Speed to Week 12 waivers for MVS, Boston Scott

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  • Buffalo Bills
    Buffalo Bills
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  • Philadelphia Eagles
    Philadelphia Eagles
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  • Boston Scott
    Boston Scott
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  • Julio Jones
    Julio Jones
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Welcome to the Week 12 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2021 season. With the fantasy playoffs fast approaching and, in some leagues, underway, it’s now or never to sever ties with any and all bench fodder and pivot to high-upside backups and potential injury 'winners' at the tail end of your roster. We’ll also set our sights on viable one-week starters and options for the stretch run while discussing this week’s minefield of injuries in-depth.

As a refresher, The Drop List consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended additions are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the Watch List contains in-depth notes on fringe waiver adds, and Deep Cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

The Drop List

QB: -

RB: Zack Moss, Devin Singletary, Mike Davis, Chase Edmonds, Derrick Henry

WR: Julio Jones, Allen Robinson, Tyler Boyd

TE: -

Buffalo’s backfield touches have been divvied between Devin Singletary (14), Matt Breida (12), and Zack Moss (10) in their last two games, which has made none usable for fantasy as long as Breida remains active...Mike Davis handled a season-low three carries in a game Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle) was inactive for...The Cardinals moved Chase Edmonds (ankle) to injured reserve before their bye, sidelining him until Week 14 at the earliest. His immediate availability in attempting to return from a high-ankle sprain at that time would then cause start/sit headaches in the first round of the fantasy playoffs. Feel free to keep him stashed if he wasn’t in your starting lineup to begin with...Only one reporter in the entire nation irresponsibly stated that Derrick Henry (foot surgery) will return in “6-10 weeks.” The Big Dog is expected to miss the rest of the year...The WR75 in fantasy points per game, Julio Jones (hamstring, IR) remains sidelined until Week 14 since Tennessee’s bye week falls the week prior. I would flat out drop Jones for any of the prioritized receivers listed below...Allen Robinson has not eclipsed 70 receiving yards in 11 consecutive games, scoring a single touchdown in that span dating back to last year. Reminder that he turned a team-high 11 targets from Andy Dalton into 35 yards in the former’s only full start this year.

Overall Top 5

1. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
2. Sterling Shepard
3. Jamison Crowder
4. Boston Scott
5. David Johnson

High-Stakes Top 5

1. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
2. Boston Scott
3. David Johnson

4. DeeJay Dallas
5. Ty Johnson

For those looking to roster the best available player(s) regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus players’ actual positions for both recreational and high-stakes (FFPC, NFFC, 20-player rosters, etc.) formats, the latter which have far fewer viable players available with every passing week. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in those leagues ahead of Week 12. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster — touches, high-upside bench stashes, targets, one-week spot-starters, etc.

Contingency Top 10

1. Alexander Mattison
2. D’Ernest Johnson
3. Darrel Williams

4. Khalil Herbert
5. Sony Michel
6. Carlos Hyde
7. Samaje Perine
8. Ronald Jones
9. Godwin Igwebuike
10. Chuba Hubbard

For those looking to stash the best available backup(s) with minimum standalone value, the rankings above were designed to help prioritize direct backups in the event a player in front of them were absent. These are listed in the precise order I would stash them ahead of Week 12. Presumed targets, touches, environment, remaining schedule, etc. are included in the process.

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Quarterbacks

Cam Newton rostered in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 QB add if available.

Matt Ryan rostered in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 QB add if available.

1. Jimmy Garoppolo
2. Taylor Heinicke

3. Tyrod Taylor
4. Andy Dalton

Running Backs

1. Boston Scott
2. David Johnson
3. DeeJay Dallas
4. Ty Johnson
5. Dontrell Hilliard
6. Tony Jones

7. Latavius Murray

Wide Receivers

Elijah Moore rostered in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 WR add if available.

Van Jefferson rostered in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 WR add if available.

1. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
2. Sterling Shepard
3. Jamison Crowder
4. Cedrick Wilson
5. Laviska Shenault
6. DeSean Jackson

Tight Ends

Pat Freiermuth rostered in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 TE add if available.

1. Dan Arnold
2. Tyler Conklin
3. Gerald Everett
4. Washington TE

Defense/Special Teams

1. Chicago Bears
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Washington Football Team
4. Detroit Lions

Kickers

1. Jake Elliott
2. Robbie Gould
3. Evan McPherson

QUARTERBACKS

1. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers — Rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 1% FAAB Bid)

Kirk Cousins’ come-to-Jesus moment in realizing the Vikings can’t win unless he’s aggressive with the ball has been fruitful for both sides, forcing enemy quarterbacks to average 37 pass attempts (with 10 total touchdowns) in Minnesota’s last four games. Garoppolo has coincidently averaged a league-high 10 yards per attempt from a clean pocket in that span since Kyle Shanahan has upped the team’s shotgun usage from 55.6% (25th-overall) through Week 7 to 62.3% (19th) over the last month. This total has increased from 46.5 to 48.5, becoming the third-highest number on the board, since initially opening for a reason.

2. Taylor Heinicke, Washington — Rostered in 16 percent of Yahoo Leagues (1%)

Heinicke, offering a subtle rushing floor with 4.7 scrambles per game, is a safe process play against a fraudulent Seattle defense that permitted 261.8 passing yards per game to the cadaver that is Ben Roethlisberger, Jameis Winston, post-bye Trevor Lawrence, Aaron Rogan Rodgers, and MVP frontrunner Colt McCoy. Washington being listed as home favorites doesn't hurt.

3. Tyrod Taylor, Texans — Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo Leagues (1%)

It’s TyGod’s turn to benefit opposite New York’s defense, which has allowed 7.3 yards per play and 39.8 points per game in five contests out of their bye. Taylor’s 13 carries in three full starts also pave the way for him to join Mac Jones (QB8), Joe Burrow (QB10), Carson Wentz (QB5), and Josh Allen (QB3) as recent QB1-performers against the Jets since Week 7; Tua Tagovailoa nearly made the cut as the overall QB13 on Sunday.

4. Andy Dalton, Bears — Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (1%)

While not an ideal play, Dalton is palatable since Detroit's defense ranked next to last in pressure rate (34.3%) with a league-high 30.8 points per game prior to being served Mason Rudolph and Baker Mayfield on a silver platter out of their bye. The Lions have been walloped by opposing backfields for an average 24.9 fantasy points and league-high 30.8 rushing attempts this year, but their per-play rates permitted through the air — 8.3 YPA, 9.5 average depth of target — are still worth attacking.

Watch List: Taysom Hill doesn't carry any value until Trevor Siemian is benched, but that action could take place as early as Thursday against a vaunted Bills defense that no quarterback has exceeded 275 yards against all year. A juicy matchup against Dallas is in store for Hill the following week if he does take that role.

RUNNING BACKS

1. Boston Scott, Eagles — Rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 70-80% FAAB Bid)

With 123 backfield carries to 78 pass attempts and a 3-1 record in doing so since Week 8, the Eagles will undoubtedly continue leaning on their running game without Jordan Howard (knee) for the foreseeable future. That opens the door for Scott, who notably ran more routes than Miles Sanders (15-12) on Sunday, to be used alongside the latter heavily since Kenneth Gainwell doesn’t fit the mold of Philadelphia’s recent approach (and has totaled four carries since Week 9). Scott’s 12-carry floor in a run-first (playoff-bound) attack is the least volatile usage among the available players at his position.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. David Johnson, Texans – Rostered in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-15%)

You are forgiven if you’re completely unaware of Houston’s personnel and how Johnson managed to breach this list. Without Scottie Phillips (high-ankle sprain) against the Titans, though, the Texans entered Sunday with only three backs available for the first time all year and rode both Rex Burkhead (18 touches) and Johnson (16) to a win. The latter remains the more appealing option against a Jets unit permitting 30 backfield touches and the most fantasy points per game to that position since he ran 16 routes to Burkhead’s seven and garnered all four of the team’s running back targets (for a 16.6% share) in the interim, out-scoring Burkhead 6.4-4 since targets are far more valuable than carries (especially when you average 2.2 yards per rush). Although Johnson is the stronger plug-and-play option for Week 12, DeeJay Dallas (see below) should be prioritized over him if stashing for the fantasy playoffs.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

3. DeeJay Dallas, Seahawks – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (30-40%)

Pete Carroll was true to his word in unleashing a “committee” even after Rashaad Penny (hamstring) was injured, playing Alex Collins (10 carries) and DeeJay Dallas (5) for 18 snaps apiece. The more explosive option between the two, it was Dallas who unsurprisingly scored from inside the 10-yard line and tripled up Collins in routes run (12-4). Although the Bucs are a nightmarish matchup for this offense and any of Seattle’s running backs collectively, Dallas offers the most short- and long-term value since he has multiple outs as a runner and receiver from the backfield. I would chase the dragon and stash him over Collins for the higher ceiling, which explains why Dallas' suggested FAAB is higher than David Johnson's, the stronger short-term band-aid.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues if Rashaad Penny (hamstring) is out, which he always is

4. Ty Johnson, Jets — Rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues (30-40%)

I would admittedly have more confidence in Johnson if Mike White, targeting New York's runners at a 38% clip this year, were still under center. Managers will instead be treated to Zach Wilson’s 17.6% backfield target rate, which is at least an upgrade over Joe Flacco’s mindset in targeting the team’s running backs with 11.9% of his throws. Nevertheless, Johnson stands head and shoulders above Tevin Coleman, who has not handled more than six touches in any game since Week 1, as Michael Carter’s replacement since it’s Johnson who has upside as a receiver; Coleman has not earned more than two receptions in any game since Week 11 of 2019. The murderer’s row of Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami, Jacksonville, and Tampa Bay from Week 13 on brings pause to either’s ceiling.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

5. Dontrell Hilliard, Titans — Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-15%)

The Titans moved on from 36-year-old Adrian Peterson, who outscored D'Onta Foreman 19-17.7 in place of Derrick Henry after three games, in a commitment to younger and fresher legs moving forward, permanently signing Hilliard to the 53-man roster in an ensuing move. With Jeremy McNichols (concussion) potentially cleared for Sunday and mucking up this backfield's distribution, Hilliard is a tough sell as a viable weekly option since we're unsure if his usage as the team's receiving back sticks on Sunday and, more importantly, two weeks from now following Tennessee's Week 13 bye. This offense has also been one to ignore since Henry was injured, averaging a pitiful 4.4 yards per play over their last three games. Fool me once, strike one. But fool me twice? Strike three.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. Tony Jones, Saints — Rostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues (%)

It would be easier to fight for Jones if we had any real idea on Mark Ingram's status after he was downgraded as a non-participant for Tuesday's walkthrough with a knee injury. If you're in dire need of a fill-in and forced to make a choice on Tuesday evening, this is where I would rank Jones accordingly with the belief Ingram starts his third consecutive game in place of Alvin Kamara (knee, DNP). Move Jones ahead of David Johnson as a touch-based RB2 in a miserable spot against Buffalo if you're privileged enough to wait until Wednesday and make that decision if/when both Kamara and Ingram are ruled out on the final injury report. Note that Jones only offers value both this week and in any game moving forward in situations Kamara and Ingram are sidelined.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues if Mark Ingram (knee) is ruled out

7. Latavius Murray, Ravens – Rostered in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-12%)

Le’Veon Bell’s release was a positive for Murray, who received 12 touches in a two-headed backfield alongside Devonta Freeman in the former’s first game back from injured reserve. With Ty’Son Williams (0 touches since Baltimore’s bye) out of the frame entirely, Murray should continue garnering 12-15 touches per game as a floor option for any managers desperate for help. You're obviously prioritizing Freeman over Murray wherever that's possible.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

Watch List: Tevin Coleman actually out-touched Ty Johnson 6-2 on Sunday but has not scored more than 5.3 fantasy points in any game this year since it's Johnson who has been used as a receiver out of New York's backfield. Betting on Johnson over Coleman is one of the easiest wagers we'll make all year...As noted above, Rex Burkhead handled a team-high 18 carries against Tennessee but only scored 4.0 fantasy points since he averaged 2.2 yards per run with zero targets. Unless he usurps David Johnson as Houston's receiving back out of nowhere, Burkhead is merely a standard league play against the Jets since he offers zilch for PPR formats.

Deep Cuts: Buffalo’s backfield touches have been dispersed between Devin Singletary (14), Matt Breida (12), and Zack Moss (10) in their last two games, which has made none usable for fantasy as long as Breida remains active. You're either rostering Breida in leagues both Singletary and Moss remain rostered in or ignoring all three of them. There's no defense to do one or the other for as long as Breida is active...Perhaps Phillip Lindsay replaces Adrian Peterson on Tennessee's roster. That's the tweet.

WIDE RECEIVERS

1. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers – Rostered in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 30-40% FAAB Bid)

Allen Lazard’s (shoulder) absence opened the door for Valdes-Scantling to garner a season-high 30.3% target share on Green Bay’s second-most routes run (36) behind Davante Adams (38). Accruing a team-high 15.3-yard depth of target is enticing in itself (and something MVS has achieved throughout his career), but coupling it with 10 targets on 81% of snaps genuinely surges Valdes-Scantling to the WR2/3 range for a matchup he already saw a 22% target share in during the Divisional Round last year. We should expect Lazard to sit again since he was unable to practice at any point last week. I still prefer Elijah Moore, Van Jefferson, and Sterling Shepard over MVS (wherever applicable) for the rest of the season.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues if Allen Lazard (shoulder) is out

2. Sterling Shepard, Giants – Rostered in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues (30-40%)

Shepard surprisingly snuck in a limited practice to close the week but was unable to get cleared in time for Monday night. Presumably days (rather than weeks) away from returning to the field, the veteran slot receiver should also walk back into his usual 26% share of targets since Kadarius Toney suffered a quad injury Monday night. Friendly reminder that Shepard led the Giants in targets in all four games he's managed to finish this year.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

3. Jamison Crowder, Jets – Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues (25-30%)

Even with Elijah Moore breaking out for season-highs in targets (11, 28.2%) and routes run (35, 81.3%) in any game he’s played alongside Crowder, the latter stayed relevant with a 17.9% target share and continued his streak with at least six targets in every appearance this year. The WR41 in fantasy points per game, Crowder offers a higher floor than most FLEX options — Rashod Bateman, Emmanuel Sanders, Tyler Boyd, Marvin Jones — being used over him.

Recommendation: Both should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. Cedrick Wilson, Cowboys – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues (6-10%)

Without Amari Cooper (COVID) and CeeDee Lamb (concussion) available for a majority of Sunday’s blowout, Wilson was plugged into the slot (where Michael Gallup is incapable of playing) for 91% of his routes and six of his seven (16.2%) targets. Wilson, averaging 3.4 targets and 2.3 catches in seven games without Gallup this year, does not offer a salivating ceiling between Lamb and Gallup but can provide a floor akin to Laviska Shenault’s in a significantly better and more voluminous offense if Lamb is not cleared for Thursday.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues if CeeDee Lamb (concussion) is out

5. Laviska Shenault, Jaguars – Rostered in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 4-6% FAAB Bid)

Shenault’s 50 receiving yards, his most since Jacksonville’s bye, were no fluke considering he was moved into the slot for 50% of his routes, his highest participation there since Week 4, over Jamal Agnew (hip). There’s no dancing around the fact he’s averaged just 6.9 PPR points in six appearances without D.J. Chark this year. Slide Shenault ahead of Wilson if CeeDee Lamb (concussion) turns around for Thanksgiving.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. DeSean Jackson, Raiders – Rostered in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 4-6% FAAB Bid)

Jackson debuted with four routes (and a 35-yard catch-and-fumble) on nine snaps in Week 10 then received 10 routes on 16 snaps (34%) against the Bengals. Assuming his usage behind the scenes continues to grow, Jackson should be stashed as Las Vegas’ primary deep threat ahead of Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones before the veteran inevitably usurps both on the depth chart.

Recommendation: Both should be stashed in 12-team leagues for the fantasy playoffs

Watch List: Noah Brown actually mirrored Cedrick Wilson in routes run (33) on Sunday but only earned two targets to Wilson's seven because he's Noah Brown. A cute DFS flier for a three-game slate on Thanksgiving? Why not. But a re-draft option who has never exceeded 50 receiving yards in 46 career games? Never...Marquise Goodwin ran the second-most routes in place of Allen Robinson against Baltimore, accruing five (of his eight total) targets from Andy Dalton over the last two quarters. A thin re-draft option, Goodwin does make sense as a large-field tournament flier for Turkey Day slates.

Deep Leagues: Josh Reynolds was claimed mid-week and shockingly ran the most routes (24) among Detroit's receivers in his debut. Assuming he sticks on the Lions' roster, he's my best guess to finish as their leading receiver from this point forward...I expect Dez Fitzpatrick and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine to start in place of A.J. Brown (chest), Marcus Johnson (hamstring, IR) and Julio Jones (hamstring, IR) while the Titans rest up and prepare for the stretch run beyond their Week 13 bye. I lean Fitzpatrick if forced to choose one since he led Tennessee in routes run on Sunday over NWI. It's admittedly a terrible matchup for both.

TIGHT ENDS

1. Dan Arnold, Jaguars — Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 8-10% FAAB Bid)

Even in failing to record a single target on Sunday, Arnold quietly finished second on the team in routes run (25, 80.6%) and is still averaging a 16.6% target share in Jacksonville's last six games without D.J. Chark. I prefer Pat Freiermuth and Dawson Knox (in that order) for the rest of the season wherever applicable.

2. Tyler Conklin, Vikings — Rostered in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

Conklin's three targets from Sunday are a blip on the radar since, prior to that, he averaged a 19.5% target share in three games out of Minnesota's bye. He was also encouragingly involved for a route on 71.7% of Kirk Cousins' dropbacks against Green Bay. He remains a confident fringe-TE1 behind the crop of Dallas Goedert, Pat Freiermuth, Dawson Knox, and Dan Arnold.

3. Gerald Everett, Seahawks — Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

Everett has run a route on 78% of Seattle's dropbacks in his last three games and that's all we can hope for in this range of tight ends since his position absolutely sucks.

4. Washington’s Starting TE — Probably not rostered in your Yahoo leagues

Whoever is active between Logan Thomas (100% snaps in three full games), Ricky Seals-Jones (100% in his last three full games), and John Bates (99% Sunday) in that order is destined to play every snap at tight end for Washington. If forced to choose between one mid-week, I lean Bates getting another start in place of Thomas (hamstring, IR) and RSJ (hip).

Watch List: Anthony Firkser saw a season-high seven targets and his highest route rate (nice 69%) since Week 4 because A.J. Brown (chest), Marcus Johnson (hamstring, IR), Julio Jones (hamstring, IR), and Geoff Swaim (concussion) were injured. It could be the same situation for Firkser on Sunday.

Deep Leagues: Nick Vannett ran 15 routes once Adam Trautman (knee, IR) was injured mid-game, but he did so with Juwan Johnson healthy scratched. It's plausible Vannett keeps that role, but there's no sense in chasing another floor-play at his position. I give you permission to go for the gusto in DFS and TE-Premium leagues on Thursday with Johnson, who already flashed a ceiling with two touchdowns on 10 routes in Week 1.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

1. Chicago Bears – Rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues

Have you seen Tim Boyle play football?

And even if he were benched, have you seen Jared Goff play football?

2. Atlanta Falcons – Rostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues

Trevor Lawrence has completed 56% of his passes for one touchdown, one interception, and 4.8 yards per attempt over his last four starts, a stretch so underwhelming it even makes Atlanta's defense relevant.

3. Washington Football Team – Rostered in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues

The Seahawks are now averaging four fewer plays per game (55) than the next closest team, permitting seven sacks and the fourth-most quarterback pressures with Russell Wilson under center the past two weeks. Washington at the very least offers a sack-based floor in a plus matchup.

4. Detroit Lions – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues

Andy Dalton.

Watch List: Everyone wants a skeleton key defense for the fantasy playoffs even though there genuinely isn't one this year. Looking ahead, we can at least can pin the Chargers in favorable spots in Weeks 16 (Texans) and 17 (Broncos) and Jacksonville versus the Texans and Jets in Weeks 15 and 16. Philadelphia's schedule is also tolerable in Weeks 15 and 16 against the Giants and Washington. I expect a lot to change between now and then.

KICKERS

Only a fool wouldn’t pass the ball to Michael Jordan in his prime, so it only makes sense that I pull each week’s kicker streamers from Denny Carter’s column and #adjust them accordingly. For in-depth analysis, you can read his entire piece here:

1. Jake Elliott, Eagles – Rostered in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues

2. Robbie Gould, 49ers – Rostered in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues

3. Evan McPherson, Bengals – Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues