Week 12 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets: Ryan Griffin’s Stock is Rising
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New York Jets tight end Ryan Griffin (84).
- Whether you are leading your fantasy football league or in the hunt, the window to make winning moves is closing.
- Mike Randle lists the top players to pick up at QB, RB, WR and TE ahead of Week 12.
Week 12 brings a hard and fast reminder that the fantasy playoffs are just around the corner.
This is a critical waiver wire week as many leagues start their playoffs in Week 14. There are four teams on a bye with the Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs, and Vikings all taking a well-deserved break.
Let’s take a look at the critical pickups in what is a “make or break” week for many fantasy owners.
Note: We’ve limited their recommendations to players owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues. All data as of Monday.
Quarterback Streaming Targets
Sam Darnold, Jets
Sam Darnold has quietly put together two top-seven fantasy quarterback performances.
The Jets schedule is very favorable over the next few weeks. They host the Raiders, travel to Cincinnati, and then host the Dolphins.
Darnold is a fantastic streaming option for any fantasy owners without the services of Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, or Philip Rivers.
Running Back Targets
Derrius Guice, Redskins
All of Washington’s running backs struggled against the Jets’ strong run defense, but Guice still scored his first NFL touchdown on a nifty 45-yard screen pass.
Guice has two favorable matchups against soft run defenses next week at home against the Lions, followed by a road game at Carolina.
While he is still in a timeshare with veteran Adrian Peterson, Guice is worth flex consideration for Week 12 and possibly beyond pending increased volume against Detroit.
Kalen Ballage, Dolphins
Ballage produced an uninspiring nine rushing yards on nine carries against the Bills. However, he did score a rushing touchdown and caught 5-of-8 targets.
Mark Walton is still suspended for two more games, leaving Ballage as the de facto lead back for upcoming games at Cleveland and home to Philadelphia. Both are difficult matchups.
Ballage is only worth consideration in the deepest of fantasy leagues.
Nyheim Hines, Colts
Hines could be in line for an increased workload given the hand injury Marlon Mack suffered against Jacksonville. He is still the passing game running back option and scored a rushing touchdown along with three receptions in the Colts’ 33-13 win.
Veteran Jonathan Williams (116 rushing yards) played well after Mack’s injury, so Hines’ rushing upside is limited. However, he could see an increase in targets depending on the matchup.
He is an intriguing PPR Flex option in Week 12 against a Texans team that has allowed the most receptions to opposing running backs this season.
Tony Pollard, Cowboys
If only Dallas would trust this athletic rookie running back more.
Pollard caught all of his four targets for 44 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Lions. With Lions’ cornerback Darius Slay covering Amari Cooper, Dallas incorporated Pollard into the passing game and saw immediate benefits.
His four targets were his most on the season in his most productive game since Week 3 against Miami. It is still too risky to trust Pollard until he produces a follow-up game with increased usage.
Gus Edwards, Ravens
With Lamar Jackson continuing to create running lanes, Edwards was able to provide a fantastic stat line even as the backup to Ravens starter Mark Ingram.
Edwards tallied eight carries for 112 yards and a touchdown, as Baltimore cruised past Houston 41-7. He now has two touchdowns over the past three games.
With a difficult road matchup against the Rams’ run defense, he cannot be trusted with Ingram still likely to receive the majority of touches.
Jonathan Williams, Colts
The career backup running back was thrust into the spotlight after Marlon Mack left Sunday’s game with a hand injury, and he certainly delivered.
Williams totaled 116 rushing yards on just 13 carries for an 8.9 yards per carry average. If Mack is out for an extended period of time, it certainly appears he would get the majority of carries.
Indianapolis has a very difficult road game against Houston, followed by Tennessee at home, at Tampa Bay, and at New Orleans.
With running back Jordan Wilkins scheduled to return in Week 12, it is hard to project Williams’ volume. Temper expectations, but if Mack is out for multiple games, Williams is worth a stash in case he does become the lead running back.
Bo Scarbrough, Lions
The Lions surprisingly gave Scarbrough the start after promoting him from the practice squad on Saturday. He carried the ball 14 times for 55 rushing yards and one touchdown.
It is impossible to handicap the Lions’ weekly running back touches, making Scarbrough a player to monitor but not to claim for Week 12.
Wide Receiver Targets
Darius Slayton, Giants
Slayton produced the overall WR2 performance in Week 10 when he totaled 10 receptions on 14 targets for 121 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
While it is unlikely he will repeat that level of production, it is worth speculating whether he and rookie quarterback Daniel Jones have built enough chemistry to serve as a WR3/Flex play moving forward.
With upcoming games at Chicago and home against Green Bay, he is not worth a waiver claim for this week.
However, monitor his production for Weeks 14-16 as the Giants will face pass-friendly defenses in Philadelphia, Miami, and Washington.
Josh Reynolds, Rams
Reynolds disappointed against the Bears on Sunday Night football, especially after we learned that Robert Woods would be inactive due to a personal issue.
The third-year wideout totaled 51 yards on three receptions but had a 53-yard touchdown called back due to a penalty.
While Reynolds provides upside with Cooks and possibly Woods absent, he faces an extremely tough matchup in Week 12 against the Ravens.
He is currently only a desperation Flex option in the deepest of leagues.
Randall Cobb, Cowboys
Cobb continues to shine in the Cowboys top-ranked passing offense per Football Outsiders. He has consecutive games with over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown and has seen 23 targets over the past three games.
He is worth consideration for any team in need of a wide receiver, even with difficult upcoming games against New England, Buffalo, and Chicago.
N’Keal Harry, Patriots
The Patriots’ thin wide receiver corps took an additional hit when Philip Dorsett left Sunday’s game with a head injury on his touchdown catch.
Harry was active after recovering from an ankle injury and totaled three receptions for 18 yards. Harry has considerable upside as the outside receiver in the New England offense, especially if Dorsett is unavailable.
Demaryius Thomas, Jets
Thomas had four receptions and 44 receiving yards in the Jets 34-17 win over the Redskins. The veteran wide receiver has two very favorable upcoming matchups including next week against Oakland and at Cincinnati. Thomas is worth consideration for teams in need of a WR3 for the next two weeks.
Taylor Gabriel, Bears
Gabriel is a boom or bust wide receiver who has started to provide insight as to his big performances.
When team target leader Allen Robinson faces a difficult matchup, Gabriel is a very live WR3/Flex play. In Sunday’s 17-7 loss to the Rams, Robinson was shadowed by cornerback Allen Robinson, leading to a 14-target, seven reception, 57 receiving yard performance.
There are probably better options in Week 12 against a pass defense deficient Giants team, but Gabriel will again be worth consideration against the Lions on Thanksgiving in Week 13.
Kendrick Bourne, 49ers
Most fantasy owners will fail to realize that the speedy 49ers wideout has scored in three consecutive games. Bourne has 14 targets over the past two weeks with an average of four receptions per game.
With Dante Pettis disappointing, Bourne may see a consistent increase in targets, but he is still difficult to trust when tight end George Kittle returns.
If Kittle remains out for next week’s home matchup against Green Bay, Bourne is a reasonable Flex play with his increased red zone usage.
Tight End Streaming Targets
Jacob Hollister, Seahawks
It is easier for fantasy owners to forget about players coming off their bye week, so please take a close look at Seattle’s Jacob Hollister.
With the season-ending injury to Will Dissly, Hollister has found his place in the Seahawks’ offense with 12 receptions, 99 yards, and three touchdowns over the past two weeks.
Hollister has a tricky matchup at Philadelphia in Week 12 and then a very tough game against Minnesota in Week 13.
However, tethered to Russell Wilson in a passing game that may be without wide receiver Tyler Lockett, Hollister merits consideration for tight end needy teams this week.
Noah Fant, Broncos
The rookie tight end is becoming one of the most reliable targets in a limited Denver passing attack. Fant totaled a whopping 11 targets against Minnesota and now has 12 receptions over his past three games.
Fant has difficult matchups upcoming, especially next week against Buffalo who allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
But with prominent tight ends like Travis Kelce and Hunter Henry on bye, Fant’s target share should be the highest of any waiver-wire option.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles
Goedert’s snap share has risen each of the past four weeks and again crested the 80% mark in Sunday’s 17-10 loss to New England. He caught his fourth touchdown receptions of the year and has 16 targets over the past three weeks.
With Philadelphia having a shallow receiving core, Goedert has become a top-three receiving option for quarterback Carson Wentz. The yardage hasn’t been great, but his red zone targets have him in the TE1 discussion every week.
He is a quality waiver-wire option in Week 12 against a Seattle team that has allowed the sixth-most receiving yards to opposing tight ends.
Ryan Griffin, Jets
Griffin has assumed the lead tight end role with Chris Herndon now on injured reserve. He caught all five of his targets for 109 yards and a touchdown against Washington. Griffin has now produced double-digit PPR fantasy points in three of his past four games.
With tight end friendly games against Oakland, Cincinnati, and Miami upcoming, Griffin may be the most attractive tight end pickup on this list.
Ben Watson, Patriots
Watson produced his best game of the season with three catches (four targets) for 52 yards. While the Patriots targets are always evenly distributed, the 38-year-old veteran is worth a Week 12 flier against a Cowboys team that has allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season.
Cameron Brate, Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay tight end situation became even murkier with Brate’s monster performances against New Orleans.
Brate had 14 targets,10 receptions, and 73 receiving yards, while fellow tight end O.J. Howard saw just one target.
It is tempting to put a claim in for Brate this week, but against a rejuvenated Falcons’ defense, there are better options that the inconsistent veteran tight end.