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Top Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 12 (Fantasy Football)

Nov 19, 2019

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We asked our writers to name their top waiver-wire targets at running back and wide receiver for the week. Here’s what they said.

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Who’s your top running back pickup of the week?

Bo Scarbrough (DET)
The Lions’ backfield has been a bit of a crapshoot since Kerryon Johnson was lost for the season. Ty Johnson was thought to be the back to own but clearly that was incorrect. For the second time a running back was promoted from the practice squad on a Saturday and out-touched Johnson the following day. This week it was Bo Scarbrough with 14 rushing attempts compared to Johnson’s two. In fact, Scarbrough had more rushing attempts yesterday than Johnson has had in any game this season, with Johnson seeing a season-high 10 in Week 7. Scarbrough won’t give you much in the receiving game, but as the 1A in a potent offense, he’ll have touchdown-scoring upside every week along with 10-15 rushing attempts. To find a player like that in Week 12 off the waiver wire is a stroke of good luck you shouldn’t ignore.
– Shane Manila (@DFF_Shane)

Jonathan Williams is bound to be a popular add, and rightfully so, but Bo Scarbrough should be prioritized. While the Colts will divvy up the touches between Williams, Jordan Wilkins, and Nyheim Hines, Scarbrough will be in line for a majority of Detroit’s backfield touches. The Lions’ ineffectiveness running the ball with Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic lead them to hand the ball to Scarbrough 14 times in his NFL debut. With the Redskins and Bears – two bottom-10 rush defenses – coming up on Detroit’s schedule, Bo could lead you into the playoffs.
– Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)

Jonathan Williams (IND)
If Marlon Mack is not out for the remainder of the season, it looks as though he will at least miss multiple weeks. Nyheim Hines is more of a scatback. Jordan Wilkins, though underrated in my opinion, has not been healthy for most of the season. Therefore, Jonathan Williams has found himself in a very auspicious situation. At 6’0″ and 223 pounds, he has great size for a two-down back. He has not had much work in the NFL but has had a solid 4.7 yards per rushing attempt when called upon. Like so many flavors of the week, including Brian Hill in Week 11 and Ty Johnson a few weeks earlier, people must temper their expectations. To expect him to fill Marlon Mack’s shoes would be expecting too much. However, who could ask for anything more than a running back that could get 10-15 touches consistently on a team aspiring to make the playoffs with a great offensive line? Williams could have found himself in the right place at the right time.
– Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)

Williams does have some risk this week with Marlon Mack sidelined with a broken hand. Even though Williams had 13 rushing attempts for 116 yards and one reception for 31 yards last week against the Jaguars, the Colts were also without Jordan Wilkins, It is possible that Wilkins is healthy enough to play, as his ankle was almost ready to go this week. In that case, Williams and Wilkins could split carries, and if Wilkins has the hot hand early, Williams could be a one-week wonder. The reason I would roll the dice on Williams is that the Colts have one of the best run-blocking lines in the NFL, and Wilkins had only eight carries in the four games prior to Williams having his breakout. I do not think Wilkins had a big enough role prior to Week 11 to think the Colts will feel obligated to roll with him as their first option if he is good to go this week. Williams looked great against the Jaguars, he is the healthier player, and he should lead the backfield in carries this week. The Texans are just 21st against fantasy running backs, so there is potential for a big game in Houston on Thursday Night Football.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

Jordan Wilkins (IND)
Most people are going to jump on the Jonathan Williams bandwagon after he rushed for over 100 yards against Jacksonville once Marlon Mack fractured his hand. However, Williams is a journeyman back who hasn’t played many meaningful snaps since he was drafted in the fifth round out of Arkansas by Buffalo in 2016. He’s a creative slasher in the TJ Yeldon mold, but like Yeldon, he’s best suited in a committee role due to lackluster vision. Spending all your FAAB on him likely won’t result in the outcome you’d expect, especially with the upcoming schedule of run defenses (Houston, Tennessee, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans before Carolina in Week 16). Wilkins, also a former fifth-rounder, has the one-cut-and-go approach that will work well behind the Colts’ road-grading offensive line. Williams couldn’t beat out Wilkins or Nyheim Hines all year, and Wilkins was only inactive on Sunday because of an ankle injury. He should be back this week, and he’s averaging a robust 6.1 yards per carry this year, running with more confidence than he did last year as a rookie. With Hines relegated to more of a receiving role (averaging only about 2.5 carries per game), Wilkins and Williams will get most of the rushing opportunities. With so many pass-catchers still banged up, the Colts will continue trying to pound the rock. No Colts’ running back is as complete a player as Marlon Mack, but in his absence, Wilkins figures to play the most snaps and should be cheaper to acquire as an RB/FLEX since he didn’t go off for over 100 yards last week.
– Paul Ghiglieri (@FantasyGhigs)

Who’s your top wide receiver pickup of the week?

Darius Slayton (NYG)
For fantasy owners looking for a wide receiver, Darius Slayton’s breakout performance came at precisely the right time. Slayton set season highs in targets (14), receptions (10), receiving yards (121) in Week 10 against the New York Jets. The Giants were on bye Week 11, which probably contributed to Slayton’s ownership remaining under 30%. Some owners may believe his performance was a fluke, but that would be incorrect. Slayton has exceeded 11.2 fantasy points in four of eight games this year. His 45 targets rank fourth on the Giants, just one behind Saquon Barkley. With Sterling Shepard (concussions), and Evan Engram (everything) battling injuries, Slayton is in prime position to continue to see a decent target share. Even if Engram and/or Shepard were to return, Slayton is the only deep threat on the Giants’ roster. Per airyards.com, his 680 Air Yards leads the Giants by 289 yards, and his Air Yards Market Share of 30% also easily leads the team. Slayton has week-winning potential and should be rostered in most leagues immediately.
– Shane Manila (@DFF_Shane)

Although it is pretty clear that Jonathan Williams is the running back to bid on, there is not a definitive wide receiver on the waiver wire currently 30% owned or less on Yahoo. One player I would have my eye on is New York Giant Darius Slayton. Prior to their Week 11 bye, Slayton had 14 targets, 12 receptions, over 100 yards, and two touchdowns. It was a monster game but was his first sign of truly breaking out. In fact, Slayton has been under the radar mainly because this year’s rookie class has been stellar, including the likes of D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and most recently Deebo Samuel. I like Slayton as a pickup for many reasons. First of all, he has great chemistry with fellow rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Second, Sterling Shepard will likely not be playing again this season and Evan Engram is banged up. Slayton is really fighting for targets with Golden Tate and Saquon Barkley. Third, Slayton is versatile. He can play both the slot and act as a straight-line burner because he boats a 4.39 40-yard Dash. The fourth and final reason to put in a bid for Slayton is his upcoming playoff schedule. From Week 14 to 16, Slayton plays Philadelphia, Washington, and Miami, all of which have soft secondaries. Best of all, you will be able to pick Slayton up this week at a discount because he is coming off his bye.
– Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)

I really thought about going with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Randall Cobb, who has back-to-back 100-yard games with a touchdown in each. My issue with him is that they play the Patriots, Bills, Bears, and Rams the next four weeks. The Rams are the worst of those pass defenses, and they rank 13th against fantasy wide receivers. The other three teams are all top-10 defenses against fantasy receivers. Slayton does not have a great matchup this week against the Bears’ second-ranked fantasy wide receiver defense nor does he the next week against the Packers’ ninth-ranked unit. What makes Slayton so appealing is the fantasy playoffs with three games at the Eagles, Dolphins, and at the Redskins. Those teams are 27th, 21st, and 18th against fantasy wide receivers. Combine that with Slayton being targeted 14 times in his last game and his four touchdowns in his last three games, and I think Slayton is a player that could blow up in the fantasy playoffs. Slayton and Cobb are the two best additions this week. I would lean Slayton with the great schedule from Week 14 to Week 16.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

Randall Cobb (DAL)
For this one, it’s really tough to go with anyone but the guy who’s averaging 7.7 targets over the last three games on the league’s top-ranked offense. I’m talking about Randall Cobb, of course. Cobb has turned those targets into an average of 5.3 receptions for 84.7 yards while scoring in two of the three contests. While Dallas’ upcoming schedule features some of the stingiest opponents versus opposing receivers, only New England (Jonathan Jones) has been stellar against the slot. James Washington is a savvy short-term add if you need a flex play for Week 12. Darius Slayton could see his target share drop with the possibility of both Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard returning to the lineup.
– Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)

A.J. Brown (TEN)
Most owners will make Darius Slayton a top priority, and for good reason. However, Slayton isn’t the only option available in over 70% of Yahoo leagues right now. While A.J. Brown only caught 1-of-4 targets for 17 yards in Week 10 against the Chiefs despite an inactive Corey Davis, much of that had to do with the Titans hitting Kansas City where they are weakest (their run defense) in an effort to move the ball and keep Patrick Mahomes off the field. The strategy worked, as it led to a Tennessee victory. In the fourth quarter, when the Titans had to throw more to win the game, Brown was able to make a big play. The Titans face some difficult passing defenses the next two weeks in Jacksonville and Indianapolis, though Davis should draw the defense’s top cornerbacks in both those matchups if he’s healthy enough to play. Following those two games, Brown gets two favorable matchups in Oakland and Houston, both of which rank near the bottom in pass defense DVOA. It’s very likely Brown will continue to be targeted when the Titans need a big play, and he’s arguably their most dynamic threat on offense with the ball in his hands. In their last three games played together, Brown out-targeted Davis twice with Ryan Tannehill under center. While most fantasy owners go chasing Darius Slayton, the contrarian pickup (and far cheaper one) would be A.J. Brown.
– Paul Ghiglieri (@FantasyGhigs)

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3Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
4J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
5Trevor Story (COL)SS
6Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
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16Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
17Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
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19Anthony Rendon (LAA)3B
20Bryce Harper (PHI)CF,RF
21Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
22Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
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