CFB Waiver Wire: Players to Pick Up Week 12

CFB Waiver Wire: Players to Pick Up Week 12

This article is part of our CFB Waiver Wire series.

Throughout the college football season, I'll pick two guys from every active conference who either caught my eye in the previous week or who have a favorable match-up in the near future. As always, I'll get to any questions or comments you have in the comments section below.

First though, here are the guys who made me look good last week;

Toledo QB Dequan Finn (37.8 points)
Purdue QB Aidan O'Connell (34.6 points)
Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (31.9 points)
Houston RB Alton McCaskill (30.1 points)
Oregon QB Anthony Brown (29.7 points)
Utah State QB Logan Bonner (25.0 points)
Northern Illinois WR Trayvon Rudolph (20.8 points)
UTSA QB Frank Harris (20.5 points)
LSU TE/WR Jack Bech (16.6 points)
Kansas State D/ST (15.5 points)
UTSA D/ST (14.0 points)
Oklahoma State D/ST (12.5 points)

Slate Background: It's an important slate as we enter the fantasy playoffs in most leagues. MACtion has been pivotal for match-ups over the last couple of weeks, so don't miss out on their three-game slate on Tuesday and two-game slate on Wednesday. We then have a fun Louisville and Duke match-up on Thursday which should have some healthy fantasy production. There's a five-gamer on Friday which is highlighted by Memphis at Houston, Arizona at Washington State and Air Force at Nevada. Hopefully you're going for the win on Saturday with games like Arkansas at Alabama, Oregon at Utah, SMU at Cincinnati, Virginia at Pittsburgh and Michigan State at Ohio State.

*Fantasy Points referenced in article are DK format.

Throughout the college football season, I'll pick two guys from every active conference who either caught my eye in the previous week or who have a favorable match-up in the near future. As always, I'll get to any questions or comments you have in the comments section below.

First though, here are the guys who made me look good last week;

Toledo QB Dequan Finn (37.8 points)
Purdue QB Aidan O'Connell (34.6 points)
Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (31.9 points)
Houston RB Alton McCaskill (30.1 points)
Oregon QB Anthony Brown (29.7 points)
Utah State QB Logan Bonner (25.0 points)
Northern Illinois WR Trayvon Rudolph (20.8 points)
UTSA QB Frank Harris (20.5 points)
LSU TE/WR Jack Bech (16.6 points)
Kansas State D/ST (15.5 points)
UTSA D/ST (14.0 points)
Oklahoma State D/ST (12.5 points)

Slate Background: It's an important slate as we enter the fantasy playoffs in most leagues. MACtion has been pivotal for match-ups over the last couple of weeks, so don't miss out on their three-game slate on Tuesday and two-game slate on Wednesday. We then have a fun Louisville and Duke match-up on Thursday which should have some healthy fantasy production. There's a five-gamer on Friday which is highlighted by Memphis at Houston, Arizona at Washington State and Air Force at Nevada. Hopefully you're going for the win on Saturday with games like Arkansas at Alabama, Oregon at Utah, SMU at Cincinnati, Virginia at Pittsburgh and Michigan State at Ohio State.

*Fantasy Points referenced in article are DK format.
**To qualify for recommendations, players must be rostered in less than 50 percent of Fantrax Leagues

AAC

Grant Calcaterra, TE, SMU (32 percent rostered)

All eyes will be on the SMU at Cincinnati game for AAC purposes, so good reason to get a piece of the fantasy pie in this one. With most of the Mustangs' primary playmakers rostered, Calcaterra is readily available in 68 percent of leagues and provides massive upside at 3.7 catches on 6.2 targets per game. Teammate Danny Gray (79 percent rostered) was seen in a walking boot against UCF, so more targets will be available from Tanner Mordecai (93 percent rostered). I also like wide receiver Rashee Rice (44 percent rostered) for those same reasons.

Ryan O'Keefe, WR, UCF (40 percent rostered)

There are reports that say QB Dillon Gabriel (68 percent rostered) may make his highly anticipated return from a broken clavicle which would be huge for the UCF offense. Even without Gabriel, O'Keefe has flourished at 19.0 fantasy points per game and more importantly at least one touchdown in four straight games. O'Keefe is averaging 8.7 targets per game and remained a popular target despite number one receiver Jaylon Robinson (68 percent rostered) making his way back into the line-up at SMU this past week. Oh yeah, I haven't even mentioned that UCF plays Connecticut this week!

Week 11 Rewind; Houston RB Alton McCaskill (30.1 points - 21 ATT, 129 YDS, 2 TD, 1 REC, 12 YDS) & Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce (5.4 points - 3 REC, 24 YDS)

ACC

Phil Jurkovec, QB, Boston College (32 percent rostered)

Jurkovec appears to be fully back from having surgery on his hand this season and was straight balling at Georgia Tech with over 300 passing yards and five total touchdowns, including three on the ground. With remaining games against Florida State and Wake Forest, Jurkovec has the potential to be one of the top-performing fantasy quarterbacks over the last two weeks. That could be a huge help to a team in the playoffs.

Jaylan Knighton, RB, Miami (47 percent rostered)

Knighton has been match-up proof with 26.6 fantasy points per week since taking over the starting job at North Carolina in Week 7. In his last five starts, he's racked up 449 yards and five touchdowns on the ground with 15 catches for 231 yards and three more scores. The Hurricanes shouldn't have much problem moving the ball against Virginia Tech and Duke to conclude the regular season, so I expect Knighton to be a solid pick-up who shouldn't be eligible for this list next week.

Week 11 Rewind; Syracuse QB Garrett Shrader (5.1 points - 10/18, 46 YDS, 20 ATT, 43 YDS, 1 FL) & Clemson RB Will Shipley (*DNP for Undisclosed Reasons)

BIG 12

Gerry Bohanon, QB, Baylor (28 percent rostered)

Bohanon showed off what makes him so dangerous as a fantasy player in the upset of the Oklahoma Sooners with nine carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns. The junior quarterback has a rushing score in seven games this season and hasn't been too bad through the air either with 16 touchdowns versus just six interceptions. Baylor is playing with a ton of confidence and should have decent offensive outputs against Kansas State and Texas Tech to conclude the season. Believe it or not, Bohanon has been the top-scoring fantasy option in the entire Big 12 Conference in 2021.

Devin Neal, RB, Kansas (11 percent rostered)

Kansas pulled off the shocking 57-56 win at Texas and Neal was a big reason why with 26 total touches for 169 yards and four touchdowns on his way to 45.9 fantasy points. This is no one-hit-wonder as Neal entered the game with two other 100-yard rushing performances and four touchdowns which shows that the true freshman can play. The Jayhawks will have a shot at back-to-back wins against a TCU team who absolutely can't stop the run as they have allowed 210 rushing yards per game and just gave up 282 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground to Oklahoma State. Neal is the perfect pick-up if you're in a pinch at the running back position.

Week 11 Rewind; TCU QB Chandler Morris (1.6 points - 11/20, 103 YDS) & Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton (14.1 points - 4 REC, 41 YDS, 1 TD)

BIG TEN

Braelon Allen, RB, Wisconsin (30 percent rostered)

Allen is your new stud Badgers running back with six straight games of over 100 rushing yards. With both Chez Mellusi and Isaac Guerendo out for the season, it's a lot easier to recommend Allen down the final stretch as he will be the featured back against Nebraska and Minnesota. That's exactly what happened against Northwestern where he racked up 40.9 fantasy points behind 25 carries for 173 yards and three touchdowns. The freshman is averaging a ridiculous 7.1 yards per carry on 118 rushing attempts which likely means he'll be worth targeting the next few seasons as well.

Payton Thorne, QB, Michigan State (23 percent rostered)

Thorne has been solid over his last two games while averaging 27.3 fantasy points on 70.0 percent passing for 281.5 yards and three touchdowns per game. He'll have plenty of opportunities against Ohio State this upcoming week as they are yielding 308 passing yards per game at home in 2021. Moreover, the Buckeyes love to play in a high-scoring game which is expected in the bout with the Spartans as this isn't your father's low-scoring Michigan State team. They're averaging 35 points per game which means it could be a barnburner in Columbus on Saturday which cannot be taken for granted in the Big Ten.

Week 11 Rewind; Purdue QB Aidan O'Connell (34.6 points - 40/52, 390 YDS, 4 TD) & Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (31.9 points - 9 REC, 139 YDS, 1 TD)

C-USA

Marcus Williams, RB, Louisiana Tech (11 percent rostered)

Williams exploded for four touchdowns and 40.1 fantasy points against Charlotte. Although it was his first 100-yard rushing game of the season, he does have double-digit fantasy points in five straight games. His volume has been consistent enough at 15.8 carries and 1.9 catches per game to rely on him for fantasy purposes. With upcoming games against Southern Miss and Rice, it's very possible he ends the season on a five-game touchdown streak.

Mitchell Tinsley, WR, Western Kentucky (22 percent rostered)

It's been extremely hard to get a piece of this Hilltoppers offense with Bailey Zappe (98 percent rostered) and Jerreth Sterns (98 percent rostered) hogging the majority of the fantasy production this season. Here's your chance with Tinsley who is averaging 19.8 fantasy points per contest and showed huge upside at Rice with 10 catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns. He has at least one touchdown in seven games this year. Western Kentucky will have huge offensive totals against Florida Atlantic and Marshall, so Tinsley can easily be inserted in to any of the line-ups in the 78 percent of the leagues where he is available. 

Week 11 Rewind; Old Dominion TE Zack Kuntz (8.8 points - 5 REC, 38 YDS) & UTSA QB Frank Harris (20.5 points - 17/30, 227 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT, 6 ATT, 54 YDS)

MAC

Dequan Finn, QB, Toledo (5 percent rostered)

Finn delivered in a big way this past week with 37.8 fantasy points with five total touchdowns, including two on the ground. I'm willing to bet he can do it again versus Ohio and/or Akron who are two of the worst teams in the MAC this season. Finn has hit his stride on a solid Toledo squad with an average of three touchdowns per game over his last four. With just two total turnovers in 10 games this season, the Rockets have to be feeling good about their young signal-caller. 

Joel Wilson, TE, Central Michigan (1 percent rostered)

Wilson has been a hidden gem over his last three games while averaging 15.1 fantasy points on a combined nine catches for 123 yards and four touchdowns on 13 targets. Central Michigan is a frisky team who will put up a competitive fight against Ball State and Eastern Michigan which puts Wilson in play for fantasy purposes. The Chippewas have won four of their last five and are averaging 35 points per game during conference play.

Week 11 Rewind; Northern Illinois WR Trayvon Rudolph (20.8 points - 8/13 TAR, 108 YDS, 1 FL) & Toledo QB Dequan Finn (37.8 points - 18/24, 270 YDS, 3 TD, 4 ATT, 30 YDS, 2 TD)

MOUNTAIN WEST

George Holani, RB, Boise State (43 percent rostered)

After dealing with a lower body injury in the midst of the season, Holani is back on track over his last two games with back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances. While the starting running back does not have a touchdown since Week 2 against UTEP, there's a great chance he reaches the end-zone against New Mexico. The Lobos give up 27 points per game and rarely are competitive against their opponents which means that the Broncos can lean heavily on Holani this week.

Todd Centeio, QB, Colorado State (3 percent rostered)

I've been down this road before with little success, however, Centeio should be able to deliver against a lowly Hawaii team giving up 32 points and 440 yards of offense per game. Although the upside has been low for Centeio, his floor has been relatively consistent at 18.3 fantasy points per game. This is due to the consistent rushing volume at 10.6 rushing attempts for 43.0 yards per game. If he can somehow account for more than two touchdowns in a game, he could have a breakout game.

Week 11 Rewind; Hawaii RB Dedrick Parson (1.2 points - 4 ATT, 12 YDS) & Utah State QB Logan Bonner (25.0 points - 20/33, 263 YDS, 4 TD, 1 INT, 5 ATT, 5 YDS, 1 FL)

PAC-12

Christopher Brooks, RB, California (6 percent rostered)

Brooks has a golden chance for a breakout game against a Stanford team giving up 231 rushing yards per game. Brooks has yet to have a 100-yard rushing performance this season, but has received plenty of volume over his last four games at 14.3 rushing attempts and 2.3 targets per game. It's also a bonus that he could be an intriguing play at UCLA in Week 13 as well.

Anthony Brown, QB, Oregon (37 percent rostered)

Brown and the Ducks have far too much to play for regarding their current College Football Playoff spot to get off the quarterback for fantasy purposes. Brown has been dynamite in the run-game with eight rushing touchdowns to go with 12 through the air. He had his best game yet on the ground against Washington State with 17 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown. In a showdown at Utah, there's no way he doesn't have double-digit rushing attempts and will need to put forth a solid outing if they want to stay in contention for the CFP. 

Week 11 Rewind; Utah RB Tavion Thomas (*DNP for Undisclosed Reasons) & Oregon QB Anthony Brown (29.7 points - 17/22, 135 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT, 17 ATT, 123 YDS, 1 TD, 1 FL)

SEC

Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida (19 percent rostered)

Pierce notched three total scores on 10 touches against Samford on his way to 33.6 fantasy points. With Florida's defense giving up 40 points in a loss at South Carolina and 52 points in a win over Samford over the last two weeks, they should look to run the ball more. Pierce is the guy to control the clock and could have a ton of success against Missouri if they go that route as the Tigers are giving up 249 rushing yards per game. On just 86 touches through 10 games, Pierce has 13 total touchdowns, so the Gators really should look to get the senior the ball more often and early in games.

Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee (48 percent rostered)

I love recommending players after a Georgia game because the arrow can only go up after facing off against the best defense in the country. In the five games prior to the loss to the Bulldogs, Hooker was averaging 32.3 fantasy points per game while completing 71.6 percent of his passes for 256.2 yards and 2.8 touchdowns per game. He also rushed 16.2 times for 64.2 yards and 0.6 touchdowns which shows that he gets plenty of opportunity. He should have a monster performance against South Alabama because Tennessee's offense revolves around the dual-threat quarterback.

Week 11 Rewind; Kentucky QB Will Levis (17.3 points - 14/22, 177 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT, 6 ATT, 32 YDS) & LSU WR/TE Jack Bech (16.6 points - 4/7 TAR, 66 YDS, 1 TD)

SUN BELT

Darren Grainger, QB, Georgia State (2 percent rostered)

Grainger wasn't flashy in his last game, but did just enough to pull off a nice 42-40 win over Coastal Carolina. In fact, the Panthers have won four of their last five games and go up against an Arkansas State squad that they should easily handle. The Red Wolves are giving up 41 points and 531 yards of offense per games, so it's time for Grainger to have his best game of the season.

Corey Sutton, WR, Appalachian State (39 percent rostered)

Time for the senior receiver to heat up in his last couple of collegiate games as we all know that Sutton has the skills to do so. He's averaging 17.1 fantasy points per game on 5.0 catches for 74.5 yards and 0.6 touchdowns on 8.0 targets per game. That's plenty of volume to rely on the receiver in remaining games against Troy and Georgia Southern as the Mountaineers look to finish the season strong.

Week 11 Rewind; Coastal Carolina QB Bryce Carpenter (12.5 points - 17/29, 233 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT, 17 ATT, 12 YDS, 1 FL) & ULM RB Andrew Henry (*DNP - Undisclosed Reasons)

INDEPENDENTS

Jaren Hall, QB, BYU (21 percent rostered)

In his last two games against Virginia and Idaho State, Hall averaged 37.2 fantasy points with seven passing touchdowns and two rushing scores. He has a rushing score in three of his last four games which is what you're looking for at the quarterback position. I have no doubt he can maintain that type of production against Georgia Southern and USC to end the season. 

Week 11 Rewind; Notre Dame QB Jack Coan (17.0 points - 15/20, 132 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT, 3 ATT, 7 YDS)

DEFENSE RECOMMENDATIONS

Texas A&M (vs. Prairie View A&M) - This one is too easy. Rostered in 45 percent of leagues.

Kentucky (vs. New Mexico State) - These SEC match-ups against soft opponents should bode well for fantasy this week. Rostered in eight percent of leagues.

LSU (vs. Louisiana-Monroe) - Here's yet another one with LSU rostered in just nine percent of leagues.

Week 11 Rewind; UTSA vs. Southern Miss (14.0 points - 17 PA, 2 Sacks, 3 TAs), Kansas State vs. West Virginia (15.5 points - 17 PA, 3 Sacks, 3 TAs, 1 TD), & Oklahoma State vs. TCU (12.5 points points - 17 PA, 5 Sacks, 0 TAs)

SUMMARY & TOP RECOMMENDATIONS

Utilizing the two players for each conference above, here are my top recommendations for the week by position:

QB: Boston College Phil Jurkovec, Tennessee Hendon Hooker, Toledo Dequan Finn

RB: Wisconsin Braelon Allen, Florida Dameon Pierce, Kansas Devin Neal

WR: Western Kentucky Mitchell Tinsley, UCF Ryan O'Keefe, Appalachian State Corey Sutton

TE: SMU Grant Calcaterra, Central Michigan Joel Wilson

D/ST: Texas A&M (vs. Prairie View A&M), LSU (vs. UL-Monroe), Kentucky (vs. NM State)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Grays
Grays covers college football for RotoWire by night and is a Financial Analyst by day.
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