As a reminder, these waiver wire players aim for the 50 percent or less ownership on average across the major sites and have Yahoo! ownership listed. They’re also good for DFS too, as they will often have a lower cost and present values.
Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups QBs (Streaming Quarterbacks)
Colin Kaepernick, SF (18%) – Kaepernick doesn’t deserve to be a “streamer” as he’s simply too good. Why mess around with the Andy Daltons of the Fantasy world when you can get a quarterback with a high floor and high ceiling? Kaepernick’s rushing ability prevents awful games, but it also brings the potential for 20-plus point games. In fact, Kaepernick has at least 15 points in each game with an average of 19.9 FPPG. Kaepernick is worthy of being your every-week quarterback.
Carson Wentz, PHI (32%) – Wentz has fallen off since the first four weeks, but he was able to throw for two touchdowns in Seattle last week, and now he faces the Packers. Those Packers have allowed at least 281 passing yards in each of their last four games with 1,239 yards total and 11 touchdowns. If you’re an Andrew Luck owner and Kaepernick is owned, Wentz is a nice fallback option.
Sam Bradford, MIN (12%) – In the first two games with Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator, Bradford attempted 40 passes in each. Last week against the Cardinals, Bradford had just 28, but the Cardinals defense is extremely tough and the Vikings were scoring with their own defense. If the Vikings are more aggressive in the passing game this week, and they should be against the weak Lions defense, Bradford could have an adequate 250/2 type of game. No, Bradford won’t win you Week 12, but he can keep you from losing it if needed.
Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups RBs
Should Have Picked Them Up: Dion Lewis, NE; Tim Hightower, NO; James Starks, GB
Chris Ivory, JAX (48%) – I was surprised to see Ivory under 50 percent owned, but let’s correct that immediately. Ivory is averaging less than four yards per carry this year, but after T.J. Yeldon suffered an injury against the Lions, Ivory saw a good amount of work in the passing game, catching all six targets for 75 yards. With the backfield mostly his, Ivory has RB2 potential with the upside for more, as he averaged 17.9 FPPG in games with 20-plus touches last year.
Tim Hightower, NO (51%) – We’ve seen what Hightower can do when Mark Ingram misses time, and Ingram is in the concussion protocol. Even if Ingram plays in Week 12, Hightower has been effective enough to warrant flex consideration in a matchup where the Rams let the Jets total 139 rushing yards and 24 Fantasy points at the running back position and Jay Ajayi to rush for 77 yards on 16 carries the last two weeks.
Wendell Smallwood, PHI (5%) – It sounds as if Darren Sproles will play in Week 12, but Ryan Mathews sounds doubtful. If Mathews is out, Smallwood will assume the lead role for the Eagles, and he has the talent to produce RB2-level numbers. Just know that the Eagles play on Monday night, so if we don’t have word that Mathews is out by Sunday, you may not want to risk waiting for Smallwood.
Kenneth Dixon, BAL (28%) – So much for Dixon getting more work, huh? Nevertheless, Dixon is still productive on a per touch basis, and if he does eventually see the majority of Ravens touches, Dixon has the ability to be a Top 20 running back.
Mike Gillislee, BUF (25%) – See Gillislee at this ownership means 75 percent of you are knuckleheads since LeSean McCoy’s ownership is 100 percent. The 75 percent of his owners that don’t own Gillislee should have learned their lesson the first time McCoy was hurt, and now, they have no one to blame but themselves. Gillislee showed he’s a RB2 if McCoy misses time, and while McCoy is optimistic to play after surgery to repair a dislocated thumb, he’s no guarantee for Sunday.
Alex Collins, SEA (0%) – Collins needs to be owned with the news that C.J. Prosise is done for the year due to a fractured scapula. It’s simply a matter of Collins being the next man up, and he is a strong runner behind a running back returning from an injury in Thomas Rawls.
Denard Robinson, JAX (0%) – Sticking with the next man up theme, don’t forget about Robinson being behind Ivory. For as long as Yeldon is out, Robinson has value if Ivory was to get hurt too, and that’s happened plenty of times throughout his career.
Rex Burkhead, CIN (0%) – One more in the next man up category. With Giovani Bernard done for the year, Jeremy Hill is about to gobble up the touches, but Burkhead will see some work in the passing game and have flex appeal if Hill got hurt too.
Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups WRs
Tyler Boyd, CIN (6%) – Initial reports had A.J. Green done for the year, and while the MRI results are more positive, Green is out for at least Week 12. With Green out, Boyd is an intriguing WR3/4 in PPR leagues. He’s a talented receiver with the ability to find space in the defense and do damage after the catch. He has the highest ceiling for any receiver in Cincinnati while Green is on the shelf.
Brandon LaFell, CIN (11%) – Don’t dismiss LaFell from your waiver wire pickups. LaFell is a better red zone option than Boyd, and the Bengals will need him to step up with Green out. Tyler Eifert can’t do it all himself, and the Bengals’ offense will still provide enough scoring opportunities for LaFell to have touchdown potential in most weeks while Green isn’t playing.
Sammy Watkins, BUF (42%) – Watkins will reportedly return to practice this week, and while his return likely won’t come until Week 13, the Bills need him even more now. Robert Woods is banged up, and the Bills are still in the playoff conversation. If he can play, the Bills will want Watkins and his Top 15 receiver potential on the field.
Eli Rogers, PIT (23%) – Rogers had a quiet game against the Browns, but that was more due to Ben Roethlisberger’s road struggles. The fact remains that Rogers is the No. 2 receiver in Pittsburgh with Sammie Coates dealing with broken fingers and Darrius Heyward-Bey out. In PPR leagues, Rogers is in the WR3/4 conversation with a ceiling for more each week.
Tyreek Hill, KC (40%) – Hill’s value will take a hit when Jeremy Maclin returns, but even then, Hill can have deeper league PPR value. Hill definitely has built a quick rapport with Alex Smith, and this offense is as dink and dunk as it gets.
Marqise Lee, JAX (6%) – Lee has taken over the role as the Jaguars’ No. 2 receiver. Lee has four receptions and at least 50 yards in each of the last three games and at least four catches in every game except one since Week 1. That’s nice value in PPR leagues and much better than Hurns’ three catches and 22 yards in the last three games.
Malcolm Mitchell, NE (1%) – Mitchell has terrific stop-and-go ability, a skill that is on par with top-end running backs, and it aids in his ability to break free of defenders. He also has great hands, which will have Tom Brady looking his way more often, as Mitchell continues to show his reliability. Mitchell is just a deep-league option for now, but keep watch given Brady’s ability to throw three-plus touchdowns every week.
Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups TEs
Dennis Pitta, BAL (38%) – With no byes this week, you shouldn’t have to dig too deep at tight end, but if you lost Zach Miller or Rob Gronkowski misses another game, Pitta is a solid option, especially in PPR leagues. The Bengals have given up the fifth most tight end receptions and allow the fourth most FPPG to them. This a great matchup for Pitta.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU (22%) – Fiedorowicz has been a bit up and down since emerging against the Titans, but he’s been rather productive with weekly potential to reach the Top 10 at the position. He has at least five targets and three catches in every game since that Titans game. On top of all of that, the tough matchups are mostly over, as the Jaguars are the only team remaining that’s good at limiting tight ends.