To get fall colors around that time, you'll need to be at the lower elevations. Little River around Elkmont or Tremont is probably the best place.
For general landscape and wildlife shots, Cades Cove is the place to go... but expect a lot of traffic. Cataloochee Valley is probably the next best place to go. It won't have near the traffic as Cades Cove, but it is kind of far away from Gatlinburg and requires a commitment to go there. There will be some wildlife on the Roaring Fork motor trail. This spot is just outside of Gatlinburg.
There are a few waterfalls near Gatlinburg. Rainbow Falls is just before the Roaring Fork starts. On Roaring Fork you can get to Grotto Falls and Place of a Thousand Drips. Ramsey Cascade is the best, but also requires a commitment to hike there. The first 2 miles are very easy, but the last 2 are very strenuous miles through old virgin forest. Meigs Falls is on the road between Elkmont and the Townsend Wye. Another popular waterfall is Laurel Falls. It's only a mile hike to the waterfall on a paved trail. If you stay on the trail past the waterfall, you can usually see bears. (Don't go alone.)
Really it all depends on what the weather is like. I'm about a 45 minute drive away from GRSM, so I go there often.