Waiver Wire Watch: Week 11 Targets
Week 10 can’t be described in any other way than weird. The Titans crushed the Patriots? Weird. The Browns beat the Falcons? Weird. The Bills, who had scored a total of 46 points the last six weeks combined, put up 41 against the Jets? WEiRd.
The weirdness extended to the fantasy realm as well. Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott and Blake Bortles all finished in the top-eight ahead of Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Matt Ryan, Pat Mahomes, Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers. Weird. Five running backs hit the 32-point mark. Another seven, including LeSean McCoy, who came into the week averaging 8.5 PPG, scored at least 24.8. Weird. Not to be outdone, McCoy’s teammate Zay Jones thought it would be fun to score 23.3 points, which is 36% as many as he had scored in every other 2018 game combined. Weird. At least tight end was still terrible, as it has been all season. Well, aside from Mo Alie-Cox making an appearance in the top-eight. Quick question: What is a Mo Alie-Cox?
The only way this week could have been any weirder is if Tom Brady had unzipped his skin suit to reveal he has been Cooper Manning this entire time. And, honestly, I’m not sure if that would be any more surprising than the Bills scoring 41.
What does any of this have to do with this week’s Waiver Wire Watch? Nothing. Look, it’s two in the morning and I am just now getting to the intro, so cut me some slack. But before you do, read the next paragraph so you have some idea what’s going on here.
Throughout this series, we will be using PPR scoring, a $100 FAAB budget and a 50% threshold for player ownership. The intro to Week 1’s edition of Waiver Wire Watch (WWW) goes into far more detail about that. Please also use the linked sources to take a moment to familiarize yourself with Josh Hermsmeyer’s air yards and our own Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) metrics. I’m going to be using AirYards.com and aFPA more and more as the year goes on. As always, John Paulsen will edit this piece and reorder/adjust the prices as necessary.
Case Keenum, Denver Broncos
Keenum hasn’t been nearly as good as he was in 2017. He’s still a solid streaming option, though, especially coming off a bye against the Chargers, who’ve been mediocre in defending opposing quarterbacks. To be fair to Keenum, he’s been better the last five weeks, totaling eight touchdowns against four interceptions to go with four games of 260 or more yards. A solid quarterback in an OK matchup where Denver had two weeks to prepare makes for a high-floor QB2.
Still Worth a Look
The first 24 games of Marcus Mariota's career were promising, as he scored a respectable 18.1 PPG. Unfortunately, the next 24 were as bad as the first 24 were good. His 12.5 PPG over the more recent two-dozen games put him in the doghouse with fantasy owners, a group not exactly known for their patience. We are also not known for our restraint, so back-to-back 19+ point outings where he looked fantastic later and here I am, queuing in the line to the Mariota bandwagon. A Week 11 trip to Indy isn’t the amazing thing it once was, but the Colts are little better than average against the pass, setting Mariota up for another solid showing in his bid to keep things headed in the right direction.
Dak Prescott has quietly averaged 21.6 PPG since Week 6, a remarkable feat when you look at the defenses he’s faced: Jacksonville, Washington, Tennessee and Philadelphia. All but the Redskins rank in the top-10 fewest aFPA to quarterbacks, making for a tough schedule indeed. Life gets far easier this week against an Atlanta defense that ranks in the bottom-five in just about every measurable way, giving Dak a potential path to what would be a wholly unexpected top-five performance.
Missed the Cut
Blake Bortles (22% owned) has had consecutive good games but faces a deceptively stout Steelers defense this week before traveling to Buffalo Week 12. The season started with Pittsburgh giving up at least 22 points to the opposing quarterback in each of their first four games. They’ve stiffened since, allowing a stellar 13.8 PPG to the position from Week 5 on. This has all the makings of a fall-on-his-face type game for the mercurial Bortles.
Baker Mayfield (45% owned) is fresh off the best game of his fantasy career and has an amazing schedule coming up after the bye. Because of that bye, odds are his ownership will drop by 10 percent or more this week, giving you a chance to snag him for free after waivers process (only if you have the bench space) or next week. Check back in seven days for my FAAB suggestion for the rookie starter.
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