Waiver Wire Watch: Week 12

Waiver Wire Watch: Week 12

By John Paulsen (Director of Forecasting), last update Nov 26, 2012

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, and has finished in the Top 6 in seven of the last eight years. Cumulatively, John has been the most accurate expert from 2010-17 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

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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 I'll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. I'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 with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week's Waiver Wire Watch.

49ers QB Colin Kaepernick ($8-$15, depending on need)
Kaepernick threw for 243 yards and two TDs against the Bears, who represent the worst matchup in the league for opposing QBs. After the game, HC Jim Harbaugh said that he will ride the "hot hand at QB so it sounds like he may be willing to stick with Kaepernick. He's a risky pickup with Alex Smith's return pending, but it just might pay off for owners in a bind at QB. The upcoming schedule is favorable.

Next up: Saints, Rams, Dolphins

Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick* ($5)
We'd feel better about Fitzy had he not blown a good matchup against the Dolphins in Week 11. Still, it's hard not to like him against the Colts, who are #28 in QB aFPA.

Next up: Colts, Jaguars, Rams

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson* ($2)
Wilson has impressively averaged 2.3 TDs in his last three games, and has a nice matchup with the Dolphins this week. He'll also be startable against the Bills in Week 15, but his schedule is otherwise rough.

Next up: Dolphins, Bears, Cardinals

Browns QB Brandon Weeden ($1)
Weeden posted good numbers (210 yards, 2 TDs) in a bad matchup against the Cowboys in Week 11, and after another bad matchup against the Steelers this week, his schedule lightens up significantly with three above average matchups against the Raiders, Chiefs and Redskins.

Next up: Steelers, Raiders, Chiefs

Titans QB Jake Locker* ($1)
Locker is averaging 226 yards and 1.5 TDs in his four starts this year (not counting Week 4 when he got injured against the Texans). His Week 12 matchup (Jacksonville) just got torched by Matt Schaub  and he has another nice matchup against the Colts in Week 14.

Next up: Jaguars, Texans, Colts

Rams QB Sam Bradford ($1)
Bradford has been pretty solid lately, averaging 226 yards and 1.5 TDs over the past four weeks. His matchups the next two weeks are bad, but he closes with the Bills, Vikings and Bucs in the fantasy playoffs.

Next up: Cardinals, 49ers, Bills

Jaguars QB Chad Henne ($1)
Henne threw for 354 yards and four TDs in a relatively tough matchup against the Texans after replacing Blaine Gabbert, who left the game with an elbow injury. Henne will get another start and has two nice matchups in a row against the Titans and Bills.

Next up: Titans, Bills, Jets

Jets QB Mark Sanchez ($0.25)
There's one reason why Sanchez gets a mention this week and it's his matchup with the Patriots, who are #30 in QB aFPA. In their last meeting, he threw for 328 yards and a TD.

Next up: Patriots, Cardinals, Jaguars

Raiders RB Marcel Reece* ($12, short-term help)
Reece was our #10 RB in Week 11 and he did not disappoint against the Saints, gaining 193 total yards on 23 touches. High-ankle sprains are usually 2-4 week injuries, so it's not clear at this point whether Darren McFadden (and Mike Goodson) will be able to make it back for another nice matchup against the Bengals. Reece should continue to start even if Goodson is back, but he'll probably move into a supporting role when DMC returns.

Next up: Bengals, Browns, Broncos

Jaguars RB Jalen Parmele ($12, short-term)
Parmele replaced an ineffective Rashad Jennings in Week 11, racking up 27 touches (for 83 yards), while Jennings rushed just three times for negative yardage. With Maurice Jones-Drew due back "in a couple of weeks," Parmele should be a sneaky start this week against the Titans and possibly next week against the Bills. The Jaguars really have no reason to rush MJD back in another lost season.

Next up: Titans, Bills, Jets

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