Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire options that are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. I’ll list any players at the top who are above the 50% threshold (or are household names) but are still somewhat widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.
Best Options if Available: Derek Carr (Oak, 65%), Philip Rivers (LAC, 63%)
Sam Darnold (NYJ, 39%) — Darnold infamously saw ghosts against the Patriots on Monday Night Football in October, but he’s somewhat quietly posted 21+ FP in three straight games — the Jets scored exactly 34 points in victories in each of those contests. Darnold completed 20/29 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders in Week 12, and he added 4/16/1 rushing. Darnold is a streaming QB option with two juicy spots the next two weeks (@Cin, vs. Mia) before his schedule gets tough in Weeks 15-16 (@Bal, vs. Pit). Darnold isn’t the easiest player to trust because of his shaky play earlier this season, but he’s taken advantage of easy matchups in each of the last three weeks.
Ryan Tannehill (Ten, 26%) — Tannehill has given this once-anemic passing game under Marcus Mariota some life since he stepped into the lineup over their last six games. He’s topped 19+ FP and accounted for multiple TDs in each of his five starts and he’s leading the league with his ridiculous 9.2 YPA this season. He played extremely efficient once again in Week 12, completing 14/18 passes for 259 yards (14.4 YPA) and two TDs and he added 7/40/2 rushing for a monster game against the Jaguars. Tannehill could be susceptible to a dud because of the lack of passing-game volume in this offense but it hasn’t happened yet because of Tannehill’s extremely efficient play. Tannehill is in the low-end QB1 conversation now and his schedule isn’t too bad in the upcoming weeks (@Ind, @Oak, vs. Hou, vs. NO).
Nick Foles (Jax, 32%) — Foles has hardly been an upgrade over Gardner Minshew in his first two games back from his broken collarbone that he suffered in the season opener. With the Jaguars defense collapsing the last two weeks, Foles has attempted a whopping 95 passes the last two weeks but he’s averaging just 6.0 YPA (568 yards, two TDs, and one INT). Foles doesn’t have the most breathing room with Minshew waiting in the wings, but Foles does have a beatable schedule over the next four weeks (vs. TB, vs. LAC, @Oak, @Atl). He’s not the easiest guy to trust as a streamer right now but it might not matter this week in a matchup against a Buccaneers secondary that nearly every passing game takes advantage of.
Kyle Allen (Car, 18%) — Allen had a brutal stretch between Weeks 8-11, throwing nine INTs to just three TDs in a four-game span. He rebounded in Week 12, though, completing 23/36 passes for 256 yards and three TDs against the Saints. It doesn’t hurt that D.J. Moore has been emerging as a WR1 over the last month of the season and, of course, he has Christian McCaffrey making plays in the passing game, as well. Allen has a great playoff schedule (vs. Was, @Atl, vs. Sea, @Ind) so he’s back on the streaming radar after a brutal four-game stretch.
Mitchell Trubisky (Chi, 18%) — Trubisky is obviously a dangerous option but he does get a great matchup against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. He’s coming off one of his better fantasy performances against the Giants, completing 25/41 passes for 278 yards, one TD, and two INTs in Week 12. He also added some rushing production with 7/18/1 rushing, which he needs to keep doing to boost his fantasy floor going forward.
Jacoby Brissett (Ind, 46%) — Brissett threw for multiple TD passes in each of his first four games this season but he’s cooled off recently with multiple passing scores in just one of his last five completed games. He’s finished with fewer than 150 passing yards in consecutive weeks after completing 16/25 passes for 129 yards without a touchdown against the Texans in Week 12. At least he’s run for touchdowns in consecutive weeks but his numbers the last two weeks aren’t going to cut it. It doesn’t help that he’s been playing without T.Y. Hilton (calf) in recent weeks and he clearly wasn’t 100% in his return in Week 12 as he had two critical drops for big plays on third downs that cost the Colts a chance at the win. Brissett does have some attackable matchups over the next four weeks (vs. Ten, @TB, @NO, vs. Car) but he’s tough to trust after his most recent performances.
Daniel Jones (NYG, 31%) — The rookie Jones has had mixed results this season but, at the very least, he’s proven to be resilient and pretty good for fantasy. Jones completed 21/36 passes for 150 yards and 2 TDs against the Bears in Week 12 while adding 2/27 rushing with a lost fumble. Jones has 18 turnovers but he continues to show a lot of fight and a lot of promise each week. The Giants’ defense is going to force Jones to throw it quite a bit most weeks since they can’t slow down many offenses. Jones is certainly better for fantasy formats that don’t deduct major points for turnovers, and his schedule is pretty juicy during the fantasy playoffs (vs. GB, @Phi, vs. Mia, @Was). He also could have his full arsenal back in the near future with Sterling Shepard returning in Week 12 and Evan Engram (foot) trying to get back soon.
Jeff Driskel (Det, 3%) — There’s a good chance we won’t see Matthew Stafford (back) again this season and Driskel has been serviceable for fantasy in his three starts. He completed 20/33 passes for 207 yards, one TD, and three INTs in a loss to the Redskins. He also added 9/63 rushing to give him 151 rushing yards and a rushing TD in three games. The Lions have a non-existent running game and a putrid defense so this offense is running through Driskel and his talented receivers. Driskel doesn’t have the easiest matchups the next four weeks (vs. Chi, @Min, vs. TB, @Den) but his rushing production gives him a chance as a low-end streaming option.
Best Options if Available: Matt Breida (SF, 65%), LeSean McCoy (KC, 52%), Duke Johnson (Hou, 57%), Derrius Guice/Adrian Peterson (Was, 56%/43%)
Bo Scarbrough (Det, 43%) — This Lions backfield continues to be a hot mess for fantasy since Kerryon Johnson (knee, IR) went down for the season, but it looks like Scarbrough has at least distanced himself after another game leading the backfield in touches. He finished with 18/98 rushing on 51% of the snaps against the Redskins in Week 12 and he failed to catch his only target — Ty Johnson was the next closest back with four touches. Scarbrough has been a tough back to bring down with just a single defender as he’s averaging an excellent 4.8 YPC so far (32/152 rushing). Matt Patricia and Darrell Bevell have been toying with this backfield all year but it appears that Scarbrough is a solid bet to see double-digit carries in this offense for the near future. J.D. McKissic and Ty Johnson are still going to split up the passing-game work in this backfield, but Scarbrough could be a high-end RB3 and he’s better for non-PPR formats.
Benny Snell (Pit, 4%) — Snell returned to the lineup off his knee injury in Week 12 and he immediately stepped into the lead runner spot with James Conner (shoulder) out of the lineup — Jaylen Samuels has been relegated to just a passing-back role because of his ineffective running (2.6 YPC). Snell finished with 21/98 rushing while playing 49% of the snaps against a bad Bengals defense and he added a five-yard catch in Week 12. Speaking on his weekly Pittsburgh radio show, Conner revealed he may need more time to recover from his shoulder so it sounds like Snell could get at least another game as the lead runner. Snell would lose most of his value when Conner does return to the lineup, but Snell will be a high-end flex option in non-PPR formats if Conner can’t play. At the very least, Conner’s owners would be wise to add Snell if they don’t already have passing back Jaylen Samuels.
Rashaad Penny (Sea, 18%) — Penny hadn’t topped seven fantasy points in a game since Week 2 — he had just 22 touches between Weeks 3-11 — until he exploded for 14/129/1 rushing against the Eagles in Week 12 while playing 46% of the snaps. The bigger story coming out of Week 12, though, was Chris Carson’s continuing ball-security issues, which led to him seeing a season-low eight carries. He was involved on two consecutive fumbles against the Eagles. He recovered one of his fumbles while the Seahawks lost the other — Russell Wilson was officially charged with the lost fumble on a botched exchange. Carson has now fumbled seven times officially with four lost fumbles. Penny has potentially earned more playing time going forward and he needs to be added just in case he’s going to have a bigger role down the stretch. He could also go back to a limited role next week, too, so it’s not easy to throw him into a fantasy lineup against the Vikings until we see him string together consecutive games with double-digit touches. On Monday, Carroll said, “Chris is a guy who is a big part of our team and we’ll do everything we can (for him)…Competition is a beautiful thing and there’s no reason not to get (Penny) back in there next week.”
Chase Edmonds (Ari, 10%) — HC Kliff Kingsbury admitted to what anyone with eyes can see right now: David Johnson isn’t healthy trying to play through back and ankle injuries. The Cardinals aren’t going anywhere this season and they could shut down DJ at any point to preserve his health. Edmonds is dealing with his own hamstring injury but his coach said he should return to the lineup in Week 13 after practicing early this week after their bye. It wouldn’t be surprising if it is Keyan Drake and Edmonds splitting work down the stretch if DJ’s health doesn’t improve — Johnson played nine snaps in Week 11 without a touch.
Nyheim Hines (Ind, 31%) — With Marlon Mack (hand) out of the lineup in Week 12, Hines operated as the #2 RB behind Jonathan Williams as Jordan Wilkins played just one snap against the Texans. He actually topped 15+ rushing yards for the first time 9/51 rushing but, unfortunately, he came up small as a receiver, which is the part of the game he usually excels. He finished with just 2/10 receiving and he dropped his other target on what could’ve been a long gain while playing 33% of the snaps. Hines isn’t a must-own now that byes are over and he could lose more playing time when Mack does return because Williams has certainly earned a bigger role.
Patrick Laird (Mia, 2%) — Kalen Ballage has proven to be pretty bad at football in his first year and a half and the Dolphins could give Laird a chance since there have been no signs of life for Ballage. Laird’s workload has been increasing in recent weeks — he played a season-high 37% in Week 12 compared to 38% for Ballage — and the team released Mark Walton last week so he could be on the radar down the stretch. He managed just 3/20 rushing and he didn’t have a catch on his lone target against the Browns in Week 12, but he still did better than Ballage on the ground (7/13 rushing). It's best to avoid this Miami backfield if you can but Laird may have a bigger role down the stretch against a juicy playoff schedule (vs. Phi, @NYJ, @NYG, vs. Cin).
Darrel Williams (KC, 6%) — Williams could be worth an add if you’re rostering Damien Williams just in case he’s unable to play this week after sustaining a minor rib injury before their bye last week. HC Andy Reid didn’t provide an update on Damien on Monday but he isn’t expected to miss extended time. If Damien can’t play this week, LeSean McCoy would likely lead this backfield with Darrel mixing in behind him.
Qadree Ollison (Atl, 0%) — Ollison is playing alongside the ineffective Brian Hill but he’s been getting the all-important goal-line work. He scored a touchdown for the second straight week with Devonta Freeman (foot) out of the lineup and he added a seven-yard catch while playing 29% of the snaps against the Buccaneers in Week 12. Freeman is unlikely to be ready for their Thanksgiving Day game against the Saints so Ollison can be considered on the low-end in non-PPR formats.
Alexander Mattison (Min, 23%) — Starting RB Dalvin Cook is having a huge season, but he has had some injury issues throughout his career dating back to his days at Florida State. The Vikings have just Ameer Abdullah behind Mattison and I’d expect Mattison to see a heavy workload if Cook missed time. He’s the best handcuff in fantasy right now and he’s close to having standalone value with how much work he’s getting each week.
Wayne Gallman (NYG, 5%) — Gallman is the top back behind Saquon Barkley and he’s already had a chance to lead this backfield when Barkley missed some time earlier this season. Saquon hasn’t looked quite right since he returned from his ankle so there’s an outside shot the Giants could shut him down with nothing to play for.
Gus Edwards (Bal, 7%) — Edwards is the top option behind Mark Ingram, ahead of Justice Hill, and he’d be the team’s lead runner if Ingram was forced to miss time down the stretch.
Tony Pollard (Dal, 13%) — Pollard’s complementary role has evaporated a bit with Zeke back to dominating the work in this backfield. Elliott owners would be wise to scoop up Pollard if he’s thrown to the scrapheap if you want to handcuff your top-five pick.
Ryquell Armstead (Jax, 1%) — It might be wise to scoop up Armstead if you’re a Leonard Fournette owner as he’s the clear #2 RB on this depth chart. Fournette doesn’t have the best history of staying healthy for too long.
Giovani Bernard (Cin, 4%) — Gio is a must-own in any week that Mixon is out of the lineup. Bernard is a capable runner and receiver who can take on a big role as we’ve seen in the past when Mixon has missed time.
Raheem Mostert (SF, 13%) — Matt Breida (ankle) has a chance to return to the lineup off his ankle injury, which will force Mostert into a limited role behind Breida and Tevin Coleman. Mostert is a low-end handcuff option behind Coleman and/or Breida but both of SF’s top runners have dealt with injuries this season.
Darrell Henderson (LAR, 25%) — Henderson brings much more explosiveness to this backfield than Malcolm Brown and HC Sean McVay would be wise to work him in more. It’s worth stashing Henderson because he’d have a ton of value if Gurley’s knees start acting up down the stretch.
Rex Burkhead (NE, 6%) — Burkhead is worth a stash if you’re rostering either James White and/or Sony Michel. Burkhead does a little bit of everything as a runner and receiver, which makes him a viable handcuff for both players since his role would be elevated if one of these guys misses a game down the stretch.
Best Options if Available: Will Fuller (Hou, 62%), Robby Anderson (NYJ, 53%), Dede Westbrook (Jax, 62%), Sterling Shepard (NYG, 54%)
Darius Slayton (NYG, 25%) — Sterling Shepard returned to the lineup in Week 12 but, for now, Slayton kept his spot as the top perimeter WR in this offense. He posted a team-high 4/61 receiving on seven targets while playing 85% of the snaps against the Bears, giving him 50+ receiving yards in three of his last four games. The rookie speedster out of Auburn broke out in his big role in Week 10 against the Jets, torching them for 10/121/2 receiving on 14 targets while playing 93% of the snaps. Slayton has a lot of similarities to another breakout youngster in D.J. Chark with his speed and long frame and Slayton definitely has a strong connection with his fellow rookie Daniel Jones. Slayton has juicy matchups in the fantasy playoffs against the Dolphins in Week 15 and against the Redskins in Week 16 so there’s a chance this rookie could be on some league-winning teams.
James Washington (Pit, 20%) — Washington is playing the best football of his young career over the last month, recording 16/306/2 receiving on 22 targets. With JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) out of the lineup in Week 12, Washington posted 3/98/1 receiving on seven targets, which included a 79-yard bomb from new QB Duck Hodges. Washington could disappoint at any time down the stretch as a WR4 because of his shaky QB play, but he’s at least risen above his lousy QBs in recent weeks with 10+ FP in three of his last four games. Washington should be slightly more involved for as long as Smith-Schuster is out of the lineup, as well.
Randall Cobb (Dal, 30%) — With Amari Cooper struggling through a knee injury recently, Cobb has emerged as a key piece for this Cowboys passing attack. Cobb 20/342/2 receiving on 30 targets over the last four weeks with a pair of 20+ FP performances thrown in there. With Cooper getting shutout in terrible conditions, Cobb jumped started the offense with 4/86 receiving on seven targets while playing 45% of the snaps against the Patriots in Week 12. Coop could miss a game at any point down the stretch and/or Dak Prescott could lean on Cobb and Michael Gallup if Cooper isn’t moving great as he did in Week 12. Cobb is in the WR4 conversation but he does have a brutal schedule over the next three weeks (vs. Buf, @Chi, vs. LAR).
Cole Beasley (Buf, 29%) — Josh Allen is going to chuck it deep to John Brown or he’s going throw it underneath to his safety-valve Beasley. He’s never been a prolific scorer in the past but he’s remarkably run off TDs in four of his last six games. With Brown seeing a lot of Chris Harris in Week 12, Beasley led the way with 6/76/1 receiving on nine targets while playing 81% of the snaps against the Broncos. Beasley has scored 9+ FP in nine of his 11 games this season if you’re looking for a PPR option with a solid floor.
Auden Tate (Cin, 10%) — Tate has some life again after the Bengals benched the hopeless Ryan Finley and re-inserted Andy Dalton back into the lineup. It also looks like, at this point, A.J. Green (ankle) is still a long shot to play a game this season. Tate had just 8/92 receiving with Finley in the lineup after topping 9+ FP in his final six games with Dalton at the helm. Tate gets a good matchup against the Jets this week and he does play the Dolphins in Week 16 if you’re looking ahead to the fantasy playoffs.
Chris Conley (Jax, 15%) — Conley isn’t the easiest guy to trust as the #3 WR in an inconsistent passing game, but he does have 7+ targets in five straight games. With Nick Foles throwing it 48 times in a blowout loss to the Titans, Conley managed just 4/49 receiving on nine targets while playing 76% of the snaps. Conley is still averaging an impressive 17.2 YPR this season and Foles isn’t afraid to throw it downfield, but Conley is still the #3 receiving option in a middling passing attack so he’ll be susceptible to some duds. However, he could be a good plug-and-play option this week going against one of the league’s worst secondaries this week in the Buccaneers.
A.J. Brown (Ten, 16%) — Ryan Tannehill is playing at an extremely high level but this offense still revolves around RB Derrick Henry and Tannehill is spreading the ball all around the field when he does throw it — he’s attempted just 32 passes the last two games. Brown took advantage of his limited opportunities against the Jaguars in Week 12, posting 4/135/1 receiving on five targets on 70% of the snaps, which included an impressive 65-yard catch-and-run TD. Brown does have 60+ yards and/or a TD in four of his last five games and he has distanced himself a bit from Corey Davis as the top option in this passing attack
Anthony Miller (Chi, 12%) — After a disappointing start to the year, Miller might be emerging a bit in the second half of his second year. He caught six passes for the second straight week, this time for 77 yards on nine targets while playing 55% of the snaps against the Giants in Week 12. He’s now seen 20 combined targets in his last two games and he gets a date with the Lions next. He’ll likely get the best matchup with Darius Slay potentially shadowing Allen Robinson.
Mecole Hardman (KC, 28%) — Tyreek Hill tweaked his hamstring early in Week 11 against the Chargers and he never returned to the lineup. Hardman stepped up and played 76% of the snaps after that but he managed just 2/13 receiving on four targets with Patrick Mahomes throwing for only 182 yards. The Chiefs are coming out of their bye this week and there’s a chance that Hill won’t miss any more game action — HC Andy Reid said he’s optimistic about Hill’s availability on Monday. Still, it might be wise to handcuff your top fantasy receiver by picking up Hardman as insurance if he can’t play against the Raiders in Week 13.
Russell Gage (Atl, 7%) — Gage is the Falcons primary slot WR with Mohamed Sanu out of the picture and Gage should stay a little more involved for as long as Austin Hooper is out of the lineup. He posted 8/76 receiving on 10 targets while playing 74% of the snaps against the Buccaneers in Week 12. Gage should only be considered for deeper PPR formats.
Best Options if Available: Dallas Goedert (Phi, 53%), Kyle Rudolph (Min, 50%)
Ryan Griffin (NYJ, 43%) — Chris Herndon’s season from hell continued in Week 10 when he fractured his ribs in his first game action of the season before landing on the IR before Week 11. Brutal. That means Griffin is the top option at TE for the rest of the season and the Jets have been impressed with his performance this season, inking him to a three-year extension last week. In his first game since his new deal, he posted 3/13/1 receiving on three targets while playing 87% of the snaps against the Raiders in Week 12. Griffin now has 10+ fantasy points in four out of his last five games and he’s now a low-end TE1 option going forward since Darnold is comfortable throwing to his TEs.
David Njoku (Cle, 30%) — Njoku (wrist) nearly returned of the injured reserve after practicing last week but the Browns decided to give him at least another week to let his wrist heal a little more. Njoku has to pass a few tests to get on the field this week against the Steelers but he’s an intriguing option off the waiver wire since he has TE1 upside. Baker Mayfield has been turning the corner recently and the Browns get some solid TE matchups down the stretch (@Pit, vs. Cin, @Ari, vs. Bal) so it’s time to add Njoku if you’re looking for some TE relief.
Jack Doyle (Ind, 33%) — Eric Ebron landed on the injured reserve this week because he needs surgery on both of his ankles. Doyle hasn’t seen more than five targets in a game over his last seven contests but he has a much better chance of seeing more volume down the stretch with Ebron out of the lineup. However, Doyle was already playing 71% of the snaps and the Colts really like #3 TE Mo Alie-Cox. The former VCU basketball player could step right into Ebron’s old role, meaning Doyle isn’t a slam-dunk to start averaging 6+ targets per game. Doyle is actually averaging a career-high (and mediocre) 10.1 YPR this season so he obviously needs catches to come through for his fantasy owners. Doyle’s fantasy floor should rise a bit but his ceiling remains low, making him more of a high-end TE2 option.
Noah Fant (Den, 40%) — The Broncos traded Emmanuel Sanders away before Week 8 and it’s been Fant who has stepped into the #2 receiver role behind Courtland Sutton — he’s seen more than a 20% target share in all four games since Sanders left. Unfortunately, he’s playing with the terrible Brandon Allen, who is going to prevent him from fully breaking out — I don’t have much more faith in Drew Lock when he eventually gets inserted into the starting lineup. Fant led the Broncos with three catches against the Bills in Week 12 but he managed just 14 yards on five targets with Allen averaging 3.3 YPA (82 yards on 25 attempts). Fant has unique speed and physicality for the tight end position but Allen’s presence at quarterback lowers Fant’s floor a bit. Still, the rookie TE does offer some potential for a breakout in the second half if he stays in his current #2 receiver role.
Mike Gesicki (Mia, 15%) — Gesicki has been emerging a bit since their Week 5 bye and he had his first true blow-up game against the Jets in Week 9. With Preston Williams (knee) done for the season, Gesicki is competing with Allen Hurn’s to be the team’s #2 receiver for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Gesicki has mostly disappointed but he posted 3/28/1 receiving on seven targets against the Browns in Week 12. Most importantly, he topped his season-high in snap rate for the second straight week by 90% of the snaps/ Gesicki blew up the Combine two years ago and there’s a chance he could emerge down the stretch with his bigger role in the passing game.
Green Bay Packers (@NYG, 24%), Philadelphia Eagles (@Mia, 38%), New York Jets (@Cin, 23%), Carolina Panthers (vs. Was, 33%), Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TB, 55%), Los Angeles Chargers (@Den, 30%)
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