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.
Baker Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield is just 45 percent owned
in ESPN leagues and is in a smash spot this week facing the Dolphins.
On Thursday night, he completed 17 of 32 passes for 193 yards
with two TDs and no interceptions and scored a one-yard touchdown
on his only rush. He’s worth looking at for his streaming
JAC – Foles (15-20 percent owned) is back from his extended absence
(shoulder) and completed 33 of 47 pass attempts for 296-2-1 in
the Jags’ Week 11 loss to the Colts. He immediately looked the
part in his first game action since Week 1, completing six of
his first seven passes, a stretch that included a 34-yard TD strike
to D.J. Chark. The Titans present a tough matchup in Week 12,
but he’s back in the mix of relevant fantasy QBs and has “green”
matchups in Weeks 13, 15 and 16.
Sam Darnold, NYJ – The Jets QB completed 19 of 30 passes
for 293-4-1 on Sunday, picking apart the Washington secondary
and looking darn efficient for a guy who’s struggled the
past few weeks. Darnold (10-15 percent owned) will look to keep
things going with another favorable matchup against Oakland in
Kyle Allen, CAR – Allen was a huge bust on Sunday in what
many considered to be a good spot. He completed just 31 of his
50 passes for 325-0-4 in the blowout loss to the Falcons and gave
us one of the worst quarterback performances of the season. He
gets a big downgrade heading into New Orleans for Week 12. I’d
be looking elsewhere.
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF – Jimmy G completed 34-of-45 passes
for 424-4-2 in the 49ers’ Week 11 win over the Cardinals,
struggling at times with inaccuracy and making a couple of awful
red zone throws. He and the Niners will certainly be tested against
a capable Packers defense in Week 12.
Daniel Jones, NYG – The Giants were on a Week 11 bye and
face the Bears in Week 12. I’m steering clear.
Dwayne Haskins, WAS – Haskins completed a pitiful 19-of-35
passes for 214 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in
the loss to the Jets, and essentially blamed his offensive lineman
on the sidelines. But it was Haskins missing passes and taking
far too long to get the ball out in the pocket. He’s not
much of an option going forward.
DEN – Lock still hasn’t been activated and it was Brandon Allen
who had the reins in Week 11 (17-of-39 for 240-1-1). Allen has
filled in admirably, but Lock will likely be inserted under center
after Allen gets another start in Week 12 against the Bills.
Wilkins, IND – Marlon Mack broke his hand and will miss extended
time, and it will be one of the JWs getting the start (and possibly
splitting carries) against the Texans in Week 12. Wilkins (ankle)
was inactive for Sunday's matchup against the Jaguars. Williams
was excellent in Mack’s stead, rushing 13 times for 116 yards,
adding one reception for 31 yards. Williams took over primary
ball-carrying duties early in the third quarter after Mack left
the game. Nyheim Hines remains a PPR option because of his role,
but it will be Williams or Wilkins (both universally available
in fantasy) seeing the majority of traditional carries this week.
Samuels, PIT – UPDATE:
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said he’s not sure if James Conner
(shoulder) will be available for Week 12 against the Bengals,
so Samuels (60-75 percent owned) is once again in the fantasy
conversation, especially considering the smash spot he’s
in against Cincy. Conner re-aggravated the shoulder injury in
Thursday’s loss to Cleveland, and both Samuels and Benny
Snell (knee) could make up Pittsburgh's backfield rotation if
Conner isn't cleared to participate. Stay tuned.
DET – Some weird names popping through the wire this week, including
Scarborough, who had 14 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown during
Sunday’s 35-27 loss to the Cowboys less than 24 hours after signing
with the team. He’s universally available and promises to see
a continued role in the Lions backfield – with a favorable matchup
in Week 12 against Washington.
BAL – Gus finally got his chance in a blowout win over the Texans
with 112 yards and a TD on just eight carries. He’s worth owning
in 12-team leagues and is the necessary handcuff to Mark Ingram.
ATL – After a huge Week 10, Hill (65-80 percent owned) busted
in Week 11 with just 30 yards on 15 rushes, adding an eight-yard
catch on three targets. Hill was essentially useless against what
is considered one of the league's worst run defenses. With Devonta
Freeman coming back soon, I’m off Hill.
CLE – Hunt (77 percent owned in ESPN leagues) is likely gone from
most waiver wires, but he caught 6-of-8 targets for 46 yards in
the Browns’ Week 11 win over the Steelers, adding six rushes for
12 yards. He’s occupying the James White role behind workhorse
Nick Chubb and now has 17 targets in two games. He’s on the RB3/flex
radar facing the Dolphins in Week 12.
CHI – David Montgomery was active on Sunday, but Cohen (65-75
percent owned) got the start and rushed nine times for 39 yards
and caught 5-of-6 targets for 35 yards and a TD in the loss to
the Rams. It was a nice call for us after Hill busted, and he
remains a low-end flex play with marginal upside in PPR formats.
SF – Mostert (10-15 percent owned) has six rushes for 13 yards
and 2-14-0 in the 49ers’ Week 11 win over the Cardinals. Matt
Breida’s status for Week 12 is up in the air, so Mostert could
see another complementary role next week against the Packers.
Derrius Guice, WAS – Guice (45-50 percent owned) rushed
seven times for 24 yards and caught a 45-yard touchdown in the
Redskins’ Week 11 loss to the Jets – a performance
saved by the one big play. We’ll take it, as Guice has earned
more work moving forward and his worthy of a bench stash and low-end
flex play for desperate owners in Week 12 facing the Lions.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
SF – Samuel (10-15 percent owned) caught eight of his 10 targets
for 134 yards in Sunday’s 36-26 win over the Cardinals. I had
enormous shares in DFS as news broke later in the week that he’d
be a highlight of the offense without George Kittle (knee) and
Emmanuel Sanders, who was active but a rib injury. He should continue
to get targets even after the rest of the Niners’ are healthy.
DeVante Parker, MIA – The Dolphins primary receiving threat
is owned in just 40-50 percent of leagues and has been turning
in solid performances each week. He caught 7-135-0 on 10 targets
during Sunday’s 37-20 loss to the Bills and gets the Browns
in Week 12.
DAL – About 30 percent owned in ESPN leagues, Cobb caught 4-115-1
on seven targets from Dak Prescott on Sunday. He’s likely to be
a boom-or-bust TD-dependent play with so many effective weapons
in the Cowboys’ offensive arsenal but could get a bunch of opportunities
next Sunday against the Patriots.
UPDATE: Amari Cooper should be
fine for Week 12, but it’s obvious that Cobb is a huge part
of the Cowboys’ offensive game plan at this point. His stock
would increase if for some reason Cooper wasn’t able to
play or was limited in any fashion.
TE Ryan Griffin,
NYJ – I’ve been singing the praises of Griffin for
a while now, and I used him a lot in DFS on Sunday when he
hauled in five catches for 109 yards and a TD in the win over
Washington. If you need a reliable TE, just add the guy and use
him – because he’s been solid at a tough position to find consistency.
Harry, NE – UPDATE: In
his NFL regular-season debut, Harry played on 32 of a possible
74 snaps on offense in the win over the Eagles, hauling in 3-18-0
on four targets. But more targets will be on their way for the
promising rookie wideout, and it could happen as soon as this
week if Phillip Dorsett (head injury) isn’t cleared to suit
up against the Cowboys.
Marquise Brown, BAL – Brown caught just 2-of-4 targets
for 23 yards in the Ravens’ Week 11 win over the Texans,
but we had word before game time (from ESPN's Dianna Russini)
that Brown’s ankle issue had him looking uncomfortable.
He’s certainly got upside when he’s healthy, but we
might want to avoid him for now, especially with such a tough
matchup on the docket.
NYG – The Giants were on a Week 11 bye and his prospects aren’t
great for Week 12 facing the Bears.
UPDATE: If Evan Engram and/or
Sterling Shepard (concussion) miss this week’s contest,
Slayton is back in consideration as a possible WR3.
Christian Kirk, ARI – Kirk caught 6-of-9 targets for 41
yards in the Cardinals’ Week 11 loss to the 49ers and assumes
WR3 status in Week 13 following the Week 12 bye.
TE Greg Olsen, CAR – Olsen caught all five of his targets
for 57 yards in the Panthers’ Week 11 loss to the Falcons.
He’s a low-end TE1 with a safe floor facing the Saints in
New Orleans next week.
PIT – Washington didn’t do a lot on Thursday, but neither did
many players on the Steelers. He finished with 3-49-0 on four
targets in the loss to Cleveland but gets a huge upgrade against
the Bengals in Week 12.
UPDATE: If JuJu Smith-Schuster
(concussion) can’t play this week, Washington’s targets
could see a bump.
BUF – It was the John Brown show in Miami, but Beasley chipped
in 4-38-0 on Sunday and remains a boom-or-bust slot receiver heading