Week 11 is officially in the books and that means it’s time for Week 12 Waiver Wire Rankings, of course! I only rank players that are under 60% owned and if it’s close, I mention the percentage. I want you to at least have a shot at these guys, so mentioning any highly owned players just doesn’t make sense. Let’s get to it!
The injury-ridden 2017 season claimed more victims this week and no one is safe. Washington’s running back woes continued as Chris Thompson broke his fibula, ending his season. With Rob Kelley (ankle, MCL) already lost for rest of the year, that leaves just Samaje Perine to handle the backfield for the Redskins. They added Byron Marshall last week for depth, but I’m sure they’ll be looking to add more now that they lost their passing-down back.
D’Onta Foreman tore his Achilles tendon, also ending his season. Alfred Blue moves into the number two role now and is a rosterable handcuff behind Lamar Miller. Kelvin Benjamin suffered a knee injury and left Sunday’s game after just one catch for 20 yards. Though I know Benjamin owners hoped for new fantasy life after the trade to Buffalo, that doesn’t look likely. He clasped the back of his knee after being hit, though it was not the same knee that kept him out for the entire 2015 season. Early reports state that his ACL is intact, but we don’t know much else at this point.
Jay Cutler entered the concussion protocol, so Matt Moore took over under center in the second half for the Dolphins. I wish it hadn’t taken an injury for Cutler to leave the game, but his absence represented a positive. He completed just six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts and threw three interceptions. In one half of football. Moore completed 17 passes for 282 yards and a TD, helping the Dolphins come back from a 20-7 deficit. They still ultimately lost to the Bucs, but any Kenny Stills owners — who actually started him — rejoiced watching his 61-yard TD catch courtesy of Mr. Moore.
After doing me a solid and scoring a TD against Denver, Tyler Kroft exited the game with a right-hand injury. The severity is unknown, so his Week 12 status remains uncertain. If he’s healthy, Kroft represents a great streaming option again this week. Cincinnati draws a Cleveland defense that gave yet another TD away to a tight end (Mercedes Lewis) last week.
Robert Woods sported a sling on his left arm after apparently injuring his shoulder during the Rams’ loss to the Vikings on Sunday. Reports state that there is no structural damage, but Coach Sean McVay announced Woods could miss multiple weeks. It’s a big blow to owners that banked on him helping them to the playoffs after coming on strong the second half of the season.
Two key defensive injuries to Clay Matthews (groin) and Marshon Lattimore (ankle) also occurred. While Lattimore returned to the Saints game briefly and indicated that he is “solid” via social media, Clay Matthews’ status is unknown. Both teams need them in their Week 12 bouts, as the Saints face the Rams offense and Green Bay draws Pittsburgh.
Week 11 gave us more surprises in the form of atrocious and lackluster performances. Nathan Peterman illustrated what an epic fail looks like, throwing just six completions (out of 14 attempts) and five interceptions in the first half of the Buffalo vs. LA Chargers matchup. Just for a giggle, check out this fun fact: the Bills gained 66 yards on Peterman’s passes while the Chargers gained 84 yards on passes thrown by Peterman. Ok, I’m done. I feel bad for the rookie and sighed in relief for him once they finally benched him.
Alex Smith, Derek Carr, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, and Jared Goff scored less fantasy points in Week 11 than Tyrod Taylor (played only half of the game), Tom Savage, Matt Moore, Blaine Gabbert and Mitchell Trubisky. Riddle me that. Just goes to show you: any given Sunday. On the other hand, Big Ben, Kirk Cousins, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees all rocked it. It’s been a hell of a ride, so I can’t wait to see what Week 12 has in store.
Week 12 Waiver Wire Rankings
Green = Top Waiver Option
Orange = Streaming Target
Blue = Bench Stash
Purple = Deep League Stash
- Andy Dalton vs Cleveland Browns
- Eli Manning at Washington Redskins* (bump down to #6 if Sterling inactive)
- Tyrod Taylor (not Nathan Peterman) vs Kansas City Chiefs
- Joe Flacco vs Houston Texans
- Blake Bortles at Arizona Cardinals
- Case Keenum at Detroit Lions
- Ryan Fitzpatrick at Atlanta Falcons
- Jacoby Brissett vs Tennessee Titans
- Matt Moore at New England Patriots
- Jimmy Garoppolo vs Seattle Seahawks
As you can see, the QB streaming life contains the same cast of characters in Week 12, but some decent match-ups could keep you moving towards your fantasy playoffs. Andy Dalton draws the Cleveland Browns at home in Week 12 and performed well in Week 11 for those streaming. He threw 15 completions, good for 154 yards, three touchdowns, and zero INT against a tough Denver defense. Cleveland gives up 233.8 passing yards per game and two touchdowns on average. You can’t say that we haven’t seen all the sides of Dalton, so there is informed consent here. He’s ended as the 26th-ranked fantasy QB (Week 9 vs Jags), the third-ranked fantasy QB (Week 4), and everywhere in between. You can expect middle ground in Week 12 and Dalton should serve as one of the more streamable QBs still on the wire (51% owned).
The Giants vs. Chiefs in Week 11 didn’t turn out the way we predicted. Noted. That includes Eli Manning‘s performance of 19-of-35 for 205 yards, zero TDs, and zero INTs. However, he lost his top receiving option to illness in a game-time decision and couldn’t get anything going with Evan Engram. Sterling Shepard (migraines) should return this week and the Giants face Washington. The Redskins have forked over 986 passing yards and eight touchdowns over the past three weeks to opposing QBs. I’m confident that Engram bounces back, as Washington gave up 50 yards or a TD in nine out of ten games so far this season. Last week, Coby Fleener caught five for 91 yards. If Fleener can do it, so can the talented rookie. * Update* Sterling Shepard did not practice Tuesday. On a short week, this isn’t looking good. If he doesn’t play, I bump Eli down to 6th in my waiver rankings (after Keenum vs DET).
Buffalo Bills Coach Sean McDermott stated that he is “still evaluating” his starter for Week 12. So, I’m “still evaluating” his sanity. If logic wins out, Tyrod Taylor faces Kansas City. With the high floor Taylor brings by his running ability, he represents a solid start even with their issues on both sides of the ball (and the coaching). He’s run for a TD in three out of his last four games and will most likely throw at least one more against a KC defense that has given up at least 200 yards to every QB that it’s faced in 2017.
Joe Flacco simply draws a juicy match-up versus the Houston Texans in Week 12 and is widely available on waivers. Can I just point out that more people own Andrew Luck than Joe Flacco? Come on, people. Anyways … Houston defense coughed up 12 TDs in the last four weeks and have given up 300+ passing yards in five games so far this season. They allowed Blaine Gabbert to throw for 257 yards and three touchdowns in Week 11, so I’m confident Flacco can get you some fantasy points if you need him. Though he only attempted 28 passes last week, expect this to bump up some as they won’t have the game in hand like against Green Bay. Also, Danny Woodhead (five receptions on six targets for 21 yards) should be more involved and is a great weapon out of the backfield.
- Samajae Perine
- Devontae Booker
- Danny Woodhead
- Rex Burkhead
- Damien Williams
- Marlon Mack
- Corey Clement
- JD McKissic
- Austin Ekeler
- Tarik Cohen
- Rod Smith
- Elijah McGuire (stash for week 13)
- Charcandrick West
- Alfred Blue
- James Conner
- Matt Breida
- TJ Yeldon
- Charles Sims
- Gio Bernard
- DeAndre Washington
- Matt Davis
For the second week, Samaje Perine tops my must-adds. Owned in just 32% of Yahoo leagues, get ready for a waiver wire fight. Perine falls squarely center stage as the only relevant Washington RB left (no competition, Byron Marshall the only depth). He received twenty-four touches in Week 11. Yes, I spelled it out for emphasis to make sure you’re paying attention. Amassing 117 rushing yards and a touchdown (and one catch for nine yards), Samaje certainly rose to the occasion.
The Redskins face the New York Giants at home in Week 12, so Perine remains a solid play for his fantasy owners. Looking forward, he draws a more difficult Dallas run defense in Week 13, but Week 14 against the Chargers may pay off big in the first week of fantasy playoffs. Might another handcuff find their way to the top of the heap with an injury? Sure, especially the way this year is going. But, put your claim in, use that FAAB, beat up your league mate and steal their Yahoo/ESPN password. Whatever. It’s worth a go at this point.
If you can’t snag Perine or want to try to zag and duck under the #PerineWaiverWireFire then look no further than Devontae Booker. He rushed for 44 yards on 14 carries and added five receptions for 54 yards. Booker out-snapped CJ Anderson, out-touched him 19 to 15, and looked to be the preferred pass-catching back as well (received six targets to Anderson’s three). Booker benefits most if Denver plays from behind, which looks likely most weeks since the offense is struggling under Brock Osweiler. He’s getting more carries every week though, so the opportunity is there, game script aside. Denver faces Oakland in Week 12, who gave up 100 yards or a TD to the RB position every week since Week 2. If you stashed him as a handcuff, here’s your pay off.
Important to note*: Denver announced Monday that they fired Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy and moved QB coach (and former Raiders Offensive Coordinator) Bill Musgrave to Offensive Coordinator. There is speculation about the changes that could come with this move, but I’m unsure how this might impact the running game. I still consider Booker a good add this week and am cautiously optimistic that this change will positively impact the offense as a whole.
The three-headed backfield of Philly represents a tricky one to navigate for fantasy on a weekly basis, but Corey Clement could be a great target this week. He rushed for 50 yards on six carries (8.3 YPC) and hit pay dirt in Week 11. Jay Ajayi is the most electric and flashes big plays on fewer carries, but LeGarrette Blount and Clement receive the majority of the red zone carries. Clement scored five TDs over the past four weeks and saw the second-most snaps after Blount over that span. Though this level of TD production can’t be sustained, he maintains some streaming value in Week 11 just because of his red zone opportunities. I also like him as a bench stash to be used in fantasy playoffs (matchups with LAR, NYG, OAK).
Even though Austin Ekeler put in a flex-worthy fantasy performance again in Week 11, it was a product of game script more than anything else. The Chargers trounced the Bills and pretty much did whatever they wanted offensively. Melvin Gordon ran 20 times for 80 yards and a TD while Ekeler only accrued four touches until the fourth quarter. At that point, they rested the starters and Ekeler finished with six rushes for 40 yards and one touchdown and two catches for 18 yards. He’s great bench stash/handcuff, but I don’t know how you can be confident that he obtains enough opportunity to start moving forward.
Tarik Cohen played his second-highest snap total in Week 11 (31-of-63 snaps) after playing just 38 total snaps in the last three games. This usage puzzled us all as Cohen flashed his talent earlier this season, but all but disappeared after Week 6. Coach John Fox indicated that Tarik loses snaps to Benny Cunningham because of pass protection. So, it’s important to mention that Cohen out snapped Benny Cunningham by 14, which is a good sign. He ran for 44 yards and a TD on nine carries and caught four passes for 15 yards. In a game when they will most likely be playing from behind against Philly, Cohen could see an increase in targets and represents a quick out for Mitch Trubisky. He’s a little risky for me in Week 12 but gets a great matchup in Week 13 against San Fran.
I know he left with a groin injury, but just in case it isn’t serious and he is available moving forward — Mike Davis looked good for Seattle before having to exit the game. Involved in both the rushing and passing attack, Davis ran for 18 yards on six carries and caught two for 41 yards. Thomas Rawls was a healthy scratch, leaving Eddie Lacy for early-down work and JD McKissic for passing downs. What a mess. Hopefully, we hear some news but I’m sure most don’t have a roster spot to burn for a Seattle RB.
McKissic isn’t a bad option if you’re looking for a back with opportunity, as he rushed seven times for 30 yards and caught five for 23 yards in Week 11. The Seahawks kept him involved especially after Davis left the game (played 50-of-74 snaps). The offensive line continued to struggle to protect Wilson, which led to lots of scrambling out of the backfield (Wilson had 86 yards and a TD on the ground) and quick passes. This seemed to benefit McKissic, as he often lingered on the outside just in case Wilson needed a dump off. He’ll most likely be involved in most passing downs moving forward.
- Josh Doctson
- Cooper Kupp
- Corey Davis
- Corey Coleman
- Danny Amendola
- Kenny Stills (if Matt Moore is QB)
- Dede Westbrook
- Zay Jones
- Tyler Lockett
- Keelan Cole
- Mike Wallace
- Mike Williams
- Marquise Goodwin
- Bruce Ellington
- Dontrelle Inman
- Josh Gordon
- Jermaine Kearse
- Kenny Golladay
- Roger Lewis
- Eric Decker
- Terrance Williams
- Martavis Bryant
- Phillip Dorsett
- Deonte Thompson
Kirk Cousins definitely did not disappoint his owners this week and targeted Josh Doctson seven times for the second week in a row. Doctson looked more solid and confident and the 81 yards he snagged in Week 11 represents a career high. Doctson et al. draw one of the juiciest matchups out there right now for wide receivers — the New York Giants — in Week 12. Jamison Crowder received only one more target than Doctson in Week 11 and with Chris Thompson’s 15% target share now up for grabs, this could mean a bump for the rookie. Doctson leads Washington in red zone targets, so I like his chances of pulling down a TD for fantasy owners this week. Cousins now has weapons in Crowder, Vernon Davis, and Doctson, but there’s plenty to go around in this pass-heavy offense (sixth in the league in pass attempts with 345).
The shoulder injury to Robert Woods gives Sammy Watkins (83% owned) and Cooper Kupp (51%) increased opportunities in Week 12. Kupp is second only to Woods in overall target share (19%) and Woods’ 22% is now up for grabs. Cooper leads the team in red zone target share (30%) and received 19 targets over the past three weeks. With Woods out, Kupp should end his TD drought that’s lasted three weeks. I’m not sure why Kupp isn’t higher owned in PPR formats, but I’m guessing that changes with news of Woods missing multiple weeks at this crucial time in fantasy football competition.
The Rams face a New Orleans defense that could be without leading cornerback Marshon Lattimore in Week 12. That most likely would help Sammy Watkins the most, but Jamison Crowder (slot) caught seven receptions for 72 yards against PJ Williams in Week 11. Kupp lines up in the slot more than 60% of the time, which bodes well for his fantasy potential this week. Kick Cousins lit up the Saints last week, so let’s hope Jared Goff does the same for his receivers (and owners).
If Jay Cutler does not pass concussion protocol, Matt Moore makes Kenny Stills a definite streaming option. However, Adam Gase made it clear that if Cutler is healthy, he will play in Week 12 against NE. Stills caught seven passes for 180 yards and a TD in Week 11, mostly after Moore entered the game (had one catch for 26 yards in first half). Stills’ best game of the season in Week 7 (6-85-2 stat line) came at the hands of Matt Moore and their bromance is well known in the fantasy community. It’s also important to note that New England defense improved over the last several weeks, so it isn’t a lock for a monster game.
Listen to this schedule: Colts, Texans, Cardinals, 49ers. That is Corey Davis‘ upcoming schedule. He’s struggled to make the most out of his 17 targets over the past two weeks but faced Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. If Marcus Mariota gets himself together, Davis draws one of the most favorable schedules for a wide receiver over the next four weeks. This is the week that he puts it together, as he’s looked great but it has yet to translate to significant yardage. Over the past three weeks, the Colts have given up four touchdowns to the WR position and they gave up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing WRs so far this season.
One increasing role to watch is Phillip Dorsett in New England. Over the last two weeks, he saw a huge bump in snap count (78% in Week 10 and 43% in Week 11) and Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels noted that they want his role to keep growing. With Chris Hogan likely to be out again this week, Dorsett may get increased opportunity against a weak Miami defense. This is strictly a bench stash in deeper leagues, as Danny Amendola played more snaps (60%) and caught eight of his nine targets for 66 yards and a TD in Week 11. Unless Amendola gets hurt (which, let’s be honest, is highly possible), Dorsett’s fantasy relevance remains nonexistent.
Amendola on the other hand (50% owned), could be a solid add due to the Patriots facing Miami twice in the next three weeks. They also draw Buffalo in Week 13 whose defense (and team) is falling apart lately and then faces them again in the fantasy finals (Week 16). Week 11 represented the most receptions Amendola has reeled in since Week 5 though, so temper expectations.
It is looking like Allen Hurns may miss Week 12, giving both Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook another shot to make a fantasy impact. Both received six targets in Week 11, but Cole out-snapped Westbrook 59% to 46%. Seeing as last week was Westbrook’s first week back, his snap count should increase against an Arizona defense that just gave up 139 yards and a TD to the Houston wide receivers. Overall, Westbrook looked impressive so I lean towards investing in his upside compared to Cole.
It looks like Kelvin Benjamin may miss Week 12 with a knee injury, but Jordan Matthews (knee) is probable to play. Zay Jones and Deonte Thompson saw increased snaps in Week 11, with Jones out-snapping Thompson by a wide margin (85% to 52%). If Tyrod Taylor is back under center, Jones could be a good spot start against a Kansas City secondary that has given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers so far this season.
- Tyler Kroft
- Ben Watson
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins (58% owned)
- George Kittle
- Mercedes Lewis
- Austin Traylor
- Eric Ebron
- Adam Shaheen
Vernon Davis and Greg Olsen stand at around 70% ownership in Yahoo leagues and 65% in ESPN leagues. To the 30-35% of you that left these tight ends on the wire, I envy (though still question) your confidence in your current tight end and/or your blissful ignorance.
Moving on … Green Bay gives up the least fantasy points to tight ends, so it’s no surprise Ben Watson caught only one pass for 33 yards in Week 11. That should allow you to sneak him off the waivers without much fuss, seeing as he’s available in over 80% of leagues. Watson and the Ravens face Houston this week, so look for them to rely less on the run and more on picking apart a defense that has given up the seventh most passing yards (2,528) and the most passing touchdowns (22, tied with Denver) so far in 2017.
Speaking of Houston, Arizona rookie TE Ricky Seals-Jones just snagged three passes for 54 yards and two TDs against them in Week 11. If you think his performance seduced me into ranking him this week, you’re mistaken. Feel free to leave both him and Jermaine Gresham on the waiver wire for their Week 12 matchup with the Jags.
After snagging two passes for 12 yards and a TD, Tyler Kroft exited the game with a hand injury. He returned later, but dropped a pass and did not record another reception for the remainder of the game. I am operating under the assumption that Kroft plays in Week 12 against a Cleveland team that he rocked in Week 4 to the tune of six catches for 68 yards and two TDs. If he can’t play, CJ Uzomah still holds some stream-appeal due to the Browns giving up a TD to a tight end the last three weeks. However, I’m not sure how confident I’d be trusting a rookie with three career receptions with my fantasy playoff hopes.
Most likely a product of bye-week-woes and roster spot necessities, Austin Seferian-Jenkins may still be available in your league. His matchup with Carolina is less than ideal in Week 12, but he faces softer defenses in Weeks 13 (Kansas City) and 14 (Denver).
George Kittle could return from an ankle injury this week, after missing Week 10 (Week 11 bye). Garrett Celek caught four passes for 67 yards and a TD versus the Giants in Kittle’s absence. This isn’t exactly a surprising feat, seeing as the Giants give up the most fantasy points to the position. Kittle received nine targets over Weeks 8-9 and faces a Seattle defense that gave up 60+yards or a TD to tight ends in Weeks 6, 7, 9, and 10. Recent injuries to the Seattle secondary could also make it easier for Kittle. However, we aren’t sure who will be under center or whether Kittle was able to create much chemistry with Jimmy Garopolo. Celek received just 1-2 targets on average when Kittle was active.
Getting a little deeper, the options start looking even more hit-or-miss, just FYI. Chicago’s Adam Shaheen drew his second start in Dion Sims’ (undisclosed illness) absence. He caught four for 41 yards and a touchdown against Detroit. They face a tough Philadelphia defense in Week 12 who just shut down Jason Witten (one catch for seven yards). If Sims is out again, Shaheen and fellow rookie Mitchell Trubisky could continue to jive but you’re rolling the dice here. If you’re considering it, you’re probably desperate anyways and have limited options.
A matchup I’m much more comfortable with is Denver vs Oakland, but both Virgil Green and Austin Traylor were involved in Week 11, making it difficult to trust either in Week 12. Traylor out-snapped and outgained Green, nabbing four receptions to Green’s two. I’d lean towards the rookie, but am hoping you have other options.
- Cincinnati vs Cleveland
- New England (58% owned) vs Miami
- Carolina (55%) at New York Jets
- Washington vs New York Giants
- Oakland vs Denver
- Tennessee at Indianapolis
I hope you’ve enjoyed the Week 12 Waiver Wire Rankings and I look forward to helping you make your fantasy playoffs! As always check out The Fantasy Authority for great weekly content and my waiver rankings every Tuesday!