Week 11 byes include the Browns, Giants, Saints and Steelers. Thankfully it’s the last round of bye weeks for the season. Injuries continue to mount making the waiver wire your first chance at replacing or stashing the next man up. It’s never too early to start thinking playoffs either as we look ahead at the value the wire brings us for week 11 matchups.
Matt Hasselbeck, IND – Injuries continue to sideline Andrew Luck this season. Matt Hasselbeck will be forced back into the starting roll against Atlanta this Sunday. Hasselbeck’s numbers were not crazy from a fantasy stand point in his two previous starts, but he protected the football and was serviceable. The match up against Atlanta is favorable and looking ahead in week 12 he has a second favorable matchup against Tampa Bay, if he is called upon again. There is most likely better streaming options available in single QB leagues, but those brave enough for the 2 QB leagues are looking at Hasselbeck with some interest.
Brock Osweiler, DEN – Whether its protecting the legacy or truly a bad injury concern Peyton Manning is grabbing some bench in week 11 against the Bears. Enter Brock Osweiler, the backup we know very little about. We can’t judge too much on last week’s game as Osweiler and the Broncos were severely crippled by Peyton Manning before he left the game. Brock will have a full week of preparation on his side when playing the Bears. On top of that I expect to see the defense step up and potential create some very favorable situations for the second stringer.
Matt Jones, WAS – A minor injuries paved the way for Matt Jones to step in for Alfred Morris. Jones earned 187 yards on 11 rush attempts and 3 catches. Washington will continue to be a true committee situation but Jones is trending better than Morris in the last two games. This is a player you will want to capitalize on as the playoff edge closer. He has a very high ceiling with good match ups against Carolina, The New York Giants, and Dallas in the next few weeks. He’s only owned in 48% of leauges.
Andre Ellington, ARI – At this point of the year you might want to start making room for late season sleepers. Andre Ellington falls into that category in my opinion. He hasn’t earned nearly half of his production back but he is making the most of his carries. Last week he tallied 61 yards and a touchdown on just 5 touches. If you have the room for him on your bench and you expect to be in your leagues playoff he might be worth a stash. Production like his breeds more touches and Chris Johnson is no spring chicken.
Danny Amendola, NE - Our week 11 “next man up” is Danny Amendola. Julian Edelman just had surgery on his foot and Amendola will see an increased roll. He is probably the highest ranked waiver claim this week overall. Last week he had 10 receptions on 11 targets for 79 yards. He has always been a talented player, but he has struggled to stay healthy himself. Tom Brady has a lot of confidence in Amendola and the increased looks only makes him an immediate fantasy impact player.
Dwayne Harris, NYG – Another stash player heading into week 11 is Dwayne Harris. 3 of his last 4 games he has seen double digit fantasy numbers. Week 9 was a huge blemish on his fantasy value however. In weeks 8 and 10 he has 3 touchdowns total. Right now he is a risk, but showing signs of improved play and more confidence from Eli. The Giants are on bye in week 11 so only take the chance on him if your cruising in your leagues.
Crockett Gillmore, BAL – This is the second week in a row Crockett Gillmore makes the waiver list. Usually I avoid doubling up on guys, but he proved himself last week and is only owned in 13% of leagues. Steve Smith Sr. going down caused a major void in the passing game and Crocket did his part to fill that void for Joe Flacco. He caught all 4 of his targets for 42 yards and a touchdown. I expect to see him continue to take on an expanded role for the Ravens.
Cairo Santos, KC – A top 3 player at his position is only owned in 21% of the leagues. Cairo Santos has had his ups and downs to be honest, but his ups have been big. His future schedule is favorable with games against San Diego, Buffalo and Oakland in the next 3 weeks. Kansas City as a team continues to favor Santos too as he has 22 field goals on the season with 9 being 40 yards or more.
Kansas City Chiefs – They are a top 10 fantasy defense this season. In their last 5 games they have allowed less than 20 points to opponents too. Improved sack statistics have also complimented the KC defense. They have San Diego, Buffalo and Oakland the next three weeks and aren’t a bad options for those fantasy players streaming defenses all season.
Week 12 is here, and we're finally finished with bye weeks! For most leagues, the trade deadline has already expired and the hunt for a playoff spot is in full force so the picks that you make on the waiver wire over the next couple of weeks could determine whether or not you'll be playing in the postseason! Well, we'd like to see you make it there and so we're offering some top pickups for your fantasy football team to scoop up if possible. Below you'll find a selection of players & defenses that may be available in your leagues and could possibly help you get to that all important championship game!
Jameis Winston, TB – Last week against the Eagles was Jameis Winston’s best game yet. Doug Martin has a lot to do with Winston’s growth this season, but one thing is for sure and that is the fact that Winston is growing into an NFL quarterback. From a fantasy perspective he has done about as well as you could hope for a rookie. His last five games have shown his improvement and he has averaged around 20 fantasy points between them. He has a favorable schedule coming up with games at Indianapolis and then home against Atlanta and New Orleans. He’ll be worth a look as a flier in single QB leagues and a definite add in two QB leagues.
Brian Hoyer, HOU – Houston is on a bit of winning streak winning their last 3 games. Brian Hoyer will start in week 12 after clearing concussion protocol. If you lost Joe Flacco this past week Hoyer is a guy you will want to consider streaming in week 12. His matchup against New Orleans is phenomenal for his return. The Saints defense has allowed 28 passing touchdowns this season while only snatching 4 interceptions. They are giving up an average of 31.5 points a game. Hoyer and DeAndre Hopkins will look to do some damage in week 12.
Spencer Ware, KC – The injury bug bit Charcandrick West this past week as he left with a hamstring injury. Spencer Ware entered the game with it already out of hand, but showcased his power running style. He busted a 52 yard run while also scoring twice from the goal line. Ware will be somebody to keep an eye on considering hamstring injuries are fickle. As injuries continue to mount it is always better to be safe than sorry and grab waiver talent when you can. If you don’t somebody else will.
Thomas Rawls, SEA – Marshawn Lynch’s status is up in the air for the remainder of the year. Thomas Rawls has looked really good all season. Last week he got the start and had 30 rushes for 209 yards and touchdown adding 3 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. He is already slated to start week 12 as Lynch continues to get checked out. Rawls is going to be a favorite off the wire this week so prioritize him high if you want a chance.
Javorious Allen, BAL – Injuries are abundant this year and another running back is done for the season. Justin Forsett broke his arm and will be replace by Javorious Allen for the remainder of the season. Allen stepped in early last game and saw 22 touches were he racked up 67 yards. He also saw 5 receptions for 48 yards. Buck Allen is in a good situation in terms of fantasy value. Joe Flacco is done with a torn ACL and Matt Schaub will be coming in as replacement. I expect the depleted Ravens offense is going to lean heavily on the run from here on out.
Devin Funchess, CAR – I expected to see Devin Funchess get involved early and often this season. He is a rookie though and it’s a new game at the NFL level. The Panthers continued their winning streak and remain unbeaten after week 11. Funchess saw 8 targets catching 4 for 64 yards and a touchdown. He is only owned in 36% of leagues right now, but that will change heading into week 12. He’s getting more involved in the offense and this team is on a mission to win it all.
J.J. Nelson, ARI – Nothing is more fun to watch at the NFL level than the “you’re up next” approach working. J.J. Nelson made the most of his opportunity with Michael Floyd sidelined with a hamstring injury. He had 142 yards on 4 catches and a touchdown. Its way to early to tell if that kind of production can be repeated, but Arizona has said they are going to be cautious with Michael Floyd. That means Nelson will see an increased role again in week 12. He might be worth a flier pick off waivers if you need WR help.
Crockett Gillmore, BAL – He is still only owned in 22% of leagues. Crockett Gillmore is one of the few targets still standing on the Baltimore Ravens. He deserves to be on more than 22% of the teams. Two weeks running now this theory has played out and Gillmore has been productive with 143 yards and a touchdown on 9 catches. More importantly he has seen 12 targets in those two weeks. Matt Schaub coming in doesn’t change the fact that Gillmore is reliable target.
Robbie Gould, CHI – There are very favorable match ups coming up for a Bears team that continues to show improvement. Robbie Gould has a couple misses this season, but he’s still one of the more accurate kickers in NFL history. Jay Cutler continues to protect the football and the offense has done well moving down the field. Robbie Gould stands to benefit from all of these factors. Gould is a good play down the stretch, especially this Thursday against the Packers weak defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – More was to be expected out of a Lovie Smith defense this season. One thing we know about Lovie’s defenses are their ability to create turn overs and that means big points for fantasy defenses. In the last two games the Bucs have allowed less than 20 points to their opponents and racked up 4 interceptions and 6 sacks. They play at Indianapolis in week 12 and chances are they will be seeing Matt Hasselbeck. They are worth a streaming play if you need a defense in week 12.
Week 13 looms ahead of us in the fantasy football season and that means that the end is near! What it doesn't mean, is that your options on the waiver wire are running dry. Because of injuries to key players like Rob Gronkowski, Chris Johnson and others, we'll see a few players that have been waiting in the wings all year step up to the plate. Don't lose hope in your team until you're statistically out of the running for a playoff spot, and even then - play spoiler! Check out our week 13 waiver wire picks below:
Alex Smith (KC @ OAK, 29% Owned): Smith has mostly been the game manager of a run-first offense, as expected, but last week's performance (255 passing yards, 2 TDs, 35 rushing yards) was fairly impressive against the Bills' stout passing defense. Week 13 brings the Chiefs to Oakland, where they'll face a defense giving up 18+ points to quarterbacks. Smith is a high-floor QB that can sometimes find good chemistry with Jeremy Maclin and this is shaping up to be one of those weeks.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (NYJ @ NYG, 23% Owned): Fitzpatrick put up 4 TDs and almost 300 yards against the Dolphins in Week 12, and the Jets' passing attack does not look like it will be slowing down any as they travel to New York to face the Giants. Like the Raiders, the Giants have a porous secondary that has given up some big games this year and a smart guy like Fitzpatrick will surely take advantage of that.
Wide Receiver Pickups
DeVante Parker (MIA vs. BAL, 4% Owned): Dolphins' WR Rishard Matthews went down last week with a chest injury which turned out to be 'multiple fractured ribs' and will sideline him indefinitely. Too bad for Matthews, but it does shine a light on rookie DeVante Parker, who had 4 receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown. Parker is extremely talented, but still rough around the edges - still, with Matthews out the Dolphins will need him to play a more prominent role in the offense which should lead to relevant fantasy production. Playing Parker against the Ravens' terrible passing defense should allow for plenty of big play opportunities.
Cecil Shorts (HOU @ BUF, 11% Owned): We love Cecil Shorts here at drinkfive! He was a great PPR play on the Jaguars in garbage time, and the same applies in Houston except that he is also being used in 'gadget' plays like the wildcat touchdown that he threw in Week 11 or the shovel pass that he took in for a touchdown last week. The Texans are showing trust in Shorts by running these sorts of plays more often and I expect to see a few more tricks from Shorts down the stretch.
Running Back Pickups
David Johnson (ARI @ STL, 27% Owned): Arizona RB Chris Johnson has a fractured tibia and Andre Ellington has been diagnosed with turf toe. It's likely, then, that David Johnson will get the chance this week to see if he can shoulder a larger load of carries (his previous high carry total this season was 8, just last week). Looking at his stats so far this year, it's not too much of a stretch to think that the lightning in a bottle (7 TDs on only 54 touches) may escape against the Rams.
Shaun Draughn (SF @ CHI, 28% Owned): When it was first announced that Draughn would be the 49ers lead running back after Carlos Hyde was sidelined, there was a distinct lack of fanfare. After all, Draughn had not really impressed in the previous seasons when he was given opportunities to do so. True, he's on the 49ers anemic offense, but he is the undeniable lead back and is playing nearly every snap. Regardless of how well the team performs, Draughn will continue to trudge ahead and pick up fantasy points each week.
Tight End Pickups
Scott Chandler (NE vs. PHI, 9% Owned): Gronkowski is down with an injury and the latest news from Adam Schefter is that he will miss multiple weeks. After all, the Patriots will not have any issues making it to the playoffs this season and if resting one of their best players will allow for his availability in the post-season then so be it. In the meantime, Chandler will be used as the TE1 on the Patriots offense, which means 4+ targets each week. Chandler was already known as a good red zone target even with Gronkowski on the field, so with this injury he immediately becomes a top 10 TE.
Defense/Special Teams Pickups
Chicago Bears (CHI vs. SF, 4% Owned): The Bears, you say? Well, we've seen some sparks and glimmers of a defense emerging this year and the 49ers are regularly giving up 9+ points per game to opposing defenses. This is not a slam dunk play, but in leagues where people own the better defensive plays the Bears DST should be available and I expect them to rack up the 9+ points without much trouble.
The playoffs are here! This week’s waiver wire adds a different element. You might be playing defense to keep your opponents team weak or stashing some depth for your run at the championship. In any case this is a chess match and the waiver wire is your opening move. The second season starts in week 14.
Tyrod Taylor, BUF – The multitalented Tyrod Taylor is the hot streamer pick heading into week 14. Admittedly more passing attempts on average would be preferred, but Taylor continues to add value through his work on the ground. In his last two weeks he has 6 passing TD’s and a rushing TD to cap off his 502 passing yards and 75 rushing yards. More impressive still are the defenses he went through. Kansas City and Houston both pose a larger challenge than any of his coming playoff matchups. Philadelphia is a cupcake matchup for week 14 and Taylor is wide open for the taking in 64% of leagues.
James White, NE – The Patriots have a “next-man-up” mentality. When Dion Lewis went down they clearly had to find a back capable of making plays out of the backfield. James White finally showed that value last week. There is very little to go on with White and I am not claiming he isn’t a risk. His upside is something to be excited about after scoring 3 times in 3 weeks. Last week was his best week statistically with 10 receptions, 115 yards and a TD. Three weeks ago he found the end zone twice, but was ineffective statistically. Either way the Patriots have started using White more often. Injuries on the offense are going to open up his role and the Patriots need to stop the losing streak down the stretch.
Darren Sproles, PHI – It is about damn time the Eagles feature Darren Sproles over Darren McFadden! Whether it remains that way is yet to be seen. Sproles had a great game with 66 yards on 15 carries and an additional 34 on 6 catches. His running style suits Chip Kelly’s offense and his success last week should lead to the same, if not more usage down the stretch. The Eagles play Buffalo next week who are surprisingly mediocre against the run this season. Sproles is only owned in 41% of leagues.
DeVante Parker, MIA – He is a very late bloomer apparently but DeVante Parker has come on as of late for Miami. His last two weeks have netted him 143 yards and 2 touchdowns. His 15 targets over those two weeks are definitely a huge positive too. Rishard Matthews continues to mend his broken ribs and his status remains uncertain. Miami has two favorable match ups coming up with games against the Giants 20th rated pass defense and the Chargers 27th rated pass defense. He is available in 70% of the leagues.
Markus Wheaton, PIT – Two weeks ago Markus Wheaton had 9 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown. Grant it a large reason behind that was mostly due to Richard Sherman’s coverage on Antonio Brown. That is why I like Wheaton’s outlook over the next two weeks. The Steelers matchups include the 5th ranked Bengals pass defense and 2nd ranked Broncos defense. Neither of which have Richard Sherman, but both of which who are going to focus their efforts on Antonio Brown. This should force Wheaton into a larger role.
Richard Rodgers, GB – This one is a bit of sore subject as I missed the playoffs in a league due to my benching of Richard Rodgers. His consistency leaves a lot to be desired but his size and play making ability can’t be ignored. His game winning Hail Mary catch highlighted his impressive game this past Sunday. He caught all 8 of his targets for 146 yards and a TD. Green Bay has continued to struggle without a consistent pass catcher. Rodgers won’t be Jordy Nelson, but if you are looking for Tight End help he is a promising option still available.
Matt Prater, DET – Detroit has sort of figured out how to move the ball again, but only enough to improve Matt Prater’s value. Over the last 3 weeks our favorite lush has 37 points. Drinking beers and kicking field goals. What a life! The Lions have St. Louis and New Orleans coming up. Both those match ups favor the Lions. Then we all just rely on them committing some idiotic penalties in the red zone and watch Prater collect.
We're joined by fantasy football veteran and former drinkfive.com contributor Vince Foss as we discuss the very best plays moving forward into championship week. We'll analyze the matchups and go over recent NFL news and updates that can impact the production of your players.
For Fantasy Football team managers, playing in week 15 is all about making the right starts to get to the championship. Whether you fought hard to get into the playoffs from the bottom of the league or coasted into a bye spot early on, everyone is on an even playing field and (in most cases) only has one shot.
We'll be paying special attention to the players that you should and shouldn't start in week 15 and what matchups to keep in mind should you make the championship game in Week 16. We're joined by regular guest and drinkfive.com contributor Mike Mocerino.
Welcome back! We're joined this week by fantasy football veteran Matt Ellis to discuss the best starts moving forward into Week 13. This is the last week of the regular season of most fantasy football leagues, so put your best foot forward!