Next week’s waiver wire: Will Levis, Royce Freeman and more players to add now — before the Week 10 rush


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I’m using a data-backed, formulaic approach to discover next week’s waiver wire headliners… today. Going position by position, I mine my favorite obscure fantasy football statistics in regard to volume, depth, and efficiency. Then I mash them all together, hopefully identifying some cheap fantasy gems to grab now before the squares do next week. (Really proud to help readers add Demario Douglas, to go along with  Rashee Rice and Josh Downs, several weeks before the public — chalk another up for the good guys).


Available QBs With +38.0 Dropbacks Per Game (Past Three Weeks)

  • Sam Howell, WAS — 51.7 Dropbacks Per Game
  • Zach Wilson, NYJ — 50.0 Dropbacks Per Game
  • Bryce Young, CAR — 44.0 Dropbacks Per Game
  • Baker Mayfield, TB — 42.7 Dropbacks Per Game
  • Derek Carr, NO — 40.7 Dropbacks Per Game
  • Joshua Dobbs, MIN — 38.0 Dropbacks Per Game
  • Will Levis, TEN — 37.5 Dropbacks Per Game

Available QBs With +3.5 Deep Attempts Per Game (Past Three Weeks)

  • Will Levis, TEN — 6.5 Deep Attempts Per Game
  • Sam Howell, WAS — 4.7 Deep Attempts Per Game
  • Jordan Love, GB — 4.0 Deep Attempts Per Game
  • Zach Wilson, NYJ— 4.0 Deep Attempts Per Game
  • Baker Mayfield, TB — 3.7 Deep Attempts Per Game
  • Taylor Heinicke, ATL — 3.5 Deep Attempts Per Game

Available QBs With +0.10 Expected Points Added Per Attempt (Past Three Weeks)

  • Aidan O’Connell, LV — 0.30 EPA/Attempt
  • Joshua Dobbs, MIN — 0.28 EPA/Attempt
  • Jordan Love, GB — 0.16 EPA/Attempt
  • Gardner Minshew, IND — 0.16 EPA/Attempt
  • Taylor Heinicke, ATL — 0.14 EPA/Attempt
  • Will Levis, TEN — 0.10 EPA/Attempt
  • Baker Mayfield, TB — 0.10 EPA/Attempt

For the time being, it appears us speculators are out of permanent answers at quarterback. So what do we do? What we do best — get dirty doing the work as we tackle it case-by-case. If you’re in need of a QB for just this weekend, plant your flag on the burly Tennessee rookie Will Levis. First off, I’m glad to see the Titans take a proactive approach and give him the keys to the car. As an organization, they need to figure out just where they stand going forward, for better or worse. We need to see more of this. Levis pops up on all three of our lists, paving the way to fantasy potential. Levis has combined volume, depth, and efficiency by dropping back 37.5 times a games while challenging the secondary often and adding expected points to the offense. This weekend, the Titans head to sunny Florida to face the pass-funnel Buccaneers. Tampa’s pass defense ranks poorly under the season-long lens, and it’s gotten much worse of late due to injuries. Over their past three contests, the Bucs are 31st or worse in Def. EPA/Dropback (-0.33), Opponent Passer Rating (123), Yards Per Reception (13.1), Passing Yards Allowed Per Game (333.3), +20 Yard Completions (14), and Passing Touchdowns (7). Levis faces the Jaguars and Panthers after that, though — tough sledding worthy of an immediate eject button.

If you’re battling for a playoff spot and worried beyond Week 10, you could pivot away from Levis toward Gardner Minshew. The Colts gets two juicy matchups in a three-week span. Unfortunately we won’t even get a chance at a floor game Week 11 because it’s a bye sandwich for Indy. You get the same horrendous Tampa Bay stats above, except in Week 12, along with the leaky Patriots in their place this Sunday. The once vaunted Pats are in a downward spiral and currently pulling up the caboose for the AFC at 2-7. Injuries have decimated their defense, in particular the secondary, and New England should be considered a streaming target going forward until something changes. Over the past month, Minshew is seventh in dropbacks and eighth in passing yards with a QB3 weekly finish jammed in there. We could do a lot worse.

Week 10 QB Streams Ranked

  1. Will Levis — TEN at TB
  2. Gardner Minshew — IND at NE
  3. Taylor Heinicke — ATL at ARI

Week 11 QB Streams Ranked

  1. Jordan Love — GB vs LAC
  2. Josh Dobbs — MIN at DEN
  3. Taylor Heinicke — ATL at ARI

Running Back

Available RBs With +8.0 Touches Per Game (Past Three Weeks)

Available RBs With +0.25 Fantasy Points Per Snap (Past Three Weeks)

  • Keaton Mitchell, BAL — 1.49 Fantasy Points Per Snap
  • Jaleel McLaughlin, DEN — 0.68 Fantasy Points Per Snap
  • Darrynton Evans, CHI — 0.43 Fantasy Points Per Snap
  • Raheem Blackshear, CAR — 0.41 Fantasy Points Per Snap
  • Craig Reynolds, DET — 0.37 Fantasy Points Per Snap
  • Zack Moss, IND — 0.34 Fantasy Points Per Snap
  • Chris Rodriguez, WAS — 0.34 Fantasy Points Per Snap
  • Chase Edmonds, TB — 0.30 Fantasy Points Per Snap
  • Royce Freeman, LAR — 0.26 Fantasy Points Per Snap

Available RBs With +35% Touch Per Snap Rate (Past Three Weeks)

  • Craig Reynolds, DET — 59.4% Touch Per Snap Rate
  • Zack Moss, IND — 53.5% Touch Per Snap Rate
  • Jaleel McLaughlin, DEN — 42.9% Touch Per Snap Rate
  • Devin Singletary, HOU — 38.0% Touch Per Snap Rate
  • Royce Freeman, LAR — 36.3% Touch Per Snap Rate
  • AJ Dillon, GB — 35.2% Touch Per Snap Rate

Have you ever circled a parking lot endlessly, fairly certain there were fewer spaces than vehicles? That’s how trying to find a viable fantasy back in this abyss feels right now. The impending and/or recent returns of Aaron Jones, David Montgomery, James Conner, Jerome Ford, and Khalil Herbert launched most of our RB contingency plans directly into the sun. Well, when all else fails, our trusty lists are my guide. Despite some positive news for Kyren Williams, he’s still not expected to return until Week 12 at the earliest, and we know anything can happen before then. Darrell Henderson has definitely produced for anyone who added him but I’m cutting bait — I actually think the usage needle in Los Angeles is moving in favor of “Rolls” Royce Freeman. Since the Rams lost Williams for Week 7, Freeman’s outproduced the starter Henderson in EPA/Rush (-0.09), Yards Per Attempt (4.3), Yards Before Contact Per Rush (1.0), Yards After Contact Per Rush (3.3), Rushing Success Rate (64%), in addition to securing the lone goal-to-go attempt in their past two games.

Wide Receiver

Available WRs With +33 Routes Run Per Game (Past Three Weeks)

Available WRs With +20.0% Target Per Route Run (min. 6 Targets; Past Three Weeks)

Available WRs With +0.45 Fantasy Points Per Route (min. 6 Targets; Past Three Weeks)

  • Mack Hollins, ATL — 0.71 Fantasy Points Per Route
  • Jamison Crowder, WAS — 0.69 Fantasy Points Per Route
  • Jake Bobo, SEA — 0.68 Fantasy Points Per Route
  • Noah Brown, HOU — 0.63 Fantasy Points Per Route
  • Byron Pringle, WAS — 0.53 Fantasy Points Per Route
  • Kyle Philips, TEN — 0.45 Fantasy Points Per Route

This week’s supply gave the general waiver wire mavens fits, forget us deep divers. Before I take a wild swing in the dark at a wide receiver who will likely disappoint us, keep in mind how important diligence is. Hopefully you churned the bottom of your roster through the season with us to avoid relying on this empty cupboard of fantasy points. Not to mention, if you happen to remove any pass catchers attached to Eric Bieniemy’s Chiefs 2.0 offense in Washington, there’s even less meat left on the bone.

If I had to choose from this motley crew of afterthoughts, I’d lean into Alec Pierce given his playing time and upcoming matchups (while ignoring his separation numbers). Losing Josh Downs had the opposite effect on Pierce last week, who hung a goose egg against an admittedly tough Panthers defense. That said, he’s quite literally an every down player for a Colts team on the cusp of kissing any chance at a wild card goodbye. And we can say what we want about the QB play, but Minshew’s not afraid to sling it — he’s eclipsed 300 passing yards in two of his past four games, with two weak defenses on deck.

Tight End

Available TEs With +65.0% Route Participation (Past Three Weeks)

Available TEs Earning +4.0 Targets Per Game (Past Three Weeks)

  • Cade Otton, TB — 7.0 Targets Per Game
  • Logan Thomas, WAS — 6.7 Targets Per Game
  • Tanner Hudson, CIN — 5.0 Targets Per Game
  • Chigoziem Okonkwo, TEN — 4.5 Targets Per Game
  • Connor Heyward, PIT — 4.0 Targets Per Game
  • Luke Musgrave, GB — 4.0 Targets Per Game
  • Tyler Conklin, NYJ — 4.0 Targets Per Game

Available TEs With +25.0 Air Yards Per Game (Past Three Weeks)

  • Cade Otton, TB — 46.3 Air Yards Per Game
  • Logan Thomas, WAS — 38.7 Air Yards Per Game
  • Chigoziem Okonkwo, TEN — 34.5 Air Yards Per Game
  • Tanner Hudson, CIN — 27.0 Air Yards Per Game
  • Tyler Conklin, NYJ — 26.5 Air Yards Per Game
  • Hayden Hurst, CAR — 26.0 Air Yards Per Game

Top 10 Rest-Of-Season Available TEs Ranked

  1. Jake Ferguson, DAL
  2. Cade Otton, TB 
  3. Trey McBride, ARI
  4. Chigoziem Okonkwo, TEN
  5. Michael Mayer, LV
  6. Logan Thomas, WAS
  7. Tyler Conklin, NYJ
  8. Jonnu Smith, ATL
  9. Cole Kmet, CHI
  10. Luke Musgrave, GB

(Photo of Royce Freeman: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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