The Preparing for the Playoffs section that we’ve been including at the end of this column will be getting its own, expanded release later this week.  As Adam and Evan suggested on their NFC podcast last Tuesday, FAAB suggestions and who to consider out of the available waiver wire options are often very situation dependent.  That’s exactly why I offer my contact information to ETR subscribers on Twitter @RyanReynNJ or via email at [email protected]  If you’re considering a move or debating an FAAB bid, you’re welcome to contact me if you’re on the fence about a decision.

Week 12 Waiver Wire

Quarterback
Note: Derek Carr has appealing matchups in Week 12 at the Jets and Week 13 at the Chiefs, which would put him among the top options on this list if he’s available in your league.

  1. Baker Mayfield – 10% FAAB Budget
  2. Sam Darnold – 8%
  3. Jacoby Brissett – 5%
  4. Nick Foles – 4% (Middling Week 12 matchup with appealing future matchups)
  5. Daniel Jones – 4% (Poor Week 12 matchup with appealing future matchups)
  6. Jeff Driskel (Two QB league consideration)
  7. Mitch Trubisky/ Chase Daniels (Two QB league consideration)
  8. Ryan Fitzpatrick (Two QB league consideration)

 

Running Backs
Note: If Jaylen Samuels or LeSean McCoy are available in your league, they would top this list.

  1. Jonathan Williams – 10% FAAB Budget
  2. Darrel Williams – 10%
  3. Derrius Guice – 8%
  4. Bo Scarbrough – 7%
  5. Nyheim Hines – 6%
  6. Jordan Wilkins – 5%
  7. Tony Pollard – 4%
  8. Alexander Mattison – 3%
  9. Wayne Gallman – 2%
  10. J.D. McKissic – 1%

 

Wide Receivers
Note: If Will Fuller, Josh Gordon, Deebo Samuel, or DeVante Parker are available in your league they would each be in play for the top spot on this list.  Zach Pascal would also be a viable consideration among the third and fifth rankings on this list, particularly if T.Y. Hilton remains sidelined.

  1. Sterling Shepard – 10% FAAB Budget
  2. Mecole Hardman – 8%
  3. Kenny Stills – 8%
  4. Darius Slayton – 6%
  5. Demarcus Robinson – 6%
  6. Randall Cobb – 5%
  7. James Washington – 4%
  8. Hunter Renfrow – 3%
  9. Allen Lazard – 3%
  10. Cole Beasley – 3%
  11. Chris Conley – 2%
  12. Nelson Agholor – 2%
  13. N’Keal Harry – 2%
  14. Allen Hurns – 2%
  15. Russell Gage – 2%
  16. Antonio Brown – 1%

 

 Tight End

  1. Jacob Hollister – 10% FAAB Budget
  2. Noah Fant – 10%
  3. Ryan Griffin – 5%
  4. Dallas Goedert – 5%
  5. Cameron Brate – 4%
  6. David Njoku – 3%
  7. Mike Gesicki – 3%
  8. Ben Watson – 2%
  9. Dawson Knox – 1%

 

Defenses

  1. Falcons – 2% FAAB Budget
  2. Eagles – 1% (Week 13-15 consideration)
  3. Browns – 1%
  4. Detroit – 0%

 

Drop Considerations

QB: Mason Rudolph, Kyle Allen, Matthew Stafford

RB: Chase Edmonds, Ty Johnson, Royce Freeman

WR: DeSean Jackson, Dante Pettis, Diontae Johnson,

TE: Chris Herndon, Irv Smith, Kyle Rudolph,

 

Quarterback.
Note: Derek Carr has appealing matchups in Week 12 at the Jets and Week 13 at the Chiefs, which would put him among the top options on this list if he’s available in your league.

  1. Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns, 10% FAAB Budget: Mayfield and the Browns offense showed some encouraging signs on Thursday Night football against the Steelers last week. In Week 12, they host Miami as 10 ½ point home favorites with an implied team total of 29 ¾ against an exploitable Dolphins pass defense.  Outside of their Week 4 explosion against Baltimore, the Browns offense has performed well below expectations this season.  This matchup with Miami, who lacks a significant pass rush, marks a tremendous opportunity for Cleveland’s offense to show some of that high ceiling that they are capable of.
  1. Sam Darnold, QB, Jets, 8%: Darnold lit up the Redskins for 4 scores and 293 yards passing in Week 11. In Week 12, the Jets are 3-point home underdogs against a Raiders pass defense that has given up the 6th most yards per game in the air (262.2) on the season.  This contest pits two capable quarterbacks against two exploitable pass defenses, which could ultimately drive this contest beyond it’s already solid 46-point game total.
  1. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Colts, 5%: Brissett’s Colts head to Houston on Thursday Night as 3 ½ point underdogs in Week 12. Houston has given up the 4th most passing yards per game (272.4) on the season, setting up for another high upside matchup for Brissett, especially if Y. Hilton returns.
  1. Nick Foles, QB, Jaguars, 4%: Foles has a middling Week 12 matchup as the Jaguars visit the Titans as 3-point road underdogs with a 41-point game total. However, the Jaguars have appealing matchups coming up as they host the Buccaneers in Week 13, while traveling to the Raiders in Week 15 and the Falcons in Week 16.
  1. Daniel Jones, QB, Giants, 4%: You probably don’t want to play Jones in Chicago this week if you have other options, but you might want to grab him now considering the Giants upcoming schedule in Weeks 14 through 16. Week 15 when the Giants host Miami is of particular interest.
  2. Jeff Driskel, QB, Lions, Two QB Consideration: Driskel has posted 19.1 and then 27.5 Draft Kings points in relief duty for the injured Matthew Stafford.  While we should not quite bank on that to be the norm, Driskel has played well in each of the last two contests and brings valuable upside as a rusher.  The Lions are 3 ½ point road favorites against a Redskins team that was blown out at home by the Jets last week.
  3. Mitch Trubisky/ Chase Daniels, QB, Bears, Two QB league consideration: At this point, we can’t be entirely sure if Trubisky or Daniels will take Soldier Field against the Giants exploitable pass defense in Week 12. But if you’re in a two-quarterback format or a deep league in need of a bye week replacement, whichever Bears signal caller that gets the nod against the Giants has more upside than normal in Week 12.
  4. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Dolphins, Two QB league consideration: With edge Myles Garrett and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi suspended, along with edge Olivier Vernon still not practicing as of this writing, the Browns pass rush has been significantly reduced heading into their Week 12 matchup with Miami.  That reduction in pressure gives a fringe play like Fitzpatrick enough upside to warrant consideration in either deep leagues or two quarterback formats.

 

Running Backs
Note: If Jaylen Samuels or LeSean McCoy are available in your league, they would top this list.

  1. Jonathan Williams, RB, Colts, 10% FAAB Budget: With Marlon Mack set to miss at least Week 12 with injury (hand) and Jordan Wilkins having missed Week 11 himself, Williams has a legitimate chance to be the primary ball carrier when the Colts head to Houston on Thursday Night. With Mack leaving Week 11 early due to injury, Williams lead Colts running backs in offensive snaps (29) as he ran for 116 yards on 13 carries while catching his only target for 31 yards.  While it’s even likely that Williams will enter a timeshare with Nyheim Hines, the potential is there for Williams to log 15 or more carries behind one of football’s best offensive lines in Mack’s absence against Houston, maybe even beyond.
  2. Darrel Williams, RB, Chiefs, 10%: Williams lead Chiefs running backs in workload during Monday Night Football against the Chargers. While it may be odd to say considering that Williams is a rookie, Williams may actually be the most reliable running back out of the Chiefs available options.  Given that Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy have been unable to separate from the pack this whole season, Darrel Williams can be a solid, cheap gamble with the potential for real future upside as the Chiefs head into their Week 12 bye.  If Damien Williams rib injury results in him missing time, Darrel Williams could enter Week 13 with a difference making role in the Chiefs elite offense.
  3. Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins, 8%: Guice’s 45-yard catch and run for a score was one of the few bright spots for Washington during Week 11’s embarrassing loss to the Jets. While Guice and Adrian Peterson nearly split running back touches last week, one can reasonably expect the Redskins to gradually increase Guice’s role down the stretch to see what they have in the second year back.
  4. Bo Scarbrough, RB, Lions, 7%: The Lions muddy backfield took a bit of an unexpected turn in Week 11, as Scarbrough led the backfield in playing time and workload while rushing for 55 yards and a score on 14 carries. While Scarbrough has now been the most effective rusher for the Lions since Kerryon Johnson went down for the season, he also did not have a target in Week 11, limiting his upside.  One can reasonably expect the Lions to continue deploying a backfield committee, but Scarbrough’s sudden usage spike makes him worthy of consideration, especially in non PPR formats, in the event that his 14-carry volume becomes the new norm in the Lions offense.  Detroit heads to Washington in Week 12.
  5. Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts, 6%: Marlon Mack’s hand injury puts all Colts running backs in play as potential difference making assets in Mack’s absence. Hines, who has primarily been used in passing situations, only has 30 catches on 40 targets on the season for 242 yards.  Hines has only had more than 10 carries twice in his career, both coming last year.  While Hines had a rushing touchdown last week, he has not had more than 4 carries in a single game this season.  Jonathan Williams served as the primary ball carrier last week against the Jaguars in Mack’s absence.  While it’s reasonable to expect that Williams and Hines will function in some form of timeshare this Thursday Night in Houston, Hines could remain in his role as a pass catcher with mild total usage.
  6. Jordan Wilkins, RB, Colts, 5%: Wilkins missed Week 11 after suffering an ankle injury during Week 10’s loss to the Dolphins. If not for that injury, it’s even likely that Wilkins would be stepping in for the injured Marlon Mack as the primary ball carrier for Thursday Night Football in Houston.  Given the situation, it’s likely that Wilkins won’t make it back on a short week.  If he does, he may join Jonathan Williams and Nyheim Hines in a congested backfield timeshare.  Even if Wilkins misses Week 12, he could be worthy of a stash in case Mack’s injury forces him to miss considerable time.
  7. Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys, 4%: Pollard has shown what he can do in this offense at various points this season in his reserve role, just like he did last week against Detroit. If Ezekiel Elliot were to miss time, Pollard would become a max FAAB bid type of fantasy asset.  We’re getting late enough in the year where premium handcuffs like Pollard should no longer be available in most leagues, so if you have room for an asset like Pollard, consider adding him for his difference making upside if Zeke were to go down.
  8. Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings, 3%: The Vikings enter their bye in Week 11, meaning that Mattison is unlikely to see an increase in value heading into Week 13. However, he is one of the true top shelf handcuffs available in a large percentage of leagues.  If anything were to happen to Dalvin Cook, Mattison would become a difference making fantasy asset worthy of a max FAAB bid.
  1. Wayne Gallman, RB, Giants, 2%: Saquon Barkley has had a very disappointing 2019 season to date and he has not quite looked like himself since returning from a high ankle sprain. Before the Giants Week 10 bye, Barkley was completely shut down by the Jets and left early with an undisclosed injury.  While Giants brass has said that they have no plans to shut Saquon down, and that he’s “fine”, proactively grabbing Gallman could be a better safe than sorry move in leagues with deep rosters.
  1. J.D. McKissic, RB, Lions, 1%: McKissic has had between 3 and 7 targets in every game since the beginning of October. While he has limited volume-based upside given the crowded nature of the Lions backfield timeshare, McKissic can still be an asset in PPR formats with deep rosters.

 

Wide Receivers
Note: If Will Fuller, Josh Gordon, Deebo Samuel, or DeVante Parker are available in your league they would each be in play for the top spot on this list.  Zach Pascal would also be a viable consideration, particularly if T.Y. Hilton remains sidelined.

  1. Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants, 10% FAAB Budget: Shepard practicing on Monday after the Giants bye doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of the woods with his concussion issues, it is a good sign worth betting on at this point. If Shepard is able to return, the Giants have several appealing matchups coming after their Week 12 tilt in Chicago.  We like to bet on difference making upside, and a healthy Shepard could be exactly that for your fantasy team if he’s able to return from his second concussion on the season. 
  1. Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs, 8%: Tyreek Hill did not return after tweaking his hamstring on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs enter their bye in Week 12, which means that we may not known the severity of Hill’s injury until after waivers are processed.  But, if Hill were to miss any time, Hardman is a burner that can best duplicate Hill’s capability as a deep threat.  The Chiefs face the Raiders when they return from their bye, which is a defense Hardman hit for 61 yards and a score while having a 74-yard touchdown negated by penalty back in Week 2.  While an acquisition of Hardman could effectively be a waste if Hill misses no time, it’s an upside gamble we will be willing to take in many spots.
  1. Kenny Stills, WR, Texans, 8%: After getting stomped by the Ravens last week, the Texans are in a classic bounce back spot when they host the Colts on Thursday Night Football. If Will Fuller misses this game that could ultimately decide the AFC South, Stills could be worthy of a start on a lot of fantasy rosters in this matchup.  Even if Fuller returns, Stills will continue to have a valuable, slot-heavy role in this offense while serving as Fuller insurance.
  1. Darius Slayton, WR, Giants, 6%: Slayton has significantly exceeded expectations during his rookie year. Before the Giants Week 11 bye, Slayton had his best game of the season against the Jets behind legitimate, WR1 type usage.  If and when the injured Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram return to action, Slayton’s usage could see a notable drop.  If Shepard, in particular, is unable to return from his concussion issues, Slayton could be worth rostering in most formats given the Giants appealing matchups that are coming after their Week 12 matchup in Chicago.  Slayton is worthy of roster consideration in deep leagues regardless of the status of the Giants other pass catchers.
  1. Demarcus Robinson, WR, Chiefs, 6%: While Robinson has continued to see significant playing time in the Chiefs offense even after Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins returned from injury, his usage has been modest for weeks. Now, with Hill leaving Monday Night Football early with a hamstring injury, Robinson’s usage could be on the rise if Hill were to miss any time.  After the Chiefs Week 12 bye, they square off against the Raiders, who Robinson torched for 172 yards and 2 scores back in Week 2.
  1. Randall Cobb, WR, Cowboys, 5%: Cobb has seen significant playing time whenever he’s been active in 2019. Right now, he’s on a bit of a hot streak as he’s posted 16 catches on 23 targets for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns over the last 3 games.  With Amari Cooper continuing to battle a knee injury, Cobb’s considerable usage could continue as the Cowboys face the Patriots in Week 12. 
  1. James Washington, WR, Steelers, 4%: The shower narrative could be on the comeback trail for Washington as both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are in danger of missing Week 12’s contest with the winless Bengals. While efficiency and volume have not been reliable for Steelers wide receivers in Mason Rudolph’s offense, Washington would represent the top option if both Johnson and Smith-Schuster can’t go against Cincinnati.
  1. Hunter Renfrow, WR, Raiders, 3%: Renfrow has quietly amassed a team leading 18 targets over the last 3 games, making him a high-floor PPR asset over that span. With an appealing Week 12 matchup against the Jets and a Week 13 trip to Kansas City, Renfrow has back-to-back matchups with legitimate upside as we approach the fantasy playoffs.
  1. Allen Lazard, WR, Packers, 3%: One could reasonably refer to Lazard as the wide receiver 2 in the Green Bay offense heading into Week 12. While that could change after Sunday Night Football against the 49ers, Green Bay has a few strong matchups over the next few weeks that could lead to valuable upside for any Packers pass catcher with a significant role.
  1. Cole Beasley, WR, Bills, 3%: Beasley remains a high-floor asset in PPR formats that has received 6 or more targets in 6 games this season. The Bills have a difficult Week 12 matchup against Denver.
  1. Chris Conley, WR, Jaguars, 2%: Conley has had at least 7 targets in each of the last 4 games. With Nick Foles back under center, the Jaguars passing attack has several high-upside matchups in the coming weeks.  While Conley should still be considered the WR3 in the Jaguars offense, he’s worthy of consideration given his consistently strong usage and favorable upcoming schedule, especially in deeper leagues.
  1. Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles, 2%: Agholor has had 8 and 9 targets, respectively, over the Eagles last two games. With DeSean Jackson out with injury once again, Agholor is receiving consistently high usage despite the lack of production.  The Eagles have a number of appealing matchups coming after, perhaps even including, their Week 12 tilt with the Seahawks.
  1. N’Keal Harry, WR, Patriots, 2%: With Phillip Dorsett in the concussion protocol, Harry was ahead of preseason standout Jakobi Meyers in playing time and usage against the Eagles in Week 11. Even if Dorsett misses Week 12 against Dallas, Harry would likely be third in the pecking order behind Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu.  However, the rookie first-rounder is worthy of an add in deeper leagues, as there is a path to him “winning” a more considerable role in the Patriots offense down the stretch.  New England faces Dallas in Week 12.
  1. Allen Hurns, WR, Dolphins, 2%: The Dolphins have recently extended Hurns, making his solid usage over the past two games more likely to continue going forward.
  1. Russell Gage, WR, Falcons, 2%: Gage had a touchdown negated by penalty last week, but he has filled the slot-heavy role vacated by Mohamed Sanu’s trade to New England.
  2. Antonio Brown, WR, Patriots, 1%: Since we now have Brown apologizing to Robert Kraft and the Patriots on social media while deploying semicolons, you should at least be aware that he’s still out there and if someone did sign Brown, he could be a difference making asset.  It’s also very likely that he doesn’t play another down, for anyone, the rest of the season.

 

Tight End

  1. Jacob Hollister, TE, Seahawks, 10% FAAB Budget: Hollister’s rise to fantasy relevance has largely mimicked Will Dissly’s similar path earlier this season. Since Russell Wilson appears to be a tight end maker, we should not dismiss Hollister’s 12 catches on 16 targets for 99 yards and 3 touchdowns over Seattle’s past two games as a fluke.  We should instead consider rostering him whenever it is reasonable to do so.
  1. Noah Fant, TE, Broncos, 10%: After Emmanuel Sanders was traded to the 49ers, Fant has 12 catches on 24 targets for 201 yards receiving and a touchdown over Denver’s 3 games since. Fant is 4th among tight ends in targets during that 4-week span, despite playing only 3 games.  He’s also at, or near, the head of the class for the tight end position in target share (26%) and weighted opportunity (.52) over that 4-week span.  While Fant’s efficiency is likely to remain low due to Denver’s volatile quarterback situation, Fant’s role has been elite since Sanders was shipped to San Francisco.
  1. Ryan Griffin, TE, Jets, 5%: Griffin has had 3 productive outings since the Jets embarrassing loss to the Patriots on Monday Night Football. Griffin most recently posted his best line of the season during the Jets blowout of the Redskins, as he caught all 5 of his targets for 109 yards and a score.  Now that Chris Herndon is officially out of the picture for the Jets, Griffin is worthy of consideration for those looking for an upgrade at tight end or those in need of a bye week fill in.
  1. Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles, 5%: Goedert saw his most versatile deployments of the season during Week 11’s loss to the Patriots, as he saw an increase in snaps both out of the backfield and in the slot against New England. Goedert continues to be a significant, valuable part of a struggling Eagles offense that is another week away from enjoying a soft stretch in their schedule.
  1. Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers, 4%: O.J. Howard’s most recent flub turned into Brate’s gain in Week 11, as Brate had a team leading 10 catches on 14 targets for 73 yards against the Saints. Does this mean that Brate has officially overtaken the struggling Howard?  That’s hard to definitively say.  What we do know is that Brate had massive usage last week and Howard’s playing time fell off a cliff after his strange, behind the back turnover against the Saints.  Even if Brate does take on a larger role, he would still be firmly behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in the pecking order most weeks.  Brate and the Bucs have an attractive Week 12 matchup in Atlanta.
  1. David Njoku, TE, Browns, 3%: According to Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens expects Njoku to practice this Wednesday. While that does not guarantee Njoku will return to action this Sunday against the Dolphins, it does appear that he’s getting closer to game action after being sidelined with a wrist injury for most of the season.  While Cleveland has struggled on offense this season, they have a number of attractive matchups coming, including Week 12’s against the Dolphins.
  1. Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins, 3%: Gesicki has 6 targets in each of the last 3 games for the Dolphins. While Miami’s football operation continues to be among the most volatile in the sport, Gesicki’s role has been stable for an offense that often plays from behind and can’t effectively run the ball.  In Week 12, Miami faces a Browns defense that is going to be without Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, and maybe even Olivier Vernon once again.  A reduced Browns pass rush is a net positive for Ryan Fitzpatrick and his pass catching options.
  1. Ben Watson, TE, Patriots, 2%: Watson has had 4 or more targets in 3 of his 4 games with the Patriots this season. Watson’s usage could be the best that you can get as a bye week fill in or injury replacement in leagues with deep rosters.
  1. Dawson Knox, TE, Bills, 1%: Knox is another tight end with considerable playing time, that sees the occasional usage spike that could be the best that you can get in leagues with deep rosters.

 

Defenses

  1. Falcons Defense vs Buccaneers, 2% FAAB Budget: The math here is simple, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has 18 interceptions on the season, he’s had 5 games with multiple interceptions, he’s been sacked 36 times, and he’s fumbled 11 times (while only losing 4). Pair those facts with Atlanta’s recent surge on defense and you have a recipe for sack and turnover opportunities in Week 12’s highest game total.
  1. Eagles Defense vs Seahawks (Week 13-15 consideration), 1%: Playing the Eagles defense against MVP candidate Russell Wilson isn’t completely out of the question, but it should probably be avoided in most circumstances. However, there is some true upside going forward for the Eagles defense which will be further detailed in the Preparing for the Playoffs release.
  1. Browns Defense vs Dolphins, 1%: This was a slam dunk streaming option until the Myles Garrett nightmare last Thursday Night. Now that Garret and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi will miss this contest due to suspension, and edge Olivier Vernon has missed multiple weeks and did not practice on Monday, the very appealing matchup for the Browns pass rush is gone.  With that said, Miami is still a volatile offense with poor offensive line play as a 10 ½ point road underdog in Cleveland.
  1. Detroit Defense at Washington, 0%: Any defense is worth consideration as a streaming option against Dwayne Haskins’ Redskins offense. Between the blowout home loss to the Jets and the bizarre video clip of Haskins asking his offensive line how he can help them, the train may officially be off the tracks for the Washington football team the rest of the way, which creates a path for a sputtering Detroit offense to exceed expectations.

 

Ryan Reynolds has privately analyzed football for investing and betting purposes for nearly two decades.  Ryan began forecasting by using sports cards as a method of investing in individual baseball and football players, a practice he still takes part in today.  Ryan plays DFS, high-volume best ball, and season-long fantasy while directly betting on props, totals, and point spreads that meet his conditions.  Ryan has watched every snap, of every NFL game since 2014.