Waiver Wire Watch: Week 12
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to announce the arrival of 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly), who will work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top waiver wire pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 12. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer ESPN leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer* ($4)
Palmer turned in his best game of the season Sunday against the Jaguars, completing 30-of-42 throws for 419 yards and two TDs. Palmer’s TD-INT ratio is an ugly 12-15, but he’s been a reliable accumulator of yardage, with at least 240 passing yards in seven of his 10 starts this season. You won’t want to use him in Weeks 15-17, when he goes up against the Titans, Seahawks and 49ers, but Palmer’s schedule over the next three weeks is very manageable.
Bears QB Josh McCown ($3)
Marc Trestman has conceded that he let Jay Cutler return from groin injury too quickly, so the Bears’ head coach is unlikely to rush Cutler back from a high-ankle sprain, especially when McCown has been performing so ably in Cutler’s stead. (Cutler has already been declared out for Week 12.) Chicago’s remaining schedule is a quarterback’s dream. In fact, McCown would head our QB list this week if Cutler weren’t coming back at some point.
Texans QBs Case Keenum* ($3)
Keenum’s benching on Sunday was a head-scratcher. And with mixed results in relief, Matt Schaub didn’t wage a very convincing campaign to reclaim his old starting job. We might not know until midweek or later who’ll be starting for the Texans this week, but it’s a situation worth monitoring, since the Texans play two of their next three games against the defenseless Jaguars and also have a Week 16 matchup against a Denver defense that’s given up some pretty fat passing numbers. (Editor’s Note: The Texans announced on Monday that Keenum would start in Week 12, so we’ve adjusted his price. He has upside, but doesn’t have a stranglehold on the job.)
Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ($1)
With his long tenure as a starter in Buffalo and his ship captain’s beard, Fitzpatrick appears worthy of taking the helm from Jake Locker, who’ll miss the rest of the year with a foot injury. QB streamers should note that Fitz draws a good matchup against the Broncos in Week 14 and a great matchup against the Jaguars in Week 16, a.k.a. championship week.