The first of the Thursday night games have arrived, which in most leagues means you have to submit waiver requests earlier than usual. Much like I did last week in my 'Working the WaiverWire' article, most of the players on this week's list are fill-ins only for this week. If you're still searching for a reliable, every week fantasy football starter - let's be honest - you're probably not going to find him in week 10.
David Garrard – QB Jacksonville
What better way to come off your bye then with a match-up against the Houston Texans. Garrard faces the worst passing defense, the same defense that gave up nearly 300 yards and 4 TDs to Philip Rivers last week. Garrard is the perfect fill-in for Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers or Philip Rivers.
Josh Freeman – QB Tampa Bay
Quietly, Freeman is becoming a serviceable fantasy football starter. The second year QB has led Tampa to a 5-3 record and he’s finding some success throwing the ball. Freeman struggled a bit against the Atlanta Falcons in week 9, but still managed to throw two TDs. This week, Freeman and the Buccaneers host a Carolina Panthers that appears to have packed it up for the year.
Nate Washington – WR Tennessee
Yes, he was on my list last week. Washington is one Titians player who could really benefit from the arrival of Randy Moss. Washington will start opposite Moss while Kenny Britt gets healthy (which could be multiple weeks). Moss’ presence in Tennessee’s offense will put Washington in more one-on-one situations, much like Wes Welker and Percy Harvin saw. Washington is the best free agent receiver to target this week.
Nate Burleson – WR Detroit
We don’t know who will be throwing Burleson the ball in Detroit, but we know he’ll get his targets. Burleson led the Lions in catches, yards and TDs in week 8 (7 rec., 113 yards, 1 TD). Burleson is healthy and he’s benefiting Calvin Johnson’s double teams. The Lions will have a new QB again, after Matthew Stafford injured his throwing shoulder. But that shouldn’t affect Burleson all that much. During weeks 5 and 6, when Stafford was out, Burleson caught touchdowns in two straight games. Burleson might benefit from a backup quarterback.
Mike Thomas – WR Jacksonville
If you need a one week fill-in WR, Thomas fits the bill. The Jaguars face the worst pass defense in the league in the Houston Texans. The Texans were just torched by San Diego’s Seyi Ajirotiutu in week 9, who scored 2 TDs and had over 100 yards receiving. Thomas could be in line for a nice afternoon in week 10. However, beyond this week, Thomas’ value diminishes (can’t play the Texans every week).
Blair White – WR Indianapolis
After watching Austin Collie get laid out in week 9, it’s pretty clear he won’t be back in time for week 10. Plus, Anthony Gonzalez has been ruled out for the year and that could open the door for White, who has filled in at times this year for Indianapolis. White could be in line for more snaps this week as the Colts host Cincinnati, who can thrown on. With all that said about White, if Jacob Tamme is still available in your league, pick him up first. Tamme was on this list last week and he exploded for 108 yards and a TD in week 9. So start with Tamme then think about White.
Joel Dreessen – TE Houston
The Texans have searched long and hard for a receiver who can take some of the pressure off Andre Johnson. As of week 9, they’re still searching. With that said, Dreessen is emerging as a quality target for QB Matt Schaub. He caught a team-high 5 balls for 66 yards in week 9 and he’s facing a weak pass defense in Jacksonville this week. Think of Dreessen as a one week fill-in guy.
Mike Goodson – RB Carolina
If you’re really hurting at running back, Goodson might be worth a gamble. The Panthers have two injured running backs in DeAngelo Williams (foot) and Jonathan Stewart (concussion). Goodson could be in line for more carries in week 10 against a Tampa Bay team that can be run on.
Chester Taylor – RB Chicago
Mike Martz indicated that Taylor would get more touches, especially around the goal line. In week 9, that statement proved to be true with Taylor scoring a one-yard TD against the Buffalo Bills. What is concerning about Taylor is he carried the ball 10 times for just 13 yards. He’s worth a look if you’re desperate, but don’t expect many points from his yardage. But around the goal line, he appears to be the man now for Chicago.