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Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league.
Fitzpatrick, TB – The veteran is starting to click
with his receivers and threw for 275-2-0 in the win over Miami.
He’s owned in just 25-35 percent of leagues and makes for a decent
QB2 facing the Falcons in Week 12. He’s not an exciting option,
but we’re seeing some of the darlings of the early season struggle
(Dak Prescott, Alex Smith) and Fitz is an adequate fill-in while
Jameis Winston remains out for the next couple of weeks.
Taylor, BUF –UPDATE:
If “The Nathan Peterman Experiment” sounds like a
low-budget horror movie to you, that’s because it was, for
scads of Buffalo Bills fans who were led to believe that a rookie
QB could provide a better chance at winning than a mobile veteran
with a low turnover rate. Just typing that makes me shake my head.
Sean McDermott is going back to Taylor (40-50 percent owned) and
I hope you didn’t drop him last week just because I said
it was safe to do so. What a mess.
Lynch, DEN – It’s getting quite difficult to find QBs
who are both available in most fantasy leagues and have exploitable
matchups over the next few weeks, but Osweiler fits the bill:
He’s owned in just 5-10 percent of fantasy leagues and his remaining
matchups (not counting Week 17) are @OAK, @MIA, NYJ, @IND, @WAS.
Of course, we must be cognizant of the fact that Osweiler is not
the long-term answer for the Broncos – and they could choose to
have a look at what Lynch could do in his stead, especially with
Mike McCoy out as OC and QBs coach Bill Musgrave promoted to head
up the Denver offense. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Head coach Vance Joseph said that Lynch could get the
start against the Raiders but there hasn’t been confirmation
yet. The Raiders defense is atrocious, so whomever is under center
for Denver could put up useable fantasy numbers.
Kizer, CLE – He’s been awful this season, but the matchup
in Cincinnati is more in line with what he faced in Week 10 @
DET than the frigid, brutal conditions he dealt with in Week 11
against the Jags. As the QB options dwindle on the waiver wire,
Kizer could put up adequate QB2 numbers in the right matchup,
and he’s available in almost 90 percent of leagues.
UPDATE: Hue Jackson is really looking forward to getting Josh
Gordon up to speed and involved in the offense (he’s eligible
to play Dec. 3 @LAC), so Kizer’s rollercoaster season could
make one final upswing before difficult matchups in weeks 16 &
Keenum, MIN – Keenum continued his solid play with
280-1-0, adding 20 rushing yards in a decisive victory over the
Rams. He’s silencing his critics and making the case that he should
be the Vikings QB moving forward.
UPDATE: Mike Zimmer confirmed that Keenum will start on Thanksgiving
in what could end up being a high-scoring game. The Lions have
plenty of offensive weapons and so do the Vikings. Keenum is boasting
a 65.7 completion rate this season and looks like a low-end QB1
based on this matchup. It’s going to be a fun day of football
Manning, NYG – The game conditions (windy and cold)
didn’t help the offensive flow of this game, and Manning was never
forced to push the ball down the field – resulting in a lackluster
stat line 205-0-0. Next week he’ll be forced into more of an up-tempo
game at Washington.
UPDATE: If Sterling Shepard (migraines) can suit up this Thursday,
it greatly increases Manning’s chances of serviceable fantasy
numbers. If not, Washington will likely key on Evan Engram and
shut down the passing game until they jump out to a big lead and
don’t need to play tight coverage.
Flacco, BAL – Flacco managed the game well but only
finished with 183-1-1, as the Ravens defense did most of the damage
against the Packers. He’s still looking for his first 300-yard
passing game of 2017.
The Eagles rushing attack now includes
Corey Clement who's scored three times in his last two games.
Cohen, CHI – Cohen has been quiet the past few weeks,
but he busted out for 44 rushing yards and a TD on nine carries
in Week 11, adding 4-15-0 on four targets. He played about half
of the Bears offensive snaps (31-of-63 for 49%) on Sunday and
needs to be on the flex radar for Week 12 against the Eagles.
Yeldon, JAC – Leonard Fournette ended up playing on
his injured ankle, but he concedes the only thing that will help
him get 100 percent is rest – which could clear the way for more
opportunities down the stretch for Ivory and Yeldon. You’ll have
to monitor how the Jas handle this situation, but both backs should
be owned in 12-team leagues on such a run-heavy Jacksonville offense.
UPDATE: Yeldon seems to be the consensus play over Ivory if Fournette
suits up this week and plays through his ankle issues. He’s
20-30 percent owned.
Booker, DEN – Booker tallied 44 rushing yards on 14
carries and added 5-54-0 on six targets in the passing game. Now
we’ll see if that gets him more looks with Musgrave in charge
of the Broncos offensive playcalling. Booker is about 30-40 percent
owned and could be a difference maker at flex in PPR leagues down
UPDATE: Still no word on how Booker will be used, but he and
C.J. Anderson could easily see a more even workload this week
Williams, MIA – The Dolphins RB situation is a timeshare
between Williams and Kenyon Drake, though Williams should have
more PPR value down the stretch. He’s available in about 40-50
percent of fantasy leagues and is coming off his most productive
game in terms of yardage thus far (102 total: 78 rushing yards
on 10 carries, 1-24-0 receiving).
Clement, PHI – With the Eagles offense rolling the
past few games, Clement has been getting regular second-half carries.
He had 50 yards and a TD on six carries Sunday night and has at
least 50 rushing yards in three straight games.
Williams, GB – Despite a 23-0 drubbing at the hands
of the Ravens, Williams had 57 rushing yards on 18 carries and
added 4-38-0 on six targets. He’s a viable RB3/flex as along as
the Packers are without Ty Montgomery, who plays just about every
snap when he’s healthy.
Perine, WAS – We finally got to see a little bit of
what Perine is capable of with a full workload, as he ran for
117 yards and a TD on 23 carries in the loss to New Orleans. He’ll
be a high-upside RB2 in a feature role against the Giants in Week
12 and is still available in about 30-40 percent of fantasy leagues.
UPDATE: With Chris Thompson out for the season, Perine should
see 20-25 touches against the Giants. He’s worth owning
in all formats.
McGuire, NYJ – McGuire was on a Week 11 bye, but will
likely split carries with Bilal Powell in Week 12 and is available
in over 70 percent of fantasy leagues.
UPDATE: Keep an eye on Matt Forte’s status heading into
this weekend – that could drastically impact McGuire’s
Ekeler, SD – Melvin Gordon was a lot more effective
this week, and Ekeler got most of his touches after the game was
out of hand, but he finished with a respectable 40 rushing yards
and a TD on six carries and had 2-18-0 receiving. He’s probably
just a handcuff moving forward but could have some flex value
if Gordon struggles.
Burkhead, NE – Burkhead had 16 rushing yards and added
4-21-0 receiving on six targets in the win over Oakland. He was
a huge disappointment in daily fantasy leagues and didn’t get
quite the volume owners expected after a fumble in the first half
that moved some of the touches back to Dion Lewis and James White.
He’s definitely worth a flex play against the Dolphins in Week
12 and has more value in PPR leagues.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Stills, MIA – Stills (50-65 percent owned) has dealt
with a back injury these past few weeks but had his best game
of 2017 with 7-180-1 in the loss to Tampa Bay. He’s got a more
difficult matchup next week against the Patriots, but could get
plenty of looks even if Matt Moore is under center for Miami.
Consider him a WR3 with upside, as he now has 40-588-5 on the
season and has seen 39 targets over his past five games.
Crowder, WAS – After a slow start in 2017, Crowder
is starting to get consistent looks and is coming off another
productive game (7-72-0). There will be a bit of frustration since
he’s not all that active in the Washington red zone offense, but
he now has 20-271-0 on 32 targets over his last three games (he
was inactive with a hamstring injury in Week 9 @SEA). The Giants
will have difficulty containing him between the 20s, and he’ still
available in 20-30 percent of leagues.
Doctson, WAS –UPDATE: Lackluster numbers in
some prime spots this season may keep some owners from picking
up Doctson, but he’s a big physical WR who could dominate
the Giants DBs and he’s coming off a career game versus
the Saints (4-81-0). In the three games where he caught a TD this
season, it was his only catch of the game – but that could
change this week.
Coleman, CLE – As expected, Coleman (50-60 percent
owned) was involved in the offensive game plan despite a difficult
matchup and tough conditions. He had 6-80-0 on 11 targets in his
first game back since breaking his hand and will build on that
performance in Week 12 against the Bengals. He should be viewed
as a high-upside WR3 and owned in all formats moving forward.
Howard, TB – Howard hauled in 3-52-1 on four targets
in Week 11 and remains a fringe fantasy option – though he could
see more looks in favorable matchups the next couple of weeks.
He’s a TD-dependent red zone option and risky play in shallow
leagues, but he does have some value in DFS and deeper formats.
Seals-Jones, ARI – An undrafted rookie out of Texas
A&M, Seals-Jones is a converted receiver who exploded on the NFL
scene in Week 11 by logging his first career catch in the second
quarter, his first career TD just before halftime, and his second
career score in the third on a highlight
reel play. He seems to have great rapport with Blaine Gabbert
and could be a difference maker down the stretch, though is Week
12 matchup with Jacksonville is a difficult one.
Wallace, BAL – Wallace remains a risky fantasy option
because the Ravens just don’t throw the ball that much, but he’s
coming off another decent game (4-56-1) where he caught all the
balls thrown his way. He’s a risk/reward WR3/flex option facing
the Texans in Week 12 and is owned in just 25-35 percent of fantasy
Davis, TEN – Davis and Mariota are having some trouble
finding their connection, as the rookie receiver hauled in just
3-27-0 on seven targets Thursday night. The 22 targets over the
last three games in encouraging, but 9-103-0 is not a great return
for that level of volume.
Rogers, IND – On a bye in Week 11, Rogers could be
worth an addition in deeper formats and could get another 5-7
targets against the Titans in Week 12 in a favorable matchup.
Inman & Josh
Bellamy, CHI – Inman had 3-43-0 on five targets and
Bellamy left the game early after being placed in the concussion
protocol. The Bears passing game is a mess.
Beasley, DAL – Beasley had just 2-7-0 on four targets
in Week 11, as the Cowboys offense slowed to a grinding halt with
left tackle Tyron Smith out for a second straight game. This is
getting ugly for the Cowboys, and the decline from juggernaut
offense to a putrid unit has been a steep decline.
Gresham, ARI – Seals-Jones seemed to be the TE of consequence
for the Cards in Week 11, and he may take a back seat to RSJ in
the coming weeks. In any event, the two TDs by an undrafted rookie
can’t help his fantasy outlook.