Fantasy Football Week 11: Nyheim Hines and Other Top Waiver-Wire Targets
We've gotten through 10 weeks of the 2020 NFL season, which means we're quickly approaching the fantasy football playoffs. It's time for fantasy managers to make their final playoff push over the next few weeks.
Unfortunately, some managers are going to find their pushes hampered by injuries and the bye-week blues. In Week 11, the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers will be out of action.
As such, the waiver wire can play a pivotal role. Replacing absent fantasy stars is a necessity, and bench depth sometimes won't provide adequate relief.
Here, we'll examine eight waiver-wire targets for Week 11. We'll be looking specifically at players who are rostered in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, and all choices are based on points-per-reception (PPR) scoring.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found his way onto our list for Week 10, and he's back for Week 11 since he's still rostered in only 45 percent of Yahoo leagues and 32 percent of ESPN leagues.
The Alabama product had an underwhelming outing against the Los Angeles Chargers, but he was at least serviceable. Tagovailoa passed for only 169 yards, but he did have two touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Most importantly, he looks comfortable running Chan Gailey's offense.
"I expected it to be a lot harder," Tagovailoa said of his NFL transition, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
In Week 11, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins will face the Denver Broncos. While Denver ranks a respectable 14th in pass defense, it just surrendered 37 points to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Tagovailoa's scoring potential and scrambling ability, which he flashed while picking up 27 yards on three carries in Week 9, make him a viable bye-week replacement for Josh Allen.
Jameis Winston, QB, New Orleans Saints
Saints head coach Sean Payton refused to disclose Monday who will start in Brees' place, per ESPN's Mike Triplett. But if Jameis Winston beats out Taysom Hill for the job, he'll be the top quarterback pickup of the week.
While Winston threw for only 63 yards in mop-up duty against the Carolina Panthers, he should have the opportunity to flourish against the Falcons' 31st-ranked pass defense. The Falcons have allowed more than 300 passing yards in seven of their nine games this season.
Winston will also benefit from the presence of do-it-all back Alvin Kamara. Payton should have little trouble scheming up easy completions and big plays for Winston by utilizing Kamara, who had 83 receiving yards and three total touchdowns against the 49ers.
The Saints will likely spell Winston with Hill, but Winston should get the start against Atlanta. He's currently rostered in only 1 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Two offensive players stood out during the Indianapolis Colts' 34-17 romp over the rival Tennessee Titans on Thursday: running back Nyheim Hines and wideout Michael Pittman Jr. Hines was especially impressive while rushing for 70 yards, catching five passes for 45 yards and finding the end zone twice.
However, Hines is sharing a backfield with Jordan Wilkins and rookie Jonathan Taylor. Colts head coach Frank Reich has made a habit of riding the hot hand most weeks, so one big game from Hines doesn't necessarily mean he'll remain the team's top option.
However, Hines does possess enough PPR value to warrant a pickup. He has caught multiple passes in every game this season except for one, and he's gone for at least 60 scrimmage yards with two scores in two of the past three weeks.
Hines' PPR value could carry him against the Green Bay Packers in Week 11. The Colts are likely to utilize the run game and short passes against a defense that ranks 23rd in yards per carry and 21st in net yards per pass attempt allowed.
Hines is rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Kalen Ballage, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angles Chargers cannot seem to figure out how to finish games. However, they have figured out how to field a functional backfield without starter Austin Ekeler.
Kalen Ballage headlined the backfield over the past two weeks and had a solid fantasy outing in each game.
Against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 9, he rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown while catching two passes for 15 yards. On Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, he rushed for 68 yards and caught five passes for 34 yards.
Ballage should be in line for a third strong outing this week against the New York Jets, who rank 18th in run defense, 28th in pass defense and 30th in points allowed.
This could be the last week to fully take advantage of Ballage, though. The Athletic's Daniel Popper believes Ekeler will make his return in Week 12.
Ballage is rostered in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues and 26 percent of ESPN leagues.
Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots
The New England Patriots managed to upset the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10, thanks in no small part to their backfield. Damien Harris led the ground attack with 121 rushing yards, but utility back Rex Burkhead had the better fantasy outing.
Burkhead caught four passes, totaled 66 scrimmage yards and found the end zone twice.
This marked the second straight week in which Burkhead caught at least three passes, topped 60 scrimmage yards and scored a touchdown. While it would be unrealistic to expect him to have similar numbers every week, Burkhead has a prime matchup in Week 11.
Burkhead and the Patriots are set to visit the Houston Texans, who rank 18th against the pass and dead last against the run.
Houston surrendered 231 rushing yards to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and could do the same against New England. Add in some quality PPR upside, and Burkhead should be a plug-and-play pickup off the wire.
Burkhead is rostered in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues and 23 percent of ESPN leagues.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Green Bay Packers
Consistency hasn't been Marquez Valdes-Scantling's strongest suit, but the Packers wideout is coming off of back-to-back huge fantasy outings. He caught four passes for 149 yards and a touchdown on Sunday and hauled in two catches for 52 yards and two scores in Week 9.
It's worth taking a chance on Valdes-Scantling even against a sound Colts defense in Week 11.
While the Colts rank second against the pass, Valdes-Scantling has enough touchdown potential to warrant a spot start. Davante Adams is likely to draw his fair share of double-teams, which should help open things up for other Green Bay pass-catchers.
The caveat here is that the Packers could activate wideout Allen Lazard from injured reserve this week. If they do, Lazard may be the wideout to target considering he had 254 receiving yards and two touchdowns in three games before landing on IR.
Lazard's situation will bear watching, but if you're putting in an early waiver claim, Valdes-Scantling should be near the top of your list. He's rostered in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues and 10 percent of ESPN leagues. Lazard is rostered in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues and 32 percent of ESPN leagues.
Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles rookie wideout Jalen Reagor has yet to have a true breakout game, but the TCU product has been serviceable in each of his four appearances. He has had at least 40 receiving yards in three of his four outings and found the end zone in the other game.
Against the New York Giants on Sunday, Reagor caught four passes for 47 yards. However, he was targeted seven times, which suggests Philadelphia is actively trying to get Reagor involved in its passing attack.
Reagor has been targeted at least six times in each of the past two weeks. Against the Browns in Week 11, those targets could turn into receptions and into big plays.
Cleveland ranks 21st in pass defense and 20th in points allowed. Three different Texans receivers caught at least three passes against Cleveland in Week 10.
In two weeks, Reagor will have a date with the Seattle Seahawks and their league-worst pass defense. He is rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues and 24 percent of ESPN leagues.
Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team
As has been the case recently, good tight ends will be hard to find on the waiver wire. As was the case last week, Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas is the best one to target.
While Thomas is not a top-tier tight end, he has been more than serviceable in PPR formats. On Sunday, he caught four passes for 66 yards. He's been targeted six times in two straight weeks and should again see a healthy target share against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cincinnati ranks 26th in pass defense and 23rd in points allowed. Although Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron had only two catches and 38 yards against Cincinnati in Week 10, Thomas should have better numbers since he's a bigger piece of Washington's offensive game plan.
There aren't any elite tight ends on bye this week—Jimmy Graham and Evan Engram top the list—but if you need a fill-in or a streamer at the position, Thomas should provide a fair return on investment. He is rostered in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues and 19 percent of ESPN leagues.
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