In the iconic words of The Trashmen “Well ev’rybody know that the bird is a word a-well-a bird bird”.
This week is all about the birds, as the best waiver wire pick-ups come from the Ravens and Cardinals (we unfortunately couldn’t sneak any Eagles or Falcons on this list). Keaton Mitchell proved more than worthy of being our stash last week, having another huge game, even though his usage kept us wanting more.
We saw Kyler Murray return to the Cardinals to show why we’ve been telling you to stash him for weeks. No one looked happier to see Kyler back than our #1 TE pickup of the week Trey McBride, who looks like a must-own player with his QB back healthy. Don’t forget about the birds when hitting the waiver wire this week. Happy shopping!
*Player rostered in under 65% of ESPN leagues considered*
Week 11 players to add
Pickup of the week – Keaton Mitchell: While he looks like a league winner while on the field, the big thing holding Mitchell back is the reps he’s splitting with his two fellow running backs. His explosiveness is very clear; his first two touches this week were a 34-yard TD run and a 32-yard catch and run to help set up a Ravens field goal. Then he only had two more touches for the rest of the game! It was confusing to see the usage in the second half for Mitchell (some are saying it might have been due to missing assignment pass blocking) but the fact remains that when he is on the field, he makes big plays, which should force the Ravens into playing him more.
He is a smaller back, so he won’t take goal-line carries away from Gus Edwards, so he will need to rely on his big plays and passing game work. The Ravens have been looking to run Lamar less this year to keep him healthy, so now seems like the perfect time to really unleash Mitchell for the rest of the season. Grab him and hope he can turn into a De’Von Achane-type player for your team.
Top pick – Kyler Murray: He is technically only owned in 55% of ESPN leagues, but after showing he is looking fully healthy again, I expect this to be the last time we can write about Kyler in the waiver column. It was nice to see Kyler look comfortable in the pocket all game, but what really got the juices flowing was his game-saving first down scramble, where he juked and outran many defenders. If Kyler can get SOME of his old rushing numbers back, then he will be an easy QB to start the rest of the way.
Next – Joshua Dobbs: Josh Dobbs is an American treasure at this point. Not only is he winning America’s hearts, though, but he is also winning games. Dobbs has entered the comfortable streaming start category for QB as he has 2nd most rushing yards for QBs this year, which gives him a nice baseline along with having some nice weapons to work with in Minnesota (O, also he might get some guy named Justin Jefferson back this week too). Dobbs gets an improved but still-beatable Denver defense this week and follows that up with a matchup with the lowly Bears defense. If you need a bye-week replacement or someone to fill in for an injury, Dobbs may be your answer.
Stash – Aaron Rodgers: You don’t have to rush to the waiver wire to grab Rodgers right now, but if you have an open IR slot, this seems like a “why not” type add. Rodgers has come out and stated he’s aiming for a mid-December return, which, while it doesn’t seem likely he will be back by then, I think it’s worth the speculative add.
Check to see if available – Geno Smith had his best game of the season last week, and while still not overly impressive, you could do worse this week as he has a nice matchup against the Rams. On a bye week this week, Jameis Winston had a two TD (and two interceptions) day in relief of Carr, who left the game injured; if he is still out, Winston is a high ceiling/low floor bye week replacement.
Top pick – Ty Chandler: With Alexander Mattison looking to miss at least this week with a concussion, Ty Chandler becomes the pickup of the week at the RB position. The Vikings get a matchup against the 32nd-ranked rushing defense in the Denver Broncos this week, while they have been playing better as of late and are still very susceptible to the running game. Hopefully, Chandler can get more involved in the passing game as well, as he had 0 catches last week, but that would be the cherry on top as he should have most, if not all, of the rushing work. Add in that if Mattison also misses next week, he gets a juicy matchup against the Bears, and you can see why dropping some FAAB on Chandler is worth it this week if you need RB help.
Next – Antonio Gibson: He has really come on strong as of late, and I don’t see that slowing down. Gibson has taken back his role as the passing down back for the Commanders, which is huge, seeing as they are a team that should be trailing and looking to throw in most games. Gibson has five catches in the past three games, which is such a nice floor for a waiver-wire RB. He has also gotten carries, so he is more than just a 3rd down back. If you are in a PPR league, Gibson is a must-own, but even in standard leagues, he’s getting enough work to be in RB3/flex consideration.
Stash – Rico Dowdle: While Tony Pollard’s stock continues to dip, his backup made a big splash on Sunday against the Giants. While most of it was in garbage time, Dowdle put up a nice stat line of 12 carries for 79 yards and a TD. At worst, Rico looks like a high-upside handcuff for Pollard, but if Pollard continues to struggle, then Dowdle may be able to eat into his workload for an offense that seems to be hitting its stride. Grab Rico for some nice RB insurance going into your playoff push.
Check to see if available/others of note – Devin Singletary continues to shock the world; if Damien Pierce is out, he is a solid RB2. Zach Charbonnet is getting nice workload numbers in Seattle; great handcuff with upside. Tyjae Spears is still one of the best handcuffs in football, and also a low-end play in PPR with four catches each of the past two weeks.
Top pick – Noah Brown: As someone who started Noah Brown in two leagues last week, trust me, you won’t regret adding him to your team. Brown blew up for 172 yards on seven catches a week after posting 153 yards and a TD on six catches last week. With CJ Stroud lighting up defenses every week, it’s a smart idea to grab any and all pass catchers from the Texans.
The elephant in the room is that Nico Collins was out this week with an injury; when he’s back, Brown might be relegated to 3rd or 4th target for CJ Stroud, with Tank Dell and Dalton Schultz also showing special connections with QB. Don’t expect to get 25 points plus every week from Brown, but as he has shown the past two weeks, his ceiling is worth rostering and worth playing if another Texans pass catcher is out with an injury. Again, grab all pass catchers from this offense if you can; this includes Robert Woods in very very deep leagues.
Next – Rashee Rice: It appears in the Chiefs’ bye week that some have fallen out of love with Rice, as his roster percentage actually dropped 5% this week. This is your official reminder to go grab him, as the Chiefs have one of the best schedules for wide receivers the rest of the year. Also, we usually see a big jump after bye weeks for rookies as they get an extra week to focus solely on learning the offense instead of game planning for next week’s game. I think going into the back half of the year, Andy Reid will have some nice plays lined up for Rice. If he’s on your waivers, he is a must-add for the rest of the season, along with being a great play this week against the Eagles.
Stash – Demario Douglas: This is a reminder for all that Pop Douglas and the Patriots are on a bye, so you may see him dropped in some of your leagues. I think this is a mistake, as he has been improving week after week, making him a viable bye-week replacement flex. The Patriots’ offense does appear to be in rough shape, but they get a whole bye week to fix things; hopefully, they realize that more passes to Douglas will do the trick. The Patriots also have one of the easiest schedules for WRs remaining, making Pop someone to stash.
Check to see if available/others of note – Josh Downs has had some down weeks and goes into his bye; if he’s dropped, he’s a great add. Rashid Shaheed is a boom-or-bust flex, but with Jameis possibly lined up to start, he should get more deep shots forced to him; with Michael Thomas out, he can be a nice bye-week replacement. Jaxon Smith-Njigba continues to impress and is just a DK or Lockett injury away from becoming a top-24 WR. Quentin Johnston caught a TD and could be coming into his own in a top-passing offense.
Top pick – Trey McBride: More like Trey McBoom! Looks like Trey will be just fine with Kyler as his QB gashing the Falcons for 131 yards on eight catches. I don’t see this slowing down at all with Kyler back, and the Cardinals have a nice schedule for TE’s. If you don’t have one of the top TEs and you missed out on the Sam LaPorta and Dalton Kincaid breakouts, then don’t miss out on McBride. A must-start TE for the rest of the season.
Next – Logan Thomas: His last week of 5 catches for 40 yards won’t excite anyone, but the TE waiver wire is not as exciting as it has been in past weeks. This is more of a bet on the Commanders and their opponent, as we know Washington loves to throw (5th in the NFL in pass rate over expectations), and the Giants love to give up fantasy points to TEs. Let’s hope Sam Howell can find Logan Thomas in the endzone for a TD catch before this game turns into too much of a blowout.
Stash – Taysom Hill: There is not much to stash at the TE position this week, so I’m using this as a reminder to keep hold of Taysom going into his bye week. With Carr getting banged up, the Saints may lean on Hill and their run game more coming out of the bye, as they will want to limit the turnovers Jameis causes. If you have another starting TE and need to cut Hill to grab another waiver-wire player, I understand, but I also think he’s worthy of being rostered through the bye if you can manage it.
Check to see if available/others of note – David Njoku is highly rostered now but continuing to produce. Michael Mayer got his first TD last week, but it was a desperate play with upside more than anything.
Top pick – Lions D/ST: D/ST is all about the matchups. The Lions’ defense got beat up by the Charges last week, but they get the Bears this week and then the Packers on Thanksgiving; that’s a tasty back-to-back for fantasy. No matter who the Bears start at QB this week, the Lions should be able to cause some havoc and get the turnovers needed to produce a nice fantasy day. Getting to use the Lions two weeks in a row is the icing on the cake, as you can keep them in against the Packers next week as a nice Thanksgiving treat to yourself.
Next – Chargers D/ST: Again, matchups! The Chargers defense also got lit up by the Lions last week, but they get an amazing get-right game with one of the best matchups in the league for defenses this week in the Packers. The Packers once again were not able to score more than 20 points this week (something they haven’t done since week 1, giving the Chargers defense a nice floor to work with. If they can get some Jordan Love sacks and force some turnovers, then this defense may win some fantasy weeks just like they did against the Jets two weeks ago.
Stash – Patriots D/ST – A Bill Belichick defense coming off a bye gets extra time to plan for Tommy Devito? This is as good as it gets when you need to choose a low-end streaming defense, and you should be able to get the Patriots for free in most if not all, leagues. Titans D/ST also have the Panthers next week, so we can also look to stash them.
Check to see if available – Commanders D/ST: This is the immovable object vs. unstoppable force, the worst defense in the league versus Tommy Devito (take the defense if you’re desperate). If Matthew Stafford is out again, you can use the Seahawks D/ST as a bye-week filler.
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