The fantasy football playoffs are right around the corner and with most trade deadlines passing this week, the waiver wire will continue to be a useful resource over the next month.
Fortunately, there are no teams on a bye in Week 12 so fantasy managers should have a relatively full roster when it comes to non-injuries.
We’ll be taking a look at the top available players rostered in ESPN leagues, using the 75% rostered mark as the threshold. If you have any questions about prioritizing a certain player over another, don’t be afraid to hit me up on Twitter (@KevinHickey11). Your questions, comments, and roasts are always welcome!
We also will be taking a look at some deeper players to stash and the top streaming options for the upcoming week.
Fantasy football waiver wire recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated.
Check back for any updates throughout Monday and Tuesday as more injury news becomes available.
Priority Free Agents
1. RB Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs
The rookie took over the backfield once again in prime time Sunday night against the Los Angeles Chargers. He saw more work after Clyde Edwards-Helaire exited with an ankle injury that could turn out to be somewhat long-term. Pacheco will still cede some third-down work to Jerick McKinnon, but he’s shaping up to be a league winner down the stretch. This is likely your last chance to get him if he’s available.
2. WR Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers
The rookie wideout followed up his three-touchdown performance with a pair of touchdowns Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans. He’s turning into the team’s WR2 behind Allen Lazard while his freakish athleticism shows he can have explosive games at any point. He does have a bye in Week 14, but Watson has some of the highest upside among relatively available players down the stretch.
3. WR Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
Finally, Burks showed what kind of upside he has. Posting seven receptions on eight targets for 111 yards makes him the WR10 entering Monday night. What was most impressive was his ability to make plays down the field. We knew Burks was dangerous underneath with the ball in his hands, but he could unlock a new level of upside if he’s also being target down the field. The passing offense still leaves much to be desired, but Burks could be heading into a stretch of games where he helps managers immensely.
4. RB Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals
Perine may only be worthy of a one-week pickup so I wouldn’t argue with anyone who doesn’t prioritize him over other targets with more upside long term. However, there’s a chance Joe Mixon misses the Week 12 game due to a concussion, and we saw what it looks like when Perine has the backfield to himself. His 30.2 PPR points make him the RB2 on the week entering Monday night as he totaled 15 touches for 82 total yards and three touchdowns. He gets a downgrade because it’s likely he’s only relevant for a week, but wins are hard to come by at this point in the season.
5. RB Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Before the Bucs had their bye in Week 11, White posted over 100 rushing yards for the first time this season. That was mostly due to Leonard Fournette exiting the game with an injury, and it still isn’t clear what his status is going into Week 12. However, White should be rostered in nearly every format. We don’t know the severity of Fournette’s injury, and the Bucs may just want to get the more explosive player on the field.
6. WR Demarcus Robinson, Baltimore Ravens
Even though Devin Duvernay played a few more snaps and ran a few more routes, Robinson is the one who was trusted with the targets. He led the Ravens offense in Week 11, posting nine receptions on nine targets for 128 yards. The Ravens offense makes it risky to trust pass-catchers, but Robinson has shown he has the ability to put up big games. With an extremely favorable schedule down the stretch, Robinson is worthy of flex consideration.
7. WR Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts had a tough matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, but Campbell continued to show he’s a huge part of the passing game with Matt Ryan under center. Campbell posted six targets while bringing in five receptions for 57 yards. It’s not an overly impressive line, but he has at least an 18% target share in five of his last six games.
8. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns
Peoples-Jones has quietly put together some impressive numbers over the last seven games. Over that stretch, he’s recorded at least 50 receiving yards in every game and hasn’t recorded fewer than four receptions. He found the end zone for the first time this season and with Deshaun Watson set to come back in Week 13, managers may want to get in early with Peoples-Jones if possible.
9. QB Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
This really is for managers who desperately need a quarterback. Watson is set to come back in Week 13 against the Houston Texans. We should temper expectations in terms of fantasy expectations until we see what he looks like in the Browns offense. There’s a chance he needs a bit more time to acclimate, but we’ve also seen Watson play at an elite level in his career.
WR Darius Slayton, New York Giants
We finally got to see rookie Wan’Dale Robinson break out as he took nine receptions for 100 yards. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL late in the game and will miss the remainder of the season. Slayton will benefit the most from that as he logged a season-high 10 targets in Week 11. Slayton has finished as a top-20 wide receiver in three of his last four games and could provide flex value moving forward.
WR Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs
The rookie has been massively disappointing this season, but he finally showed signs of life Sunday night. The risky part is that it took injuries to JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman and Kadarius Toney for Moore to really get a chance. Even then, he posted five receptions for 63 yards. But it was the most involved he’s been this season. Considering the draft capital the Chiefs used to get him, it’s worth seeing if they want to expand his role more.
WR Terrace Marshall, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers offense is far from exciting, but Marshall has put together some solid games since Robbie Anderson was traded away. He’s finished as a WR3 or better in three of his last four games and is coming off a game in which he caught three passes for 76 yards. He’s a boom/bust option at this point, but he’s a young, talented receiver with second-round draft capital just a year ago.
RB James Cook, Buffalo Bills
Cook probably isn’t start-worthy yet, but he may be worth rostering to see if his role continues to expand. Against the Cleveland Browns, the rookie was much more involved from the start of the game and wound up seeing a season-high 11 carries, which he took for 86 rushing yards. Cook is still clearly the RB2 over Nyheim Hines, and this situation is worth monitoring moving forward.
RB Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams
Akers is in the stash section and not the priority targets section because we have no idea what this backfield is turning into. After seeing a combined 11 carries in the two games coming out of the Rams’ bye week, Akers surprisingly led the backfield with 14 carries in Week 11. Darrell Henderson, who has been the lead back, saw just two carries. This backfield is probably best to avoid, but Akers is at least worth monitoring.
Streamers of the Week
QB Taylor Heinicke, Washington Commanders vs. Atlanta Falcons: It’s probably not going to be fun to watch, but Heinicke takes on a Falcons defense that has allowed seven top-15 finishes this season.
QB Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at Seattle Seahawks: Carr has thrown exactly two touchdown passes in three consecutive games. The Seahawks have allowed six top-15 finishes in 10 games.
TE Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns: The rookie is still the top tight end target over Cameron Brate, and the Browns have allowed six finishes inside the top-15.
TE Foster Moreau, Las Vegas Raiders at Seattle Seahawks: He only had one catch, but it was for 33 yards. The Seahawks have allowed six finishes inside the top-15 and five inside the top-10.
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST vs. Los Angeles Rams: The Chiefs defense isn’t anything special, but they get to take on a struggling Rams offense that could once again be without Matthew Stafford.
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST at Indianapolis Colts: The Steelers defense has T.J. Watt back while the Colts offense has topped more than 20 points in a game just twice this season. They’ve also allowed 40 sacks in 11 games.
PK Cameron Dicker, Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Dicker has at least 8.0 fantasy points in each of his last three games and gets to kick inside in what could be a high-scoring matchup.
PK Josh Lambo, Tennessee Titans vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Assuming Randy Bullock is out again, Lambo will face the defense allowing the most fantasy points per game to kickers.