We're headed for double digits, or Week 10, in the National Football League regular season. That means we have just a few more weeks remaining in the regular season in most fantasy leagues. And there are a ton of quandaries for fantasy owners this week, with key players either injured or suspended. So working the waiver wire will be as important as ever, and our Waiver Wired column is a great place to find help for your squad. Hopefully you're able to negotiate the minefields and get through unscathed.
Last week the Seattle Seahawks announced that they wanted to lean upon Eddie Lacy as their bellcow in the backfield, giving him a chance to assume a big role. That situation lasted for seven total touches and 34 yards from scrimmage until he bowed out due to a groin injury. So much for that plan. Even before the injury Lacy was a complete bust from a fantasy perspective, averaging just 2.7 yards per run in 48 attempts. His previous high was 52 yards on 11 rushes against Indianapolis back in Week 4. That was his only game averaging better than 3.3 yards per run. In other words, fantasy owners aren't missing much with Lacy not practicing this week. The veteran is not expected to suit up for Thursday's Week 10 tilt against the Arizona Cardinals.
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So enter Thomas Rawls - again. The third-year back had a bit of a chip on his shoulder last week, stepping up once Lacy departed against the Redskins. Rawls rushed nine times for a season-high 39 yards and 70 total yards from scrimmage. He keeps coming back like a boomerang, emerging as a fantasy option once it appears he might be falling out of favor. Rawls has had his own injury issues this season, slowed by an ankle injury during the early going. But it appears to be smooth sailing for Rawls, and his fantasy value is at its pinnacle with Lacy on the shelf and C.J. Prosise (ankle) just making his way back from injury.
Lacy did not practice either Monday or Tuesday, while Prosise has returned to a full practice the past two days. However, the Seahawks are unlikely to lean upon Prosise heavily and risk him aggravating his ankle injury against the Cardinals, so look for a rather limited snap count if he is indeed able to return to action on Thursday. He isn't expected to carve into the role of Rawls on Thursday. J.D. McKissic is also in the mix, but he has totaled exactly five touches in each of his five games in the lineup, and that's with his fellow tailbacks banged up. He isn't a threat to Rawls' starting job, either. The team also lost Tre Madden to the season-ending Reserve/Injured list due to his calf injury.
So what can you expect out of Rawls? Well, the Cardinals have allowed 100.5 yards per game on the ground, ranking 11th in the NFL against the run. However, they have yielded seven rushing scores in eight games and they're allowing 25.1 points per game overall. It wouldn't be out of line to expect at least 60 rushing yards and perhaps a score, while he also exhibited pretty nice hands out of the backfield last week with two grabs for 31 yards. Seattle has been a lot more pass-heavy on offense lately, and Rawls showed he can help owners in PPR leagues if given the chance.
Rawls and the wide receiver crew might be forced to pick up the slack with Jimmy Graham missing practice for a second straight day due to his ankle injury. It's uncertain if Graham is simply having his snaps monitored in practice with a quick turnaround this week, or if he is legitimately in danger of missing this week's game. The Cardinals rank middle of the road against opposing tight ends, allowing 38 receptions, 377 yards and three touchdowns on 60 targets. So Graham could make a splash if he is in the lineup. If not, Luke Willson could be a nice one-week streaming option and a decent low-end DFS play if you want to save money to spread across other positions.
The wide receiver spot isn't immune to injury, either. While Doug Baldwin is just fine, Tyler Lockett missed practice on Monday due to a shoulder injury before stepping up and participating in a full practice on Tuesday. The big question mark appears to be Paul Richardson, who missed practice due to a groin injury. He wasn't listed on the estimated practice report on Monday, so it's uncertain if he suffered an injury in Week 9, if he was hurt in practice Tuesday and if he is in jeopardy of sitting. Lockett could see a bump in targets if Richardson is sidelined.
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense is a mess heading into Week 10 against the New York Jets. Last week they didn't really light the world afire in New Orleans, they lost Jameis Winston after he aggravated his shoulder injury, Mike Evans got in a fight and now both will be sidelined on Sunday. Winston is expected to be held out for multiple weeks to get his wing right, so Ryan Fitzpatrick steps in. He is one of the better backups in the NFL, but he won't be terribly effective without Evans. The stud receiver came to the aid of his quarterback last week, mixing it up with Marshon Lattimore on the sidelines. After Lattimore and Winston had words, Evans flew in from nowhere and cracked the unsuspecting Lattimore in the back. The NFL didn't care for his actions and suspended him for one game, and his appeal was denied.
With Evans on the sidelines, it will be DeSean Jackson stepping up as the de facto No. 1 receiver, with Adam Humphries likely to see more targets, too. The Bucs will likely lean upon Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard more, too, especially since Fitzpatrick isn't expected to have nearly the same kind of deep pass ability as Winston. Short to intermediate routes are likely to rule the day, so the tight ends could be the biggest beneficiaries. If you're really desperate, Chris Godwin could also get his chance to shine and see added targets, but he is only worth a look in the deepest of seasonal play and as a low-priced DFS target with a little upside.
Quick Hits: Sam Bradford had an arthroscopy on Tuesday by the renowned Dr. James Andrews, so it's hard to believe the oft-injured quarterback's season isn't over. Case Keenum has proven to be capable under center, and Teddy Bridgewater is back and able to serve as the backup, so Bradford shouldn't be relied upon. … Panthers head coach Ron Rivera gave Jonathan Stewart a vote of confidence on Tuesday after the veteran lost a pair of fumbles on Sunday against the Falcons. The lost fumbles cost Stewart time on Sunday, with Christian McCaffrey handling his biggest load of the season. Riverboat Ron said he plans on getting Stewart the ball again on Monday against the Dolphins, but he is a risky fantasy play. He'll either have a chip on his shoulder and gouge the Dolphins for big yards, or it's a smoke screen. As effective C-Mac was last week, I'd estimate a 60-40 carry split with McCaffrey leading the way. … Danny Woodhead (hamstring) is practicing, as he looks to return from the IR/Designated to Return list. However, fantasy owners would be wise to wait to see him officially return and prove his health in a full game without any setbacks before trusting him. … Chris Hogan (shoulder) was unable to practice Tuesday, which isn't a great sign considering the Pats are coming off a bye. … Lastly, Packers OT Bryan Bulaga suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which is terrible news for the offense. With Brett Hundley struggling under center, he certainly didn't need any additional obstacles.