With NFL Week 11 almost in the books, now is the time for fantasy football managers everywhere to start preparing for the Week 12 waiver wire and figuring out who their top targets will be. As we inch ever closer to the fantasy playoffs, nailing your waiver wire picks becomes the utmost important, especially for those managers looking to make a late push into the playoffs.
With most of the games this week complete, here is an early look at 10 players—all under 50% rostered—who you should be targeting and working hard to get onto your fantasy team for Week 11 (percent rostered in Yahoo leagues).
QB Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (42% rostered)
After a week of hype surrounding him, the Taysom Hill experiment was a success as the Saints not only beat the Falcons, but Hill threw for 233 yards and rushed for 51 and two touchdowns. My guess is Sean Payton is going to stick with his future “franchise quarterback” while Drew Brees is out which means Hill should be definitely rostered on quarterback needy teams (like those who sadly lost Joe Burrow Sunday). The Saints play the Broncos and then the Falcons again in their next two weeks.
RB Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks (46% rostered)
After missing three weeks, Hyde suited up Thursday night and rattled off 79 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown against the Cardinals. Clearly when Hyde is the Seahawks lead back, he’s got plenty left in the tank to produce. The question remains if Chris Carson will be back for Week 12 against the Eagles. If he does return, then Hyde doesn’t offer much value. But if Carson is out yet again, Hyde has RB2 value and for that reason, he’s worth stashing if you can.
RB James White, New England Patriots (40% rostered)
White has been a forgotten member of the Patriots backfield in recent weeks, with plenty of hype being directed towards Damien Harris and Rex Burkhead. Unfortunately, against the Texans, Burkhead suffered what looked to be an ACL tear, but at the very least was a serious knee injury that will keep him out for at least a couple of games. White saw his role increase Sunday, carrying the ball five times for 19 yards and catching six of his nine targets for 64 yards. I expect White to be the Patriots primary pass catcher now out of the backfield, which will only improve his fantasy output.
RB Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (19% rostered)
Pollard isn’t going to wow fantasy managers and really he’s more of a stash and matchup play, but he’s been involved in the Cowboys offense the last three weeks, touching the ball nine, 10, and five times. In all three games he recorded at least 40 yards and was able to break off a big touchdown run Sunday against the Vikings this week. Pollard is nothing more than a matchup play in deep leagues with large rosters, but a solid eight to 10 points a week in PPR isn’t bad from the bottom of your roster.
WR Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers (49% rostered)
I hope you didn’t move on from Samuel after his down week against the Buccaneers because he is by no means done putting up fantasy points this year. He bounced back in a major way against the Lions, going 8/10-70-1 and adding a four yards on the ground. Samuel has now scored at least one touchdown in four out of his last five games and the Panthers have the Vikings’ porous secondary on tap for Week 12.
WR Michael Pittman Jr, Indianapolis Colts (43% rostered)
If you didn’t add Pittman this week, you better do it now because you ain’t gonna be able to get him much longer. Pittman followed up his big Week 10 with a solid performance against the Packers, catching all three of his targets for 66 yards and a touchdown. He led the Colts in receiving yards and is further proving himself to be a reliable target for Philip Rivers and a reliable start for fantasy managers. The Colts play the Titans and Texans next which means Pittman is in line for more big games.
WR Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns (12% rostered)
It’s been a while since we’ve really gotten a look at the Browns passing game given the wind speeds of their last two games, and while we still didn’t get a full good look at it, I’m confident in saying Higgins has a reliable role in it. Higgins has seen at least four targets in three of the Browns last four games which doesn’t sound like much, but remember Baker Mayfield averaged only 23 pass attempts across those four games. He’s also recorded 48 yards or more in those games. With the Jaguars next on the schedule, the Browns passing game might wake up a little bit, leading to bigger performances from Higgins.
WR Breshad Perriman, New York Jets (10% rostered)
Before their Week 10 bye, Perriman put up a monster game against the Patriots, going 5/7-101-2. He followed that outing up against the Chargers Sunday with a 2/4-54-1 day. Perriman is a big play threat down the field and his connection with Joe Flacco is evident. The Jets will always be behind in games and in need of chucking the ball down the field in hopes of winning. This means Perriman will see plenty of opportunities for big play scores in the coming weeks.
WR Dez Bryant, Baltimore Ravens (9% rostered)
As the struggling Ravens try and figure out their passing game, don’t be surprised if Dez Bryant emerges as an actually important part of it. Against the Titans, after getting called up off the practice squad, Bryant saw five targets, catching four of them for 28 yards. You may be thinking to yourself, “28 yards isn’t all that impressive Pete”. Well, it led the Ravens receivers so I’ll take that as a good sign. The Ravens remaining games are a dream for opposing wide receivers so Dez might be in for sudden fantasy production.
TE Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles (3% rostered)
In his last two games, Rodgers has either had 60 yards receiving or scored a touchdown. He’s certainly a boom-or-bust risk, but we might be seeing the Eagles passing game revert to the two tight end focus we’ve seen in the past with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, only this time with Goedert and Rodgers. If you’ve been struggling at the tight end position—like I for one have—Rodgers isn’t a bad deep add.