Week 12 Waiver Wire: Breaking Down Most Intriguing Pickups
Apparently, this week's fantasy forecast was Rainey with a chance of touchdowns. Bobby Rainey, that is, and three touchdowns, to be precise, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back exploded onto the fantasy scene with 34 points in standard-scoring leagues, the most in all of fantasy football.
Obviously, he'll be this week's primary target on the waiver wire, but he's certainly not the only player worth targeting. If you checked in on last week's edition of this slideshow, you know I thought Rainey had more upside than Brian Leonard. Of course, I didn't see that performance coming.
This week, you'll find every intriguing player worth your consideration and a bit of advice on whether they are worth your time or worth ignoring. Don't miss out on the next Rainey.
Notes: All ownership percentages and points against stats via ESPN. Point totals are for standard-scoring leagues. The Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks are on bye.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Oakland Raiders
Percent Owned: 43.7 percent
Analysis: Even when Darren McFadden returns, Rashad Jennings has earned the right to at least half of the snaps and backfield touches. He now has 340 rushing yards and two touchdowns the past three weeks and has finally paid off on the tantalizing potential he has flashed in the past.
This week he faces a Tennessee Titans defense allowing 117.1 rushing yards per game (tied 20th in the NFL) and one that allows 19.8 fantasy points to opposing running backs per game, 27th in the league. If Jennings is available in your league, he should absolutely be your priority.
Bobby Rainey, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Percent Owned: 2.3 percent
Analysis: Bobby Rainey is going to be the hottest waiver addition this week, but perhaps he shouldn't be. In the next two weeks he faces the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers, two very tough matchups.
The Lions have held opposing running backs to nine or fewer fantasy points in four of their past six games, while the Panthers are allowing just 12.5 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week, fifth in the NFL.
Rainey is obviously a must-own player at this point, but for owners in the hunt for a playoff spot, Jennings is the better bet.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Percent Owned: 7.8 percent
Analysis: Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Brown is officially the most valuable running back in the Indianapolis Colts backfield. I don't know what has happened to Trent Richardson this year, but he is not the Colts running back I would want to own at the moment.
On Thursday night, Brown rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns, while the week before he registered five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. He now has 33 fantasy points in the past two weeks, while Richardson has just eight.
Brown is most certainly worth owning in all formats.
Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints
Percent Owned: 57.8 percent
Analysis: It's hard to imagine that Pierre Thomas is still available in over 40 percent of ESPN leagues, but he's certainly a player that should be rostered.
He now has seven or more fantasy points in five of the past six weeks, is currently the No. 17 running back in standard-scoring leagues and has emerged as the most consistent producer in the New Orleans backfield.
This might be the last week he's worth starting for a while, however, as after a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons he faces the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. But if you need a starter—or even an upgrade—at running back this week, Thomas is a great get.
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Green Bay Packers
Percent Owned: 56.2 percent
Analysis: While the fantasy stock of most of the Green Bay Packers has taken a hit with Scott Tolzien under center, Jarrett Boykin has continued to produce, with 14 catches for 203 yards the past two weeks.
Boykin was dropped by quite a few folks when Aaron Rodgers went down to injury, but it turns out that former backups Boykin and Tolzien have solid chemistry. If someone was silly enough to drop Boykin in your league, well, their loss is your gain.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
Percent Owned: 12 percent
Analysis: Delanie Walker is alive!
He has now posted 11 or more fantasy points in three of his past four games, and in the past two games with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter, he's managed 14 receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
It's clear he has better chemistry with Fitzpatrick than he ever did with Jake Locker, making him a very attractive, high-end TE2 to own. Without question, he is the tight end to target this week.
Rob Housler, TE, Arizona Cardinals
Percent Owned: 2.7 percent
Analysis: Rob Housler is alive!
Since the Week 9 bye, Housler has 10 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown. He's probably not a guy you'll want to start on a weekly basis, but if you have a tight end like Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez or Julius Thomas with some injury concerns—or you simply need a spot starter based on matchups from week to week—Housler is a good guy to own.
Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Cleveland Browns
Percent Owned: 7.7 percent
Analysis: Coming out of the Week 10 bye, it appears Chris Ogbonnaya is the runner to own in the Cleveland Browns' backfield, if you're willing to go down that rabbit hole in the first place. He totaled 99 yards from scrimmage on Sunday, leading the team in carries and surprisingly finishing second in targets, though he did lose a fumble.
There are obviously far better options at running back on the wire this week, but if you are in a deeper league or simply don't have the waiver placement to land a better option, Ogbonnaya is worth a look.
Case Keenum, QB, Houston Texans
Percent Owned: 17.8 percent
Analysis: Some people will be hesitant to add or start Case Keenum after he was benched in the second half against the Oakland Raiders, but with the Houston Texans naming him the starter this week, he remains an intriguing target.
Keenum probably only has significant value in really deep or two-quarterback leagues beyond this week, but he does have a really tasty matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars up next. If you have Nick Foles, Andy Dalton or Russell Wilson on bye, Keenum is a high-upside replacement.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tennessee Titans
Percent Owned: 1.8 percent
Analysis: Ryan Fitzpatrick? Ryan Fitzpatrick?
Yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Believe it or not, in his past two starts, he has totaled an impressive 37 fantasy points and this week faces an Oakland Raiders defense allowing 17.7 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, 24th in the NFL.
Again, you probably have to be in a two-quarterback league or truly, truly desperate to start Fitzpatrick, but he has sneaky upside this week.
Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans
Percent Owned: 37.7 percent
Analysis: We continue the Titans theme with Kendall Wright, who continues to be fantasy football's most steady but unspectacular wide receiver.
Wright has now registered seven or more fantasy points in six of 10 weeks and has only failed to reach five fantasy points once. With the targets and receptions remaining steady, Wright is only a touchdown away on a weekly basis from being a double-digit performer.
Now, if he could only get that touchdown...
Coby Fleener, TE, Indianpolis Colts
Percent Owned: 50.2 percent
Analysis: Coby Fleener has been fairly productive in the past four games, averaging eight fantasy points per contest in that span. But the real reason to add him this week if he's available in your league is a tasty matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals allow 14 fantasy points to opposing tight ends per week, easily the worst mark in the NFL. Heck, they just gave up a 62-yard touchdown pass to Danny Noble of the Jacksonville Jaguars, a player who didn't have a single reception coming into the weekend.
Fleener should have a very, very nice game, especially with top target T.Y. Hilton likely to be shadowed by Patrick Peterson all game long.
Rod Streater, WR, Oakland Raiders
Percent Owned: 5.8 percent
Analysis: Rod Streater is obviously a boom-or-bust play, but he was Matt McGloin's favorite target on Sunday, catching six passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. If McGloin gets a second straight start, Streater is a player worth taking a flier on in really deep leagues or for owners hurt by byes or injuries.
Beyond that, however, there are safer options out there.
Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Percent Owned: 16.4 percent
Analysis: The fear with Jerricho Cotchery is that he is fantasy's second coming of Eddie Royal, in essence a player who sees their value spike dramatically due to a short-term explosion of touchdown production.
Cotchery has five touchdowns in the past three weeks, but in the past two weeks he has just five receptions for 79 yards. Once the touchdowns dry up, so does Cotchery's fantasy value.
If you are willing to bet on the rare touchdown vulture at wide receiver striking again, he's worth an add. If that situation is too risky for your blood, feel free to avoid him.
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