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Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds


This could be the most exciting installment of waiver wire adds in a while. Not that any of these choices are necessarily league-winners but at least we have a bunch of new names to ponder. Bye weeks are nearly over but this one will be particularly tough with the high-scoring Chiefs, Vikings, Chargers, and Cardinals all taking a rest. Hopefully, this column will provide some insight into useful options on the wire, be it for this week or the remainder of the season.

Each week, we will advise you which players to consider picking up on waivers that are owned in approximately 35% or fewer of Yahoo leagues so that you can make an educated decision about how to improve your fantasy football team. This list is not meant to be exclusive of all add-worthy players. For a more comprehensive list, check out our weekly Waiver Wire Lightning Round by position, ordered by priority. If higher-owned players not listed here are available in your league, feel free to treat them as higher-priority pickups.

As always, keep checking back here for updated waiver recommendations and always keep tabs on our NFL Player News feed. Be sure to also check out our weekly rankings and analysis columns, with in-depth analysis for all options heading into Week 10.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars32% owned

Rust was definitely not an issue for Foles in his first game action since Week 1. He fell four yards short of 300, with much of that coming in garbage time of a blowout loss. He tossed two touchdowns as well, which made for a decent fantasy day, even if the results weren't as good in real life. The Colts are a top-10 defense against opposing quarterbacks though, while next week's opponent, Tennessee, is 18th. Foles can be considered a high-end QB2 who can be used in place of Patrick Mahomes or Kirk Cousins for one game.

Sam Darnold, New York Jets - 22% owned

See! This is why we've been advocating for Darnold the past few weeks. A four-TD and near-300 yard game is just what fantasy owners and Jets fans needed to see. Sure, it came against the Redskins but that's what has made him worth owning all along. Next up is the league's worst pass defense in Oakland, followed by the league's worst franchise in Cincinnati and then the Dolphins. You can and should start Darnold the next three weeks before pulling the plug ahead of Week 15.

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans - 21% owned

Those who stream at QB might take advantage of the fact that Tannehill was dropped many places due to the bye week. He's been steady since taking over as the starter in Nashville, completing a career-high 71% of his passes. His yardage output has fluctuated wildly though; in four starts, he's gone over 300 yards twice and fallen short of 200 yards twice. The Titans are at home to face a Jaguars Defense that is no longer elite against the pass without Jalen Ramsey, ranking 14th in fantasy points allowed. Tanny is a fairly safe play in 14+ team leagues.

Jeff Driskel, Detroit Lions - 3% owned

He's got the keys to the car in Motown for the rest of the season, as Matthew Stafford has been ruled out for up to six weeks. There's a comfort level developing, which we saw in Week 11. Driskel completed 15 of 26 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. His rushing ability provides a nice cushion too, as he showed with 51 rushing yards and a touchdown. The lack of running game works in Driskel's favor, as he could provide the majority of the offense as a runner and passer. A matchup with the Redskins in Week 12 makes Driskel a very intriguing add.

Others to considerMason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers (10% owned); Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (10% owned)

 

Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles - 23% owned

He's found a team but it's not the one we were hoping for. Rather than stepping immediately into a starting role in Detroit or Miami, Ajayi wound up with his previous team in Philly. He was a DNP this week despite the fact Jordan Howard sat out. Even if Howard misses another game, Ajayi will at best be part of a committee with Miles Sanders and Boston Scott because that's how Doug Pederson rolls. Ajayi averaged just over 10 carries per game in his 11-game stint with the Eagles the last two years, making him largely dependent on a touchdown or a big gain for weekly value. He's worth a stash if you need RB depth but don't expect much.

Trey Edmunds, Pittsburgh Steelers - 3% owned

James Conner hurt again? Color me surprised. Edmunds filled in temporarily on Thursday night, gaining 38 yards on six touches. He wouldn't be considered more than a desperation flex if it weren't for the fact that Cincinnati is next on the schedule. The worst team in the NFL was gashed again on the ground, giving up 112 yards to Josh Jacobs, raising their average to 115.2 yards per game allowed. If Conner doesn't go, Edmunds could be a top-25 running back in Week 12.

Bo Scarbrough, Detroit Lions - 1% owned

Those tricky Lions... Instead of the expected tandem of Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic, they rolled out second-year man Bo Scarbrough, who was a seventh-round pick by Dallas a year ago. He saw his first NFL game action and may have earned himself more touches going forward with 55 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. His lack of involvement as a pass-catcher limits his ceiling but a matchup with Washington keeps him on the streaming radar.

Jonathan Williams, Indianapolis Colts - 1% owned

Marlon Mack was on his way to the best game of his career until a hand injury ended his day in the third quarter. Williams stepped in and looked like a carbon copy of Mack, running for 116 yards on 13 carries. This could be an indictment on the effort of the Jaguars defense but we have to give credit to Williams, who had only touched the ball in one other game this season. Mack's fractured hand has already ruled him out for Week 12 and could keep him out multiple weeks, so Williams becomes a must-add almost everywhere outside of shallow leagues.

Qadree Ollison, Atlanta Falcons - 1% owned

Brian Hill disappointed, Qadree Ollison vultured. This could be a theme going forward as the two take control of the backfield. Atlanta will try to keep the ball on the ground more often than before in order to protect their defense, which is a plan that has worked well the past two weeks. Ollison is nothing more than a short-yardage back at the moment so he'll need to prove that he deserves more touches before being added in most leagues.

Patrick Laird, Miami Dolphins - 0% owned

Fine, maybe Myles Gaskin won't be a thing this year, although he ought to be. Laird is now the pass-catching back in Miami, for what that's worth. He did come away with six receptions for 51 yards against the Bills, so there could be deep-league PPR value here. Consider him a poor man's J.D. McKissic. Yeesh.

Others to consider: J.D. McKissic, Detroit Lions (34% owned); Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (29% owned); Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (12% owned); Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (7% owned); Bilal Powell, New York Jets (0% owned)

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Darius Slayton, New York Giants - 25% owned

When last we checked in with Slayton, he was leading the Giants with 10 catches, 121 yards, and two touchdowns. Sterling Shepard is unlikely to suit up anytime soon and Evan Engram's mid-foot sprain should keep him out again too. Be thankful that the bye week kept his ownership low and snatch him up now. The Bears do allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points to WRs but are more generous to outside receivers than slot receivers. With Slayton's speed, it just takes on big play to make his fantasy day.

Chris Conley, Jacksonville Jaguars - 15% owned

It's becoming obvious that D.J. Chark isn't just the top receiver in Jacksonville but the object of Nick Foles' affection more often than not. That said, there will be enough targets to go around to support multiple receivers in what used to be a run-first offense. The Jags defense doesn't allow for that any longer. In the first full game by Foles, he slung the ball 47 times, with 15 of those targets going to Chark and eight to Conley. That was second on the team and resulted in six receptions for 58 yards. He will remain on the WR3 radar next week against Tennessee.

N'Keal Harry, New England Patriots - 12% owned

It was an inconspicuous debut by Harry, who caught three passes for 28 yards. He'll get more action as he learns the offense and gains trust from Tom Brady. He might get much more involved next week if Phillip Dorsett (head) doesn't play. He isn't someone to insert into lineups for Week 12 so much as a speculative stash.

Scott Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1% owned

After consecutive weeks of high-scoring offense, the Bucs decided to undo any progress they've made by ignoring everything that made them effective. They kept the ball out of Ronald Jones' hands, took unnecessary chances deep, and left their best receivers as third and fourth options. Smart. As a result, rookie Scott Miller caught four passes for 71 yards, both season highs. That also gave him more yards than either Mike Evans or Chris Godwin. It's not likely to happen again but Miller seems to be taking away the WR3 job from Breshad Perriman, mercifully.

Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco 49ers - 1% owned

Dante Pettis is slowly being dragged back into the doghouse and is leaving targets behind for the likes of Bourne and Richie James. Bourne now has eight receptions on 14 targets the past two games with a touchdown in each contest. This offense is diverse enough that it's hard to trust Bourne but he's someone to monitor or consider in deep leagues as a bye-week replacement.

Allen Hurns, Miami Dolphins - 0% owned

His four receptions and 53 yards were both season highs. He plays for the Dolphins. Neither of these facts inspires confidence but it seems the team is pretty confident in him, which explains his recent two-year, $8 million contract that will keep him in Miami, where he played his college ball (Ed. note: It's All About the U!). Hurns will fill the void left by rookie Preston Williams, who is sadly on Injured Reserve. Hurns could see a fair amount of targets and at 6'3" is a decent red-zone target as well. He may not ever match the 10 scores he produced back in 2015 but if he can put up a 1,000-yard, 10-TD season with Blake Bortles at QB, surely he can have value with Ryan Fitzpatrick slinging it.

Kelvin Harmon, Washington Redskins - 0% owned

For better or worse, we're starting to see what the immediate future of the Washington offense will look like. Dwayne Haskins made his second start of the year and didn't look half-bad, completing 19 of 35 passes for 214 yards, two touchdowns and one INT. With Derrius Guice at running back, Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon at receiver, and Jeremy Sprinkle at tight end, the overhaul is complete. Scary Terry has gotten off to a hot start but it may be time for Harmon to work himself into the rotation. He caught five of six targets in Week 11, both higher than McLaurin and leading the team in those categories. He'll be hard-pressed to find the end zone in any given week but he does have a favorable matchup with Detroit next week and could be worth a dart throw.

Others to consider: Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (32% owned); A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (20% ownedDiontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (18% owned); Demaryius Thomas, New York Jets - (10% owned); Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (0% owned)

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos - 28% owned

Fant caught four of his 11 targets against the Vikings, which doesn't sound great but should be seen as a positive. Only two other tight ends saw double-digit target totals in Week 11, Zach Ertz and Cameron Brate. The previous week there were five, the week before it was two (Ertz being one of them again), and before that there were none. The point is that there are precious few tight ends who are heavily involved in the passing game on a consistent basis. The insertion of Brandon Allen has been a revelation for the rookie TE, who has 175 yards in his two starts. The bad news is that the Broncos' Week 12 opponent, Buffalo, is the toughest defense against the tight end position. Fant seems like a shaky start this coming weekend but at a time when Travis Kelce, Hunter Henry, and the suddenly hot Kyle Rudolph will all be on bye, he is still a strong streaming candidate.

Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks - 28% owned

Thanks to a bye in Week 11, Hollister's ownership remains low. If he is still available, keep him in mind as a streaming candidate if you need to replace one of your regular starters at the position. Hollister doesn't have a great matchup, which keeps him behind Griffin and possibly Fant in Week 12, but his activity in the red-zone keeps him viable.

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns - 18% owned

If you're still streaming tight ends and want more upside heading into the playoffs, consider stashing Njoku. He's eligible to return in Week 12 but hasn't practiced yet and will need another week or two to get into game shape. A return in Week 14 could be the perfect time to roll him out but you'll need room on your bench for an iffy TE stash in the meanwhile.

Ross Dwelley, San Francisco 49ers - 14% owned

It's shocking that Dwelley's ownership isn't far higher when we knew ahead of time he was going to be the starter in a matchup with Arizona, who seems bent on setting the record for most points allowed to tight ends in a season. Dwelley cashed in with two scores, predictably, and now gets a matchup with the Packers in Week 12, who allow the fifth-most fantasy points per game to the position. If Kittle returns, that puts a big damper on his value but he could still be a factor in the red zone. Standard-league owners looking for a bye-week replacement might consider him.

Ryan Griffin, New York Jets - 3% owned

How sad to think that almost nobody benefited from Griffin's Week 12 explosion which saw him tally five catches, 109 yards and a touchdown. He led all tight ends in yardage and looks to be a top-10 choice at the position given the slew of injuries and upcoming byes. Chris Herndon isn't around anymore and the Jets' schedule is too good to ignore. It's clear that everyone gave up on him after a terrible Week 11 but he had been a strong option the previous two weeks. Make Griffin a priority add before they take on the Raiders, who are bottom-five against the TE.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 2% owned

Brate led all tight ends in Week 11 with 14 targets, catching 11 for 73 yards. We might reflect on whether Brate has weekly value, especially in a week where three of the top tight ends will be out of action but the only thing I can think to ask is: does this mean I should finally drop O.J. Howard?

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots - 1% owned

What the hell, why not? He's got a big announcement to make on Tuesday, which can only be the fact that he's coming back to the Patriots just in time for the fantasy playoffs, right? He has to decide before November 30, so the timing can't be a coincidence. Then again, he did say on Instagram, "It’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be wild, it’s gonna be a good time." That doesn't sound like something involving a reunion with Bill Belichick or the prospect of getting another concussion but I suppose it's open to interpretation. Smart money is on Gronk announcing his new wrestling moniker or the launch of another party cruise. If you've got FAAB to burn or are 3-8 and just want to block your leaguemates, go ahead and make a claim.

Others to consider: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (19% owned); Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (6% owned)

 

Team Defense - Waiver Wire Options

Tennessee Titans Defense - 16% owned

The bye came at a good time for this defensive unit that allowed 30+ points in their last two games. Much like their offense, Tennessee doesn't see many spikes in fantasy production but rarely leaves owners with a goose egg either. A home matchup with Jacksonville doesn't seem like a great play, as they've only been intercepted five times all year, but they've fumbled 15 times and aren't completely mistake-free.

Washington Redskins Defense - 16% owned

After a pair of early sacks, the Skins defense inevitably fell back to their old ways and gave up four touchdowns to Sam Darnold and the Jets. They were able to create two turnovers, which is a step in the right direction. A matchup with Detroit, led by Jeff Driskel, keeps them on the streaming radar but truth be told this is a last-resort choice and should only be considered if Atlanta is snatched by another leaguemate.

Atlanta Falcons Defense - 2% owned

This pick might require some cognitive reframing, so bear with me. Forget the season-long totals that show Atlanta as the fifth-worst team defense. They had just two interceptions on the season coming into this weekend. Then they picked off Kyle Allen four times and sacked him five times, allowing three points on the afternoon. You could chalk this up to a young QB getting rattled but let's give credit where it's due. Since the bye week, the then 1-7 Falcons have turned things around, especially on defense. They held the Saints to nine points and 317 total yards, then followed it up with another strong showing. Apparently Dan Quinn's seat was hot enough to prompt a complete turnaround that should carry on with a home contest against Jameis Winston and the Bucs, who just committed four interceptions of their own.

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