Welcome to the Week 12 waiver wire! Now that we’ve cleared the bye weeks for 30 of the league’s 32 teams, it’s time to think about depth and redundancy, especially in larger leagues. So, if you play in a large format, this is a day to check out my expanded waiver wire over at Rotobahn. It will be posted early this afternoon and I will highlight more key handcuff options. Check it out — it’s free.
As always, I do not list players with high rates of ownership. That said, Mike Evans is not owned in 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues. While that doesn’t merit an official listing here, it’s worthy of a mention. Make darn sure that he’s been taken in your league. The guy is a clear-cut WR1 right now. Amazingly, he was on our waiver wire just a few short weeks ago. If you listened to us on Evans and Odell Beckham Jr., you are sitting pretty right now.
As always, the ownership percentages are listed for each player. These rates of ownership are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your particular league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that.
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Mark Sanchez, Eagles — 53 percent
He’s paid the bills so far. It may not look pretty, but Sanchez is making plays and has a nice group of weapons to work with. His schedule is friendly with the exception of Seattle on Week 14. He can help you as a backup or spot starter. The former Jet has big-game potential on most weeks.
Eli Manning, Giants — 59 percent
Yes, I am recommending five-pick Eli. He’ll be dumped in a lot of leagues this week, and he can be a QB2 for you and even a matchup starter. The Giants have a very nice closing schedule for the passing game, and he throws to that Odell Beckham guy.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins — 60 percent
He makes a very solid QB2 in smaller formats and he’s available in enough leagues to list him here. The Dolphins are improving in the passing game with a deeper group of receivers than they have had in the past, led by Mike Wallace and rookie Jarvis Landry.
Joe Flacco, Ravens — 57 percent
The ageless Steve Smith has begun to show his mileage a bit and the Ravens have not been a picture of consistency as a passing attack, but they have some tasty matchups remaining on the schedule and that makes him a nice matchup play down the stretch if you need some options.
Brian Hoyer, Browns — 14 percent
The numbers might say, “Move along,” but I think Hoyer is worth a look with Josh Gordon returning this week. The Browns’ remaining schedule is far from scary, and they may be throwing more now that they have an elite receiver on the field.
Tre Mason, Rams — 51 percent
How he’s so under-owned is beyond me. I’m guessing that most of our readers already have Mason on their roster, but just in case you’re new or have been ignoring me, go get this guy. He is now the clear lead dog in St. Louis after handling 29 carries against the Broncos — totaling 113 yards. He helped the Rams possess the football and keep Peyton Manning off the field. Mason should be a very strong play over the next two weeks and should remain the starter going forward. He is a must-own player in all formats.
C.J. Anderson, Broncos — 65 percent
People have held off picking him up but he’s a lock to help you this week if you need a back with both Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman out for Week 12 and potentially longer. Go get Anderson and start him as an RB2 with nice upside as long as he is starting. If he plays well enough, he could hold the job down the stretch. He needs to be owned in all leagues.
Isaiah Crowell, Browns — 22 percent
He may have taken the job in Cleveland, but as we know, things do change fast with HC Mike Pettine’s running backs. The veteran, Ben Tate, clearly has fallen behind, and Crowell has been the guy making the most plays. If things hold to form, Crowell will handle most of the early downs with fellow rookie Terrance West playing most of the passing downs. Crowell should be owned in most leagues. He might end up having more long-term value than C.J. Anderson, but Anderson has the more productive short-term window.
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings — 67 percent
With the news of Adrian Peterson’s season-ending suspension, McKinnon has solid RB2 value going forward. Do not drop him, and go after him in all leagues if he is available. He has major upside if the Vikings can get things settled down a bit.
Jonas Gray, Patriots — 21 percent
Gray was more than a little impressive against the Colts last week and now is a player to own in all formats. Will he carry that kind of load every week? That’s an obvious “no,” but he’s a weekly flex option and a guy who can start for you at your RB2 spot if needed. He’s probably already heavily owned in the New England area, but go get him if he’s not.
Latavius Murray, Raiders — 1 percent
Murray got his first meaningful run of snaps and touches in Week 11. His 59 total yards eclipsed his production over the first 10 games and it bodes well for increased usage down the stretch. Murray is a very talented back as we said way back when the Raiders selected him in 2013. He’s got some fantasy upside now that he’s getting snaps, but beware of the Raiders’ oh-so-awful closing schedule. That limits the second-year back’s value a bit. He’s a player to add if you’ve been leaning on Darren McFadden, and he now is a player who should be rostered in all leagues with 12 or more teams. He has value in both standard and PPR formats.
Alfred Blue, Texans — 51 percent
He’s probably going back to a smaller role this week as we expect Arian Foster to return to his role as the lead back in Week 12. Having said that, we’ve seen how effective Blue can be, and with Foster’s history of missing time, he is an essential handcuff option for those who own Foster. He’s also a potential starter if Foster misses more time, so you can go get him and stash him even if you do not own Foster. The Texans have a very good run schedule over the next five weeks and the next three in particular.
Knile Davis, Chiefs — 43 percent
Here’s another crucial handcuff option. If you own Jamaal Charles, then having Davis on your roster is crucial. Very rarely will you get a player who can replace a high percentage of what an elite back leaves behind. Davis, in the Chiefs’ scheme, certainly is one of those guys. Go get him ASAP if you rely on Charles.
Charles Sims, Buccaneers — 29 percent
If you are hurting at RB, then Sims is a good pickup, especially in PPR formats. The risk is that he loses early-down work to Doug Martin, who could return this week. That being said, Sims was drafted by the current regime and Martin was not. This may lengthen Sims’ leash a bit, and he has significant PPR appeal if he’s getting enough playing time.
Jordan Matthews, Eagles — 62 percent
This is your last chance. Matthews has become Mark Sanchez‘s favorite target, as we suspected he might. The Eagles use him out of the slot most of the time, and Sanchez traditionally uses the slot receiver often and loves throwing the ball between the numbers. This is a trend that likely will continue. Matthews is a must-own player. I’m sure a lot of you already have him, but go after him if you still have the chance.
Kenny Britt, Rams — 15 percent
He looked very good playing with new starter Shaun Hill. Hill ignited the Rams’ downfield attack, and with Tre Mason invigorating the ground game, this could continue. Britt should be owned in most standard scoring leagues and larger PPR formats.
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars — 44 percent
Shorts is going to be the lead dog down the stretch for the Jaguars, who now are without Allen Robinson for the rest of 2014. He’s a must-own guy in PPR formats and a recommended pickup in all leagues right now.
Jarvis Landry, Dolphins — 14 percent
The rookie is getting better on a weekly basis. He now is worthy of a roster spot in some smaller PPR leagues if you have enough bench space. He’s going to be Ryan Tannehill’s favorite target soon if he’s not already.
Kenny Stills, Saints — 14 percent
With Brandin Cooks out 2-4 weeks, Stills is in for an increased role in the Saints’ pass-heavy offense. He should be owned in most formats.
Andrew Hawkins, Browns — 35 percent
The return of Josh Gordon could actually help him in terms of consistency while taking away some weekly upside. Hawkins is worth owning in most PPR formats.
Coby Fleener, Colts — 41 percent
With the ankle injury to Dwayne Allen, Fleener is a TE1 for the next few weeks or until Allen returns. He’s been used more in general, but Allen’s departure is almost certain to increase Fleener’s profile. He’s the tight end to add this week, along with Kyle Rudolph.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings — 51 percent
He was worked in slowly last week, but after two weeks of practice he should be ready for a lot more in Week 12. Rudolph will be a weekly TE1 once he’s fully settled in, and that will be sooner rather than later. Go get this guy now.
Jordan Cameron, Browns — 48 percent
You may have to wait another week, but Cameron will be getting softer coverage when he returns due to the presence of Josh Gordon, who returns this week. I like the idea of adding Cameron and stashing him. It’s an especially good move if you have no stud tight end.
Owen Daniels, Ravens — 38 percent
He was dumped in a lot of leagues due to the Ravens’ Week 11 bye, and he can help you down the stretch if you are hurting. Daniels is the third option in the Ravens’ passing game. He’ll scratch out solid numbers — even when he’s held out of the end zone.