Recently, I’ve noticed most of my waiver claim suggestions have been “stashes.” By that, I mean players with high theoretical ceilings long-term but in the immediate future aren’t viable fantasy starters.
I gravitate towards these types of players because if we’re going to win our league with the help of players who aren’t currently on our roster, we need players who could make a significant impact.
Usually, that impact, at this point in the season, comes via a massive workload because someone starting over a player gets hurt or a player who’s exhibited extremely high efficiency sees an uptick in work.
I find myself targeting players who, with a reasonable workload, I could see myself confidently starting in the fantasy playoffs.
Last year, Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s season ended in week 11 after spraining his ankle. Jerick McKinnon was the fantasy RB1 Weeks 14-17. Darrell Henderson was phased out of the Rams’ backfield, and Cam Akers was the RB5 in weeks 14-17.
At receiver, K.J. Osborn‘s big-play ability was unleashed, and he was the WR8 in that timeframe.
It happens all the time. For a variety of reasons, talented players get unlocked as seasons progress. Let’s try to predict some of those breakouts here.
As always, these are players rostered in fewer than 40% of leagues who played Thursday or in Sunday’s first slate of games.
- Waiver Wire Picks
- Weekly Fantasy Football Expert Rankings
- Fantasy Football Start/Sit Advice
- Fantasy Football Trade Tools
Fantasy Football Early Waiver Wire Pickups to Target (Week 11)
Mitchell’s explosiveness, coupled with the Ravens’ offensive scheme, predicated on a successful ground game, is a match made in heaven. Mitchell scored 13.6 points today, most of which came on an outside run that highlighted Mitchell’s vision, acceleration, and speed.
.@_KeatonMitchell picking up where he left off❗❗❗
Tune in on FOX pic.twitter.com/8QaaVoimv3
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 12, 2023
Mitchell is the type of player who, with even a slight increase in work, can become an every-week fantasy starter.
The Bears are 3-7, and as the season drags along and a high draft pick becomes even more desirable, it’s possible the Bears trot out their younger players more and more. If that’s the case, we’d have to figure 2023 fourth-round pick Roschon Johnson is in that group of young players.
In his last three games, Johnson has 11 targets. We know how valuable those are for running backs. He played 42% of offensive snaps Thursday, his highest tally in six weeks. Johnson’s ceiling doesn’t pique my interest, but if there’s a good chance he ends up the passing downs back playing half (or more) of the Bears’ offensive snaps, he’s worth a look as a bench stash.
This pick is a deep league/super-stash candidate. Miller missed today’s game with an ankle injury and has scored more than five fantasy points once this season.
However, last season, the New Orleans Saints tapered down Alvin Kamara‘s snap counts in the last third of the season. If that happens again, Miller, a 2023 third-round pick, is a candidate to see more work.
Again, I’d only advise adding him if you’re in a deep league or have room for a stash, but there’s a world where he sees a legitimate workload in the fantasy playoffs if things aren’t going New Orleans’ way.
Douglas is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal Patriots’ season. The 2023 sixth-round pick has showcased blazing speed and agility, and now he’s a fixture in New England’s offensive game plan.
Since the Patriots’ week six bye, Douglas is averaging five catches and more than seven targets per week. With his explosiveness, these numbers are enough to make him a weekly flex consideration.
Wilson missed Week 9, but prior to that, he played the second-most snaps of all Cardinals receivers (after Marquise Brown) in four consecutive games. During this year’s draft, I thought the Cardinals’ selecting him in the third round was great value. He really impressed me as a prospect.
Kyler Murray back at the helm should be a good thing for the Cardinals’ weapons.
Before Jones got injured in Week 5, he was the Jags’ second wide receiver in two wide receiver sets. Even if Christian Kirk supplants him for the rest of the season, Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars’ passing attack is high-volume enough to give Jones a viable week-to-week ceiling.
Of course, consistency will be suspect; that’s why he’s available in most leagues. However, when he gets back on the field, I’d be surprised if he didn’t have at least a few more double-digit fantasy point games in him.
Make it two weeks in a row of 20+ points for Brown. He’s now a fixture in the Texans’ formidable passing attack, led by rookie sensation C.J. Stroud. I’m taking any Stroud appendages I can find, and Brown is certainly one of them.
We can’t start Mims in the short-term. However, in Weeks 2 through 4, Mims had 233 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 33 yards per reception.
That glimpse from a second-round pick was tantalizing. If the Broncos continue to lose games, I don’t see how they can logically continue to keep Mims’ snap counts below 30%.
Momma, there goes that man again.
Dobbs had another astounding day, scoring points as both a passer and a runner. In his first two games as a Viking, Dobbs has 50 fantasy points by way of 426 passing yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, 110 rushing yards, and two touchdowns on the ground.
Dobbs and the Vikings get the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, a bye week, and then the Las Vegas Raiders. I’d start him confidently in those three games.
Musgrave was drafted with the 42nd pick in this year’s NFL Draft to do one thing: Catch passes. Maybe he’ll develop as a blocker with time, but right now, he’s consistently running routes on 80% of Jordan Love‘s dropbacks. Given the variety of receiving options in Green Bay, I wouldn’t be projecting a massive ceiling for Musgrave, but in both the short and long term, the workload is there.
Detroit Lions Defense/Special Teams
Detroit is hosting Chicago next weekend. In the Bears’ last five games, they’ve scored more than 17 points once. In that timeframe, they’ve turned the ball over 10 times. If you’re playing defensive matchups and the Lions are available, trot them out with confidence.
Houston Texans Defense/Special Teams
The Texans host the Cardinals next Sunday. The Cardinals are clearly in play for a high draft pick come April, with one win at the time I’m writing this, so I’ll happily consider any defense matched up against Arizona the rest of the way (assuming Kyler Murray doesn’t completely turn the ship around).