It's nearing crunch time. Time to start thinking about your rosters as we head into the final stretch before the playoffs. This week, you can expect the usual pick'em and rankings from GHL, but we are going to talk a lot about getting into the meat of the fantasy football year as we hone in on the playoffs.
Your overall record won't mean a thing in just a handful of weeks, the top performers are all starting from scratch in the head-to-head fantasy playoffs picture.
Before jumping into some larger moves to consider this week, let's take a look at the best Waiver Wire pickups for Week 10 and beyond. A couple injuries, as usual, are the main reasons you will be looking for additional talent. No bye weeks in Week 10, so it would seem that all teams are at full strength. Which means it's time to get down and dirty.
Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas Cowboys (2.2% owned)
The most obvious pickup this week. If you don't have a claim in for him yet, then you might want to consider another NFL season past time outside of fantasy. (Pro tip: To not sound like a fool when you are bragging to your friends about your newest pickup: Laurent's name is pronounced "LaRon")
Miles Austin is out for 2-4 weeks with another hamstring injury. Even with Austin playing, Robinson has been a major player in the Cowboys offense. Signed off the street, he immediately contributed and has become on of Romo's favorite targets.
The Bills have a stout defense and should keep Dez Bryant well covered on Sunday, meaning that Robinson could see another great day. The upcoming schedule for the Cowboys also seems pretty good for WRs, as long as Austin is out, Robinson does have fantasy football starting potential.
Earl Bennett, WR, Chicago Bears (1.0% owned)
If you lose out on the Laurent Robinson sweepstakes, make sure that you mark Bennett as your next WR in line for the pick-up. He missed plenty of games early in the season with a severe chest injury but seems to be back on pace and definitely on the good side of Cutler.
With no Bears' receiver performing solidly, the race at the position is wide open, and if you think back a few years, you will remember that Cutler can really sling it. It is no stretch to assume that Bennett will be the Chicago Bears' leading receiver from here on out.
I wouldn't expect for him to constantly repeat the numbers he saw last night against the Eagles, but he should be the Bears' leading receiver going forward and put up good numbers in PPR formats.
The Bears will be against Detroit in Week 10, which will prove a tough test for Chicago's passing, but as a Week 11 bye-week filler, Bennett's matchup seems a little brighter against San Diego.
Kendall Hunter, RB, San Francisco (5.5% owned)
Reports are coming in that Frank Gore is feeling good and will be playing on Sunday, but this is an insurance addition for me. I'm honestly a bit surprised that Gore has made it this far into the season without going down for an extended period of time.
With the amount of injuries that we have seen in the NFL, and the greater risk that comes with re-aggravating an injury, Hunter might be a good pickup for security reasons.
I would not call him a starter by any means on Sunday, but if Gore does re-injure himself and cannot make the field in Week 11, it will be good to have Hunter on your bench so you don't have to get in the Waiver War for him next week.
In Week 11, in the instance that Gore is out, Hunter could be a great bye week filler for those who own Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles or Rashard Mendenhall. If you are in need of some RB talent, and in a position to gamble a bit, I'd add Hunter to my wish list this week.
Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins (16% owned)
All year long I have been preaching my hatred for owning any Redskins running back. With Hightower out, counting on a Washington RB is a little bit easier of a pill to swallow. You still are forced to worry about Ryan Torain, but with Helu's performance last week, you have to make a case for him.
While his ground game was far from mind-blowing, the 100+ yard receiving game and head-turning 14 receptions is a definite reason to add him, especially in PPR leagues.
Because Shanahan obviously despises fantasy football, I can't call him a must start since there are still other RB options on the Redskins, but he could have filler potential in PPR leagues.
Jacoby Ford, WR, Oakland Raiders (36.4% owned)
I know we are scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but Ford put on a show last week against Denver. It has a lot to do with the defense he faced, and a lot to do with Heyward-Bey's lack of playing time, but Ford should be a consideration in deep leagues if he is still on the market, or if you are truly aching for a receiver.
The Raider's receiving group is far from a solid proposition: Carson Palmer is still unsettled, they have a ton of guys to throw to, and the acquisition of Houshmandzadeh (you can tell I've been doing fantasy for a while when I can still spell his name right on the first try) makes things a little scary.
That said though, Ford broke the 100 yard barrier on five catches, and against certain matchups, he could have potential. I have no need for him, but again, if you are really hurting for some talent at WR, you might want to use him as your security blanket if you miss out on Robinson or Bennett.
Jake Ballard, TE, New York Giants (27.4% owned)
I'm not going to say that I'm jumping on his bandwagon at all, but I will respect that Eli Manning seems to like him. For his last five games, he has been a solid contributor to the offense. With the unreliable nature of tight ends this season, he could be a good pickup if you are tired of struggling with Chandler, Gresham, Watson, etc.
Ballard will be going up against San Francisco, which is a beatable matchup for tight ends. He is an even better play here if Nicks misses another week.
While he may not be the flashiest guy, it seems that he can be counted on for at least four receptions and nearly 60 yards per game. Scoring three touchdowns in the past five games also helps his case.
While the Browns are facing the Rams (best team to play defenses against) I can't give them my thumbs up this week. St. Louis is picking up the pace and the Browns only have a handful of points to begin with.
My favorite pickup this week might actually be the St. Louis Rams (1.8% owned). In the past two weeks, the Rams defense has put up over 90% of their fantasy points. The Browns have been anything but impressive recently, meaning another 10+ week could be in store for the Rams here.
Other modestly owned defenses to consider this week are: Miami Dolphins (1.3% owned), Denver Broncos (1.6% owned), San Diego Chargers ( 34.4% owned), Washington Redskins ( 10.3% owned).