Ivory may not be available. But for the majority of ESPN and Yahoo leagues where Ivory is on the waiver wire, he’s worth a top waiver claim.

J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals

ESPN Ownership: 9.7%
Yahoo Ownership: 12%

With his bye week immediately after his breakout performance, J.J. Nelson remained on the waivers in many leagues heading into Week 9. Against the Carolina Panthers, he commanded a career-high 12 targets and converted them into 8 receptions for 79 yards and 2 scores. After this performance, head coach Bruce Arians said Nelson has earned the right to start moving forward.

With John Brown battling injuries for most of the season and Michael Floyd inexplicably performing so poorly in a contract year, Nelson can become the number-two receiver after Larry Fitzgerald in this offense.

He has blazing speed — he ran a 4.28-second 40-yard dash at the 2015 combine — and is dynamic once he gets his hands on the ball, as evidenced by his career 15.4 percent touchdown rate. If you’re in need of wide receiver help, Nelson is the top waiver option for Week 10.

Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens

ESPN Ownership: 9.7%
Yahoo Ownership: 12%

Many fantasy owners scooped up Kenneth Dixon once he returned from his early season MCL sprain and the Baltimore Ravens released Justin Forsett. But after Terrance West took hold of the backfield, Dixon was released in most leagues to hang out on the waiver wire. But with West rushing for just 31 yards on 23 carries in his last two games, Dixon has suddenly re-entered the picture as a candidate to become the Ravens’ starting tailback.

Dixon saw a season-high in snaps (20) and touches (11) against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9, forcing this backfield into a committee at worst with West’s recent play.

Dixon scored 87 touchdowns and hauled in 87 receptions during his time at Louisiana Tech — he’s a versatile, three-down threat with a nose for the end zone. West can only hold him off for so long, and this Steelers game was just a precursor to the shift in the Ravens’ backfield. This is the last week to grab Dixon before he earns a major role.

Continue reading at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)


K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...