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Fantasy Football Early Waiver Wire Pickups to Target (Week 12)

Fantasy Football Early Waiver Wire Pickups to Target (Week 12)

There’s nothing like some Thanksgiving football. We’ll be treated to three Thursday games and one on Friday in just a few days!

Don’t fall victim to waiver wire or lineup fatigue. Make sure you get your claims in on Tuesday and monitor injury statuses prior to Thursday’s slate, so roasting a turkey doesn’t mean you’re starting inactive players on Thanksgiving day!

As always, this piece runs through Thursday and Sunday’s first slate of games for potential waiver wire claims. I’m highlighting players rostered in fewer than 40% of leagues.

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Week 12 Fantasy Football Early Waiver Wire Pickups to Target

Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB – MIA)

Rostered: 20.4%

Wilson Jr. was a healthy scratch today. Dolphins running backs De’Von Achane and Salvon Ahmed both left today’s game. If they were to both miss time, Wilson Jr. should be in for some regular work behind Raheem Mostert. Given Mostert’s age and injury history, coupled with Miami’s high-powered offense, I’d be happy stashing any Dolphins running back.

Keaton Mitchell (RB – BAL)

Rostered: 35.1%

Mitchell is the Rasheed Shaheed of running backs. We can start them on any given week because of their explosiveness. They can and have become fantasy-relevant with just one play. However, there is also implied volatility. Mitchell ended up with just 5.1 PPR points Thursday after 35 in his previous two games.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB – NE)

Rostered: 34.1%

Elliott is a must-roster for Rhamondre Stevenson managers. Elliott is already averaging more than 10 touches per game. If Stevenson were to miss games for any reason, Elliott could be in for a sizable workload.

Roschon Johnson (RB – CHI)

Rostered: 24.4%

D’Onta Foreman left today’s game with an ankle injury. If he were to miss time, I’d expect Khalil Herbert and Johnson to lead the Bears’ backfield. Herbert will likely resume his role as the lead back, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Johnson, a 2023 third-round pick, earn some tangible work as well.

Jayden Reed (WR – GB)

Rostered: 18.5%

Reed, the 50th overall selection in this year’s NFL Draft, has scored nine or more PPR points in seven of the Packers’ ten games so far. His performance today marks his second straight week with more than 17 points.

Reed took a carry to the house today, and he has four carries in his last three games. As a fantasy manager, talented players who are used creatively in an offense are always noteworthy.

Zay Jones (WR – JAC)

Rostered: 18.3%

Jones returned today after missing four games with a knee injury and caught four passes for 20 yards. In total, he’s played four games and is averaging 4.5 targets per game. If Jacksonville’s offensive woes are behind them, Jones will surely have some good games. Predicting them, however, due to the litany of Jaguar weapons, will be a dice roll.

Greg Dortch (WR – ARI)

Rostered: 0.1%

Dortch is worth an add in deep leagues if Michael Wilson continues to miss time. Dortch caught six of eight targets for 76 yards today. Dortch’s chemistry with Arizona QB Kyler Murray is well-documented. Dortch started the 2022 season hot, catching 20 passes in three weeks for 198 yards and a touchdown.

Elijah Moore (WR – CLE)

Rostered: 36.4%

Moore has 11 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in his last two games. His ceiling with rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson at the helm the rest of the way isn’t very high, but if you’re scraping for a flex, you could do worse than the Browns’ WR2.

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Aaron Rodgers (QB – NYJ)

Rostered: 15.1%

If you have an open IR spot to stash Rodgers, why not? If you need that IR spot for someone else, feel free to cut Rodgers loose, but according to Ian Rapoport, Rodgers could return this season.

Isaiah Likely (TE – BAL)

Rostered: 0.9%

Mark Andrews suffered a season-ending injury Thursday, and Likely is the next man up. Likely, a 2022 fourth-round pick, played 74% of offensive snaps Thursday. Last season, he showed some serious flashes in Mark Andrews’ absence. He played more than 45% of snaps in three games last year. In those games, he tallied a combined 25 targets, 15 catches, 204 yards, and two touchdowns.

Andrews missed week one this year, and Likely only posted one catch for four yards, so there is some risk in starting him right away, but I can’t blame you if you’re in a pinch at TE.

Atlanta Falcons Defense/Special Teams

Rostered: 19.1%

In the first seven weeks of the season, the Falcons never gave up more than 24 points in a single game. In their last three games, teams have scored more than 24 in each game. It sounds like a bye week is just what the doctor ordered.

The Falcons will be playing at home off the bye, hosting the New Orleans Saints, quarterbacked by either Derek Carr, who suffered a concussion last week, or Jameis Winston, who threw two interceptions in 25 attempts in relief of Carr. Either way, this matchup is pretty good on paper for the Falcons.

Tennessee Titans Defense/Special Teams

Rostered: 4.6%

The Titans host the 1-9 Panthers next Sunday. The Panthers aren’t giving the ball away a ton, but their quarterbacks have been sacked 39 times this season. That number, combined with a consistent lack of explosiveness and scoring, makes the Panthers an intriguing matchup for any future opponent.

New England Patriots Defense/Special Teams

Rostered: 28.9%

The Patriots are on a bye this week, meaning they have extra time to prepare for Tommy DeVito and the Giants. The DeVito-led Giants have showcased one of the most lifeless offensive attacks in recent memory. Any defense they’re playing should be started.

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