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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups Week 12: Zach Charbonnet, Jayden Reed, More

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups Week 12: Zach Charbonnet, Jayden Reed, More article feature image

Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Charbonnet.

Welcome to my waiver wire breakdown ahead of NFL Week 12.

This breakdown is not a “one size fits all” kind of thing. Every fantasy league is different, and I don’t know the situation you’re in. I can’t tell you how much you should bid on any given player.

If you’re 8-3 and stacked at running back, you don’t need to spend big on a player who might only be relevant for a few games. If you're 5-6 and fighting for your life, go get him!

The point of this breakdown and my analysis is to give you the tools to make the best decision possible. I’ll provide as much detail as I can and encourage everyone to subscribe to my weekly rankings and check those on Wednesday night.

Most importantly, use my initial ranks for the week to see where I have everyone ranked. It’s 100% the best way to see how I view their short-term value.

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RB Zach Charbonnet

I made it a weekly reminder for a while to stash Charbonnet in the event Kenneth Walker were ever to miss time. In such a scenario, Charbonnet would push RB1 value.

Well … Walker suffered an oblique injury in the first quarter against the Rams on Sunday and the team has yet to determine how long he'll be out. Assuming Walker can't go in Week 12, I have Charbonnet opening the week as my RB13 despite the tougher matchup against the 49ers.

The main issue for those who haven't already stashed Charbonnet is that acquiring him now will require a hefty free agency bid — and you don't even know how much time Walker will actually miss.

It’s up to you to determine how aggressive you should be in free agency to land Charbonnet but as I mentioned last week, his metrics are off the charts. Some key numbers of his entering Week 11:

Yards after contact per attempt: 15th
Explosive rate: Second
First down rate: First

WR Jayden Reed

The rookie has quietly been productive as the Packers' main slot receiver; he can typically provide 3-5 receptions and 1-2 direct rush attempts per game.

Reed's coming off his best game as a rusher with a 3/46/1 rushing line. If Aaron Jones (knee) were to miss any time, the Packers might want to use Reed as a semi-Jones replacement.

Reed could be a Dollar Store Deebo Samuel — if that's the role he ends up having, he could have WR3 upside, maybe more. If not, we can expect him to be a high-floor WR4 option who will see an added boost in weeks the Packers are expected to trail.

Since Reed typically only sees snaps in 3-WR sets, his playing time tends to take a hit when the Packers lead, and vice versa when trailing.

TE Isaiah Likely

With Mark Andrews expected to miss potentially the rest of the season, Likely will take over most — if not all — of his snaps.

While Likely has nowhere near the talent of Andrews, he still has the potential to become a TE1 in the lead role. In the three games Likely played for an injured Andrews last season, he posted receiving lines of 6/77/1, 1/24/1 and 8/103/0.

Let’s not overthink this one: Likely needs to be added if you are in need of a TE and/or an Andrews owner. He opens the week as my TE11, but he has upside for even more.

I’m not sure which TEs are available in your league, so be sure to see my initial Week 12 rankings to get a sense as to where I would rank Likely as a waiver add. He should be added in all 12-team leagues and probably in a lot of starting lineups.

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