Week 12 Waiver Wire: Must Have Additions for Final Playoff Push
We've hit Week 12 of the 2012 NFL season, and that means that the fantasy football campaign has entered the home stretch, with only two or three games remaining before the regular season ends and the fantasy playoffs begin.
That makes every game absolutely crucial for some fantasy teams, and given the injuries that befell players such as Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee last week many of those teams are now left scrambling to plug a hole in their lineups.
To help them do so here's a look at some of Week 12's top waiver pickups.
Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
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If you needed another sign that 2012 is the year of the Mayan Apocalypse here you go.
I'm recommending a quarterback from the Jacksonville Jaguars...on purpose.
Granted, if you're considering starting Chad Henne in a vitally important fantasy week then you've officially hit the "beyond desperate" stage of the season, but Henne is coming off a 354-yard, four touchdown effort against the Houston Texans.
Add to that the fact that head coach Mike Mularkey has named Henne the Week 12 starter according to The Associated Press via The Washington Post against a Tennessee Titans defense that has been a top-10 fantasy matchup for quarterbacks this year and while starting Henne may be crazy at least it's not completely insane.
At least that's what I'm telling myself in the league where I may have to do it.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos
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The injury bug hit the running back position hard in Week 11, beginning with Willis McGahee of the Denver Broncos, who according to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN was hit with the double whammy of a torn MCL and broken leg that will sideline him for six to eight weeks.
That injury thrusts rookie Ronnie Hillman into the lead back role for the high-powered Denver offense, and while Hillman will share carries with Lance Ball he should see enough opportunities for production to make Hillman the top target for fantasy squads who have sprung a leak at the running back spot.
Jalen Parmele, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Two Jacksonville Jaguars in the same waiver wire article?
Yep. Definitely the Mayan Apocalypse.
It wasn't an injury that moved third-year pro Jalen Parmele into the lineup for the Jacksonville Jaguars so much as it was the continued ineffectiveness of Rashad Jennings.
With that said Parmele seized the opportunity, racking up 80 yards on 24 carries against the Texans, and with starter Maurice Jones-Drew still on the mend and the Jaguars set to face a Tennessee Titans team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs in 2012 Parmele is at the very least a strong one-week matchup play.
Bryce Brown, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
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A 2012 season that has been a nightmare for the Philadelphia Eagles got even worse in Week 11, as not only was the team blown out by the Washington Redskins but star running back LeSean McCoy was carted from the field after suffering a concussion.
That injury will all but certainly sideline McCoy for at least one week, meaning that rookie Bryce Brown will draw the start against a Carolina Panthers club that has surrendered the sixth most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this year.
Brown will be an even better start if Michael Vick is back under center next week for the Eagles, but even if he isn't Brown remains a viable pickup for fantasy owners desperate for help in the backfield.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
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I know that the Mayan Apocalypse isn't supposed to happen until December, but if one more Jaguars player makes this list you may want to scan the horizon for a giant meteor.
Rookie first round pick Justin Blackmon has been a complete afterthought for most of the season in Jacksonville, but that all changed with Chad Henne's insertion under center against the Houston Texans.
As in seven catches for 236 yards and a touchdown changed.
Sure, that may have been an aberration. Or it could be that a talented player finally got a chance to play with a quarterback that's marginally competent at throwing a football.
Odds are it's somewhere in between, but Blackmon's worth a flier in any event.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
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New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is apparently something of a Renaissance man, because in Sunday's blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts the fourth-year pro toasted the Colts in just about every way possible.
Edelman caught five passes for 58 yards and a touchdown, rushed once for 47 yards, and returned a punt for a touchdown, and with tight end Rob Gronkowski now out at least a month and Aaron Hernandez still nursing a sprained ankle Edelman's role in the prolific Patriots offense is set to get a boost.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
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The aforementioned injury to Rob Gronkowski is an absolutely devastating blow to fantasy teams, as squads who spent a first or second-round pick on the New England Patriots star are now forced to try to find a late season replacement among slim pickings at the position.
With any luck some of those owners may be able to scoop up a player such as Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings, whose Week 11 bye may have gotten him a pink slip from some fantasy teams.
Granted, Rudolph's production has been up and down this year, but the second-year pro is coming off one of his best games of the year, catching a season-high seven passes for 64 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago against the Detroit Lions.