Waiver Favors: Early Week 12 Fantasy Football Pickups

By Ha Kung Wong  Fantasy Football Pickups

Twitter: @FBGarbageTime

Week 12 is almost over, so we’re back to help you keep your fantasy football team competitive!

As usual, all pickups are available in at least 50% of Yahoo standard fantasy football leagues as of Sunday evening.  But I’m going to do something a little different this week.

First, let me focus on a list of some better known players that have managed to slip below the 50% mark in leagues, whether by way of previous poor performances, injury or just generally flying under the radar.  Most of these guys might be able to help you if you need to fill holes in your lineup as you (hopefully) plan for the post-season, so feel free to grab them in any league in which you need help.

Kyle Rudolph – TE – Minnesota Vikings – 45% Owned

  • Clearly a top option for Teddy Bridgewater as Rudolph has attracted 19 targets in the last two weeks totaling 159 yards and a TD.

Jay Cutler – QB – Chicago Bears – 43% Owned

  • Some of you might have gotten burnt by the Tony Romo Experiment, or some of you just haven’t recovered from drafting Peyton Manning.  Either way, if you’re still playing, why not have some options at QB?  Cutler hasn’t been great over the last two weeks, but if Alshon Jeffery heals up, he has some great matchups over the next four weeks, including the 49ers, the Redskins and the Buccaneers.

Jameis Winston – QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 43% Owned

James Winston - USA Today Photos

James Winston – USA Today Photos

  • Winston had over 240 yards passing in 5 of his last 6 games, with 9 total passing TDs and 3 total rushing TDs.  And he has a juicy matchup against the terrible New Orleans Saints secondary in Week 14.

Brian Hoyer – QB – Houston Texans – 35% Owned

  • Hoyer’s got DeAndre Hopkins as a target.  And when Hopkins is covered, he can still make it work with Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts III.  He’s had over 200 yards and multiple TDs in 6 of 8 starts.  His matchups aren’t as enticing as Cutler’s and Winston’s, but you can do worse as a backup.

Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB – New York Jets – 22% Owned

  • Fitzpatrick is not going to win you games, but he certainly isn’t going to lose you a game either.  With Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker both apparently healthy, he’s much more than a game manager.  He’s had at least 179 yards and a TD in all 10 games he’s finished as a starter, and his upside is the 277 yards and 4 TDs he gave you this week against the Miami Dolphins.

Next, let’s talk about some real deep league adds for the truly desperate:

Cameron Brate

TE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 0% Owned

Cameron Brate

Cameron Brate

Don’t get me wrong, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is an amazing athlete that has top 5 TE potential.  But, unfortunately, it’s tough to score points while injured on the sideline, which is exactly where he’s been almost all season.  But Cameron Brate may be the next best thing for as long as Sefarian-Jenkins stays sidelined.  In Week 11, Brate had 3 receptions for 47 yards and a TD, and he followed it up in Week 12 by snagging 5 of 6 targets for 53 yards and a TD.  As long as he keeps getting opportunities and Winston remains on a roll, there’s potential here for a solid weekly TE in 16-team leagues or deeper.

Seth Roberts

WR – Oakland Raiders – 1% Owned

Seth Roberts

Seth Roberts

After Derek Carr’s recent regression, we certainly weren’t expecting any of his receivers not named Michael Crabtree or Amari Cooper to do much in Week 12.  But I guess we should have paid closer attention in Week 11 when undrafted rookie WR Seth Roberts managed to catch his only two targets for 54 yards and added 2 kickoff returns for 47 yards.  His speed and body control was the highlight of a mostly forgettable loss to the Detroit Lions.  But that was just 2 targets, right?

Well, Roberts followed up those highlights with six catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets in Week 12.  Although he hadn’t scored since Week 3, the ability was always there.  He’s been overshadowed by fellow rookie WR Amari Cooper, but at this point, it could work to his advantage, as opposing secondaries have been rolling safety coverage to Cooper and Crabtree, leaving Roberts to burn single coverage.  I certainly can see Oakland opening up the offense for Derek Carr with more 3-wide sets since it worked so well against Tennessee.  Which means Roberts has potential for more big play targets.  It won’t be consistent, but he’s worth a stash in 16-team or deeper leagues.

Vance McDonald

TE – San Francisco 49ers – 0% Owned

Vance McDonald

Vance McDonald

After star TE Vernon Davis was shipped off to be a safety blanket for Brock Osweiler in Denver, everyone immediately wrote off the 49ers offense.  Sure, part of it was the fact that Colin Kaepernick was benched for being awful (which we now know may have been partly due to injury), but Davis was one of the most dynamic players on the team, and trading him away signaled the 49ers organization waiving the proverbial white flag.  Turns out, the 49ers have other worthy TEs.  It looked like it would be Garrett Celek, but in Week 11, it was Vance McDonald catching 4 of 4 for 65 yards and TD.

With Celek out with an ankle injury, McDonald came through again in Week 12 snagging 6 of 7 targets for 71 yards and TD against a tough Arizona Cardinals defense.  Who knows who will step up in Week 13, as rookie Blake Bell also saw some time, and presumably, Celek will return from injury, but for time being, I’m willing to gamble on McDonald for desperate owners in 16-team leagues and deeper.


Scott Chandler

TE – New England Patriots – 5% Owned

The worst may have come to pass for the Patriots.  Not only did they lose their first game of the season, but they also may have lost one of the three people they can’t afford to lose.  Those three are Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Bill Belichick.  And the one they might have lost was Gronk.

Right now, reports are that it isn’t as bad as it looks:

But one can never be too sure, so until we get the results of the MRI, every Gronk owner should pick up Scott Chandler RIGHT NOW.  He’s not going to be Gronk, but the Pats love using the move TE, and Chandler has had success in the past.

Injury Update – Nov. 20, 2015

David Johnson – RB – Arizona Cardinals – 25% Owned

  • Chris Johnson has a broken tibia and will likely be out for the remainder of the fantasy season, and Andre Ellington has turf toe.  David Johnson is the last man standing in Arizona.  Pick him up in all 12-team leagues and deeper.

DeVante Parker – WR – Miami Dolphins – 4% Owned

  • With Rishard Mathews out indefinitely due to multiple rib fractures, the Dolphins will have to look elsewhere for production.  First round draft pick DeVante Parker caught 4 of 10 targets for 80 yards and TD after Mathews left.  He was much hyped in the preseason, and perhaps now healthy and with opportunity, he finally lives up to it.  Pick him up in all 12-team leagues and deeper.

And last, here are pickups from previous articles which I still recommend:

10-Team and Deeper

James Jones, Chris Johnson, Gary Barnidge, Allen Hurns, Charcandrick West, Stefon Diggs, Darren McFadden, Stevie Johnson, DeAngelo Williams, Jeremy Langford, Danny Amendola, Tevin Coleman, Spencer Ware

12-Team and Deeper

Tavon Austin, Donte Moncrief, Travis Benjamin, Charles Clay, Benjamin Watson, Dontrelle Inman, Alfred Blue, Nate Washington, Karlos Williams, Willie Snead, Doug Baldwin, Eric Ebron, Ted Ginn Jr., Javorius Allen, Lamar Aiken, James Starks

14-Team and Deeper

Antonio Andrews, Theo Riddick, Chris Polk, David Cobb, Chris Givens, Shaun Draughn, Dorial Green-Beckham, Tyrod Taylor, Richard Rodgers, Dwayne Harris, Brock Osweiler

Keep coming back for updates all week and good luck!

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