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Through The Wire - Week 12

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 11/23/20 | Updated: 11/25/20

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. I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Tua Tagovailoa, MIA – Rostered in just 35-40 percent of leagues and benched for poor play in Week 11, Tua makes plenty of sense next week against the Jets since they truly can’t stop anyone and he’s still the starter, according to Brian Flores.

Derek Carr, LV – Carr was very sharp on Sunday night, completing 23 of 31 passes for 275-3-1 in the 35-31 loss to Kansas City, and is in a smash spot against the Falcons in Week 12, with the Jets on deck in Week 13. Giddyup.

Andy Dalton, DAL – UPDATE: The Cowboys seem to have shored up a few of their OL issues in the past couple of weeks, vaulting Dalton (5-10 percent owned) into “playable” status in fantasy football. He finished Sunday’s win over the Vikings with 203-3-1 and takes his slew of skill position standouts into a divisional matchup with Washington on Thanksgiving.

Ryan Finley, CIN – Joe Burrow suffered a bad knee injury against Washington, tearing his ACL and MCL. With the Bengals rookie being placed on IR, Brandon Allen has been called up from the practice squad and Finley is expected to start in Week 12 against the Giants. He’s more of a QB2 option with neutral matchups ahead against NYG, MIA and DAL.

11/25 Update: Disregard Finley. Brandon Allen has been called up from the practice squad and will start against the Giants.

Other QBs to consider: Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, Daniel Jones, Philip Rivers


Alex Smith, WAS – Smith looks good from a game manager perspective but isn’t putting up huge fantasy numbers. He’s got a favorable Week 12 matchup against Dallas, however, and makes sense as a QB2 or spot starter.

Jameis Winston, NO – Taysom Hill got the start and is worth a pickup in all formats where he’s eligible at TE (see below).

P.J. Walker, CAR – Teddy B was close to playing on Sunday, so the window on Walker is probably closed.

Gus Edwards

Running Backs

Frank Gore, NYJ – La’Mical Perine has a high ankle sprain and the lowly Jets will now be forced to roll out Gore as their main RB for the rest of the season. He’s not great anymore but can still post RB3/flex numbers because of the workload volume.

Gus Edwards, BAL – If the NFL moves forward with the Ravens game on Thursday, it’ll most likely be Edwards logging most of the carries with both Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins on the COVID-19 list. Stay tuned, but add Edwards if you can.

Wayne Gallman, NYG – UPDATE: He’s about 55-75 percent owned in fantasy leagues, but he may have been a casualty of the Giants bye week in yours – so add the versatile Gallman in a favorable Week 12 matchup against the Bengals that could see him produce Top 15 RB numbers.

James White, NE – Rex Burkhead was carted off with a knee injury Sunday and White rushed five times for 19 yards, catching six of nine targets for 64 yards in the loss to Houston. With Burkhead sidelined, he’s a must-add in PPR formats.

Jonathan Taylor, IND – Taylor shook off a bad Week 10 performance with 90 rushing yards on 22 carries in Week 11 against the Packers, adding four receptions for 24 yards. With a workload that big, he’s worth adding if somebody dropped him.

Other RBs to consider: Salvon Ahmed (70-80 percent owned by now), Zack Moss, Justice Hill, Kerryon Johnson, Tony Pollard, Cam Akers


Nyheim Hines, IND – Hines recorded six rushes for two yards in Week 11 against the Packers. He added three receptions for 31 yards.

Damien Harris, NE – Harris has 43 rushing yards and a TD on Sunday but has mostly been a non-factor in the passing game (despite 2-11-0 receiving this past week). Sony Michel’s (quad) impending return threatens to cut into his workload, but we’ll have to see what shakes out via the practice reports in the coming days and weeks.

Carlos Hyde, SEA – Hyde returned from a hamstring injury and rushed for 79 yards and a TD, adding 2-16-0 in the Thursday night win. Default starter Chris Carson has a good chance of suiting up in Week 12, but Hyde could still maintain a role and be ready to step up if needed.

Malcolm Brown, LAR – UPDATE: The Rams attacked the Bucs through the air and Brown was just an afterthought in the MNF game. He’s safe to avoid for the foreseeable future.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

TE Taysom Hill, NO – This is obvious. If he’s eligible at TE in your league, you need to play him there. It’s a 15-25 point free square in your lineup.

UPDATE: ESPN has updated Hill’s eligibility to QB-only, making him more of a desperation QB2 who has a small window of viability – but if your league still lets him play TE, have at it.

Damiere Byrd, NE – Jakobi Meyers is still a popular target, but Byrd (6-132-1 on seven targets Sunday) had a much easier matchup since he wasn’t shrouded by Bradley Roby like Meyers was. He’s a WR3/flex with upside.

Michael Pittman Jr., IND – Pittman recorded three receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown in Week 11 against the Packers, and he’s got solid matchup the next few weeks. We’ve talked him up before, but he’s coming around as a popular target for Philip Rivers.

Keke Coutee, HOU – Coutee caught just two of four targets for 10 yards and a TD in Sunday's 27-20 win over New England, but he could see more work in the slot with injuries sidelining both Randall Cobb (toe) and Kenny Stills (quadriceps). I’ve always loved Coutee’s upside when he’s healthy.

Nelson Agholor, LV – Agholor had a monster game Sunday night with 6-88-1 on nine targets, and he gets a favorable Week 12 matchup against the Falcons’ hideous pass defense.

TE Dalton Schultz, DAL – UPDATE: The Washington football team doesn’t do a great job of defending opposing TEs, so Schultz could be in the mix for low-end TE1 status on Thursday, especially with the way the Cowboys closed out the win over Minnesota. There seems to be some Dalton-to-Dalton rapport developing!

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Jalen Reagor, TE Jordan Reed, Tim Patrick, TE Robert Tonyan, Dez Bryant, Rashard Higgins, KJ Hamler


Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB – Valdes-Scantling had 3-55-0 on six targets in Week 11 against the Colts, and the costly OT fumble may have hurt his standing in the depth chart – especially with Allen Lazard on the mend.

Willie Snead, BAL – He caught just 3-23-0 on seven targets Sunday and the Ravens passing game looks atrocious outside of Mark Andrews right now.

Keelan Cole, JAC – The Jags never really got anything going on offense and Cole logged just 2-26-0 on five targets Sunday.

TE Logan Thomas, WAS – just 2-6-0 on five targets in a smash matchup. Not great.

UPDATE: Terry McLaurin (ankle) didn’t practice on Monday but still appears to be on track to play on Thanksgiving. If for some reason McLaurin is inactive or limited against the Cowboys., Thomas would get a bump into the Top 15 TEs for Week 12.

Denzel Mims, NYJ – Mims caught just three of eight targets for 71 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers. Not efficient, but the Jets will have to keep throwing.

Jakeem Grant, MIA – Another poor outing among our WR recommendations, Grant has just 2-12-0 on six targets, but Week 12 should be more fruitful.

Josh Reynolds, LAR – UPDATE: Reynolds was the odd man out among the Rams WRs on Monday, finishing with just 3-32-0 on six targets from Jared Goff while his mates (Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp) went nuts.