NFL Waiver Wire: Week 12 Deep Dive

NFL Waiver Wire: Week 12 Deep Dive

This article is part of our NFL Waiver Wire series.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers, and here's hoping you all get the chance to enjoy some football on Thursday and throughout the weekend. As usual, this list will not duplicate any players listed in the traditional waiver column. A few notes given a slightly earlier publish time on this article: 1) I did not include FFPC roster rates because waivers have yet to run in those leagues, and; 2) following the practice reports will be even more important for many of these options because some teams had not yet reported any practice participation.

Quarterback

Teddy Bridgewater vs. Chargers (20 percent ESPN)

Bridgewater has lost a lot of his appeal from early in the season by failing to throw for multiple touchdowns in three consecutive games. However, he should have all of his receiving options back for what should be a positive offensive environment against the Chargers.

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Vikings (14 percent ESPN)

The 49ers have done their best to hide Garoppolo this year, and he's only attempted 19 and 22 passes in the team's last two outings. But Minnesota should be able to put up points, which in turn should force the 49ers to take to the air more. Though Garoppolo often the target of criticism, he's averaged 9.2 yards per attempt and tossed six TDs with just one interception across his last four.

Taylor Heinicke vs. Seahawks (16 percent ESPN)

Heinicke is coming off his first multi-touchdown performance since Week 4, so there's some recency

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers, and here's hoping you all get the chance to enjoy some football on Thursday and throughout the weekend. As usual, this list will not duplicate any players listed in the traditional waiver column. A few notes given a slightly earlier publish time on this article: 1) I did not include FFPC roster rates because waivers have yet to run in those leagues, and; 2) following the practice reports will be even more important for many of these options because some teams had not yet reported any practice participation.

Quarterback

Teddy Bridgewater vs. Chargers (20 percent ESPN)

Bridgewater has lost a lot of his appeal from early in the season by failing to throw for multiple touchdowns in three consecutive games. However, he should have all of his receiving options back for what should be a positive offensive environment against the Chargers.

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Vikings (14 percent ESPN)

The 49ers have done their best to hide Garoppolo this year, and he's only attempted 19 and 22 passes in the team's last two outings. But Minnesota should be able to put up points, which in turn should force the 49ers to take to the air more. Though Garoppolo often the target of criticism, he's averaged 9.2 yards per attempt and tossed six TDs with just one interception across his last four.

Taylor Heinicke vs. Seahawks (16 percent ESPN)

Heinicke is coming off his first multi-touchdown performance since Week 4, so there's some recency bias in his favor. The Seahawks have allowed the fourth-most passing yards to opposing QBs this season, so Heinicke is in a positive position to succeed. He would become an even more attractive streaming option should Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas return.  

Tyrod Taylor vs. Jets (13 percent ESPN)

Taylor has struggled as a passer the last two contests since coming back from injured reserve having failed to throw for a TD while only averaging 5.2 yards per attempt. He did come through on the ground for 28 yards and two scores against the Titans and enters a matchup against a vulnerable Jets D.

Running Back

David Johnson vs. Jets (33 percent ESPN)

Johnson didn't produce much versus the Titans, but the Texans narrowed their backfield usage to him and Rex Burkhead. Phillip Lindsay was cut early in the week, and Royce Freeman is now on the active roster. It remains to be seen how Freeman will be utilized, but this could be a streamable week for Johnson if the team sticks with two backs instead of three. 

Qadree Ollison at Jaguars (zero percent ESPN)

Cordarrelle Patterson is back at practice and will likely return to his role as the Falcons' lead back. However, he hasn't reached double-digit carries in any of his last three games and has done his damage primarily as a wide receiver. Meanwhile, Ollison saw a surprising uptick in his role last weekend against New England and was praised by the coaching staff for his efforts. He could work as the team's traditional first and second-down grinder as a result. 

Tony Jones vs. Bills (four percent ESPN)

Alvin Kamara has been ruled out for Thursday and Mark Ingram has yet to practice this week, so Jones could be in for a surprising lead role – albeit not in a favorable matchup. If one of Kamara or Ingram is able to suit up, Jones should be in a position to remain as backup.  

Boston Scott at Giants (20 percent ESPN)

Jordan Howard is unlikely to participate against the Giants, which only leaves Miles Sanders as the primary back ahead of Scott on the depth chart. Scott isn't likely to see a massive role, but a 10-touch game isn't out of the question.

Royce Freeman vs. Jets (one percent ESPN)

As mentioned above, Freeman was added to the Texans active roster. It's unclear how he may be utilized, but his promotion is at least worth monitoring.

Trey Sermon vs. Vikings (14 percent ESPN)

Sermon just earned his third double-digit carry game of the season, though the majority came in garbage time. The 49ers backfield appears to be getting healthier, which means his role is likely to diminish. This is only a situation to keep an eye on.   

Patrick Taylor vs. Rams (zero percent ESPN)

Taylor saw just four carries (no receptions) in Week 11 as the backup to AJ Dillon. But he remains the only other healthy back on the roster, so may be worthy of a stash until Aaron Jones is able to retake the field.

Rashaad Penny at Washington (three percent ESPN)

DeeJay Dallas at Washington (one percent ESPN)

The Seahawks backfield is largely one to ignore because the offense has been surprisingly bad overall. Alex Collins is the top back for now, but that could change if he remains ineffective having posted no rushes of 20+ yards since Week 6.

Wide Receiver

Tim Patrick vs. Chargers (22 percent ESPN)

Patrick has failed to record three receptions in only one game this season while topping 60 yards in two of the three since Jerry Jeudy has come back. This promises to be a matchup that favors offense, so this could be a spot for him to be productive.

Tre'Quan Smith vs. Bills (four percent ESPN)

Smith has solidified his role in the Saints' offense by picking up target shares of 20 percent each of the last two weeks. Of the team's wide receiver trio – including Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway - Smith has recorded the lowest aDOT, but also the most consistent role.

Russell Gage at Jaguars (20 percent ESPN)

Gage could lose some work with Cordarrelle Patterson likely to return, but he's seen at least six targets in three of his last five appearances. There's not much upside in his profile, but he should have around an eight-point floor in PPR leagues.

Josh Reynolds vs. Bears (zero percent ESPN)

Reynolds managed an impressive role in his Lions debut. While that didn't lead to notable production, he could be in line for a quarterback upgrade if Jared Goff is back.

Marquise Goodwin at Lions (zero percent ESPN)

Goodwin logged a 26 percent target share last week in the absence of Allen Robinson. With Robinson likely to be sidelined again, Goodwin represents a decent receiver to speculate on in a positive matchup against Detroit.

DeSean Jackson at Cowboys (three percent ESPN)

Jackson is slowly increasing his role in Vegas in terms of routes run and snap counts. He's operated mostly as a decoy to this point, but he always offers the potential to burn defenses deep and one long catch that finds the end zone would make him fantasy viable.  

Kendrick Bourne vs. Titans (15 percent ESPN)

Bourne has converted nearly 80 percent of targets into receptions, which isn't likely to continue. However, he's caught four balls in four of his last five games and is capable of providing some floor-level production.

Rashard Higgins at Ravens (zero percent ESPN)

Jarvis Landry is battling a knee injury and Donovan Peoples-Jones remains sidelined with a groin injury. The Browns offense isn't one to target based on Baker Mayfield's ineffectiveness, but targets have to go somewhere.

Deonte Harris vs. Bills (five percent ESPN)

Marquez Callaway vs. Bills (38 percent ESPN)

This duo is worth mentioning together because their role as deep-threat options and statistical profile are extremely similar. Callaway is on the field more, but Harris has locked in targets at a higher rate the last three weeks. Both are boom-bust options in a tough matchup.

Darius Slayton vs. Eagles (four percent ESPN)

The Giants' wide receiver corps begins the week beat up, as both Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard missed practice Wednesday. That could change as the week progresses, but Slayton could see time as the second or third receiver if both or either are ruled out.

Albert Wilson vs. Carolina (zero percent ESPN)

Wilson has accumulated nine targets across the last two games, even with Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki as the primary receiving options. Will Fuller still hasn't returned to practice, which could mean Wilson has a meaningful role for at least another outing.

DeAndre Carter vs. Seahawks (two percent ESPN)

Carter is riding a three-game touchdown streak. That isn't sustainable, but he's comfortably covered the second option behind Terry McLaurin of late. Monitor the status of both Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas, as the return of either would likely substantially limit Carter's potential.

James Washington at Bengals (one percent ESPN)

Ray-Ray McCloud is currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. It's possible he could be activated prior to Sunday, but far from certain. Though not a household name, he's built a niche role in the Steelers offense and his absence would open up a few extra targets. That would most likely benefit Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, but Washington could also enhance his workload.  

Tight End

Dan Arnold vs. Falcons (37 percent ESPN)

Arnold posted a dud in Week 11, but still remains heavily involved in the Jags' offense from a route participation standpoint. Jamal Agnew's absence should clear the way for more targets to go around, so it's reasonable to expect a bounceback performance from Arnold.

Austin Hooper at Ravens (22 percent ESPN)

Hooper may quietly be the biggest beneficiary of the departure of Odell Beckham and Cleveland's many injured wide receivers. He's produced a double-digit target share for three consecutive weeks and has recorded at least four receptions in three of his last four.  

Evan Engram vs. Eagles (27 percent ESPN)

As already noted, the Giants' receiver corps are banged up. Engram has been unreliable this season, but so has the position as a whole. There's also some hope the offense gets a bit of a short-term positive bump given the coaching change.

Gerald Everett at Washington (four percent ESPN)

Everett has racked up a combined 12 targets across his last two games and coach Pete Carroll noted the team needs to keep him involved in the offense. This isn't the typical hyper-efficient Seattle offense, but Everett seems to have carved out a consistent role.  

Anthony Firkser at Patriots (three percent ESPN)

Firkser was all but eliminated from the Tennessee offense, but the absence of Geoff Swaim allowed him seven targets last week. Like Cleveland, the Titans may be missing several of their top pass catchers this week, so Firkser could continue to see an elevated role.

Juwan Johnson vs. Bills (one percent ESPN)

The absence of Adam Trautman opens an offensive role, albeit one that isn't particularly appealing. There are likely enough tight ends available in your league to avoid Johnson, but he's an option for those who are desperate. Nick Vannett represents another option to at least monitor for Thursday. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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