Colts running back Marlon Mack

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Citak: Mack, Rogers Among Top Waiver Wire Pick-Ups

Matt Citak
October 16, 2018 - 9:53 am
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For the first time seemingly all season, fantasy owners did not have to worry about any serious, game-changing injuries this week. 

Of course, there was your normal wear-and-tear and minor ailments that could sideline players for a few weeks. But for once, there are no major injury replacement guys to go after on the waiver wire this week.

While it makes for a less interesting week on the waiver wire, I think we can all agree that it beats dealing with more season-ending injuries to key fantasy contributors.

As bye weeks continue, look to the waiver wire for some weekly streaming options.

And on that note, let's get right into it.

QUARTERBACKS

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield
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Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Mayfield suffered an ankle injury in Week 6, but assuming it is not severe enough to keep him off the field, the No. 1 overall pick makes for a great bye-week fill-in. Over the next four weeks, the Browns will face off against Buccaneers, Steelers, Chiefs and Falcons, all of whom rank in the bottom six in the league in passing yards allowed per game. Mayfield has shown some flashes of brilliance in his first three career starts and will now get a good opportunity to truly find his stride as an NFL quarterback against some awful defenses. 

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
While the Bears may have lost a tough one against the Dolphins on Sunday, the blame cannot be placed on the team's second-year QB. Trubisky threw the ball well against Miami, finishing with a completion percentage north of 70 percent for the third time in five games. Helped in large part by his six-touchdown performance in Week 4, Trubisky now has 11 TDs on the season to go with his 252.2 passing yards per game. The young QB adds to his fantasy value with his rushing abilities, as he has already racked up 164 yards and a touchdown on the ground. In Matt Nagy's crazy offense, Trubisky has already proven he can be a reliable QB streaming option. 

MORE: Eli Manning On 1-5 Season: 'Tough To Go Through This'

RUNNING BACKS

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
After searching all season for a reliable option at running back, it appears as if the Colts may have found their man. In only his second appearance of the season, Mack gained 89 yards on just 12 carries, good for a massive 7.4 yards-per-carry average. Game script prevented him from receiving more touches in Week 6, but Mack has likely shown enough to warrant a full workload moving forward, especially considering the little success Colts running backs have had running the ball this year. Nyheim Hines will still play on passing downs, but Mack will serve as the team's lead rusher, which makes him worthy of a roster spot in all fantasy leagues.  

Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins
Based on his performance Sunday, it was impossible to tell that Gore celebrated his 35th birthday back in May. The 14-year veteran took 15 carries for 101 yards (6.7 ypc) while adding a reception for 18 yards. Gore has now carried the ball 62 times this season and is averaging almost 5 yards per carry. More importantly, the Dolphins have given him double-digit touches in three consecutive games. The veteran has earned his touches, but he will continue to share the workload with Kenyan Drake. Gore makes for an interesting add in deeper leagues.

Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
To put it simply, Barber looked awful in Tampa Bay's first four games of the season. In fact, he looked so bad that coming out of the bye, people wondered whether the team would hand the starting RB reins to rookie Ronald Jones. The Bucs decided to stick with the veteran, and the decision paid off as Barber totaled 106 yards and a touchdown on 17 touches, including a 6.3 ypc on 13 rush attempts. He is far from a reliable RB option, but his performance in Week 6 has put Barber back on the fantasy radar. Depending on the matchup, he could provide solid flex value in the coming weeks.

Other RBs to consider: Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders; Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons; 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers
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Chester Rogers, Indianapolis Colts
For the third consecutive week, Rogers saw double-digit targets from Andrew Luck. Against the Jets in Week 6, the third-year receiver was able to turn his 10 targets into four receptions for 55 yards and a score. While the young receiver did commit a few awful drops in the first half, Sunday's game showed that Rogers and Luck have clearly developed a rapport during T.Y. Hilton's absence. Although Hilton should return soon, the Colts suffered another injury at wide receiver Sunday when Ryan Grant was ruled out with an ankle injury. As long as he's in the starting lineup, Rogers deserves to be rostered in all leagues. 

MORE: Jets Defensive Coordinator Kacy Rodgers Medically Cleared To Return

Taylor Gabriel, Chicago Bears
Chicago's signing of Gabriel served as one of the more underrated moves of the offseason. But after two straight games with over 100 total scrimmage yards, the 5-foot-8 speedster is finally receiving the praise he deserves. Over the last two weeks, Gabriel has caught all 12 of his targets for 214 yards and two touchdowns, adding an additional 19 yards on two rush attempts. While the Bears now sport a solid group of pass-catching options, Gabriel is the team's biggest deep threat, evidenced by the 47-yard deep ball he caught Sunday. Nagy has made it his mission to find ways to get Gabriel the ball, making the 27-year-old receiver one of the players with the highest upside on the waiver wire. 

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Godwin continued his impressive season Sunday by snagging six of his nine targets for 56 yards and a touchdown, giving the third-year receiver touchdowns in four of Tampa Bay's five games on the year. The nine targets tied him with DeSean Jackson for the most on the team and were four more than Mike Evans has seen. Godwin's ceiling is limited due to the number of talented pass catchers in Tampa Bay, but regardless of who's been under center, Godwin continues to get targets in the red zone. I'm rolling the dice on the notion that Godwin could develop into a reliable WR3 as the season progresses. 

Other WRs to consider: Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins; Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals; Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams

TIGHT ENDS

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If the knee injury Howard suffered in Week 4 led to his fantasy owner dropping him in your league, move quickly to snag him on the waiver wire this week. It turns out all the second-year tight end needed was the bye week to get himself healthy enough to suit up Sunday, when he caught all four of his targets for 62 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. For those worried about Cameron Brate's connection with QB Jameis Winston, the two also linked up for a 15-yard score in Week 6, but it served as Brate's lone target. Howard is clearly the tight end to own in Tampa Bay and should be rostered in all leagues. 

C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals
Considering how weak the tight end position has been this season, there are some interesting names on the waiver wire this week. In his second game seeing extended action for the Bengals, Uzomah caught six of his seven targets for 54 yards. Those aren't earth-shattering numbers, but they are good enough to make Uzomah a low-end TE1 for the rest of the season. This is especially true considering that Tyler Eifert was lost for the season and fellow Cincinnati tight end Tyler Kroft was also diagnosed with an injury that may require season-ending surgery. Uzomah will be the team's No. 1 tight end from here on out.

Matt Citak is a Web producer for WFAN Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewCitak.