If you’re still checking in on the weekly waiver wire column, then odds are you’re still working toward your league’s title. However, if you’re out of contention, but still making moves to manage your team and keep the league competitive, I respect that more than you know.
Fantasy football managers will not have to maneuver any scheduled byes in Week 12. Instead, though, there are six teams playing Thursday for some Thanksgiving football. At this point, we have a pretty firm grip on each player’s values. Things can change on a dime, but I’ll be keeping things short, but sweet, from here on out as to why you should be picking up a particular player on the waiver wire.
You may be dealing with injuries, bye weeks, or just need to cycle out players from your bench. Whatever the case may be, the waiver wire is there to help. There’s not always a need to put in a claim for players each week, but if you do, make it count. Below, we’ll look at players at each position, who are on 50% or less of most fantasy football rosters, that could be considered on the Week 12 waiver wire.
Week 12 Waiver Wire By Position
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The only reason White is possibly available on the Week 12 waiver wire is because of the Buccaneers’ Week 11 bye. If by chance he is out there, he is the top add on the Week 12 waiver wire. The last time we saw Tampa Bay, White rushed for a career-high 105 yards on a career-high 22 attempts. His playing time was increasing anyway, but Leonard Fournette’s hip injury from a Week 10 could cause him to miss a game or more. White is a must-add and must-start until further notice.
Isiah Pacheco and Jerrick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s more than likely one of these running backs are on someone’s roster in your league. If either of them are available ahead of Week 12, I’m doing what I can to add them off of the waiver wire. A big reason why is Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s lack of playing time, touches, and now, unfortunate high-ankle injury that destroys what value he had left for this fantasy football season.
Pacheco continues to start with back-to-back weeks of 15 or more carries. His 107 rushing yards are a career-high. He hasn’t seen a target since Week 9 and has just three total this season. Meanwhile, McKinnon offers more upside as a pass-catcher, especially in close games.
With the Rams and Bengals on deck for Weeks 12 and 13, it’s difficult to trust either as set-and-forget starters. However, the Texans, Seahawks, and two matchups with the Broncos from Weeks 14 through 17 are much more favorable for Pacheco. He could be a league winner for running back needy teams at this point in the season.
Latavius Murray, Denver Broncos
Ahead of Week 12, Melvin Gordon is no longer with the Broncos. He was waived Monday afternoon. Furthermore, Chase Edmonds is expected to miss time with an ankle injury. That leaves Latavius Murray in a position to carry the load out of Denver’s backfield. The volume alone makes him the top waiver wire add at running back.
Mike Boone could be back soon, but in the meantime, Marlon Mack is the only other legitimate threat to Murray’s workload, which isn’t saying much. At 32 years old, Murray is fresh off of a game in which he played a season-high 32 snaps with the Broncos. He’s a good bet for 15-20 carries per game moving forward. Up next for Murray and the Broncos are a Carolina Panthers team allowing the fifth-most points to running backs.
Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals
Perine’s three receiving touchdowns on Sunday are a franchise record for a Cincinnati running back. It’s an obvious outlier performance for Perine, in part because of an increase in playing time. Following Joe Mixon’s exit with a concussion, Perine went on to log 15 touches and find the end zone three times.
Given the justifiable spotlight on head injuries, this season more than ever, Mixon is in jeopardy of missing Week 12. Perine is an extremely valuable handcuff as the fantasy playoffs are quickly approaching. If Mixon does not suit up Sunday, Perine is an automatic RB2, but with a tough matchup against the Tennessee Titans. He will have to find the end zone, or catch more than four passes, his season-high up until this point.
Other Running Backs to Consider:
Cam Akers 14 carries led all Rams running backs. His 61 rushing yards are a season-high. Lost in the misery of another Los Angeles loss is Akers’ command of 56% of all running back opportunities. He’s worth stashing off of the waiver wire. As for starting him, we need to see much more consistency to feel good about that. The Rams are a mess right now. It’s hard to imagine starting any of them with confidence.
Trestan Ebner will likely take a backseat to David Montgomery at least for the next three games. Justin Fields is dealing with an unspecified shoulder injury that could keep him off of the field. If Trevor Siemien is starting at quarterback, look for the Bears to lean on both Montgomery and Ebner. He is worth a speculative add/stash, especially for deeper leagues, for now.
Keontay Ingram is the clear-cut RB2 behind James Conner on the Cardinals’ depth chart. Given Conner’s injury history, Ingram should be on rosters, especially those that have Conner. If quarterback, Kyler Murray, continues to miss time with a hamstring injury, the weekly share of rushing attempts becomes more available for someone like Ingram.
Any and All Handcuffs are going to be important to roster during the back half of the fantasy football season. Injuries to lead running backs can strike at any time. Make sure you’re cuffing your own starters, but don’t be afraid to add others on the Week 12 waiver wire.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns
Peoples-Jones has at least 50 receiving yards in seven straight games. He has double-digit fantasy points in his last five and no lower than 9.00 points since Week 4. Following a season-high 17.1 points in Week 11, this is the last time DPJ should be available on the waiver wire. You’re not going to find much better or steadier production than what he’s doing for Cleveland this season ahead of Week 12.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants
The New York Giants’ next four games are all against NFC East divisional opponents. It starts in Week 12, on Thanksgiving Day, against the 7-3 Dallas Cowboys. The Giants will now be without rookie, Wan’Dale Robinson, following a torn ACL in Week 11. That, plus a Richie James knee injury, leaves Darius Slayton as the obvious top receiver on this team. He’s averaging 14.6 points per game in his last four. With 26 targets in that span, Slayton has a safe floor, with an increasingly high ceiling.
Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
Following Burks’ breakout game in Week 11, it’s easy to run to your league’s waiver wire and try to pick him up. I’m still looking to add Peoples-Jones or Slayton before Burks, though. His 111 receiving yards are inflated by a 51-yard bomb to put the game on ice in the final two minutes against the Green Bay Packers. I’m not taking that away from him, but his other six catches for 60 yards may be hard to replicate with such a run-heavy approach behind Derrick Henry each week.
At the end of the day, Burks is the WR1 for the Titans. Adding any team’s top receiver on the Week 12 waiver wire is like hitting the lottery. I’m adding him, but it’s hard to imagine starting him against the Bengals in Week 12, though he continues to trend upward.
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts
In his last four games with Matt Ryan at quarterback, Campbell is averaging 18.5 fantasy points per game. He has at least six targets in those games and just three total behind Michael Pittman Jr. In Week 12, Campbell and the Colts will host the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’re allowing the most points to opposing wide receivers. He is a must-add on this waiver wire and a strong start for Week 12. Without any teams on bye, I understand the possibility of having better options than him.
Other Wide Receivers to Consider:
Jameson Williams is practicing for the 4-6 Detroit Lions. The team is on a three-game winning streak with less than 21 days before making a decision to activate their 21-year-old, first-round rookie speedy wide receiver. Williams will add another layer to this offense. It’s unclear how much of a rapport Jared Goff will have with Williams, but he’s worth adding on the Week 12 waiver wire for the big play potential.
Demarcus Robinson leads all Ravens pass-catchers in targets (9), receptions (9), and receiving yards (128) in Week 11. With a banged-up run game and Mark Andrews returning from injury, it’s nice to see Robinson step up. I’m just not confident in Robinson putting together any sort of consistency to warrant starting him in any format just yet. Lamar Jackson is also averaging 16.34 points per game since Week 14.
Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos
There are really only six tight ends you can start at this point and feel good about. Travis Kelce is the only one of those six you can feel great about. Beyond that, we’re chasing touchdowns, for the most part, at the tight end position. Dulcich isn’t a proven scorer just yet, but the playing time and usage suggest it’s possible.
He has 23 total targets in his last four games. Dulcich is also seeing the field for 80% or more of the Broncos’ offensive snaps in their last three games. He’s no worse than most of the other options out there on the waiver wire. If you look like you’re going to make the fantasy playoffs, grab Dulcich now. He gets a Week 15 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals who have allowed a league-leading nine touchdowns to tight ends in 11 games.
Other Tight Ends to Consider
Juwaan Johnson is a good bet to find the end zone, especially when the New Orleans Saints find themselves in scoring position. He has five touchdowns in his last five games. Johnson’s found the end zone in each of the Saints’ last three. His target share isn’t too fantasy friendly, but, given the state of the position, does that even matter if he’s getting in the end zone? Probably not, especially if you’re browsing the waiver wire for a tight end ahead of Week 12.
Evan Engram is a top streaming option as the Jacksonville Jaguars return from their bye week. Though he has just one touchdown this season, Engram will have a good chance to score with excellent upcoming matchups. In Week 12, Engram gets a Baltimore Ravens team allowing the 14th-most points to the position. Even better, the Lions, in Week 13, are allowing the third-most points to tight ends. Plug Engram into your lineup sooner than later and good things will happen.
Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons
Like it or not, Mariota and this Falcons team continue to find ways to win. They remain a legitimate threat to win the NFC South. Prior to a late Week 14 bye, Atlanta will play at Washington then host Pittsburgh over the next two weeks.
If you end up needing a replacement for Justin Fields, Kyler Murray, or others, then look no further than Marcus Mariota. While Kyle Pitts is heading to the Injured Reserve with a knee injury, his absence won’t hinder Mariota too much. His Week 12 opponent, the Commanders, have allowed 18 passing touchdowns this season, tied for the second-most. Meanwhile, their Week 13 opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, are allowing the fifth-most points to running backs. Especially given his rushing ability, Mariota’s ceiling is higher than most on the waiver wire.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Garoppolo’s ceiling was achieved on Monday Night Football in Week 11. His 25.42 fantasy points are a season-high after throwing for four touchdowns. Things should continue to roll as San Francisco’s remaining schedule looks favorable for a major winning streak.
Regardless of your feelings on Garoppolo himself, adding the quarterback with Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle is a wise move. Jimmy G.’s ability to make plays on his own isn’t as good as, say, Patrick Mahomes, but once he gets the ball in his playmakers’ hands, they’ll rack up the points for him. He’s worth adding on the waiver wire, especially if you can stack him with one of his aforementioned weapons.