We’re getting down to “must-win” time in fantasy football, and it’s all about doing whatever it takes to secure victories and make the playoffs or improve your seeding. That might mean selling out for waiver wire pickups if you’re dealing with injuries or bad matchups, and with just two weeks left in the fantasy regular season, there’s no reason to hold back your FAAB bids or high waiver claims. Heading into Week 12, there are several interesting players worth adding, including potential starting RBs Gus Edwards and Cam Akers, breakout WRs Michael Pittman Jr., Nelson Agholor, and Russell Gage, streamer TE Jordan Reed, and sleeper QB Derek Carr.
As we’ll do every week, let’s break down the top pickups and project how much of your FAAB budget you should bid on them. Again, if you have excess money and are in desperate need at a certain position (especially if you’re on the playoff bubble), you should be willing to go over the projected bid amounts.
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Week 12 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire QB pickups
Derek Carr (OAK). After three straight games that left a lot to be desired, Carr bounced back with a three-touchdown performance Sunday night against the Chiefs. As long as he’s playing the Chiefs he’s a lock in your fantasy lineups. Sadly, both games against Kansas City have come and gone. However, Carr’s next two games provide a solid floor against the Falcons and the Jets. The Falcons allow on average 26.0 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in four-point per passing touchdown leagues. They held Taysom Hill to zero passing touchdowns last week, but he’s the exception, not the rule. Carr is having possibly the best season of his career. He has 19 touchdowns to just three interceptions, and we could be looking at another three- or four-touchdown performance against Atlanta’s awful secondary. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10-13%
Kirk Cousins (MIN). Cousins is on a heater recently, and I’m hoping he doesn’t cool off anytime soon. Over his past four games he has nine touchdown passes and just one interception. He’s also been throwing it a little more over the last few weeks, as well. Let’s be honest, when you have Dalvin Cook at your disposal you don’t necessarily need to throw it a lot, so it’s worth mentioning Cousins is a little dependent on game flow. Cousins faces off against Carolina in Week 12, and prior to facing Matthew Stafford and the Lions, the Panthers had allowed four straight quarterbacks to drop at least 280 passing yards on them. Expect more of the same from Minnesota this week: They’ll run Dalvin Cook early, but they’ll open up the passing attack more as the game progresses. We also need to keep an eye on Adam Thielen’s status. He’s Cousins’ favorite target but he’s currently on the NFL’s COVID list, so he’ll need to provide some negative tests in order to play. Proj. FAAB Bid: 8-9%
Daniel Jones (NYG). Not that it’s any secret, but if you can land Carr or Cousins over Jones, by all means do so. But in deeper leagues if you’re trying to replace Joe Burrow, then Jones is in a good spot this week facing Burrow’s Bengals, who provide a nice matchup for quarterbacks. Alex Smith may not have taken advantage, but Jones and the Giants are in the hunt for the NFC East title and Jones isn’t afraid to tuck the ball and run. He has at least 20 rushing yards in all but two games this year and at least 40 rushing yards in five. We may be looking at a 20-point fantasy week from Jones in Week 12. If Tua Tagovailoa is available in your league you could give him a look. He got benched in Week 11, but he’s been named the starter for Week 12 against the Jets, and streaming quarterbacks against the Jets is relatively safe. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6%
WEEK 12 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 12 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire RB pickups
James White (NE). Rex Burkhead’s knee injury is obviously unfortunate, but it does open the door for White to get more playing time. White’s ownership has dropped to under 40 percent in some formats, and he’s the obvious beneficiary to the check down targets from Cam Newton. In Sunday’s loss to the Texans, White caught six passes on nine targets for 64 yards. Sony Michel is more likely to cut into Damien Harris’ workload (although I’m still not that concerned for Harris) than he is White’s. Michel had 19 catches total between 2018 and ’19, and this is a role White is more than familiar with, so in PPR formats he’s a very strong addition off waivers as a potential flex option. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12%
Gus Edwards (BAL). Edwards is going to be popular and a heavily featured player in any waiver wire column this week. JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram tested positive for COVID, and the Ravens play Thursday night. Based on opportunity alone, Edwards makes too much sense. Do we wish the matchup was better? Of course. The Steelers allow the seventh-fewest rushing yards per game to running backs, and they’re the top-ranked defense against running backs in fantasy. They haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown in three straight games, although that could change if Lamar Jackson gets his act together. Either way, we’re looking at a running back who could see 15-20 touches Thursday night, so we have to jump on volume. If you’re desperate for a win, you might spend 15-20 percent of your FAAB to start this guy, but if you’re set at running back and just want a little depth, take a more tame approach. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10%
Carlos Hyde (SEA). It’s pretty likely that Chris Carson (foot) returns to action next Monday night against the Eagles, but given how good Hyde looked last Thursday against the Cardinals, we can target him on waivers for much needed depth as we inch closer to the fantasy playoffs. Carson’s coming off an injury that kept him out a little longer than most fantasy owners expected, so, while I’m not hoping he gets hurt again, based on what we’ve seen in 2020 it’s certainly on the table. With Hyde active last week it was pretty clear how the Seahawks felt about him compared to DeeJay Dallas. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-8%
Cam Akers (LAR). Akers has seen his ownership drop considerably in recent weeks. Darrell Henderson appeared in the first two series Monday night and had involvement late into the game, but it was Akers who found the end zone. Sean McVay has said he expects bigger things for Akers in the second half, too. If he didn’t score on Monday, he probably doesn’t crack the waiver column, but this is still a talented rookie who will continue to frustrate fantasy owners. He’s not a “must-add,” but he’s worth stashing if you have the bench space. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
WEEK 12 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 12 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire WR pickups
Michael Pittman (IND). Pittman is probably the “must-add” wide receiver if there was one this week. He saw just three targets last week, but he caught all of them for 66 yards and a touchdown. He was coming in with back-to-back weeks with at least seven targets, but it’s clear he’s become the WR1 in Indianapolis. The frustrating aspect of his game is that Philip Rivers tends to distribute the ball evenly. In total, 11 different players on the Colts caught a pass from Rivers on Sunday. The week prior, they had 10 different pass-catchers. That’s just how Rivers operates. But we’re in the midst of seeing this kid break out, so he’s definitely the best wide receiver option available this week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Corey Davis (TEN). I’m officially on board with Davis. I’ve been very skeptical, but he has had a really good year. He has returned double-digit points in PPR formats in seven of the eight games he’s been active, and he has 36 targets over his past five games. He has that “bust” stigma that’s haunted him the past few seasons, but if you took away the name and just looked at the production in PPR formats, he’s easily a player you’d want on your roster. The schedule is a little difficult this week against Indianapolis, but the following three games are against the Browns, Jaguars, and Lions. Proj. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Tim Patrick (DEN). In a week where I don’t love the pass-catching options on waivers, there’s a good argument for Patrick. Naturally, I have more interest in Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant based on pedigree, but Patrick has quietly been involved in Denver’s offense more and more. He’s averaging seven targets per game over his past six contests with three 100-yard performances in that span. He doesn’t find the end zone as much as we’d like, but he’s a great vertical threat who Drew Lock hasn’t had trouble connecting with. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Nelson Agholor (LV). I’ll be quick on Agholor because this isn’t the first time he’s made the waiver wire column. He’s a hit-or-miss player. He’s found the end zone in six-of-10 games this season, and when he hasn’t scored he’s been a train wreck. But the schedule for Las Vegas is pretty inviting at the moment with matchups against the Falcons and Jets on the horizon. Looking forward to the fantasy playoffs, the Raiders have three straight home games against the Colts, Chargers, and Dolphins. Agholor has just two games with more than five targets this year, but he’s a threat to find the end zone each week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Russell Gage (ATL). Julio Jones (hamstring) was a little beat up in Sunday’s game against New Orleans. He had to frequently exit the game, and Gage finished the day with seven catches for 58 yards. Temper expectations here, though. We saw Gage get off to a hot start earlier in the year in a similar situation with Julio getting hurt, but he was an afterthought by Week 3. I wouldn’t go crazy with the FAAB bid considering you should probably just pay up for Michael Pittman. Gage cracks the waiver column based on presumed opportunity, but he could very well disappoint this week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 4-5%
Damiere Byrd (NE). Not that it needs to be said, but we shouldn’t expect anything close to the production we saw on Sunday. With the entire fantasy community’s eyeballs fixated on Jakobi Meyers and his near 40-percent target share heading into the week, it was Byrd and his six catches for 132 yards and a touchdown that stole the show for New England. The big performance is why he’s here. We won’t see Cam Newton throw it 40 times all that often, and we can probably expect Meyers to bounce back next week against the Cardinals. At the same time Byrd’s a potential streamer in deep leagues for the in the same matchup. Proj. FAAB Bid: 4-5%
WEEK 12 FANTASY: Top pickups | Buy-low, sell-high
Week 12 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire TE pickups
Jordan Reed (SF). I mentioned Reed last week, and the argument remains the same: TE sucks and he’s in an offense that is designed to involve its tight ends. If you’re looking to replace Taysom Hill (as weird as that is to say), Reed’s in play. He could see about five or six targets in a given week, so there is certainly upside for him. He should be involved as long as he stays healthy. Next week it’s a tough matchup against the Rams, but he will garner targets and for a position where we have little certainty, we can take a shot on Reed. Proj. FAAB Bid: 8%
Dalton Schultz (DAL). Andy Dalton surely likes him some Schultz. It helps when they share a common name, but the Dalton-to-Dalton connection is worth mentioning. Schultz now has at least six targets in three straight games, and while two of those games were without Andy under center, we shouldn’t shy away from his involvement. Basically with any tight end this year (aside from Travis Kelce and Darren Waller), you’re just praying they score. In seven-of-10 games this season, Washington has allowed at least four catches to tight ends. That’s not sexy, but it’s enough for us to like Shultz as a Week 12 streamer even more. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5-7%
Week 12 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire D/ST pickups
Seattle Seahawks. If you need to throw a little FAAB at Seattle this week, so be it. They’ll be worth it for a few weeks. Their next three games are against the Eagles, Giants, and Jets. These teams giftwrap turnovers for defenses, and ever since Seattle brought in Carlos Dunlap, the pass rush has been better with 13 sacks over their last three games. A three- of four-percent bid could pay off for with this D/ST over the next three weeks.
Washington Football Team. The Cowboys offense looked much better on Sunday coming off their bye with Andy Daltona, but I still really like Washington’s pass rush in this matchup. I have my concerns regarding the Cowboys offensive line, and this is a good spot on a short week for Washington to get some sacks. In their last game against Dallas, they racked up six sacks, and in four games against NFC East competition, the Football Team has amassed 20. I prefer Seattle since they are useful for three weeks, but Washington isn’t a bad secondary option.
Green Bay Packers. This week, the Packers are playing the Bears, who have seen arguably the worst quarterback play across the entire league. Nick Foles has thrown an interception in seven of his eight appearances for Chicago, and if he does rack up the passing yardage, it’s largely due to the fact that he has to throw it over 40 times. Last game, he barely eclipsed 100 passing yards against the Vikings on 26 attempts, and Green Bay has a significantly better secondary than Minnesota does. This shapes up to be a fantastic spot to stream Green Bay.
Proj. FAAB Bids: <1%