Waiver Wire Week 12: Lamar Jackson, Josh Adams Highlight Pickups to Know

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2018

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) walks in a tunnel to the field as the team is introduced before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

The surge of young players staling the show continued in Week 12—just in time for fantasy football owners to add surefire producers to their lineups. 

Another week of breakouts across various positions can help owners compensate for injuries, reinforce shaky positions or fill gaps before the playoffs. Unlike some weeks, it is hard to shake the feeling most of these guys won't fade from their roles at this point in the season.

Whether it is a viable quarterback streamer to replace an injured option or a possible every-down back to go to work during the playoffs, the Week 12 waiver wire is one of the most varied of the season, meaning plenty of competition between owners right when things open up. 


Week 12 Waiver-Wire Targets

Eli Manning, QB, NYG (22 percent owned)

Lamar Jackson, QB, BAL (12 percent owned)

Gus Edwards, RB, BAL (0 percent owned)

Theo Riddick, RB, DET (26 percent owned)

Josh Adams, RB, PHI (30 percent owned)

Tre'Quan Smith, WR, NO (23 percent owned)

D.J. Moore, WR, CAR (37 percent owned)

Adam Humphries, WR, TB (15 percent owned)

Jonnu Smith, TE, TEN  (6 percent owned)


Lamar Jackson, QB, BAL (12 percent owned)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Has the Lamar Jackson era started early? 

The Baltimore Ravens had to turn to Jackson due to an injury to Joe Flacco, and all the first-round rookie did was lead the team to a win in an AFC North battle. 

Jackson made fantasy owners happy as well, passing for 150 yards and rushing 27 times for another 117, letting him finish with 16.7 points in a successful debut. The game plan wasn't hard to see coming: 

Graham Barfield @GrahamBarfield

The #Ravens went 74% run-heavy (!!) in Lamar Jackson's first start. 19 pass attempts on 73 plays. For reference, the league has been about 60% pass-heavy this season.

That's not a sustainable rate for the rest of Jackson's career by any means, but he's fresh enough to trot out the same approach for the rest of his rookie season. By the way, that's good news against a remaining schedule featuring bad defenses like the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns. 

But that's presuming the Ravens don't go back to Flacco. Jackson should have one more chance to start at least, so owners can feel comfortable rolling the dice on his upside and the chance he does enough to force Baltimore's hand. 


Gus Edwards, RB, BAL (0 percent owned)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Ravens decided to test out the whole youth movement at once, giving the undrafted Gus Edwards 17 carries while Jackson started at quarterback. 

All Edwards did was turn the chance into 115 yards and a score, giving him a 19.5-point outburst almost no owner on the planet likely enjoyed. 

That's about to change. Edwards will be one of the top names on every set of waivers: 

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Meanwhile, someone named Gus Edwards -- undrafted rookie from Rutgers, signed for a $6,000 bonus, cut and added to practice squad before his promotion a month ago -- has 96 rushing yards, a TD and 2-point conversion for #Ravens, who just tied it 21-all late 3rd quarter.

Unlike Jackson at quarterback, Edwards won his playing time organically by having the hot hand and there isn't much of a reason the Ravens should go back to anyone else at this point. 

And as hinted, the Ravens have one of the softest remaining schedules in the league when it comes to fantasy production. Even if Edwards falls back into something of a committee, even 15 touches a game should have him producing worthwhile numbers. 


Josh Adams, RB, PHI (30 percent owned)

Butch Dill/Associated Press

Owners who can afford a long-term stash knew what they were doing with Philadelphia Eagles running back Josh Adams. 

The breakout finally happened in Week 11, with Adams scampering for 53 yards and a score with three catches through the air on his way to 14.7 points. More importantly, he did this against a New Orleans Saints defense that entered only allowing the fourth-fewest points to opposing rushers on average. 

Highlights reinforce the hype: 


Josh Adams! 28-yard @Eagles TD! 📺: FOX #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/JSGgOrxh49

Chalk it up as another undrafted free agent who has his hands on a job and doesn't figure to let go. The Eagles need somebody to provide a spark, too, given the so-so nature of the season. 

Adams is that guy, and his versatility and production likely equates to him giving owners who take the risk the same boost he will the Eagles. 


Tre'Quan Smith, WR, NO (23 percent owned)

Bill Feig/Associated Press

It is almost impossible to get a read on Tre'Quan Smith. 

The Saints wideout tallied 24.6 points back in Week 5, his highest total of the year—but then had single-digit outings three games in a row. 

Over the weekend, Smith got worked back into the game plan in a major way, catching 10 of his 13 targets for 157 yards and a score, giving him a season-best 26.7-point mark. 

Making catches like this from Drew Brees has a way of keeping a player in the attack: 

New Orleans Saints @Saints

Tre'Quan Smith finds the end zone with a 15-yard touchdown grab! #PHIvsNO https://t.co/XA89YdbXjB

Continuing the theme here, Smith next has a cupcake matchup against an Atlanta Falcons defense allowing the third-most points to wideouts this season. 

If Smith can capitalize on the situation while making tough catches for Brees, owners struggling at the position might have unearthed a new matchup-free option in the middle of November, which is as rare as it sounds.


All scoring info, points-against info and ownership stats courtesy of Yahoo standard leagues.