Fantasy Football: Some Waiver Wire Options Heading into Week 12
Not only are we two days away from a trio of Thanksgiving Day games, but we are only two weeks away from the beginning of the fantasy football playoffs in most leagues.
In other words, now is the time to make your push to get into (and/or to solidify your seeding for) the playoffs.
Due to injuries and/or benchings, there are several solid options available on the waiver wire in many leagues who can help you make your run.
Players who appear on this waiver-wire list need to satisfy two criteria: (1) they are owned in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues or less, and (2) they were not on last week's waiver-wire list. And, of course, they are worth adding to your squad(s).
Here are some other players to consider adding to your roster (Yahoo! league ownership in parenthesis):
QB - Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (41 and six percent, respectively)
After last night's win over the Bears, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he tends to "go with the hot hand." He went on to say that he has "two quarterbacks that have got a hot hand" with Kaepernick, who started in lieu of the concussed Smith. Kaepernick is a gifted athlete with a cannon for an arm; Smith is a capable steward of the Niners' run-first offense.
Whichever quarterback gets the nod in Week 12 inherits an extremely favorable fantasy matchup against a Saints defense that ranks 31st in the NFL in passing defense (305.0 yards per game).
QB - Chad Henne, Jaguars (three percent)
There is little chance that Henne duplicates the spectacular performance (354 yards and four touchdowns) he had in relief of Blaine Gabbert last week, but he will get the chance. Henne has already been named the starter against the Titans, who rank 26th in the league in pass defense.
In 25 career games with the Jaguars, Gabbert has, only barely, one 300-yard game (303 yards) as a comparison.
QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (48 percent)
You never really know what you're going to get from The Amish Rifle. This season, he has six games with two or more touchdown passes and four games with none. In other words, he has yet to throw only one touchdown in a game.
If in a bind, however, Fitzpatrick has a favorable matchup against the Colts, which tilts the odds in favor of this possibly being one of those multiple-touchdown weeks.
RB - James Starks, Packers (23 percent)
In the team's past two games, Starks has a total of 42 carries, including 25 in the team's win over Detroit last week. While he hasn't been terribly productive (3.21 yards per carry) in those games, he should continue to get the opportunity to be productive with another heavy workload this week.
RB - Bryce Brown, Eagles (six percent)
One of the league's most dynamic running backs, LeSean McCoy suffered a concussion near the end of last week's loss to the Redskins. If McCoy can't go this week, Brown, the top high school recruit in the nation as a senior, will get the majority of work. Considering the Eagles are 3-7, there is no incentive to rush McCoy back early if there is any doubt or concern that he's ready to return.
On the season, Brown has 32 carries for 141 yards for an average of 4.4 yards per carry.
RB - Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball, Broncos (21 and two percent, respectively)
With a knee injury expected to sideline Willis McGahee for the next six to eight weeks, Hillman, Ball and possibly Knowshon Moreno will try to pick up the slack. Although it wouldn't be a surprise to see Ball get the most work, I would prefer the three backs in the specific order I listed them.
RB - Jalen Parmele, Jaguars (nine percent)
Parmele, not Rashad Jennings, shouldered the load against the Texans last week with 24 carries for 80 yards. Coach Mike Mularkey has stated that he will stick with Parmele as the team's starter this week against the Titans. Only three teams have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season than Tennessee.
RB - Mark Ingram, Saints (29 percent)
With or without Darren Sproles in the lineup, the Saints backfield is one of the most crowded, with Ingram, Sproles, Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory. That said, Ingram has looked good as of late even though the group will share the workload.
In his past three games, Ingram has 35 carries for 178 yards, which averages out to 5.09 yards per carry. In the first seven games this year, he had 47 carries for only 134 yards (or 2.85 YPC).
RB - Beanie Wells, Cardinals (29 percent)
Wells will be activated from injured reserve, will likely start this week and says that he's "in shape."
“Yep, yep. I’m in shape,” he said, per Bob McManaman of azcentral.com. “I’ve been working hard with (strength coach) John Lott to make sure I was going to be ready when I could play."
Considering the Cardinals face the Seahawks, Lions, Bears and 49ers in Weeks 14 to 17, however, Wells may not be a big help during the fantasy playoffs.
WR - Danario Alexander, Chargers (26 percent)
Alexander has done more in November than Robert Meachem, their high-priced free-agent signing this offseason, has done all year. In the past three games, Alexander has 15 receptions for 291 yards and three scores. By comparison, Meachem has 14 receptions for 207 yards and two scores in nine games.
WR - Josh Gordon, Browns (38 percent)
Since his three-game scoring streak, Gordon has gone three games without a touchdown. While no Browns receiver is a great option this year, Gordon is clearly the best one of the group, and the big (6'3", 225 pounds) and athletic receiver has shown plenty of promise for the future.
WR - Justin Blackmon, Jaguars (27 percent)
Blackmon, a top-five pick in this year's draft, had disappointed fantasy owners all season; that is, until last week. Blackmon had seven receptions for a career-high 236 yards and a touchdown in last week's loss to the Texans.
While it's unlikely that he comes anywhere close to those prolific numbers again, the Jaguars receivers have a favorable matchup against the Titans this week and then the Bills next week.
WR - Cecil Shorts, Jaguars (45 percent)
In the five games before the bye, Shorts had some productive games but mostly due to big plays. In those five games, he had only eight receptions total, but two of them were for long touchdowns.
Since the bye, Shorts has had double-digit fantasy points in four of five games. During that span, he has 24 receptions for 437 yards and three touchdowns.
Among Jaguars receivers, I would still prefer Shorts over Blackmon (or Laurent Robinson).
WR - T.Y. Hilton, Colts (25 percent)
In the past three games, Hilton has 12 receptions for 202 yards and three touchdowns. Although that sounds good (and he has had a nice rookie season), he has a goose egg sandwiched between two 100-yard games during that span.
WR - Brandon Stokley, Broncos (21 percent)
Stokley has scored in back-to-back games and is a solid option in deeper leagues, especially in point-per-reception (PPR) formats. Since Week 3, Stokley has scored in five of eight games.
WR - Ryan Broyles, Lions (15 percent)
The Lions will be without Titus Young this week, which should ultimately mean more targets for Broyles. In the past five games, Broyles has 15 receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
TE - Brandon Myers, Raiders (43 percent)
Myers currently leads the Raiders in receptions (50) and ranks second on the team in receiving yards (554) behind Denarius Moore. In his past three games, Myers has 19 receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns.
TE - Dwayne Allen, Colts (16 percent)
Allen, the recipient of the John Mackey award last year, has 18 receptions for 231 yards in his past four games, although he hasn't scored during that span. Allen has 56-plus yards in three of those four games.
TE - Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (eight percent)
Lewis scored half of his touchdown receptions this year (two of four) in last week's loss to the Texans. Although they have held opposing tight ends to single-digit fantasy points in each of their past five games, the Titans allowed tight ends to score eight touchdowns in the first five games of the year.
Perhaps they are due to allow another? Or two?
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