Week 11 Waiver Wire

Week 11 Waiver Wire

QUARTERBACK

Tua Tagovailoa - Miami Dolphins

Ownership: 45%

FAAB: $3-5

Waiver Priority: No

Another waiver article, another week hyping up a QB that just beat the hell out of the Chargers. Tua looks good...like really good. Just looking at the box score, he won’t blow you away, but he makes a handful of plays a game that make you realize he’s going to be an elite QB one day and is well on his way as is. He had what seemed like a tough task making his debut against the Rams, where he wasn’t asked to do much, but pulled out a huge W. He followed that up by going toe to toe with an MVP candidate in Kyler Murray, and in Week 10, outdueled fellow rookie QB Justin Herbert. He’s heating up, and so is this Dolphins team as a whole. It doesn’t look to be ending soon, either. Their upcoming slate includes the likes of Denver, the Jets, Cincinnati, Kansas City, the Patriots, and Las Vegas, all of which are either soft defenses of ones where Miami will need to throw to keep the pace (basically just the Chiefs). Again, he hasn’t lit up the box score, throwing for 200 yards just once and failing to top two tugs in any game thus far, but this is a situation where I’m banking on both talent and the team wanting to establish themselves as legitimate contenders. To do that, they’re going to need to continue running up the score on any and all teams. The one worry, though, is that the defense may just murder Drew Lock and Sam Darnold these next few weeks, turning Tua into a game manager, limiting his upside, but he’s worth the stash either way in my opinion. He has the skillset and upside of a legit QB1 as early as this year, and I’m not going to pass that up because I believe the team is TOO good - that just doesn’t make sense to me.


Alex Smith - Washington Football Team

Ownership: 5%

FAAB: $0

Waiver Priority: No

Gross, I know. This is only for those of you that are extremely desperate, which is all of you reading this seeing as you didn’t scroll right past Smith’s name. He hasn’t been great, sure, but he’s now topped 300 yards in byke to byke weeks to go along with 87 pass attempts over that span. This Football Team defense is a mirage, a unit that is nowhere near as elite as their early season form suggested, and with a running game that has no sort of consistency, Smith is going to keep slinging. The real reason I’m making this suggestion, though, is because WFT plays the Bengals and Cowboys over these next two weeks, both of which are sorry defensively. Big Ben just tore both his ACLs, MCLs, randomletterCls off the knee last week and went out and dropped a casual four tuddies on Cincy in shitty weather in Week 10. As for Dallas, they haven’t been terrible against the pass recently, but that’s because nobody really has to pass against them given how they can’t score. Well, with Dalton looking to return and Washington playing like absolute frauds defensively, they’ll be able to hang a crooked number on their divisional opponents, forcing Smith to drop back. It’ll probably involve like 18 targets for McKissic, but I’ll bet on the immense volume eventually turning into something if I’m in a shitty QB situation over these next few weeks. Just don’t tell anyone I told you to start him.


Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ownership: 1%

FAAB: $3-5

Waiver Priority: No

Our savior is back. We’ll need to learn more about Brees’ injury before there’s any concrete advice about picking up Jameis, but if Drew were to miss any time, Winston immediately enters the QB1 conversation. I’d like to think he’d be a little more conservative this year given he’s on a one year deal and wants to look like a changed man, but his old habits will eventually rise to the surface. The guy’s a gunslinger in every sense of the word, and even in an offense devoid of any downfield talent, Jaboo will find a way to throw a 70 yard TD and pick six week in and week out. I won’t lie, he looked kinda lost out there on Sunday, but he was thrown into the fire against a pretty solid SF defense halfway through the contest. Upcoming are the Falcons, Broncos, Falcons, Eagles, Chiefs, and Vikings, AKA a cake walk for the QB in New Orleans. If it’s Jameis, he should waltz his way into a top eight (completely arbitrary) finish over the final one and a half months of the year, and even if it’s just a few week absence for Uncle Drew, I’ll still grab Winston for those two ATL matchups with Denver in between. It really doesn’t get any better than that.


RUNNING BACK

Damien Harris - New England Patriots

Ownership: 59%

FAAB: $50

Waiver Priority: Yes

I’m assuming this is a blunder by Yahoo displaying Damien Harris as being owned in sub-60% of leagues, so I’ll keep it short. Damien Harris is a must add. The Patriots obviously want to rely on the run game from here on out, and who better to lead the pack than DH? James White is basically a non-factor, and despite a two TD performance, Rex Burkhead saw just 10 touches. Damien Harris led the backfield with 22 carries, taking them for 121 yards against one of the league’s better defenses in the Baltimore Ravens.It wasn’t just a one week wonder, either, as Harris has totaled 294 yards over his last three weeks to go along with a 227/1,256/3 season long pace (which includes his down performances). The TD upside is unknown with Cam Newton and Rex Burkhead finding paydirt on the goal line recently, but he’s seeing enough volume, paired with efficiency, to warrant a high priority pickup. He’ll never be an RB1 given his lack of receiving game usage and cap on TDs, but he’s a viable starter with some plus matchups on the horizon, such as Houston, LAC, Miami, and Buffalo in four of his next six. I’d treat him as you would a guy like David Johnson or J.K. Dobbins, pre-Ingram return.


Wayne Gallman - New York Giants

Ownership: 50%

FAAB: $10-15

Waiver Priority: No

Apparently Wayne Gallman is the RB3 over the past month behind just Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara. I feel like Gallman being fantasy relevant is a litmus test for when I start to get bored of the fantasy season, as it seems every year he starts to pop up down the stretch. Well, Wayne's production may single handedly impede that feeling of being burnt out because I always root for a Cinderella story. Truthfully, he’s been sorta terrible, only garnering any sort of relevance due to finding the endzone literally every week, scoring five times in his last four games. He’s topped ut at 77 YFS and hasn’t caught more than one pass since week seven, so all you’re hoping for is a goal line plunge from a mediocre talent in a below-average offense. Not idea, but it has somehow worked. This trend should continue through their next game, as the G-Men face off with a mediocre Bengals defense, but after that, face off with the Seahawks and Cardinals. Neither of those two are great defenses, but NYG won’t have the luxury of pounding the rock for 2.9 YPC, meaning WG will need to see a carry on the one to turn in any sort of reliable fantasy performance. If your trade deadline is this week, ship off Gallman for all you can get, and if he’s on your waivers, he’s worth an add, but for nothing more than a few bucks. Sure, Freeman got put on IR, making the former Clemson Tiger the unquestioned lead, but again, he plays for the Giants. I said the same thing about La’Mical Perine a few weeks back: it looks cool to own a lead back on any team,as long as their abbreviation doesn’t start with NY.


Nyheim Hines - Indianapolis Colts

Ownership: 40%

FAAB: $10

Waiver Priority: No

I think it’s pretty clear what the Colts are doing at this point. It only took us 10 weeks to find it out, but I feel confident in unwrapping the enigma that was, and is, Indy’s backfield. It’s a hot hand approach. Every back in the rotation gets a crack at it to start the game, shuffling the order at which they’re rolled out every drive, and whoever takes command gets the most run. Some weeks, all three play an equal allotment of snaps because they all stink, and other times, one guy acts as the clear lead, and that was the case for Hines on Thursday night. Week 10 was the first time since the opening week where Hines played over 38% of the team’s offensive snaps (56%), and as explained before, it was due to his efficiency and the other two backs’ woes. Both Jonathan Taylor and Jordan Wilkins were given goal line carries ahead of Hines, each of which resulted in stuffings that would make even the most vast of Thanksgiving day spreads look inept. Following their unsuccessful plunges was an attempt from Hines which turned into six. Along with this, he was also heavily involved in the passing game, putting up 5/45/1 on six looks. I say all this to say, do NOT expect this to continue. We have seen this story play out too many times this season for you to sink any actual FAAB into what is essentially a satellite back that provides fantasy relevance only during the week after which you decided to start him. Week One, when nobody started Hines, he put up 23.3 points. From then until Week Eight, he failed to ever top 8.1 points. Week Eight, he drops 19.7, which was then followed by 4.8, burning fantasy owners once more. Because of this, NOBODY started him this week, and to nobody’s surprise, he went for a slight 26.0 It’s not worth the headache, I promise. Next week, sure, he could come out and look like the best back and command similar work, but I’m not taking those chances. It could easily be Wilkins, or even Taylor (probably not), that comes out hot and cedes Hines to a purely pass-catching role in which he sees 3-4 targets and a 30% snap share. No thank you, not worth the trouble.


Cam Akers - Los Angeles Rams

Ownership: 26%

FAAB: $1

Waiver Priority: No

I don’t know why he’s on this list. The Rams’ running game is a fucking nightmare. Cam Akers led the team in carries, but that didn’t stop the combination of Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown from totaling three scores to Cam’s ZERO. He did look like he had an opportunity to score, but instead, he opted to give his right guard a charlie horse and fall flat on his face. Whatever the case may be, it just looks to be the definition of a committee in LA. It’s not even a hot hand approach like Indy runs. McVay just seems to think his offense is at its best when three backs touch the ball 8-10 times a piece, which means none of them are reliable fantasy players. If I were to bet on one week to week, it would be Darrell Henderson, but I’m fine making a $0 stash on Cam Akers if you have a deep bench and are banking on upside, but I’d much rather grab a handcuff (ranked below) than a piece of a three headed backfield.


Kalen Ballage - Los Angeles Chargers

Ownership: 19%

FAAB: $50

Waiver Priority: Yes

I can’t believe this is real life rn. Kalen Ballage is an NFL bellcow (for the time being) and doesn’t look half bad in that role. He outsnapped Joshua Kelley 46:17 and commanded 23 touches despite playing in a negative gamescript throughout. His 102 YFS against the Dolphins is certainly nothing to scoff at, and seeing as how he’s been consistently involved in the passing game (9 targets over his last 2 games) and red zone offense (played 6/8 snaps from inside the 10) as of late, he has legitimate RB1 upside as long as both JJax and Ekeler are out. I know, I know, calling Kalen Ballage an RB1 is about as irresponsible as it gets, but I don’t care. He plays the Jets, Bills, and Patriots over these next few weeks, none of which are daunting matchups for a running back. As long as he maintains his role, which seems to be the case given his production and lack of surrounding talent, Ballage should have no issues challenging the 100 YFS mark or a TD weekly, as he’s the lead in a high volume, high scoring offense. Again, completely irresponsible by me for suggesting this, but if you’re on the fringe of making the playoffs and are in desperate need of a starter, I’d blow it all on Kalen. That hurt just writing it.


Salvon Ahmed - Miami Dolphins

Ownership: 5%

FAAB: $10-15

Waiver Priority: No

Similar to Ballage, Ahmed finds himself in a valuable role, but likely as a rental. Myles Gaskin is eligible to return in Week 12, but with how Ahmed played, I wouldn’t be surprised if he works his way into the offense even when MG gets back to 100%. Jordan Howard found himself out of the lineup once again, and despite being acquired via a trade at the deadline, DeAndre Washington played just four snaps. Salvon Ahmed played 75.9% of Miami’s offensive snaps and garnered three touches inside the 10. He looked fast af out there, which is what we thought he’d be coming out of Washington prior to disappointing with a 4.6, and my NFL comparison for him being Matt Breida looked to be true on Sunday. The Chargers had zero answers for SA, as he totaled 90 and a tug on 22 touches, consistently picking up chunk yardage. I will say, though, that literally anyone could dominate LAC in the running game, but I’d be remiss to write off Salvon Ahmed’s performance as solely a product of the team on the other side of the ball stinking. He should provide some nice value going up against the Broncos next week, who just gave up 193 yards and four tugs on the ground to the Raiders last week. With Drew Lock looking like a deer in headlights and Miami’s defense terrorizing everyone in their path, there should be plenty of short fields for Ahmed to take advantage of and present RB2 value as early as next week. If Gaskin takes longer than expected to return, too, then Ahmed should be in line for a similar role in Week 12 against the Jets, another turnover prone team that should have issues keeping the Dolphins out of scoring position every other drive. The receiving usage may not be there, but the volume on the ground these next few games should help to make Ahmed a worthy pickup this week.


HANDCUFF RANKINGS

If you don't want to pick up any of the frauds above, here are how I'd rank some of the valuable handcuffs. I'd be willing to spend $5-10 (probably more on Mike Davis given CMC's injury) on all of these guys as insurance policies, especially if you own the starter for any of these teams.

  1. Latavius Murray
  2. Jamaal Williams
  3. Mike Davis (if CMC is out through the bye, he moves to #1)
  4. Alexander Mattison
  5. Tony Pollard
  6. Giovani Bernard
  7. Devontae Booker
  8. Benny Snell Jr.

WIDE RECEIVER

Corey Davis - Tennessee Titans

Ownership: 52%

FAAB: $20-25

Waiver Priority: No

I gave some of this away by including it in the Corey Davis section, but here’s a little blind resume for you kids back home.

Can you guess who is who? I’ll save you the trouble - Player X is Corey Davis and Player Y is A.J. Brown. You may say “no way Brown has been that bad”, and you’d be right, but these numbers are compiled from games in which BOTH Corey and A.J. were on the field. Yes, you could argue that these numbers are skewed due to Brown putting up a terrible 1/21/0 performance on TNF, but Corey Davis put up a donut the week before, so that’s a bad argument. All I’m saying is that, thus far, these two are not very far apart in terms of both usage and production. Instead of seeing this as a slight to #11, think of it as more of high praise to the former 5th overall pick who is now coming into his own. He has now logged 67 yards or a tug in all but one outing this year and has cemented himself as an every week starter in almost all league formats. The Week Nine dud was his only game with less than 9.2 fantasy points, and I’d bet he keeps that up in the coming weeks, except for maybe his next two games. The Titans draw the Ravens and Colts (again) in the coming weeks, both of which rank bottom seven in fantasy points allowed to the position, but after that, gets CLE, JAX, DET, GB. It’s a pretty soft playoff schedule, so if he’s still on your wire for whatever reason, go out and get him. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Corey Davis is the 2020 version of DeVante Parker, everyone’s just late to the party.


Cole Beasley - Buffalo Bills

Ownership: 50%

FAAB: $10

Waiver Priority: No

88/1,027/5. For whatever reason, that is Cole Beasley’s 16 game pace. He has logged 50 yards or a TD in all but two games thus far, which isn’t a high bar to clear, but it’s not nothing. It will be important to monitor the status of John Brown’s injury over the next few weeks (since the Bills are on bye), as Beasley would be in line for extra work if he were to miss time. In week seven, when JB was out, Cole put up 11/112/0 against the Jets, which isn’t a great defense, but it shows just how involved he can and will be when he acts as the #2 in the Bills passing game. This week was a similar performance, dropping 11/109/1 on Arizona and absolutely cooking Pat Pete on his TD reception. Following the bye is a matchup against the Chargers, who are absolutely decimated on the defensive side of the ball, but thereafter, draw the 49ers and Steelers, which won’t be easy games for CB. After that two game stretch are the Broncos, Patriots, and Dolphins, though, all of which are either soft or are soft(er) against the slot, which is where Beasley will be operating. I’d bet you can grab him fairly cheap this week seeing as he’ll be filtered to the bottom of the player pool due to the week off, but I wouldn’t skimp out. He’s been consistent all year long to this point and could provide WR3 upside now with John Brown’s future in jeopardy (obviously monitor his status to decide how much to spend on Beasley).


Jakobi Meyers - New England Patriots

Ownership: 48%

FAAB: $20-25

Waiver Priority: No

Jakobi Meyers is a WR2 now. It is what it is. If he had caught a TD to this point, people would accept this as a fact, but being held out of the endzone has kept him slightly under the radar to this point. He actually threw a tuddy against the Ravens, which I won’t look too much into because it likely won’t happen again, but what will happen again is a 40% target share, which is what Meyers has commanded each of the past three weeks. Even four weeks ago, his first week back after an extended absence, he saw 26% of the Patriots’ targets. He’s the team’s WR1 by a wide margin and should continue to produce as such given the upcoming schedule, facing HOU, ARI, LAC, LAR, MIA, and BUF. The only matchup I’d likely fade JM is against the Rams, as Jalen Ramsey should have no issues manning him up given the lack of weapons surrounding Meyers, but other than that, should be started confidently RoS. He’s gone from a carbon copy of Sterling Shepard to Sterling Sharpe these past few weeks, and will likely not get the respect he deserves until it’s too late. Don’t be too late; grab him now.


Jalen Reagor - Philadelphia Eagles

Ownership: 26%

FAAB: $3-5

Waiver Priority: No

Coming off the bye, Jalen Reagor led the Eagles receiving corps in snaps and targets, running a route on 91% of Wentz’ drop back and seeing 7 targets, more than both Fulgham (5) and Dallas Goedert (6). The only issue here is Carson Wentz is atrocious and this o-line does nobody any favors, but on a positive note, the Eagles play some pretty soft secondaries over these next few weeks in CLE, SEA, GB, NO, ARI, DAL. Green bay may be tough if Jaire Alexander is healthy and shadowing, but by the looks of it, the volume should be there on a consistent basis given the imminent garbage time weekly due to Wentz giving the ball away like three times a game. Reagor won’t cost you much given his lack of actual production, but chase the volume and trends, both of which are telling you that JR will eventually establish himself as the top dog in Philly’s passing game.


Michael Pittman Jr. - Indianapolis Colts

Ownership: 9%

FAAB: $3

Waiver Priority: No

There’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news: Michael Pittman Jr. looks to be the #1 option in the Colts’ passing game. The bad news: he’s the #1 option in the Colts’passing game. MPJ has now seen 15 targets over his last two weeks, turning that into a 11/157/0 line, which is nothing to scoff at, but when your quarterback is Phil Rivers, nothing really matters. This is a copout, sure, but sometimes you don’t have to dive into the numbers heavily for things to make sense. Just watch Indianapolis play and it’s clear that Rivers has nothing left in the tank aside from 15 yard ins once every 23 throws. Pittman produced despite Rivers’ lack of arm talent, but that’s what concerns me. He has to do EVERYTHING on his own out there to produce, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since good players can rack up numbers with poor QB play, but I’m not sure MPJ is quite on that level yet. He looked to be on TNF, but we also have to remember he was up against a Titans defense that looked to have given up halfway through the game, and quite frankly, have shown next to nothing on the season (allow the 7th most fantasy points per game to the WR position). A perfect example of opportunity not really helping him was just a week prior against a stout Ravens team that held him to 4/56/0 on 7 targets and over 100 air yards. He was getting the looks, but they’re coming from Uncle Phil, which means absolutely nothing. I don’t mean to be so pessimistic, I’m just trying to be real. Don’t spend all your guap on a rookie receiver tethered to an inconsistent QB on a low volume passing offense, it just won’t work out well for you.


Jakeem Grant - Miami Dolphins

Ownership: 5%

FAAB: $0-1

Waiver Priority: No

This is about as deep of a pickup as it gets. Grant hasn’t blown up...yet. His usage isn’t necessarily that of someone you’d get overly excited about, but he has now seen five targets in back to back weeks and has the requisite speed to turn a five yard slant into a 70 yard tug. He was inches away from a 2nd TD reception this past week, and along with that, displayed some ridiculous YAC abilities, running through three would-be tacklers to pick up a first down on a short reception. For someone with such little opportunity to this point, he’s made quite a few big, highlight plays, and with him seemingly gaining Tua’s trust, can maybe eventually turn into a FLEX-worthy player. Miami’s schedule should lend itself to potential production for Grant, as DEN, NYJ, CIN, KC, NE, OAK are all susceptible defenses, and JG should benefit from DeVante Parker taking away top cornerback coverage. He’s someone you can harmlessly pick up for $0 in hopes he becomes something, and if he doesn’t, all he cost you was a bench spot for a few weeks,


Josh Reynolds - Los Angeles Rams

Ownership: 5%

FAAB: $3-5

Waiver Priority: No

I have no clue why, but Josh Reynolds has basically acted as the Rams’ #1 wideout these past few weeks. Aside from the ridiculous 20 target performance by Cooper Kupp against the Dolphins, JR has been consistently leading this WR core in looks, totaling 27 since week seven, whereas Woods has 19 in that span and Kupp has 33 (saw 6 and 7 in the two games sandwiching Miami). The production hasn’t really followed, averaging just over five receptions and 63 yards per game despite the heavy volume, but at the end of the day, that’s the name of the game: volume. Robert Woods has topped 75 receiving yards once since week one and Kupp has shown much of the same, topping that mark once since week three. Reynolds dropped 94 this against the Seahawks, but again, I’m just afraid this is just what the Rams’ O is. Week to week, you just never know what you’re going to get and who’s going to eat. This week, it was JR, and next week, it could be any of the three...or Higbee...or Everett...or any of their three backs. It’s a mess, and because of this, I’d much rather just rely on Reynolds as a DFS play than a redraft FLEX option from here on out,


K.J. Hamler - Denver Broncos

Ownership: 4%

FAAB: $3

Waiver Priority: No

The good news is that Hamler has now seen 10 targets in back to back games. The bad news is Drew Lock is the one throwing him the ball. Drew Lock stinks, we all know this, but Hamler has shown to be a consistent and valuable piece in this Broncos offense. Noah Fant can’t seem to stay on the field, and for whatever reason, Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy still see volume, but not enough for Hamler to be phased out. It’s probably because the Broncos play legit 59 minutes of garbage time every week, and with their upcoming schedule, that shouldn’t change much. Next week will be a tough task against a stout Miami defense, but if there’s one place where they can be exposed, it’s out of the slot, where Hamler runs a majority of his routes. I’m not suggesting you start him with confidence, but he’s someone I’d be looking to add, as this may be a game where he out produces both Jeudy, Patrick, and likely Fant, becoming a high-priority waiver add next week as people will see Denver has NO, KC, CAR, BUF,  and LAC remaining.


TIGHT END

Logan Thomas - Washington Football Team

Ownership: 35%

FAAB: $5

Waiver Priority: No

He’s baaaaaaaack. After being a staple on the waiver wire piece for the first month of the season, Logan Thomas has somehow risen from the dead, back to some form of fantasy relevance. Over the past four weeks, the real LT has either scored a tuddy or seen six targets, which is basically the epitome of what a waiver wire TE pickup should be. Everyone aside from Kelce and Waller is basically a fraud where you’re hoping for either TD upside or volume, and both seem to be in the cards for Thomas from here on out. I wrote about Alex Smith as a potential streamer these next few weeks given WFT’s schedule, and Logan will likely be a product of that soft slate, as he’s the third option in the passing game in a fairly consolidated target distribution. Not every week will Gibson and Mckissic combine for a triple tug supreme by way of goal line carries, so as the TDs start to come by way of the air, the QB turned TE (not so) extraordinaire will have a good chance of finding his way to the other end of the attempt from Smith. I’m not going to go out and drop a bag on him, but he’s now become an under-the-radar option despite being more fantasy relevant than he’s ever been.


Jordan Reed - San Francisco 49ers

Ownership: 19%

FAAB: $3

Waiver Priority: No

In his 2nd week back from IR, Jordan Reed completely took over TE1 duties in San Francisco, out targeting Ross Dwelley 6:2. Now, heading into the bye, Reed will be able to rest up and come out at (hopefully) 100% health, likely turning into the 49ers’ #2 option in the receiving game (pending Deebo’s health). It’ll be interesting to see what happens with George Kittle’s 2 week/season-ending injury, but if it’s as serious as it seemed at first, then Jordan Reed should continue to run as the top TE on a team that seems to only want to target swiss army knife WRs and oversized wideouts that wear numbers 81 and 85. You can likely grab him for cheap seeing as he didn’t go crazy this week and is heading into the bye, so I wouldn’t spend too much FAAB on the guy, but I also wouldn’t risk losing a bid on him because you tried to outsmart everyone with a $0 play while a leaguemate grabs him for $1.


D/ST

Philadelphia Eagles @ Cleveland Browns

Ownership: 18%

Spread: CLE (-3.5)

Total: 45.5

Home: Yes

 

New York Jets @ Los Angeles Chargers

Ownership: 42%

Spread: LAC (-9.5)

Total: 47

Home: Yes

 

Los Angeles Rams

Somehow the Rams are owned in only 48% of leagues. This makes absolutely zero sense to me. Maybe it's because they played the Seahawks and everyone dropped them? Probably. Whatever the case may be, they are a must own defense because no matter who they play (aside from SF), they seem to be absolutely dominant. They held a Seattle Seahawks offense that averages well over 30 points per game to a measley 16. Their schedule isn't great, but they do get a banged up 49ers team in a few weeks and get the Jets and Pats for 2/3 of your fantasy playoff matchups. Go get them if they're (somehow) available.