Waiver Wire Watch: Week 12
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to announce that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top 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 Yahoo 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.
Bills QB Kyle Orton* ($7)
A logical target for Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger owners, Orton draws an attractive home matchup against the Jets, whom he torched for four TDs (on only 17 passing attempts) in Week 8. The Jets have given up 25 TD passes in 10 games, have only intercepted three passes all season, and their opponent passer rating of 108.8 is the worst in the league. Orton doesn’t have another easy matchup the rest of the way, and his Thursday-night performance against the Dolphins demonstrated why he can’t be counted on as an every-week fantasy starter, but he has an excellent chance to be a top-10 quarterback this week.
Next up: Jets, Browns, Broncos
Bengals QB Andy Dalton ($6)
Could it be that Dalton isn’t terrible after all? Eleven days after one of the most miserable performances of his NFL career, the Red Rifle outplayed Drew Brees in Cincinnati’s 27-10 upset of New Orleans in the Superdome. Dalton was coolly efficient, completing 16-of-22 throws for 220 yards, with three TDs and no interceptions. Of course, Dalton isn’t true QB1 material, but he’s at least a QB2 who can leverage the occasional positive matchup. He’ll get such a matchup in Week 13 when the Bengals take on the Bucs.
Next up: Texans, Buccaneers, Browns
Buccaneers QB Josh McCown* ($6)
It looks as if Mike Evans is to the John McCown of 2014 as Alshon Jeffery was to the Josh McCown of 2013. McCown frequently made sweet music with Jeffery last year in Chicago. Now, he’s doing the same with the rangy rookie from Texas A&M. In the two games since reclaiming his starting job, McCown has thrown for 589 yards, four TDs and two INTs. Evans has accounted for 14-334-3 over the last two games. Jeffery’s best two-game stretch with McCown last season: 17-333-3. McCown has an interesting revenge narrative this week, as he goes back to Chicago to take on the Bears, who let him walk in order to reaffirm their commitment to Jay Cutler. It’s a favorable matchup, so owners who find themselves in must-win games this week and aren’t pleased with the hand they’re holding at QB should think about making a bid.
Next up: Bears, Bengals, Lions