Fantasy football waiver wire recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.
Check back for any updates throughout Monday and Tuesday as more injury news becomes available.
Bye weeks: Cardinals, Chiefs
Fantasy football waiver wire targets
Priority free agents
1) RB DeeJay Dallas, Seattle Seahawks: Meh. Full-on, unequivocal meh. It’s a rough week for waiver recommendations … With Chris Carson (neck) opting for season-ending surgery, Dallas and Alex Collins primarily will be in the mix. Dallas has the most upside of them all, but Collins has been the backfield leader in touches. Dallas is a slightly burlier back and may be more valuable in the red zone, if his Week 11 4-25-1 line is of any prognosticative value. While six total utilizations is far from encouraging, Collins continues to see 10-plus plays come his way, although with unplayable results in four straight games. At some point, and likely soon, something has to give, which should break in Dallas’ favor.
2) RBs Tevin Coleman & Ty Johnson, New York Jets: RB Michael Carter exited Week 11 with an ankle injury and may need some time. Update: He’s expected to miss a few weeks. Gamers need to prepare for the stretch run by adding depth, and Coleman is the target for non-PPR, whereas Johnson has more potential reception-rewarding setups. Neither player has much utility beyond being a bye week or injury fill-in, but this late in the year, a warm body with a role is worthy of attention in deeper formats. Ahead for the Jets: at Houston and vs. Philadelphia — a pair of susceptible defenses. If neither back steps up in that window, presuming Carter is out too much longer, boot them to the curb.
Availability: 97% (Coleman) & 80% (Johnson)
FAAB: $11-12 (both)
3) WR Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Landry (knee) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin) are ailing, which could leave Higgins as the chief WR target for Baker Mayfield. Now that might be akin to being a Toyota Corolla thrust midway into a Formula 1 race, but the opportunity deserves a look for those desperate to fill a need at the position. The severity of Landry’s knee injury isn’t yet known, although he retumed for the final drive. Yet, it’s fair to wonder since the vet just recently returned from missing several weeks with a sprained MCL. Higgins was targeted five times in Week 11, resulting in irrelevant stats, so recognize this one could prove to be a one-week rental vs. Baltimore as the Browns have a Week 13 bye.
QB Andy Dalton, Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions: Motown’s annual Turkey Day hosting brings Chicago to town for the second time in three years. Update: It’s likely quarterback Justin Fields’ bruised ribs will keep him out on a short week. Typically, such an injury is all about pain management … can he withstand the torque required to throw a ball? How will it feel if he takes a shot? What about wearing a rib protector? You get the point … Andy Dalton came in cold Sunday and was as good as can be expected without WR Allen Robinson (hamstring) and facing Baltimore. The Red Rifle is expected to start this Thursday. Furthermore, head coach Matt Nagy refused to commit to a healthy version of Fields. Detroit hasn’t been atrocious vs. QBs, but they gave up an average 23.2 fantasy points to the position in the five weeks leading up to facing Cleveland. The Browns’ injury-decimated passing game can be ignored from this one … the decision to start either is best left for superflex formats, but owners of Patrick Mahomes or Kyler Murray could be in a tough spot with both on bye.
Availability: 68% (Fields), 99% (Dalton)
FAAB: $2-3 (both)
RB Dontrell Hilliard, Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots: The Pats have been playing as well as anyone on defense of late, but one thing this defense struggles with — somewhat due to circumstances — is limiting pass-catching backs. Hilliard filled in for RB Jeremy McNichols (concussion) against Houston and caught eight of 10 targets for 47 yards. He added 35 yards on seven totes. The veteran third-downer faces a Patriots team that gave up the second-most receptions and aerial yardage per game to RBs in the five games leading up to this past week. The Titans have a Week 13 bye, which could lead to McNichols sitting again. In that event, and only in that event, Hilliard is a viable fantasy flex play in PPR settings.
RB Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans vs New York Jets: The veteran Swiss Army knife rushed 18 times for an uninspiring 40 yards in Week 11. The volume of touches is the focus here. So is the matchup vs. New York, a defense that has allowed obscene numbers to RBs in 2021, especially the past six games. Nine backs in that time have scored in PPR double figures, and six of them were good for 19-plus points. Unreal. After the Jets is Indy, a much stiffer level of competition.
WR Cedrick Wilson, Dallas Cowboys: Dallas definitely will be without Amari Cooper (COVID-19) in Week 12, and it looks like CeeDee Lamb (concussion) will join him, given the short week for this Thanksgiving Day game. Wilson and the largely already-owned Michael Gallup will be the top targets at the position in such a scenario. Las Vegas has given up considerable work to receivers of late, especially prior week to Week 11, a game in which Cincinnati rushed all over the Raiders. Opportunity for a low-investment TD from Wilson makes him a WR3 in most formats. In a pinch, WR Malik Turner, who scored twice in Week 10, could be a consolation prize.
TE Ryan Griffin, New York Jets at Houston Texans: On the other side of the Burkhead matchup is the veteran tight end against a defense that has had few answers for the position in 2021. Six touchdowns conceded in the first nine games helped create the fourth-easiest opponent to exploit prior to Week 11. Griffin could have Joe Flacco looking his way once more as Zach Wilson (knee) appears to be at least a game away from being close. Griffin is just two games removed from a seven-target game that resulted in a 4-28-1 line — a good illustration of what we’re working with here. He has low-volume TD appeal, and that’s about it.
PK Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers: In Week 11, Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell made all three of his field goals and went 4-for-4 on PATs. The prior five games saw at least two three-pointers attempted in four of those outings, and at least three extra points have been attempted in all but one of those same games. McManus returns from a bye week after attempting seven field goals in the two games leading up to the vacation.
Chicago Bears D/ST at Detroit Lions: Jared Goff … Tim Boyle (he played like one) … David Blough … Scott Mitchell … Rodney Peete … does it matter? Chicago has to finish the season without Khalil Mack (foot), yet this defense has scored 11 and nine fantasy points, respectively, against the Steelers and Ravens the past two games. The Bears will make the Lions look like turkeys and gobble up takeaways. After consecutive games without a sack, Chicago has 10 in the past two outings alone.
Houston Texans D/ST at New York Jets: Houston has allowed only 30 total points in the last two games, racking up six sacks, as many interceptions, and four fumble recoveries. Few teams have been as hot on defense in fantasy of late, which feels really weird to type. The Jets will start either Joe Flacco or Zach Wilson (knee) a week after losing the team’s best running back to injury … for how long is unknown, but it’s not a positive in any context. Houston, the Jets have a problem.
Grab & stash
RB Trey Sermon, San Francisco 49ers: With Elijah Mitchell missing Week 11 and Jeff Wilson Jr. averaging a paltry 2.7 YPC since returning from knee surgery, Sermon saw 10 carries while the Niners crushed Jacksonville. He didn’t do much with the action (32 yards), but Mitchell’s broken finger could continue to create more opportunities as JaMycal Hasty (ankle) also was inactive. Deebo Samuel was the team’s leading rusher in Week 11 as it turns out, making this situation even sketchier for recommending Sermon. It’s unclear if Mitchell will miss any more time, but Sermon could warrant a roster spot just in case. Next up is a so-so matchup with Minnesota before trips to Seattle and Cincy. Given the craziness of this team’s backfield all year, don’t totally write off the rookie just yet.
Keep your eye on ’em
WR Dez Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans: The rookie had one target — caught for no gain — against the Houston Texans in Week 11’s shocking loss. Tennessee exited the game without WR A.J. Brown (hand, chest) and already is down Julio Jones until at least Week 14. Even though Chester Rogers saw the same number of targets (6) as Fitzpatrick, the latter has more potential. We’ve see exactly what Rogers is through the years, and gamers can keep tabs on how Fitz performs against the New England Patriots in Week 12 as a barometer heading into the Titans’ Week 13 bye.
The following fantasy-relevant players are eligible to return from the Reserve/Injured list and could be on waivers, but inclusion below doesn’t guarantee coming back in the upcoming week. The date when the player was placed on IR is in parentheses.
- TE Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (10/6)
Deep diving for running backs
If you’re in a competitive league, it is unlikely running backs are just chillin’ on the waiver wire. But that doesn’t mean gamers aren’t still in need of “break in case of emergency” running backs. These players could be available for a dumpster dive:
- Qadree Ollison, Atlanta Falcons (ATL replaced Mike Davis with … Mike Davis?)
- Matt Breida, Buffalo Bills (apparently he’s a thing now)
- Duke Johnson, Miami Dolphins (activated, 4 touches in Week 11)
- Jaret Patterson, Washington Football Team (Antonio Gibson insurance)
- Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals (TD flier)
- Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers (TD flier)