The carnage of another bloody Sunday impacted fantasy rosters around the nation as stars like AJ Green departed with potentially season ending injuries. While Wendell Smallwood headlines this week’s article, be sure to check for Tim Hightower (51% owned) as he is a must add while Mark Ingram works his way through the NFL’s concussion protocol.
All players appearing in my week 12 waiver wire article are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo fantasy football leagues
Suggested FAAB bids appear in green
Wendell Smallwood headlines week 12 waiver wire
Wendell Smallwood – RB – Eagles (3% owned) | 21% – 100% FAAB
Both Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles departed Philadelphia’s loss to the Seahawks with injuries. Ryan Mathews injury was initially described as an MCL sprain. An average MCL sprain takes 6 weeks to heal, but the timeframe varies heavily depending on severity. It is safe to assume Mathews is out for at least week 12, and if we receive word that this is a grade 2 or 3 sprain we can rule him out for a month or more.
We haven’t been provided as much detail on Darren Sproles rib injury. He was ruled out after halftime after taking a punishing hit in the 1st half. Definitely keep an eye out for any Sproles injury updates, but keep in mind he serves more of a pass catching role out of the backfield. Despite Doug Pederson’s assurances that Sproles was the starter, it was Ryan Mathews who was still handling the bulk of the carries for the Eagles, which should now transfer to Wendell Smallwood.
Since we have covered the injuries, we should now cover Wendell Smallwood. He should slot right in as the early down back for the Eagles, with Kenjon Barner continuing to operate in a change of pace / pass catching role. Wendell Smallwood acquitted himself admirably against the Seahawks defense rushing 13 times for 48 yards while adding 4 receptions for 31 yards. Checking his combine stats and analysis is a bit interesting, as Wendell is described as a guy who gets what is blocked and is more of a physical finisher than tackle breaker. At 5’10”, 206 lbs and a 4.47 40-yard dash time he may not be the fastest runner, but as the waiver wire pickup of Rob Kelley has proven, volume is capable of producing a viable fantasy back. Both Barner and Sproles are more suited for pass catching roles, meaning Wendell Smallwood should see 15+ carries per week for as long as Mathews remains out.
Wendell Smallwood FAAB budget – If Mathews and Sproles are both ruled out for the season, Smallwood could be the top playoff RB pickup. I’ll update the article as news comes out, but can definitely see blowing the remainder of your FAAB budget on this pickup if you need RB help.
Wendell Smallwood Upcoming Schedule – vs GB, @CIN, vs WAS, @BAL, vs NYG
Sammy Watkins – WR – Bills (41% owned) | 6% FAAB
Preston Brown in locker room said “we got Sammy probably coming back next week.” So there’s a belief among some players that will happen.
— Sal Capaccio 🏈 (@SalSports) November 20, 2016
That tweet should tell you all you really need to know about this pickup. For owners like me who lost A.J. Green and are headed to the playoffs, Sammy Watkins should absolutely be rostered. While Preston Brown could certainly be wrong, and Watkins may be targeting a week 13 or 14 return, he should be stashed in most formats where you require WR help. With Robert Woods suffering what appears to be a multi-week knee injury, the Bills will be desperate to get Sammy back on the field. Keep in mind Watkins numbers from a season ago, as he posted 1047 yards and 9 touchdowns in just 13 contests. He is a WR1 when healthy, and shouldn’t be sitting on waivers in any format.
Chris Ivory – RB – Jaguars (48% owned) | 3% FAAB
Another injury to track occurred to TJ Yeldon against the Lions. It is described as an ankle injury of unknown severity, and while Chris Ivory has displayed a bad case of fumbilitis this season, he would be the workhorse if Yeldon were to miss any time. Chris Ivory totaled 17 carries for 39 yards plus 6 receptions for 75 yards against the Lions on Sunday. If for some reason Ivory is still floating on waivers in your league, add him for bench depth while we wait for an update on Yeldon’s status.
Monday Night Special
The default Yahoo waiver wire settings allows you to drop a player from your bench (even if they already played) and pick a player up off waivers. You should use this to your advantage EVERY week if you have a guy you’re going to drop anyway. Its basically a free pickup. If the guy you pick up for tonight doesn’t pan out, simply drop him when waivers open Wednesday morning.
Akeem Hunt – RB – Texans (1% owned)
The regular backup to Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue, is hurt this week, meaning the recently promoted Akeem Hunt will be the change of pace back against the Raiders in Mexico Monday night. If you need a RB, and all of the other handcuffs are already owned, pick up Hunt just in case the injury bug bites Lamar Miller again. You could luck yourself into a starting RB for week 12! Hunt carried the ball 8 times for 52 yards in week 10 against the Jaguars and has gone completely under the radar to this point. Keep in mind this is basically a free pickup, if it doesn’t pan out, you can drop Hunt on Wednesday.
Check for these players on waivers first before considering Hunt
- Will Fuller – WR (48% owned)
- C.J. Fiedorowicz – TE (22% owned)
I know that there will be questions about Deandre Washington from the Raiders. When Latavius went down earlier this season and Deandre had his shot, it basically turned in to RBBC hell in Oakland, and Deandre was just as useless. Rather take a chance on a guy like Akeem who has looked good in his limited time thus far.
Tyler Boyd – WR (5% owned) | 4% FAAB
After AJ Green was carted off, it was Tyler Boyd who stepped up for the Bengals hauling in 6 receptions on 8 targets for 54 yards and a touchdown. In most competitive leagues, Boyd will be the wide receiver most readily available off waivers to add to help (somewhat) replace AJ Green. While Tyler will be a risky fantasy WR3 the next 2 weeks, the matchups that really catch my eye are week 14 @CLE and week 15 vs PIT. Both these games should allow for both Dalton and Boyd to produce solid fantasy numbers, and they occur during the fantasy playoffs in the vast majority of leagues. If most of the highly owned WRs are gone, and you can only add one guy this week off waivers, I’d make it Tyler Boyd.
Tyreek Hill – WR – Chiefs (41% owned) | 3% FAAB
After a 13 target, 10 reception game against the Panthers in week 10, Tyreek Hill was one of the most added players in fantasy football. While his targets predictably dropped in week 11, Tyreek was still serviceable putting up 4 receptions for 53 yards and 1 carry for 8 yards. Once Jeremy Maclin returns from injury Tyreek Hill will be an extremely risky WR3/Flex play, which is why he isn’t listed under the must adds. Hill’s week 12 matchup with the Denver Broncos is obviously a tough one, before the schedule opens up against the Falcons and Raiders in weeks 13 and 14. If you need WR help Hill is a guy you can consider taking a gamble on.
Brandon Lafell – WR – Bengals (11% owned) | 2% FAAB
As I mentioned above with Tyler Boyd, the Bengals have an extremely inviting playoff schedule coming up, and Cincinnati will be short on receiving options. Our old friend Brandon “hands of stone” Lafell is still available in 89% of leagues (for good reason), but as his 9 targets this past week show, he will have the volume to be fantasy relevant. While I prefer Tyler Boyd as a more electric option, Lafell is a solid red zone target who will have even more opportunities to score with AJ out of the lineup. Keep in mind Gio Bernard tore his ACL, meaning the Bengals will have few skill position players on offense they can rely on.
Other Suggested Adds to consider:
- Mike Gillislee – RB (25% owned) | 1% FAAB – Lesean McCoy thumb injury (expected to play week 12)
- Kenneth Dixon – RB (28% owned) | 1% FAAB – Still splitting carries with T. West
- Eddie Royal – WR (22% owned) | 1% FAAB – Zach Miller and Alshon both out. Royal should see 6+ targets per week.
- Marqise Lee – WR (6% owned) | 1% FAAB – Been seeing consistent targets as the Jags WR3
- Eli Rogers – WR (23% owned) | 1% FAAB – Still has value operating out of the slot for the Steelers
- Dontrelle Inman – WR (4% owned) | 1% FAAB – Chargers WRs can’t get healthy. Inman is seeing steady targets.
- Adam Thielen – WR (4% owned) | 0% FAAB – Operates as the WR2 for the Vikings
Deep League Waiver Wire Pickups
For those of us who play in deeper leagues, all the must adds and suggested adds have been rostered since the preseason! The deep league waiver wire section covers the low owned guys who could surprise over the final month and a half of the season.
Dorial Green-Beckham – WR – Eagles (4% owned) | 0% FAAB
The Eagles next two opponentns (GB / CIN) both really struggle in pass protection, and DGB has emerged as the WR2 for Philadelphia. Over his last 4 games Green-Beckham has 26 targets which comes out to nearly 7 per week. In week 11 against a formidable Seahawks D he had 5 receptions for 54 yards and a TD. While Dorial will always be a risky play, his schedule the next 2 weeks could propel you in to the fantasy playoffs if you are in a deep league and have very few options available on waivers.
Cobi Hamilton – WR – Steelers (0% owned) | 0% FAAB
Steelers WR snap count today: Antonio Brown 69, Eli Rogers 45, Cobi Hamilton 44, Sammie Coates 1. Out of 69
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) November 20, 2016
As you can see from the tweet posted, Cobi Hamilton has settled in as the WR2 for the Steelers. Antonio Brown is the clear cut WR1, and Eli Rogers mans the slot, leaving Cobi to line up opposite AB. His snaps were down a bit this week, which may have been due to the windy conditions and overall game plan against a poor CLE defense. Either way Cobi finished with 5 targets on the day (converted into just 2 receptions for 11 yards). Pittsburgh gets an Indy defense which is nearly as bad as Clevelands in week 12, meaning Cobi Hamilton could be an interesting deep league sleeper for fantasy football managers.
Other Deep League Waiver Wire Players to consider:
- Percy Harvin – WR (4% owned) | 0% FAAB – Could see a healthy number of targets if Watkins doesn’t play
- Marquise Goodwin – WR (6% owned) | 0% FAAB – Will remain the deep threat for the Bills
- Logan Paulsen – TE (0% owned) | 0% FAAB – New TE1 in Chicago with Zach Miller on the shelf
- Rex Burkhead – RB – Bengals (0% owned) | 0% FAAB – New backup in CIN with Gio Bernard going down to injury
Thanks for reading the week 12 waiver wire pickups! If you have any questions about Wendell Smallwood or any other players listed, feel free to leave me a comment below.