Week #12 Waiver Watch Of Truth

Week #12 Waiver Watch Of Truth

Welcome back to the Waiver Watch! Got another busy week of action on the wire as managers are scrambling to stay in the playoff hunt. 


Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns – I’ve mentioned Watson the last few weeks, and will say it one more time.  If you can afford a roster spot for one more week, grab Watson now before he’s officially back and the competition to add him goes up.  We haven’t seen Watson play in a year and a half, but if you’re trotting out the low ceiling streamers like Goff, Cousins, Stafford, etc. then it’s worth the upside to grab Watson and play him as soon as he gets back.


Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans – Here’s a name I haven’t mentioned much as Tanny doesn’t present much upside in the Titan’s low volume passing game, but Tannehill has shown he can still give a good performance, going over 19 points each of the last 2 games and he has 4 games on the season with 19 or more.  The next two weeks he plays the Bengals and Eagles, two high powered offenses which could create more pass-heavy game scripts for the Titans.  With Burks back and hopefully emerging, Tannehill could be a solid streaming option if you’re desperate.


Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons – Mariota’s name comes up a lot in this column each week because he’s simply the best option of the QBs who are most likely available in leagues.  Mariota has certainly given managers a few stinkers along the way, but he’s been a Top 13 QB 3 of the last 4 games and has shown a capable ceiling, finishing in the Top 6 twice this season.  A single digit performance is always possible with Mariota, but if you’re playing roulette each week or stuck with a bye or injury, Mariota isn’t a bad bet to get 15+ points if needed.  


Running Backs 

Jerrick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs – After a few solid outings in a row, McKinnon showed his basement level floor as he only gave managers 1.4 PPR points this past week against the Chargers.  McKinnon is only 39% rostered and has a good chance of getting dropped this week after that abysmal performance.  If he’s available or gets dropped, I think he’s definitely still worth a grab as he played 52% of the snaps in Week 11, his 3rd highest rate of the season.  Clyde Edwards Helaire suffered a high ankle sprain in this game which should open up more snaps for McKinnon, as well as team mate Isaiah Pacheco.  Pacheco and McKinnon had been pretty much the 2 primary RBs in the past few weeks, but this injury confirms it will be Pacheco and McKinnon on the field for the Chiefs.  McKinnon has solidified his role as the passing downs back while Pacheco gets much more work on the ground.  Pacheco is rostered in many more leagues, so McKinnon is a cheap way to get a piece of this Chiefs’ offense, now in a most consolidated backfield.  


Latavius Murray, Denver Broncos – It isn’t flashy, but Murray could be the RB2 savior someone is looking for at this stage of the season.  He’s only rostered in 25% of leagues and should immediately see 15-20 opportunities per game, as he did this past week.  The Broncos are officially done with Melvin Gordon, releasing him after yet another fumble this game, and the backfield looks to be Murray’s alone.  The Broncos traded for Chase Edmonds at the deadline, but he was barely involved to begin with and suffered an injury this week, which could sideline him for some time.  Mike Boone is also nursing an injury so Murray is the last man standing in the Denver backfield.  After waiving Murray and the injuries piling up, I expect Denver to sign someone, but Murray will be a high volume RB2 who gets all the goal line, albeit in a struggling offense.  He saw 21 opportunities this past week after Denver benched Gordon, and has gotten double digit opportunities with Gordon there in every game this season for Denver.  He should see a consistent 15+ opportunities each week and provide at minimum a solid floor.


Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals – Perine probably doesn’t have the same long-term appeal as other guys on this list, but he could be a high-end spot start this coming week if Joe Mixon misses a game due to concussion.  He left Week 11 early and we’ve seen the NFL demonstrate extreme caution with concussions this year, most of the time seeing a player miss the game after sustaining one.  Perine showed he still had some juice with 3 touchdowns this past week filling in for Mixon, and in the Bengal’s high octane offense he has a good chance at points if Mixon is unable to go.  He probably has the highest ceiling of the players on this list, but most likely gives you a 1 week start at most.  So it’s worth deciding if you’re desperately trying to squeeze out wins, then Perine would be my top add, but if you’re looking for a longer term solution, McKinnon or Murray might be better.  


James Cook, Buffalo Bills – I’ve been out on James Cook so far this season given how little the Bills use him and the mid-season trade for Nyheim Hines made me think they don’t have confidence yet in the rookie.  The Bills have strangely barely used Hines at all since acquiring him, and Cook has gotten more opportunities lately, most recently 13 opportunities in Week 11.  He turned those into 86 yards and 8.6 fantasy points, which may not seem like a lot, but he’s worth grabbing in case the Bills continue to feature him more in the offense.  It’s always worth owning pieces of high powered offenses, and the Bills have one of the best.  If Cook can start to see 30+% of snaps, he could fill in as a usable flex in a pinch.  


Wide Receivers  

Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans – Hopes were high for Burks after being selected in the first round of the NFL draft, with many people expecting him to slide right in and take over for AJ Brown, who the Titans traded away during the draft to select Burks.  Injuries have derailed the beginning of his young career, but he finally looks healthy and has played over 50% of the snaps each of his last 2 games back.  We would like to see a higher snap percentage, which I expect to increase as he gets back on the field more, and even with the low snaps he’s seen 6+ targets in each game.  This past week he turned 8 targets into 7 catches for 111 yards for his first true breakout performance of the year.  The Titans desperately need someone to step up at WR and Burks has the pedigree to take over the #1 job.  It’s a low volume passing attack which caps Burks’ ceiling a but, but this week he displayed the athletic ability that got him selected in the 1st round.  He’s definitely worth adding to the end of the bench to see if his breakout continues.


Darius Slayton, New York Giants – Slayton has quietly been productive for weeks now, but his name and being attached to Daniel Jones have kept him somewhat under the radar as he’s only 58% rostered.  Slayton has gone over double digit PPR points in 4 straight games, and 5 of his last 6.  Slayton has been needed more with the early season injury to Sterling Shephard, and now the Giants have lost rookie WR Wandale Robinson for the season.  Slayton is the last reliable Giants’ WR remaining, and has a connection with Daniel Jones already.  This past week he saw 10 targets given the Giants were in a negative game script all game, and that’s a trend we could continue to see.  The Giants play Dallas and Philly 2 of the next 3 weeks, and will most likely be chasing points in those games.  Slayton is a good bet for 6+ targets each week, with the opportunity to hit double digits if the Giants need to pass more.  


Demarcus Robinson, Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens are another team starving for playmakers at WR after losing sophomore Rashod Bateman for the season to a foot injury.  Devin Duvernay popped a few times early in the year, and many people assumed he would become the #1 option at WR, but it seems to be Robinson who’s assumed that role.  Robinson has gotten 8+ targets in 2 of the last 3 games and went over 20 PPR points this past week.  The Ravens’ offense is struggling a bit this year which limits Robinson’s ceiling, but he’s shown twice in three games now that he can give you a usable fantasy week.  He played 78% of the snaps in Week 11 and if he stays on the field for most of the game, he should see 7-8 targets a game.


Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions – This is a deeper stash if you have the bench space as the Lions designated Williams to return this week.  He probably won’t suit up right away, and when he is back, most likely gets eased into the offense, but this was one of the most athletic WRs in this past draft and the Lions spent incredibly high draft capital to select him.  After trading away TJ Hockenson, the Lions have very little help behind Amon Ra St. Brown so we could see Williams worked in more than expected out of necessity.  The talent alone is worth putting Williams on the end of the bench and seeing how the next few weeks shake out.  He could be a nice flex option for the fantasy playoffs.


Donovan Peoples Jones, Cleveland Browns/Nico Collins, Houston Texans/Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts – I put these 3 guys together because they’re highly rostered but absolutely check and see if they’re available because they would be my top add if so.  DPJ, Collins and Campbell have demonstrated some level of consistency this year and showed they could be relied on in lineups.  DPJ has scored double digit points in 5 straight games and has gone over 50 yards receiving in 7 straight.  Deshaun Watson returns in Week 13 which should be a boost to the entire passing offense.  Nico Collins has seemingly taken over as the #1 target in Houston.  He’s played 78+% of snaps each of the last 2 weeks since his return from injury and has gotten 7 or more targets in each game.  Parris Campbell is a low ceiling, high floor option that has now put together 4 good games in a row with Matt Ryan.  He’s averaged 18.5 fantasy points the last 4 games with Ryan and that number seems high given his 3 touchdowns in that stretch.  We can’t rely on touchdowns every week, but Campbell showed in Week 11 he’s still good for double digit points even if he doesn’t score.  


Tight Ends 

Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints – Johnson is a low floor TE who has been performing like a Top TE recently due to his touchdowns.  He’s caught 5 TDs over the last 5 weeks, and has scored in 3 straight games.  He would be in single digits each of those games without the scores, which gives him a low floor, but he seems like a high probability of scoring each week.  The Saints seem to key on him in the redzone and with the TE wasteland, it’s worth banking on if you don’t have a top option.  


Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars – Jacksonville was on bye last week so a good chance Engram was dropped as he wasn’t lighting the world on fire, and probably not worth keeping for most managers.  The week before the bye he put up a stinker against Kansas City, further illustrating why he’s probably available in leagues.  Tight End stinks this year outside of Kelce and you might as well grab one who could see a decent amountof targets.  Excluding the game he left early to injury, Engram has played about 70% or more of snaps in every game this season, and has seen at least 4 targets in every game but 1.  He’s a good bet for 5-6 targets each week, which you could do a lot worse at TE this year.  


Tyler Conklin, New York Jets – This one might seem crazy after that abysmal performance from Zach Wilson this past week, but I’m adding Conklin on the idea we might see a new QB under center sooner than later for New York.  Robert Saleh has already said this week he won’t commit to Wilson as the starter this week, and Conklin had some very usable weeks earlier with Flacco.  He finished Top 15 at the position each game through the first 4 weeks, and I imagine a shift to Flacco or Mike White would boost Conklin’s volume. 

Hope you all have a great holiday! Stay safe and as always, stay true. 

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