Waiver Wire Week 12: Taysom Hill, Tim Patrick Highlight Pickups to Know
There's a direct correlation between an unexpected fantasy football contribution and a waiver-wire recommendation to follow shortly thereafter.
That can make the player pool tricky to navigate when established commodities dominate the fantasy ranks, as has largely been the case in Week 11. Saying that, there were some notable exceptions, and those are the players catching our attention for Week 12's waiver-wire opening.
From a stand-in quarterback in New Orleans to a rookie pass-catcher in Indianapolis, these are our top three waiver-wire targets available in 50-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros.
Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos (21 Percent Rostered)
Drew Lock might be more ambitious with the football than the Broncos would have liked, but his willingness to take shots has weaponized the speedy Tim Patrick.
The third-year receiver has already established new career highs in virtually every category, and each part of his stat sheet is still trending up. The 6'4" Utah product delivered his third 100-yard effort Sunday while turning his eight targets into five receptions for 119 yards.
All three of those triple-digit outbursts have come within his last six contests. So have two of his three touchdowns on the season. He has been targeted at least four times in all six outings and saw eight-plus passes come his way in half of them.
This level of involvement bodes well for a strong finish and potentially nets Patrick more lasting impact than a Week 11 outlier like Damiere Byrd.
Taysom Hill, QB, New Orleans Saints (39 Percent Rostered)
It's not a gift that will keep on gifting, though, as Hill's performance surely rerouted him to the quarterback position. But it also provided the blueprint for how he can be successful in that spot, as CBS Sports' Chris Towers observed:
"Hill did most of his damage in the running game, rushing for 51 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns, but that was expected. We knew he could do that, and it was what made him an intriguing Fantasy QB as a starter. That he was able to hold his own as a passer? Well, now that's what could make him an actual Fantasy difference maker."
The Saints kept it simple for Hill, and he delivered by completing 18 of 23 passes for 233 yards. More importantly, he ran the ball 10 times for 51 yards and two scores. Between his rushing involvement and potentially adequate passing, he should hover on the QB1 bubble as long as Drew Brees remains sidelined.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts (40 Percent Rostered)
This week's waiver wire will feature an eye-of-the-beholder battle between Michael Pittman Jr. and Damiere Byrd. While Byrd had the more eye-popping Week 11 effort (six catches for 132 yards and a score), Pittman has more momentum in a superior passing attack, plus he has the more inviting matchup for Week 12.
The 6'4" rookie found the end zone for the first time Sunday on a 45-yard catch-and-run score in the Colts' critical 34-31 overtime triumph over the Green Bay Packers. It was a prickly matchup on paper, but Pittman still corralled all three of his targets for 66 yards and the touchdown.
He's now up to 18 targets over the past three weeks, and that increased volume yielded his first 100-yard performance his previous time out. He has averaged at least 14 yards per reception in these outings, so it's easy to see how his big frame and Philip Rivers' arm could become a thing in fantasy.
It's already happening, and the process could accelerate when the Colts travel to Tennessee on Sunday. Only three teams have allowed more fantasy points to the wide receiver position than the Titans this season, per Yahoo.