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Through The Wire - Week 11

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 11/16/21 |

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. I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.

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

Cam Newton


Mac Jones, NE – Jones (10-15% owned) completed 19 of 23 pass attempts for 198-3-0, his second-best fantasy performance of his rookie season. Jones is getting more comfortable attacking opposing defenses downfield, which could elevate him to the next level as a fantasy QB2. The Pats get a TNF date with Atlanta on a short week, but it’s a matchup where we can take advantage and deploy Jones as a bye week fill-in or emergency replacement should any COVID issues arise for your fantasy starter.

Cam Newton, CAR – The newly signed Newton (10-15% owned) returned to the Panthers in style on Sunday, producing TDs in his first two plays from scrimmage. Overall, he completed three of four passes for eight yards and a TD while rushing three times for 14 yards and another score in the decisive 34-10 win over the Cardinals. Sam Darnold was the default starter but is on IR with a multi-week shoulder injury, and P.J. Walker – who completed 22 of 29 passes for 167 yards but threw an interception and lost a fumble Sunday – got the start. Still, the Panthers are operating under the assumption Darnold will not return in 2021 and that Newton could be the starter as soon as next week’s matchup with Washington. Newton may no longer be the MVP-caliber fantasy superstar he was in 2015 – and much of his first seven seasons in the league – but he could be a capable fantasy QB on this talented team and make an immediate impact.

UPDATE: Adam Schefter was yammering on the MNF game about how Newton is prepping to make the start in Week 11, so that’s what we should probably expect.

Other QBs to consider: Tua Tagovailoa (35-40%), Trevor Siemian (5%)


Carson Wentz, IND – Wentz completed 22 of 34 passes for 180 yards but had no TDs or INTs in the Colts’ 23-17 win over the Jaguars on Sunday as Jonathan Taylor stole the show from an offensive perspective. He’s got a tough matchup in Buffalo in Week 11.

Baker Mayfield, CLE – Before he left with a knee injury that doesn’t appear too serious, Mayfield was 11-for-21 passing for 73-1-1. He gets a bounceback spot against the winless (but not tie-less!) Lions next week, but this offense seems dedicated to running the ball and he doesn’t have the receiving weapons to put up dominant fantasy numbers right now.

Teddy Bridgewater, DEN – Bridgewater completed 22 of 36 passes for 226-0-0 in Sunday’s 30-13 loss to the Eagles. The team is on a bye in Week 11, and they’ll be scheming up more ways to get the passing game ready for Week 12 matchup with the Chargers – though it’s pretty clear they currently view Bridgewater as a “game manager” type of signal caller.

Running Backs

Mark Ingram, NO – With Alvin Kamara on the shelf in Week 10, Ingram carried 14 times for 47 yards and a TD in Sunday’s narrow 23-21 loss to the Titans. He also added 4-61-0 on seven targets, an encouraging sign that he’s getting more involved in the passing game. If Kamara remains sidelined for the team’s Week 11 matchup against Philadelphia, Ingram (60-65% owned) could put up more big numbers.

AJ Dillon, GB – Dillon (60% owned) had a big day for the Packers, rushing for 66 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries (2-62-0 receiving) in the win against Seattle on Sunday, but the bigger story is the injury to Aaron Jones, who left the game with a knee injury. The Packers initially believed it to be an MCL injury of some sort, which could mean a multi-week absence, but you should stay tuned on just how serious it is in the coming days. Regardless of whether he’ll be assuming a three-down, workhorse-type of role for the Packers, Dillon has carved out an opportunity for more touches with his Week 10 performance.

UPDATE: Jones has a “mild” MCL sprain and is expected to miss 1-2 weeks, which puts Dillon as the top waiver wire addition this week if he’s available.

Alexander Mattison, MIN – Mattison (40% owned) hasn’t done much with Cook the lead back in Minnesota, but last week’s news that Cook has been accused of physical and emotional abuse in a lawsuit filed by his ex-girlfriend means that the fantasy RB1 could ultimately take action and vault Mattison from handcuff to fantasy starter. The NFL is reportedly reviewing the matter and there’s no word on any imminent action, but Mattison’s latent value secures him as a solid speculative addition in 12-team leagues.

Jeff Wilson SF – UPDATE: Wilson (about 10% owned) was activated off of the PUP list last week, but he did not record a snap in the Week 9 loss to the Cardinals. On Monday night, with JaMycal Hasty unavailable, he ran the ball 10 times for 28 yards. The fact that he got 10 carries in his first action makes him a must-add in deeper leagues, where the RB position is pretty thin. And should anything happen to lead back Elijah Mitchell, he’d likely assume a much bigger workload.

Matt Breida, BUF – Breida (universally available) rushed three times for 28 yards and a TD while catching all three of his targets for 22 yards and another score in Sunday’s 45-17 win over the Jets. He also lost a fumble, and while he remains the third rushing option on the Bills, he could get more opportunities in the coming weeks and should be considered for super-deep fantasy rosters.

Other RBs to consider: David Johnson (25-30%), Ty Johnson (15-20%), Phillip Lindsay (10-15%), D’Onta Foreman (2%), Wayne Gallman (1%)


Nyheim Hines, IND – Two rushes for 12 yards and 2-17-0 on four targets. Not what we were hoping for in a matchup that could have seen more involvement and production from him.

D’Ernest Johnson, CLE – Johnson assumed lead back duties on Sunday, rushing for 99 yards on 19 carries and hauling in 7-58-0 on eight targets. While he failed to reach the end zone, he was just about all of the Browns offense in the blowout loss to the Patriots. He’ll fade back to irrelevance once Nick Chubb(COVID) is cleared to play.

Jordan Howard, PHI – Howard rushed 12 times for 83 yards in Sunday’s 30-13 win over the Broncos, leading the Eagles’ committee – though Boston had 81 yards on 11 carries. Howard now has 211 rushing yards and three TDs in the three games since rejoining Philly’s offense, but with Miles Sanders eligible to return from his ankle injury in Week 11 against the Saints, the entire unit could be reshuffled again.

Devonta Freeman, BAL – Freeman rushed 10 times for 35 yards, adding 3-23-0 on four targets for 23 yards in the TNF loss to the Dolphins. Freeman's future as lead back is a murky one, as Latavius Murray (ankle) could be healthy by the time the Ravens square off in Week 11 road matchup against the Bears.

Rhamondre Stevenson, NE – I’m glad I included Stevenson in my write-up last week, as he rushed for 100 yards and two TDs on 20 carries, adding four catches for 14 yards on five targets against Cleveland on Sunday. Stevenson may have earned a larger workload split with starter Damien Harris who sat out Sunday with a concussion. It’s tough to assess his relevance moving forward, but we know he can be a workhorse if Harris misses additional time.

UPDATE: Harris did not practice Monday, which is an inauspicious start to the week for a guy in the concussion protocol – elevating the chances that Stevenson gets another start. Stay tuned.

Eno Benjamin, ARI – Benjamin had just six carries for 22 yards and remains a fringe fantasy asset.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Darnell Mooney, CHI – UPDATE: I’m adding Mooney because while I thought he was owned in over two-thirds of leagues (about where I draw the line for inclusion in this column, with a few exceptions), he’s still under the 50% threshold in ESPN leagues. With Mooney coming off a bye week and the Bears passing game clicking into gear a bit, it could be a good time to scoop him off the waiver wire. The second-year speedster has seen 28 targets over the past four games, and that’s included a couple weeks where he was nursing a nagging groin injury. It’s entirely possible the Bears used the down time to allow this talented, explosive playmaker to get healthy, and draw up some plays for burgeoning rookie QB Justin Fields to get him the ball.

Kendrick Bourne, NE – I’ve written up Bourne before, and I happened to play him in a couple of my DFS lineups yesterday – benefiting greatly from his 4-94-1 performance, which was bolstered by 43 rushing yards on three carries. He’s a playmaker who doesn’t see huge target volume but he’s growing into an integral part of the New England offense because of his utility – and he seems to have a nose for the end zone. Bourne is only 3-5% owned in fantasy leagues.

TE Dan Arnold, JAC – It’s time to acknowledge that Arnold, a big part of the Jacksonville offense, is worth adding in all 12-team leagues. He’s sixth among NFL tight ends in targets (30) over the past five weeks, and while he hasn’t found the end zone (not too many Jags do), he’s getting looks and provides a high floor each week. Week 11’s matchup isn’t a great one for TE, but at a tough fantasy position, Arnold (25-30% owned) might be what you need.

Bryan Edwards, LV – Edwards saw just four targets on Sunday night, but hauled in 3-88-1 and could see more opportunities down the stretch as the Raiders – woefully thin at the wide receiver position – try to salvage their season amid a plethora of organizational and personnel issues. He’s only 15-20% owned and should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Van Jefferson, LAR – We’ll know how much more involved Jefferson (35-40% owned) is in the Rams’ offense after Monday night football, but with Robert Woods (torn ACL) on the shelf it’s likely he’ll absorb a few more targets per game – which could translate into fantasy relevancy. Even before Woods went down, his targets over the past few weeks increased to 7-6-7, and I’m banking on increase production (especially in the next few weeks as Odell Beckham Jr. gets up to speed with the Rams playbook) in one of my leagues, where I added him to fill the slot left by Woods.

UPDATE: Jefferson’s main rival for targets outside Cooper Kupp – Mister Beckham – looked lost in his limited snaps on MNF and the Rams just didn’t seem to come to play against a 49ers team that had a plan and executed it perfectly. Jefferson’s 3-54-0 on seven targets reflected the difficultly Stafford has getting the ball to his receivers in prime time, a performance peppered by overthrown balls, miscommunication and general fecklessness in the face of a Niners defense that limited the Rams offense to one TD and a FG.

Tre’Quan Smith, NO – Along with Jefferson, Smith is the second wideout I had listed in my “WRs to consider” for Week 10. While the jury is still out on whether adding Jefferson would have paid immediate dividends, Tre’Quan saw a season-high seven targets on Sunday and hauled in 4-44-1 – a solid WR3 performance in any league. The next few matchups promise more involvement in the Saints offense.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: TE Hunter Henry (50-55%), Michael Gallup (50%), TE Tyler Conklin (40%), Deonte Harris (3-4%), Gabriel Davis (2-3%), Isaiah Ford (0%)


Olamide Zaccheaus, ATL – Zacchaeus saw seven targets on Sunday but the Falcons offense never got off the ground, and the frequent red zone target had just 2-22-0.

Russell Gage, ATL – It was a disastrous week for Atlanta’s fantasy production, and Gage was held without a catch despite three targets from Matt Ryan. He’ll look to rebound against a tough Patriots defense this upcoming Thursday, but weeks 12 and 13 (@JAC, TB) could be better matchups.

Brandon Aiyuk, SF – UPDATE: Aiyuk hauled in just three of four targets for 26 yards in the MNF win, as he was clearly back to being the third receiving option behind a very busy Deebo Samuel and a resurgent George Kittle, who’s looked excellent since his return from IR. I still like Aiyuk, but Monday night was al about the top options in the Niners offense.

Elijah Moore, NYJ – Moore’s involvement has remained steady lately despite the QB shuffle in Jetsville. He caught three of six targets for 44 yards and a TD in Sunday's 45-17 loss to the Bills, and has now seen 26 targets over the past four weeks, turning them into 17-208-3. The rookie is now owned in 35-40% of leagues but is still a worthwhile addition given his favorable schedule for fantasy WRs over the next several weeks.

TE Geoff Swaim, TEN – Swaim recorded four receptions on five targets for 26 yards in Sunday’s 23-21 win over the Saints. He’s been steady over the past few weeks and has a favorable Week 11 matchup against Houston.

Tim Patrick, DEN – Despite notching his highest target volume (6) since Week 6, Patrick had just 3-14-0 in the loss to the Eagles. The Broncos are on a bye in Week 11.