Week 12 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Gus Edwards & More
Week 12 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Gus Edwards & More
I have to be honest with you: this is the first week where I sat down to write up the weekly waivers and thought, “wow, I really wouldn’t be sad to miss out on any of these players.” Really, this is just a function of every team having very defined roles and new “value” only opening up via injury. If no significant players get hurt or the new positions are being filled on teams like the Lions and the Jets, well, there just is not that much to get excited about. I do feel confident in saying that there will be at least one more significant RB injury that opens up someone like Brian Hill as a must-add, but this is the lull we have settled into.
As we head into the fantasy football playoffs, this is now the type of year we can start looking ahead and thinking about schedules and the potential shootout games coming later on in the season. Additionally, let this serve as a reminder that you probably want backup kickers and QB options in your high stakes leagues as waiver transactions will stop after Week 13. Imagine having a chance at the $500,000 up top and not being able to start a kicker because Cody Parkey tested positive for COVID. For your average 12-team PPR league, this is the time to be jettisoning your Zach Pascal-shaped flotsam and loading up on high-upside handcuff RBs, and planning your streaming schedule for the playoffs.
Each week, we will look at three tiers of players: the “must adds” or players that we expect will be picked up in every league and in every format, the “borderline” tier, and the deep-league darts. The focus will be on 12-team PPR leagues as our frame of reference and as always, if you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me on Twitter @DavisMattek or in the Daily Roto NFL Slack channel.
All players referenced in the Fantasy Football Waiver Wire column are under 50% owned in Yahoo! Fantasy Football Leagues. It is possible these players might be owned in your league.
POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE MAKERS (THESE ARE PLAYERS WORTH > 25% OF YOUR FAAB, OR THE #1 OVERALL WAIVER CLAIM) FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
Last week, Taysom featured in the “deep adds” portion of our wavier list because, to be honest, I was not expecting a 20+ fantasy point performance to be his median. Now, he definitely ran a little hot with multiple rushing touchdowns but what was probably even more impressive is that he looked relatively comfortable throwing the ball. His 25 fantasy points were the most a New Orleans QB had posted all season, and his throws down the field were far more accurate than I had imagined. Hill picked up his rushing in the second half and ended with 10 rushing attempts. If he is going to be a competent passer and record 10+ rushes per game, Hill has a clear chance to be a top-ten fantasy quarterback for the rest of the way. If you are still searching for the playoff answer at QB, there is a fairly strong chance that Taysom is your guy. His presence at QB is #not good for Alvin Kamara, but Michael Thomas had his best game of the year, so concerns that Slant Boy would not be able to produce with Hill are partly assuaged.
At this point, we should probably treat Chris Carson like it will be a bonus if he is able to play this season. It is startling that he was never placed on the injured reserve, but in Hyde’s last two games, he has looked like the superior option in the Seattle backfield. Hyde played 70% of the Seahawks snaps on Thursday night while rushing 14 times and being targeted three times. The 70% snap-share is the eye-grabbing number there as that is a season-high for Hyde, and Carson himself only topped 58% of the Seahawks snaps once. It does sound like Carson should be back in Week 12, so please check player news or do a quick google search before you place your Hyde bids on Tuesday night. There is a reasonable chance that Hyde is the lead back or at least the lead part of a timeshare with Carson when he does come back, so he is still a player we want to roster.
Gus Edwards/Justice Hill
With the news that both Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins have tested positive for COVID, the two RBs active for the Ravens on Thanksgiving are going to be JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Edwards is the best add of the week and you can honestly feel comfortable spending all of your remaining FAAB on him, contingent on you needing the Week 12 points. If you do *not* need 12-15 projected RB points, you should leave the large bids on Edwards to someone else. On my teams where I am relatively stable at RB/flex but want to try and wager on both Ingram and Dobbins having to miss multiple weeks (which is possible with COVID tests but not probable), I also like throwing a 5% bid on Justice Hill who has barely played in his two year NFL career but has only one fewer target than Gus Edwards who has logged almost five times the snaps that Hill has.
The most likely scenario here is that Edwards is the clear “early-down” back and probably gets whatever goal-to-go RB touches there are available on Thanksgiving but Hill seems like a clear favorite for passing downs. If the Ravens get down 10+ points against the Steelers, we can also expect him to be the primary “catch up” back. Both of these guys become truly wild FAAB values if Ingram and Dobbins are going to miss Week 12, so we will stay tuned to the Ravens beat writers.
BORDERLINE STARTERS (THESE PLAYERS LIKELY ARE COMING OFF A GOOD GAME BUT DO NOT PROJECT AS MULTI-WEEK STARTERS, WORTH LESS THAN 25% OF YOUR FAAB) FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
Jordan Akins/KeKe Coutee
With the Texans rushing game in complete shambles, DeShaun Watson had one of his best passing games of the year in which Akins had a career-high 83 yards and was in on 31 of the Texans 61 snaps. Both Kenny Stills and Randall Cobb suffered injuries in the Texans’ win over the Patriots, and Cobb is expected to miss multiple weeks. Akins is averaging 10.6 yards per route run this season and has better targets per routes run than Darren Fells. On the other hand, KeKe Coutee is a formerly productive player (41 targets in six games as a rookie) who many people regard as an extremely talented player, and he played 57% of the Texans snaps on Sunday, which was really his first real game-time action of the year. In normal 12-team PPR leagues, I would bid on Coutee ahead of Akins, but in FFPC or other tight end premium formats, I would prefer Akins to Coutee. Both are fine 10-15% spends of your remaining FAAB.
Russell Gage/Christian Blake
With Julio Jones hobbled (35% of snaps), the Falcons passing tree broke out as follows:
Russell Gage – 12 targets 79% snaps
Calvin Ridley – 9 targets 82% snaps
Christian Blake – 4 targets 60% snaps
Olamide Zaccheaus – 1 target 21% of snaps
Hayden Hurst – 2 targets 87% of snaps
Russell Gage has entered and left many of our lineups and rosters over the course of the year, but if Julio Jones is really banged up (which it seems like he has been all year long), Gage is likely the better volatile WR4 target than Blake, Zaccheaus or even Hurst. Hurst has been brutal all year in terms of target per route run, so there is always room for someone like Gage or Blake to have a fantasy viable role. Gage is far more owned than Blake in 12-team PPR leagues, but if Jones’ hamstring injury is actually bad, Blake is the more natural replacement for the Jones role, and we know that role is valuable. If you would start Gage in Week 12, I think you can up to 20% of your remaining budget on him because the Falcons get a great matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders at home in the dome. Blake would be more like a 5-8% target.
In a game where everyone was excited to start Jakobi Meyers and play him in DFS, Byrd had his first 100-yard receiving game, played 62 snaps, but it is worth noting that this wasn’t Byrd’s first target explosion game. Byrd had nine targets against Seattle and 10 against the Chiefs. This suggests that Byrd is a much more natural fit in “pace up” games or when the Patriots project to trail and not be able to run their ground-heavy offense. It seems that Meyers is going to have a more stable target volume game to game, but Byrd will have a higher average depth of target and a more volatile role in pass-heavy games. It is also worth noting that N’Keal Harry played 52 snaps in this game and was targeted eight times. The Patriots play at home against Arizona this weekend, and then at the Chargers, both games should skew them far more pass-heavy than their seasonal baselines, so both Byrd and Harry are sneaky waiver adds this week.
If you are desperate for a one-week spot start at RB, Kerryon Johnson might be your guy. It appears that D’Andre Swift was concussed at practice last Wednesday and was not particularly close to playing this most recent Sunday in probably the worst game of the Matt Patricia era. Kerryon played 70% of the Lions backfield snaps, was targeted 5 times and rushed six times to Adrian Peterson’s seven. The Lions play at home to the Texans on Thanksgiving, which would be a far-friendlier script for Kerryon than elder statesmen Peterson. We do not have a great update on Swift’s health, but I would not count on him being active this Thursday if I had him, which makes Kerryon a good 10-20% FAAB bid.
This disgusts me. This is when you know we have truly reached the worst part of the season when we are having to non-facetiously suggest bidding and rostering ancient Frank Gore. LaMical Perine got injured in this game for the Jets, playing only 11 snaps while Gore played 35-of-43 snaps. Gore tallied 15 rushes and two targets in a game where his team scored 28 points; I mean, look, it is absolute trash, but that sort of workload for a team that has posted 27 and 28 points over their last two games is actually something that needs to be rostered. My hope is that if Perine’s ankle injury is semi-serious, the coaching staff will lean a little heavier on Ty Johnson, who has some juice, but I think that is very unlikely, and we probably see 15+ Gore touches next week against the Dolphins.
As the San Francisco 49ers blog, Niners Nation, noted after the 49ers game against the Saints two weeks ago, Reed has been one of the 49ers’ best players in passing situations when he has been active. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk may or may not be able to return to action this week for the 49ers, but I don’t think it particularly matters for Reed being a start or a sit in fantasy football. While Reed has been active, he has been one of the five best tight ends in the NFL in terms of targets per route run, and we know that the San Francisco offense is heavily designed to target the tight end in obvious passing situations. If Reed is out there in your league, bid on him like you plan on starting him at tight end for the rest of the year.
DEEP LEAGUE TARGETS AND BENCH STASHES FROM THE FANTASY FOOTBALL WAIVER WIRE
Does being the third-down back for the New York Jets have that much value? No, not really. Johnson was not even particularly useful in this role last year for the Lions and was losing snaps to Bo Scarborough and J.D McKissic. However, there is definitely a non-zero chance that Johnson builds on his six targets on 14 snaps (an absurd targets per route run), and for many RB-needy teams, Johnson would not be the worst-ever bottom of the barrel spot start in Week 12. There also always remains the smallest chance that Gase gets fired, and whoever takes over for him will be incentivized to play literally anyone other than Frank Gore. Of course, Johnson isn’t worth more than a dollar.
This is mostly for Superflex leagues and shallow-ish dynasty leagues. Carson Wentz is going through the worst streak of his career; the Dallas Cowboys lead the NFC East and have a far easier schedule than the Eagles for the rest of the way. Wentz is averaging a career-low 6.2 yards per attempt and 5.2 adjusted yards per attempt. There really is no reason once Dallas gets a two-game lead on Philly for Wentz to continue playing. Hurts was an A++++ rusher in college and could provide very similar value to what Taysom Hill just did against the Falcons if he was to get a starter. In all Superflex leagues, Hurts should be owned at this point.
This is mostly a cover-my-ass move as it is really unclear where we are at in the 49ers’ backfield. Raheem Mostert could be back off the IR, or he could not. Tevin Coleman could be back from the IR, or he could not. JaMychal Hasty has been placed on the IR, and Jeff Wilson Jr. will probably not return until much later in the season, if at all. Walter was called off of the practice squad last week and played 12 snaps, recorded one rush and one target. He is only worth a roster spot if the 49ers have only one other active RB, but if both Mostert and Coleman are back in Week 12, there is no reason to bid on/roster Walter.
Jacob Hollister/Will Dissly
With Greg Olsen likely out for the rest of the year due to a plantar fascia injury suffered last Thursday night, there is a larger role open for Hollister and/or Dissly. David Moore has only one game with more than four targets this season, which leads me to believe the Olsen injury will lead to more 12 personnel than extra three-WR sets. Dissly played 65% of the snaps against the Cardinals but was targeted only one time. Despite playing a far greater number of snaps this year, Hollister has slightly out-targeted Dissly thus far. I am making low-dollar bids on both of these two players and would slightly place Hollister ahead of Dissly in bid priority.
Look Ahead Defense Bids (5% of FAAB or less): Green Bay Packers (The Pack welcomes Carson Wince to Lambeau), Seattle Seahawks (yes, THOSE same Seahawks get to take on Daniel Jones, the most turnover-prone QB in the NFL, at home).