Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 12
Week 12 is one of those special weeks on the calendar. Almost everyone that’s played fantasy football for a while has some sort of positive memory of Week 12. While some have official trade deadlines or are in the midst of a playoff push, a day full of food, family, friends, and football makes for a highlight for any year.
This is a great time for reflecting and to be thankful for all we have in our lives. The fact that we can invest time in a wonderful hobby like fantasy football should help reinforce just how good we have things and how fortunate we are.
Holidays aside, football business must go on. We have to walk away from that turkey or pumpkin pie just long enough to scour the waiver wire while we remain focused on a championship, at least a little.
Using ownership data from our friends at Yahoo, here are the waiver wire targets for Week 12 and how much of your remaining budget to consider using.
Week 12 byes: Kansas City, LA Rams
Thursday games: Chicago at Detroit 12:30, Washington at Dallas 4:30, Atlanta at New Orleans 8:20
Jameis Winston (TB) 9% owned (15% FAAB)
While it was no real surprise to see Fitzmagic 2.0 go down in flames much quicker than the first version, seeing Dirk Koetter swap his signal-callers in-and-out of the lineup in a futile effort to save his job is quite frustrating. At this point, it looks like Winston should keep the job moving forward, but nobody can say that with any confidence.
Winston did look much better than Fitzpatrick, throwing for 199 yards and a pair of scores against a solid Giants’ secondary. Tampa’s next three games are home contests against subpar secondaries from San Francisco, Carolina, and New Orleans. There’s a solid chance Winston can generate QB1 numbers here during the final month of the season–if he keeps the job.
Lamar Jackson (BAL) 18% owned (12% FAAB)
Jackson’s first NFL start went better as expected. Jackson was limited as a passer, by both a run-heavy game plan and no touchdowns, but he more than made up for it by running 27 times for 117 yards. John Harbaugh already indicated that Joe Flacco (hip) isn’t expected to play in Week 12, giving Jackson at least one more start at home against Oakland.
Interestingly, the Raiders have allowed the second-most touchdown passes this season but have surrendered only 65 rushing yards to quarterbacks, the fewest in the league. If Jackson gets another start, as expected, something’s got to give in this matchup, and chances are that Jackson will make plenty of big plays.
Colt McCoy (WAS) 0% owned (6% FAAB)
Thirty-three years to the day of Joe Theisman’s gruesome leg injury, Alex Smith suffered a badly broken leg and will miss the remainder of the 2018 NFL season. First and foremost, here’s wishing only the best for Smith and his family.
Colt McCoy relieved Smith against Houston and completed half his passes, including connecting with Jordan Reed on a touchdown strike. McCoy also contributed 35 rushing yards but only managed to produce 4.5 yards-per-attempt. Week 12 offers a homecoming of sorts as McCoy travels to Dallas on Thanksgiving. Washington’s remaining schedule isn’t the easiest, making McCoy a last-gasp fill in or option in 2QB leagues.
Josh Adams (PHI) 32% owned (20% FAAB)
Adams was listed here last week and exceeded expectations in his first game with an expanded role. Adams accounted for 70% of Philadelphia’s running back rush attempts, including a 28-yard touchdown gallop that wound up being the only points the Eagles generated in New Orleans.
Adams also led Philly’s backfield with three grabs for 19 yards and looks like a good bet to have the lead dog role moving forward. That alone gives him fairly significant value as a potential fantasy RB2 or flex play down the stretch.
Gus Edwards (BAL) 3% owned (20% FAAB)
An undrafted free agent out of Rutgers, Edwards looked fantastic against the Bengals, averaging 6.8 yards-per-tote and accumulating 115 yards on 17 rushes. Starter Alex Collins ran seven times for only 18 yards and Jarorious Allen only got one touch.
Edwards has a legitimate shot to take firm control of Baltimore’s backfield, making him a potential difference maker for Baltimore, whose schedule is about as good as you can get. The Ravens still have upcoming games with Oakland, Atlanta, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and the Chargers.
Theo Riddick (DET) 32% owned (10% FAAB)
As expected, Riddick has stepped up to fill the void left after Golden Tate was traded to Philadelphia. Riddick caught five out of seven targets against the Panthers and has hauled in 18 passes over the past three games. He hasn’t done a lot with those touches, but Riddick could become an even bigger part of the offense with Kerryon Johnson (knee) expected to be sidelined for a week or two.
Riddick is limited as a ball-carrier, so any rushing production he gets is just a bonus. He can be viewed as a dependable source of targets and receptions, which gives him RB3/flex value in PPR formats.
Rex Burkhead (NE) 19% owned (2% FAAB)
If you like to be proactive, Burkhead is eligible to come off of IR as early as Week 13. He isn’t necessarily going to be immediately activated or even assured of having a role, but New England’s rushing success is well documented and the Patriots have been riddled with injuries. Burkhead could easily reclaim his 8-10 touch role and make a solid fantasy impact.
Tre’Quan Smith (NO) 25% owned (16% FAAB)
Smith rebounded from a frustrating goose egg performance versus the Bengals to catch a career-high 10 passes for 157 yards, including his fourth touchdown grab of the season. Smith led New Orleans with a whopping 13 targets and was successful in all facets of the game against Philadelphia’s injury-riddled secondary.
Playing time won’t be an issue for Smith, as he’s locked into the club’s No. 2 role opposite of Michael Thomas. While Smith hasn’t been the most consistent week-to-week producer, he gets an excellent matchup in Week 12 as the Saints host an Atlanta secondary that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and is traveling on short rest.
D.J. Moore (CAR) 39% owned (12% FAAB)
The first-round rookie just had the best game of his career, catching seven balls for 157 yards and a score in Detroit. Moore has now caught four-plus passes in five out of the past seven games and has been more productive than Devin Funchess since Week 7.
Moore and Curtis Samuel (6% FAAB) have taken advantage of the absence of Torrey Smith (knee) and will likely both stay ahead of Smith on the target hierarchy if/when the veteran is able to return to the lineup. Starting in Week 13, Carolina’s schedule is fantastic, so view Moore as a potential WR3 and Samuel as a PPR flex option in the final month of the season.
Kenny Stills (MIA) 31% owned (7% FAAB)
Ryan Tannehill should be back under center for the Dolphins this week, which should be great news for Stills, who did very little during the brief Brock Osweiler era. Part of that lack of production has been health-related, as Stills has been limited by a groin injury that should be healed after Miami’s Week 11 bye. If Stills and Tannehill can rekindle their previous chemistry, Stills can be a solid WR3 that is flying completely under the radar.
Adam Humphries (TB) 14% owned (5% FAAB)
Humphries has been a sneaky source of receptions and PPR production. He’s topped five receptions and/or 50 receiving yards in six out of the past seven games and scored three touchdowns in the past three. With Jameis Winston expected to be back under center, Humphries should continue to be a solid source of targets for the final month of the season.
Cameron Brate (TB) 21% owned (2% FAAB)
It’s been a down year for Brate, who has been surpassed by O.J. Howard in Tampa’s offense. Brate has only caught 17 passes this season but the good news is that Jameis Winston is back under center for the Bucs. Two of Brate’s three touchdowns this season have come from red zone throws from Winston. Also, O.J. Howard injured his ankle late in Tampa’s loss against New York, so Brate could potentially be looking at an expanded role.
Nick Vannett (SEA) 5% owned (1% FAAB)
No team has surrendered more points to opposing tight ends than Carolina, so whoever is facing the Panthers each week has been streamable. For Week 12, that happens to be the Seahawks. Vannett only has 21 grabs this season but he has played over 60% of Seattle’s snaps over the past three weeks. Teammate Ed Dickson (1% FAAB) could also be worth a minimum bid as a dart throw, hoping to exploit a Carolina defense that has allowed a league-high nine touchdowns to tight ends so far in 2018.