Waiver Wire Madness: Week 12
November 17, 2014 | Jeff
Josh McCown (Owned: 20% Yahoo, 8% ESPN) looked solid again on Sunday as he stacked up 288 yards and two touchdowns against Washington and has now turned in back-to-back quality starts since taking over for Mike Glennon in Tampa Bay. Adding McCown is primarily a streaming move, as he gets a cushy Week 12 matchup with the Chicago Bears before heading into some trickier matchups as the fantasy playoffs approach. If you need a Week 12 starter from the wire, this is your guy.
Drew Stanton (Owned: 9% Yahoo, 5% ESPN) cracked the 300 yard barrier in Week 11 as he found Michael Floyd for two touchdowns, but outside of a Week 13 matchup with Atlanta, Stanton’s schedule looks pretty tough for streaming purposes. Leave him on the wire.
Week 12’s waiver wire stud is none other than Jonas Gray (Owned: 21% Yahoo, 8% ESPN), who had an absurd Sunday night performance that included a four-pack of touchdowns to go with 199 rushing yards. Sure, the New England offense has been a tough nut to crack in terms of running back production and Shane Vereen still holds a spot in this backfield, but with the fake football playoffs quickly approaching, Gray is a priority pickup. The argument against Gray is that game script could render him useless at times if New England falls behind in a game but the Patriots have won six straight games and are averaging 40.5 points during that streak. I would assume Gray’s role as the early down and goal line hammer will have plenty of shelf life as the season continues to progress. Make this guy your top add.
C.J. Anderson (Owned: 65% Yahoo, 78% ESPN) performed well in Week 11 despite the Broncos getting handled by the St. Louis Rams as he totaled 115 yards, including eight catches for 86 receiving yards. Hopefully you snagged Anderson prior to Week 11 but if he is still lounging around on your local waiver wire, go ahead and put an end to that situation. With Montee Ball re-injuring himself, Ronnie Hillman still out, and Terrell Davis retired, Anderson has the look of a fantasy playoff game changer.
Filling in for Arian Foster in Week 11 was rookie Alfred Blue (Owned: 51% Yahoo, 66% ESPN), who racked up 156 yards on a whopping 36 carries. Houston leads the NFL in rushing attempts per game (33.5/per), so volume was certainly on Blue’s side as Houston battled the Cleveland Browns. I would bet on Arian Foster returning in Week 12, but even non-Foster owning teams would be wise to add Blue if he is available as the lead role in Houston’s backfield is a lock for 20+ carries. One Week 14 hamstring pull for Foster could mean Blue leading teams to fantasy glory land. Sometimes opportunity is all it takes.
Tre Mason (Owned: 50% Yahoo, 41% ESPN) is still available in FAR too many leagues, despite our best efforts here at The Fake Football. Mason handled 29 carries in Week 11 and is the clear lead back in St. Louis. Please don’t let guys like this go unowned even in the shallowest of leagues. Do the right thing and add him.
We have spent about 1.3 million words discussing Isaiah Crowell (Owned: 22% Yahoo, 24% ESPN) and the rest of the Cleveland backfield trio over the course of this season, but it is now Crowell who is emerging ahead of Ben Tate and Terrance West. Just as I recommended when West was given the biggest workload in previous weeks, don’t go dropping the other backs right now as this situation changes with the wind. At the moment, prioritize them in the order of Crowell, West, Tate. As has been the case all year, if one of these backs takes charge and leaves the other two in the dust, we will have a fantasy gold mine on our hands. Big “if,” but still!
** UPDATE ** With Ben Tate getting the boot in Cleveland, Crowell will be a great play moving forward. Make sure he is not hanging out on your waiver wire, as he now has one less running back to worry about in Cleveland.
Latavius Murray (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) has been waiting in the fast lane behind Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden, who have been driving 47 mph with their blinkers on for the first 11 weeks of the fantasy season. With Oakland stumbling through another lost season, it appears that Murray may finally get a chance to show his stuff this week as Oakland takes on Kansas City. Murray saw his highest level of involvement of the year in Week 11, as he turned seven touches into 59 yards. That level of production is nearly impossible at this point in the careers of the acronym boys MJD and DMC, so let’s hope Murray gets a shot. Simply put, you would rather be a week early than a week late with this pickup.
Kenny Britt (Owned: 15% Yahoo, 12% ESPN) is locked in as the top receiver in St. Louis, and had himself a big Week 11 with 128 yards and a score. Britt’s upside is still limited by the offense in which he resides, but he is worth a look if you have the need for wide receiver depth in deep leagues.
Kenny Stills (Owned: 14% Yahoo, 6% ESPN) is probably my favorite wide receiver add this week, with the news of Brandin Cooks’ broken thumb emerging. Stills should see an increase in targets with Cooks out of the picture and will be a likely WR3 until the rookie returns.
Charles Johnson (Owned: 0% Yahoo, 0% ESPN) and Taylor Gabriel (Owned: 3% Yahoo, 6% ESPN) both had nice Week 11 performances, but with Minnesota’s passing game in a rut (Charles) and Josh Gordon returning in Week 12 (Gabriel), both receivers are better left on the waiver wire in all but the deepest of leagues.
“The Hulk,” Chris Hogan (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN), has recently shown up on the PPR radar in Buffalo and is worth a look for PPR owners in need of a starter down the stretch. Hogan has seen 16 targets over the past two weeks and Kyle Orton seems to look for him often in the Buffalo offense. He is about as unexciting as fantasy pickups get, but he is worth a shot in PPR leagues.
Coby Fleener (Owned: 40% Yahoo, 26% ESPN) went bonkers on Sunday Night Football, hauling in seven passes for 144 yards. Dwayne Allen missed most of this game with an ankle injury, so much like Jacob Tamme below, Fleener’s production is dependent on the injury status of his fellow tight end. If Allen sits out Week 12, Fleener will be a fine tight end option for those in need.
Jacob Tamme (Owned: 2% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) saw 10 targets after Julius Thomas left with a bum ankle on Sunday and will be in line for more work if Thomas sits out Week 12. Grab him as an insurance policy if you are an Orange Julius owner.
Niles Paul (Owned: 7% Yahoo, 7% ESPN) was solid over the first month of the season, averaging 78.3 yards per game in Weeks 1-4 as Jordan Reed was out with injury. As luck would have it, Reed is now nursing a hammy injury so Paul is worth an add for Reed owners or tight end streaming fans.
Marcedes Lewis (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) hasn’t played since Week 2, but will be active for Week 12 for Jacksonville. Clay Harbor has been a decent tight end streaming option in Lewis’ absence, so Marcedes could be a solid TE2 option for streamers or deep leaguers depending on his matchup each week.