Hopefully, you’ve been able to sleep off the extraordinary display of football bequeathed upon us by Fantasy Football apostles Jared Goff, Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes, and Travis Kelce. Each of their performances on Monday night was god-like, and with that, it’s easy to forget about the shining stars and lackluster busts of Week 11. Before you get caught up admiring highlights of this past week’s games, do your research for a week that includes a bye for both the Rams and the Chiefs. Here is your cheat-sheet for the best waiver wire options to scoop up in Week 12.
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN ownership 9% / Yahoo ownership 11%)
Ryan Fitzpatrick received the starting nod in Week 11 but was benched after slinging three picks to go with just a rushing touchdown in his time against the Giants. With Jameis Winston stepping in and almost engineering a seventeen point comeback against New York, he’s locked up the starting spot at signal caller for Week 12, and most likely for the rest of the season. He draws a feeble San Francisco pass defense this Sunday. Pair that with the Bucs’ pass-heavy offensive scheme, and you’ve got a passable QB1 for Week 12.
The #Bucs announced that QB Jameis Winston is once again their starting QB for Week 12, following his impressive showing in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 19, 2018
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (ESPN ownership 38% / Yahoo ownership 42%)
Baker Mayfield makes his second appearance on the list and coming off a win and his bye he has a delightful matchup with Cincinnati’s second to last place defense. Mayfield put together the best game of his young career in Week 10 against the Falcons, with 216 yards, three touchdowns, and an ultra-precise 85% completion percentage. While Baker has shown that he has a phenomenally bright future in front of him, he’s yet to show what his ceiling can be – he’s in the perfect spot to do just that.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (ESPN ownership 0.2% / Yahoo ownership 6%)
BELL-COW ON WAIVERS ALERT!!! Just kidding – well, sort of. Although the leading rusher, as well as the major story out of Baltimore this week, was Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards broke out in a big way this past Sunday as well. Edwards bulldozed Cincinnati’s weak defense seventeen times for 115 yards and a touchdown, plus a cherry-on-top two-point conversion. Head coach John Harbaugh sung his praises after the game, stating that he “grabbed the bull by the horns” when he was given his opportunity. With the Ravens entering must-win territory in the season, they’d be wise to give their second breakout rookie a heavy workload against a soft Raiders front line in Week 12.
.@Ravens QB Lamar Jackson rushed for 117 yards & RB Gus Edwards had 115 rushing yards with a TD in the team’s win.
Jackson & Edwards became the first pair of rookie quarterback and rookie running back teammates to rush for at least 100 yards each in a single game in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/AzICzZkzCF
— NFL345 (@NFL345) November 18, 2018
Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (ESPN / Yahoo ownership 33%)
With rookie sensation Kerryon Johnson spraining his knee against the Panthers this past week, he isn’t expected to play on Thanksgiving against Chicago and is in danger of missing time. Looking to take his place is pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick. Riddick should get the bulk of the carries but could be vultured a touchdown or two by LeGarrette Blount. Before you go all in on grabbing Riddick, remember how long it took for Lions’ coaching to be sold on Kerryon Johnson’s talent and actually feed him the ball – this offense could retract to the high pass-game volume displayed early on in the season.
D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers (ESPN ownership 32% / Yahoo ownership 40%)
In a mediocre inaugural year thus far, D.J. Moore flashed some serious talent in Week 11 against the Lions by chipping in seven grabs for a cool 157 yards, along with a touchdown. While the rest of his season hasn’t provided anything particularly eye-catching, Moore has received enough attention from Cam Newton to believe that a game like this could trigger a higher volume of targets and opportunities for the Panther’s last six games of the year. He’s immediately employable as a viable WR3 or flex option.
Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (ESPN ownership 13% / Yahoo ownership 27%)
In another rookie breakout game, Tre’Quan Smith contributed to the Saints’ thrashing of Philadelphia with 157 yards and a touchdown. Smith has had one other productive fantasy outing this season when he grabbed three balls in Week 5 for 111 yards and two touchdowns. While Smith’s consistency has yet to be seen, he had ten grabs on thirteen targets this past Sunday, which is certainly encouraging with how many mouths there are to feed in New Orleans’ high octane offense. Keep him stashed until his utilization becomes more apparent.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 18, 2018
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (ESPN ownership 2%, Yahoo ownership 7%)
In his second consecutive appearance on the list, Jonnu Smith returns after catching six balls for 44 yards against the Colts on Sunday. While these are modest numbers at best, the story of the season remains unchanged – the Tight End position is excruciatingly thin. It’s difficult to make an argument that there are even twelve legitimate TE1’s in the league right now, so if you’ve got the need for TE, grab Jonnu off of the wire, as he should see a consistent handful of targets.
Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos (ESPN ownership 22%, Yahoo ownership 23%)
A couple of weeks removed from an eye-popping ten reception performance, Jeff Heuerman has since cooled off, with a bye and a four catch, twenty-yard clunker in Week 11. Regardless, Heuerman has 21 targets in his past three games along with two touchdowns, and he can be viably employed against a Pittsburgh defense allowing the ninth-most points to tight ends this season.
Defense / Special Teams
Dallas Cowboys (ESPN ownership 26%, Yahoo ownership 19%)
Rodney Harrison talking about the Cowboys on NBC’s Football Night in America: “Their defense is good enough to go to the Super Bowl.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 19, 2018
After a disheartening loss to the Texans in the midst of losing starting quarterback Alex Smith, the Redskins will take on Dallas this coming Thanksgiving. Dallas has allowed a mere thirty-nine points combined the past two weeks, and take on Washington backup QB Colt Mccoy at AT&T Stadium this coming Thursday. With first place in the division on the line, expect the Cowboys’ defensive team to make a splash play or two throughout the game.
Indianapolis Colts (ESPN ownership 22%, Yahoo ownership 26%)
The Colts have whipped a huge U-turn on their season since Week 7, rattling off five wins in a row behind a rejuvenated Andrew Luck and a finally healthy Marlon Mack. They’ve climbed into the top ten in the league in time of possession over the past three weeks which has, in turn, improved their defensive prowess, allowing an average of 17.25 points in their past four games. Matching up with the Dolphins in a Week 12 game with playoff implications, the Colts should be able to eat up Miami’s bottom-third run game, as well as either of their uninspiring quarterback options.