Waiver Why-Er: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups and Situations to Watch in Week 12
Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
The good news is that we have a three-game slate on Thursday to go along with our turkey. The Detroit Lions play the Buffalo Bills in the early game before the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants. To finish off the day, the New England Patriots travel to a Minnesota Vikings team fresh off the franchise’s biggest home defeat.
We give thanks that there are no bye weeks in Week 12 and that’s one less obstacle to hurdle.
The bad news is that playoff-hopeful fantasy managers are running out of weeks to turn their season around. Unless you’re that guy sitting at the top of your league with a spot secured or a lost cause at the bottom, you’re likely going to be sweating out the final weeks of the fantasy regular season.
Those Thursday games hold plenty of intrigue, but the main event could be the 7-3 Cowboys versus the 7-3 Giants. And for more reasons than what happens on the turf at AT&T Stadium.
As always don’t forget to check out our fantasy football rankings. All rankings we use here are based on PPR scoring.
WR Odell Beckham Jr. , Free Agent (Rostered: 43% on Yahoo)
Can the Giants convince him? Do the Cowboys need him? Welcome to the OBJ sweepstakes. Another more pertinent question needs to be asked by fantasy managers. Can he offer anything at the tail end of a season coming off an ACL tear?
Beckham will visit the Giants and the Cowboys after Thanksgiving, so we’ll have to wait at least another week to see where he lands. Things change fast in fantasy land.
More good news, bad news. The good news is that Beckham’s playoff run with the Los Angeles Rams was solid. He had 21 receptions for 288 yards and two touchdowns before going down in the Super Bowl. The bad news is that he was very average during the regular season and he’s now 30 with a couple of knee restructures in the last three years. This pickup does not come without its risks, but Beckham is a box office attraction with upside if he lands in the right spot.
RB Latavius Murray, Denver Broncos (Rostered: 23% on Yahoo)
The Broncos released Melvin Gordon III after his fifth fumble of the season on Sunday night against the Las Vegas Raiders. Despite making the big move to acquire Russell Wilson in the offseason, Denver’s season is essentially toast at 3-7. Chase Edmonds also might be sidelined with a high ankle sprain, leaving Murray to take over the backfield duties until further notice.
Murray has four touchdowns on six carries inside the red zone this season, while Gordon had two TDs on 14 carries. With Gordon out of the picture, Murray could pick up the majority of Gordon’s work.
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns (Rostered: 45% on Yahoo)
This has become a weekly reminder that DPJ is underrated. Really, what is there left to say? We have mentioned him in at least two previous editions of the Waiver Why-er. Last week, we said:
“It’s Week 11 and unless you’re a complete expert, there is some dead weight at the end of your roster. If that’s the case, it might be a good idea to take a flyer on Peoples-Jones. DPJ is not spectacular, but his consistency is underrated. Since Week 4, he ranks 14th in the NFL with 74.3 receiving yards per game.“Waiver Why-er Week 11
His floor is pretty high, but we remained concerned about the lack of touchdown equity. Well, Peoples-Jones fixed that on Sunday with his first score of the season. Despite a wobble in Weeks 2 and 3 when he only had up one reception, he has been consistent for the Browns. Additionally, his numbers could get a boost when Deshaun Watson returns in Week 13.
RB Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals (Rostered: 9% on Yahoo)
Joe Mixon is in concussion protocol after leaving Sunday’s game. Perine, who stepped in for Mixon on Sunday, will do so again next week if Mixon remains sidelined.
Though he only averaged 2.73 yards per carry against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Perine caught all four of his targets for 52 yards and three touchdowns. The three receiving scores set a franchise record for a running back. Time to make Perine a priority.
WR Mack Hollins, Las Vegas Raiders (Rostered: 15% on Yahoo)
Hollins has become more of a focal point in the offense in the wake of injuries to Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. The floor is pretty low for Hollins, but his ceiling is decent for a player widely available. Davante Adams has 32.18% of the target share in Las Vegas, but Hollins is second at 16.95%.
Hollins also has a 32.21% read share (the percentage of time the quarterback ‘reads’ a receiver in his progression), which is significantly lower than Renfrow’s 52.1% before he went down. It matters not though because Derek Carr is running out of options.
Hollins finished with nine targets – his second-highest total of the season – and six catches for 52 yards last week. Pick him up as a streamer if you’re struggling at wide receiver.
TE Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants (Rostered: 1% on Yahoo)
Wan’Dale Robinson tore his ACL on Sunday after a breakout game. With Sterling Shepard already on injured reserve, Daniel Jones will have to look elsewhere for big plays in the passing game. Darius Slayton has done a good job in the last couple of weeks but the Robinson news comes as a hammer blow after he had nine catches for 100 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Lions.
We mentioned Bellinger a few weeks ago before he fractured his eye socket in Week 7. Prior to that injury, he had caught 14 passes in four weeks and we had him pegged as a rookie set to make a leap in the second half of the season. Now he’s set to return. And Jones is likely giving thanks for some good news among his receiving targets.
TE Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints (Rostered: 31% on Yahoo)
It remains one of the 2022 fantasy football season’s great shames that Johnson continues to be underrated. Quietly, he keeps piling up fantasy points. Johnson has five touchdowns in his last five games, including one in three straight contests. Not even Travis Kelce can boast such a feat. With Kyle Pitts, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert dealing with injuries and Cole Kmet possibly dealing with a quarterback change, is it time to turn to Johnson?
WR Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans (Rostered: 21% on Yahoo)
The Titans have had a forgettable fantasy season aside from Derrick Henry. Robert Woods, Austin Hooper and Burks are the three leading receivers with 30, 21 and 20 receptions, respectively. Burks missed five weeks in the middle of the season and returned in Week 10. He had three receptions on six targets in that contest against the Broncos, but stepped up with season highs of eight targets, seven catches and 111 yards against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.
Burks might be over his rookie slump and be ready to live up to his potential as the 18th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
QB Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns (Rostered: 48% on Yahoo)
Now just one week away from returning in Week 13, there are many reasons why Watson is only 48% rostered in Yahoo leagues. Under different circumstances, he’d probably be rostered close to twice that percentage. But Watson, who hasn’t played since the 2020 season, was once a fantasy star and should provide an upgrade to Cleveland’s ability to put up points once he shakes off the rust.
He has 104 career passing touchdowns and 17 rushing TDs across his four seasons.
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