Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 12
November 23, 2015 | Evan Sandel
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Javorius Allen (12% Yahoo, 5% ESPN)
Just when you thought the Baltimore Ravens couldn’t get any more injured, their starting quarterback and running back are inflicted with season-ending injuries in the same game. The Ravens’ primary vertical option is now Matt Schaub to Kamar Aiken. Considering the disconcerting level of ineffectiveness that duo is liable to produce, it’s safe to assume that Buck Allen will be in for a considerable amount of work down the stretch.
Forsett went down early and Allen acquired a voluminous 27 touches as the Ravens’ workhorse back; he turned those touches into 115 yards — not a bad showing against a stout Rams defense. A rookie fourth round pick out of USC, Allen is a locked in RB2 based on that volume alone, and he has as much if not more upside than the now defunct Justin Forsett.
Spencer Ware (7% Yahoo, 0.1% ESPN)
Another injury fill-in, Spencer Ware fit right into the Chiefs’ run heavy offense when Charkandrick West left the game with a hamstring injury. Ware ripped off 101 yards and two scores on a mere 12 touches, putting the Chargers’ dreadful run defense to shame. At 5’10, 230, Ware is a superb goal line option, and when asked to fill in as an every-down back he showed surprisingly strong acceleration and agility, which enabled him to gain yards in big chunks.
Andy Reid loves to lean on one back and has smartly insured this strategy by stockpiling capable runners; Ware is the next man up and should return near-RB1 value for the duration of West’s absence. After next week’s tough matchup against the Bills, the upcoming slate of opposing defenses for Chiefs runners is mouthwatering. Ware needs to be added in all formats and has chance to return standalone value even after West’s return, in a goal-line-vulture sort of way.
Kendall Wright (44% Yahoo, 42% ESPN)
Kendall Wright’s ownership dipped severely after he was sidelined for three weeks by an MCL issue. The time is now to bring him back to fantasy rosters, as the Titans expect him to return for next week’s plus matchup against the Raiders.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota could certainly use the help as his current supporting cast is providing the rookie with little help. Green-Beckham is struggling to adjust to the next level and Harry Douglas is simply awful, leaving Mariota to lean on his 31-year-old tight end, Delanie Walker.
Wright’s return will give Mariota a weapon he desperately needs, and he should be peppered with targets immediately. Every NFL team’s best wide receiver is a must-own fantasy commodity, even if they play for the Tennessee Titans.
Jameis Winston (24% Yahoo, 25% ESPN)
This year’s number one overall draft pick appears to be getting comfortable playing at the next level. He torched an underrated Eagles defense for 246 yards and five touchdowns. Doug Martin continued his resurgent year, ripping off 235 yards. When the running game is that successful it’s a tremendous help to the quarterback, especially to a rookie just getting acclimated.
Winston is a tremendous talent worthy of a first round pick; he’s shown flashes of greatness this year despite a battered receiving corps, but with veteran Vincent Jackson now healthy and promising tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins set to return next week, Winston should continue to improve.
Also of note, the Bucs will play every remaining game either in a dome or in Florida, which is well worth considering as we head into December.
Brock Osweiler (17% Yahoo, 10% ESPN)
Osweiler preformed adequately in a two-point victory over the Chicago Bears. That performance was apparently good enough to earn him the start against a very burnable Pats secondary currently allowing 256 passing yards per game. Should Osweiler lead the Broncos to victory over Tom Brady and the undefeated Patriots, it will be difficult to justify going back to Manning.
A talented player with imposing size and a capable offense, Osweiler has benefited from a learning environment that includes Peyton Manning and John Elway. Brock’s ceiling is as high as anybody’s. Osweiler’s start against the Patriots will likely determine the Broncos’ starting passer going forward. If you’ve got room to roll the dice, add Brock now; if you wait until after the Pats game it might be too late.
Crockett Gillmore (22% Yahoo, 17% ESPN)
100-yard games are few and far between for tight ends not named Gronkowski, and Gilmore joined the club against St. Louis on Sunday, pilling up all that yardage on a mere five catches. The injury to Flacco means the Ravens will go run-heavy from here on out, which is a major benefit to pass catching tight ends. The fact the Matt Schaub is the new passer only increases that value, as he has traditionally leaned on the tight end. Gilmore is a TE1 from here on out, and his backup, rookie Maxx Williams is worth monitoring as well.
Tevin Coleman – Looked mediocre-at-best in relief of Freeman; worth a spot start if Freeman misses time, but ROS prospects are dim.
Thomas Rawls – Has actually looked stronger than Lynch on the year, and the possibility that Lynch will need season ending surgery to deal with a sports hernia has emerged. If Rawls is still available in your league, he needs to be added ASAP.
Tyler Lockett – 5 targets ties a season-high and two touchdowns are worth noting. Still, he remains frustratingly underused in Seattle’s run-oriented offense. Don’t add him yet, but he’s worth monitoring, as the ‘Hawks would be well advised to carve out a Tavon Austin/Percy Harvin sort of roll for the young speedster.
JJ Nelson – Had a big day, but won’t have another one after Michael Floyd gets healthy.
Marquess Wilson – Worth playing anytime Alshon Jeffery is sidelined, which is disappointingly often.
Cecil Shorts III – Had a touchdown pass and ran for 26 yards on four carries out of the wildcat. It was an interesting day for CSI; if the Texans continue to be that determined to get him involved he could become relevant. He did lead the Texans in YPC after all.
Kyle Rudolph – Has been touchdown dependent all year, then comes out of nowhere to drop a 100-yard game. Monitor closely.
Bilal Powell – Looked good chomping up yards in garbage time. Ivory’s stock has been trending downwards for weeks. Bilal would become fantasy relevant in an expanded role, especially in PPR formats.
Ahmad Bradshaw – He’s stealing more work from an aging Frank Gore every week. If you’re looking for a long-term solution and miss on Buck Allen, this isn’t a bad second choice.
Raheem Mostert – Runs a lightning fast 4.28 40. He’s likely to get touches in the Ravens’ backfield as their depth continues to erode and has a long shot chance to be something special if given the opportunity.
CJ Anderson – Don’t look now, but CJ Anderson is turning it around, averaging 5.8 ypc over the last four weeks. It’s about to get cold and blustery, and the Broncos have well documented QB issues. They’d be well advised to see if CJ can keep it up. If a frustrated owner dropped this guy, scoop him up.