The fantasy football season is heading into the home stretch. Just seven weeks are left in the regular season and this is the time to start figuring out your roster before the fantasy playoffs start in a few weeks. This article will dive into the players that are currently sitting outside the top 10 in their position group that has a good chance to finish inside the top 10.
You can use this article to improve your roster either via trade or via the waiver wire. These players are good candidates to hang on to if you already have them or good candidates to acquire before the trade deadline passes in your league. Not everyone is a buy-low candidate, but they are worth the price seeing how some teams may start resting players during the crucial final weeks of the regular season, which will affect your fantasy playoff and championship roster.
On The Outside Looking In – Fantasy Players That Will Finish In The Top 10
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Rivers is currently sitting at number 10 in fantasy quarterback rankings. Now he currently is tied with Deshaun Watson and this battle for the top 10 may continue through the rest of the season. Rivers is going to have a run of great opponents to throw the ball against. Looking at facing Denver twice, Oakland, Kansas City, and Arizona, this should keep Rivers on a pace to easily throw another 20 touchdowns at least. If you take a look at his season in 2017, he started slow like this year and then finished the year strong. You can bank on the Chargers making a serious playoff push and they will rely on Rivers to get them there. So Watson may give him a run for his money, but Rivers will come out on top in this head to head match-up to make the top 10.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson has been an inconsistent quarterback this year. After finishing as the best fantasy quarterback last season, Wilson was a consensus pick to repeat those numbers again this year. Now his schedule during the fantasy playoffs will really help him put up some big numbers and this can propel him into the top 10. Over his last five games, Wilson has been averaging 21.72 fantasy points per game. Playing teams like San Francisco (twice), Arizona, and Kansas City will really put him in a good position to put some points on the board by the bunches. His ranking is sure to soar during the rest of the season and he won’t be outside the top 10 for long anymore.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals made a switch at offensive coordinator because of the inability to get points on the board. New offensive coordinator, Byron Leftwich, will look to open this offense up and that means unleashing Johnson. This offense is going through a bit of a youth movement, but that doesn’t change the fact that Johnson is the focal point of this offense.
Johnson was the fantasy leader in 2016 for all positions and with a new coordinator at the helm, he can now be on the upward trend to regaining that form. Not to mention the fact that the Cardinals face some weak opponents in the back-half of the schedule. Those weak teams (defensively speaking) include Kansas City, Oakland, and Atlanta. Johnson may have started the season frustrating owners, but he will become the usual must-start every week that owners have become used to him being.
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon has averaged 18.95 fantasy points in his last four games. He has been having a sensational season and his total points would have been much higher if not for missing two weeks with a knee injury. With the recent news that A.J. Green will be missing some time in the Bengals offense, the offensive production may fall onto Mixon’s shoulders. Couple that with the bye week giving him ample time to make sure his knee is completely healed and Mixon’s prospects look real solid for the second half of the season.
He is currently ranked 16th among fantasy running backs, but his skills will vault him into the top 10. Cincinnati knows that Mixon is the dynamic, dual-threat, running back that can help keep his team in the playoff hunt and this spells good news for all fantasy owners that currently have Mixon on their roster.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The benching of Jameis Winston is the smartest thing the Buccaneers could have done. Ryan Fitzpatrick is pushing the ball down the field is making this offense scary to face every week. This means that Evans is going to see his stock skyrocket in the latter half of the season. Evans has been one of the more underrated fantasy players this year and with the move to Fitzpatrick again, Evans may not be underrated much longer.
In nine games this year, Evans has failed to score double-digit points in only three games. The game against Atlanta was a bit of an anomaly but the game against Carolina and Washington makes sense as to why he failed to tally many points. The running game is not consistent enough to be relied on in Tampa Bay, which means that Evans and the passing offense will be asked to perform at their best every single week. No problem for Evans as he has lived up to the billing as being the number option in the Buccaneers’ offense. He won’t be outside the top 10 for much longer.
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
The loss of Green from the Bengals offense is going to make Boyd the main receiving target going forward in the short term. Even once Green returns, Boyd has made great stride to become the clear-cut number two option for Andy Dalton to throw to. Currently, he is averaging 16.8 fantasy points per game and this number should increase with Green being a spectator for a few weeks. Boyd may get extra attention without a solid option to pair up with him, but C.J. Uzomah becoming more of a viable passing option at the tight end position, can really help Boyd’s stock going forward. Is this a slam dunk choice to make the top 10? Perhaps not. Is Boyd worth trading for if your deadline has not passed? 100%, yes!
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
It’s surprising to see his name here, but it’s true; Gronkowski is sitting outside the top 10. This is in part because of injuries he is dealing with, but another part of it is also just not getting into the end zone enough. Gronkowski has only scored once the entire year and that was all the way back in week one! The Patriots could not have asked for the bye week to get here any sooner as Gronkowski can now use the bye week to get back to full health and be ready for the playoff push. Facing some good match-ups including the New York Jets (twice), Miami, and Buffalo can lead to Gronkowski making up for the lack of production. Fantasy owners will be overjoyed when Gronkowski returns to the Gronkowski we all know he can be.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
If you are not on the Olsen bandwagon, better jump on now before everyone else wises up. Since returning from injury, Olsen is averaging 12.1 fantasy points per game. Those are some solid numbers from a team that will become more reliant on him as they make a run for a playoff spot. With rookie wide receiver, D.J. Moore, still getting the hang of things in Carolina, Olsen will have his number called more often than not. Cam Newton knows that he can rely on Olsen in the red zone and also in converting crucial third downs. The tight end position has been hard to rely on when it comes to your fantasy roster. Olsen is a stand out at a weaker position and if you can afford to get him, trade for him as he will be a good return on investment in any acquisition.
New England Patriots
Bill Belichick knows that when his team is against the wall, they will come through strong and prevail. So even though the Patriots have surrendered the fifth most yards in the league and are averaging only 5.3 fantasy points per game, this defense has room to grow. The bye week will help the team recover and enter the final weeks of the season with a new attitude. So New England may not seem like a candidate to sneak into the top 10 when the season is all done, but their schedule will also play into them performing well. The Patriots still have to play Miami, Buffalo, and the New York Jets (twice) so this is a good slate of games for the defense to turn it up and score serious points. Pick up the defense while they are on a bye and you can reap the rewards after the completion of week 11.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are going to be able to shore up their defense with the return of Joey Bosa. This is a key reason why this defense has a good chance to finish as a top 10 defense. Even without Bosa, the Chargers defense has been averaging 9.4 fantasy points per game over their last five games. With Bosa coming back, they should be able to generate a better pass rush which can lead to more sacks and pressure related interceptions. The Chargers offense is performing exceptionally well and the defense will need to match that level of play if the Chargers want to make the playoffs. With a good schedule of opponents in their final seven weeks of the season, the Chargers have a solid chance of making the playoffs and finishing in the top 10 for fantasy defenses.