Week 12 Waiver Wire: Kevin Smith Not the Only Guy out There Worth Grabbing
Injuries continue to be a huge factor this year, and have affected some of the best players in the league. But even though these things can suck the life right out of your team, you deal with them and move on because, hey, this is fantasy football—not fantasy badminton.
Still, with guys like Darren McFadden, Jahvid Best, Ahmad Bradshaw, Miles Austin and Julio Jones all recovering at a snail's pace, and now Adrian Peterson, Fred Jackson, James Starks and Jay Cutler all banged up as well, what do you do?
Hopefully, you stashed a little depth on your squad that you can plug right in there—but what if you didn't?
This is where the all-important waiver wire comes in handy, and why you need to know exactly who is worth picking up and who you can safely drop.
Pickup: QB Caleb Hanie (Chicago Bears)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
With Jay Cutler in need of possible season-ending surgery on his fractured right thumb, the Bears will turn to backup quarterback Caleb Hanie to man the controls until Cutler returns.
Caleb is by no means a world-beater, but the Bears have a real nice schedule against the pass down the stretch, and he played pretty well in last year's playoffs when Cutler went down, so you never know.
Pickup: QB Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals)
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Dalton is one of those guys who is likely already on someone's squad, but if not, go get him immediately.
Rookies don't normally get a lot of action in the passing game during their first NFL season, but it seems the Bengals coaching staff has enough faith in his development to let him go wild if need be, as Dalton has now thrown up 30-plus passes in eight out of ten games this season.
He's certainly gotten better over the course of the year because of it, and now after going 24-for-45 against a strong Ravens secondary on Sunday while putting up 373 yards and a TD without A.J. Green, you simply cannot let him sit out there on the waiver wire for another second.
Pickup: RB Kevin Smith (Detroit Lions)
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I told you to pick him up two weeks ago...and you're probably kicking yourself for not doing it.
I also told you just last week that, because of Kevin Smith, it was safe to drop Maurice Morris despite his tasty matchup against the Panthers on Sunday. Instead, my guess is that most people who had Morris actually started him.
So now, after an outlandish 200-total-yard (140 rushing), three-touchdown performance this past Sunday, what do you think I'm going to tell you?
Yep, you got it.
Pickup: RB Toby Gerhart (Minnesota Vikings)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
It looks like Adrian Peterson will be out for at least one game with his ankle injury, so Toby might be a decent fill-in if you need it.
His Week 12 matchup isn't the greatest, going up against a tough Atlanta Falcons rush D, but losing a fantasy stud like Purple Jesus is one of those instances where the saying "desperate times calls for desperate measures" might come into play.
Pickups: RBs Ryan Grant and John Kuhn (Green Bay Packers)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
The Packers barely give their running backs any love, but with Starks looking doubtful to play this Thursday against the Lions, either Ryan Grant or John Kuhn could step up and grab some love on their own.
If you play in a yardage-heavy league, Grant would be the guy you want as he'll likely get 20-plus carries against a middling Detroit rush D.
If you play in a touchdown-heavy league, go with Kuhn as the guy already has five TDs in ten games anyway.
Pickup: RB C.J. Spiller (Buffalo Bills)
Spiller is in an interesting situation up in Buffalo right now. With starting RB Fred Jackson nursing a calf injury and looking a little iffy to play at the Jets next Sunday, Spiller could see anywhere from five to 25 touches, depending on whether or not Jackson suits up for the game.
Also, even though coach Chan Gailey announced that Spiller will return to the RB position (from his recent stint as a WR) in Week 12, the Bills may re-think that with the possible season-ending injury to WR Donald Jones.
One way or another, Spiller is going to be more involved in the offense now, and will finally get a real shot to prove to the Bills brass that he was worth the first-round pick they used on him in 2010.
Pickup: RB Joe McKnight (New York Jets)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Strangely enough, even though he's smaller (5'11, 205-pounds) than both Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson, last Thursday night Joe McKnight ran harder and stronger than either of those two backs had at any time this season.
The Jets always knew how fast he was, but after seeing how punishing of a runner he can be, they might start to use him a lot more in the offense going forward.
However, Greene and Tomlinson are both due back for next weekend's game against the Bills, so I wouldn't expect a ton out of him unless either happens to go down to injury again.
Pickup: RB Chris Obgonnaya (Cleveland Browns)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
Jacksonville had only surrendered two 100-yard games to opposing RBs this season before Ogbonnaya carved them up for 115 yards and a TD on Sunday.
Not too shabby for a guy nobody had heard of before the last few weeks.
Peyton Hillis has already been ruled out for Week 12, so even if Montario Hardesty makes it back onto the field, Ogbonnaya will still have some sort of role in the offense and could be a serviceable fill-in if needed.
Pickup: WR Jerome Simpson (Cincinnati Bengals)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Simpson is another guy who is likely on someone's fantasy team already, but if not, go grab him.
He'll still be second-fiddle to A.J. Green when he returns, but you can do worse for your WR3 than having a wide receiver who already has three 100-yard games under his belt this season.
Pickup: WR Jabar Gaffney (Washington Redskins)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Gaffney may have been dropped sometime in the last few weeks, but with the love Rex Grossman has for him and the way Rex played against the Cowboys on Sunday, you might want to take a shot on him one last time.
Pickup: WR Santana Moss (Washington Redskins)
Whitney Curtis/Getty Images
Like Gaffney, Santana might have been dropped at some point due to his multi-week injury, but the word is that he could make it back into action as soon as this coming weekend.
If so, he'll step right back into the Redskins WR1 role and might be able to help your team out a bit down the stretch.
Pickup: WR Chaz Schilens (Oakland Raiders)
Tim Umphrey/Getty Images
If it turns out Darrius Heyward-Bey is out for a week or more, Schilens could be worth a look as the guy likely to step into the starting lineup opposite Denarius Moore.
That said, even though he was carried off the field on a stretcher on Sunday, it doesn't look like DHB was as injured as initially feared.
Keep an eye on the news coming out of Oakland in order to determine what you should/can do.
Pickup: TE Marcedes Lewis (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Marcedes finally stepped up his game a bit, catching seven balls on a team-high 11 targets for 64 yards this past Sunday.
It's possible the Jaguars coaching staff finally figured out a way to get their huge, athletic tight end into the game-plan more during the Jags' Week nine bye, so if you're hurting at the TE position, Lewis may be worth a flier for the rest of the season.
Click here to see the Full List of Waiver Wire Pickups and Drops from every week of the season
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