Week 12 Waiver Wire November 21, 2011  |  Eliot

Here we go folks…the following players should be found in most standard 12-team leagues, it’ll all depend how savvy of a league your in and how many roster spots are allowed for each team.  These are players who had productive weeks and will look to continue that success the following weeks.


Matt Moore, QB MIA – 3 TDs in two of the last three weeks?  Not bad.  Pass your team to a 3 touchdown in an inter-division matchup without force-feeding your most talented receiver? OK, Matt Moore now you have my attention.   Well, we’re not going to anoint Moore as the next “chosen one” but he’s obviously taken his game to the next level in 2 of the last 3 weeks.  A 3 TD performance on the road vs. KC and now a follow up 3 TD performance 2 weeks later at home vs. the Bills and Moore is making headlines in South Beach. If you need a backup QB or a spot start (Week 16 vs. NE is a juicy championship matchup) you could do worse than Moore at this point.

Rex Grossman, QB WAS – Some of us have been down this road with Rex.  He posts solid numbers a week or two in a row only to kill your fantasy the third week you actually decide to play him.  Grossman accounted for 3 TDs vs. Dallas (1 rushing, 2 passing) and an INT on the day.  Completing 25 of his 38 attempts was a positive sign, but not mind-blowing.  As long as he stays away from those 0 TD, 4 INT games (like the one vs Philly in Week 6) he has ability to get you 12-17 points on a weekly basis.  His top WR Santana Moss is projected to return from injury either this week or possibly next which would help his chances of a repeat of Week 11’s performance.

Jake Locker, QB TEN – Former Washington Husky Jake Locker didn’t take long to introduce himself to the NFL.  On his 2nd pass from scrimmage he tagged Nate Washington for a 40 yd TD.  With Hasselback going down with an apparent arm/elbow injury Locker stepped in and led the Titans to 2 TD’s in their last 3 possession (the 2nd being a 4 yd TD to Washington as well).  Locker finished 9/19 for 140 ids and 2 TDs in less than a half of work. If Hasselbeck is out for any period of time consider Locker as the Titans meet Tampa Bay, Buffalo, New Orleans, Indianapolis and Jacksonville in weeks 12-16.


Kevin Smith, RB DET – There’s no doubt Kevin Smith will be the #1 added Fake Footballer this week, and he should be. He led all running backs with 38 standard league points and pushed that number to 42 with his 4 receptions in PPR leagues.  HC Jim Schwartz took a page out of Shanahan’s playbook and rode the hot hand after Smith ripped off a 43 yard run and a 28 yd TD reception last in the first half. it was clear the former 3rd round pick was going to shoulder the load from that point on.   Smith would finish with 201 total yards, which dominated Maurice Morris’s 37.  Not to mention Smith was on the field for 67 offensive snaps to Morris’s 13.  With Jahvid Best’s status uncertain at best he should be your top waiver priority if you’re looking for RB help.

Toby Gerhart, RB MIN – Gerhart stepped in for Adrian Peterson as he’s done sin the past as a result of an injury.  Like last year, he was fairly uninspiring rumbling his 230 pound frame for 17 yards on 7 carries.  However, with the Vikings falling behind early he wasn’t given a lot of opportunities. HC Leslie Frazier confirmed Monday afternoon that Peterson has a Grade 1 high ankle sprain if anybody has ever had one of those, you know they don’t heal completely in 6 days.  He’ll gain a start if Peterson is out next week but expect the Vikings to run some unique packages and get Percy Harvin the ball behind the line of scrimmage in some manner in addition to Gerhart.

CJ Spiller, RB/WR BUF – Spiller is a nice add not only because Fred Jackson may be down with a calf injury, but with Donald Brown’s likely season ending injury he could see time at wide-out opposite Stevie Johnson.  Spiller has RB/WR eligibility in some formats and if Jackson is out Spiller could garner big touches as a RB but stack your lineup with points at WR.  Jackson’s status is unknown at this time, but there are rumblings that Spiller will be taking snaps with the 1st team as a RB in practice this week.  If he does end up starting he’ll be especially attractive in PPR leagues as Spiller is a dependable receiver when lined up anywhere on the field.

Joe McKnight, RB NYJ – When Shonn Greene went down with a rib injury in Thursday nights matchup with the Bronco’s Rex Ryan turned his “Ground and Pound” offense to the shifty McKnight.  Joe took advantage of his opportunity by gaining 59 yards on 15 carries and was especially valuable in the passing game where he racked up 62 yards on 6 catches. Greene, (and Tomlinson) will have 10 days to get ready for their next matchup, so its anybody’s guess at this point whether McKnight will have a feature role.  For Greene and Tomlinson owners, especially those in PPR leagues, picking up McKnight is advised.

Ryan Grant, RB GB – Grant is not the most valuable back in the Green Bay offense.  In fact neither him or James Starks are particularly good plays most weeks while splitting reps and targets.  But when there’s only one of the two active on game day they can prove extremely dangerous from a fantasy perspective.  That could be the case this week as Starks’ knee and ankle are reportedly “sore” according to HC Mike McCarthy. There’s still a chance, however, that he plays Thanksgiving Day.  If he sits, Grant will be a fantastic play in what should prove to be a high scoring game vs. the Lions.  He’ll likely catch 4-5 balls out of the backfield and get 20 carries, especially down the stretch to close the game out assuming the Packers are in line for their 11th win.

Roy Helu, RB WAS – With Ryan Torrain rushing for 4 yards on 5 carries and Tashard Choice accumulating 6 yards on 7 carries yesterday Shanahan turned to Helu as the primary rushing and receiving back down the stretch of the game.  Helu finished with 35 yards, and caught 2 balls for just 3 yards but he was the man during the second half comeback for the Redskins.  While Shanahan is a tough guy to crack, at some point he’s got to realize that Helu is the most talented back and gives his team the best chance to win, which they almost did (and would have if Gano had made his 52 yarder in OT).  If Helu gets dropped this week by the owner that picked him up after his 14 catch performance in Week 9 grab him and ride him down the stretch once Shanahan comes to his senses…IF he comes to his senses.


Jabar Gaffney, WR WAS – Ok, 3rd Redskin on this list so far, kind of going out on a limb here but here we go.  Gaffney is one guy happy to have Rex Grossman back at the helm.  Its amazing what can happen when a Quarterback has the ability to throw further than 5 yards down the field.  Gaffney had 10 targets from Grossman which translated to 7 catches and 115 yards and a TD.  Don’t worry about Santana Moss (not a bad add if he’s out there too) coming back, that can only help Gaffney as Moss will take Stallworth’s starting spot, and attract most the defensive coverage.  Look for Gaffney to continue to post solid (but not stellar) numbers as the #1 or #2 WR in Washington. The Redskins will be playing from behind in most games and have had trouble moving the ball on the ground recently, so he should continue to be targeted going forward.

Michael Crabtree, WR SF – Crabtree had a very nice game Sunday grabbing 7 balls for 120 yards, all that was missing was a TD but that will come if the 49ers are forced to play an opponent who actually puts up a fight against their defense.  Finally healthy after an up and down season the 10 targets from Alex Smith led the team.  Crabtree has the ability to be a big play guy every week.  The 49ers will need him to be effective and build on what was his first 100 yd game of the year down.

Torrey Smith, WR BAL – If for some reason Smith is on your waiver wire, he won’t be after this week.  A 6 catch, 165 yard, 1 TD performance vs. Cincinnati put an end to what was a mediocre run of several 3 catch weeks.  Smith is a big play threat with catches of 74, 51 and 49 yards this season.  With Anquan Boldin running mid-level routes it leaves the speedster Smith to attack the secondary.  He’d be a nice way to start your playoff run in Week 14 going up against the Indianapolis secondary that’s been prone to big plays.

Nate Burleson, WR DET – While Calvin Johnson was attracting double coverages all game Burleson took advantage and caught all 7 balls thrown his way including a 16 yd TD from Stafford.  His 63 yards are typical of his routes, 10-15 yard downfield crossing patterns and outs which make him an attractive PPR stash.  If Johnson continues to garner double coverage (he will) and Stafford can figure out what’s been plaguing him early in games (he should) Burleson will have good value playing for the juggernaut that is the Lions offense.

Harry Douglas, WR ATL – Filling in for the oft-injured Rookie Julio Jones Douglas managed a respectable 4 catches for 51 yards Sunday.  Not quite the 8 for 133 he grabbed in his first start of the season in Week 10 but enough to show he’s got value going forward as long as Jones is out.  The early word is Julio is going to miss Week 12 so Douglas very well may have a nice matchup next week vs. Minnesota.

Jerome Simpson, WR CIN – Like some of the others on this list, Simpson’s value is inherently tied to the health of a player normally starting in his position.  Simpson filled in nicely for A.J. Green who was a late scratch n Week 11.  That said, you can’t ignore the 13 targets he received from QB Andy Dalton which translated to 8 catches, 152 yards and a TD.  With Green likely back next week Simpson won’t put up the big numbers he did this week but likely did earn himself a few extra looks from Dalton down the field.


Kellen Winslow, TE TB – Go check your waiver wire for Winslow.  Odds are he’s been dropped after posting a slew of 4 catch 40 yard games this season.  Sunday, Freeman found Winslow time and time again and he showed flashes of his former fantasy dominating self.  Take a chance and stash him as he makes a nice Flex play down the stretch, especially in PPR leagues.

Marcedes Lewis, TE JAC – Lewis had his best game of the season grabbing 6 balls for 64 yards from his Rookie QB Blaine Gabbert.  Lewis tied Mike Thomas for the most targets on the team with 11.   The Jags have been discussing getting him the ball over the last few weeks and in Week 11 they finally made good on that promise.  Lewis had yet to have a decent game this year, and should be available in most leagues.  He’s got a tough matchup against a stingy Houston Defense in Week 12 but his playoff schedule is serviceable and he’s due for some additional Red Zone looks after this performance.


Neil Rackers, K HOU – No Matt Schaub?  That actually might be good news for the kicking team in the Red Zone.  Leinart will not be as prolific Red Zone machine as they’ll rely more on the running game.  With teams stacking the box and daring the Texans to throw it will provide additional opportunities for Rackers to put points up for a Texans team that’s just lost its QB.


Carolina Panthers – Yes, the team that just got torched by Matt Stafford and the Lions to the tune of 49 points and almost 500 yards should be a waiver add if you like to play the DST roulette like so many do.  Up next for the Panthers is a meeting with the Manning-less, Dallas Clark-less, all-around horrible Indianapolis Colts.  Other than all the points and yards Carolina gave up in Week 11 they actually had a pretty decent outing with 3 turnovers and kick return for a TD.  While the Panther running defense is one of the worst in the league, they should be able to contain an unproductive Donald Brown/Joseph Addai combo in Week 12.

Here’s the last 3 teams to play the Colts:

  • Titans – 10 PA, 399 Yds given up, 2 Sacks, 2 Interceptions, 1 Kick Blocked, 1 Def TD
  • Falcons – 1 PA, 186 Yds given up, 2 Sacks, 1 Interception, 1 Fumble Recovery
  • Jaguars – 3 PA, 212 Yds given up, 5 Sacks, 2 Interceptions

Grab the Panthers.

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