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Fantasy Football: Week 12 waiver wire

Welcome to the Week 12 waiver wire. Once again, we have a very active week in terms of shifting player values. Perhaps the biggest riser is QB Colin Kaepernick, who might have stolen the starting gig in San Francisco with two strong performances in the wake of Alex Smith [1]‘€™s Week 10 concussion. There’€™s some shape-shifting going on in backfields around the league as well with material changes in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Arizona, New Orleans and Green Bay.  There also are a few bust-out receivers led by New England’€™s Julian Edelman [2] and San Diego’€™s Danario Alexander, who is on the wire for the third straight week. With the bye weeks past us, it is now time to solidify rosters and to collect players with high upside, which now trumps depth when it comes to making pickups. If you are in a deeper league, come on over to Rotobahn [3], where I will be adding players throughout the day as I work through more Week 11 game film.


Matt Schaub, Texans

A monster game like the one Schaub had in Week 11 always will get a lot of attention, but the bigger fact is that Schaub has been very good for the last month if you throw out the one stinker at Chicago. With Houston likely looking to scale back Arian Foster‘€™s carries, we think Schaub could be solid down the stretch. He should be owned in all leagues.

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers [4]

It’€™s easy to see the 49ers making a switch at quarterback after what Kaepernick has done the last two weeks. He’€™s a great athlete with a very good arm. San Francisco traded up in the draft to get him. It might be time … and if you can get him, especially in long-term formats, I think it’€™s a good move. The 49ers look like a better team with him at the helm.

Jake Locker [5], Titans

He’€™s healthy now, and with Chris Johnson [6] running all over the place, he will have some open targets downfield. If Locker plays well, he could be very good for fantasy owners over the final five weeks. He has some nice matchups left, especially this week’€™s game in Jacksonville.

Chad Henne [7], Jaguars

He’€™s a guy for large formats, obviously, but he looked good and should be the starter for  the time being. Add him if you have a hole or want some depth.


Beanie Wells [8], Cardinals

He’€™s been here for weeks, and he’€™ll start for Arizona this week barring the unforeseen. Add him in all formats if you are lucky enough to have a chance at him.

Andre Brown, Giants [9]

He’€™s been scoring touchdowns and keeping Ahmad Bradshaw [10]‘€™s value down. He should be owned in all formats for his upside or as a handcuff for Bradshaw. In 12-team leagues, Brown is a viable flex option.

Ronnie Hillman, Broncos [11]

Starter Willis McGahee [12] is out for the rest of the fantasy season. Of all the backs in Denver, we’€™d want to own Hillman now, especially in PPR formats. Pick him up in all leagues. His upside is considerable with Peyton Manning [13] at the helm.

Marcel Reece, Raiders

He’€™s played so well that we wonder what his role will be once everybody in Oakland is healthy. Based on what we’€™ve seen, Reece has jumped past Mike Goodson on the tailback totem pole. He should be owned in all leagues and could be an RB2 if he starts again this week, which is very possible.

Mark Ingram [14], Saints

He’€™s looked impressive the last few weeks and now is teasing flex value in 12-team leagues. Darren Sproles [15] will return at some point, and that could be this week, but Ingram has definitely earned an increased share and needs to be owned in 12-team leagues.

Bilal Powell, Jets

He looked better in Week 11 than we have seen him look as a pro. There is no reason to think he is going to replace Shonn Greene, but he clearly is worth owning in all PPR leagues and in 12-team performance leagues.

James Starks [16], Packers

The good news is that he got all the work. The bad news is that he underperformed and he might not see that kind of share next week. Starks did not steal Alex Green‘€™s snaps. That theft was perpetrated by Randall Cobb [17], but Starks did dominate the carries. Starks, even in his current role, still is a reach as a flex option in 12-team leagues, though he should be owned.

Bryce Brown, Eagles

He should get a start in Week 12 with starter LeSean McCoy [18] banged up with a concussion. Brown has potential for fantasy purposes and definitely would be worth a play in 12-team leagues. He should be owned as the handcuff to McCoy, but you should snag him if he’€™s not.

Chris Ivory [19], Saints

His low snap total caps his value, but he has been impressive when carrying the rock. If there is another injury in New Orleans, Ivory could do some serious damage. Right now, his limitations in the passing game and in pass protection are holding him back.

Jalen Parmele, Jaguars

Next man up! After being unimpressed with Rashad Jennings and with Maurice Jones-Drew [20] still being a few weeks away, the Jaguars made a change and started Parmele in Week 11. He performed reasonably well against a solid Texans defense and gets a crack at a softer Titans defense this week. He can help you in most leagues if you need a short-term back.

Shane Vereen [21], Patriots

He looked good, and if you own Stevan Ridley, we think Vereen is the guy to own as a handcuff. He’€™s also challenging Danny Woodhead [22] for snaps, so he could make a run at flex value if he continues to play well and stay healthy. The Patriots need guys who can make plays on their own with Rob Gronkowski [23] out for a while.

Lance Ball, Broncos

Ball is an underrated player, and he will get a chance to prove that in the coming weeks. With McGahee out, Ball will get more touches and could even become a flex option for fantasy purposes. We like Hillman more, but Hillman’€™s lack of ideal size creates a need for a complementary back. Ball should get the first crack at that job with Knowshon Moreno waiting in the wings.

Knowshon Moreno, Broncos

Moreno is back on the radar in larger formats with McGahee’€™s injury. He might not see a lot of touches right away, but you never know. He’€™s worth adding in larger leagues with sufficient bench size.


Danario Alexander, Chargers

If you grabbed him when we put him on the Week 10 waiver wire, then you have really cashed in. Alexander should be active in most formats, but he still is available in some leagues.

Cecil Shorts, Jaguars

He should not be here, but there still are a lot of non-believers. Shorts is still unowned in the majority of 10-team leagues, and that will change in the coming weeks. Pick this guy up wherever you can. He can play.

T.Y. Hilton, Colts

Patriots fans do not need to be told about Hilton after last week, but he is a guy to be added in all formats if Donnie Avery [24] is going to miss any time … and there’€™s a good chance that he will. Add Hilton in most leagues, and start him this week if Avery sits and you need some help. He’€™s got a sweet matchup with Buffalo.

Justin Blackmon [25], Jaguars

The Jaguars switched quarterbacks and Blackmon was unleashed. Will it continue?  I don’€™t know, but he needs to be owned just in case it does. I’€™ll be picking up Blackmon where I can this week.

Ryan Broyles, Lions

Titus Young has underperformed on the field and overperformed with his mouth. Now he is being benched for Week 12 and that makes our guy Broyles a must-add player in 12-team leagues and a solid guy to pick up in any league.

Julian Edelman, Patriots

He’€™s back, and with Gronkowski out, there are some targets up for grabs. We liked Edelman earlier this year before his hand injury, and he looks like he is back in the groove. Add him in 12-team leagues and anywhere else you need a receiver.

Brandon LaFell, Panthers

The Panthers have some good matchups down the stretch, and LaFell is looking good again. He is worth owning in all 12-team leagues and can be used as a WR3 or flex when the matchup is right.

Alshon Jeffery, Bears

When Jay Cutler [26] returns, we expect Jeffery to perform pretty well. Add him in all 12-team leagues and keep an eye on him in all formats. He could explode at any time with Cutler under center.

Golden Tate [27], Seahawks [28]

Tate was on fire heading into his Week 11 bye. Pick him up if he was dropped in any leagues. He should be a solid flex option the rest of the way.

Mohamed Sanu, Bengals

Sanu has slowly been creeping into the fantasy scene. At this point, he needs to be owned in all 12-team leagues. His athleticism works well opposite A.J. Green, and his lack of speed is less of an issue against No. 2 corners. He may see an increase in targets if Andrew Hawkins‘€™ injury lasts any longer. Pick him up for depth.


Kyle Rudolph, Vikings

He looked very good again as the Vikings headed into their Week 11 bye. Rudolph can help you if you are in need and is a viable play in any league.

Tony Moeaki, Chiefs

He’€™s looked better the last few weeks, and with all the injuries in KC, he should keep seeing the ball in the near term. He can help you in 12-team leagues and larger.

Dallas Clark [29], Buccaneers [30]

He’€™s been coming on, and he went off in Week 11. He now is a guy to own in larger formats. Clark can help you while he’€™s hot.

Dwayne Allen, Colts

The rookie has got some game as he has shown the last few weeks, and since Coby Fleener is likely going to miss Week 12, Allen can help you if you need a TE option in a 12-team league.

Ben Watson [31], Browns

He caught two scores last week and he’€™s always been a good player when healthy and involved. Watson can help you in the short term in large leagues.

Ed Dickson, Ravens

He might not be a guy to add just yet, but if Dennis Pitta‘€™s Week 11 concussion keeps him out for Week 12, then Dickson could be a nice option playing most of the offensive snaps. Keep an eye on him if you are in need in a deep league.