Fantasy Football Week 11 Rankings: Waiver-Wire Targets for Injured Players

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistNovember 17, 2018

Lamar Jackson could make his first career NFL start with Joe Flacco nursing a hip injury.
Lamar Jackson could make his first career NFL start with Joe Flacco nursing a hip injury.Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Setting a fantasy football lineup often feels like solving a jigsaw puzzle, except the pieces keep changing in shape and size.

Most managers can build around some set-and-forget studs. After that, each week entails a thorough review of recent results and a look ahead to upcoming matchups. Before getting too comfortable with any conclusions reached on Wednesday, an assortment of injury tidbits will cause recalculations by Friday.

Along with benching an inactive player, these health hazards often spur a ripple effect throughout the entire team. Late injuries may also send some desperate managers to the waiver wire.

That's a lot to juggle every week, so let's simplify that extensive research with rankings, injury news and a free-agent find at every position. The waiver-wire options are all owned in no more than 40 percent of Yahoo Sports leagues, as of Friday evening. 



1. Patrick Mahomes, KC (at LAR)

2. Drew Brees, NO (vs. PHI)

3. Jared Goff, LAR (vs. KC)

4. Cam Newton, CAR (at DET)

5. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. DAL)

6. Carson Wentz, PHI (at NO)

7. Andrew Luck, IND (vs. TEN)

8. Deshaun Watson, HOU (at WAS)

9. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (at JAC)

10. Mitchell Trubisky, CHI (vs. MIN)

11. Dak Prescott, DAL (at ATL)

12. Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB (at NYG)

13. Philip Rivers, LAC (vs. DEN)

14. Eli Manning, NYG (vs. TB)

15. Kirk Cousins, MIN (at CHI)


Injury Report

Flacco (hip) is doubtful for Week 11.
Flacco (hip) is doubtful for Week 11.Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Joe Flacco, who has played every game in nine of 10 seasons, will likely miss Week 11 with a hip injury. The Baltimore Ravens listed him as doubtful on Friday, but they have yet to declare a starter for Sunday's pivotal AFC North matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Lamar Jackson, his sensible replacement, also missed practice on Thursday with an undisclosed illness.

He said he's OK after returning on Friday, though, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley:

Jamison Hensley @jamisonhensley

Lamar Jackson told reporters “I’m good” as he walked out of the locker room to get to a meeting. Jackson missed Thursday’s practice with an illness but had a full practice Friday.

Facing the NFL's bottom-ranked passing defense would have made Flacco an enticing streamer if healthy. While Jackson (10 percent owned) remains an unknown with a far lower floor, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner could ride his prolific speed to week-winning upside.

That's assuming Robert Griffin III doesn't make his first start since 2016's Week 17. Neither of them are a recommended QB1, but Jackson would wield immense DFS appeal if given the nod.


Waiver-Wire Target: Eli Manning, New York Giants (22 Percent Owned)

Eli Manning is a high-upside streamer against a dismal Buccaneers defense.
Eli Manning is a high-upside streamer against a dismal Buccaneers defense.Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

Anyone in dire straits without Flacco was already in trouble. He's only a viable starter in two-quarterback leagues where investors should have snagged Jackson.

Even with six teams on bye, Tom Brady is the only mainstream starter managers must replace. A few strong options remain available in more than half of Yahoo leagues, but Dak Prescott (47 percent owned) and Marcus Mariota (41 percent owned) surpassed the self-imposed cutoff mark.

That leaves Eli Manning as the most widely available Week 11 streamer.

For all the talk of his demise, the 37-year-old has registered 285 passing yards on 38.4 attempts per game. Those who called his number against the Atlanta Falcons or San Francisco 49ers received 20.7 and 19.5 fantasy points, respectively.

Another opportune matchup looms in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have forfeited 291.9 passing yards per contest with an NFL-worst 73.6 completion percentage and 122.3 quarterback rating. Manning's turnover tendencies will scare away some gamers, but Tampa Bay has mustered one interception all season.


Running Back

1. Todd Gurley, LAR (vs. KC)

2. Melvin Gordon, LAC (vs. DEN)

3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (at ATL)

4. Saquon Barkley, NYG (vs. TB)

5. Kareem Hunt, KC (at LAR)

6. Alvin Kamara, NO (vs. PHI)

7. David Johnson, ARI (vs. OAK)

8. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (at DET)

9. James Conner, PIT (at JAC)

10. Joe Mixon, CIN (at BAL)

11. Leonard Fournette, JAC (vs. PIT)

12. Kerryon Johnson, DET (vs. CAR)

13. Dalvin Cook, MIN (at CHI)

14. Tevin Coleman, ATL (vs. DAL)

15. Mark Ingram, NO (vs. PHI)

16. Marlon Mack, IND (vs. TEN)

17. Alex Collins, BAL (vs. CIN)

18. Tarik Cohen, CHI (vs. MIN)

19. Phillip Lindsay, DEN (at LAC)

20. Dion Lewis, TEN (at IND)

21. Adrian Peterson, WAS (vs. HOU)

22. Doug Martin, OAK (at ARI)

23. Jordan Howard, CHI (vs. MIN)

24. Lamar Miller, HOU (at WAS)

25. Peyton Barber, TB (at NYG)


Injury Report

Royce Freeman is expected to return to Denver's lineup.
Royce Freeman is expected to return to Denver's lineup.Norm Hall/Getty Images

Joe Mixon returned to practice on Friday and did not appear on Friday's injury report. He's an obvious start as a full go, but temper expectations against a Ravens defense that limited him to 87 total yards in Week 2.

Per The Athletic's Nicki Jhabvala, the Denver Broncos will welcome back Royce Freeman, who missed the last two games with an ankle injury. He totaled 106 yards in his last three games, so Phillip Lindsay—averaging 5.4 yards per carry—remains the rookie back to play as a slightly downgraded RB2.

Washington confirmed Chris Thompson will miss his third straight game with a hip injury. Kapri Bibbs could poach a touchdown in a secondary role to Adrian Peterson, but he has snagged just nine touches over the last two contests.


Waiver-Wire Target: Josh Adams, Philadelphia Eagles (30 Percent Owned)

Josh Adams can emerge as a league-winning acquisition if he captures Philadelphia's featured role.
Josh Adams can emerge as a league-winning acquisition if he captures Philadelphia's featured role.Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Josh Adams does not make the strongest Week 11 play against the New Orleans Saints, who have shielded opponents to an NFL-low 80.1 rushing yards per game. It's typically not wise to start someone in a three-back committee on an offense likely to throw 40-50 times in a shootout as road underdogs.

Yet there's enough upside to stash him now. In the Philadelphia Eagles' last four games without Jay Ajayi, Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement have averaged an underwhelming 3.0 and 2.4 yards per carry, respectively. Adams, meanwhile, has churned out 125 yards on 20 rushes.

The rookie has played more snaps (zero, eight, 18, and 19) in each of the last three games. During Monday's press conference, per NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said the role could keep enlarging.

"I think Josh has been the spark the last couple weeks," Peterson said. "We'll continue to give him a few more opportunities."

He's a high-risk, high-reward flex play this weekend, but don't be shocked if Adams becomes Week 12's hottest waiver-wire add. He's clearly the most talented runner of Philadelphia's current trio, and a far friendlier matchup with the Giants follows the Saints. Beat the crowd and stash him now.


Wide Receiver

1. Michael Thomas, NO (vs. PHI)

2. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (vs. TB)

3. Antonio Brown, PIT (at JAC)

4. Adam Thielen, MIN (at CHI)

5. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (at WAS)

6. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. DAL)

7. Tyreek Hill, KC (at LAR)

8. Brandin Cooks, LAR (vs. KC)

9. Robert Woods, LAR (vs. KC)

10. Keenan Allen, LAC (vs. DEN)

11. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (at JAC)

12. Alshon Jeffery, PHI (at NO)

13. Mike Evans, TB (at NYG)

14. Kenny Golladay, DET (vs. CAR)

15. Stefon Diggs, MIN (at CHI)

16. T.Y Hilton, IND (vs. TEN)

17. Tyler Boyd, CIN (at BAL)

18. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN (at LAC)

19. Amari Cooper, DAL (at ATL)

20. Corey Davis, TEN (at IND)

21. John Brown, BAL (vs. CIN)

22. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (vs. OAK)

23. Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs. TB)

24. Allen Robinson, CHI (vs. MIN)

25. Golden Tate, PHI (at NO)


Injury Report

Marvin Jones may miss Week 11's game against Carolina with a knee injury.
Marvin Jones may miss Week 11's game against Carolina with a knee injury.Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Exhale, Adam Thielen owners. After being limited in practice during the week, he did not appear on Friday's injury report. The slot specialist will look to the find end zone for the seventh straight game after snapping a nine-game streak of 100-yard outings.

The Bengals kept the door open for A.J. Green returning during the week, but they ruled him as doubtful on Friday. ESPN's Katherine Terrell ascribed a "0.0 percent chance" of Cincinnati rushing its star receiver back "just to play a few snaps." John Ross (groin) is also questionable, which means Tyler Boyd should see plenty of targets. He'll also, however, draw all the attention of Baltimore's third-ranked passing defense.

The Detroit Lions officially ruled out Marvin Jones due to a bone bruise in his knee. That gives Kenny Golladay a good chance of securing double-digit targets for the second straight week. Kerryon Johnson and Theo Riddick are better bets to see more receiving work from the backfield than replacement receivers T.J. Jones and Brandon Powell.

A knee injury will sideline Jordy Nelson, who had tallied 36 combined yards over his last four games. He shouldn't be rostered in any standard-size leagues. Brandon LaFell and Seth Roberts are deep-league options since the Oakland Raiders also ruled out Martavis Bryant with a knee injury.

Keke Coutee, who hasn't played since hurting his hamstring in Week 7, is questionable. The Houston Texans have since acquired Demaryius Thomas to replace the injured Will Fuller, so it's hard to count on much volume even if the rookie returns.

Sammy Watkins went from limited practice on Thursday to sitting out Friday, an alarming sign after missing Week 10 with a foot injury. While every Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams starter merits attention in a possible shootout for the ages, managers can't afford to wait until Monday night unless they can swap him out for Josh Reynolds (40 percent owned). 


Waiver-Wire Target: DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers (37 Percent Owned)

DJ Moore's playing time is increasing, and Carolina's offense faces one of the NFL's easiest rest-of-season schedule.
DJ Moore's playing time is increasing, and Carolina's offense faces one of the NFL's easiest rest-of-season schedule.Joe Sargent/Getty Images

All the cool kids added DJ Moore following Week 9's 129-yard outburst against the Ravens. Many of those new buyers have since dumped the Carolina Panthers rookie, who has amassed 73 combined yards on seven touches in two underwhelming encores.

Give the 21-year-old a second chance. Although the desired results haven't surfaced, his breakout sparked a playing-time boost. He has set a new season-high snap percentage in each of the last five games. The rate, which jumped from 45.8 to 70.8 percent in Week 8, has since bolstered to 85.5 and 86.

He'll also get plenty of more chances to flourish in opportune settings. This week, he faces a Detroit Lions defense relinquishing 8.9 yards per pass attempt. Cornerback Darius Slay, on track to return from a knee injury, will likely shadow Devin Funchess.

That leaves Moore with a chance to burn struggling cornerback Nevin Lawson and Teez Tabor. He could re-emerge on the fantasy radar just in time for a mouth-watering stretch run featuring four of seven games against Carolina's defensively challenged NFC South adversaries.


Tight End

1. Travis Kelce, KC (at LAR)

2. Zach Ertz, PHI (at NO)

3. O.J. Howard, TB (at NYG)

4. Greg Olsen, CAR (at DET)

5. Evan Engram, NYG (vs. TB)

6. Jack Doyle, IND (vs. TEN)

7. Trey Burton, CHI (vs. MIN)

8. Austin Hooper, ATL (vs. DAL)

9. Eric Ebron, IND (vs. TEN)

10. Vance McDonald, PIT (at JAC)

11. Jared Cook, OAK (at ARI)

12. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. HOU)


Injury Report

Jordan Reed has stayed on the field all season long, but he said he's playing through pain.
Jordan Reed has stayed on the field all season long, but he said he's playing through pain.Will Vragovic/Getty Images

If he can stay active for seven more games, Jordan Reed will file the first 16-game season of his career. Yet the Washington tight end hasn't made much of an impact, averaging 43.4 yards per game without scoring a touchdown since Week 1.

Although healthy enough to play, Reed revealed that he's still experiencing discomfort from offseason toe surgery.

"I feel like I'm starting to come over the curve," Reed told ESPN.com's John Keim. "[But] I'm still dealing with the pain. I have scar tissue in both my toes, and I've got to run routes and cut hard and slam my feet every day. I'm starting to learn how to manage it, find what works for me and what takes away the pain."

Usually a big-play menace when his body cooperates, the 28-year-old has recorded a meager 6.6 yards per target. He hasn't brandished enough upside to treat as a top-10 option, but tight end is bleak enough—especially with George Kittle, Rob Gronkowski and David Njoku resting—to take a few points instead of a touchdown-or-nothing gamble.

After being limited during the week with a foot injury, Greg Olsen returned to full practice on Friday. Having registered 225 yards and three touchdowns over the last five games, he's a top option against Detroit.


Waiver-Wire Target: Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos (23 Percent Owned)

Jeff Heuerman secured 10 catches without Demaryius Thomas before Denver's bye.
Jeff Heuerman secured 10 catches without Demaryius Thomas before Denver's bye.Peter Aiken/Getty Images

While there aren't many significant injuries to fret about, managers with Kittle, Gronkowski and Njoku need a bye-week filler. Unless they're lucky enough to compete in one of the 40 percent of Yahoo leagues with Vance McDonald available or 30 percent where they can snag Jack Doyle, the streamers get ugly.

Those in a pickle should take a flier on Jeff Heuerman.

Two weeks ago, he became the first tight end besides Zach Ertz to collect 10 catches in a single game this season. (Austin Hooper joined the club in Week 10.) Although he didn't discover the end zone until Week 8, the third-year pro has drawn a dozen red-zone targets and six inside the 10.

One can only hope Week 9's volume uptick was a direct byproduct of the Denver Broncos trading Thomas rather than a one-off disturbance. 


Note: Ownership rates obtained from Yahoo Sports. Snap and target counts courtesy of Pro Football Reference.