Week 11 Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

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Well, we finally have some closure with the Ezekiel Elliott situation. Of course, everyone and their mother was more than eager to alert us that Dallas missing tackle Tyron Smith was a bigger obstacle than missing Zeke. As far as injuries go, the Packers lost their top two running backs in Aaron Jones (knee) and Ty Montgomery (ribs), and Devonta Freeman exited Atlanta’s game very early with a concussion -- though Tevin Coleman is likely owned in most of your leagues. And I just have to assume that the 35% of leagues that Danny Woodhead is owned in already represents the amount of PPR leagues that exist on Yahoo.

Week 11 is the final week of byes, as we have to let Carolina* (not Cleveland, sheesh), Indianapolis, San Francisco, and the Jets take a week off. That’s really not that bad as far as fantasy-relevant players go, but it still creates a roster crunch on the bench. These get a little batty to write this deep into the season, but Week 10 actually yielded more WW goodness than I was prepared for.

Below are my Week 11 waiver wire pickups, or free agents to consider adding to your fantasy football teams. I provide information on players that are owned in roughly 35% of Yahoo leagues or less so that you can make an educated decision about who to add to your squad.

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Running Backs - Week 11 Waiver Wire

Jamaal Williams (RB, GB) - 11% owned (10% FAAB)

First it was Aaron Jones going down with what is being called a likely MCL sprain in his knee, and then it was Ty Montgomery going down with a rib injury. Outside of fullback Aaron Ripkowski, it was all Williams from that moment forward in this watered down Green Bay offense. Though Williams would only gain 67 yards on 20 carries and add on a seven-yard reception, getting 21 touches after getting a mid-game start is worth anyone’s attention. The starting RBs going down did not dissuade Green Bay from trying to shield Brett Hundley from the action. He now lines up to start against a Baltimore defense that is much more susceptible on the ground than in the air (16th rush DVOA, 2nd pass DVOA entering Week 10). Don't get me wrong, that matchup (and Pittsburgh the week after) is far from ideal, but Baltimore has allowed three 100-yard rushers thus far and some can't help but throw a Hail Mary for a starting RB.

Rex Burkhead (RB, NE) - 11% owned (10% FAAB in PPR)

Burkhead rushed the ball 10 times for 36 yards and chipped in three catches for 27 more yards and a sweet score on Sunday against the Broncos. The TD came on a 14-yard slant route where he showed off his versatility by lining up as a receiver, which should continue to earn him more snaps down the road. Speaking of snaps, he outsnapped Dion Lewis (who also had a great game) 36-to-21. He even blocked a punt, which can only delight Bill Belichick even more. Mike Gillislee was a notable inactive. Fantasy owners in standard and PPR leagues alike should look to Rex as a good way to get a piece of this Tom Brady-led offense ahead of a date with Oakland’s very shaky defense.

Rod Smith (RB, DAL) - 27% owned (8% FAAB)

The good news is that Week 10 made it clear how Smith is the No. 2 RB here, standing ahead of Darren McFadden but behind Alfred Morris. The bad news is that he really didn’t impress, totaling 29 yards on three carries and four catches. Morris didn’t tally a single reception in a game that Dallas lost handily, with common sense dictating that Smith could’ve hoped to do more in a pass-heavy gamescript. That led to his pacing Dallas RBs in snaps (20-to-13 over Morris at halftime, 39-21 by game’s end) despite not starting. To be fair, the Cowboys couldn’t do much of anything with Adrian Clayborn wrecking the entire offense. The red-hot Eagles could leave Dallas playing from behind often yet again in Week 11, which should give Smith another good matchup to make an impression.

Samaje Perine (RB, WAS) - 7% owned (8% FAAB)

Perine ended up with 60 total yards on 10 touches (nine carries, one catch), with the majority of his work coming after Rob Kelley exited with a nasty lower leg injury. While Chris Thompson remains everyone’s favorite back in this stable, it should be Perine who ends up getting the goal-line carries (he was stuffed on his one GL carry on Sunday). It may not be pretty, but opportunity is opportunity. The Saints rushing defense should be easier to push against than Minnesota’s.

Eddie Lacy (RB, SEA) - 17% owned (7% FAAB)

Lacy missed Week 10 and Seattle’s running game consequently did absolutely nothing against the Cardinals. Thomas Rawls fell flat on his face with just 27 ground yards on 10 totes, mixing in two catches for 12 yards, and likely blew his opportunity to earn the first crack at establishing a hot hand in Week 11 against the Falcons. Lacy had gained 20 yards on six carries before getting hurt in Week 9, though it’s no given that he’s recovered from his groin injury. Still, speculating on Lacy has to be the move given how poorly Rawls looked. J.D. McKissic remains a decent deep-league PPR threat with C.J. Prosise out.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC) - 3% owned (6% FAAB)

Ekeler ran wild over the Jaguars on Sunday, notching 42 yards on 10 carries and two nearly-identical touchdown catches where he scampered down the right sideline out of the backfield. His 5-77-2 receiving line was fantastic against a stingy Jacksonville defense and he looked to be favored over Melvin Gordon as the game developed before losing a gross fumble deep in Charger territory. Gordon would then be reinserted for the next drive and overtime, but this performance should lead to more touches moving forward for the rookie. Those in PPR leagues seeking RB depth should feel comfortable adding him in most 12-team formats.

T.J. Yeldon (RB, JAC) - 9% owned (5% FAAB in PPR)

It appears as though Yeldon has jumped over Chris Ivory for No. 2 duties in Jacksonville’s backfield, which isn’t too surprising given his solid performances lately. Helping his case is that his profile differs more from Leonard Fournette than Ivory, so the change-of-pace and passing duties can fall to him more readily. This week marked the first time that Fournette and Yeldon were active at the same time (all four RBs were active) and T.J. ended up getting eight targets before the final whistle blew. Yeldon played on 31 snaps while Fournette tallied 45, which should be good enough for 12-team PPR owners to make the move.

 

Wide Receivers - Week 11 Waiver Wire

Corey Coleman (WR, CLE) - 22% owned (8% FAAB)

Available in nearly four out of five leagues, Coleman hit the practice field last week and remains on track to make his return in Week 11 (against the Jaguars, shh). Okay, terrible matchup aside, we’re looking at more than one week here. Coleman is a dynamic player who should offer Cleveland with a steady go-to presence while everyone drools over the return of Josh Gordon. Hype is as hype does, but the reality is that Coleman is returning to action first and has already played in 2017, catching five balls for 53 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Don’t lean on him for much in Week 11, but he makes for a nice option heading toward the precious playoff weeks.

Marquise Goodwin (WR, SF) - 15% owned (8% FAAB)

Goodwin only caught one of his two targets on Sunday against the Giants, which would normally mean a disappointing stat line. Not so for big-play Marquise, who absolutely flamed Janoris Jenkins and Big Blue for an 83-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Goodwin has only hauled in 23 of his 55 targets this season, but the 49ers will usually be playing from behind and needing to pepper their No. 1 receiver. SF is on a bye for Week 11, but Goodwin should be owned in many more leagues regardless heading into a tough Week 12 draw with Seattle.

Curtis Samuel (WR, CAR) - 9% owned (2% FAAB)

I realize that Samuel and the Panthers will hit their bye after their Monday night tilt against the Dolphins, but as far as secondary receiving options go on a run-first team, Samuel raises some eyebrows. The speedster saw five targets throughout his first Kelvin Benjamin-less game and should continue to work in as a starter alongside Devin Funchess. The key will be watching his snap count versus that of Russell Shepard, as well as looking out for any designed plays to get Samuel in space. With eyes forward to Week 13 and 14 dates against New Orleans and Minnesota, who both boast corners who demonize opposing WR1’s, Samuel could be a sneaky weapon down the stretch.

Dontrelle Inman (WR, CHI) - 1% owned (2% FAAB)

Chicago wasted no time in “featuring” their newest addition in Inman, who they got for a conditional seventh-round pick before the trade deadline. Inman would catch six-of-eight targets for 88 yards against the Packers, with the receptions and yardage pacing the team. Don’t look at this stat line and project it as a likely outcome moving forward -- these are still the Bears, after all -- but there’s nothing wrong with viewing Inman as the No. 1 receiver. They’ll always prefer to go through their running game instead, but should find themselves needing to throw in the next couple of weeks with matchups against Detroit and Philadelphia upcoming.

Bruce Ellington (WR, HOU) - 0% owned (1% FAAB)

Ellington would haul in a 26-yard touchdown to cap off his modest day (4-41-1) while Will Fuller received treatment on his ribs after eating a huge hit from Rams safety LaMarcus Joyner. Normally, I’d gloss over grabbing Tom Savage’s likely No. 3 option behind DeAndre Hopkins and C.J. Fiedorowicz, but Ellington could find himself in a critical spot given Houston’s matchup with Arizona next week if Fuller can’t go or is limited. Patrick Peterson won’t nullify Hopkins, but could at least force Savage to look another way a few times. Considering Ellington garnered eight targets here, I’d say this is worth a shot in deeper, very desperate waters.

 

Tight Ends - Week 11 Waiver Wire

Julius Thomas (TE, MIA) - 28% owned (3% FAAB)

It’s tougher to get an angle on players who go on MNF in a Sunday night article, but Thomas could be a serviceable TE2/flex option with both of Miami’s games against the Patriots on the horizon. After taking on Carolina, the Dolphins will face Tampa Bay in their “bye week” makeup, then travel to New England, then face Denver (a bottom-10 defense per DVOA against TEs), then host New England again. The first game without Jay Ajayi saw Miami lean on the passing game a bit more, which yielded a season-high eight targets for Thomas. If that trend continues on Monday night against Carolina then we could have something moving forward.

C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE, HOU) - 13% owned (1% FAAB)

Fiedorowicz largely disappointed in his return to the playing field on Sunday, securing just two-of-six targets for 10 yards against the Rams. It was good to see him work throughout the game and just as we pointed out with Bruce Ellington, Fiedorowicz should benefit a bit if Will Fuller misses time with a rib injury. Six targets isn’t a bad starting mark against a good Rams defense, so look for better days to come.

Dion Sims (TE, CHI) - 1% owned (1% FAAB)

Unfortunately, Sims missed Week 10 thanks to an illness, which allowed Adam Shaheen to catch a pair of passes for 39 yards in his stead. Sims should re-enter the fold for Week 11’s date with the Lions -- a team that hasn’t been tested by many top TEs this season, yet they entered Week 10 with the second-to-last DVOA mark against the position and wound up allowing Cleveland’s Seth DeValve to tally 70 yards on them. This isn’t a TE1 recommendation by any means, but he should see plenty of snaps and we love ourselves some opportunity.

Marcedes Lewis (TE, JAC) - 3% owned (1% FAAB)

With the Giants TE-giving defense facing the universally-owned Travis Kelce in Week 11, those looking for a flow-chart guy should target Lewis since he faces the Browns -- who somehow gave up a touchdown to Eric Ebron in Week 10. Lewis has seen at least five targets in each of his last two games and is worth a "In case of emergency, make add" type of play.

 

Quarterbacks - Week 11 Streamers

Preferred streamer order (<35% owned guys): Blake Bortles @CLE (31% owned), Jay Cutler vs. TB (17% owned), Ryan Fitzpatrick @MIA (12% owned), Drew Stanton @HOU (3% owned), Brett Hundley vs. BAL (9% owned), Joe Flacco (11% owned).

 

Early Defensive Streaming Candidates

  • NO (vs. WAS) - 49% owned
  • CIN (@DEN) - 25% owned
  • MIA (vs. TB) - 7% owned <-- my favorite!

 

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Analysis