As far as ratings go, this upcoming week may not go down as a banner week for waiver wire options. Unlike previous weeks, the leauge was light on RB injuries (Note: this was published before Mike James’ injury Monday Night) so the best available backs in most leagues will face competition from their teammates. Meanwhile, a few wide receivers stepped up in big ways (Tavon Austin, Jarrett Boykin) but some of the most intriguing long-term targets are speculative stashes (Michael Crabtree).
With all that said, there are still solid options for fantasy owners feeling the pinch of injuries/byes/poor play. Take a look below at how our latest group of Featured Pros ranks the readily available FLEX (RB/WR/TE) waiver wire options for week 11.
The rankings below assume that the likes of Andre Brown, Shane Vereen and Riley Cooper are owned in most leagues. If they’re available for you, by all means grab them because they should all be rostered at this point.
Note: We cover the fantasy fallout of Mike James’ injury (fractured ankle) here.
Waiver Wire Rankings (Standard Scoring)*
|Player||Position||Team||Consensus Rank||Best Rank||Worst Rank|
*Crabtree has an activation deadline of Nov. 26th. Barring a setback, he would be back by week 13 at the latest.
Week 11 Waiver Wire Advice
We also asked each expert to share specific tips for this week’s waiver wire. Here are the experts’ suggestions on who you should target.
Q1: Give us your thoughts on the waiver wire targets you especially like as pickups this week.
Michael Crabtree is my top pickup for week 11. The early estimates are that he will return at the end of November, which is just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Even if you’re stacked at wide receiver and don’t anticipate having to use him, it’s worth it to stash him on your roster to keep him off some other potential playoff teams.
There are a lot of negative sentiments in the fantasy community about Mark Ingram, but Ingram looked slimmed down and was running harder than ever against Dallas on Sunday Night. Early in the game, Saints fans could be heard booing him. By the end of the game though, Ingram had tallied up 145 rushing yards and a touchdown. Don’t write Ingram off just yet. Many did the same thing with Knowshon Moreno and C.J. Spiller after slow starts to their careers.
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Don’t overlook John Carlson. He plays in a bad passing game but he has a track record of some success in a starting role and was heavily targeted in his first start of the season. He could be a good spot starter at tight end the rest of the way. The Vikings normally give their tight end plenty of targets on a weekly basis.
Tavon Austin isn’t a sure thing by any means but he is capable of the huge game because of his amazing speed and ability in the open field. He had a few big plays called back early in the season, which has hurt his numbers, but last week could kick start things for him going forward.
With the Rams essentially out of contention in the playoffs, it’s hard not to like the prospects of WR Tavon Austin going forward. He’s always highly ranked in ESPN leagues, which is likely due to his return-yardage points. While he has had an up-and-down season in terms of receiving production, the Rams should start getting Austin more involved in the passing game going forward. With almost nothing to play for, it’s clear Austin and Kellen Clemens do have chemistry, even if Clemens is a step down from Sam Bradford.
It was unclear coming into Week 10 whether or not to downgrade the Packers’ offense all together and Jarrett Boykin figured to be more of a risk than all other pass catchers. After Seneca Wallace went down early in the first quarter Scott Tolzien took over at QB. Then 13 targets and 8 catches for 112 yards later, Boykin had new life. Given that Tolzien has been named next week’s starter at quarterback for the Packers, Boykin could provide quality production as a bye week fill in for you Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant owners.
Q2: For anyone looking to rent a D/ST in week 11, what readily available option should they target first?
As far as defensive rentals go for week 11, Buffalo is probably the best option that is readily available on the waiver wire. The Bills are 2nd in the league in sacks and tied for the most interceptions, and they’ll take on a Jets team at home that is bottom 5 in both sacks taken and interceptions thrown. Buffalo should be able to bring the kind of pressure that has rattled Geno Smith early in his career.
The Buffalo Bills get the Jets this week, a team that isn’t explosive offensively by any means and have struggled in recent weeks. Buffalo did struggle to stop the Jets earlier in the season but I still like their chances to get some sacks and interceptions. The Bills have at least two sacks in all but one game and a solid 13 interceptions this season. Buffalo is a good streaming option for fantasy teams in Week 11.
The Arizona Cardinals defense is currently owned in just 31% of all ESPN leagues, although this unit’s credentials should be generating more respect among fantasy owners. They now rank 13th in total defense, and are 12th in scoring defense. Arizona has been particularly stout against the run, with a ranking of third in that category. They have surrendered just 87 rushing YPG this season, have allowed only three TDs, and they just limited Houston’s RBs to 63 yards in Week 10. The Cardinals have also produced 20 takeaways, which is the NFL’s fourth highest total, are tied for fifth with 12 INTs, and have sacked opposing QBs 26 times. Plus, they now have the opportunity to line up against the NFL’s most feeble attack, as Jacksonville currently ranks dead last in total offense and scoring offense, and they’re just 31st in rushing. Anyone who would prefer streaming a defense this week should secure this very capable group.
Owners looking to rent a D/ST this week should look in Tampa Bay’s direction. I know it sounds silly considering how bad the Buccaneers are but the Atlanta Falcons offense isn’t something that strikes fear into opponents anymore. The way Matt Ryan and the offense has been playing over the last month, the possible loss of Tony Gonzalez, and their terribly bad defense and special teams will put them behind early in this contest making the Falcons one-dimensional while struggling to score points on the road.
Thanks to this week’s Featured Pros for sharing their advice! Best of luck to everyone with your week 11 waiver wire pickups.