Week 11 Fantasy Football: Top 10 Waiver-Wire Pickups in 12-Team Leagues

Jay Clemons@ATL_JayClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterNovember 14, 2012

Week 11 Fantasy Football: Top 10 Waiver-Wire Pickups in 12-Team Leagues

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    The following slideshow touts my top 10 free agents heading into Week 11—a standard-scoring countdown that ideally values long-term viability over one week of superb stats.

    Obviously, free-agent quarterbacks like Nick Foles, Russell Wilson, Jake Locker, Brandon Weeden and John Skelton (at least one more week as Arizona's starter) are the likeliest candidates for most points from Sunday to Sunday.

    But I would also place an equal or higher priority on landing possible dynamos at receiver, running back and tight end...ahead of a quarterback who may only draw one or two fantasy starts from this point forward.

    For the full listing of top 30 waiver-wire pickups, click here.

10. Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals

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    2012 Stats: 100 Total Yards (76 Rushing)

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Beanie Wells, slated to come off the injured-reserve list before the Cardinals' Week 12 clash with the Rams, has already begun practicing with the club.

    2. Wells recently promised to be the "real deal" upon returning for season's final weeks.

    Of course, he didn't specify if that meant replicating the Beanie who scored 19 touchdowns from 2009-11...or the Beanie who often struggles to collect 80 yards against non-elite opponents.

9. RB Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins

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    2012 Stats: 332 Total Yards (213 Rushing), 3 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. The Dolphins are far from fully formed in the passing game—even though rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has made strides this season. That means a robust amount of touches for running backs Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas.

    2. When splitting time with Bush, Thomas still has the capacity for 65 total yards and maybe one touchdown per game. 

    Without Bush in the lineup (he was benched last week for fumbling), Thomas is a reasonable candidate for 90 total yards and one score.

8. TE Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders

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    2012 Stats: 44 Catches, 499 Yards, 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Of his last five games, Brandon Myers has crossed the PPR-elite threshold (among tight ends) of five catches, 80 yards and/or one touchdown four times.

    2. In that five-game span, Myers has collected 40 targets.

    3. Oakland's Carson Palmer, the No. 1 fantasy quarterback since Week 6 (overall points), has an equal affinity for Myers and receivers Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey.

    4. Myers is trending upward in all statistical indicators. Bottom line: He could be a top-seven tight end for Weeks 11-16.

7. QB Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

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    2012 Stats: 903 Yards Passing, 6 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. After a six-week injury hiatus, Jake Locker tossed two touchdowns in the Titans' 37-3 road romp of the Dolphins last Sunday. (He completed only nine passes on the day.)

    2. On paper, Locker has a potentially dynamic fleet of pass-catchers at his disposal (Nate Washington, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, Damian Williams, Jared Cook). Unfortunately, this group is still enduring its share of growing pains.

    3. In Week 3, Locker passed for 378 yards (and two touchdowns) against the Lions—the greatest output of any quarterback against Detroit this season.

    4. A terrific scrambler from the pocket, Locker is due for a few rushing touchdowns from this point forward.

6. QB Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

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    2012 Stats: 2,072 Yards Passing, 11 TDs (1 Rush)

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Sam Bradford has thrown for 200-plus yards in each of his last four games—the longest streak of his three-year career.

    2. During that span, Bradford also posted a completion mark of 62 percent or above in all four contests.

    3. Bradford has notched at least one touchdown in his last five games. (His record is six.)

    4. With matchups against the Jets, Cardinals, 49ers, Bills, Vikings and Bucs for Weeks 11-16, Bradford is a reasonable candidate for 250 yards passing and two TDs in all six games.

    Verdict: If he should fulfill that roundabout prophecy each time, then he'll be a starter-worthy asset during the fantasy playoffs.

5. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders

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    2012 Stats: 24 Catches, 371 Yards, 3 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Darrius Heyward-Bey, who tallied 60 targets and three touchdowns in his final six games last year, has apparently recaptured his mojo from the 2011 campaign. In his last four outings, he collected either 74 yards and/or one touchdown.

    2. Of equal importance, DHB draws a Sunday meeting with the Saints—the NFL's worst defense.

    3. In Oakland's pass-first, pass-second system (at least when Darren McFadden sits), Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore and Brandon Myers are combined locks for 20 catches, 250 yards and two TDs against New Orleans.

    4. A top-40 wideout during the preseason, Heyward-Bey could be a top-25 asset in PPR leagues from this point forward.

4. TE Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

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    2012 Stats: 43 Catches, 497 Yards, 3 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Greg Olsen is just days removed from his signature performance of the season—nine catches, 102 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos.

    2. Olsen has drawn 19 targets in his last two games, his second-highest two-game tally of the year.

    3. Through nine games, Olsen has crossed the PPR-elite threshold (among tight ends) of five catches, 80 yards and/or one touchdown five times.

    4. Down the stretch, Olsen will likely be the Panthers' No. 2 pass-catcher, behind wideout Steve Smith.

3. RB Chris Ivory, New Orleans Saints

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    2012 Stats: 135 Total Yards (120 Rushing), 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Christopher Ivory has notched at least 50 total yards and one touchdown in his last two outings—his only action of the season.

    2. Amongst the Saints' quartet of Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram, Ivory may be the best pure running back, between the 20s and inside the red zone.

2. WR Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams

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    2012 Stats: 43 Catches, 497 Yards, 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Through six games, Danny Amendola has collected nine-plus targets five times.

    2. In even-numbered games this season, he boasts stellar averages of 11 catches, 106 yards and 0.66 touchdowns.

    3. Amendola had a superb outing against the 49ers last week—11 catches for 102 yards. That doesn't even include the 80-yard reception in overtime that was nullified by an illegal-formation penalty.

    4. When healthy, Amendola is a top-15 asset in points-per-reception leagues, perhaps higher.

1. QB Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

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    2012 Stats: 219 Yards Passing, 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons To Believe

    1. Rookie Nick Foles was solid in his NFL debut last week, completing 22 of 32 passes in relief of Eagles QB Michael Vick (concussion).

    2. Foles has four dynamic playmakers—LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek—at his disposal.

    3. On Sunday, the Eagles play the Redskins—the NFL's worst pass defense.

    4. Foles may not be an interim starter for 3-6 Philly, a club that might soon look to the future at quarterback (along with finding a new head coach).