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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Adds: Wide Receivers Emerging and Returning From Injury Before Week 11

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Bobby Ellis/Getty Images. Pictured: Michael Pittman

  • Fantasy football waiver wires are getting thin as the season winds down, but there are a few wide receivers breaking out and a few others returning from injury who can help you down the stretch.
  • Colts WR Michael Pittman is among the breakout candidates, while the Packers' Allen Lazard and the Chiefs' Sammy Watkins could be good additions in great offenses as they return from injury.
  • Get all our favorite waiver wire adds for Week 11 below.

It’s getting mighty rough out there.

Week 11 brings us a very thin waiver wire, where even the most dedicated fantasy players have to look far and wide to find value.

There are only six teams still needing their bye week and the Bills, Bears, Giants, and 49ers are all out for the upcoming slate.

This week’s waiver wire finds a plenty of boom or bust risks. Let’s take a close look at the best pickups for Week 11, including a few young receivers emerging, and others returning from injury.

Note: We’ve limited recommendations to players owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. All data as of Monday.

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RB | WR | TE

Week 11 Waiver Wire Pickups

Running Backs

Nyheim Hines, Colts

Ownership: 40%

The Colts carousel of fantasy running back options continued in Week 10, with Nyheim Hines putting forth a massive stat line of five receptions, 115 total yards, and two touchdowns.

Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor only rushed seven times for 12 yards. Hines is clearly the best receiving option on the Colts, and see a ton of usage when Indianapolis is trailing or goes no-huddle.

While it’s difficult to trust Hines on a weekly basis, if you are in need of a waiver wire running back, he is probably the best option. The Colts have two favorable upcoming home games against Green Bay and Tennessee.

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Cam Akers, Rams

Ownership: 27%

Could the pendulum of Rams rushing attempts be finally swinging towards the rookie Cam Akers?

Akers led the Rams with 10 rushing attempts against a tough Seattle run defense. However, he missed out on the three rushing touchdowns to Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson Jr.

Akers is nothing more than a speculative add if you are willing to take a chance he is now the lead running back. As a warning, the Rams face two very difficult upcoming run defenses at Tampa Bay and home against San Francisco.

Malcolm Brown, Rams

Ownership: 25%

Brown has these occasional multiple touchdown games, which are impossible to predict.

He has less than 10 PPR fantasy points in six of his past eight games, but put forth a two-touchdown, 18.1 fantasy-point performance in the Rams 23-16 win over Seattle.

As the running back that sees the third-most opportunities in the Rams backfield, he is a touchdown-or-bust weekly option that sees less than a 50% weekly snap share.

Kalen Ballage, Chargers

Ownership: 19%

Ballage was again the leading rusher for the Chargers, with 18 carries for 68 yards. He also caught five of his six targets for 34 receiving yards.

Ballage is ahead of rookie Joshua Kelley, who has lacked production over the past month. However, there is still a potential log jam at running back with Ballage, Kelley, Justin Jackson (now on IR), and Austin Ekeler, who will return soon from injury.

After failing to convert multiple goal-line attempts, it’s hard to recommend Ballage as a Week 11 play in any capacity, but he’s getting touches.

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Jordan Wilkins, Colts

Ownership: 18%

Wilkins was a bust against the Titans, rushing for just 28 yards on eight attempts.

He still appears to be the preferred option for the Colts running the ball, as Jonathan Taylor appears to get the first drive and then defers to Wilkins.

If you believe that Wilkins is the preferred early-down option, he has a great Week 11 home matchup against a Green Bay defense that allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Salvon Ahmed, Dolphins

Ownership: 5%

The undrafted rookie from Washington again was the leading rusher for the Dolphins with 85 yards and a touchdown.

It’s hard to project Ahmed’s role once Matt Breida and Myles Gaskin is healthy.

Even if he is the starting running back in Week 11, a road game against Denver is a difficult matchup.

Devontae Booker, Raiders

Ownership: 3%

Booker made the most of his “revenge game” with a massive fourth quarter in the Raiders 37-12 win over Denver.  The former Bronco totaled 81 rushing yards with two fourth-quarter touchdowns en route to a strong fantasy day.

While Josh Jacobs is the clear lead running back, Booker has securely passed Jalen Richard as the Las Vegas RB2. He is still not startable in seasonal leagues, and serves only as a valuable handcuff to Jacobs.

Wide Receivers

Allen Lazard, Packers

Ownership: 42%

Lazard still has not been activated but appears ready to go for Week 11. The Packers chose to not activate Lazard in a game with poor weather that they were heavy favorites. Green Bay narrowly escaped 24-20.

Fantasy owners may remember Lazard’s last game before going on injured reserve. He torched the Saints for six receptions, 146 yards, and a touchdown in a 37-30 win at New Orleans.

The Packers have tough upcoming games at Indianapolis  and home vs. Chicago, but have a favorable fantasy playoff schedule. During Weeks 13-16 the Packers have three home games, including a Week 16 battle against Tennessee’s poor pass defense.

Sammy Watkins, Chiefs

Ownership: 37%

Watkins should return this week after missing that last four games with a hamstring injury.

He is a sneaky Week 10 pickup for two reasons. First, there are always waiver wire opportunities for players coming off a bye. Second, teammate Mecole Hardman was placed on the COVID-19 list.

The Chiefs have the second-best Week 13-16 schedule for fantasy wide receivers. Their Week 16 home matchup with the Falcons is pristine.

If Hardman is out, Watkins is a solid WR3 start at AFC West rival Las Vegas.

Henry Ruggs, Raiders

Ownership: 34%

Ruggs makes this week’s list if only for his last performance against the Chiefs. He was an offensive catalyst in the Raiders 40-32 win at Kansas City.

Ruggs turned just two receptions into 118 receiving yards and a touchdown.

He only has 21 total targets on the season, so Ruggs is a clear desperation dart throw in all fantasy formats who needs a big play to create value.

Nelson Agholor, Raiders 

Ownership: 26%

Agholor continued his oscillating fantasy production with a one-catch, eight receiving yard performance in the Raiders big Week 10 win.

Las Vegas will certainly need more passing game production against the Chiefs in Week 11. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for a season-high 347 yards and three touchdown in their win at Kansas City last month.

Agholor is a WR3/4 play next week, who like Ruggs, likely needs a big play.

Jalen Reagor, Eagles

Ownership: 26%

Philadelphia’s rookie wide receiver is starting to hit his stride.

Reagor translated seven targets into four receptions and 47 yards in the Eagles 27-17 loss at the Giants.  He led the team in targets and is one of the few explosive offensive playmakers for quarterback Carson Wentz.

Reagor is a great bench stash for the fantasy playoffs. The Eagles face the soft pass defenses of Arizona and Dallas in Weeks 15-16

Tim Patrick, Broncos

Ownership: 24%

While receiving fewer targets than rookies Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, Patrick produced a respectable four receptions and 61 receiving yards, despite getting ejected after a fight with Raiders CB Isaiah Johnson.

Patrick is a WR4/5 option for the next few weeks, but will face the most difficult slate of opposing pass defenses during Weeks 13-16. He is a short-term pickup only.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers

Ownership: 17%

Feast or famine MVS exploded with four receptions, 149 yards, and a touchdown in Green Bay’s 24-20 win over Jacksonville.

Unfortunately, Lazard’s impending return limits Valdes-Scantling moving forward.

He should be left on the waiver wire unless a team is in need of a WR4/5 play.

Rashard Higgins, Browns 

Ownership: 17%

A 10-7 win over Houston in poor weather provides another buying window for Cleveland’s Rashard Higgins.

Higgins led the Browns with three receptions and 48 receiving yards in miserable conditions. However, with Odell Beckham out for the season, and Jarvis Landry still not looking 100 percent healthy, Higgins could be Baker Mayfield’s top target rest of season.

Outside of a tough Week 14 home matchup against Baltimore, the Browns have a very favorable slate of opposing pass defenses in Weeks 13-16. The Titans, Giants, and Jets all rank among the league’s eight most generous defenses for opposing fantasy wide receivers.

Higgins should be considered a WR3 in upcoming games against Philadelphia, Jacksonville, and Tennessee.

Michael Pittman Jr., Colts

Ownership: 9%

We listed Pittman in last week’s column, and he produced in a big way on Thursday Night Football.

Pittman led the Colts in receiving with eight targets, seven receptions, and 101 receiving yards in an impressive 34-17 road win at Tennessee.

Indianapolis has a great fantasy playoff schedule, making Pittman a priority add this week for all teams in need of a WR3 with upside.

Josh Reynolds, Rams

Ownership: 5%

Josh Reynolds has started to fulfill the preseason belief many fantasy players had in his ability.

He was the Rams top receiver in their 23-16 win over Seattle. Reynolds totaled eight receptions and 94 receiving yards on 10 targets. He now was at least 40 receiving yards in each of his past five games.

He is a sneaky WR4/5 add this week, with WR3 upside during the fantasy playoffs. The Rams face the Cardinals, Patriots, Jets, and Seahawks during the critical Weeks 13-16.

Jakeem Grant, Dolphins

Ownership: 5%

Operating at Miami’s WR2 with Preston Williams potentially out for the season, the speedy veteran tallied four receptions, 43 yards, and a touchdown.

Grant’s big play ability and quick connection with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa make him a quality WR4/5 waiver addition.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Jakeem Grant.

K.J. Hamler, Broncos

Ownership: 4%

The explosive Hamler produced another 10-target game, but only managed four receptions and 50 yards.

Hamler’s speed is a major weapon, and his 20 targets over the past two weeks is extremely encouraging. Even with poor quarterback play from Drew Lock, Hamler is now a must-add in all formats.

Steven Sims Jr., Washington

Ownership: 2%

Sims took another step forward in his second game back from injury.

The second-year receiver converted six targets into five receptions and 46 receiving yards.

He should continue to gradually ascend into a secure role as Washington WR2 behind Terry McLaurin.

With favorable upcoming matchups with Cincinnati and Dallas, Sims is a nice WR 4/5 pickup.

Tight Ends

Logan Thomas, Washington

Ownership: 35%

Death, taxes, and Logan Thomas in the weekly waiver wire column.

Thomas produced a solid four receptions and 66 receiving yards in Washington’s 30-27 loss at Detroit. He now has three receptions or a touchdown in each of the past four games.

In a year with very few usable weekly tight ends, Thomas should be owned in all fantasy formats. This is clearly illustrated by his presence as the only tight end listed in this week’s waiver column.

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