RotoViz provides advice on players to target and fade on your fantasy football waiver wire.
Week 12 Waiver Wire Advice
I’ll present players by positional tiers, from most desirable to acquire (1) to least (3). Availability in ESPN leagues is shown in parentheses. This week, a focus on the most upside we can find. At this point in the season that often means embracing the unknown.
Quarterbacks – Tier 1 – Worth a Bid
Check out Giana Pacinelli’s weekly Streaming QB column for more advice.
There are a lot of names available at the position, so make sure to check back for specific advice, or use our apps to do your own research.
Lamar Jackson (78%) – Joe Flacco should miss at least one more game. Except for Week 16, the Ravens have a fantastic streaming schedule.
Quarterbacks – Tier 2 – Not so much
Among widely available QBs, Case Keenum and Blake Bortles also have great schedules. But Keenum’s been under 20 points in three of his past four games and Bortles has sandwiched a pair of 20-point games with a pair of six-point games.
Tight Ends – Tier 1 – Modest bid
Check out Neil Dutton’s weekly tight end column for more advice.
Vance McDonald (48%) – I wrote about him last week, so I’ll just recycle that blurb here. His streaming schedule isn’t great, but he’s been very efficient this season and Pittsburgh’s offense is always capable of producing big games.
Jonnu Smith (98%) – I’m not sure if Marcus Mariota will miss time or not but if he does, I’d argue that Blaine Gabbert has a lot of success (for him) throwing to the TE.
Regardless of who plays, Smith has back to back games with three or more catches and 40 or more yards. That’s not much to go by, but perhaps the exciting young TE is finally starting to emerge.
Tight Ends – Tier 2 – Meh
Some other tight ends with favorable rest of season schedules: C.J. Uzomah and Jeff Heuerman. They’re both on the field a lot and have had decent games, however, both have extremely low floors. I’d only bid if you’re desperate, otherwise wait for first come first serve waivers.
Running Backs – Tier 1
Theo Riddick (67%) – Over the past three weeks, Riddick trails only Ezekiel Elliott in receiving expected points for running backs. Here he is along with some of the other leaders.
In other words, Riddick is getting seven targets and 10 receiving expected points per game right now. Also, Kerryon Johnson is likely going to miss Thursday’s game, and Marvin Jones may as well. Expect a ton of work for Riddick. He’s my top add at the position this week and worth a decent bid.
Peyton Barber – (36%) – Barber is averaging 16 carries per game, a considerable amount. Last week he finally managed to have an efficient game to go along with that workload. This week he’s in an even better spot. Tampa Bay has the best Week 12 RB matchup, according to the Buy Low Machine. A modest bid is appropriate.
Running Back – Tier 2 – Dice Rolls
This is a little bit like chasing points, but these two backs are worth checking out in case they managed to earn bigger roles with their fine Week 11 performances.
Josh Adams (72%) – Adams has seven or more rushing attempts in three straight games and got involved in the passing game as well last week. Here are the last two games for the Eagles backfield.
That’s hard to ignore. With favorable matchups against Washington and the New York Giants, Adams should at least be rostered and is worth a bid to keep him off an opponent’s team. There’s also a chance that either Corey Clement or Wendell Smallwood lose work to Adams, which could then make Adams startable down the stretch.
Gus Edwards (100%) – His Week 11 performance (115 yards and a TD) was impressive. But Edwards also had 10 carries back in Week 6, which he turned into a respectable 42 yards. So, the two times all year he got an opportunity, he performed well. Baltimore still has Alex Collins, Javorius Allen, and Ty Montgomery so it’s not at all certain that Edwards gets another opportunity. On the other hand, Baltimore has the fourth-best rest of season RB schedule. There aren’t many sure things this late in the season. Although unlikely, it’s possible he earns a regular role on offense. It’s worth a small bid to find out.
Running Backs – Tier 3 – Safety Dance
Doug Martin (34%), Jalen Richard (47%), and Mike Davis (51%) – They’ve been written up in this space frequently. They offer decent usage, but not a lot of upside.
Wide Receivers – Tier 1 – Biggish Bids
Keke Coutee (86%) – Houston has the best rest of season WR schedule, which is a good starting point. Coutee hadn’t played since Week 7, but promptly earned nine targets in Week 11. Demaryius Thomas has just four targets in his two games with Houston. I’m sure the Texans want Thomas to take on a bigger role in the offense as the season progresses but for now, Coutee appears to be the WR2. In fact, for the season, Coutee is averaging more receiving expected points and targets per game than Thomas. Coutee also has three (of five total) games over 12 points, an excellent ratio.
D.J. Moore (68%) – So far, Moore has gone over 10 points in half his games. Not bad. He’s also got a top-seven rest of season schedule. Moore has also been far more efficient than Devin Funchess, which could lead to more work for Moore.
Josh Reynolds (74%) – What an amazing Monday Night Football game. Reynolds did his part, going 6/80/1. He also had another end zone target that he wasn’t able to convert. Even the Rams won’t score that many points every week, but the usage and willingness to involve Reynolds are very encouraging. This is a great offense, so getting a piece of it off waivers at this point of the year is worth a decent bid.
Tre’Quan Smith (68%) – His previous high for targets was six. He more than doubled that last week. It’s not likely he sees 13 targets again but he is the No. 2 WR for some guy named Drew Brees. Here’s the case for Smith continuing to get more looks.
Brandon Marshall is expected to play next week, but he hasn’t looked good in quite some time. Smith may go back to his low-target ways, but the big-game ability in a great offense can’t be ignored.
Christian Kirk (73%) – Like Moore, he’s scored 10-plus points in half his games as a rookie, including four of the past six. Also like Moore and Smith, Kirk is his team’s best WR by adjusted yards per attempt.
The analogy breaks down when we get to the QB though, as Josh Rosen isn’t anywhere near Cam Newton or Drew Brees. That gives the waiver priority edge to Moore and Smith, but Kirk is a fine pick up too.
Adam Humphries (77%) – Did you know that he’s the 10th-best WR in PPR scoring over the past three weeks? Or that he’s essentially tied with Larry Fitzgerald as the 36th-best WR for the season? Four of his past six games have gone for 10 or more points. He’s got even worse QB play though, so he slots in last here.
Wide Receivers – Tier 2 – Small Bids
Plenty of names to choose from:
Marcell Ateman is a very long shot, but Seth Roberts isn’t very inspiring competition. Chris Godwin’s case is similar to Humphries; good usage, poor QB. Mohamed Sanu, Cole Beasley, and Willie Snead are reliable safe floor/low ceiling plays. Taylor Gabriel and Dontrelle Inman have been getting reps in good offenses but haven’t quite put it together yet. Bruce Ellington is interesting if Marvin Jones misses time. Courtland Sutton has the most upside on this list, but a poor QB situation as well.