Waiver Wire Watch: Week 12
We’re almost out of the bye week period, which means the fantasy playoffs are near. There are no teams on byes in Week 12, and just two on bye in Week 13, and then we’re free and clear. As the calendar nears December and bye weeks disappear, now is a good time to start reassessing your bench and building it for the postseason. Handcuffs become more valuable, as do streaming defenses with favorable fantasy playoff schedule (i.e., Browns, Ravens). Hopefully, some of the players below can help push you over the edge and into the postseason. It’s remarkable we’ve made it to Week 12 in this crazy, Covid-adjusted season. Let’s stay focused and finish strong.
Recommendations are based on a PPR-scoring, four-point passing touchdown, 12-team league, with ownership percentages coming from Yahoo. I try to mention when a player is a better streaming play (short-term/one-week starter) versus a long-term addition. Free-agent acquisition budget (FAAB) suggestions are based on a $100 season-long budget. Lastly, the great John Paulsen will edit this article every week and adjust rankings and prices if necessary. Essentially, you’re getting two minds collaborating on this piece instead of one, so lucky you.
Now, with that out of the way, here are some players to target heading into Week 12.
TEAMS ON BYE: None
- Taysom Hill, Saints
- Derek Carr, Raiders
- Philip Rivers, Colts
- Daniel Jones, Giants
- Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
- Alex Smith, Football Team
Taysom Hill, Saints, 42% rostered ($6)
Late last week the Saints announced it would be Hill, and not Jameis Winston, filling in for the injured Drew Brees. Hill was up-and-down in terms of actual play, but delivered a fantastic fantasy game throwing for 233 yards with no interceptions while adding 10 rushes for 51 yards and two scores (one fumble) on the ground. The most important thing is that he effectively played the entire game as the quarterback, and the Saints do seem set on starting him while Brees is sidelined. Hill will look to build on this performance in a solid streaming matchup next week against the Broncos before facing the Falcons (again) and the Eagles.
Derek Carr, Raiders, 35% rostered ($5)
A regular in this space, Carr played well in the comforts of his new dome in Las Vegas against the Chiefs on Sunday, throwing for 275 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Carr is among the top adds this week as he gets a gift of a matchup against the Falcons, a team that bleeds points to the quarterback position. After that, Carr faces the Jets in another plus-matchup. Those in a pinch for a multi-week streamer (i.e. those who lost Joe Burrow) could look to Carr for solid production.
Philip Rivers, Colts, 26% rostered ($3)
Rivers has turned his fantasy season around in his last five games, posting 20-plus points three times while averaging 18.4 points per game. His schedule continues to open up as Rivers faces the Titans at home in Week 12, a team he pasted for 300+ yards two weeks ago. Rivers is being massively overlooked in fantasy leagues right now despite this recent run of success, but his three-touchdown outing against the Packers could change that. Grab Rivers if you need a solid starter in Week 12 and beyond, as Rivers could exploit upcoming matchups with the Texans (twice) and Raiders before the fantasy season ends.
Daniel Jones, Giants, 28% rostered ($3)
Jones entered his Week 11 bye playing better and will come out of the break with a fantastic schedule greeting him. Jones gets the very beatable Bengals defense in Week 12, followed by the Seahawks, Cardinals, and Browns. Jones is a risky play given his love of turning the ball over, but he’s being used cleverly in the ground game giving him a safer floor. If he can get the aerial assault in order, he could hit it big starting in Week 12 against the Bengals.
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins, 45% rostered ($1)
Tua was benched in the fourth quarter after struggling to move the offense up the field, amassing just 83 passing yards and one touchdown. However, head coach Brian Flores said Tua would return to the starting role next week against the Jets, which puts Tua back on our streaming quarterback radar. Tua has yet to really light the fantasy scoreboard up in his NFL career, but the Jets tend to cure all fantasy ills. Justin Herbert torched the Jets for 366 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday.
Alex Smith, Football Team, 10% rostered ($1)
Smith was extremely pedestrian against the Bengals, managing just 166 passing yards on 25 attempts with one touchdown and one interception. Things could be looking up though, as next up for Smith is a Thanksgiving date with a Cowboys defense that just gave up over 300 yards and three touchdowns to Kirk Cousins. Now, to hit those numbers Smith may have to actually throw downfield a little more often, but he could still game-manage his way to a solid fantasy outing.
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