Best Fantasy Week 10 Waiver Pickups: Kalen Ballage, Duke Johnson take advantage of Justin Jackson, David Johnson injuries

Just like last week, under-the-radar RBs lead our list of the top Week 10 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Some notable new injuries (Justin JacksonDavid Johnson, David Montgomery) opened the door for a few running backs (Kalen BallageDuke Johnson, Ryan Nall), while other backs took advantage of existing injuries or other issues (Jordan WilkinsGus EdwardsWayne Gallman, Jordan Howard) to post decent stats. While none are overly exciting, all could have value in future weeks and should be on the radars of fantasy owners.

Our full free agent list is a bit light this week, as only a handful of pass-catchers (Tim PatrickDavid Moore, Nelson AgholorJimmy GrahamIrv Smith Jr.) had notable games, and there were thankfully few other big injuries. We still have our usual Week 10 streaming recommendations at QB, TE, and D/ST, which can be found at the end of this list.

WEEK 10 FANTASY: Full waiver list | RB Handcuff Chart

As has been the case the past few weeks, the decision whether to use a high waiver claim comes down to how badly you need a running back or maybe a tight end. Guys like Ballage, Johnson, Edwards, and Gallman might have no more than one week of usefulness (if that), so unless you’re desperate in Week 10, it’s probably best to hold back a high claim and see if a bigger injury happens in the coming weeks. All of those RBs are worth middle and low waiver claims, but you don’t need to reach for them if you’re set at RB (or unless you’re playing defense against your Week 10 opponent). 

Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 10

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.

Duke Johnson, RB, Texans. David Johnson exited Week 9’s game because of a concussion, and Duke took over the Texans’ backfield, running 16 times for 41 yards and a score and adding another 32 yards on four catches (four targets). It’s possible if David is out next week against the Browns, Houston will have another running back handle more carries, but Duke would still get the bulk of the backfield touches. That makes him a solid standard-league start and a virtual must-play in PPR leagues. 

Kalen Ballage, RB, Chargers. Ballage took advantage of an early injury to Justin Jackson (knee) in Week 9, leading the Chargers in carries (15) and rushing yards (69) and scoring a TD. He also had two catches for 15 yards. Ballage was one of the worst backs in the league last year with the Dolphins, averaging just 1.8 yards per carry on 74 rushes, but clearly something was working for him in his Chargers debut. It’s unclear how serious Jackson’s injury is or when Austin Ekeler (hamstring) will be back, but Ballage figures to continue to see significant carries while both are out. That could mean good things againsat the Dolphins and Jets in the coming week weeks.

WEEK 10 FANTASY: Full waiver list | RB Handcuff Chart

Jordan Wilkins, RB, Colts. Wilkins managed just 39 yards on 11 carries against the Ravens, but he was Indianapolis’s primary running back after Jonathan Taylor’s first-half fumble. Taylor saw just one more carry the rest of the game, and given his fumbling history, he could remain in the doghouse for a while. Wilkins was already eating into Taylor’s workload, so he could be useful next week in a favorable matchup against the Titans. If he performs well, he could be a flex back most weeks going forward.

Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens. Edwards had a tough day in Week 9, averaging just 2.1 yards per carry against a tough Colts run defense, but he still carried 11 times, just one fewer than JK Dobbins (30 yards), and operated as Baltimore’s goal-line back again, punching in a one-yard touchdown. If Mark Ingram (ankle) is out again next week, Edwards would be in line for around a dozen touches in a more favorable matchup against New England’s mediocre run defense. 

For additional waiver/free agent suggestions, including more breakouts and potential streamers, check out our full Week 10 list.

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