Waiver Wire Watch: Week 12 Targets

Waiver Wire Watch: Week 12 Targets

Back in the Week 9 edition of Waiver Wire Watch I talked about being aggressive with FAAB and your waiver priority. Take what I said then and multiply it by a factor of 10. Time is running out; the playoffs are neigh and the pickings slim.

In addition to going HAM with your remaining FAAB, you should also be looking at your bench and assessing whether you are as optimized as you could be. There isn’t much sense in carrying a random low-end second quarterback or tight end. Guys like Nyheim Hines almost certainly won’t help you win a playoff matchup either. Instead of stocking up on low-upside depth you’ll never start, chase upside. Lamar Jackson, Carlos Hyde, Rashaad Penny, Mike Williams and Chris Godwin are all players who could be legitimate league-winners with something as simple as an injury or long-awaited breakout. Dump that useless depth you’ll never use and swing for the fences.

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. As always, John Paulsen will edit this piece and reorder/adjust the prices as necessary.

Quarterbacks

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Another game, another change at quarterback for Tampa Bay’s hapless coaching staff. The quick trigger on Winston Week 8 was a short-sighted move that was destined to backfire and backfire it did, as Ryan Fitzpatrick once again proved fantasy and real-world usefulness are two very different things. Winston posted 199 yards and two touchdowns in relief, almost carrying Tampa to a comeback win against the Giants. He is now averaging 16.4 PPG despite ceding significant time to Fitzpatrick in three of five games.  That slots in as mid-QB2 production, a remarkable feat considering the circumstances. Winston has a couple great matchups Weeks 12 and 13 but faces the surging Saints and highly-competent Ravens and Cowboys pass defenses in the fantasy playoffs. If your trade deadline has not passed, consider adding Winston and trading him to an unobservant owner or picking him up for the next two games and cutting bait by Week 14.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Jackson didn’t make it into last week’s WWW, but he would have had I known the extent of Joe Flacco’s hip injury. The rookie didn’t disappoint in his first career start, racking up 15.7 fantasy points on the strength of 27 rushes and 117 yards. Good start to his career aside, I do have concerns about the long-term viability of a modern NFL team running the ball 300 times a game. There is also the possibility Flacco takes the job back when he is healthy, although it sounds like that is at least a week or two away. Still, the Ravens have a schedule so beautiful, even the Grand Canyon did a double take when it saw Oakland, Atlanta, Kansas City and Tampa Bay coming up. If Jackson can generate some touchdowns, stay healthy and fend off Flacco, he could be a QB1 the rest of the way. He could also score eight points this week and not see the field again until 2019.

FAAB Recommendation: With Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff off this week, every league will have at least two owners with a hole to fill. If you are one of those owners or are in one of the few superflex or two-quarterback leagues where Jackson somehow isn’t owned, be prepared to break out your checkbook. I’d suggest putting in at least a small $5 courtesy bid and wouldn’t be afraid to blow whatever you have left of your budget in spots you can either afford to gamble or are desperate for help. My guess is he won’t go for under $10 in most leagues and could go for three or four times that if an owner has FAAB to burn.

Eli Manning, New York Giants

As with Jackson above, Eli failed to make an appearance in WWW last week. Unlike Jackson, in this instance, I dropped the ball. I had meant to add him after Monday Night Football and just plain spaced it. Hopefully you were smarter than me and snagged the suddenly surging veteran in a cherry matchup against the Buccaneers and their laughable pass defense. Quietly averaging 17.5 PPG the last month and facing an Eagles defense that has given up nearly 24 PPG to quarterbacks from Weeks 7 to 11, Eli is a solid streaming option for Week 12. His schedule is impossible after this week, though, so enjoy it while you can.

Still Worth a Look

Dak Prescott has scored at least 14.8 fantasy points in six of seven games. The high floor coupled with a 25-30 point ceiling makes him a valuable commodity as a fringe QB1 with a good schedule down the stretch (The Redskins, Eagles, Buccaneers and Giants are all on the docket.)

After a bye-week related absence, Baker Mayfield is back on the list. While he was home, the Browns schedule stayed sweet to finish out the season: Bengals, Texans, Panthers, Broncos and the Bengals again. Only the Texans present a difficult matchup, with the Bengals and Panthers being among the most generous defenses in the NFL to opposing quarterbacks in 2018. Baker is averaging 16.7 points across seven starts and 18.9 points his last four games. Consider Mayfield a solid QB2 overall and a borderline QB1 against Cincinnati this weekend.

Running Backs

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