Week 12 Waiver Wire: The Last of the Byes
The waiver wire report is back for Week 12 after an unplanned bye in Week 11. Work, unfortunately, got in the way and thus, the article was not able to be put out in time enough for it to be relevant. Welcome back to a healthy edition of the weekly waiver wire article. As mentioned in the title, this is the last of the bye weeks for the 2019 season.
There are four teams on a bye in Week 12 so hopefully, you do not require too much roster relief this week. Despite just four teams being off, there are still some big names that will be missing from lineups with the Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and Minnesota Vikings all getting the weekend off.
Injuries to players such as Marlon Mack, Chris Herndon, and Matthew Stafford have opened up some opportunities for players readily available. The premise of this weekly article is to point out key players at every position who are readily available (less than 40% owned) in Yahoo! and ESPN leagues that you may be able to add to your roster for upside. Percent owned is shown in parentheses.
Keep in mind, each fantasy team is unique, as are scoring and roster formats. Think of this as a road map to your team’s success. Factor in whether or not your league uses PPR scoring, allows you to play two quarterbacks or other variables that impact your decisions to claim a player off of waiver. Let us get started.
If you own Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers or Kirk Cousins to lead your fake team, then you are likely in need of a signal-caller for Week 12. There are some interesting additions available. Here are just a few of those that are lower owned.
Ryan Tannehill-Tennessee Titans
Finally healthy and removed from the grips of Adam Gase, Ryan Tannehill (21% Yahoo!, 14.5% ESPN) has put up 19 or more points in four straight games. Up next on the schedule is a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. While it seems like a tough matchup on paper, the Jags just gave up a respectable 15.1 fantasy points to Jacoby Brissett in Week 11. On the season, they allow the 20th most points to the position at 14.93 points per game.
Tannehill is a QB1 over the past four weeks. The former Dolphin has performed better than the likes of DeShaun Watson, Tom Brady, Jared Goff, and Drew Brees over that time (all have had a bye during that stretch). If we look back to 2014 when Tannehill was fully healthy, he showed plenty of ability to be a QB1. On the season, he managed a top-12 finish in seven of 16 games started.
Notable Quarterback Fantasy Nuggets
- Nick Foles (32% Yahoo!, 19.7% ESPN) returned in Week 11 and performed well with 17.8 fantasy points. On the day Foles was 33 of 47 for 296 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw one interception against a good Colts defense. A tough matchup against the Titans awaits.
- Sam Darnold (22% Yahoo!, 12.3% ESPN) had his second solid showing and has a spicy schedule for the next few weeks. Awaiting the Jets are matchups against the Dolphins, Bengals, and Raiders.
- Jeff Driskel (3% Yahoo!, 3.2% ESPN) put up a whopping 27.5 fantasy points against the Dallas Cowboys. Matthew Stafford is out at least six weeks. The schedule is tough, but you could do worse.
The Week 12 waiver wire report continues with the running back position. There were a couple of noteworthy injuries and usages that will impact the backfields for the Indianapolis Colts and the Detroit Lions. Here is the latest.
Jonathan Williams-Indianapolis Colts
The injury to Marlon Mack likely makes Jonathan Williams (4% Yahoo!, 0.0% ESPN) the top add this week. Williams put up 15.70 PPR points in relief of Mack on Sunday. The former Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints backup achieved this feat on just 13 carries for 116 yards. The Arkansas grad added one catch for 31 yards for good measure.
The news came out on Monday that Mack had surgery to repair a fracture in his hand and will be out indefinitely. Williams could be a nice long-term add for running back needy teams. As a backup in Buffalo and New Orleans, the opportunities were never there in crowded backfields. The numbers from his Junior year against SEC defenses give cause for hope that he can be successful, if only for the short-term. Roll the dice.
Notable Running Back Fantasy Nuggets
- Bo Scarbrough (2% Yahoo!, .1% ESPN) saw some nice usage against the Cowboys. The Alabama grad saw almost 50% of the snaps and put up 11.50 PPR points. Up next is a juicy matchup against a Washington Redskins defense that allows the sixth-most points to the position on the season.
- Jay Ajayi (2% Yahoo!, 10.2% ESPN) was finally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. While he did not record any touches on Sunday, he is already familiar with the offense and may be worth an add in case Jordan Howard misses extended time.
- Mark Walton (5% Yahoo!, 6% ESPN) is halfway through his four-game suspension. Kalen Ballage has shown no signs of taking the starting job away from him. Walton will return in time for the fantasy playoffs and has matchups against the New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals in two of the three weeks down the stretch.
We roll on with the Week 12 waiver wire feature with the wide receiver position. There are injuries all over the Pittsburgh Steelers receiving corps but good luck trying to peg where those targets will go outside of James Washington. Let us dive in.
James Washington-Pittsburgh Steelers
As it was just mentioned, the Steelers receiving corps was decimated with injuries on Thursday Night Football in Week 11. Lost for at least one week were starters JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson. Even before the injuries moved Washington up the pecking order, he was starting to show the rapport with Mason Rudolph we had all been waiting for. Over his past five games played, there has only been one instance that he saw less than five targets (four in Week 9).
A concern with the Oklahoma State product has been what he has done (or not done) with his opportunities. While volume is always nice to have if one does not excel when given the chance, are the opportunities then really worth that much? A look at the Steelers pass catchers over the past two seasons using the FFStatistics point per opportunity chart, we see that Washington lacks some ability to capitalize on his chances.
Notable Wide Receiver Fantasy Nuggets
- Speaking of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Deon Cain (0% Yahoo!, 0% ESPN) was claimed off of the Indianapolis Colts practice squad and is a name you should monitor in case the other receivers miss time in the Steel City.
- Darius Slayton (25% Yahoo!, 21.5% ESPN) is still grossly under-owned. In two of his last three games, he has scored two touchdowns. Up next over the next several weeks are matchups against cupcake secondaries such as the Eagles, Redskins, and Dolphins.
- Mecole Hardman (33% Yahoo!, 19.5% ESPN) leads the league in average yards per catch at 20.81. He is a big play waiting to happen and with Patrick Mahomes healthy again could win you a week at any time if you are wideout needy.
We close the week 12 waiver wire report with the Tight End position. This is a position that may make or break rosters in 2019. With the spot in flux most weeks, it is important to scour for opportunities when they present themselves.
Ryan Griffin-New York Jets
Chris who? We got the performance in Week 11 from Ryan Griffin (3% Yahoo!, 1.1% ESPN) that we all had been waiting patiently for from Chris Herndon before injury and suspensions derailed his season. All Griffin did against a leaky Washington Redskins defense was put up 21.90 PPR points. Griffin did so on 5 catches (5 targets) for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns.
While Griffin has been in the league for six years prior to this, he has never really been given a bulk of targets. Darnold seems to be developing a rapport with Griffin in practice lately. This translated to the big game we saw on Sunday. Using the player data tool from FFStatistics, we see that Griffin showed some flashes in 2016 when he finished the year as the TE24. That season saw 3 TE1 finishes and the signs of what may be in store with games ahead against Cincinnati and Miami. Griffin is also the TE4 over the past four weeks.
Notable Tight End Fantasy Nuggets
- Cameron Brate (2% Yahoo!, 1.4% ESPN) had 14 targets in Week 11 against the New Orleans Saints. This was good for 17.3 PPR points. Brate hauled in 10 of those targets for 73 yards. If you are in a two-tight end or deep league, he is worth a look.
- Dallas Goedert (19% Yahoo!, 28.3% ESPN) had his third double-digit point game over the past four weeks. Goedert continues to be a steady, albeit unspectacular, contributor at a thin position.
- Noah Fant (28% Yahoo!, 14.2% ESPN) had 11 targets in Week 11. This comes after a 20.50 PPR performance in Week 11. The change at the quarterback position seems to have favored the talented tight end.
It is good to be back writing the wire this week. We need to be active on the wire to stay relevant all season long. The hope is that this article helps make your waiver wire decisions a little bit easier. Come back every Tuesday for the latest rendition of this series to help you build your fake team into a contender if you happened to miss on some draft picks. Injuries play a vital role in fantasy and one of the biggest advantages you can have is to be active on the wire every week.