Week 12 - Top Waiver Wire Pickups

by Nick Ercolano November 19, 2018

Week 12 - Top Waiver Wire Pickups

Week 11 is in the novels, so we're looking at snatching the gold mines off of the waiver wire. Let's get it. This list will only be composed of players owned in 55% or less of Yahoo leagues.

We're going live tonight for the Chiefs/Rams game so make sure you're tuned in!

Also, before the game, the only person I'm looking at from this game as a potential WW target is Josh Reynolds of the Rams, who's still only owned in 43% of leagues.

Quarterbacks

1. Lamar Jackson - Baltimore Ravens

- Yahoo Ownership: 18%

Jackson made his first NFL start on Sunday and ripped off a ridiculous 27 rush attempts. Lamar Jackson fantasy

He rushed for 117 yards on those 27 attempts, which is the first time since November 27, 2016 that a QB rushed for more than 100 yards in a game. That was Colin Kaepernick. He's also the first QB in the Super Bowl era to rush for 100 yards in his first career start. Ok, enough with the fun facts.

He didn't find the end zone at all, but added 150 passing yards to the 117 rushing yards. To be honest, I don't think the rushing yard total is far off (70-80) from what we'd see on a weekly basis from him and I bet we'll see a few breakaway TD runs from him down the stretch, assuming he remains the starter.

He gets a great matchup at home in Oakland next week where he'll be a low-end QB1 with huge upside. It depends on Flacco's health, but this gives them an excuse to rest him more, and I do think they'll probably just ride it out with L-Jax even if Flacco can play.

- Next three matchups: OAK, @ATL, @KC

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $5-10

2. Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

- Yahoo Ownership: 9%

Everyone was yelling at me last week when I mentioned Winston in this, because Fitz was again going to be on a short leash. They obviously know he wasn't their future, they just needed an excuse to go back to Jamies to give him one more shot to prove something. He did on Sunday.

He almost led them to a comebyke win over the Giants, throwing for 199 yards and two scores in just a half of football.

I would have to assume Winston is their guy down the stretch, give him one more shot, as they're out of playoff contention. Winston is a huge add in 2QB leagues, he provides overall QB1 upside on a weekly basis. They get three home games in a row, which I love. 

- Next three matchups: SF, CAR, NO

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $5-8

A few guys who's names have jumped on and off this list that are usable streaming options in Week 12 would be Dak Prescott (48%) who had a pretty disappointing day in a blowup spot against Atlanta, but he takes on the Redskins at home in Week 12 who held Watson in check this week, but allowed 3 straight 300 yard passers prior to the Texans. Baker Mayfield (41%), who is coming off of a bye and his best fantasy game in Week 10 (216-3-0) gets a gorgeous matchup in CIN in Week 12. The two names that really jump out on this list are:

Running Backs

1. Josh Adams - Philadelphia Eagles

- Yahoo Ownership: 32%

One of the more intriguing storylines heading into the week was not just this game, but the Eagles backfield after Adams has impressed in recent weeks and was promised more work. He made 53 yards out of 7 carries (7.6 ypc) and scored on a nice 28-yard TD run in the 2nd quarter. Seven carries was on par with what he saw in Week 10, and two fewer than Week 9, but when looking at the backfield, he handled all but three rushes and two targets between Clement and Smallwood. It was the first time Adams led the backfield in snaps too, seeing 28, compared to 14 for Clement and 4 for Smallwood.

Adams has an interesting story because he was an UDFA, he wasn't healthy enough to participate in OTAs or minicamp, which is obviously extremely important for UDFA's, he was cut after the preseason, unclaimed, and eventually signed back onto their active roster, where he's racked up 161 rushing yards on 23 carries (7 ypc) over their last three games.Josh Adams Playerprofiler

Coming into Sunday, Adams had just a single target on the year, but finished second on the team on Sunday with 6. The game script obviously played a huge part, the Eagles got their buttholes stretched out by the Sainsts 48-7. It was still good to see him heavily used in relativity to the other backs in Philly, tho.

Still, given his low volume and the carousel method of running back usage by Doug Pederson, I still barely trust him as anything more than a flex next week against the Giants. Good ypc numbers in a ridiculously low sample size don't do it for me to buy in necessarily. The upside is certainly there, though.

- Next three matchups: NYG, WAS, @DAL

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $8-12

2. Theo Riddick - Detroit Lions

- Yahoo Ownership: 32%

Kerryon Johnson suffered a knee sprain on Sunday, so Riddick needs to be owned everywhere. We're not sure Johnson's timetable of return, but they play on Thanksgiving this week, so there's almost no shot he suits up, leaving Riddick as the only pass-catcher in this backfield.

Since Golden Tate left Detroit, Riddick has run a pass route on 60% of Stafford's dropbacks and has seen at least 7 targets with 5 catches in all three games. Chicago is a reaelly tough matchup for RBs, so Riddick needs to be looked at as a flex, even in PPR.

- Next three matchups: CHI (Thanksgiving), LAR, @ARI

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $8-12

3. Gus Edwards - Baltimore Ravens

- Yahoo Ownership: 3%

Edwards will be one of the more intriguing names on your wire. And I think it's important to know who he is for y'all, not just hear names and numbers. So let's break it down like a shotgunnnn. 

Edwards is an UDFA out of Rutgers, shoutout New Jersey, who entered the game with 64 yards on 15 carries in his career. He finished Sunday with 115 rushing yards and a tug on 17 carries. He had 0 targets on the day.Gus Edwards fantasy football

Looking at Edwards, he's a bruiser. 6'1, 229lbs. Good-ish speed for his size, his best comparable player is Jonathan Williams on PP. After going back and watching the game on NFL GamePass, I actually likened him to a poor man's Jordan Howard or even Chris Carson.

Edwards is a huge hit to Alex Collins for the ROS, and it's possible he makes him droppable after Week 12. Collins took a backseat, as did all of the Ravens RBs on Sunday to Edwards' 49 backfield snaps. Collins had 17, TyMont 9, and Buck just 5.

The concerning part was that it wasn't like Collins was benched or game script knocked him out, Collins had a nice TD run on the first drive, but Gus was in on the first drive too, he started the 2nd half when the scored was tied. This was coming off of a bye, which is important to note, because that means Edwards was part of their gameplan coming off of the bye, and he certainly proved worthy of being part of that gameplan.

What I will say, though, is a few things. Harbaugh said this of Edwards' bruising style after the game "He gives us that back that we probably didn’t have earlier in the year. We’ve got four different guys who have different styles. I think that’s a plus for us."

So now you have the quicker more shifty back in Collins, the bruiser in Edwards, the pass-catcher in TyMont and Buck Allen just takes the worst parts of all three guys and make his own RB. So, you have a committee. And I do think this makes Edwards the back to own going forward. What I saw on tape was someone who you definitely can't tackle with one arm, he'll run right through that. But he looks mediocre a lot of the time. Other times, yeah he gets rolling and he'll use a bit of power/shiftiness similar to what I said before Howard or Carson. Cincinnati, though, ranks 29th in tackling per PFF, so it's not surprising to see him make a lot of guys miss in this one.

Luckily for Edwards and the Ravens, they take on Oakland next week, who's 28th in tackling and overall one of the worst NFL defenses, so Edwards could be inserted into your lineup as a flex play most likely. 

- Next three matchups: OAK, @ATL, @KC

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $5-6

With Kerryon out, I guess you could look at LeGarrette Blount, but I won't be starting him anywhere.

Wide Receivers

1. Anthony Miller - Chicago Bears

- Yahoo Ownership: 42%

All the man does is score tuddys, and he didn't disappoint on the lord's day, unlike myself who definitely disappointed the man up high. Miller only caught two passes for 25 yards but the touchdown was his 5th on the year, 3rd in the last 4 games. Trubisky was bad yesterday, as I predicted would happen once he plays a good defense, luckily for him, he gets one on Thursday at Detroit on Thanksgiving. Miller, who runs the far majority of his routes from the slot gets a Lions team that just got eviscerated by D.J. Moore. I don't have the numbers on how much of Moore's production came from the slot, but I like Miller here regardless.

- Next three matchups: @DET, @NYG, CAR 

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $5-7

2. D.J. Moore - Carolina Panthers

- Yahoo Ownership: 39%

Speaking of D.J. Moore. This rookie class is milly rockin all over goddam 2018 mane. Moore has become basically a full-time player in this Carolina offense, and their first-round pick chose why he was exactly that. He caught 7-of-8 targets for 157 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, just missed scoring twice, so it could've been an even bigger day.

I'd much rather own Moore than Funchess for ROS, and it's nice as a fantasy owner because Funchess will likely continue to face the top CB of the opposing team. That being said, Moore has two really big games, sandwiching two really bad games in Week 9 & 10, and it's not like his playtime suddenly went up in this one which can explain the production, so, he might be really hard to trust in your lineup until we see some consistency from the rookie. He does have three exploitable matchups in a row, so Moore could wind up playing himself into a fantasy WR2/3 role down the stretch and they have one of the easiest 2H schedules for a passing offense.

- Next three matchups: SEA, @TB, @CLV

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $8-10

3. Keke Coutee - Houston Texans

- Yahoo Ownership: 30%

I wish I had pushed Coutee harder to you guys. I knew that I liked him way more than DT, but for whatever reason, I just didn't stick with him.

Despite being limited with the hammy all week, Coutee showed no signs of that slowing him down, seeing a team-high 9 targets and 77 yards on Sunday, tying D-Hop with five catches on the day. DT saw just one target on the day. 

In the three full games Coutee has played this year, he's seen 15, 7 and 9 targets. He's clearly going to be a big part of this passing game going forward and will be a high-floor PPR option ROS. They get three exploitable, home games now:

- Next three matchups: TEN, CLE, IND

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $6-8

4. Tre'Quan Smith - New Orleans Saints

- Yahoo Ownership: 4%

Trequizzy the gawd went bonkers in this one, presumably for no one's fantasy team. He did his best Michael Thomas impression, catching 10-of-13 targets for 157 yards and a score. Smith had been so bad from a production standpoint over the last three weeks that we had overlooked the fact that he was still the WR2 in a Drew Brees offense, playing against an Eagles secondary with 0 CB play.

It was certainly an unusual game, where Ingram and Kamara combined for just a single target on Sunday, whereas from Weeks 1-10, NO RBs had accounted for 31% of Brees' targets. I don't expect Smith to blow up right now, but it's definitely good to see this type of upside that we knew he had actually come to fruition.

He gets a few really solid matchups over the next three:

- Next three matchups: ATL, @DAL, TB

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $5-7

A few other guys I'm definitely in on are Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who I know has disappointed but at this point with Jimmy Graham's injury, MVS has no choice but to see more targets. When I saw Bruce Ellington's name pop up on the active list for Detroit I was intrigued. He's a slot WR that I really like, I mentioned him in Week 1DFS plays when he was named the slot WR for the Texans and he didn't disappoint. Now he's poised to take over the slot role in Detroit, obviously where Golden Tate vacated near 27% of their teams targets. Marvin Jones' injury sounds maybe a bit worse then we thought, he didn't practice at all, and they play on Thanksgiving so his odds of suiting up for Week 12 are small. This is also a hit to Theo Riddick, who after running nearly 40% of his snaps from the slot or out wide over the previous two games without Tate & Ellington, that number fell to 18.5%. Ellington was second on the team with 9 targets on Sunday and without Kerryon they'll have to rely on the pass. The last name to have on your radar is Dontrelle Inman, who is starting to settle in as the WR2 in Indy. He had the second most snaps at the position on Sunday behind only Hilton. His six targets (4-34-1) were second on the team too, and accounted for a 20.5% target share. If his role grows, there aren't many better pass offenses to be the WR2 in. They get Miami in Week 12 where he'll be a streaming option at flex. Last guy on this list is Trey Quinn for the Redskins. He was finally activated on Sunday, and I told y'all that were there for the live stream to pick him up if you were in a dynasty league before kickoff. He makes Maurice Harris dropable, as Quinn is the slot WR now, and Harris isn't anywhere near good enough to produce on the outside, especially with Colt McCoy taking over. Quinn didn't do anything spectacular on Sunday, but he led all WAS WRs with 49 receiving yards, catching all four of his targets.

Tight Ends

1. Cameron Brate - Tampa Bay Bucs

- Yahoo Ownership: 20%

Brate's on this list because O.J. Howard left the Bucs game late with some kind of ankle issue, and didn't return, which is semi-worrisome considering it was a close game and if he was okay he probably would've fought through it.

The Bucs offense, especially with Winston at QB, is similar to Luck and the Colts where a high % of targets goes to the TE position and anytime there is just one of them active, they're an auto-TE1 play. They get three home games in a row against SF, which is good matchup and then CAR who is the best matchup for fantasy TEs.

I actually found a picture of the ankle injury and it doesn't look good. If you don't like injury pictures look away within the next three seconds:O.J. Howard injury

- Next three matchups: SF, CAR, NO 

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $8-10 (if you were a Howard owner, or Kelce who is on bye in Week 12)

Jonnu Smith intrigues me, having scored double-digit PPR FPs in three straight and seeing a season-high 8 targets on Sunday, but with Mariota re-injuring that elbow his status is in doubt and obviously you ain't tryna stream someone tied to Blaine Gabbert. I don't hate Chris Herndon for the Jets if you're really desperate, coming off the bye they take on the Pats, who've allowed the 4th most FPs to the TE position. Herndon has become the clear pass-catching TE for NY. The last guy, or at least situation I'm keeping an eye on is the Packers with Graham sidelined for a while. We saw this big white guy catch a long TD on TNF last week. That guys name was Robert Tonyan. I'll tell you what though, check this out:Robert Tonyan Packers

We might have something here. Don't get crazy, though. He literally ran two routes in this game. We need to see a major uptick in snaps to feel anywhere near good. But the injuries are in place for an unknown to succeed in GB down the stretch.

D/ST

Try to look for:

1. Favorites (most important),

2. Playing at home

3. With a low over/under total.

1. 

- Yahoo Ownership: %

- Point Spread: -

- Over/Under: 40.5

2. 

- Yahoo Ownership: %

- Point Spread: -

- Over/Under: 41.5



Nick Ercolano
Nick Ercolano

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