Now is when the waiver wire starts becoming tough. We’re deep into November and the likelihood that you find yourself a quality, reliable starter on waivers is going to be increasingly rare from here on out (barring any major injuries). From this point on, it’s going to be about finding the best matchups to exploit and making sure the players on your bench are still worth rostering. It’s time to be hyperactive in free agency.
Of course, now that I’ve said all that, we might just have stumbled upon a couple of quality starters this week, looking at you Lamar Jackson! THE TRUTH HAS ARRIVED! There were plenty of other players this week who showed themselves to be very strong fantasy pickups who could mean the difference between a championship and having to do stand up at an open mic show in a random Boston bar for five minutes (that’s my leagues’ punishment).
Here are the players you should be instantly adding to your fantasy team (percent owned in Yahoo leagues).
RB Josh Adams, Philadelphia Eagles (32% owned)
Adams was a name on a lot of people’s radars heading into Week 11 given the fact that the Eagles have no healthy backs and he’s been fairly productive in prior weeks. I tempered my expectations as the Saints actually have the best run defense in the league and I was fully expecting this game to get out of hand fast for the Eagles, requiring them to pass at every opportunity. That second part I was right on. Adams only have seven carries but still managed to gain 53 yards (7.6 yards per carry) and a touchdown. He also added three catches for 19 yards. The game script next week against the Giants should allow for more running plays and hopefully that’ll mean more Adams.
RB Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots (19% owned)
SEXY REXY IS BACK BABY! He hasn’t played since Week 3 and the Patriots’ backfield is a notorious hellscape of fantasy uncertainty, but this was a guy I said would finish a top 10 fantasy back and score 15 total touchdowns this year. Obviously that’s not going to happen but given the struggles the Patriots’ offense had heading into the bye (and Sony Michel’s injuries), I wouldn’t be surprised to see them start involving Burkhead a little more in the coming weeks.
RB D’Onta Foreman, Houston Texans (11% owned)
Ditto everything I said about Burkhead. Except for the top 10 back and 15 total touchdowns. That’s just for Burkhead. Foreman practiced for the first time last week and his return to the field should be any day now. It’s up in the air exactly what his role will be in Houston upon his return, but it’s never a bad idea to stash a man who finished eighth in Heisman voting two years ago.
RB Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (3% owned)
This Gus Edwards and I have already gotten off on rocky footing after he took the big game that I said Alex Collins was going to have Sunday. He finished with 115 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown against the helpless Bengals’ defense. The Ravens’ backfield is starting to become an unpredictable mess with not only Collins and this guy Gus back there, but also Buck Allen AND Ty Montgomery who saw no action Sunday. I think the backfield is still Collins’s but you can’t ignore 17 carries from an undrafted rookie named Gus. I’m not bitter.
WR D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers (39% owned)
Moore has been a serviceable flex for most of the year but Sunday he broke out in a big way and showed exactly why the Panthers drafted him. He caught seven balls on eight targets for 157 yards and a touchdown. If Moore is available in your league, get him now. He has a tougher matchup against the Seahawks this week, but after that, he’ll face the Buccaneers, Browns, Saints, Falcons, and Saints again. I’d expect we start seeing a lot more statlines like this from Moore moving forward. And I promise he won’t be on my bench when he does. I’m still not bitter.
The Usuals: Christian Kirk & Tre’Quan Smith (34%/25% owned)
I feel like I’ve written about Kirk and Smith in every single waiver wire post I’ve done so I’ve decided to just lump them into the same paragraph and give them an awesome nickname: The Usuals. But seriously, both these guys need to be owned in more leagues. Kirk posted 77 yards and a touch on three catches while Smith had a HUGE game against the Eagles, catching 10 balls on THIRTEEN TARGETS for 157 and a touch. Kirk is sure to continue to be a vital part of the Cardinals’ offense as they start getting things back on track while Smith has proven himself to be a legit WR2 in the Saints’ offense. Both are worth the add (but especially Smith).
WR Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills (1% owned)
This is just another polite reminder that in his first game with Matt Barkley under center, Jones saw 11 targets and had eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Will he replicate that this week against the Jaguars? Probably not. But my guess is we’ll see Barkley again turn to Jones as his number one receiver and that’ll lead to at least decent fantasy outputs. Plus after that, Jones faces the Dolphins, Jets again, Lions and Patriots, all of whom have given up big games to receivers.
WR Marcell Ateman, Oakland Raiders (0% owned)
You might be asking yourself, who is this man? Who is this Marcell Ateman on the Oakland Raiders and why should be be on my fantasy team? Well, outside of his four catch, 50 yard performance against the Cardinals Sunday, Ateman might be the only standing receiver in Oakland come this weekend. Brandon LaFell is out now with an achilles injury leaving just Ateman and Seth Roberts to catch passes from Derek Carr. Ateman is a 6-foot-4, 220 pound receiver who could start becoming a nice red zone target for the Raiders. Stash him, see what happens.
TE Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20% owned)
The carousel wheel that is the Bucs’ quarterback room has seemingly turned again, meaning it’ll be Jameis Winston under center next week. If that’s remains true, then it’s time to own his favorite red zone target Cameron Brate. Also, O.J. Howard suffered an ankle injury Sunday and might be limited moving forward. Snag Brate where you can.