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Working the Wire: Week 12

By Josh Tinelli | 11/20/23 |

Each week I’ll provide you with a rundown by position of key waiver wire adds. We’ll evaluate not just breakouts based on past performance, but also who could deliver this week based on a soft matchup. Stats will be provided based on a 12-team PPR league, with players less than 75% (preferably less than 50%) ownership being considered.

Note: This column will be updated tomorrow at the conclusion of Week 11.

Week 12 Byes: N/A


Derek Carr, NO @ ATL

Carr was on bye Week 11, but gets the forgiving Falcons defense next week. The Falcons are bottom-10 against QBs, although part of that is allowing 3 rushing TDs to the position in their last two games. They’ve still allowed the 5th-most passing TDs so Carr should be able to find paydirt. Carr remains in the concussion protocol as of Monday.

Jordan Love, GB vs LAC

Love had a nice bounceback game against a beatable Chargers secondary, going 322-2-0 passing. Up next, he gets a Lions team that is bottom-10 against QB, so if you have a shaky QB situation he could be in line for a spot start. Love went 246-1-2 in a loss to Detroit Week 4 so he should have a solid (if unspectacular) day on Thanksgiving.

Other QBs to consider: Gardner Minshew IND (vs TB)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Joshua Dobbs, MIN @ DEN: Dobbs had a solid day against a poorly rated, but improving, Broncos pass defense. Dobbs went 221-1-1 through the air and 8-21-1 rushing in the loss, and he gets a favorable matchup Week 12 against the Bears before a Week 13 bye.

Jordan Love, GB vs LAC: See above.

Running Backs

Zach Charbonnet

Zach Charbonnet, SEA vs SF

With Kenneth Walker going down with an oblique injury in the first quarter against the Rams, Charbonnet saw a starter’s workload. He managed 15-47-0 and set career highs across the board receiving, going 6-6-22-0. If Walker can’t go in a short week (Seahawks play on Thursday), Charbonnet will again be in line for a heavy workload against the 49ers’ top-10 defense against RBs, but one that has allowed the 9th-most receptions to the position.

AJ Dillon, GB @ DET

Dillon wasn’t particularly effective in Week 11, going 14-29-0 rushing and 4-4-32-0 receiving. However, with Aaron Jones going out with a knee injury and 3rd stringer Emanuel Wilson dislocating his shoulder, Dillon will most likely approach 20 touches again versus a Lions defense that is top-10 against RBs but can give up some receptions to the position.

Keaton Mitchell, BAL @ LAC

Mitchell has looked explosive over the last three weeks and seems to have taken over the RB2 role behind Gus Edwards. In Week 12 he’ll face a Chargers defense that is ranked 8th-worst against RBs, and who have been gouged through the air by giving up the 3rd-most receptions and yards to the position.

Other RBs to consider: Tyjae Spears TEN (vs CAR), Jerick McKinnon KC (@ LV)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Ty Chandler, MIN @ DEN: Although Alexander Mattison ended up being activated, Chandler still out-produced him despite fewer opportunities. Chandler managed 10-73-0 on the ground and 4-4-37-0 through the air. With Mattison failing to produce the Vikings have looked like a two-headed committee, so Chandler will be serviceable again in Week 13 against the Bears.

Devin Singletary, HOU vs ARI: Singletary did it again with Dameon Pierce still out with an ankle injury. He took on a bellcow role and delivered 22-112-1 rushing and 2-2-6-0 receiving. Next week will be a tougher test against the Jaguars, and with Pierce perhaps set to return, it’s probably back to committee for Singletary who has nonetheless deserved more touches.

Darrell Henderson, LAR vs SEA: Henderson saved his fantasy day by punching in a TD, going 6-1-1 rushing while collecting 4 of 7 targets for 28 yards. With Kyren Williams expected to return in Week 12, Henderson’s value will be in the tank. It was a good run while it lasted.

Rico Dowdle, DAL @ CAR: Dowdle managed only 8-23-0 rushing and 2-2-(-3)-0 receiving in another blowout win by the Cowboys. At we know, he’s merely a handcuff to Tony Pollard, and next week will be a tougher test against the Commanders.

Tyjae Spears, TEN @ JAX: Spears managed 4-14-0 rushing and only 2-2-12-0 against a Jaguars defense that is susceptible to RBs catching passes out of the backfield. Unfortunately, Will Levis only had 17 attempts, spreading those amongst eight pass catchers, so no one other than DeAndre Hopkins saw more than 2 targets. It was a disappointing result given Levis had 39 attempts in his two previous games and the Titans were in an early 27-0 hole.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Brandin Cooks, DAL vs WAS

As expected, Cooks was quiet against the Panthers, going 4-3-42-0 after going nuclear in Week 10. Now is the time to grab him, however, as he faces three defenses ranked in the bottom-10 against WRs (Washington, Seattle, Pittsburgh) in a row, so pick him up if he’s been dropped.

Josh Downs, IND vs TB

Downs was on bye Week 11, and after a few down weeks he’s available in 50% of Yahoo leagues. In Week 12 he gets a Buccaneers defense that is 5th-worst against WRs and has allowed the 3rd-most receiving yards.

Demario Douglas, NE @ NYG

Douglas was also on by Week 11, but has seen his targets increase steadily after Kendrick Bourne was injured and now is the WR1 in New England. In Week 12 he faces the Giants secondary that is 4th-worst against WRs and has allowed the 2nd-most receptions and yards to the position.

Odell Beckham Jr., BAL @ LAC

OBJ has strung together three double-digit fantasy performances in a row, with his latest being a 7-4-116-0 day against the Bengals. Up next, he gets a Chargers defense that has allowed the 3rd most receiving TDs and 4th most yards to opposing WRs. With Mark Andrews done for the year, it should open up more targets for Beckham as he’s starting to find his stride.

TE Isaiah Likely, BAL @ LAC

With Mark Andrews suffering what appears to be a season-ending ankle injury, Likely will step up into a TE role that is highly targeted by Lamar Jackson. In two games without Andrews last year, Likely went 18-9-127-1. He’s been quiet so far this year, but figures to wake up against a Chargers defense ranked in the bottom-5 in fantasy points, yards, and receptions allowed to TEs. Fire Likely up as a TE1 this week and probably for the rest of the season.

TE Logan Thomas, WAS @ DAL

Thomas had a nice solid day, going 8-5-58-0 against the Giants, making five-straight weeks with at least 5 targets and 4 receptions. In Week 12, Thomas gets a matchup against the tough Cowboys defense, but they have allowed the most TDs to opposing TEs so he might be able to spike one.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Rashid Shaheed NO (@ ATL), Romeo Doubs GB (@ DET), Pat Freiermuth PIT (@ CIN)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Rashee Rice, KC vs PHI: TBD after Monday Night Football.

Jahan Dotson, WAS vs NYG: Dotson saved his day by spiking another TD, going 4-3-23-1 receiving against a burnable Giants secondary. Up next, he gets a very tough matchup against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

Brandin Cooks, DAL vs WAS: See above.

Noah Brown, HOU vs ARI: Brown ended up being inactivated due to a knee injury sustained in Week 10 against the Buccaneers. It appears he may be out another week, and with Nico Collins back, he wouldn’t be a recommended play anyway.

Trey McBride, ARI @ HOU: McBride had a nice day against the league-worst (against TEs) Texans defense, going 7-5-43-0 receiving. McBride has become a nice safety valve for Kyler Murray, as he was 2nd on the team in both targets and receptions. He gets another juicy matchuup against the Rams in Week 12.

Defense/ Special Teams

Broncos vs CLE

The Broncos have started to catch fire defensively, having created 12 turnovers in the last three games as Denver is amidst a four-game winning streak. Up next, they face the Browns, who have given up the 2nd-most interceptions and will be starting rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson who has 4 INTs (and 0 TDs) in two starts this year.

Patriots @ NYG

The Patriots were on bye Week 11, but in Week 12 they get a Giants team that has given up the most sacks to opposing defenses. The Patriots haven’t created a ton of pressure, but that figures to end this week as Bill Belichick schemes to stop rookie QB Tommy DeVito.

Titans vs CAR

This week, Tennessee struggled to slow down a Jaguars team that has won 6 of their last 7 games. In Week 12, however, the Titans face a Panthers team that has allowed the 4th-most sacks, scored the 4th-fewest points, and is tied for the league lead in defensive TDs allowed.

Last week’s waiver adds:

Dolphins vs LV: The Raiders have given up the most INTs and gave away 3 more to the Dolphins in Week 11. It was a nice day overall for the Miami defense as they added 2 sacks and only allowed 13 points. If you picked them up, ride them again in Week 12 against the anemic Jets offense.

Lions vs CHI: With Justin Fields returning to the field, the Lions had a surprisingly tough game against the Bears, creating only 1 turnover and 2 sacks while giving up 26 points.

Vikings @ DEN: Minnesota snapped a five-game winning streak against a surging Broncos team that was previously handing out turnovers like candy during Halloween. This week the Vikings only managed 2 sacks and 0 turnovers in a crushing defeat in Denver. Next up is a similarly optimistic Bears team that has been giving up plenty of points to opposing defenses but with Justin Fields back will be more dangerous.