- Kevin C. Cox/Getty
With Week 10 of the NFL season nearly in the books, it’s time to gear up for another important waiver cycle.
We’ve reached the point where a steady stream of prominent players who missed extended time due to injuries earlier in the season are preparing to come back. Rex Burkhead and Charles Clay are among those who have returned in the last few weeks, while others, like Danny Woodhead and David Johnson, are on the mend and should be back at some point. Now more than ever, be sure to peruse the injury reports across the league when assessing the value of potential pickups.
Fantasy managers only have a few weeks left before the playoffs begin, but there’s still time to mount a late charge. Below, read up on 10 players you should consider adding to your roster.
Austin Ekeler, RB
- Sam Greenwood/Getty
Team: Los Angeles Chargers
Week 10 stats: 42 rushing yards, 77 receiving yards, 5 receptions, 2 touchdowns
One thing to know: While 2016 Pro Bowler Melvin Gordon struggled, Ekeler enjoyed the biggest game of his career. The undrafted rookie outgained his fellow running back both on the ground and in the air, all while having to deal with the Jaguars’ top-ranked pass defense. While his late fumble was enormously costly, allowing the Jaguars to force overtime and pull out the win, it shouldn’t affect Ekeler’s outlook going forward.
Rod Smith, RB
- Tom Pennington/Getty
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Week 10 stats: 14 rushing yards, 15 receiving yards, 4 receptions
One thing to know: This Ohio State product didn’t do a whole lot in his first action since Ezekiel Elliott began a six-game suspension, but neither did starter Alfred Morris, a popular fantasy pickup who got just 11 touches and wasn’t targeted at all in the air. Expect Smith to play a bigger role in the Cowboys’ Week 11 showdown against the Eagles.
Dontrelle Inman, WR
- Sean M. Haffey/Getty
Team: Chicago Bears
Week 10 stats: 88 receiving yards, 6 receptions
One thing to know: Inman looked sharp in his first game as a Bear, hauling in six out of eight targets for his best game of the season. He should be a go-to weapon in the weeks ahead, so pick him up if you’re willing to bet that Mitch Trubisky’s career-best passing performance was a sign of things to come. Chicago’s next opponent is the Lions, who nearly lost to the Browns on Sunday.
Jamaal Williams, RB
- Jonathan Daniel/Getty
Team: Green Bay Packers
Week 10 stats: 67 rushing yards, 7 receiving yards, 1 reception
One thing to know: This rookie touched the ball just 15 times through his first eight games, but injuries to Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery allowed Williams to make 20 rushing attempts on Sunday. With Jones sidelined for at least three weeks and Green Bay’s quarterback situation appearing more grim than ever, expect the BYU product to play a meaningful role through the end of the month at least.
Martavis Bryant, WR
- Andy Lyons/Getty
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 10 stats: 42 receiving yards, -9 rushing yards, 3 receptions
One thing to know: Friction with the Steelers organization landed Bryant on the bench for Week 8, but he made a solid return to action on Sunday, turning in a reasonably productive game while sharing the field with Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Given his past success, the 25-year-old is worth grabbing as the postseason nears.
Rex Burkhead, RB
- Dustin Bradford/Getty
Team: New England Patriots
Week 10 stats: 36 rushing yards, 27 receiving yards, 3 receptions, 1 touchdown
One thing to know: Burkhead made 7 catches for 68 yards in Week 8, yet he still went unclaimed in around 90% of Yahoo leagues in Week 10. He wasn’t nearly as productive, but the Patriots offense looked better than it had in weeks, all while fellow running back James White saw a reduction in his targets. Look for Burkhead to be New England’s primary pass-catching back going forward.
Charles Clay, TE
- Brett Carlsen/Getty
Team: Buffalo Bills
Week 10 stats: 13 receiving yards, 2 receptions
One thing to know: Clay had his worst game of the season on Sunday, but that detail isn’t worth dwelling on: not only was it his first start since returning from a knee injury, but the Bills offense struggled as a whole. He was one of Tyrod Taylor’s preferred targets before he missed time, and that should remain the case going forward.
Case Keenum, QB
- Patrick Smith/Getty
Team: Minnesota Vikings
Week 10 stats: 304 passing yards, -1 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
One thing to know: Teddy Bridgewater’s recent activation from injured reserve calls Keenum’s long-term value into question, but at 7-2, the Vikings won’t be looking to fix something that isn’t broken just yet. The team’s Week 11 matchup against the Rams has the makings of a shootout.
Josh Lambo, K
- Sam Greenwood/Getty
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 10 stats: 2/2 field goals, 0/1 PATs
One thing to know: The Jaguars’ next three opponents – Cleveland, Arizona, and Indianapolis – are about as good as it gets for a kicker. Lambo wasn’t especially accurate in his first two seasons in the league, but he’s done nothing but make field goals since signing with Jacksonville in October.
- Christian Petersen/Getty
Week 10 stats: 20 points against, 5 sacks
One thing to know: The Cardinals defense isn’t known as a particularly fearsome one, but they did a surprisingly solid job against the Seahawks last Thursday, holding them to 22 points. Their Week 11 opponent, the Texans, won’t be nearly as difficult, especially with three extra days to prepare.