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Waiver Wire Rankings: Who Should You Pick Up In Week 12?

Bobby Rainey Bucs

Rainey’s performance on Sunday didn’t win him the Heisman Trophy but it did earn him the #1 spot in our Waiver Rankings.


It’s getting close to crunch time for fantasy owners. With roughly 3/4ths of the season complete, the fantasy playoff picture is taking shape in most leagues and there are only a few more opportunities to ensure you’re included.


Wherever your team stands, it surely doesn’t hurt to look for reinforcements to bolster your position. To make your decisions easier, our Featured Pros are back to rank this week’s available targets and to share advice on who to pick up.

Get Start/Sit & Waiver Wire Advice

Featured Pros

Kyle Wachtel (FootballGuys)

Sean Koerner (Bloomberg Sports)

Jon Collins (Fantasy Sports LR)

Walton Spurlin (Fantasy Sharks)


Waiver Wire Rankings (Standard Scoring)*


 Player  Position  Team   Consensus Rank  Best Rank  Worst Rank
 Bobby Rainey  RB  TB  1.0  1  1
 Michael Crabtree*  WR  SF  2.5  2  4
 Donald Brown  RB  IND  4.0  3  6
 Montee Ball  RB  DEN  4.3  2  5
 Delanie Walker  TE  TEN  6.5  3  9
 Santonio Holmes  WR  NYJ  6.8  4  12
 Nate Burleson  WR  DET  7.0  5  11
 Garrett Graham  TE  HOU  8.0  3  11
 Rishard Matthews  WR  MIA  10.0  7  12
 Chris Ogbonnaya  RB  CLE  10.8  7  14
 Cordarrelle Patterson  WR  MIN  10.8  7  15
 Jerricho Cotchery  WR  PIT  11.5  8  15
 Rod Streater  WR  OAK  12.8  9  17
 Marquise Goodwin  WR  BUF  13.5  10  17
 Rob Housler  TE  ARI  13.8  9  16
 Markus Wheaton  WR  PIT  14.5  13  16
 Jarius Wright  WR  MIN  15.5  12  17

*Crabtree has an activation deadline of Nov. 28th. Barring a setback, he would be back by week 13 at the latest.


Week 12 Waiver Wire Advice


We also asked each expert to share commentary 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.


Sean KoernerBloomberg Sports

Bobby Rainey was only a speculative add last week to see how the usage between him and Brian Leonard sorted itself out. After his 170 yard, 3 TD performance, he becomes a must-add but I do not see him as more than a RB2 the rest of the way given the fact that the Bucs will not be playing with a lead for 3+ quarters against a below average defense like they did in Week 11. Delanie Walker has established himself as a high-end TE2 and worried Julius Thomas owners need to go out of their way to pick him up. Jerricho Cotchery and Markus Wheaton should both see a bump in value if Emmanuel Sanders’ injury is going to keep him sidelined. I am not sold yet on the Vikings WRs that are likely to get attention on the waiver wire this week. Patterson and Wright both benefited from Greg Jennings being out but when he returns there is just too much competition for the 200 passing yards each week to start any of them with confidence.


Kyle WachtelFootballGuys      

Garrett Graham is filling the role of Owen Daniels, who was consistently a back-end TE1 over the past few years when healthy. I ranked Graham so highly (#3) because he is one of the few players on the list that you can plug in as weekly starter. Additionally, the Texans’ 406 passing attempts this season tie the Saints for sixth most in the NFL. With Arian Foster done for the season and the Texans defense underachieving, the offense should continue to air the ball out often.


Jon CollinsFantasy Sports LR

Santonio Holmes started and picked up 32 snaps (fewer than David Nelson’s 50) drawing seven targets from Geno Smith. Smith threw two picks and two completions on those seven passes, but, it was heartening to see him target Holmes deep. The vet picked up 71 yards on those two grabs, suggesting there is some value there moving forward. If he can average seven looks a game for the rest of the season, he’ll deliver some fantasy relevant lines down the stretch – especially in weeks where we are treated to an outing from good Geno, as opposed to Sunday’s debacle.


It is hard to accurately peg the value of Cordarrelle Patterson moving forward. Elevated to the starting lineup this week, but drawing a tough assignment against Seattle he didn’t really deliver. With that said, if we a) accept that Jerome Simpson is not returning to a starter’s role and b) acknowledge that while Jarius Wright had the bigger fantasy day (2 TDs) he drew just four targets to Patterson’s nine and only started alongside the rookie when Greg Jennings was named a surprise inactive, we can be hopeful that Patterson has considerable playing time in his future. If that is the case, we should be excited about the nine targets and not disappointed in the three catches for limited yardage. Look beyond the 2.8 fantasy points and take a flier on a player who Minnesota is looking to get more involved and can do real damage with the ball in his hands.


Walton SpurlinFantasy Sharks

I love Bobby Rainey. He has that look of the late season RB addition that leads fantasy teams to championships. Fresh legs, blazing speed and the hands to catch the ball out of the backfield make him a must add and starter.


Montee Ball looks to have assumed the goal line role in Denver and you can never have enough RB options at playoff time. Knowshon Moreno’s injury history also says the other shoe could drop at any time.



Q2: For anyone looking to rent a D/ST in week 12, what readily available option should they target first?


Kyle WachtelFootballGuys      

A couple of cheap streaming options to consider this week would be the Saints (41% owned in Yahoo!) and the Jets (24% owned). While the Saints are on the road this week, their defense is much improved under Rob Ryan and they catch the struggling Falcons on a short week. The Jets defense has been inconsistent thanks in part to a turnover prone offense and poor secondary play, but their front-seven is often able to dominate games. Coming off of a loss, Rex Ryan is preparing to take on his former team that boasts an uninspiring Joe Flacco.


Sean KoernerBloomberg Sports

My rent-a-defense for Week 12 is likely going to be the Cleveland Browns. They have a juicy matchup at home against the Steelers. With Joe Haden likely shadowing Antonio Brown this week and Emmanuel Sanders questionable (at best), Big Ben is going to be a under a lot of pressure which should equal a handful of sacks and forced throws into coverage. To show the effect of the rent-a-defense approach, I have managed to squeeze 134 total points out of my waiver wire defenses so far this year and only one team defense has put up more points than that on the season in the Chiefs.


Jon CollinsFantasy Sports LR

It’s time to trust Pittsburgh’s fantasy defense again. At least, in this week’s matchup against the Cleveland Browns. Available in more than 2/3rds of leagues the Steelers D, despite a first half to forget, delivered two sacks and three turnovers against the Lions this week while shutting them down in the second half. Against a Browns squad who made the Bengals this week’s top scoring DST, a top 6 performance is in the offing for Pittsburgh in what should be a low-scoring AFC North affair.


Walton SpurlinFantasy Sharks

Oakland is a nice week 12 D/ST as they host the Tennessee Titans. Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is as likely to have four turnovers in a game as he is two touchdowns. Oakland has registered seven sacks and five turnovers in the past three games.



Thanks to this week’s Featured Pros for sharing their advice! Best of luck to everyone with your week 12 waiver wire pickups.

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