Week eleven of the 2022 NFL season is over and so is our love affair with Kyle Pitts. If you are like me, you just couldn’t fathom how he was starting so badly and were just holding on waiting for that season-changing moment would come. Unfortunately, that moment was the incredibly anticlimactic MCL sprain to place Pitts on injured reserve and likely ended his season. Which now leaves you wondering how in the hell am I going to replace that production. Good news! The production wasn’t that good. Better news! The waiver wire is the perfect place to fix all your horrible choices. So, I’m going to provide you with the best options available. If I don’t mention someone whom you think I should be talking about, just know there are many reasons why I overlooked them. Maybe they are owned in most leagues. Maybe they are so bad I don’t even consider them. Or, maybe it’s because your opinions cannot be trusted. After all, you are here. So let us examine our best week five waiver wire players for your championship run…
Week Twelve Waiver Wire Quarterbacks
Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns (45% rostered)
I’m not going to get into why you need to grab Deshaun Watson. He is not someone I will be rostering, because I need to be able to root for players on my fantasy team on some level. But this is an article for fantasy football and there are some people who want the best player regardless of context. Deshaun Watson is probably the best quarterback option you will find remaining on the waiver wire. But, I do not think it is as much a slam dunk as others will think. The situation in Cleveland looks tumultuous and this offense has some serious issues for what was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender at the beginning of the season. Plus, he looked terrible in his preseason action.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington Commanders (13% rostered)
If Deshaun Watson isn’t your speed, you might find something more to your liking in the bargain bin. This week I dug in there and found my favorite week twelve streamer Taylor Heinicke against Atlanta. The reason is that he reminds me of former Bears great Rex Grossman. The thing about Grossman is that he never had a boring stat line, as you could get either 5 touchdowns or 5 interceptions in a game, with no in-between. I think Taylor Heinicke is the modern Rex Grossman. Heinicke has a great match-up in week twelve against an Atlanta Falcons defense that has given up the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. I don’t know if Heinicke will be good. I do know that he’ll go down swinging.
Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts (10% rostered)
If I need a safer streamer option, then I would begrudgingly go with Matt Ryan. Everything about him at this point is boring. Even his name is boring. The problem is, in week eleven he only put up 213 yards. Ryan has a fun matchup against a Pittsburgh team that gives up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Week Twelve Waiver Wire Running Backs
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (41% rostered)
The fun part about my favorite waiver wire running back from last week is that because Rachaad White was on his bye week, you still have a shot at him. When Leonard Fournette went down in week ten with a hip injury, Rachaad White came in and had to make the Bucs wonder how much they really need Fournette because White had 22 carries for 105 yards. For all that happened this week, it is White’s week ten performance that makes him the number one waiver priority for week twelve.
Latavius Murray, Denver Broncos (24% rostered)
How many fumbles does it take to be cut by the Denver Broncos? Five. The answer is five. And Melvin Gordon is no longer a Denver Bronco. With Melvin Gordon gone and Chase Edmonds hurt, Latavius Murray has a very clear path to touches and should have solid flex value. The problem is his path to touches is still on the Broncos’ offense and he’s still Latavius Murray, so the upside is limited.
Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals (5% rostered)
In week eleven, Samaje Perine had 82 all-purpose yards and 3 touchdowns. That outstanding performance was good for overall RB2 on the week. The problem is that you cannot rely on this type of performance next week without seeing if Joe Mixon clears the concussion protocol before week twelve. If Mixon doesn’t play next week, grab Perine wherever he is available.
James Cook, Buffalo Bills (18% rostered)
James Cook is an interesting waiver wire candidate to me. I don’t think I’ll spend a waiver on him, but if I have the bench space, I would consider grabbing him if he clears waivers. In week eleven, he had 86 yards on 11 carries. The problem is over the last four weeks, he has never eclipsed a 25% snap share. The reason I might grab him now after he clears waivers is that he is one Devin Singletary injury or monster performance of his own away from being the number one waiver claim for a future week. Cook has the draft pedigree and path to make him a very deep stash. Don’t burn a wavier on him, but definitely keep an eye on him.
Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (34% rostered)
The only people who believe in Cam Akers are the most fervent of Cam Akers truthers. Men who can look at 14 carries for 61 yards and throw logic and reason and historical data out the window and say “I could never be wrong about Cam Akers! He will soon take over and be the best running back in football!” You know, crazy people.
Week Twelve Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
Treylon Burks, Tennesse Titans (34% rostered)
Football Absurdity’s Thursday Night Farceball crew was very happy to call the game which will hereafter be known as the Treylon Burks Coming Out Party. In this week’s TNF tilt, Burks had 7 catches for 111 yards. The craziest part about this is they were not throwing to him nearly enough. As he gets healthier, I expect him to be very productive. Burks is in a unique spot of being far and away the most talented receiving option on his team while having a quarterback who can actually get him the ball. There are a lot of really interesting options on the waiver wire, but I like Burks’ long-term more than most of them because he is the most talented guy on a team fighting for the playoffs. He should have a pretty solid floor with some serious boom potential. If you don’t get him now, you won’t.
Demarcus Robinson, Baltimore Ravens (2% rostered)
After Treylon Burks, Demarcus Robinson is my favorite wide receiver addition on the waiver wire. In week eleven, Robinson had 9 catches for 128 yards. The choice is simple. With no Rashod Bateman, Lamar Jackson has to throw to someone. We initially thought that it would be Devin Duvernay who was the wide receiver to have in the valuable Rashod Bateman role. But, recent developments have made it seem as though it will be Robinson, and not Duvernay, who fills Bateman’s shoes.
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts (36% rostered)
While he didn’t have a big week, Parris Campbell still had a solid outing with 6 targets for 5 catches and 67 yards. Parris Campbell is getting a ton of work in the Colts’ offense with Matt Ryan at the helm. Campbell was on the field for 80% of the Colts’ offensive snaps, which makes it four-straight games with Ryan under center that he finished with at least 80% of snaps. The only real problem is that all his usage comes on a dreadful Colts offense. Despite that, Parris Campbell is worth rostering in 12-man leagues.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns (38% rostered)
If you didn’t take notice of Donovan Peoples-Jones when I talked about him last week, let me recap. Last week, I let you know that over his last six weeks, DPJ was averaging 7 targets, 5 catches, and 74 yards. This week, DPJ had 6 targets, 5 catches, and 61 yards. He also broke his touchdown drought, making his normal flex numbers pop all the way up to a WR2. With Peoples-Jones producing the way he is, it is insane that he is not over 50% rostered.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (29% rostered)
In week eleven, Darius Slayton had 5 catches for 86 yards against the Detroit Lions. Darius Slayton has quietly become a significant part of the New York Giants’ passing game. With Wan’Dale Robinson out for the year, Slayton should be the beneficiary of a significant target share.
Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs (10% rostered)
The only reason Skyy Moore isn’t ahead of Darius Slayton is that we do not know the current status of Kadarius Toney. We do know that when Toney left the game, Skyy Moore showed in a very big way. 5 catches for 63 yards and they all seemed to come in very big spots. After a rough start to the season, the talented second-round rookie showed why the Chiefs drafted him. Like Burks, he has the talent to be a very high upside play with the added bonus of having the ball thrown to him by the best quarterback in football. Until we have a better understanding of Toney’s status, I won’t spend a waiver on Moore. I will grab him once he clears them though.
Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions (28% rostered)
The Lions announced that Jameson Williams had been designated to return from Injured Reserve, so he now has 21 days to rejoin the Lions. I know a lot of people have been stashing him, waiting for this moment. Hell, I’m one of those people. But I think we need to temper expectations. Even after being activated for football, it takes a while to fully get back up to speed after an ACL. Last year, Saquon Barkley was being talked about as a potential bust because people have unrealistic expectations. On the off-chance that Jameson Williams goes Adrian Peterson on us and proves he is the exception to the rule, I’ll take this flyer. I thought Williams was the most talented receiver in this draft class, and so far this class is looking to be historically good. But there is a good chance he isn’t relevant until next year, so don’t be afraid to pivot off of Williams if returns don’t look good early. This was always a long shot to succeed.
Week Twelve Waiver Wire Tight Ends
Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints (32% rostered)
Last week, I got so excited about how awesome Cole Kmet was doing that I may have overlooked a guy who was quietly doing almost as well as Kmet: Juwan Johnson. Johnson has had an outstanding five weeks, ranking as the number two tight end in football during that stretch. Johnson is top ten in every major statistical category for his position during that stretch and is currently the TE7 on the season. He is a tight end, so this hot streak might not last. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grab Juwan Johnson and ride the hot hand as long as you possibly can to avoid having to look for more tight ends.
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