Week 11 of the 2018 NFL season features six teams—the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills—on bye. This means fantasy standouts like Tom Brady, Nick Chubb, James White, Kenny Stills and George Kittle will be unavailable.
This is going to put many fantasy players in awkward positions. Depending on the size of the league, the fantasy playoffs are probably less than a month away, and losing now because you don't have a full lineup would be disastrous.
This is why it's as important as ever to successfully work the waiver wire. We're here to help with a look at some top targets and potential sleepers. We'll examine the top waiver players at each skill position who are currently available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, and we'll also look at some under-the-radar players worth targeting if you have low waiver priority.
All choices are based on PPR scoring formats, and all fantasy stats and rankings are courtesy of FantasyPros.
Week 11 Waiver-Wire Targets
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans (30 percent owned)
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (35 percent)
Alex Smith, QB, Washington Redskins (47 percent)
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (17 percent)
Josh Adams, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (13 percent)
Doug Martin, RB, Oakland Raiders (45 percent)
Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders (48 percent)
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (48 percent)
Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks (14 percent)
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons (45 percent)
Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears (13 percent)
Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (44 percent)
John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (17 percent)
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Arizona Cardinals (17 percent)
C.J. Uzomah, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (28 percent)
Nick Vannett, TE, Seattle Seahawks (5 percent)
Waiver Wire Sleepers
QB Eli Manning vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is coming off his cleanest game of the season (188 yards passing, three touchdowns), and he engineered an incredible touchdown drive to win late in the fourth quarter.
Still, Manning isn't likely to carry a ton of interest on the waiver wire. It's been an up-and-down season for Manning, and he's had some real stinkers.
However, this is a great week to take a flier on Manning. The Giants host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
As long as the offensive line can protect Manning the way it did against the San Francisco 49ers, he could be in store for a huge game. Manning avoided serious pressure most of that game and was able to avoid stupid mistakes and turnovers as a result.
The Buccaneers are tied for 23rd in the NFL with 21 sacks. Tampa has also allowed a collective 122.3 passer rating to the opposition. Manning is worth a start if you need a replacement for Brady or Baker Mayfield this week.
RB Rashaad Penny vs. Green Bay Packers
We've seen the Seattle Seahawks rushing attack come to life in recent weeks, and rookie first-round pick Rashaad Penny finally got in on the action in Week 10. He finished with 108 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries against the Los Angeles Rams.
"He was explosive, read the line of scrimmage really well on four or five different runs, saw things really clearly, showed good speed on the edge [and] a good burst, scored easily and we haven't seen many of those," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
Penny is going to remain a part of a running-back committee in Seattle, which is why he may not be at the top of folks' waiver-wire wish list. However, Chris Carson is still dealing with a hip injury (he didn't play in Week 10), and Penny is likely to get his opportunities against the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay isn't terrible against the run—it allows the 15th-most fantasy points to opposing backs—but we can expect Seattle to lean heavily on the run to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. This was the strategy against the Los Angeles Rams, and Penny was certainly one to benefit.
Penny should benefit again on Thursday night.
WR John Ross at Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals receiver John Ross has to be considered a deep sleeper because of the inconsistencies he's shown as a pro. He has just 118 yards and three touchdowns in 2018, and most of his production (91 yards, two touchdowns) have come against the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.
Here's the thing, though. The Bengals are without wideout A.J. Green, who is dealing with a toe injury. He may not be back in the near future.
Cincinnati is going to have to rely on Ross if it is going to have any success against the Baltimore Ravens this week. Ross suffered his own injury against the Saints last week but appears to be fine heading into Week 11.
The Ravens represent a tough matchup for Cincinnati, though it's worth noting that quarterback Andy Dalton gashed them for 265 yards and four touchdowns the last time they met. We can't realistically expect A.J. Green-like numbers from Ross, but a 50-to-60-yard game with a touchdown isn't out of the question given his forced role. If you're low on the waiver priority list or are looking to fill a different position first, Ross is a fine target.