Waiver Wire: Week 11

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Welcome to the Week 11 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2019 season. With the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, and Tennessee Titans on bye, we’ll highlight two running backs that should not only get you through Week 11, but stay serviceable for the next few weeks. We’ll also discuss the absences of Devonta Freeman (toe), Austin Hooper (knee), Emmanuel Sanders (ribs), Brandin Cooks (concussion) and Sterling Shepard (concussion) all the while directing a majority of our leftover FAAB towards their projected replacements.

As a reminder, 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 adds are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list contains in-depth notes on players who are worthy of roster spots if possible, and deep cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

The Drop List
QB: Matthew Stafford, Baker Mayfield
RB: LeSean McCoy
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster, A.J. Green, Brandin Cooks, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Sterling Shepard
TE: Vance McDonald

Matthew Stafford’s back injury reportedly dates back to last season and could truly keep him shelved for the foreseeable future. There’s also no guarantee he’s able to continue launching 20-plus yard grenades at a league-high rate when/if he returns. Feel free to part with LeSean McCoy following his surprising healthy scratch on Sunday. There’s an off-chance he’s active after Damien Williams gifted a fumble-six to Titans LB Rashaan Evans in the second quarter, but it’s worth noting the latter still out-touched backup Darrel Williams 15 to 2 from that point forward. With James Washington surging on 5.7 targets per game in three contests since Pittsburgh’s Week 7 bye, Smith-Schuster’s finished as fantasy’s WR8, WR73, and WR46 in that span. I would only shed him for Brian Hill in a vacuum among Week 11’s ranked waiver options. After reportedly re-aggravating his ankle injury last week, it remains more probable than not that A.J. Green simply sits out for the rest of the year rather than risking any further damage for meaningless targets from rookie Ryan Finley. Brandin Cooks and Sterling Shepard are in similar situations that likely (and hopefully) keep both out for their own benefit to finish the year. Expect Terry McLaurin and Tyrell Williams to join this list ahead of Week 12 if neither prosper in cush matchups against the Jets and Bengals.

Overall Top 5
1. Brian Hill
2. Deebo Samuel
3. Phillip Dorsett
4. J.D. McKissic
5. Darius Slayton

For those simply looking to roster the best player available regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus the actual positions. These are listed in the precise order I’d prioritize waiver claims in Week 11. J.D. McKissic only gets the nod ahead of Darius Slayton because the Giants hit their bye this week.

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Handcuff Top 5
1. Alexander Mattison
2. Tony Pollard
3. Rashaad Penny
4. Ryquell Armstead
5. Wayne Gallman

For those refusing to stand pat and itching for an end-of-roster stash, the above list was carefully assembled to highlight league-winners in the event the player ahead of them misses any time. Presumed snaps, carries, targets, and the play-calling each are tied to have been factored in. This list could adjust weekly based on current situations. Reggie Bonnafon was removed following the mid-week addition of ex-Bears castoff Mike Davis behind Christian McCaffrey.

Josh Allen rostered in 76 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.
1. Kyle Allen
2. Derek Carr
3. Nick Foles

Running Backs
Kareem Hunt rostered in 71 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.
1. Brian Hill
2. J.D. McKissic
3. Raheem Mostert
4. Peyton Barber

Wide Receivers
Will Fuller rostered in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.
Dede Westbrook rostered in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 add if available.
1. Deebo Samuel
2. Phillip Dorsett
3. Darius Slayton
4. Andy Isabella
5. Russell Gage
6. Josh Reynolds

Tight Ends
1. Dallas Goedert
2. Darren Fells
3. Jacob Hollister
4. O.J. Howard
5. Noah Fant
6. Kyle Rudolph

Defense/Special Teams
Pittsburgh Steelers rostered in 71 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.
1. Dallas Cowboys
2. Oakland Raiders
3. New York Jets

1. Ka'imi Fairbairn
2. Sam Ficken

1. Kyle Allen, Panthers — Rostered in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 8% FAAB Bid)

Attribute Atlanta’s one-week improvement to new DC Jeff Ulbrich’s scheme change if you want, but this group is ultimately the same crop of players that have been scorched for 8.2 yards per attempt through the air while averaging an abysmal 1.4 sacks and 4.4 quarterback hits per game. Both Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore should have no issues feasting from Kyle Allen at home — especially given the Falcons’ poor No. 27 pressure rate (24.8%) created on the season.

2. Derek Carr, Raiders — Rostered in 8 percent of Yahoo Leagues (5%)

Carr has performed admirably of late, ranking as fantasy’s QB16 in several choice matchups since Week 7. His ceiling leaves much to be desired since he’s yet to top 300 yards in any game this year, but Cincinnati doesn’t offer a single threat if you’re simply looking for a 200-yard, two-touchdown floor play to replace Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers in Week 11.

3. Nick Foles, Colts — Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues (2%)

Foles obviously hasn’t played since Week 1 but he at the very least offers upside against an Indy secondary still fighting through Pierre Desir’s (hamstring) and Quincy Wilson’s (shoulder) nagging injuries. Upgrade the $88-million free agent acquisition over Carr if Dede Westbrook (shoulder) is officially cleared.

Watch List: On a day the Jets scored 34 points en route to notching their second victory of the season, Sam Darnold threw for just 230 yards and one score, salvaging an otherwise poor performance with an unprecedented two-yard touchdown scramble. He has another great on-paper matchup against Washington this week, but it’s fair to say he obviously can’t be trusted as a priority add. Stream at your own risk.

1. Brian Hill, Falcons – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues (65%)

Hill’s rest of season outlook burst at the seams the moment Devonta Freeman (toe) exited in the third quarter against the Saints. Even with Kenjon Barner and Qadree Ollison available, Hill out-snapped both 38 to 10 in the interim, handling 20 carries and two targets as Atlanta’s replacement bell-cow. Guaranteed at least one start against the Panthers’ stone worst rush defense DVOA, Wyoming’s all-time leading rusher is an available RB2 in Week 11 who has an outside shot at taking this backfield over long-term. I would have no issues burning the No. 1 overall waiver spot on him even if it were a lock Freeman returns in Week 13.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. J.D. McKissic, Lions – Rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues (20%)

We’ve been down this road before; splurging on someone in the Lions’ backfield only to see him get out-touched the following week. Having said that, McKissic was treated like a true bell-cow once Ty Johnson (concussion) exited in the first quarter, seeing 10 carries and seven targets on 58-of-83 snaps ahead of Paul Perkins (15 snaps) and Nick Bawden (11). McKissic also kept his pass-catching role for the entire game, running 36 routes to Perkins’ 7. If Johnson is ruled out, McKissic arguably makes for a Top 30 play if only for his soft hands in what should be a dominating workhorse position.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

3. Raheem Mostert, 49ers – Rostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues (5%)

Kyle Shanahan will obviously continue dispersing a two-headed backfield even with Matt Breida (ankle) away getting a second opinion on his ankle. Forward-thinkers should recall Mostert's average 11.3/67.3 on the ground and 1.3/22.7 receiving as a true Swiss army knife on 35 percent of San Francisco's snaps while Tevin Coleman was battling a high-ankle sprain in the team's first three contests. Even if it's just for this week, Mostert qualifies as an RB3 with Breida eyeing missed snaps. Prioritize over McKissic if Ty Johnson's cleared.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

4. Peyton Barber, Buccaneers – Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues (2%)

For the record, Ronald Jones is still the guy you want following season-highs in targets (8), catches (8), and routes run (23). But the second-year runner’s mid-fourth quarter fumble opened the door for Barber on the ensuing drive as it was the latter who recorded all three touches (including Tampa Bay's one-yard goal line touchdown) to close the game. Jones still has value if he’s being used over Dare Ogunbowale, but Barber’s at least re-entered the conversation as a touchdown-or-bust option for the desperate.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Kalen Ballage handled 24-of-29 backfield touches on 82 percent of Miami’s offensive snaps but continues to run directly into his o-line every time the ball’s in his hands. He’s now fallen down for 55/113 and 2.05 yards per carry on the season…Derrius Guice is expected to return to a majority role ahead of Adrian Peterson, but jury’s out on what that entails outside of a handful of targets. If there were ever a game that particular trait translated to fantasy production, though, it’s this week against the Jets, who have allowed the fifth-most receptions to opposing running backs.

Deep League: With Mike Davis suddenly in town, Reggie Bonnafon is no longer the trusted handcuff to Christian McCaffrey. Reminder Davis compiled 112/514/4 rushing and 34/214/1 receiving as a true chess piece with the Seahawks just last year…Even with LeSean McCoy healthy scratched, Darrel Williams played merely 17-of-82 snaps and got out-touched by Damien Williams 24 to 3. He isn’t anything more than a dynasty stash unless Damien’s snaps are scaled back following his second quarter fumble.

1. Deebo Samuel, 49ers – Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 25% FAAB Bid)

Samuel admittedly wasn’t a priority claim until Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) exited early Monday night. The No. 36 overall pick went on to play 70-of-83 snaps against the Seahawks, recording a team-high 23.9 percent target share and 8/112 receiving as San Francisco’s clear-cut No. 1 option. His opportunity would obviously go down if George Kittle’s (knee) cleared for Week 11, but Samuels’ matchup against Arizona’s secondary remains all too good to pass on with Sanders presumably sidelined.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Phillip Dorsett, Patriots – Rostered in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues (10%)

Mohamed Sanu’s season-high 14 targets on 100 percent of the team’s snaps before New England hit their bye overshadowed the fact that Dorsett actually ran just one fewer route (47) than the Patriots' trade acquisition (48) on 99 percent involvement. Both should prosper with ease against Philadelphia’s leaky secondary that’s still charged in allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game (27.4) to opposing wideouts despite hitting their bye.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

3. Darius Slayton, Giants – Rostered in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues (10%)

Slayton heads into New York’s bye week with a team-high air yards share (35%) since starting in place of Sterling Shepard (concussion) in Week 6. Although he’ll likely lose volume whenever Evan Engram (foot) returns, it’s clear Slayton’s developed a rapport with fellow rookie Daniel Jones as his 33 targets rank second only to Golden Tate’s 44 ever since the fifth-rounder walked into three-wide sets. It’s also not out the question that Shepard’s (concussion) played his last down of 2019 following his third trip to the league’s concussion protocol last Saturday. Slayton would be ranked No. 2 among wideouts if the Giants weren't on bye this week.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. Andy Isabella, Cardinals – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (8%)

Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Isabella’s role wouldn’t change heading into Week 10 but that proved to be farce as the No. 62 overall pick hit season-highs in snaps (39%), targets (3), and routes run (18) as Arizona’s second wideout along the perimeter. Averaging an astonishing 29 yards per target on just six looks since Week 7, buying early on Isabella could lead to exposure towards a Top 40 wideout down the stretch.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

5. Russell Gage, Falcons – Rostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues (2%)

Austin Hooper’s absence not only vacates 7.4 targets and 16.4 slot snaps per game, the 25-year-old free-agent-to-be has also led the team in end zone targets (4) since Week 6. Gage won’t soak up all of that available opportunity, but it does logically project him for more usage immediately since he’s seen two targets inside the 20 as Atlanta’s primary slot wideout without Sanu in their past two games.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. Josh Reynolds, Rams – Rostered in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues (2%)

Reynolds has stepped in for Brandin Cooks (concussion) in Los Angeles’ last two games and mirrored Robert Woods in targets (13) on near every-down usage (91.5%). Expect more of the same on Sunday night against the Bears if you’re in a bind for a WR4/FLEX.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

Watch List: It only resulted in 1/17 receiving on the surface, but A.J. Brown quietly played a season-high 47-of-50 snaps without Corey Davis (hip) against the Chiefs. That type of usage keeps him firmly planted on the streaming WR3/4 radar if Davis is still slowed coming out of Tennessee's bye...Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to return this week, but keep Kenny Stills on your radar just in case. He's still only rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues despite logging 91.6 percent of Houston's offensive snaps in their last three games...Alex Erickson would be the pivot against Oakland's abhorrent secondary if Tyler Boyd (leg) is truly banged up...Chris Conley averaged seven targets with Dede Westbrook (shoulder) in and out of Jacksonville's lineup since Week 7. Both he and Keelan Cole are viable deep league options if Westbrook's ruled out...Demaryius Thomas saw a team-high nine targets against the Giants if you're into chasing his role as the team's third wideout. He'll continue being used as a makeshift Chris Herndon-like tight end underneath with the second-year prospect done for the year...Darren Waller's been phased in Oakland's last three games due in part to Hunter Renfrow's team-high 17 percent target share and surprisingly increased role in that span. Having said that, Renfrow's merely a weekly floor play with less touchdown equity than Cole Beasley. Given that Carr has yet to eclipse 300 yards in any game this season, you know what you're getting if rostering Renfrow in deeper leagues...James Washington's 17 targets since Week 8 are interesting, but big picture suggests he can't breakout over JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson since this offense (which ranks 27th in yards per play to begin with) is unable to support two receivers. James Conner's (shoulder) return to the mix diminishes Washington's flowering role, as well.

1. Dallas Goedert, Eagles — Rostered in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 25% FAAB Bid)

With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) officially done for the year, note Goedert’s season-high 79 percent snap rate and 30 routes on Carson Wentz’s 45 dropbacks in Week 9 against the Bears. Even with Zach Ertz ranking as fantasy’s TE4 over Philadelphia’s last six games, Goedert has snuck by as the TE8 due to his four end-zone looks and 28 targets in in that span. The second-year standout suddenly has as good a chance as Ertz to finish in the Top 12 at his position despite egregiously being available in 83 percent of Yahoo leagues. It’s worth stashing him ahead of the pack since the Eagles take on the Seahawks, Dolphins, Giants, Washington, and Cowboys after their treacherous bout against the Patriots on Sunday.

2. Darren Fells, Texans — Rostered in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues (25%)

My assumption is Fells is so widely available only because fantasy players typically shed their tight end to pick up a streaming option during the bye. Since his uptick in snaps first occurred in Week 5, though, Fells has been nothing short of a weekly starter, ranking as fantasy’s TE4 in that five-game stretch with a position-high four end zone targets and six total looks inside the 20. The 33-year-old’s touchdown-or-bust outlook firmly entrenches him as Top 12 option even when Will Fuller (hamstring) returns.

3. Jacob Hollister, Seahawks — Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues (25%)

Hollister heads into Seattle's bye with a two-score TE3 performance against the Bucs and Monday night’s 8/62/1 (TE4) versus the Niners in his last two games. Delve further into his usage and you'll spot he also ran a route on 83% > 77% of Russell Wilson's dropbacks in those contests. Will Dissly's, Luke Willson's (hamstring), and Hollister's seven collective targets inside the 10 would tie Austin Hooper's mark for second-most among tight ends, suddenly putting the former Pats prospect on the TE1 map if his current role sticks. Note Ed Dickson's (hamstring) return from IR in Week 12 before breaking the bank. This listing is exactly how I would prioritize tight end claims in Week 11 even if the Seahawks weren't on bye.

4. O.J. Howard, Buccaneers — Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues (25%)

Yes, friends: It’s time. Most will chalk up Howard’s standout performance against the Cardinals (4/47/1) solely to their porous defense against tight ends and while that certainly helped matters, his overall role change shouldn’t go unnoticed. The overlooked 24-year-old quietly hit season-highs in snaps (84, 85%), targets (7), and routes run (47) on Jameis Winston’s 55 dropbacks, even turning his first target inside the 10 on the year into a 10-yard touchdown. He obviously won’t play Arizona every week, but his athleticism is worth banking on assuming he’s suddenly an every-down (rather than a miscast) tight end for the rest of the season.

5. Noah Fant, Broncos — Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues (15%)

Fant’s 75-yard touchdown dash before he went into Denver’s bye was impressive, but more encouraging was the fact he played 84 percent of the team’s snaps and ran a route on 53 of the their 61 dropbacks in the two games since Emmanuel Sanders was traded. The No. 20 overall pick’s box score buoyed him into fantasy’s TE6 in that stretch, but what you’re really doling out for is his every-down opportunity for a team lacking viable receiving options outside of Courtland Sutton. The rookie’s 25 percent target share since Week 8 is simply the cherry on top.

6. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings — Rostered in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues (10%)

Adam Thielen may attempt to rush back from his current soft tissue injury, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him sidelined for one more game with Minnesota’s Week 12 bye waiting on the other side of Sunday. That’s important to note since Rudolph’s leveraged Thielen’s absence the past two weeks into a position-high five end zone targets and three shots (resulting in three ensuing touchdowns) inside the 10-yard line. He hasn’t experienced a bump in snaps in that span — in fact, his on-field involvement has actually decreased in favor of rookie Irv Smith — but his boom-or-bust nature in the red zone makes him a serviceable low-floor streamer in Week 11.

Watch List: David Njoku (broken wrist) is eligible to return with aplomb in Week 12 against a Fins defense that’s recently leaked 6/50 to Ryan Griffin and a combined 8/100/1 to Eric Ebron and Jack DoyleJonnu Smith hits Tennessee’s bye with a chance Delanie Walker (ankle) returns in Week 12. If the veteran remains out, note the third-year pro’s team-high 18 targets in the Titans’ last three games.

1. Dallas Cowboys – Rostered in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues

Maybe this is a contest if Matthew Stafford (back) were healthy, but odds are both he and starting right tackle Rick Wagner (concussion) miss this one against Dallas’ threatening front-seven that continues to create pressure at a league-high rate (37.6%). For what it’s worth, Jeff Driskel was under duress at the 11th-highest rate (38.5%) among starters in Week 10 despite squaring off against Chicago’s subpar pass rush.

2. Oakland Raiders – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues

Ryan Finley didn’t pose a threat in his first start for the Bengals, completing just 58.7 percent of his 52 attempts all the while tossing a pitiful two shots 20-plus yards downfield (and landing neither). Even the Raiders’ secondary should feast at home by two scores (-11.5).

3. New York Jets – Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues

The Jets were shredded for 308 yards and four scores by Daniel Jones last week but still walked away with a top-seven D/ST due to their ferocious six-sack performance that saw two forced fumbles on a whopping 21 total pressures. Rookie Dwayne Haskins is up next behind an o-line that Football Outsiders ranks No. 26 in Adjusted Sack Rate.

Watch List: Cleveland's currently rostered in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues, but they're worth stashing wherever applicable through their Week 11 turnaround against the Steelers since they land the Dolphins next week.

1. Ka’imi Fairbairn, Texans – Rostered in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues

Fairbairn allows for cheap exposure towards what should be Week 11’s highest-scoring affair between the Texans and Ravens. It’s a positive he’s nailed a 40-plus yard try in four consecutive games, eclipsing double-digit fantasy points in three straight contests. He’s a viable long-term replacement for Jason Myers or Mason Crosby if fretting dropping either.

2. Sam Ficken, Jets – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues

Since New York’s schedule has lightened (allowing for more scoring opportunities) against softer opponents in their last two games, Ficken’s accumulated 13 and 12 fantasy points as fantasy’s K3 in that stint. This week’s showdown against Washington is another plus on-paper matchup in his favor.