Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 12

Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 12

You’re not going to be wowed by the top Week 12 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds, we’ll just tell you that up front. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it means there weren’t many big injuries, at least to running backs. However, if you need some reinforcements heading into a tough week at several positions, then you’ll mostly need to rely on streamers. The likes of potential rest-of-season sleepers, such as Cam Newton, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Adam Trautman, aren’t going to excite you too much. 

Fortunately, our full free agent list features plenty of Week 12-specific streamer suggestions at QB, WR, TE, and D/ST. We also have some potential bench stashes, such as Rex Burkhead, DeAndre Carter, and Jamison Crowder. Again, the wire is not strong this week, and depending on the size/competitiveness of your league, it’s likely pretty picked over. Unless we get more injuries or teams start featuring certain players late in the year, things will continue to be pretty rough. The Week 12 streamers can be found at the end of this list. 

WEEK 12 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Unless someone who shouldn’t be is floating around your waiver wire, this isn’t the week to use a waiver claim. It’s possible you’re a Patrick Mahomes owner in need a backup QB, but using a high claim on Newton or another quarterback isn’t the best use of resources. That said, if you’re desperate at a certain position and in desperate need of a win, then you can justify it. Otherwise, continue to watch the injury reports and see if situation develops that creates a more appealing pickup. 

UPDATE: Michael Carter reportedly suffered an ankle injury in Week 11, giving potential value to Tevin Coleman or Ty Johnson in Week 12. 

 

WEEK 12 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 12

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.

  • Newton told us he was back last week, and he drove that point home in his first start. Taking advantage of a highly favorable matchup, Newton completed 21-of-27 passes for 189 yards and two TDs and added another 46 yards and a TD on the ground. That’s a vintage Newtonline, and if he continues completing passes ata high percentage and running for around 40-plus yards, Newton will be a borderline QB1 every week. Again, this was a favorable matchup, so things won’t always be this “easy,” but Newton should also continue to get more comfortable in the Panthers offense. He could be even better next week against Miami. — Matt Lutovsky

  • The absence of AllenLazard(shoulder) certainly opened up more targets forMVS, who took advantage with four catches on a team-high 10 targets, 123 yards, and a TD. More efficiency would be nice, butMVShas the kind of big-play abilityto pay off even if he’s not being targeted often. With this kind of workload, he’s a solid bet to produce.Next week’s matchup against the Rams will be tough, butMVScould actually be in line more targets ifJalenRamsey is blanketingDavanteAdams all game. –ML

  • Trautmanwas a popular preseason sleeper, but after a disappearing act in the early portion of the season, many lost interest in the big TE. That should change after his fourth straight game with at least six targets. His Week 11 performance was his best yet, as he tied a season-high with five catches on a season-high eight targets, 58 yards, and his first score of the year. Clearly, TrevorSiemianhas found something he likes, andTrautmanshould continue to be a popular target in a tough matchup against Buffalo next week. –ML

  • Once again, we’re desperate to find any kind of value in this Texans’ backfield. Against Tennessee, Burkhead rushed 18 times. He netted just 40 yards, but that many attempts should raise eyebrows. If he can take control of this backfield at some point, we know he has some upside thanks to his receiving ability. Ultimately, he won’t have a high ceiling, but he’s worth grabbing as a flier if you’re hurting at RB. Houston takes on the Jets in Week 12, who give up the most fantasy points per game to the position. –JS

  • Howard (knee) left the game against the Saints in the third quarter, but he rushed 10 times for 63 yards and once again looked like the most efficient runner for the Eagles. Miles Sanders came back to the Eagles lineup and led the team in touches, but Howard will continue to be involved in this run-heavy offense for the rest of the season (assuming he’s healthy). –JS

  • Johnson only produced 34 yards on 16 touches against the Titans in Week 11, but how many players on waivers are coming close to that kind of usage? He’s going to continue to be largely mediocre, but he does draw some deep-league flex consideration facing the worst defense against fantasy RBs (Jets) in Week 12. –JS

  • Michael Carter suffered an ankle injury late in Week 11. It’s unclear how severe the injury is, but if he’s expected to miss time, Coleman would likely lead up a committee with Ty Johnson. Both have potential value against the Texans in Week 12, but Coleman might be the better play in standard formats. — ML

  • If Michael Carter’s ankle injury causes him to miss time, Johnson would have potential flex value in a favorable Week 12 matchup against Houston. He saw fewer touches than Tevin Coleman in Week 11, but we’ve seen him be more involved in the passing game in the past. — ML

  • Murray didn’t do much against the Bears, but he did get 12 touches in the return from his ankle injury. When Lamar Jackson (illness) comes back, the rushing attack a whole should get better, and the efficiency of the Ravens’ RBs should, too. It’s a two-man committee between Murray and Devonta Freeman, so both should be rostered heading into a matchup with the Browns. –JS

  • Collins remained the “leader” in the Seahawks backfield in Week 11, posting 10 carries to DeeJay Dallas’ four and Rashaad Penny’s two. He had just 36 yards and failed to catch a pass — and Dallas had a two-yard TD run late — but with Chris Carson (neck) out for the year, Collins could have value in favorable matchups down the road. — ML

  • Peterson had 11 touches for 44 yards against Houston, and while we’re not pretending those are great numbers, he did look as explosive as he has all season. In a week we thought D’Onta Foreman would take over this backfield, Peterson had two more carries and 15 more yards. When this offense gets healthy, expect Peterson to be the lead dog at the goal line. We wouldn’t suggest using him next week against the Patriots, though. –JS

  • Against New England, Ollison led all Falcons’ RBs in touches in the absence of Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle). He finished with nine carries and two catches, producing 34 yards. Yes, those aren’t great numbers, but it was telling he was the backfield leader and looked more explosive than Mike Davis or Wayne Gallman. He might simply go back to being inactive when Patterson is back, but perhaps the coaching staff liked what they saw and will feature him moving forward. In reality, this was probably just a one-time thing, and only people in deep leagues should be taking the flier on him. –JS

  • As mentioned with Jaret Patterson, Antonio Gibson continues to deal with injuries and ball-control issues. While Patterson would strictly be used on the ground, we know McKissic has tremendous PPR upside — especially if he’s thrust into a more significant role. Washington plays Seattle in Week 12, and McKissic will be a decent streaming consideration in PPR leagues. –JS

  • Patterson has 23 carries over the past three weeks. Antonio Gibson has been plagued by injury and ball-control issues this season, so Patterson could be in line for more touches in short order. Washington plays a poor Seattle rush defense in Week 12, but we aren’t advising playing Patterson. Just watch him moving forward and potentially stash him. –JS

  • Carter is mostly a touchdown-or-bust option, but he’s drawn 15 targets over the past three weeks, catching eight, including three for touchdowns. There are a lot of inferior options that are rostered more heavily, and Washington takes on a middle-of-the-pack pass defense (Seattle) in Week 12. –JS

  • Goodwin caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton, but that’s not the only reason he’s on our radar. He was targeted eight times and was the clear No. 2 option in his offense with Allen Robinson (hamstring) out. If Robinson comes back right away, Goodwin may be irrelevant, but we monitor this as Chicago heads into a matchup with the lowly Lions. –JS

  • Westbrook-Ikhine caught seven-of-eight targets for 107 yards against Houston. When A.J. Brown and Julio Jones have dealt with injuries, he’s been the next-best pass-catcher in Tennessee. Since Jones is out for at least another week, NWI should be rostered. Jones could miss even more time. However, Tennessee plays New England in Week 12, so this isn’t the best time to play him. This is more of a late-season value move. –JS

  • Wilson didn’t do much in Week 11 (4-36 on seven targets), but withAmariCooper (COVID) andCeeDeeLamb (concussion) likely “questionable,” at best,for Thursday afternoon’s game against the Raiders, Wilson could be the Cowboys’ No. 2 receiver. That gives him potential WR3/flex value, and we know he can produce big plays when given the chance. –ML

  • Fuller (finger) could return any week, so we’re just continuing the season-long trend of having him on our waiver adds list. He’s worth stashing for his boom-or-bust upside. Miami plays Carolina in Week 12, so it’s probably not the right time to put him in your lineup, though. –JS

  • Jones didn’t liveup to the hype in his matchup with Atlanta last Thursday night due to a run-heavy game script, buthe’ll draw his third consecutive favorable matchup in Week 12. Tennessee has certainly made impactful plays on defense, but they still rank in the top-five in fantasy points per game (FPPG) allowed to quarterbacks. –JS

  • Lawrence hasn’t had the immediatefantasy impact many hoped for this year, but any quarterback facing Atlanta, like he does in Week 12, needs to be considered. The Jags still have weapons on offense, and this could be the game Lawrence turns the corner in his rookie season. Sam Darnold and Zach Wilson are the only quarterbacks that have failed to score 15-plus fantasy points against them, and we’ll take Lawrence over those guys any day. We knew in advance he’ struggle against the 49ers. –JS

  • Fields didn’t look great against the Ravens like he did against the Steelers, but we’re counting on him as a streaming option this week (if healthy).Detroit’s defense is decent against fantasy QBs, but like Cam Newton, Fields’ rushing prowess makes him attractive now that he has shown some life. –JS

  • Bourne is quietly having a WR3 season, and Tennessee was the worst defense against fantasy WRs heading into Week 11. Based on those numbers, he’s a streaming option in Week 12 as the Pats host the Titans. He had a 4-42 stat line against Atlanta, but the game called for a run-heavy game script.–JS

  • Hilton always carries injury concern, but a matchup with Tampa Bay in Week 12 should be a decent spot for fantasy success. Make no mistake, Michael Pittman Jr. is the No. 1 WR in this offense, but in a potentially high passing volume game, there will be plenty of work to go around against a struggling secondary. Hilton did next to nothing against Buffalo, but the matchup was tough and the Colts played with a lead the entire game. –JS

  • Crowder caught six-of-seven targets for 44 yards and a touchdown against Miami, and he looks like the No. 2 WR in this offense — perhaps behind Elijah Moore. Corey Davis may have a higher ceiling than Crowder, but Crowder has the higher floor with the high-target figures his draws. We like him as a streamer against Houston in Week 12. –JS

  • All things considered, Gage’sfive-catch, 49-yard effort in Week 11 wasn’t that bad when you factor in how bad Atlanta was overall.He’s still the No. 2 or 3 option in this passing game while Calvin Ridley (personal) is out, and since Jacksonville is a bottom-10 unit against fantasy WRs, he can be”plug-and-play” guy in Week 12. –JS

  • Anderson showed signs of life against the Cardinals and Washington in his first twogames without Sam Darnold, so in a matchup with Miamiin Week 12, he draws some streaming consideration. We understand if you’re still not sold on him, but he’s a decent option if you’re needy at WR. –JS

  • Shenault has been a huge bust, but a matchup with Atlanta in Week 12 makes him attractive as a one-week option after catching all five of his targets for 50 yards against the 49ers.–JS

  • Hooper is far from reliable, but decent tight ends have had plenty of success against the Ravens’ defense. Baltimore was allowing the third-most FPPG to TEs heading into Week 11, so Hooper is a solidstreamer in Week 12. Hooper was second on the Browns in targets (7) against Detroit and put up a 4-53 line, so it looks like he at least has a high floor. –JS

  • The Eagles are one of the two worst defenses against fantasy tight ends, so we have to consider Engram in this spot. In Weeks 8 and 9, he was a top-five tight end in all formats, so when you put all the context together, he has a chance to be a TE1 once again vs. Philly.–JS

  • We could just copy and paste what we said aboutHooper here for Doyle. It’s tough to trust him, but he’s a finedeep-league option against generous Bucs’ defense after posting a 3-30 line on five targets against the Bills–JS

  • We question if Tua Tagovailoa will be 100-percent healthy, but even if he is, this Carolina defense outmatches the Dolphins offense at all levels. Carolina still ranks inside the top 12 of all DSTs in fantasy this season, and in a strong matchup, it will likely be ranked inside the top-five in Week 12. –JS

  • The Cam Newton reunion in Carolina was cool to see, but are we really expecting him to be a consistentpasser based on what we saw last year in New England? We’d bet against it. Even so, Miami has showed signs of life the past two weeks, so maybe this talented unit will finally start playing with some fire. Yes, we touted Newton as a solid streamer for this game, but he can produce a solid fantasy outing on the ground andMiami can force turnovers and keep the score low. –JS

  • The Lions give up the seventh-most FPPG to DSTs, and Chicago has enough talent to shut them down. In the first matchup between these two squads, Detroit scored just 14 points and Jared Goff was sacked four times. Goff didn’t throw an interception in that game, but considering he’s less than 100 percent, it seems likely Chicago can take advantage of him or backup Tim Boyle.–JS

  • The Bengals’ defense once looked like one of the top units in the league, but after getting exposed by the Jets and Browns, we no longer view them that way. However, their pass-rush presents problems for the Steelers offensive lineprotecting an immobile Ben Roethlisberger, and Pittsburgh is a bottom-10 offense in total yards per game. When these two last met in September, Big Ben threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. –JS





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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.