Two more weeks, and if you are like me you need to win each week to ensure that you make it to the fantasy football playoffs. Unfortunately there is still bye weeks happening this week, so you are probably looking for a player or two to fill in. For every Sam Darnold (293 yards passing, 4 touchdowns for 26.42 fantasy points against Washington this week) that you pick up to save the day, there is a Kyle Allen on the losing end (4 interceptions against the Falcons, 9.70 fantasy points).
Typically by week 12 the waiver wires have been picked clean, but you can still find quality options to fill in for your bye week players. Hopefully you have enough quality players that you do not have to worry about the waiver wire this week, but if you do, here are my top waiver wire pickups for week 12 of the fantasy football season.
Sam Darnold, New York Jets
I am definitely staying on the Darnold train another week, after showing improvement in every game since the New England debacle. With 2 straight games over 20 points in traditional fantasy leagues, I would expect that to continue against the Oakland Raiders this week. Looking forward, the Jets have very easy match ups the next two weeks as well, with Cincinnati and Miami coming up, so with only 22% of fantasy leagues in Yahoo having him on a roster you may want to secure him now.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
I was never a fan of the hype train in Cleveland this year, Even with the talent accumulated it always takes time to come together as a team, and in an NFL football season time is something you do not have much of. But talent they do have, and with Cleveland trying to make a late run at the playoffs, expect Baker to connect with his talented former LSU Tiger wide receiving duo of Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry early and often against a suspect Miami Dolphins defense. Adding Kareem Hunt to the mix to catch passes out of the backfield helps Mayfield’s numbers too. He is available in 45% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Why Tannehill is available in 79% of fantasy leagues is beyond me. Maybe it is because he plays in Tennessee, but since taking over for Mariotta his worst game was against the Chiefs two weeks ago, and he still finished with 18.94 fantasy points. If you have a struggling quarterback, or are looking for options the rest of the year, Tannehill is your guy. With games against Oakland and Houston for weeks 14 and 15, which is most people’s playoffs in fantasy football, he could carry you to the championship game. This week a match up at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars should not cause him many problems.
Jonathan Williams, Indianapolis Colts
As always this time of year, the running backs on waiver wires across fantasy football leagues have been picked over with a fine toothed comb, There are not many quality backs available, so you have to look for opportunities and hope for he best. With Marlon Mack out, and Jordan Wilkins on the sidelines as well, Williams stepped in against the Jaguars with 13 carries for 116 yards, and added a catch for another 31 yards. The Colts have a short week to prepare for a Thursday game this week, so hope that Williams gets the carries with other injuries keeping him in the game.
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers
Although the Steelers had a tough game last Thursday night, Samuels salvaged an otherwise poor performance with a receiving touchdown among his 5 catches. This week the Steelers will look to bounce back against the lowly Cincinnati Bengals, and if you are lucky enough to be in one of the 34% of leagues where he is available, pick him up and play him this week.
Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins
Guice has great talent, but has been unable to stay healthy. In his first game back since going down in week 1, he only had 7 carries for 24 yards, but salvaged the day with a 45 yard receiving touchdown. He will not have the carries other backs do, but with his ability there is always a chance he will break a long touchdown. He is available in 52% of leagues.
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
Deebo Samuel saved my week last week in one of my leagues, catching 8 passes for 134 yards. With Emmanuel Sanders hurting, Garropollo has been creating a connection with the rookie receiver, as was evident this week against the Cardinals. With only 54% of fantasy football leagues having him on a roster, pick this up immediately. Even after Sanders gets healthy, I believe Samuel will continue to grow and put up good numbers.
Davante Parker, Miami Dolphins
I realize that he plays for the Dolphins, but his numbers have been respectable all year, and gotten better with Fitzpatrick under center. With a line of 7 catches for 135 yards in his most recent game against a tough Buffalo Bills defense, he showed that he can be played every week. Still available in 41% of Yahoo leagues, pick him up if you can.
James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers
This is a situation to keep your eye on, with Juju Smith-Schuster knocked out with a concussion last week, as well as Diontae Johnson, James Washington will get tons of opportunities if they are not able to play this week against the Bengals. Only owned in 8% of leagues for a reason, but if you need receiver or flex help this might be your fix for the week.
Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahhawks
Hopefully you looked ahead and picked up Hollister last week while he was on a bye week before everybody else could get a chance this week. If you did not, he is still available in 66% of leagues out there, so if you have Travis Kelce on bye this should be your first order of business this week. With two straight games around 20 points in PPR leagues, it looks like Russel Wilson has found himself a safety valve with defenses focusing on Lockett lately. Up next is a match up with the up-and-down Philadelphia Eagles secondary, and the Seahawks looking to keep up with the 49ers in the NFC West.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
After 3 straight solid starts for the Colts, Doyle has a goose egg this week against Jacksonville. With the Colts being so successful with their running game, there was not much need to throw the ball, with quarterback Jacoby Brissett only completing 15 passes for 148 yards in the game. While he is still touchdown dependent, if you are down a tight end this week he is available in 58% of Yahoo leagues.
Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers
I am always waiting for Vance McDOnald to have that breakout game, and with the Cincinnati Bengals coming up it very well could be this week. Available in 47% of Yahoo leagues, with injuries to Pittsburgh receivers possibly increasing his targets, you may want to add him to help get through this week.
Although they will obviously be without Myles Garret, the Cleveland Browns have plenty of defense to take care of a Miami Dolphin team that is playing better, but still the Dolphins. You can find the Browns in half of the Yahoo leagues, and stream them this week in confidence.
This will probably be the only time you see this defense talked about on this blog, but with a match up against the Washington Redskins upcoming, if you need an emergency defense this is your one. Even the Jets defense finished with 9 points against them last week, which is why they were on my top pick-ups last week which you can check out here. If you need a defense to fill in this is a good choice, with only 7% of teams having them on their roster.
Tennessee is another team available in quite a few leagues, 83% to be exact. While they have not had any extraordinary games since week one against the Browns in which they had 23 fantasy points, they have been fairly dependable with only 3 games under 6 points and 4 over 10, counting that week one match up. Jacksonville is up next, so Tennessee should be able to put up respectable numbers.
This is it, only 2 more weeks left until the playoffs! No more time to waste, you need to get those wins, and hopefully my top waiver wire pick-ups will help you get one! If you have used my picks before please let me know below in the comments, whether it was good or bad. Good luck this week!