Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 12

Fantasy Waiver Wire Adds Week 12

fantasy-football-waiver-wireWeek 12 is always a huge turning point in the NFL and fantasy season. With the Thanksgiving holiday providing the gift of wonderful food and pigskin all day, the celebratory day also brings trade deadlines and reminders that the playoffs are right around the corner.

One negative here is that the season- once so exciting and filled with anticipation- is, sadly, winding down. But let’s not let that get us down. If you’re reading a waiver wire article this late into the season, that means you’re right in that playoff chase and looking to make the most out of your remaining free agent budget.

Another bit of bad news was the devastating round of injuries that took place in Week 11. Key fantasy contributors like AJ Green, Andrew Luck, LeSean McCoy, Mark Ingram, and Gio Bernard and numerous others were all filled by a variety of injuries; A brutal reminder of why it’s some important to exhibit proper budgeting throughout the fantasy season.

One final piece of good news is that there are no byes this week. All 32 clubs will suit up between Thursday and Monday.

Now that we’re ending this intro on a high note, let’s kick off Festivus season with a look at the free agents you’ll be eyeing right before you start devouring turkey around halftime of the Lions game. If you can make it that long…

Waiver Wire Pickups: Quarterbacks

carson-wentzCarson Wentz (vs. Green Bay) – If you’re an Andrew Luck owner and just got hit with the news that he’s in the concussion protocol and unlikely to play, Wentz makes an excellent pivot. Wentz put up decent fantasy stats in a tough Week 11 matchup in Seattle but should find the going much easier this week at home against a banged-up Green Bay secondary that was just worked by Kirk Cousins. Wentz could quietly put up top-15 passing numbers this week and makes a nice streaming play.

Trevor Siemian (vs. Kansas City) – Since there are no byes, not many people will be streaming QBs this week. But if you’re one of the few that are, Siemian should be on the QB2 radar. Siemian and the well-rested Broncos have a key AFC West home matchup with a Kansas City Chiefs secondary that has allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers this season.

Ryan Tannehill (vs. San Francisco) – Miami may have won five straight games, but it hasn’t always been pretty. In fact, over the last five weeks, Tannehill is the QB28 and only has four touchdown tosses. Tannehill has done a good job protecting the football, with zero interceptions, but offers very limited upside. The only appeal here is the home game with San Francisco’s horrid defense.

Player Team Pos. Own% FAAB
Sammy Watkins
WR 33.1 37%
Wendell Smallwood
RB 2.3 25%
Brandon LaFell
WR 11 24%
DeVante Parker
WR 47.9 24%
Dion Lewis
RB 45.1 22%
Pierre Garçon
WR 29.9 20%
Jared Cook
TE 2.7 15%
Carson Wentz
QB 35.1 15%
Cameron Brate
TE 44.9 14%
Mike Gillislee
RB 26.2 14%
Tyler Boyd
WR 5.1 13%
Quincy Enunwa
WR 45.2 13%
Bilal Powell
RB 41.9 12%
Cameron Meredith
WR 41 11%
Hunter Henry
TE 27 10%
Trevor Siemian
QB 12.6 10%
Tyreek Hill
WR 29 10%
Matt Asiata
RB 43.3 5%
Ryan Tannehil
QB 17 5%
Lance Kendricks
TE 13.7 3%

-Ownership data based on ESPN public leagues

Waiver Wire Pickups: Running Backs

Wendell Smallwood (vs. Green Bay) – After Philadelphia had lost both Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles to injuries, Smallwood came off the bench and performed quite well, leading the Eagles with 13 totes,48 rushing yards and catching four passes. Mathews has a sprained MCL and could miss a week, while Sproles is dealing with fractured ribs. Both Philly’s backs are very questionable this week, and if one or both miss this game, Smallwood could be a nice start against a Green Bay defense that has been riddled with injuries and has begun to fall apart.

Dion Lewis (at New York Jets) – Looking closely at New England’s Week 11 box score reveals something- it was Lewis, not James White who acted like the Patriots’ No. 2 running back. Sure, White caught 6 balls and scored, but he was a de facto slot receiver due to New England’s receiving corps being riddled with injuries. Lewis received five carries in this game- which is one more than James White has tallied in the Pats last four games combined. Lewis is just a better athlete than White and I think he starts to take that change-of-pace role again slowly. I view Lewis as an excellent PPR stash for the playoffs, with potential RB2 value.

Mike Gillislee (vs. Jacksonville) – LeSean McCoy dislocated his left thumb and didn’t return last week. On Monday, Shady had a surgical procedure to repair his thumb, and by all accounts should be ready for Week 12. But it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see Gillislee spell McCoy more than usual, especially in short yardage situations where that thumb could be more vulnerable. If nothing, Gillislee is a talented backup player and a must-add handcuff for McCoy owners.

Waiver Wire Pickups: Wide Receivers

Sammy Watkins (vs. Jacksonville) – Watkins is eligible to come off of the IR list this week. While he’s more than likely going to be limited if he practices enough to take the field this week, make no mistake about it: Watkins is the kind of player that can be a true difference maker and the kind of proactive roster addition that can win championships. The fact that the Bills are likely going to be without Robert Woods for at least one game could increase the likelihood that Watkins plays sooner, rather than later. Even if Watkins doesn’t return to his 2015 form, he’s worth a speculative add in the hopes that he can recapture some of that magic just in time for the fantasy playoffs.

Brandon LaFell (at Baltimore) – Both LaFell, who leads the Bengals in touchdown grabs, and Tyler Boyd should now be high priority free agent targets in all fantasy leagues. While Monday brought good news for AJ Green’s hamstring, he’s unlikely to play again while the fantasy season is going. Look for LaFell and Boyd to play a very high snap rate, and TE Tyler Eifert to see even more red zone targets in Green’s absence.

DaVante Paker (vs. San Francisco) – Parker has been heating up at just the right time. Even with QB Ryan Tannehill’s atrocious play, Parker has caught 13 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown in Miami’s last two contests. He’ll be on the WR3/flex radar for Week 12 with a fantastic matchup against San Francisco looming.

Pierre Garçon (at Dallas) – Peter Boy has caught six passes in three straight games- with and without DeSean Jackson in the lineup. That kind of workload can’t be ignored. While he’s unlikely to put up Week 11 numbers again this season, Washington’s offense is clicking, and the Redskins are primed for a playoff run. Garçon has weekly WR3/flex value in PPR leagues.

Waiver Wire Pickups: Tight Ends

Jared Cook (at Philadelphia) – After a seven-week absence, Cook out-snapped Richard Rodgers 43-21 and caught six passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. There’s no debate who the starting tight end for Green Bay is now. With the Packers offense humming, Cook immediately becomes a very valuable commodity and one who will have weekly TE1 value.

Cameron BrateCameron Brate (vs. Seattle) – For the season, Brate is the No. 10 scoring tight end in PPR leagues, yet he’s still widely being overlooked. There’s been a shortage of elite tight end play this season, so if you’re one of the many owners just looking for a decent weekly option, add Brate as your starter and leave him in your lineup. Over the last three weeks, the Seattle Seahawks have actually allowed 12.9 PPR points per game to tight ends- which is below average. Brate looks like a top-15 play for Week 12.

Hunter Henry (at Houston) – After a week off for rest, I’m expecting Henry to be back near 100% healthy for the first time in weeks. Recall that run that Henry went on a month ago where he scored in three straight games? I do, and I expect both Henry and Antonio Gates to be big parts of San Diego’s passing game moving forward. Houston is a tough matchup for Week 12, but after that the Chargers have some nice games on their schedule.

Deep Sleeper Adds
  • Quarterbacks – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco, Scott Tolzien
  • Running Backs – Kenneth Dixon, Jeremy Langford, Kenjon Barner
  • Wide Receivers – Tyler Lockett, Eli Rogers, Kenny Stills
  • Tight Ends – Lance Kendricks, Austin Hooper, Vance McDonald

About the author

Jody Smith

Co-owner and Managing Editor of Gridiron Experts. 2012 FantasyPros Most Accurate Fantasy Expert. Member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. 26 year fantasy football veteran. Featured on NFL.com, Fantasypros, Football Diehards annual magazine, local AM sports radio, podcasts everywhere and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Once scored 4 touchdowns in a single game for Polk High School.

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