Injuries happen every week in the NFL, but some weeks are just worse than others. Joe Burrow and Mark Andrews went down for the season, while the big return of De’Von Achane was over before it really started due to reinjury of the same knee.
As unfortunate as these injuries are, it creates opportunity on the waiver wire. See below for how these injuries and others help shake out who you should target on the waiver wire. Happy shopping!
*Player rostered in under 65% of ESPN leagues considered*
Week 12 players to add
Pickup of the week – Isaiah Likely: Last week’s Thursday Night Football matchup was ruined by injury, the most significant for the Ravens being Mark Andrews. While it has been reported this might not be a season-ending injury for Andrews, it does seem like it will end his relevance for the fantasy football season.
Enter his backup, Isaiah Likely, who, while not the same player as Andrews, should be able to help contribute to the Ravens passing game. While he has not done much this season, he did show flashes last year of his high upside, something no other TE on the waiver wire shows right now. This is more of a bet on high potential than actual production, but at this point in the season, that is what we are looking for off the waiver wire.
Top pick – Kyler Murray: He is technically only owned in 63% of ESPN leagues, so we get to feature him one more time. I’m not sure what else I can say to get you to pick up Kyler, but after Joe Burrow’s injury, I can’t imagine him staying under 80% rostered this week. The Cardinals are clearly focused on giving Kyler the reigns the rest of the year to see what he can do, and he looks healthy again. Get him now; he also has a solid playoff schedule!
Next – Joshua Dobbs: Dobbs had another very solid game last week and has become someone you can feel comfortable stating every week. You can especially feel comfortable starting him this week as he gets an easy matchup against the Chicago Bears. His rushing gives him the floor that makes him a starter, and, as impressively, he’s had a rushing TD in each of his three games so far with the Vikings. Grab Dobbs if someone already grabbed Kyler in your league.
Stash – Derek Carr: with his injury status up in the air, it’s hard to start him this week, but seeing Carr’s schedule moving forward, he is a nice bench add to stash. In a season where it seems like a starter goes down every week, it’s nice to have a guy like Carr to turn to in an emergency.
Check to see if available – Baker Mayfield has a solid matchup this week, so could be worth a look. Gardner Minshew will be on the other side of Baker in what could be a shootout, making Minshew a boom or bust as usual. 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.
Top pick – Zach Charbonnet: With an oblique injury to Ken Walker, Charbonnet steps into the starting RB role for the Seahawks. Hopefully, this is the opportunity you have been stashing him for, and he seems to be in line to get most, if not all, of the work. The only downside for Charbonnet right now is his schedule, as he has to go 49ers, Cowboys, and 49ers in the next three weeks, which may make it tough to break out even with the starting role. He is still worth grabbing and probably starting, but due to the matchups, keep your expectations in check.
Next – AJ Dillon: Speaking of keeping expectations in check, AJ Dillon won’t excite anyone, but without Aaron Jones, he takes sole possession of the Packers backfield. The Packers haven’t been an impressive offense all year, but Dillon has at least gotten lots of touches in games where Jones has missed. In a running-back landscape getting shallower by the week, grab Dillon as someone who at least has a high floor, even if the ceiling is almost just as low.
Stash – Keaton Mitchell: While he hasn’t had the breakout everyone has wanted, he is clearly still extremely talented. He is the perfect player to stash as he has standalone value but also nice upside if Gus Edwards goes down. Without Andrews, the Ravens will need more playmakers to step up; this seems like a perfect time to unleash Mitchell more.
Check to see if available/others of note – Jeff Wilson Jr. could be the RB2 for the Dolphins if Achane and Ahmed are out. 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. Antonio Gibson is a solid option if healthy, as they will be chasing points. Roschon Johnson should be the backup to Herbert, but it could be close to a 50/50 split. Ty Chandler looked impressive with the ball in space but needs to improve his pass blocking; he is a better playmaker than Mattison, so he could get more work.
Top pick – Odell Beckham Jr.: OBJ is having a nice resurgence these last few weeks. It is worth noting he got a little banged up last week, but with extra days to rest, I think he will be ready to go. With Andrews going down, the Ravens will need their WRs to step up, with Lamar losing his go-to pass catcher. Odell has either a TD or 100 yards in each of the last three games; I’m buying into him being a weekly flex option in good matchups.
Next –Romeo Doubs: Doubs continues to catch TDs, making him a nice flex option off the waiver wire. He is clearly the go-to guy in the red zone for the Packers, with Christian Watson not clicking with Jordan Love this season, and the Packers will need to score TDs to try to keep up with the Lions this week. The Lions’ defense shuts down opposing run games but is susceptible to opposing passing attacks; Doubs should be able to find the endzone again this week.
Stash – Noah Brown: Noah Brown would be the top pickup at WR again for me this week if it weren’t for an injury keeping him questionable or this week. At worst, he should be stashed in all leagues as the Texans have exploded into one of the best offenses for fantasy in the NFL. Don’t forget before missing last week; Brown blew up for 172 yards on seven catches a week after posting 153 yards and a TD on six catches. Grab him as a stash with the upside that he might get healthy this week.
Check to see if available/others of note – Josh Downs is back this week and should be healthy; solid add in a great match-up. 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. Rashee Rice hasn’t blown up yet, but he is still a solid add for a Chiefs team in need of a WR to step up. Demario Douglas might not know who his QB will be, but whoever it is should make sure to feature him a solid bench stash and bye-week replacement.
Top pick – Taysom Hill: Hill was on bye last week, so he may have been dropped in your league; he is a great pickup if you can’t get Likely. With the injury trouble at QB for the Saints, it would make sense for them to use Hill more this week, taking some of the pressure off Carr or Winston. Atlanta is also a very nice matchup for Hill, who should be able to take advantage on the ground and in the air.
Next – Logan Thomas: Thomas had eight targets last week, which for a TE is amazing. We will stick with him this week, while in a tough match up the Commanders should be throwing plenty. Hopefully, Thomas can get some nice garbage time work this week.
Stash – Tyler Conklin: It appears that the Jets have finally moved on from Zach Wilson, which might just make Conklin a viable fantasy starting TE. I am taking a wait-and-see approach with him this week, but I think he’s worth a stash if you lost Mark Andrews and want to take a stab at him becoming Tim Boyle’s new best friend.
Check to see if available/others of note – Donald Parham Jr is a really solid option if Gerald Everett misses again but has a tough matchup against the Ravens. Michael Mayer is getting more involved in the offense, but a desperate play with upside more than anything.
Top pick – Broncos D/ST: The Broncos have been hot lately and now get to face a rookie QB and a beat-up Brown offense. The Broncos have looked very solid the last couple of weeks against good offense in the Chiefs, Bills, and Vikings. I think this is the week they put it all together and have the ceiling to win you a fantasy week.
Next – Patriots D/ST: Our stash from last week; hard to ignore Belichick coming off a bye against Tommy Devito. While I’ll give Devito credit for some good throws last week, let’s remember that was against the worst-ranked passing defense in Washington. If other teams are stashing multiple defenses and you need to go deep, I think the Patriots are a great option.
Stash – Jaguars D/ST – With Joe Burrow out for the season, the Bengals will be a solid matchup for defenses the rest of the year. Next week, the Jaguars get the beat-up Bengals and should be able to take advantage. Grab them this week if you have a defense on bye next week. Buccaneers D/ST also have the Panthers next week, so they can also look to stash them.
Check to see if available – Lions D/ST: Gets the Packers on Thanksgiving; they should feast. The Titans D/ST gets Bryce Young, who has been a pick-six machine lately and is worth a shot in deep leagues.
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