Waiver Wire Week 11: Watson, White Emerge



Fantasy football guru Matthew Berry has joined the team and his two shows have you covered all season long. Spend weekdays at noon with the Fantasy Football Happy Hour and then, every Sunday at 11am getting ready for kickoff with the Fantasy Football Pregame. Watch both shows live on Peacock and catch replays for the weekday show on the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

Whatever you do on this fine Tuesday, don't forget to join me at 1:00 eastern time on the NFL on NBC YouTube channel for my Week 11 Waiver Wire Q&A. As per usual, it will feature overwrought ramblings about NFL offenses, the analytics, kickers, and why I'm targeting or fading players for the coming week (and beyond).

Week 11 is no time to get complacent in optimizing your fantasy bench for the stretch run. It feels at this time of year that the NFL season has run its course and what was going to happen has already come to pass. But we know one injury, one benching, one philosophical change in an offense can trigger a flurry of fantasy fallout. Banking on the NFL season being full of unknowns has paid off handsomely for fantasy managers determined to make the most of their waiver wire additions.

Below are Week 11 waiver priorities, along with crowdsourced free agent budget data from fantasy football researcher Freeman Smith. Hopefully Smith's data (from his FAAB Lab) helps you wrap your head around how your league mates will value waiver wire players this week.

Priority

Player

Team

Position

Rostership %

1.

Christian Watson

GB

WR

9%

2.

Rachaad White

TB

RB

45%

3.

Parris Campbell

IND

WR

19%

4.

Jaylen Warren

PIT

RB

27%

5.

Allen Robinson

LAR

WR

61%

6.

Kadarius Toney

KC

WR

51%

7.

Darius Slayton

NYG

WR

6%

8.

Deshaun Watson

CLE

QB

37%

9.

Jerick McKinnon

KC

RB

16%

10.

Foster Moreau

LV

TE

16%

Quarterback

Priority

Player

Team

Rostership %

1.

Deshaun Watson

CLE

37%

2.

Russell Wilson

DEN

66%

3.

Jameis Winston

NO

10%

Deshaun Watson (CLE)
Rostership: 37 percent

It's not at all easy to write about Watson the way I write about every other NFL player. It's time to do just that though with Watson's Browns debut set for Week 13 against a horrific, gashable Houston defense.

Watson was pretty bad in Kevin Stefanski's offense during the preseason, and questions persist about his viability in a system based on shortish, on-time throws. Watson in three 2022 preseason games completed 53 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and two picks. His 6.6 yards per attempt was hardly spectacular. Perhaps if Watson ignores Stefanski's system and freelances the way he did in Houston, he'll be a QB1 in the season's final month. The hope for Amari Cooper and the rest of the team's pass catchers is that the Browns aren't as grindingly run-heavy with Watson under center.

Russell Wilson (DEN)
Rostership: 66 percent

Fantasy's 22nd highest scoring QB being rostered in two-thirds of leagues demands a congressional investigation posthaste. The entirety of government should be dedicated to getting to the bottom of this.

If Wilson was dropped in your league over the past few weeks, you might do well to scoop him up as a streaming option in Week 11 against the Raiders, who, as you may have heard, are abominably bad on defense. Vegas is generous in a way that should encourage opposing offenses to continue airing it out against them. No team allows a higher expected points added (EPA) per drop back while only seven teams give up a lower EPA against the rush. Even Wilson, who managed 286 yards and a touchdown last week against the Titans, should be fantasy viable against the Raiders.

Other quarterbacks to roster

Jameis Winston (10 percent): Saints head coach Dennis Allen is waffling on starting Andy Dalton in Week 11 after his miserable Week 10 outing against the Steelers. Allen will speak with the team's medical staff about Jameis Winston's various injuries before making a call at quarterback. The volatile Winston was seventh in passing yards through the season's first three weeks and led all QBs with five interceptions. No one had a higher average depth of target (12) than Winston through Week 3. He should be added in superflex formats.

Colt McCoy (2 percent): McCoy stepped in for Kyler Murray in Week 10 and force fed his best two pass catchers, DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore, who combined for a 76.5 percent target share against the Rams. McCoy's Week 10 performance -- in which he had the league's seventh highest completion rate over expected -- was good enough for at least one Cardinals beat writer to call for Kyler Murray's benching. He would be a usable deep-league option this week against the Niners.

Baker Mayfield (2 percent): Mayfield passes the all-important Pulse Test, in that he has one and will be under center for Carolina in Week 11 against the Ravens with P.J. Walker injured. Folks in 32-team fantasy leagues should consider Mayfield this week.

Running Back

Priority

Player

Team

Rostership %

1.

Rachaad White

TB

45%

2.

Jaylen Warren

PIT

27%

3.

Jerick McKinnon

KC

16%

Rachaad White (TB)
Rostership: 45 percent

Not In My League Twitter, anticipating I would highlight White in this week's waiver column, preemptively egged my home Sunday night. I will not be intimidated. I will not stand down, no matter how many eggs you throw.

It all happened in Week 10 for those who have held on to White for dear life this season. The rookie got the starting nod over fading veteran Leonard Fournette, the two backs rotated drives until the third quarter, when Lombardi Lenny went down with a hip injury. White then played 22 of the Bucs' 26 offensive snaps from there on out and ended with 105 yards on 22 rushes. White ran a route on half of Tom Brady's drop backs but was not targeted against Seattle. On Tuesday, Bucs beat writer Greg Auman said he expects White to continue in the starting role when the team returns from its bye week.

Adam Schefter's Monday report that Fournette should be ready to roll when the Bucs play after their Week 10 bye is sure to dampen enthusiasm for fantasy players who have plenty of free agent budget to burn while waiting for the perfect opportunity to blow it all. The nature of Fournette's injury and Tampa's Week 10 bye probably means you don't have to splurge on White this week. He should hit 100 percent rostership in 12-team formats though.

white
white


Jaylen Warren (PIT)
Rostership: 27 percent

Warren continued eating into Najee Harris' snaps and touches in Week 10 against the Saints, once again looking like the Steelers' best, most explosive backfield option (Warren had a 9-3 edge on third down snaps). Some context for Harris' 99 rushing yards on 20 carries: Thirty-six of those yards came on a single run in the first half. The rest of Harris' day was standard three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust fare.

Over Pittsburgh's past three outings, Warren has four rushes of more than 10 yards on just 17 attempts; Harris has five such rushes on 45 carries. In the passing game, it's not even close. Warren has a 2.22 yards per route run over the past three games, miles higher than Harris' 0.56 yards per route run. It's not hard to see why Steelers coaches have talked up Warren in recent weeks.

It would probably require a Harris injury for Warren to see a full workload, but if that happens, he would instantly be a RB1 in 12-team formats. However, his efficiency and slowly increasing involvement in the team's offense makes Warren a viable flex for now.

Jerick McKinnon (KC)
Rostership: 16 percent

I would be psyched about Isiah Pacheco getting 16 carries in Week 10 against Jacksonville if he were in almost any other offense. He's in the ultra-pass-heavy Kansas City offense though. So is McKinnon, who runs most of the routes and sees almost all the targets now that Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been effectively phased out of the Chiefs offense.

McKinnon over the past four games has averaged 27.3 pass routes and 4.25 targets, including 14 targets over the team's past two outings (CEH, meanwhile, has averaged 13.5 routes and 1.5 targets). It adds up to fairly reliable PPR production for the Chiefs' best running back; he has 96 yards on 12 receptions in the team's past two contests. Since Week 5, only four backs have more pass routes than McKinnon. He is a superior fantasy option to Pacheco in a Chiefs offense with the NFL's highest pass rate over expected.

Other running backs to roster

Keaontay Ingram (0 percent): The Cardinals, for reasons unknown, cut Eno Benjamin on Monday. The exceedingly strange move means Ingram, who's been good in limited chances this season, is the team's No. 2 running back for now. Look for the Cards to activate Ty'Son Williams or Corey Clement from the practice squad, but Ingram could be one snap away from inheriting a decent workload for the run-heavy Cardinals.

Isiah Pacheco (24 percent): Everything broke right for Pacheco in Week 10 against the Jaguars and all he could muster was 8.2 fantasy points. Such is the power of the running back reception -- a power that belongs to the aforementioned McKinnon. Pacheco has three targets on the season. He's therefore completely touchdown dependent. This isn't to say Pacheco is a bad runner. The opposite is true, as only 10 backs have a higher rush yards over expected per attempt than Pacheco this season.

Gus Edwards (50 percent): Kenyan Drake's recent play has likely cemented him as Baltimore's lead back for now. Edwards, returning from a hamstring injury, will see some run behind Drake but mostly profiles as running back insurance for fantasy managers stocking their bench with contingency options.

Dontrell Hilliard (14 percent): This is your weekly reminder that Hilliard would probably see 20-plus touches a game if Derrick Henry were to miss time in the season's second half. In Week 10, Hilliard had one carry while running more pass routes than Henry and catching one of his two targets for six yards.

Kyren Williams (41 percent): I'm still not sure Williams is a real person or the collective figment of our imagination. Either way, he supposedly produced 30 yards on three catches in garbage time last week against Arizona. He had a single carry for nine yards. I don't care about the Rams backfield. But as the zoomers say, you do you.

Deon Jackson (22 percent): Jonathan Taylor is healthy and ready to rock as an every-down back in the Colts' post-Nyheim Hines offense. Jackson, who was good in a spot start last month, could take over as Indy's top back if Taylor misses any time. Zack Moss might have something to say about that though.

Raheem Blackshear (1 percent): A preseason star, Blackshear could find his way to touches in Carolina's run-heavy offense if D'Onta Foreman gets dinged up in the season's final couple months. Blackshear makes sense as a sicko deep league stash.

Wide Receiver

Priority

Player

Team

Rostership %

1.

Christian Watson

GB

9%

2.

Parris Campbell

IND

19%

2.

Allen Robinson

LAR

61%

3.

Kadarius Toney

KC

51%

4.

Darius Slayton

NYG

6%

5.

Jarvis Landry

NO

19%

Christian Watson (GB)
Rostership: 9 percent

My Twitter mentions have been overflowing recently with calls for accountability among folks who offer fantasy football advice -- the most pressing issue of our time, or any time for that matter. Such earnest and good-faith desire to hold the feet of the powerful (fantasy football writers) to the fire has inspired me to call myself out in this space.

In the aftermath of Romeo Doubs' Week 9 foot injury, I did not tout Christian Watson. Instead, I wrote up Sammy Watkins and Samori Toure as potential beneficiaries of Doubs' absence. Watson's route rate (around 20 percent) and Aaron Rodgers' glaring disdain for the mistake-prone rookie were too much for me to overcome. Then the kid went out and went for over 100 yards and three touchdowns on the strength of a 40 percent target share in the Packers' Week 10 upset of the Cowboys. Consider me held accountable.

Pro Football Focus' Ian Hartitz made a point Sunday night about Watson that was both funny and poignant -- the best kind of point. To get open downfield and drop the ball is a skill unto itself. You reject this completely, I know. But it's true. Not many receivers have the sort of speed -- the kind of skill profile -- that ends with nightmarish deep ball drops like the ones we've seen from Watson in 2022. That ability to get open and out-run everyone in the secondary paid off in spades in Week 10 against Dallas; four of Watson's eight targets came at least 20 yards downfield, and he made the most of it.

Sometimes rookie wideouts take half a season to look like a professional receiver. That would seem to be the case with Watson. Packers coaches and Rodgers recognize that Watson can do things no other Green Bay wideout can do. Watson leads all Green Bay pass catchers with a solid 2.22 yards per route run through Week 10. He's nearly tied with Randall Cobb with 7.5 yards after the catch per reception. Watson is by far the team's best wideout. He could truly be a difference-making fantasy producer in the regular season's final eight weeks.

watson
watson


Parris Campbell (IND)
Rostership: 19 percent

I begged and pleaded with folks over the past couple weeks to stay patient on Campbell as a stash. If Matt Ryan were to re-emerge as the Colts' starter quarterback, Campbell would once again be a low-end WR2 in PPR formats. New head coach Jeff Saturday pulled the plug on the disastrous Sam Ehlinger Experiment in Week 10 and threw Ryan back into the fire -- a move that changes the fantasy prospects of every fantasy-relevant Colts player.

Campbell in Week 10 against the Raiders ran a route on 90 percent of Ryan's drop backs and tied Michael Pittman for a team-high nine targets. He caught seven for 76 yards and a late touchdown. Over his past three games with Ryan at the helm, Campbell has 24 receptions on 32 targets as a go-to underneath slot guy. He is, in short, a PPR scam with Ryan under center. Campbell should be started every week in 12-team leagues for as long as Ryan is starting for Indy.

Allen Robinson (LAR)
Rostership: 61 percent

Fantasy football's most devastatingly disappointing player might be slightly less disappointing with Cooper Kupp and his whopping 34 percent target share out of the picture. Kupp will reportedly miss “some time.” I'd guess that means multiple weeks, if not the rest of the season. I'm no Twitter doctor though.

Robinson -- who's further under his expected fantasy points than all but five wideouts -- has had something close to a 100 percent route participation rate this season and has seen at least six targets in four of his past five games. So he has that going for him, which is nice. He's also second on the Rams with a 22 percent air yards share, one that should grow with Kupp's absence.

For as soul-crushingly awful as Robinson has been for fantasy purposes in 2022, he has quietly seen solid usage in LA's offense. Robinson leads Kupp both in targets inside the 20 and inside the 10 yard line. In fact -- and maybe you find this as unbelievable as I do -- Robinson has the ninth most red zone targets of any NFL pass catcher this season. And get this: Only Justin Jefferson has more looks inside the 10-yard line than A-Rob. While he's done next to nothing with those opportunities, it's good he's getting them. He could see more -- many more -- with Kupp out.

There's always the (good) chance LA's offense implodes without their lifeblood making something out of nothing in a predictable offense that is among the NFL's worst by any measure. In case the Rams can stay afloat sans Kupp, Robinson should be picked up this week.

Kadarius Toney (KC)
Rostership: 51 percent

Toney dead enders are upset about his presence in this space. As a fellow Toney truther, I understand.

JuJu Smith-Schuster's Week 10 brain injury on a vicious head shot and Mecole Hardman's abdomen injury could open things up for Toney in his third game with Kansas City. In limited playing time against Jacksonville, Toney was targeted on 29 percent of his pass routes and totaled 90 yards and a touchdown. He has a stellar yards per route run of 3.1 in his two games with the Chiefs.

Toney, one of the most efficient wideouts in the NFL last season, has tantalizing upside in KC's pass-first, pass-always offense.

toney
toney


Darius Slayton (NYG)
Rostership: 6 percent

I have more than a little regret about not highlighting Slayton as the G-people's clearcut No. 1 wideout in last week's waiver column. Since Week 5, Slayton has 35 percent of the team's targets, 47.4 percent of the team's receiving yards, and a 2.15 yards per route run that dwarfs every other New York pass catcher's yards per route run. Slayton, and certainly not Wan'Dale Robinson, is the Giants' WR1 going forward.

This is all a little less thrilling when you consider the Giants have the NFL's sixth lowest pass rate over expected. Brian Daboll's run-first ways have resulted in Daniel Jones averaging just 24.2 pass attempts in New York wins (and 34 in losses). Unless things really go sideways for Big Blue, Slayton is going to remain in the 5-8 target range, giving him a frightening floor. Even so, he should be scooped up by receiver-thirsty managers this week.

Jarvis Landry (NO)
Rostership: 19 percent

Finally back from his September ankle injury, Landry functioned as the Saints' No. 2 wideout in Week 10 against the Steelers on his way to catching three of six targets for 37 yards on an 80.6 percent route participation rate.

New Orleans' offense was effectively neutered by the ball-control Steelers offense and Andy Dalton was terrible against a rejuvenated Pittsburgh pass rush. In better conditions, Landry's routes and targets should see an uptick. The Saints being terrible and always chasing points certainly won't hurt Landry's prospects.

KJ Hamler (DEN)
Rostership: 1 percent

Jerry Jeudy could miss Week 11 with an injury he picked up in Week 10 against the Titans. If Hamler -- who was sidelined in Week 10 with a hamstring issue -- can get right for Week 11, he would profile as the Broncos WR2 behind Courtland Sutton. It requires quite the imagination for one to get excited about a Denver receiver with Russell Wilson under center.

His 24.9 average depth of target (on 15 targets) tells you everything you need to know about Hamler's usage. It's going to be highly volatile and not at all predictable. I guess Hamler is worth rostering in case he falls into a full complement of routes.

Other receivers to roster

Odell Beckham (47 percent): Folks love them some OBJ, judging by his rostership. The Cowboys have played footsies with Beckham and several other contenders are interested in the free agent coming off a February ACL tear. Run-heavy Dallas would be a horrendous fantasy landing spot for Beckham if he's able to return over the next two or three weeks. I don't see many scenarios in which Beckham, 30, delivers for those who have patiently awaited his return to the NFL.

Ben Skowronek (1 percent): The impact of the Kupp injury will cascade onto everyone in the Rams offense. That includes Skowronek, who becomes the team's No. 2 wideout while Kupp is sidelined. With a 12 percent target share to a 16 percent share for A-Rob, Skowronek isn't that far behind Robinson in expected fantasy points. He ran a route on 100 percent of the Rams' Week 10 drop backs and tied Robinson with six targets. There is an outcome where Skowronek edges ahead of the struggling Robinson as LA's top wideout (yes, this is a one-sentence horror story). Look for Skowranek, along with Tyler Higbee, to see most of the team's underneath targets, as he'll probably play the slot with Kupp out.

Devin Duvernay (59 percent): Rashod Bateman's season-ending injury has made Duvernay the No. 1 receiver for Baltimore. Mark Andrews' target domination and the Ravens recent shift toward the run means Duvernay is going to have to be highly efficient to post WR2/3 numbers. His occasional rushing usage -- Duvernay has eight rushes this year -- gives him a little extra fantasy juice.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (1 percent): NWI, as the kids are calling him, went off in Week 10 for five catches, 119 yards, and a touchdown against a tough Denver secondary. He hadn't caught a pass since Week 5 and now has a grand total of 12 receptions in nine games. Don't be fooled by NWI's Week 10 explosion.

Justin Watson (0 percent): Andy Reid and the Chiefs clearly like Watson, and trust him more than, for example, Skyy Moore, who is a zoomer psyop. The absence of JuJu and Hardman gave Watson a 72.5 percent route rate against the Jaguars in Week 10 (he had one target). Running three-quarters of the routes in an offense guided by a quarterback who has average 44.5 pass attempts per game over the past month is hardly the worst fantasy environment for a wideout.

Kendall Hinton (1 percent): I for one did not foresee Hinton making this column in 2022. Here he is though, coming off a four-catch, 52-yard performance against Tennessee. Jerry Jeudy is expected to miss time with an ankle injury and Hinton enjoyed a 93 percent route rate. Hinton could be Denver's No. 2 receiver if Jeudy and Hamler are out. There's another one-sentence horror story for you on this, my Tuesday.

Tight End

Priority

Player

Team

Rostership %

1.

Foster Moreau

LV

16%

2.

Hayden Hurst

CIN

48%

3.

Juwan Johson

NO

12%

Editor's note: Tyler Higbee, after a few slow weeks, is available in about 20 percent of leagues. He should be considered a must-get for any fantasy managers who don't roster Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, or Dallas Goedert. Higbee had eight catches on eight targets last week against the Cardinals and has a real shot to blow up with Kupp sidelined. He could be the rare tight end with a target share north of 25 percent in the coming weeks.

Foster Moreau (LV)
Rostership: 16 percent

The Island of Foster Moreau calls out fantasy managers desperate for an every-week tight end option. And Darren Waller's trip to injured reserve -- taking him off the field for the next month -- makes Moreau a TE1 candidate based on volume of routes and targets alone. Against the Colts in Week 10, he caught three of four targets for 43 yards and a touchdown. Only four tight ends logged more routes than Moreau in Week 10.

Moreau since Week 7 leads all tight ends in pass routes and ranks fourth in targets. The Vegas offense is quietly fantasy friendly because the ball goes nowhere except to Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, and our guy Moreau, who has the ninth most tight end expected fantasy points over the past four weeks. Moreau needs to be rostered in most -- if not all -- 12-team leagues.

Hayden Hurst (CIN)
Rostership: 48 percent

Hurst was (rightfully) dropped in a bunch of leagues over the Bengals' Week 10 bye. He should now be a priority for any fantasy manager scrambling at tight end.

Since the Bengals began operating almost exclusively from shotgun and peppering intermediate-area pass catchers with targets, Hurst has 15 receptions on 17 targets in three games. Ja'Marr Chase's absence certainly doesn't hurt Hurst's opportunity in the Cincy offense either. His yards per route run (1.07) and average depth of target (5.4) are miserably low and make him more of a PPR scam option than a legit fantasy difference maker. But you'll take a dozen PPR points from your tight end, won't you?

Juwan Johnson (NO)
Rostership: 12 percent

Stop calling Johnson the Garbage Man. He's not a garbage man. He merely scores all his fantasy points in garbage time. There's a big difference.

Johnson now has four touchdowns in three games after finding paydirt again in Week 10 against the Steelers. He led the Saints with seven targets and has logged more pass routes than all but six tight ends this season. Johnson is hardly ever being asked to block in the New Orleans offense, a tremendous boon for his fantasy prospects. The Saints being so incredibly down bad likely means Johnson's routes and targets will remain inflated for the stretch run. You could do way worse at tight end.

Other tight ends to roster

Cole Kmet (60 percent): Kmet is running insanely hot over the past few weeks, with five touchdowns on just 14 targets over that span. I find it exceedingly difficult to imagine Kmet can keep up startable fantasy production in a Chicago offense with the league's second lowest pass rate over expected.

Trey McBride (0 percent): Arizona's rookie shapes up as the team's primary pass-catching tight end with Zach Ertz (knee) done for the year. McBride played 54 of the team's 55 offensive snaps after Ertz suffered his knee injury in the first quarter last week against LA. That he only saw one target is beside the point. Ertz leaves behind a 20 percent target share. Not all of that will be absorbed by target blackhole DeAndre Hopkins.

Noah Fant (13 percent): Things didn't break right for Fant in Week 11. He saw just four targets against the Bucs and nearly came down with a 22-yard touchdown, but for one half of one toe out of bounds. Nevertheless, we persist. Fant's route rate still isn't fantastic; he ran a route on 50 percent of the Seahawks' drop backs against Tampa. With eight receptions for 130 yards over the past two weeks, Fant is worth a look on your local waiver wire even with the Seahawks on bye this week.

Tyler Conklin (14 percent): Roster Conklin at your own risk. If the Jets play from ahead this week against the Patriots, Conklin's fantasy floor is nonexistent. If they have to play catch up, Conklin could see double digit targets, as he did in Week 8 against New England. He's a (very) shaky fantasy option in a New York offense with the league's ninth lowest pass rate over expected.

Harrison Bryant (2 percent): He's been the Browns' primary pass-catching tight end with David Njoku (ankle) on the shelf, and against the Dolphins last week he caught three passes, including one touchdown. That's all well and good. Bryant could be viable in deeper formats if Njoku remains sidelined in Week 11.

Isaiah Likely (22 percent): That Mark Andrews (shoulder) will probably be back for Week 11 doesn't make Likely completely un-rosterable. He's still in play for deeper leagues and would return to TE1 status if Andrews is not ready for a return.

Kicker

Nick Folk (NE)
Rostership: 44 percent

Last year's K1 in fantasy is at it again, with nine field goal attempts over the Patriots' past two games and multiple attempts in four of his past five games. New England's offense has stabilized and produced the kind of game script required to generate consistent field goal tries.

The Patriots are 3.5-point favorites this week against the fraudulent Jets. It was a mere three weeks ago that Folk banged through all five of his field goal tries against Gang Green. Folk -- averaging 3.6 attempts in Patriots wins -- is an excellent Week 11 option against a Jets defense allowing the tenth most field goal tries this season.

Robbie Gould (SF)
Rosterhip: 47 percent

Gould, mentioned last week in this space, came through for the streaming kicker sickos among us, making all three of his field goal tries against the Chargers on Sunday night.

He should be in for another multiple-attempt game in Week 11 against the Cardinals, who enter as 7.5-point road underdogs against the Niners. Gould has at least two field goal tries in four of the 49ers' five wins this season. If you picked him up in Week 10, keep rolling with the old man (who is younger than me).