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Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups - Top Adds for Fantasy Football

Ty Johnson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Each passing week brings more surprises and upsets in the NFL. In an ever-unpredictable league, it's important to stay one step ahead by anticipating who may be relevant in the coming weeks.

In this column, we always identify as many noteworthy waiver wire targets as possible at every position with a brief explanation of each player's current path to fantasy relevance.

All rostered percentages are taken from Yahoo and players are listed in descending order, not in order of priority. Only players who are rostered in approximately 40% or fewer leagues are considered.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens - 36% rostered

He returned after a four-week absence as the second running back behind Devonta Freeman, rushing 10 times for 32 yards compared to 16 carries for Freeman. It was also Freeman seeing goal-line work late in the game, cashing in on a touchdown. Since Murray has never been a pass-catching threat, this relegates him to a standard-league stash.

Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles - 21% rostered

Jordan Howard has been the best running back in Philly lately but he left the Week 11 contest early with a knee injury. Yet, Scott will still remain the RB2 because Miles Sanders returned and was very effective as the lead rusher on the team. With Howard ruled out for Week 12, Scott should see a decent workload against the Giants.

Ty Johnson, New York Jets - 20% rostered

Another example of a seemingly irrelevant running back who could see a revival in value, Johnson is a great pickup with Michael Carter suffering an ankle injury against the Dolphins and expected to miss the next 2-3 weeks. Johnson only registered two touches this past game while Tevin Coleman saw six but there is simply no upside with Coleman. Johnson has been used as the pass-catching back most of the season and has a decent chance to score against the Texans.

Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans - 1% rostered

It looks like the former Patriot is now lead runner in Houston, for what that's worth. He carried the ball 18 times for 40 yards while David Johnson managed just 18 yards on 13 carries and Phillip Lindsay touched the ball once and lost yardage. There's very little upside in this backfield, but those in deep standard leagues might take a shot on Burkhead finding the end zone in a plus matchup with the worst run defense in the league, the New York Jets, this coming week.

Jaret Patterson, Washington Football Team - 1% rostered

'Tis the season to stash running backs as insurance. Antonio Gibson has remained on the field despite a slew of injuries this year but it is a smart idea to grab his backup if you're going to depend on him through the fantasy playoffs. Patterson took seven carries for 23 yards in Week 11 and doesn't have standalone value but Gibson stakeholders should save a bench spot for Patterson.

Others to consider: Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (43% rostered); Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams (27% rostered); Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (26% rostered); Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals (6% rostered)


Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams - 46% rostered

If Jefferson was dropped due to the bye week, he could be one of the top wideouts to target on waivers. He will mostly serve the same WR3 role as before, with Odell Beckham Jr. simply sliding into Robert Woods' place. There was some value there, as he'd seen six or more targets in four straight games and has three games with 80 or more yards along with three touchdowns on the year. Assuming the Rams figured out their offensive woes during the break, Jefferson can be streamed in favorable matchups.

Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars - 39% rostered

Before skipping over this writeup in disgust, take into consideration two factors that could boost Shenault's value going forward. First, Shenault was operating out of the slot again in Week 11 and it resulted in a boost in targets. He caught all five of his targets for 50 yards, his best results since Week 6. Second, Jamal Agnew suffered a hip injury that could keep him out of action for a couple of weeks. Expected to simply be a kick returner, Agnew had taken over as one of the leading receivers in the offense but now opens up more targets for Shenault. I wouldn't go so far as to put him in a starting lineup just yet although the Jags do face Atlanta in Week 12.

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots - 20% rostered

We've recommended Bourne before and will do so again when the matchup looks promising. He's never going to see a ton of targets but he makes the most of his chances and gets used in creative ways as a rusher and even a passer at times. On four occasions this year Bourne has been a top-24 fantasy WR. He's got a good shot to do it again in Week 12 against the Titans, who remain the defense that is worst against wide receivers.

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons - 17% rostered

It's tempting to avoid this team altogether but there will be times when deep-league managers need a fill-in at WR. Much like the entire Falcons offense, Gage has been frustratingly inconsistent in 2021. He'll either get receptions in bunches or do absolutely nothing. Here's a look at his last five games since the bye:

Week 7 6 4 67 1 16.7
Week 8 0 0 0 0 0
Week 9 8 7 64 0 13.4
Week 10 3 0 0 0 0
Week 11 8 5 49 0 9.9

With Calvin Ridley not playing, the opportunity is certainly there. What isn't present is a semblance of an effective offensive line in Atlanta. If Matt Ryan can stay upright long enough, Gage has Flex appeal in a road matchup with Jacksonville.

Curtis Samuel, Washington Football Team - 10% rostered

Remember him? We've barely seen Samuel in a Washington uniform but he appears set to return in Week 12 after missing most of the year with a groin injury suffered in the preseason that he re-aggravated in Week 5. He may be on a snap limit initially and will have to work his way into the offense but Samuel is a playmaker with the ball in his hands and could help fantasy teams down the stretch. He's worth stashing if you can afford to take a high-upside flier.

Tre'Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints - 4% rostered

For three straight weeks, Smith has seen his target and reception totals rise. He reached a season-high with five receptions and 64 yards in Week 11 as the Saints were in pass-first mode for much of the game. It's hard to say what version of the Buffalo Bills we'll see next week but the Saints may have to rely on the pass yet again if Alvin Kamara remains sidelined.

Cedrick Wilson, Dallas Cowboys - 2% rostered

Amari Cooper was already set to miss Week 12 due to COVID and now a concussion threatens to keep CeeDee Lamb out of the Thanksgiving Day game as well. That could mean a huge bump for Wilson, who has made plays when given the chance. The real question is whether Dallas can recover from another disastrous showing as they did following their loss to Denver.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Tennessee Titans - 0% rostered

When the two starting receivers and stud running back are all injured, someone has to step up. In a game that shockingly saw Tennessee in negative game script all day long against Houston, Westbrook-Ikhine became the top receiver in a pass-heavy offense out of necessity. He led the team with 107 yards on seven receptions, both career-highs by a wide margin. If A.J. Brown can't go in Week 12, Westbrook-Ikhine becomes an intriguing streamer. His waiver wire stock might be higher if not for a tough matchup with the Patriots coming up and then a bye the following week.

Dez Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans - 0% rostered

Julio Jones is on IR, Marcus Johnson left the game against Houston with a hamstring injury, and A.J. Brown keeps getting banged up. That opened up an opportunity for the fourth-round pick to score his first NFL touchdown in Week 11. It's remarkable that he's even seeing the field considering he was cut in the preseason and languished on the practice squad until last week. He can be stashed in dynasty leagues but isn't necessarily a player to add in redraft leagues outside of the very deepest formats.

Others to consider: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (33% rostered); Marquez Callaway, New Orleans Saints (32% rostered); Deonte Harris, New Orleans Saints (21% rostered); Jamison Crowder, New York Jets (20% rostered); Marquise Goodwin, Chicago Bears (0% rostered)


Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears - 26% rostered

Ugh. All the stars were aligned for Kmet to have a big game against the Ravens. It didn't happen. He caught one pass for 12 yards as the familiar, ugly Bears offense returned. Andy Dalton provided a spark in the second half but it mainly came in the form of deep shots to speedy wideouts Darnell Mooney and Marquise Goodwin, not the young tight end. Kmet remains a viable option with a Turkey Day matchup against the Lions but the floor is precariously low.

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns - 22% rostered

The Browns' passing game was bad enough but now their receivers are dropping like flies. Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz were DNPs in Week 11 and Jarvis Landry left early with a knee injury. That led to more looks than usual for Hooper as he caught four passes for a season-high 53 yards, sadly. We can't pretend the ceiling is high but if you are still streaming at tight end, Hooper does have a plus matchup on paper; Baltimore allows the third-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Others to consider: Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars (42% rostered); Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings (37% rostered); Evan Engram, New York Giants (32% rostered)


Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Mac Jones, New England Patriots - 40% rostered

There's growing buzz surrounding Mac Jones as Offensive Rookie of the Year but what is his worth in fantasy? On the season, he ranks 30th in fantasy points per game at quarterback. Over the last four games, he ranks 27th. He's been very efficient, completing 70.2% of his passes on the year, but most leagues outside of the Scott Fish Bowl don't reward points for accuracy. With little rushing upside and low passing volume, especially in the red zone, Jones is serviceable in Superflex but can't be considered in single-QB leagues.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers - 28% rostered

He's not exciting but he has been consistent. Garoppolo has thrown two touchdowns in three straight games and has held onto the starting job with back-to-back wins to keep the 49ers in playoff contention. There's not much in-between with Jimmy G, as he's gone over 300 passing yards three times but under 200 yards five times this season. He didn't need to sling it much in Jacksonville but could get into a shootout with Minnesota, who tends to give up plenty of points through the air.

Joe Flacco, New York Jets - 2% rostered

Stream Joe Flacco?? Stream Joe Flacco. He was solid against an improved Miami defense in Week 11, throwing for 291 yards and two touchdowns. He gets a better matchup in Week 12 in a road contest with the Texans. Don't read too much into Houston's upset over the first-place Titans who were devastated by injuries on offense and played in soaking wet conditions. Flacco still has the arm and he's got weapons like Elijah Moore and Corey Davis to target. With Michael Carter potentially out, they may have to lean on the passing game more.

Others to consider: Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans (6% rostered); Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team (15% rostered)


Team Defense (D/ST) - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Chicago Bears Defense - 18% rostered

The Bears lost Khalil Mack for the year but had no trouble rushing the passer in Week 11, logging six sacks. That may have to do with first-time starter Tyler Huntley playing QB, though. They should have no trouble doing it again on Thanksgiving when they face the Lions regardless of whether it's Jared Goff or Tim Boyle behind center. Prioritize this DST over all available streaming options.

Philadelphia Eagles Defense - 18% rostered

A pick-six and two additional turnovers rewarded anyone who rolled with Philly's defense in Week 11. Oddly, this squad has fared much better on the road this season so the fact they are traveling to New York this coming week may work in their favor. The Giants are never going to be a scary offense and Daniel Jones is usually good for a turnover or two.

Houston Texans Defense - 1% rostered

They picked off Ryan Tannehill four times, so why can't they do the same to Joe Flacco this coming week? It doesn't usually work out that way but the Texans showed some fight coming off their bye and have a chance to be startable for fantasy teams when they face the Jets.

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