The fake football season is winding down and you probably have a good idea about which of your fake squads is still in contention for the playoffs. Before you start digging the graves for your sub-.500 teams, remember that there’s a special place in hell for managers who don’t stick it out and field an active lineup every week. Beyond that, I recommend using this time to strategically block your most villainous opponents from adding the players their teams need the most. You may not make the playoffs, but you can always try to take your fantasy nemeses down with you. With that in mind, here are this week’s top waiver wire pick-ups:
Chad Henne, JAC – The Jaguars’ QB-by-default turned in a solid outing on Sunday with 261 yards and a pair of TD passes. The bulk of Henne’s fantasy impact is tied to the resurrection of Justin Blackmon, but if you’re in dire need of a QB this week, Henne is a viable plug-in.
Knowshon Moreno, DEN – The announcement that Moreno would start over Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball broke pretty close to game time on Sunday morning, so you may still have a shot at the Broncos’ new/old feature back.
Beanie Wells, ARI – Beanie found the end zone twice on Sunday and is hence poised to finish the week as a top-10 running back. With LaRod Stephens-Howling sorely hurting, Wells should continue to receive the majority of carries in Arizona.
Michael Bush, CHI – If you had Week 12 in your league’s Matt-Forte-gets-injured pool and it pays out in FAAB dollars, make sure to spend some of those newfound funds on Bush this week. Everyone else will be dipping into their savings.
Jalen Parmele & Rashad Jennings, JAC – Parmele appeared to be on his way to a nice game before leaving with a groin injury against the Titans. Jennings came on in relief and carried 13 times for 43 yards and a touchdown (compared to Parmele’s 8 carries for 45 yards). Jennings is the safer pick-up because he’s healthy, but you should be willing to grab Parmele and stash him in case his injury isn’t serious.
Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL – On a similar number of carries, ‘Quizz dominated Michael “The Crock Pot” Turner in YPC on Sunday, 4.9 to 1.3. Rodgers also scored his first rushing touchdown of the season in the second quarter. It only took 12 weeks, but the Falcons’ coaches have finally figured out that if they want to score on a running play from 5 yards out, they should hand it to the guy who averages closer to 5 yards per carry. Turner scored later in the game (from 3 yards out), but the Atlanta backfield is morphing into a timeshare before our eyes.
Daniel Thomas, MIA – Speaking of timeshares, Thomas stayed relevant with 13 fantasy points against Seattle. Reggie Bush edged out Thomas with 14 points of his own. If anything happens to Bush over the next two weeks against the Patriots or 49ers, Thomas would be lined up for a nice run in the fantasy playoffs against the Jags and Bills. Stash him now, if possible.
David Wilson, NYG – Andre Brown broke his leg in Sunday night’s game against the Packers and has since been placed on IR. What’s more likely: that someone superstitiously told Brown to “break a leg” before the game, or that David Wilson wished Brown “good luck” before the game as a spiteful, superstition-fueled jinx? Either way, Wilson stands to inherit Brown’s role as Robin to Ahmad Bradshaw’s Batman for the rest of the regular season.
Bilal Powell, NYJ – Powell outperformed starter Shonn Greene for the second week in a row on Sunday. It’s difficult to rank all these platoon running back options. Put simply, Powell is the low man on the totem pole because his team’s offense is the one I trust the least. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if Powell out-produced the likes of Jacquizz Rodgers, Daniel Thomas, and David Wilson going forward.
Pierre Garcon, WAS – After being left for dead by many fantasy owners, Garcon sprung back to life on Sunday, posting 93 yards and a TD on five catches. This waiver period is likely your last chance to grab Garcon before he gets back to universal ownership.
Ryan Broyles, DET – With Titus Young benched, Broyles had 6 receptions on 12 targets for 126 yards on Thanksgiving. I consider Broyles a top-30 wideout for the rest of the season, which makes him a must-add in most formats. If you’re still holding on to Young, it’s time to cut bait.
T.Y. Hilton & Donnie Avery, IND – If one of these two would just go away, we’d have a consistent WR2 on our hands. Hilton scored all the fantasy points, thanks to a receiving TD and a return TD, but Avery garnered the bulk of Andrew Luck’s targets (8 to Hilton’s 3). I’d rather have Hilton overall, but Avery will remain relevant if his usage stays steady.
Mohamed Sanu, CIN – With Andrew Hawkins sidelined, Sanu scored two touchdowns against the lowly Raiders on Sunday. He’s scored four times over the Bengals’ last three games, demonstrating that anyone starting opposite of A.J. Green will have fantasy value.
Dwayne Harris, Kevin Ogletree, & Cole Beasley, DAL – Miles Austin injured his hip against Washington on Thursday and was replaced by Harris and Beasley. Ogletree was unavailable due to a concussion he suffered in Week 11, but should be back for Week 13. Austin may also be able to return without missing time, so stay away from this WR corps unless you’re desperate.
Chris Givens, STL – Danny Amendola wasn’t 100% on Sunday and Givens picked up the slack for the Rams with 115 yards and touchdown. Amendola should be healthier for this week’s game against the Niners, so don’t count on Givens to finish as a top-10 wideout two weeks in a row.
Rueben Randle, NYG – Randle showed signs of life against the Packers on Sunday night. With Dominic Hixon on the sidelines in street clothes, Randle caught two passes for 26 yards and a TD. Those of you in deep leagues should take a shot on Randle if you can afford it. Hakeem Nicks has never been the picture of health and Randle should have value as the Giants’ WR3, regardless.
Aldrick Robinson, WAS – More like “All-or-nothing” Robinson, right? For the second week in a row, Aldrick caught a long TD pass and called it a day. The 68-yard bomb on Thanksgiving came on his only target of the day, a play worth 12 fantasy points. I wouldn’t count on regular production from Robinson, but he’s a fine lottery ticket for deep leaguers.
Dennis Pitta, BAL – It was a crumby week for tight ends, in general, but Pitta didn’t get the memo. His 10 fantasy points and 9 targets both tied for the 4th-most at his position on Sunday. Pitta’s lack of usage in the middle of the season relegated him to fantasy irrelevance, but it seems like the Ravens are making a concerted effort to fit him back into the game plan.
Marcedes Lewis, JAC – Like Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, Lewis has benefitted from the switch from Blaine Gabbert to Chad Henne. After posting a season-high 16 fantasy points in Week 11, Lewis’ 56 receiving yards in Week 12 were also a season high.
Rob Housler, ARI – It’s official, Ryan Lindley has found his security blanket. Housler’s 11 targets were the third-most among tight ends on Sunday. Managers in deep PPR leagues may want to put a small bid in on Housler in case this trend continues.