The fantasy football playoffs are right around the corner and the season seems to get weirder and weirder. Whether you are firmly secure in your playoff berth or scratching and clawing your way back into the playoff picture, the time is now to get prepared. Each game is the difference between fantasy success and failure. Each week is critical and the Week 12 waiver wire is getting scant. Despite the barren nature of the waiver wire, you can still find value to propel your squad to the playoffs and beyond.
Early Week 12 Waiver Wire Fantasy Football
Frank Gore (RB) – 8.8% of Rosters
The ageless wonder strikes again. La’Mical Perine is now banged up and his status is up in the air moving into a Week 12 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Gore has been consistently getting the ball at least 10+ times per game. He will likely see an uptick in usage with Perine heading to the sidelines with injury. Sure, Ty Johnson may be a better pass-catcher, but Gore will get the goal-line work and that is fantasy gold. Scoop up Gore as a Week 12 fill-in at RB2 and perhaps beyond depending upon the severity of Perine’s injury.
Michael Pittman Jr. (WR) – 24.4%
Michael Pittman Jr. is establishing himself as the dominant wide receiver who Philip Rivers will go to at every turn. Sure, Pittman only had three targets this week, but still turned those into 66 yards and a touchdown. Each of the past three weeks Pittman has led the Colts’ receiving corps and is establishing his dominance in Indy. With choice matchups the next three weeks against the Titans, Texans, and Raiders, Pittman will be dominant for your stretch run and final playoff push. Pittman is a WR2 down the stretch and you have to go add him in all league formats.
James White (RB) – 36.3% of Rosters
The last few weeks Rex Burkhead has been established as a consistent fantasy option with a reliable workload in New England. However he most likely tore his ACL this week. That opens the door for those of y’all still sitting with James White on your roster. White should be rostered in all formats, especially in 0.5 PPR or full PPR. The Patriots have targeted White/Burkhead a combined 62 times so far this season. With Burkhead done for the year that most likely opens the door for White to see an increased work and target load. Scoop him up on the Week 12 waiver wire and slot him in as a set and forget Flex for your playoff push.
Damiere Byrd (WR) – 0.9% of Rosters
The Patriots have been getting their offense back on track the past few weeks. With the emergence of Jakobi Meyers the past few weeks it has opened the door for other members of the New England offense to thrive. Damiere Byrd actually leads the Pats in targets on the season and is available in over 90% of leagues. He has been targeted nine or more times three times this season and exploded for 132 yards and a touchdown Sunday. Byrd has been up and down this season, but should be considered in your Flex rotation the rest of the season.
Keke Coutee (WR) – 0.1% of Rosters
Sure, sometimes a fantasy football waiver strategy involves following the injuries. However, half of fantasy football is opportunity and the other half is talent. Keke Coutee now has the opportunity to step up and fill in for Randall Cobb’s 46 targets on the season. Cobb has had some high-volume and production games this season and Coutee is just as capable. Looking at the next few weeks the Texans have some tough games, but this will open the door more for Coutee. As defenses key in on Cooks and Fuller it will open up opportunities for Coutee underneath. Coutee will have high-end Flex value in the next few weeks, and fringe WR3 value in PPR leagues.
Denzel Mims (WR) – 4.4% of Rosters
The New Jersey Jets are terrible. Flat out awful. RIP to fans of that team, Matt I am speaking to you. All the Jets can play for right now is the future and getting their young weapons involved. Each week Denzel Mims has been involved heavily in the Jets’ passing attack. He is dominating the Jets’ snap counts and target shares as well. Sure Mims has not been the best at hauling in targets, right around 50% each week, but he is getting consistent work. The 6-3 rookie out of Baylor may start to put it together and has upside as a Flex play the rest of the season.
Jalen Reagor (WR) – 22.4% of Rosters
Fire up the presses! The man who brought you Phil’s Law of New QBs has made it clear we can label Carson Wentz as a bust. Sorry Sean, Phil has spoken. However, despite Wentz officially being labeled as a bust his rookie receiver Jalen Reagor is emerging as a fantasy option. As defenses roll coverage to breakout-sensation Travis Fulgham and the tight end duo of Rodgers and Goedert dominates the middle of the field, Reagor will find space to break coverages. With soft matchups against Seattle and Green Bay the next few weeks, Reagor will have a chance to prove his value. Consider him as a flex option or desperation WR3 play available during Week 12 waiver run.
Derek Carr (QB) – 37.8 % of Rosters
Ignore a garbage-time heave that resulted in a pick, Derek Carr put on a clinic Sunday Night. Carr has been quietly efficient this season and has resurrected what was being considered a dead career. Over the course of the season Carr has had five 20+ point weeks. He will most likely add to his total the next two weeks. With cake matchups against the Falcons and Jets in the next two weeks Carr will be a dominant force. If you have been streaming your quarterbacks, consider settling down and committing to Carr over the next two weeks. Be prepared to dump him before the Colts in Week 14.
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