The Waiver Wire – Week 12
Welcome all to the most important article you will read today! The fantasy season is quickly winding down and as seeding for the playoffs in your leagues is still being sorted out these next 2 to 3 weeks (depending on your league format) are vital for you to win! We have made it this far together, let’s make the playoffs and win our league championships…Ok!! With injuries to some major stars last week, owners of A.J. Green, Giovanni Bernard, Shady McCoy, C.J. Prosise, Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, and now Andrew Luck are reeling at a time in the season they need them the most.
As we head into week 12 we are ever that much closer to the end of Bye weeks but this week the fantasy gods have given us a true Thanksgiving day blessing with no bye weeks on the docket for week 12. As always, remember to make sure as you look at the pool of players that are available that you always balance out the immediate impact vs the long term value of the player or players that you are targeting, especially this time of the year.
Like always I will give 3 choices at each position (plus bonus’s from time to time). This is ranked in order of who I would target first to third. At the end of the day you control your waiver rankings, so go get the guy you want! Without further hesitation let’s dive right into this weeks The Waiver Wire.
- Eli Manning (ESPN 75% / Yahoo 84%) – Ok I get it you are scared shitless to have this douche nozzle as your QB. I get it he can drop an 8 at any given moment and not give two shits about it. I think this Eli is different and I am going to once again believe in Manning face this week. Cleveland is the worst team in the NFL and I am playing the numbers on this one. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Manning has 9 touchdowns since coming out of the bye.
- Sam Bradford (ESPN 12% / Yahoo 12%) – Bradford has been shaky at times but he has thrown a touchdown in every game he has been the starter in Minnesota and let’s face it Detroit has a bad secondary. I know the numbers say to shy away from Bradford because of how the Lions have been playing as of late but they just gave up multiple touchdowns to Blake Bortles. I love Thanksgiving day games and guys get up to play in them. I like Bradford and some other Vikings to play well in a game they need to win. Bradford had a 15+ when he played them 3 weeks ago.
- Carson Wentz (ESPN 35% / Yahoo 32%) – I love me some Wentz this week! GB is awful and that secondary is the worst in the league IMO. Fire up all of your Eagle skill position players for Monday Night! Wentz who just faced the Seattle Seahawks Legion Of Boom and put up a respectable 15 points on the road, will be licking his chops when he see’s the holes he is going to be able to throw into. Wentz all day!!
- Ryan Tannehill (ESPN 17% / Yahoo 24%) – Miami is a run first team but they are utilizing the play action pass a lot more effectively in Miami and with the emergence of DeVonte Parker this offense is becoming a good fantasy destination to pick from. I like Tannehill at home against a bad 49ers secondary.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (ESPN 10% / Yahoo 16%) – This is the Jets Super Bowl this week. Coming off a bye with two weeks to prepare for the New England Patriots at home. I like Fitzpatrick and the other Jet’s offensive weapons this week especially with the way the secondary has played the last two weeks in New England.
- Rob Kelley (ESPN 75% / Yahoo 65%) – When you rush for 3 touchdowns on primetime you are going to make the top spot on my Waiver Wire article the following week. That is just one of the many perks that you get when you perform well in the NFL. I have been talking Kelley up now for weeks and then he explodes on the biggest stage the NFL has Sunday Night Football. Depending on your roster makeup it’s Kelley or Boyd as your #1 waiver priority. I went with Boyd as our cover photo because I feel more owners are hurt by the injury to AJ then they are to Gio or another RB. Kelley is a must own just based on volume he will see each week and is startable in almost every game because of that.
- Wendell Smallwood (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 6%) – With injuries to both Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood is lining up to be the starting RB on Monday night. A lot could change from now to then so be patient with this one but if he can start he is lined up to potentially have a great game against a packers defense that just let Rob Kelley run for three touchdowns on them Sunday night.
- Mike Gillislee (ESPN 26% / Yahoo 26%) – McCoy is out again so it’s Gillislee turn to take over the lead back duties and up next is the Jacksonville Jaguars who are giving up over 100 yards per game to RB’s. I like Gillislee’s chances of doing that and scoring not one maybe two touchdowns at home. Keep updated on McCoy’s thumb injury and the likelihood he can or can not play this week after surgery.
- Rex Burkhead (ESPN 0% / Yahoo 0%) – It’s Burky time baby in Cincinnati!! I had no idea who Rex Burkead was until I looked him up today but this is your new change of pace / 3rd down back for the Bengals after losing Gio to a torn ACL for the season.
- Alex Collins (ESPN 0% / Yahoo 0%) – Similar to Burkhead, Collins is going to be thrust into a bigger role with the injuries to the Seahawks backfield. With Prosise now out for the remainder of the fantasy season and Christine Michael now playing in Green Bay, it looks like it’s Collins turn to help give Rawls a break when he needs it. Not a bad look in deeper leagues.
- Tyler Boyd (ESPN 5% / Yahoo 7%) – Our cover athlete and my #1 waiver wire target heading into week 12, Boyd is in line for a HUGE bump in targets and potential production with the loss of AJ Green. Boyd who has been ok in his rookie season took over as Dalton’s favorite target after Green went down and was able to get in the end zone against a good Buffalo Bills secondary. I like Boyd’s skillset and the amount of volume he should see moving forward and it’s for those reasons I have Boyd as the #1 target this week. If you choose Kelley because you are in need of an RB over a WR I can’t be mad at you for that either.
- Tajae Sharpe (ESPN 15% / Yahoo 12%) – It’s like a recurring record, a week passes and a Titans WR finds himself on my Waiver Wire article. This week it’s everyone’s favorite SharpIe, Tajae! Sharpe has been great for two weeks now and you know what I say, one week is a fluke, two weeks is a trend but three weeks is a pattern and I need to pick him up! Sharpe is currently a trend but if he can produce against a Bears secondary that has been playing great as of late, then I am all in on the Titans offense and Sharpe!
- Adam Thielen (ESPN 5% / Yahoo 4%) – Poor Adam Thielen the guy just keeps getting in the end zone but no one seems to care or pay attention to it happening. Well, Adam, I am paying attention and the rest of the fantasy world needs to as well. Theilen has found the end zone in back to back weeks and faces a Lions secondary that has given up 22 passing touchdowns this season already. I like Minnesota in the dome on Thanksgiving day and I think Adam finds the end zone for the third straight week en route to a Vikings victory.
- Zach Ertz (ESPN 56% / Yahoo 58%) – The Wentz to Ertz connection is starting to really heat up and over the past three weeks he has 20 catches and a touchdown. Ertz saw 11 targets at Seattle Sunday catching 6 of them for 35 yards and a touchdown. Not a monster game but with the way things are going at the tight end position in 2016 that is good enough for a 7th best finish last week. Ertz has the safest floor of the group and looks to exploit a very bad GB Secondary in primetime.
- Gary Barnidge (ESPN 56% / Yahoo 57%) – Mash Potato Mountain is back and it’s all because his good friend Josh McCown is back under center. Josh McCown love Gary Barnidge and immediately increases his fantasy value heading into a home against the G-Men. Since the start of last year, 7 of Gary’s 10 touchdowns have come from Josh McCown. The Giants have trouble defending the TE and are giving up on average 7 points per game to TE’s and gave up 12 to Zach Miller just last week. If Cleveland is going to win a game this year, they got to look to Route 82 this week to help them get there.
- Kyle Rudolph (ESPN 78% / Yahoo 76%) – Have I told you how much I like this matchup for the Vikings this week? The Lions have tightened up their defense against TE’s over the past 4 weeks and are have held their past 4 opponents out of the end zone but I like Rudolph to break that streak this week. With limited options on The Waiver Wire, Rudolph is not a bad spot start against a division rival and a game Minnesota has to win.
- New York Giants (ESPN 78% / Yahoo 48%) – The Giants are playing the Browns and their defense is playing at a high level and creating turnovers. Even with the news of McCown being named the starter, I like the Giants to be a top 5 defensive play this week. It doesn’t hurt that Cleveland is the worst team in the league.
- Buffalo Bills (ESPN 45% / Yahoo 57%) – The Bills are home against the Jaguars and Blake Bortles who loves to throw the ball to the team he is playing. The Jaguars have given up double digit scores to defenses for three straight weeks and just last week Detroit had 19 points. Sign me up for that!!
- New Orleans Saints (ESPN 4% / Yahoo 5%) – Saints defense has been playing much better as of late and now they get to host the LA Rams and Jared Goff in only his 2nd career NFL start. This week I don’t think LA is going to be able to protect Goff as much as they did at home last week because of how potent the Saints offense is especially at home. I love the Saints defense to be a top 5 play this week.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN 38% / Yahoo 47%) – In late breaking news, Andrew Luck is still under concussion protocol and is in real danger of not playing Thursday night. That means fire up the Steelers defense against a Luckless Colts. Also, doesn’t hurt that the Steelers are coming off their best fantasy performance of the season.
- Chris Boswell (ESPN 16% / Yahoo 69%) – Kicking indoors after the mess he had to deal with in Cleveland is going to seem almost too easy for Boswell who still was able to put up an 11 Sunday in the wind. Love all Steelers this week and think Boswell will have another double digit game.
- Caleb Sturgis (ESPN 57% / Yahoo 43%) – At home in primetime I love Sturgis’s opportunity to produce. Let’s be honest Philly is no Washington and Wentz is no Cousins, so look for drives to stall out which means it’s Sturgis time baby! I am taking a shootout and the numbers that say GB is bad against well everything an offense can throw at them right now.
- Dan Carpenter (ESPN 6% / Yahoo 3%) – How many times do I have to say this, if your kicking against the Jaguars you are going to make it on my list. They have given up the most points to kickers this year and once again should be in line to allow another double-digit game. They have held their past two opponents to under double-digit points but I am hedging my bets that it’s a fluke, & not the new norm.
- Greg Zuerlein (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 2%) – Greg “THE LEG” will love the comfy confines of the Superdome Sunday. New Orleans is giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to kickers this season and over the past 3 weeks have given up 14, 13, and 13. Ownership is going to skyrocket this week!
Well there you have it, The Waiver Wire for this week is in the books. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition! Remember to send us your lineup questions on Twitter @TFFGurus, @DaFantasyFather, and @TheFantasyBoys. Or if you want to go old school shoot us an email at email@example.com or check out our Facebook page called The Fantasy Football Gurus. We’re here to help you, and if you need more Guru help, be sure to listen to our weekly podcasts by checking out Trophy Time on Google Play, Stitcher Radio, and iTunes.