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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 12
11/19/18; Updated: 11/20/18 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Baker Mayfield, CLE – Among the 50-70 percent owned Q crowd, Mayfield stands out as a solid option in Week 12 facing the Bengals. He’ll be a popular DFS play as well. Mayfield is coming off a bye but has at least two TD passes in four straight games and looks like a formidable NFL quarterback with plenty of fantasy upside.

Jameis Winston, TB – UPDATE: Winston’s fantasy upside definitely exceeds his real-life upside in that the Bucs are a bad team without much of a defense, and he’ll be playing from behind most of the time and racking up passing stats and some ground yardage. I don’t consider Winston a QB1, but plenty of folks do, and the consensus is that he’s at least a solid fantasy backup who should be owned in all formats. Fitzpatrick isn’t resuming his starting role until the Bucs get blown out and Winston throws several interceptions before halftime, so he’s safe to drop in most leagues.

Colt McCoy, WAS – The team signed Mark Sanchez to back up McCoy after the horrific broken leg (two bones) to Alex Smith on the 33-year anniversary (to the day) of the Joe Theismann injury. McCoy (6-for-12, 54-1-0 and 35 rushing yards) is a stopgap and doesn’t have much upside, but he’s worth a look in two-QB leagues if the Cowboys are still dealing with injuries to their defensive line come Thursday.

Lamar Jackson, BAL – If Jackson gets the start Sunday against the Raiders, he’ll be a streaming QB2 option considering the matchup and his ability to run the ball (117 rushing yards ion 27 carries in Week 11). While he threw for just 150-0-1 in his starting debut, there’s plenty to like about his skill set and fantasy upside. There’s still a chance that Joe Flacco returns this week, so stay tuned.

Other QBs to consider: Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill, Nick Mullens


Marcus Mariota, TEN – Unfortunately, Mariota suffered a stinger during the Week 11 game against the Colts and is questionable to play next Monday night. He finished Sunday with just 85-0-1 and 17 rushing yards. Blaine Gabbert will get the start if Mariota can’t go in Week 12.

Dak Prescott, DAL – Held without a TD pass for the first time since Week 1, Prescott went 22-for-32 for 208-0-0 yards against the Falcons in Week 11. He also rushed for five yards and a TD on four carries during the game, showing he can still score some fantasy points with his legs even if the passing game is struggling. It’s a huge disappointment, however, that he fizzled in such a prime matchup.

Blake Bortles, JAC – The Jaguars focused almost exclusively on the ground game and Bortles finished Week 11 with a pathetic 108-0-0 and a lost fumble. Sacked six times and looking completely out of whack when he did have time to throw, Bortles will try to right the ship next week against the Bills. He’s not a recommended fantasy option.

UPDATE: Bortles will NOT be benched for Week 12, but that doesn’t mean he should be on your fantasy roster. The risk outweighs the upside.

Eli Manning, NYG – Manning went 17-for-18 for 231-2-0 during the team’s Week 11 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it was Saquon Barkley who was the fantasy star. Overall it was a mediocre fantasy day considering the matchup, but he gets to face the Eagles next week in what could be a much more competitive game – given the Eagles injuries and their horrid performance in Week 11 against the Saints.

Josh Allen/Matt Barkley, BUF – The Bills were on a Week 11 bye and Allen is slated to start Week 12 against the Jags.

Gus Edwards

Running Backs

Gus Edwards, BAL – Edwards ran for 115 yards and a TD on 17 carries Sunday in a 24-21 win over the Bengals. He’s universally available and has a favorable matchup in Week 12 against the Raiders. How this bona fide RB committee’s roles will break down going forward is anybody’s guess, but it’s possible Edwards eats into Alex Collins’ early down role and gets 5-10+ carries on Sunday.

UPDATE: Some folks seem to believe that Edwards may take the lead back role right away in Baltimore given his showing on Sunday, but that’s speculative. Still, if Edwards emerges with a large percentage of the timeshare, he needs to be owned in all formats.

Peyton Barber, TB – I don’t know if it was injuries or poor usage early in the season that made Barber look essentially useless but he’s coming off yet another solid game (18 carries for 106 rushing yards, TD & 2-4-0 receiving). Owned in fewer than 75 percent of fantasy leagues, Barber gets a favorable Week 12 matchup against the 49ers and should be worth RB3/flex consideration in all formats.

LeGarrette Blount/Theo Riddick, DET – with Kerryon Johnson (knee, week-to-week) already declared out for the Thanksgiving tilt on Thursday, the Lions will use a committee of Blount (TD-dependent), Riddick (PPR boost) and Zach Zenner (wild card) against the formidable Bears defense. Of the three, Riddick makes the most sense from a game script perspective, while Blount should handle goal line carries and Zenner mixing in throughout the game. It’s not a fun situation to monitor, but a clearer picture could emerge before game time.

UPDATE: Riddick is still the back to own heading into Thanksgiving, but I’ll have some DFS shares of Blount in Thursday’s contests as a cheap TD vulture.

Other RBs to consider: Alfred Blue, Carlos Hyde, Austin Ekeler, D’Onta Foreman


Josh Adams, PHI – Adams rushed seven times for 53 yards and a TD in the Eagles’ devastating Week 11 loss to the Saints. He added 3-19-0 and was one of the only bright spots for a Philly team that should keep feeding him the ball down the stretch.

Rashaad Penny, SEA – As expected, Penny took a back seat to a healthy Chris Carson and Mike Davis ate up some carries as well, but the rookie finished with 46 rushing yards on eight carries, most of which came on a spectacular 28-yard run early in the game. Unfortunately, he also suffered an ankle injury on the play and looked less-than-100 percent the rest of the game. With the rest of the backfield getting healthy and both J.D. McKissic and C.J. Prosise back in action soon, there’s not a great reason to force a hobbled Penny onto the field.

UPDATE: Mike Davis is the clear passing down back and is probably the second-best RB to own after Carson. I still like Penny’s upside should Carson get injured again.

Spencer Ware, KC – UPDATE: Ware had zero touches on Monday night but the RBs in this game were an afterthought. He’s still an important handcuff and this ghostly performance shouldn’t put you off him as a playoff stash.

Stevan Ridley, PIT – Ridley didn’t have any touches in Week 11.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

D.J. Moore, CAR – At this point, it’s safe to say that Moore (7-157-1 on eight targets Sunday) has the highest upside of any Panthers WR, since Devin Funchess hasn’t had a seven-catch game since Week 2. The matchup with Seattle in Week 12 is far from ideal, but Moore (30-55 percent owned) is looking like a viable WR3/4 and flex option in deeper leagues

Tre’Quan Smith, NO – We’ve discussed TQS in this space before, and perhaps the distraction of the Dez/Brandon Marshall odyssey coupled with a Week 10 no-show kept me from considering him in Week 11 – but the dude went off against Philly with 10-157-1 on 13 targets from Drew Brees. I’m convinced Smith (20-50) percent owned) is here to stay and should get a decent target volume facing the Falcons in Week 12.

Keke Coutee, HOU – The Texans have yet to integrate Demaryius Thomas and Coutee’s 5-77-0 in Week 11 shows he’s still a big part of this explosive offense. He’s available in a bunch of leagues where he likely got dropped after the hamstring injury, so jump back on board with Coutee and a Week 12 matchup with Tennessee.

Adam Humphries, TB – If the Fitzmagic era is finally over, Winston might find a great outlet in Humphries, who caught an 8-yard TD pass from Jameis in Week 11 and finished with 3-60-1 on the day. Humphries doesn’t see a ton of targets, but he does have 40-491-3 on the season, a decent total through 10 games.

TE Gerald Everett UPDATE: Everett caught 3-49-2 on four targets in the Rams’ epic Week 11 win over the Chiefs. He benefitted from an impossibly exciting back-and-forth game that featured more offense than just about any game on record, as well as some exciting defensive plays to boot. There’s little chance of him repeating his two-TD performance, but it’s a damn good possibility he turns in a few more scores this season.

TE Antonio Gates, LAC – Gates turned back the clock and caught five of his seven targets for a season-high 80 yards and a TD in a 23-22 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 11. He’s not a bankable TE every week, but there’s not a lot of solid TEs out there, he’s facing the Cards in Week 12 and he looked great on Sunday. I’d much prefer adding as guy like Jordan Reed (who McCoy could favor next week) but he’s not available in most leagues. Gates is available in just about every format.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Cameron Brate, Mohamed Sanu, Mike Williams, Curtis Samuel, Bruce Ellington, Cole Beasley, TE Jack Doyle, Chris Conley, TE Tyler Higbee


Anthony Miller, CHI – Miller had just two catches for 25 yards, but one was a great grab on a 18-yard TD pass from Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears offense has a lot of options for production, but Miller remains a solid, high-upside play on Thanksgiving in Detroit.

Josh Reynolds, LAR – UPDATE: Reynolds had a big performance Monday night with 6-80-1 (who didn’t really?), and it could have been bigger had he managed to get both feet in bounds on an athletic end zone catch that was ruled incomplete. He’s a part of this offense now that Kupp is out, as are Tyler Higbee and Everett.

Willie Snead, BAL – Snead is one of my personal favorites in this column. He hauled in 5-of-8 targets from Lamar Jackson for 51 yards and no scores. Given that it’s his third straight week leading the Ravens in both receptions and targets, he’s worth owing in all 12-team leagues. If Jackson is the quarterback moving forward, fantasy owners should consider Snead a low-end WR4 in PPR leagues with decent upside if they continue to show rapport.

DeVante Parker, MIA – Parker (shoulder) was on a Week 11 bye but apparently has a chance to play this week after being given the week-to-week label in Week 10. With Jakeem Grant out for the rest of the season, the Dolphins could give Parker a healthy number of snaps in Week 12.

Chris Godwin, TB – Godwin, nursing an ankle injury, finished Week 11 with 3-50-0 on three targets. He’s a low-end WR4 option with upside regardless of who’s under center for Tampa Bay.

Christian Kirk, ARI – Kirk finished with 3-77-1 on four targets, the highlight of his day a 59-yard TD reception from Josh Rosen. His ownership doesn’t really exceed 60 percent on most sites so he’s an option this week as well facing the Rams.

Zay Jones, BUF – The Bills were on a Week 11 bye but Jones’ stock is up.

TE Vance McDonald, PIT – McDonald had 3-27-1 in the win over Jacksonville, including an 11-yard score in the fourth quarter that helped give the Steelers a hard-fought win.

John Ross, CIN – I’m noticing a pattern here. Ross only had two catches on Sunday, but one was a TD (2-27-1 on seven targets). It wasn’t an efficient outing, but he’s getting looks in A.J. Green’s absence.

TE Jonnu Smith, TEN – Smith had 6-44-0 on eight targets Sunday, as he was busy providing Gabbert with a check-down option in a tough game for the Titans in which Mariota went down early.