The good news about week 10 is that it is a bye-free week, so you don't have to scramble to figure out who to start in place of your normal guy. That being said, there are still a few waiver wire guys that you might want to think about replacing with ineffective players you've been harboring on your roster this season. Here are a few:
Laurent Robinson: With Miles Austin possibly out as long as 2-4 weeks, Robinson steps in as a starter opposite Dez Bryant. He's shown good chemistry with Romo already, averaging 4.0 catches for 61.3 yards with two touchdowns in six games.
Roy Helu: Helu took over as the starting RB for the Redskins and showed them what they have been missing for weeks – production. He won't match his 14 catches for 105 yards again, but he obviously can handle the workload and has the trust of his QB to get the job done.
Carson Palmer: Much like Tim Tebow, I want no part of Palmer on my team, but the numbers are there to be played. Last week he rattled off 332 passing yards and 3 TDs, so he can still put up fantasy numbers worthy of a QB1 at times. Palmer's next five games are against the Chargers, Vikings, Bears, Dolphins and Packers, so the schedule is certainly in his favor.
Philadelphia Eagles defense: The Eagles defense was highly touted entering the season due to some big signings, but they failed to live up to the expectations out of the gate. However, this week they face the Cardinals who are going to be without Kevin Kolb and have Beanie Wells running on two flat tires. They are a top-tier play this week and are on many waiver wires.
Philip Rivers: I hate that I even have to put him on the list, but Rivers is playing pitch-n-catch with the defense more than he is his own WRs. This season he has 14 INTs to just 11 TDs, and he is on pace to shatter his 2007 high of 15. That being said, this week he matches up with a Raiders defense that is allowing 21.7 fantasy PPG, the 7th-most in the NFL. He should finish as a low- to mid-level fantasy QB this week.
Tim Tebow: I'm going out on a limb here, but the numbers are there for success this week. The Chiefs allow 19.2 PPG to opposing QBs and 21.7 PPG to RBs, and Tebow is a little of both. The reality is that he is going to frustrate you until the 4th quarter, then scramble for some last minute heroics and save your fantasy week. I can't truthfully say I am going to play him, but I wouldn't stop you from playing him over someone like Ryan Fitzpatrick or Matt Schaub.
Maurice Jones-Drew: A lot of you are wavering on MJD and his ability to produce fantasy numbers this season. Well, worry no more! The Colts are the 2nd-worst fantasy defense at stopping RBs this season and are giving up just over 24 PPG. I would play MJD as a high RB1 this week with no concerns whatsoever.
Michael Bush: Word is that Darren McFadden will not make it back for the rivalry game against the Chargers, so that leaves Bush to carry the load. Last week Bush ran for 96 yards on 19 carries, and I expect similar numbers this week with a possible TD mixed in for good measure. I'd play him as a high-end RB2.
Dwayne Bowe: The problem with playing Bowe is that you are putting your eggs in Matt Cassel's basket too. However, the Broncos defense gives up the most fantasy points to WRs this season at 28 PPG and Bowe is due for a big game after last week's pathetic showing.
Jacoby Ford: With Run-DMC out, the offensive focal point switches from the run to the pass, and that means Ford could carry over some of the momentum he gained last week into this week. The Chargers are 11th in points allowed to WRs, but Ford isn't the WR1 the Chargers have to shut down; that honor goes to Denarius Moore. I think Ford is a solid flex play with WR3 upside.
Brandon Pettigrew: Pettigrew saw his star rise earlier this season when he broke out with 11 catches for 112 yards against the Vikings. Since then he has been somewhat unimpressive with an average of 5 catches for 27 yards over the last four weeks. However, the Bears give up the most fantasy points to TEs (11.5 PPG) and the Lions are without Jahvid Best still, which means Matthew Stafford will be throwing more than the last time these two teams played.
Jacksonville Jaguars defense: The Jaguars defense is better than fans around the league give them credit for, but they are a better NFL defense than a fantasy defense. This week they face off with the Colts, who are 0-9 this season and are rocketing towards drafting Andrew Luck to replace Peyton Manning. The Colts have scored just 128 points this season, which ranks them as the 6th-worst offense in the NFL in that category. Paul Posluszny specifically is a great play for those in IDP leagues.
Ben Roethlisberger: I am sure Big Ben will do something to save his fantasy week, but I also think he finished with sub QB1 numbers and is a disappointment. The Bengals defense is one of the best fantasy defenses this season and they are ranked 6th in fantasy points allowed to QBs. I'd sit Big Ben if you can.
Mark Sanchez: Many of you may be thinking that Sanchez is a great play this week against the Patriots' struggling pass defense, but you'd be wrong. Sanchez hasn't topped 230 passing yards since week 3 and he has just 7 TDs (3 of which came in week 7) in that span. I would consider playing Blaine Gabbert over Sanchez given the matchup and offensive scheme.
Roy Helu: While Helu is an interesting waiver wire addition, this isn't the week to play him. The Dolphins are giving up just 15.1 PPG to RBs this season, good enough to rank them 4th in fantasy football. Grab Helu off the wire, but stash him on your bench for now.
Brandon Jacobs: Regardless if you snatched him off the waiver wire or had him before Ahmad Bradshaw went down, Jacobs should be avoided like the plague this week. The 49ers defense is for real and they have allowed a stingy 411 rushing yards to RBs this season. Not in the last few weeks mind you, THE SEASON. I know you have better options at RB because Jacobs wasn't in a single lineup before last week.
A.J. Green: Green is someone I am very high on now and in the future. But with the Bengals facing the Steelers, Ravens, Browns, the Steelers again and the Texans over the next five weeks, I'm going to sit Green for a while and could even see trading him if the price is right. He has choice matchups in weeks 15 and 16, which are the fantasy semi-finals and finals in most formats.
Nate Washington: When Kenny Britt went down for the season, Washington stepped in as the team's #1 WR and we were all sure he was a must-add guy. As of right now he is ranking right around the 20-21 range for fantasy WRs, but if you look at the numbers over the past four weeks, that number drops dramatically to a ranking of right around #55. Washington's role in the offense is inconsistent at best and he is someone I am recommending you sit and possibly see if you can trade based on season stats.
Vernon Davis: Davis is a guy that I keep thinking will bust out given his crazy offensive skills, but that just isn't going to happen as long as Alex Smith is under center and the gameplan is to feed the ball to Frank Gore. This season Davis is averaging just 3.9 receptions, 42.4 yards and 0.4 TDs per-game. For a position that is boom-or-bust, Davis is still someone that is on the roster bubble for fantasy leagues.
Chicago Bears defense: The Bears got lucky last week when they beat the Eagles, and the Lions are 3-2 in their last five games. However, Stafford is still one of the best QBs in the league and Megatron is certainly one of the most dangerous players. I don't see the Bears keeping the Lions out of the end zone and Stafford isn't known for turning the ball over.
Question of the week
Q: I have the Bengals on a couple leagues but not sure if I should play them this week against the Steelers. Any other one week fill in DEF out there in mind you think I can play instead, perhaps JAC against colts or WAS? And is Reggie Bush relevant again or was it just two good games against bad matchups? (Chito)
A: The Bengals defense is one of the best defenses in all of fantasy football, but the Jaguars have a choice matchup this week. While they haven't put up a ton of fantasy points this season, the Colts offense is terrible and the Jaguars should do very well in any fantasy format. As for Reggie Bush, he isn't a bad flex play option… but don't go overboard. The Redskins are ranked #10 in fantasy points allowed to RBs in PPR formats, so I wouldn't expect starter numbers from him this week. As long as Daniel Thomas is out, Bush is the go-to guy on offense. Hang on to him, but when Thomas gets back his carries will be split.