Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Rare week with plenty of RB talent available

Ty Chandler is among a group of widely available running backs ready to give fantasy managers a boost

Each week, we identify a collection of priority fantasy football pickups available in at least 50% of Yahoo leagues and approved for use. If you have roster needs, we have solutions.

Running backs

Keaton Mitchell, Baltimore Ravens (47% rostered)

It's not often that we beseech you to do anything around here, but we are now officially and urgently beseeching you to add Mitchell wherever he's still available. Somehow, despite repeated attempts to hype and re-hype Mitchell, he remains unattached in a majority of leagues. It's embarrassing to the platform, honestly.

Here's a look at the rookie's first touch on Sunday, facing the league's No. 6 run defense:

A few minutes later, Mitchell's second touch went for 32 yards. It would be fair to say that he's something of a big-play specialist. This man is blazing past NFL defensive backs as if those dudes are merely traffic cones. It seems unfair.

Mitchell is an undersized back (5-8, 191 lbs.) with cartoonish speed (4.37) who gained over 1,700 scrimmage yards at East Carolina last year, averaging a ridiculous 7.2 YPC. He went undrafted, which is wild, but he was a highlight machine in the preseason before landing on IR with a shoulder issue.

Without question, Mitchell has earned a share of the workload in Baltimore's backfield. He was curiously holstered by Todd Monken late in the loss to Cleveland, but he's clearly an ascending player who deserves additional touches. The limited usage on Sunday didn't seem related to injury, just neglect. Again, you should not leave Mitchell unrostered in leagues of standard size. He's a strong candidate to deliver a Jerick McKinnon-in-2022-style second half.

Recommended FAB, assuming $100 budget: $21

Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings (8%)

It became immediately clear on Sunday that Chandler had claimed the workload previously belonging to Cam Akers. Chandler made his first NFL house call to punctuate Minnesota's third series, scoring a walk-in TD off a direct snap. He later had a long score wiped out by a (questionable) penalty. The former fifth-rounder with 4.38 wheels finished his afternoon with 45 rushing yards on 15 carries. averaging an Akers-like 3.0 YPC.

Alexander Mattison exited late with a concussion, leaving his availability in doubt for the premium matchup on deck with Denver. Regardless of Mattison's status, Chandler is likely headed for double-digit touches. If he serves as the lead back against the Broncos, he has matchup-tilting potential.

FAB: $18

Rico Dowdle, Dallas Cowboys (4%)

The current discourse surrounding Dowdle and Tony Pollard is beginning to sound exactly like last year's Pollard-Zeke Elliott discourse. But, hey, the NFL is a life-comes-at-you-fast sort of league. Dowdle rushed 12 times for 79 yards against the Giants while Pollard finished with 15 attempts for 55 yards. Dowdle scored an easy fourth-quarter TD after the game was out of hand; Pollard came up inches short at the goal-line, had a big gain negated by penalty and was otherwise unremarkable. So it goes.

Most of Dowdle's fantasy points were actually scored during Cooper Rush time, so let's not assume he's about to leapfrog Pollard. Both backs were involved early, however, and Mike McCarthy certainly seemed pleased with Dowdle's rushing style. Committee vibes are building, although we should note that Dowdle actually entered Sunday's game averaging 3.8 YPC for the year and Pollard was a tick ahead of him in terms of yards after contact per attempt (2.6 vs. 2.5).

Still, we could be headed for a situation in which Dowdle is something more than a backup in Dallas. The Week 11 matchup at Carolina is yet another friendly spot.

FAB: $16

Devin Singletary, Houston Texans (50%)

Congrats to those of you who just kept starting Singletary, despite the generally unhelpful results from Houston's backs this season. Singletary nearly doubled his year-to-date rushing output on Sunday, carrying 30 times for 150 yards and one spike against Cincinnati, adding one catch for 11 yards. We won't make any promises about his exact role when Dameon Pierce returns from injury, but he'd already carved out a non-trivial share of the snaps and touches. The upcoming matchup with Arizona is plenty appealing, so feel free to continue flexing Singletary as needed.

FAB: $16

Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams (32%)

It's gonna be great to have Kyren Williams back in the mix in Week 12, so we can finally stop pushing Henderson so aggressively. For at least one more game, however, Henderson is looking like the lead back for the Rams, which of course means he deserves your attention. He's not an unusually elusive runner, but he possesses a level of across-the-board competence that Sean McVay finds satisfying. He gets a friendly matchup against a vulnerable Seattle run defense on Sunday. If for some reason Williams can't manage to return the following week, Henderson would get another premium matchup against Arizona.

FAB: $7

Additional RBs on the wire

  • Ezekiel Elliott is headed into his bye, so, unfortunately, he can't help you in the week ahead. But he was excellent in the Frankfurt Bowl, delivering 88 scrimmage yards on 15 touches and evading a few would-be tacklers, just like old times. He had a batch of yards negated by penalty, too. No one's going to fight you for his services during this waiver period, so you shouldn't need to burn significant FAB resources. When Zeke is back in action in Week 12, he'll get a series of fair-to-great matchups: at the Giants, then the Chargers, at Pittsburgh, Kansas City and at Denver.

  • Antonio Gibson made a visit to the end zone in Sunday's narrow loss at Seattle, also catching five balls for 42 yards. At 52% rostered, he's just over the typical threshold for this piece, but with the Giants on deck, he's looking flex-ish.

  • Zach Charbonnet again out-snapped Kenneth Walker III, although the fantasy production wasn't particularly close. Charbonnet owns the third-down work, but Walker clearly has the volume and the goal-line work. Still, the rookie handled 10 touches on Sunday and produced 62 yards, confirming he's more than a rotational back.

Wide receivers and tight ends

Noah Brown, Houston Texans (25%)

Another week, another Texans receiver among our waiver priorities. Brown has produced back-to-back massive games for Houston, catching 13 passes on 14 targets over the past two weeks, gaining a whopping 325 yards with one score. He was an absolute YAC monster against the Bengals. He's taken full advantage of injuries elsewhere in the team's receiving corps and finds himself well inside C.J. Stroud's circle of trust. If Nico Collins (calf) can't go next week against Arizona, Brown will definitely remain a strong play.

FAB: $16

Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers (21%)

Reed led all Packers receivers in everything that matters on Sunday, snagging five receptions on as many targets, picking up 84 yards and scoring his fourth touchdown of the season. He's not (yet) the most targeted Green Bay receiver on the season, but he's within striking distance. Reed was a tremendous receiver at Michigan State, a playmaker and contested catch winner, and his game has translated very well to the next level. The Packers have another premium matchup ahead against the Chargers, making Reed a viable flex for Week 11.

FAB: $6

Other priority WRs and TEs

  • Tip of the cap to anyone who saw the Brandin Cooks eruption coming. The veteran caught nine of 10 targets for 173 yards and one spike against an overwhelmed New York defense. We probably just witnessed his biggest game of the year, but it's worth noting that he's crossed the goal-line in three of his last four.

  • Rondale Moore saw a season-high eight targets in Kyler Murray's return on Sunday, hauling in five for 43 yards. He's usually good for 2-4 rush attempts as well, although he didn't see any carries against Atlanta. Everyone attached to the Cards offense should get a rest-of-season bump based on Murray's presence, Moore included.

  • Pat Freiermuth is nearing a return from his hamstring issues, so he's a reasonable pickup for those of you who'd simply like to settle on a specific mid-tier TE instead of test-driving a new one each week.

  • It is now firmly established that Trenton Irwin will benefit whenever Tee Higgins can't suit up. Earlier this year, Irwin caught eight balls for 60 yards on 10 targets when Higgins was out of the mix. On Sunday, he burned the Texans for an early score and finished with two receptions for 54 yards. If Higgins is sidelined again on Thursday, keep Irwin in your plans.

  • Quentin Johnston had a relatively quiet afternoon against the Lions, considering the game environment. But he did walk away with his first regular time-season NFL touchdown while catching all four of his targets.

  • Demario Douglas is basically the embodiment of everything that's terrible about full-PPR scoring. If you're playing those settings, it's past time to add him. The Patriots are headed into a bye, but Douglas is going to serve up plenty of double-digit point totals during the closing weeks of the season.


Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (41%)

Stafford's team certainly had a well-timed bye, because the veteran QB is still recovering from a thumb injury. He reportedly made progress during Week 9, flirting with the possibility of facing the Packers, and the Rams are optimistic he'll be good to go in Week 11. So the crisis that threatened to wreck the fantasy value of every LA skill player seems to have passed.

Stafford hasn't had a massive fantasy season to this point, but he's made plenty of phenomenal throws and he's the guy who gets to work with Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. The Rams get the Seahawks and Cards over the next two weeks, so the upcoming matchups aren't too frightening.

FAB: $5

Additional approved QBs

  • Russell Wilson enters Week 11 on pace to throw 34 touchdown passes and rush for over 400 yards this season, so, for fantasy purposes, he's been just fine. He's headed into a manageable matchup at home with the Vikings.

  • Jordan Love just produced his first multi-TD game since Week 7, taking advantage of a beatable matchup. He's about to face the Chargers at Lambeau, so don't be surprised by another respectable fantasy total.

Team defense

Detroit Lions, (30%)

OK, sure, it may seem kinda wild to recommend a defense that just gave up 38 points and 421 total yards. But take a quick look at the schedule for Detroit over the next five weeks: Chicago, Green Bay, at New Orleans, at Chicago, Denver.

This feels like a gift. A little back-of-the-envelope forecasting leads me to believe the Lions defense is gonna deliver something like 20-24 sacks and 7-10 takeaways during that stretch. This is why we recommended adding Detroit last week, ahead of the rush. It's worth going the extra dollar for this streaming experience, because you can roll with Aidan Hutchinson and friends into December.

FAB: $3

Miami Dolphins, (40%)

Here's another D/ST with an exceedingly friendly five-week stretch ahead on the schedule: Las Vegas, at the Jets, at Washington, Tennessee, Jets again. When streaming defenses, we're usually hunting for situations in which an opponent will be forced into a pass-heavy, one-dimensional approach. That's exactly what Miami should see through Week 15.

FAB: $2