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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.
Mariota, TEN – Mariota has 228-2 and added 42 yards
from scrimmage (21 rushing, 21 receiving) in the win over New
England. Despite ownership at only 15-40 percent, his fantasy
stock is sharply rising and he’s going to be a popular pickup
this week in all formats. The next six matchups (@IND, @HOU, NYJ,
JAC, @NYG, WAS) are all favorable.
Prescott, DAL –UPDATE:
As a Cowboys fan, I’m very apprehensive to trust Dak in
Week 11, or any week, because of his inconsistencies and conservative
approach, but the Falcons have a terrible secondary and the Cowboys
have no reason to limit their dynamic QB in this one. He’s
developing some decent rapport with Amari Cooper and I really
dig Michael Gallup as an underused red zone and chain-moving target,
so feel free to give him a look if you’re a Tom Brady (bye)
owner looking for a quality backup streamer for Week 11.
Bortles, JAC – Bortles (20-40 percent owned) completed
26-of-38 passes for 320-2-0 in a 29-26 loss to the Colts in Week
10. The return of Leonard Fournette seemed to add some confidence
to the Jags offense and Bortles will be worth a look as a QB2
facing the Steelers in Week 11. He’s a risky add, but he and Mariota
make sense because of their history as proven fantasy commodities.
Manning, NYG –UPDATE: Manning (10-35 percent
owned) threw for 188-3-0 in the MNF win over the 49ers and is
getting some talk as a possible waiver wire addition heading into
a Week 11 matchup with the Bucs and their atrocious secondary.
If Manning can maintain his current rapport with WR Sterling Shepard,
TE Evan Engram and Odell Beckham Jr., he could post low-end QB1
numbers this week.
Barkley, BUF – Barkley had the Bills offense looking
like a different unit on Sunday, throwing for 232-2-0 in Week
10. The Bills are on a Week 11 bye but this revelation has to
resonate with fans and the front office. Unfortunately, the Bills
expect Josh Allen back and starting in Week 12 facing the Jags,
so this is a situation to monitor.
UPDATE: The Bills released Nathan Peterman on Monday and Allen
(elbow) is expected to be ready for Week 12.
Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield’s 216-3-0 and 151.3 QB rating
represented the high point of his NFL career so far, and the Browns
– with the emergence of a solid rushing game – don’t look like
complete pushovers. Mayfield, who wasn’t sacked on Sunday, needs
to be owned in all formats, including 10-team leagues.
Mullens, SF –UPDATE: Mullens came back down to earth
with a 250-1-2 performance on Monday night, and the 49ers lost
a tough game despite a solid ground game led by Matt Breida (75-95
percent owned), who racked up 101 rushing yards and a TD and 3-31-1
receiving. The Niners are on a Week 11 bye and Mullens is the
favorite to start in Week 12 at Tampa Bay.
Adams, PHI – Adams rushed seven times for 47 yards
in Week 10 against the Cowboys but was held out of the end zone
and didn’t get any of the goal line carries when the Eagles were
on the 1-yard line. He was the leading rusher and looked the best
of the three backs, seeing more carries than either Wendell Smallwood
or Corey Clement. Adams is owned in just 6 percent of ESPN leagues
but about 40-45 percent of competitive leagues, so there’s a wide
disparity based on league size and format. I included him in the
RBs to consider last week, and he’s averaged more than 6.0 YPC
over the last three games and has emerged as the team’s best option
on early downs. He could be very popular this week, but he’s worth
the juice, considering the team’s plan to get him more involved
Penny, SEA – Like Adams, I was considering Penny a
speculative add last week because of a possible uptick in carries,
and now he’s coming off a monster week and looks like a solid
waiver wire addition. The hip injury to Chris Carson gave Penny
and Mike Davis another closer look in Week 10, and Penny responded
with 108 yards and a TD on just 12 carries. Owned in just 10-40
percent of leagues, Penny will be popular this week but should
be added in all formats.
Ware, KC – If you haven’t handcuffed Kareem Hunt yet,
it’s time to do so. And even if you’re not a Hunt owner, it might
be a good move to grab him under the assumption that Ware will
get a few more looks in the coming games so that Hunt is fresh
during the Chiefs’ eventual playoff run. Ware (5-30 percent owned)
had a rushing TD in Week 10 and posted double-digit scores in
PPR leagues his previous two weeks, so even his current workload
is large enough for fantasy consideration in all formats.
Ridley, PIT – James Conner has a few extra days to
get cleared for Week 11 following his Thursday night concussion,
but the news that Le’Veon Bell will likely not report this season
means Ridley is Conner’s main backup. He’s definitely worth adding
if you’re a Conner owner.
Davis, SEA – Penny could get more work going forward,
but Davis rushed 11 times for 58 yards and caught 4-22-1 in a
36-31 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 10. He’s owned in about
70-80 percent of fantasy leagues at this point.
Johnson, CLE – Johnson has another TD in Week 10 as
the veteran RB finished with three carries for 15 yards while
adding 4-31-1 receiving. His usage since the ouster of Todd Haley
has been on the rise, and he’ll be on bye in Week 11 before the
Browns face the struggling Bengals in Week 12.
Patterson, NE – Patterson rushed four times for 11
yards in Week 10 against the Tennessee Titans and he did not have
a catch or target. He can be left on the wire or dropped in most
Smith, ATL – Smith rushed for 11 yards on just four
carries against the Browns in Week 10, hauling in 4-15-0 during
the game. He’s a TD-dependent flex play in most formats and has
limited upside with Tevin Coleman getting most of the touches.
Bernard, CIN – Bernard was active for Week 10, finishing
with 6 rushing yards and 2-30-0 receiving. He’ll see more work
moving forward as long as he doesn’t have any setbacks, but not
enough to make him much more than a flex play in most leagues.
Mixon owners have a vested interest in his ownership.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Miller, CHI – You heard it here first, folks. I had
Miller as a WR to consider in Week 10 and we profiled him ahead
of Week 1. Miller’s targets have been in the rise and this
week he broke out with 5-122-1 on six targets from Mitch Trubisky.
He should be owned in all formats and is part of a potent Chicago
offense. I’ll also point out that Bears WR1 Allen Robinson (6-133-2
on Sunday) is healthy again and is just 82-87 percent owned in
fantasy leagues, so he’s the top WR add this week if he’s available
in your league.
Reynolds, LAR – Cooper Kupp is out for the rest of
the season with a torn ACL and Reynolds is the best addition among
the waiver wire options to get some of his targets. Reynolds had
a big Week 8 (3-42-2) when Kupp was on the shelf so he’s a risky
add with some decent upside – and he’s universally available.
Snead, BAL –UPDATE: With Joe Flacco questionable
for Sunday and the Ravens’ QB situation not quite settled,
Snead (20-40 percent owned) isn’t a lockdown play for Week
11 against the Raiders, but he’s in the mix for PPR consideration.
You could do a lot worse than a guy with 45 catches already this
Parker, MIA – Parker had just 5-43-0 in Week 10 but
saw a team-high 11 targets. With the Dolphins on a Week 11 bye
and Ryan Tannehill expected back soon, he’s a sneaky add this
week and might be under-prioritized by your opponents.
UPDATE: Parker is actually “week to week” with a
sprained AC joint in his shoulder, but Miami’s Week 11 bye
makes it more likely he’ll be available for Week 12.
Godwin, TB – Godwin had 7-103-0 (on a season-high seven
targets) in the loss to Washington in Week 10 and remains a big
red zone target for Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’s worth a look in shallow
formats and DFS.
Kirk, ARI –UPDATE: Kirk (30-60 percent owned)
had a noticeably quiet Week 10 (2-8-0 on six targets) but he and
the Cards could bounce back nicely in a Week 11 matchup against
Oakland. Kirk and Fitzgerald both make excellent streaming WR3/flex
options for that game.
Jones, BUF – Jones has played better each week and
finished Sunday with 8-93-1 in Week 10. He’s owned in just 2-6
percent of fantasy leagues and could be a big contributor down
the stretch as the Bills let it all hang out.
McDonald, PIT – McDonald is still the TE to own in
Pittsburgh and is coming off a solid 4-44-1 performance on Thursday
night. He’s about 45-75 percent owned.
Ross, CIN –UPDATE: Ross (15-30 percent owned)
has been a relatively unproductive fantasy performer in his NFL
career and has just nine catches this season, but he’s coming
off a 2-39-1 game and A.J. Green is still out, so there’s
a chance he gets more involved in Week 11 facing the Ravens. I’m
not a huge fan but his name is being bandied about, so I figured
I should weigh in. Avoid him unless you’re desperate or
looking for a low-owned DFS tourney dart throw.
Smith, TEN –UPDATE: Smith (0-5 percent owned)
isn’t a target-heavy option, but he caught all three targets
for 45 yards and a TD in the Titans' Week 10 win over the Patriots,
and he’ll be a TD-dependent streaming option facing the
Colts in a favorable Week 11 matchup.
Harris, WAS – Harris followed up his huge Week 9 with
5-52-0 in Week 10. He’s getting consistent looks with Jamison
Crowder out but his days as a relevant fantasy contributor could
Valdes-Scantling, GB – MVS had 6-44-0 on seven targets
from Aaron Rodgers. With Geronimo Allison still out of commission,
he’s a starting WR in Green Bay and worth a roster spot in most
Davis, TEN – Davis is still under 80 percent owned
in most fantasy leagues and is coming off a monster Wek 10 performance
(7-125-1) against the Patriots. We called this one, folks – so
congrats to the savvy owners who grabbed him last week.
Sutton, DEN – Sutton and the Broncos were on a Week
10 bye. The door has probably closed on adding him.
Heuerman, DEN – Heuerman was in the same boat as Sutton
but could be worth adding in some leagues heading into a favorable
matchup with the Chargers.
Humphries, TB – Humphries had just 2-53-0 and has a
favorable Week 11 matchup against the Giants.
Bryant, NO – The Dez saga took some big turns this
week, as the veteran WR ruptured his Achilles in his first practice
with the Saints. Poor Dez and poor fantasy owners who wasted some
decent waiver wire priority on the guy.