Featured Pros: Waiver Wire Rankings (Week 12)
If you’ve been patiently waiting for a big week on the waiver wire, you may be in luck. After weeks of options littered with speculative stashes, this week’s list of players (available in at least 50% of leagues) looks like a virtual bonanza by comparison. Between injuries & guys stepping up, there is a solid chance you’ll have a high end option to snatch off of your league’s waiver wire. Great timing for the stretch run, right?
Of course, the tricky part is deciding how to prioritize the players available. To help out with that piece, we enlisted a new group of Featured Pros to give us their waiver wire advice. The experts were asked to rank a list of 16 waiver wire options based on rest of season value. We then took those picks and combined them to produce the waiver wire rankings below.
Waiver Wire Rankings (STD Scoring)
|Player||Position||Team||Consensus Rank||Best Rank||Worst Rank|
Week 12 Waiver Wire Advice
We also asked each expert to share advice about the targets they like this week along with any other waiver wire suggestions they have. Here’s what the experts had to say.
It’s rare to find this much quality help available on the waiver wire at such a late date, particularly at running back, a position at which a lot of fantasy teams have sprung leaks. Beanie Wells will probably reinjure himself this week, and five randomly chosen strip-club bouncers could probably outperform the Cardinals’ offensive line, but Wells has to be considered the top waiver-wire target simply because he’s clearly the No. 1 back in Arizona and has had some past success despite poor blocking. Danario Alexander is an appealing option for as long as those spaghetti knee ligaments hold up. T.Y. Hilton has an evolving role in a good passing attack, and Justin Blackmon is an intriguing risk/reward play, but you can’t trust any of the other receivers (or the two tight ends on this list) to put up points for you in any given week.
As for the RBs other than Beanie, I don’t find either Bilal Powell or Jalen Parmele appealing due to the limitations of the offenses in which they play. James Starks will get carries, though Packer RBs not named John Kuhn rarely score TDs. Ronnie Hillman gets a big value bump due to the Willis McGahee injury, though he’s likely to share carries with Lance Ball. Bryce Brown and Mark Ingram could have short-term value as backups temporarily thrust into bigger roles due to injuries.
This week is all about making the most out of the running back position. You might have needs elsewhere, but for a historically thin position off the waiver wire, you must attack running back while the value is out there. Ronnie Hillman is a must-own commodity this week with Willis McGahee on the shelf. The truth is, he actually fits into a Peyton Manning-led offense better than McGahee, and is much more explosive. Beanie Wells will be returning from IR and is a must-own player, while Bryce Brown will see a ton of action in Philly with LeSean McCoy likely on the shelf with a concussion. James Starks is also worth a look, as he’s showing it’s going to be harder and harder to keep him off the field in Green Bay. Jalen Parmele isn’t an elite talent, but he’s the starter for now in Jacksonville, so he’s arguably the top sleeper back on watch, as well.
If I need WR help, my first target would be Danario Alexander. Since being signed off the streets, he’s emerged as one of Philip Rivers most reliable targets and WRs. He’s had 18 targets the last two weeks, converting them to 12 receptions and has 60+ yards in 3 straight games, while scoring in 3 TDs the last 2 weeks. He’s taken over the #2 spot and looks to be a decent WR3 for the rest of the season.
For those that have held onto Ronnie Hillman, or need RB help, Hillman will get the starting role for the next several weeks. In games that he’s received 10+ carries, he’s averaging 4.4 YPC and it looks clear that he should be in line for at least 18 touches per game as lead back. He’ll also get the goal-line chances as the Bronco offense is moving the ball with ease, which should lead to more scoring opportunities. He offers far more upside than Bryce Brown and Jalen Parmele at the RB position.
I continue to be very high on Danario Alexander. He remains available in 57 percent of leagues on our site. Alexander is emerging as the top receiver in the Chargers’ offense. Despite not participating in camp and getting signed just a few weeks back, Alexander has 15 receptions for 291 yards and three touchdowns in three games. And his targets continue to increase as Philip Rivers gains a rapport with him. Alexander was targeted 11 times last week. His issue has always been staying healthy but he is healthy now, so Alexander is worth owning in all formats.
Another player I’m high on this week for a waiver-wire grab is Ronnie Hillman. He could be the featured back for a few games with Willis McGahee nursing a knee injury. Hillman has been getting more chances the last few games even with McGahee around. He has double-digit carries two of the last four games. Hillman is a big-play back with top speed and moves in the open field. He has some total yardage potential in a starting role for the Broncos. As you all know, the running back spot is thin, so Hillman is definitely worth a look in all formats. He could have a few big games in a starting role.
DX (Danario Alexander), as he knows himself, has all the physical attributes we could ask for as fantasy owners looking for a guy who can capitalize on opportunity. I blubbered about the Chargers’ fancy new, creaky-kneed weapon for NFL Jerks last week, and watching him pull down two late scores against the Broncos in Week 11 should make him the No. 1 priority on every waiver wire in America for Week 12. He doesn’t just get consistent separation at the line of scrimmage, he doesn’t just outleap defenders for jump balls – most importantly, perhaps, Alexander has gained the unwavering trust of his quarterback, Philip Rivers, who has chucked the pigskin DX’s way 21 times in three games. They’ve played together for all of 15 minutes, and Rivers is calling audibles when he sees DX squared up in man coverage. That, friends, is good news.
Probably you’ve heard the bellows of caution on Denver’s rookie running back, Ronnie Hillman, as he prepares for an expanded role with Grandpa McGahee out for the rest of the fake football season. But if you’ve only heard the good stuff, here goes: You’re not picking up an every-down back here – maybe nothing close to an every-down back. As David Wilson propagandists discovered in September, old school coaches’ veteran fetishes can wreak havoc on our best-laid fantasy plans. John Fox is the acting president of the Eldest School, so I think we should expect a generous – read: horrifying – sprinkling of Lance Ball and, perhaps, Knowshon Moreno. Hillman is very obviously the most talented back, with crazy quick acceleration and lateral speed to burn, so he’s the guy you want here. Hopefully, he’ll break a long run or take a screen pass to the house and force Fox’s hand. Expecting 18 touches this week, I think, may be unrealistic.
Since being picked up by the Chargers, Danario Alexander has been on a tear racking up 291 yards and 3 touchdowns. You like to see consistency but often times in waiver additions you don’t get that luxury. If he’s still available in your league, Danario should be number one.
At number two, you have to go with Ronnie Hillman. Often times the player with the best situation to succeed will, and if McGahee is out 6-8 weeks like early reports suggest, Hillman could be huge down the stretch.
Thanks to this week’s Featured Pros for sharing their advice with us! For more of the experts’ insight, be sure to follow them on Twitter (click their names above) and visit their respective sites.