“Family, Football & This Adventure We Call Life” is a year-round column by Nate Polvogt that shares a Colorado dad’s outlook on life and his weekly advice for fantasy football waiver wire pickups. Nate enters the Week 10 waiver wire run in his third season of writing and with the pride of being hot on 2021 league-winner Rashaad Penny early.
“If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall, and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.” – Jeff Bezos
Aside from today being Election Day in the U.S., the major buzz in the news has been the recent acquisition of everyone’s favorite bird app, Twitter, by controversial and eccentric billionaire Elon Musk.
The Acquisition Week 10 Waiver Wire
Upon taking over the $44 billion company on Oct. 27, he immediately began changing the company and how the app would operate. Naturally, there has been a lot of panic amongst its nearly 450 million daily users about how this will impact our experience.
Musk was very vocal about changing some critical features of the app and how the social media giant filters and moderates users. Before the purchase became official, he promised to increase the company’s efforts to filter out false information. In addition, he stated he would work towards eliminating the bots that can sometimes make using the platform unbearable.
Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Week 10 Waiver Wire
When he took control of Twitter nearly two weeks ago, it was immediately apparent that Musk meant business. His Twitter account became rapid-fire content, bemoaning the state of the app and its users, promising changes and announcing directives in cloaked secretive, interested-piquing language.
The least surprising move so far has been Musk laying off roughly half the company’s employees to cut costs. He made this wish public before acquiring Twitter and followed through immediately. This seems in direct contradiction with the “increased moderations” claim. How can you more efficiently moderate your application with fewer employees?
Then, shortly after the take-over, news leaked that Musk was looking to use the Twitter Blue service to increase profits. It was rumored the premium subscription, chiefly invented to give users the long-awaited ability to edit tweets, would increase from $5 per month to a ghastly $20 per month. It was also rumored that the subscription would be required for verified users to keep their signature blue checkmarks next to their display name.
While the former turned out to be incorrect – Musk has since announced it will only jump to $8 monthly – the latter is, in fact, a part of the increased price.
The Bird Flies On
These initial changes have sent some users into a tirade, and I get it.
After the U.S. Midterm Elections, Twitter will begin verifying accounts that paid for Twitter Blue. Many users look to that blue checkmark as a vote of confidence in the information that person is giving, a fail-safe to be sure an internet troll is not tricking you. So the idea it can now be bought by anyone willing to spend a Venti Starbucks latte’s worth of dough is unsettling.
I have seen many conversations, within the Twitter app and outside, centered around the viability of this platform in the near future. The staff reduction and the move to paid verification seem like they cloud spell doomsday for our beloved Titter-verse. However, I don’t believe this is the case.
I’m not here to defend Elon Musk’s erratic behavior or wild statements regarding social and political issues. However, when it comes to Twitter, I think, in some aspects, he is headed in the right direction.
Is This Bad?
In all of the anger around paying for a checkmark, the fact that the user will still have to verify their identity with a government-issued ID has been lost. This is the same as the current verification process; it will just no longer be reserved for those deemed noteworthy.
In addition, Musk has stated that the company wants to use some of the revenue from the new Blue program to reward users and content creators who help drive the app. We spend a lot of time using his new toy, so why not get something back for helping it thrive?
We are very early into Musk’s tenure as CEO of Twitter. The things happening now could have enormous implications for the company. They are also as likely to be forgotten about in six months. This movement to paid verification could prove to be a colossal bust, and there have already been reports that Twitter is looking to hire back some of the previously laid-off staffers.
We won’t honestly know the impact of Musk’s initiatives for a few months. However, I believe our precious bird app will be OK because he is ultimately a businessman. Not to mention we’re all too stubborn to leave.
On To Football Week 10 Waiver Wire
The excitement and anguish of the ups and downs of the Twitterverse are reminiscent of the 2022 NFL season. Week 9 didn’t disappoint, giving us some wild storylines, incredible performances and more devastating injuries.
• Chicago quarterback Justin Fields continued his dominance, rushing for a record-setting 178 yards and throwing three touchdowns in a narrow loss to the Miami Dolphins.
• Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers turned in another listless performance, falling to the 1-6 Detroit Lions, 15-9.
• The Cincinnati Bengals had a coming-out party against the Panthers on Sunday, totaling five touchdowns on his way to 55.1 Point Per Reception (PPR) points.
• In the most puzzling move of the season, the Indianapolis Colts fired head coach Frank Reich, replacing him on an interim basis with long-time franchise center Jeff Saturday. Saturday’s only previous coaching experience was at the high school level.
• Finally, in the worst news of the weekend, Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen suffered a potentially serious elbow injury. If he has a full UCL tear this could require Tommy John surgery, setting the star signal-caller back anywhere from a year to 18 months. The extent of his injury is still unknown.
Every week this season has been a crazy experience, and Week 10 looks to be more of the same. We are getting closer to the fantasy football playoffs, and every move we make on our squads is pivotal to our success. So let’s get to it in this week’s edition of “Hot, Medium & Mild: Week 10.”
Hot, Medium & Mild: Week 10
It’s a long NFL season; every week is as important as the next in your push to glory. You win and lose seasons in the trenches.
As waiver wire options get thinner, fantasy managers are starting to look for any glimmer of fantasy value among the players remaining available. Sometimes, we strike gold with players like emerging Tamba Bay tight end Cade Otten. Unfortunately, we also reach too far occasionally, as was the case last week with Indianapolis Colts running back Deon Johnson.
In our quest toward fantasy glory this week, I highlight two wide receivers that can provide a much-needed kickstart to your ailing rosters and one RB that should stay right where he is. So let’s get after it.
HOT — 7 Pot Madballz Pepper
Mecole Hardman (WR, Kansas City Chiefs)
In last week’s edition of “Shore Thing Sleepers,” right here at In-Between Media, I predicted Chiefs’ wide receiver Mecole Hardman would continue his upward trend in Week 9. He did just that, showing he is a reliable target for quarterback Patrick Mahomes and appears to have earned a consistent role in this potent offense.
Last week against Tennessee, he ran a route on 98.3 percent of passing-down snaps (48). In contrast, he only saw 13 run scheme snaps. 33 total snaps were in the slot, two more than fellow wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. He used that opportunity to log season-highs in targets (nine), catches (six) and receiving yards (79) while also catching his fourth touchdown pass of 2022. His corresponding 19.9 PPR cemented him as the overall WR6 for Week 9.
The Chiefs went the pass-heavy route against a Titans defense that has been one of the best run defenses in the league. Mahomes threw a career-high 68 times on Sunday, a number he is unlikely to get close to again. However, Kansas City has had issues running the ball all season and will continue to be a primarily pass-first attack. Hardman has gained favor with Mahomes and, despite the recent trade for wide receiver Kadarius Toney, should continue to see fantasy-relevant volume for the rest of this season.
What To Do
We are at the point where waiver wire additions can make or break your season. Hardman could be what the doctor ordered if you are pushing toward a playoff birth. He should be a reliable FLEX/WR3 in your lineups. You likely don’t have much of your Free Agency Acquisition Budget (FAAB) remaining but don’t be stingy. You are probably not alone in your need for a player like Hardman, and waiver wire options are dwindling. So do what you must to get this dynamic talent in your lineups ahead of Week 10.
MEDIUM — Billy Goat Pepper
Samori Toure (WR, Green Bay Packers)
The Green Bay Packers have a serious wide receiver problem. Outside of veteran pass-catcher Allen Lazard, there hasn’t been much consistency for quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the passing game. It’s been a significant point of contention for the veteran signal-caller in what has been a disappointing season for the Packers. Things were looking up the past two weeks, with rookies Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson looking more consistent. However, both suffered injuries in Week 9. Doubs is likely out for four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain.
Enter yet another rookie wideout, Samori Toure. Toure was inactive for the season’s first six weeks but was thrust into action in Week 7. His debut was quiet, seeing only one target on 19 snaps, which he caught for a meager four yards. However, the next two weeks saw his involvement in the offensive attack increase. Over the past two weeks, Toure has seen eight targets, with an Average Depth of Target (aDOT) of 24.25 yards. That is good for the third-highest aDOT among wide receivers in the league over that span. He turned the increased opportunity into three catches for 71 yards, a touchdown and 16.1 PPR points.
What To Do
Heading into a pivotal Week 10 matchup against the Cowboys, Rodgers will be without Randall Cobb, Doubs and possibly Watson. While Toure will likely be the third option for Rodgers behind Lazard and tight end Robert Tonyan, he gives the team a second deep threat on passing downs. Rodgers has thrown 20-plus yards on 15.5 percent of attempts in 2022. Toure will become the beneficiary of some of those targets moving forward.
While his fantasy relevance hinges on Doubs’ and Cobb’s health, he has a chance to establish himself as a favorite target in an offense that desperately needs consistency. You shouldn’t need to spend any FAAB on him, as he shouldn’t be on your fellow leaguemate’s radar. However, if you think someone is eyeing him, bid a dollar or two of your remaining budget for a bench stash with boom potential.
MILD — Yolo Wonder Pepper
Raheem Blackshear (RB, Carolina Panthers)
If everything in Carolina wasn’t confusing enough, Week 9 saw Panthers’ rookie running back Raheem Blackshear burst onto the scene. With second-year back Chuba Hubbard sidelined with an ankle injury, Blackshear stepped into the pass-catching back role, hauling in all four of his targets for 40 yards, adding a rushing touchdown. His 15.3 PPR points were good enough to make him the RB11 for the week.
It was clear Blackshear was a beneficiary of quarterback Baker Mayfield spelling a benched P.J. Walker. Most of his snaps came in the second half with Mayfield behind center, including his four targets and rushing touchdown. This week against Atlanta, Walker will be back on the field as the starter. Additionally, Hubbard appears to be primed to return. So while there is a chance Blackshear has earned some additional work after garbage time snaps in a blowout loss to Cincinnati, it’s unlikely to be enough to make him rosterable in most fantasy formats.
What To Do
Of course, every league and every situation is different. Rostering Blackshear makes more sense if you are in a very deep league where you can take a wait-and-see approach. Otherwise, he is best left on the waiver wire heading into Week 10.
I hope you find my spicy and not-so-spicy Week 6 waiver wire pickups and notes useful. Until next time!
We’re just over two weeks away from Turkey day. I can’t wait to watch football and fall asleep on the couch. Until then, here’s a #DadJoke to make you chuckle.
What did the mother turkey say to her disobedient children?
If your dad could see you right now, he’d roll over in his gravy!
As always, thanks for reading. For more fantasy and life content, find me on Twitter @NatePolvogt.