Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 12
11/20/12 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 a limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value. Each week, I’ll target both offensive and defensive players — sometimes breakout stars that eluded your team’s draft — as well as players who can help your squad that may be lurking in deeper leagues.

Off the Top - Includes my premier recommendations. These are sometimes players available only in more shallow leagues, and occasionally guys who are more readily but are thrust into the fantasy spotlight because of opportunity or exceptional production.

Digging Deeper - Covers the next tier of quality waiver wire specimens, usually players available in a majority of online leagues. There are a lot of gems in this range who can be plucked rather easily.

Scouring the Barrel - Chronicles the deepest of fantasy adds — and sometimes highlights players being tacked onto fantasy squads who I don’t have much confidence in. Make sure you read the fine print.

Each week, I’ll also provide a brief update on the 20-30 players I covered the previous week. It’s the most accurate, comprehensive one-stop waiver-wire column available on the Internet, and it’s only available here at

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

Note: Each player’s next four matchups are listed in parentheses ()


Off The Top

Alex Smith, SF (@NO, @STL, MIA, @NE) Update: Assuming he doesn’t incur any further setbacks from his Week 10 concussion and gets the start in Week 12, Smith should be a productive fantasy starter the next few weeks. He and Matt Ryan both have a favorable upcoming schedule but Smith is available in 50 percent of fantasy leagues.

Digging Deeper

Mark Sanchez, NYJ (NE, ARI, @JAC, @TEN) He hasnt put up better-than-average fantasy numbers since Week 1, but Sanchez should be able to cob together a couple TDs and 200 yards against the Patriots in Week 12.

Scouring The Barrel

Chad Henne, JAC (TEN, @BUF, NYJ, @MIA) Hennes Week 11 breakout (354-4-0) was completely unexpected as Blaine Gabberts elbow injury forced him into action. Mike Mularkey said he would evaluate game tape before deciding who would start Week 12 against the Titans but rushing Gabbert back makes little sense. If Henne gets the nod, hes worth a start in deep and two-QB leagues. Update: Mularkey apparently didn’t need to watch too much tape; he revealed Monday to the press that Henne would be the starter moving forward.

Colin Kaepernick, SF (@NO, @STL, MIA, @NE) – Update: Filling in for Smith, Kaepernick broke out with 242-2-0 and 12 rushing yards – so if the veteran starter misses any more time, Kaepernick could be worth a look in deeper formats.


Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (@IND, JAC, STL, SEA) The Bills eked out a win over the Dolphins but Fitzpatrick played a conservative game and finished with just 168-0-0 on 17-for-27 passing. He added 15 rushing yards on three carries. Next week marks a favorable matchup versus the Colts.

Sam Bradford, STL (@ARI, SF, @BUF, MIN) Bradford attempted more passes than in any other week this season (44) but only threw for 170-2-1 with a lost fumble. After what the Cards did to Matt Ryan, its hard to recommend starting Bradford in Week 12.

Nick Foles, PHI (CAR, @DAL, @TB, CIN) Foles struggled in his first career start, posting just 204-0-2 in the loss to Philly. Hell probably get a few more starts, but is just a desperation option without viable pass protection.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Jonathan Stewart, CAR (@PHI, @KC, ATL, @SD) Stewart is only available in about 20 percent of fantasy leagues but he had his first rushing TD of the season in Week 11 and should get plenty of carries against the Eagles in Week 12. Hes got a few good matchups on the way and is the clear No. 1 RB in Carolina.

Digging Deeper

LaRod Stephens-Howling, ARI (STL, @NYJ, @SEA, DET) Despite a tough matchup, LSH plugged away for 127 rushing yards and a TD, adding 2-6-0 receiving. Hell likely be in a timeshare with Beanie Wells in Week 12 against the Rams. Update: It appears that Beanie Wells is back in the fold, although count me among those who don’t trust him implicitly. He’s not a pass-catching back and will struggle to get back in the flow right away.

Vick Ballard, IND (BUF, @DET, TEN, @HOU) Ballard led the Colts in carries (16) and rushing yards (72) on Sunday, and the Bills provide another opportunity for him to excel. Hes worth a start as a RB3/flex play.

Scouring The Barrel

Jalen Parmele, JAC (TEN, @BUF, NYJ, @MIA) The Toledo product had just seven carries heading into Week 11 but tallied 80 yards on 24 carries against the Texans. Hes not guaranteed to shoulder a full workload going forward but he should be added in all 12-team formats.

Bilal Powell, NYJ (NE, ARI, @JAC, @TEN) Powell scored twice and rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries, adding 2-18-0 receiving in the decisive win over the Rams. With the Patriots coming to town in Week 12, hell probably get another chance to shine.


Daniel Thomas, MIA (SEA, NE, @SF, JAC) The Dolphins didnt get much of a running game going in Buffalo and Thomas finished with just 33 rushing yards on 12 carries.

Marcel Reece, OAK (@CIN, CLE, DEN, KC) Reece has been a workhorse the past few weeks and tallied 193 total yards in the Week 11 loss to the Saints (103 rushing yards; 4-90-0 receiving). Hell continue to shoulder the load as long as McFadden is out. Update: Raiders HC Dennis Allen is hopeful McFadden will play this week, though it makes sense that Reece continues to get touches with/without McFadden.

Chris Ivory, NO (SF, @ATL, @NYG, TB) Ivory had just eight carries and 37 rushing yards in Week 11 while Mark Ingram found paydirt. He might be at the end of his fantasy usefulness with Darren Sproles returning soon.

Ronnie Hillman, DEN (@KC, TB, @OAK, @BAL) Hillman actually got more touches than Willis McGahee in Week 11, finishing with 43 rushing yards on 12 carries and 2-16-0 receiving. Hes worth a look in 12-team leagues and could be a contributor down the fantasy stretch. Update: McGahee has a torn MCL and will miss 6-8 weeks, giving Hillman the lead role in the backfield. Congrats if you picked him up last week.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Kenny Britt, TEN (@JAC, HOU, @IND, NYJ) Britt doesnt have any monster games this season, but the bye week gave him another week to recover from knee and ankle issues that have plagued him all season. He could be a solid Week 12 sleeper against the Jaguars, who surrendered 527 yards in the air last week.

TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN (@CHI, @GB, CHI, @STL) The next few matchups are tough ones but Rudolph is coming off a bye and is a huge red zone target for the Vikings. There are better options out there, but Rudolph offers rare upside at TE.

Digging Deeper

WR Danario Alexander, SD (BAL, CIN, @PIT, CAR) It didnt take long for Alexander to establish himself as a viable fantasy option in San Diego. He signed in mid-October, took a couple weeks to learn the playbook, and has 12 catches for 230 yards and three TDs in his last two weeks. I first recommended adding him prior to Week 9, and hopefully you took advantage.

WR Mario Manningham, SF (@NO, @STL, MIA, @NE) Manningham has had a quiet season (29-298-1), but the matchup in New Orleans offers fantasy owners a chance to give him a spot start at WR3/flex. Hes available in over 70 percent of fantasy leagues.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Chaz Schilens, NYJ (NE, ARI, @JC, @TEN) Schilens is picking up steam in the Jets offense and offers experience and sure hands something Sanchez will need from his receivers against the Pats next week. He’s available in over 99 percent of fantasy leagues and is coming off a 4-48-1 game against the Rams.

WR Riley Cooper, PHI (CAR, @DAL, @TB, CIN) Cooper (almost universally available in fantasy leagues) finished second to DeSean Jackson in targets (eight for Cooper, nine for Jackson) during Week 11, hauling in 5-61-0. He seems to have decent rapport with Foles, although theres not a lot of upside for anybody in this situation moving forward.


WR Andre Roberts, ARI (STL, @NYJ, @SEA, DET) The Cards passing game was shut down in Week 11, and Roberts caught just one ball for 7 yards. Ouch.

WR Danny Amendola, STL (@ARI, SF, @BUF, MIN) The frequently targeted Amendola hauled in 7-41-0 in the loss to the Jets. He remains a WR3 with upside in PPR leagues.

WR Cecil Shorts, JAC (TEN, @BUF, NYJ, @MIA) Shorts (3-81-1 against the Texans) now has four excellent performances in his last five games and can be considered a low-end WR2, even though he only started in 32 percent of leagues in Week 11.

WR Brandon LaFell, CAR @PHI, @KC, ATL, @SD) The Panthers blew a late lead but LaFell had his best fantasy game of the season with 5-93-1. He now has three TDs on the season, two more than Steve Smith.

WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN (OAK, @SD, DAL, @PHI) Sanu hauled in a TD pass for the second straight game and contributed 2-22-1 in the win over the Chiefs. Hes a rookie on the rise.


Off The Top

DL Robert Quinn, STL (@ARI, SF, @BUF, MIN) Quinn has 19 solos and 8.5 sacks on the season, and hes got some very favorable matchups in the next few weeks. Hes still available in quite a few fantasy leagues despite being in a three-way tie for second in the league in sacks (Cameron Wake, Charles Johnson).

LB Dannell Ellerbe, BAL (@SD, PIT, @WAS, DEN) Ellerbe has filled in admirably for Ray Lewis and should be a solid LB2 for the remainder of the season. Hes made 44 stops (27 solos) in his last four games and has 3.5 sacks on the season.

Digging Deeper

DL Brian Robison, MIN (@CHI, @GB, CHI, @STL) Hes actually outplayed Jared Allen in IDP leagues this season, posting 27 total tackles, 5.0 sacks and seven PD. Hes also coming off his bye, which means many fantasy owners had to cut bait in Week 11.

DB Jairus Byrd, BUF (@IND, JAC, STL, SEA) Byrd is coming off probably his best game of the season (four total tackles, two PD, INT, FR) and faces the Colts in Week 12. Its high time you plugged him into your lineup.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Stevie Brown, NYG (GB, @WAS, NO, @ATL) Brown has had a few good games this season but is likely available on your leagues waiver wire, especially coming off a bye in Week 11. Hes poised for big numbers the next few weeks in such favorable matchups.

LB Craig Robertson, CLE (PIT, @OAK, KC, WAS) Robertson is the second-best LB in Cleveland and since DQwell Jackson is nearly universally owned, hes one of the better waiver wire options youll find this week facing the ball-control Steelers.


DL Justin Smith, SF (@NO, @STL, MIA, @NE) Update: Smith finished Monday night’s win with four total tackles and 0.5 sacks – while LB Aldon Smith stole all the glory with seven total tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

LB Von Miller, DEN (@KC, TB, @OAK, @BAL) Miller had his best fantasy game of the season in Week 11 with seven solo tackles and 3.0 sacks.

DB Madieu Williams, WAS (@DAL, NYG, BAL, @CLE) The Eagles didnt get the ball into the Washington secondary much, and Williams came away with just two solos.

LB Rey Maualuga, CIN (OAK, @SD, DAL, @PHI) Five solo tackles but no junk points.

DL Stephen Bowen, WAS (@DAL, NYG, BAL, @CLE) My super sleeper threw up a goose egg in Week 11. Gross.

DB Dunta Robinson, ATL (@TB, NO, @CAR, NYG) – Robinson had one solo and a PD during the Week 11 win over the Cards. Without much of a passing game, the Cards didn’t provide Robinson with too many chances for tackles.