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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Watchlist for Week 12: Streaming targets, free agent sleepers include Mac Jones, Jeff Wilson Jr., Sterling Shepard

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Week 12 sees two high-powered offenses (Chiefs and Cardinals) with two star QBs on bye, so it will be an important one for streaming at all positions. Unfortunately, it’s not the best week for high-ceiling QB sleepers, but there are just enough to survive. Of course, we also lose Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, James Conner, and DeAndre Hopkins, so there are a solid number of fantasy football starters off limits. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with idle Chiefs and Cardinals, injury concerns, or unfavorable matchups, fantasy owners will need to look ahead at possible waiver wire pickups, free agents, and streamers, such as Mac Jones, Jeff Wilson Jr., and Sterling Shepard, before they potentially become hot adds on waivers after Week 11. 

We’re not only looking for one-week solutions in our Week 12 waiver wire watchlist but also sneaky value for late in the season. The waiver wire might be getting thin, but as injuries mount and bye weeks remove your fantasy studs from action, we must prepare for all scenarios. Again, only two teams are off the table in Week 12, but other factors will inevitably leave you scrambling for alternate options.

WEEK 11 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em

We know not all leagues have enough roster spots to really take advantage of “stashing players,” but for those in deeper leagues (or those who have players on IR or busts worth cutting), our week-ahead watchlist will be useful. Stashing a player or two on your bench when they’re still free agents can really pay off if those players have good games. If they don’t, they’re easy drops. Your spot in the waiver order is valuable, and you want to hold it as long as possible.

At the very least, it’s good to have a list of names of players to watch on Sunday so you can monitor snap share and targets/touches, and it’s always smart to claim matchup-based streamers at positions like TE or D/ST before there’s competition for them.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Watchlist

Reminder: This list was put together in the lead-in to Week 11, looking forward to the players who could be popular waiver-wire targets ahead of Week 12. If you have a roster spot to play with, these are free-agent options you could grab early to beat the waiver buzz.

All these players are below 50-percent ownership on Yahoo unless otherwise specified. 

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Week 12 Waiver Wire Watchlist: QB

Teams on a Week 12 bye: Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs

Mac Jones, Patriots (38) vs. TEN in Week 12

Hopefully, Jones lives up to the hype in his matchup with Atlanta on Thursday night, but either way, he’ll draw his third consecutive favorable matchup in Week 12. Tennessee has certainly made impactful plays on defense, but they still rank in the top-five in fantasy points per game (FPPG) allowed to quarterbacks.

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (35) vs. ATL

Lawrence hasn’t had the immediate fantasy impact many hoped for this year, but any quarterback facing Atlanta needs to be considered. The Jags still have weapons on offense, and this could be the game Lawrence turns the corner in his rookie season. Sam Darnold and Zach Wilson are the only quarterbacks that have failed to score 15-plus fantasy points against them, and we’ll take Lawrence over those guys.

Cam Newton, Panthers (33) @ MIA

Sure, Miami held down Lamar Jackson, but it’s tough to expect that to carry over into the next few weeks. Lamar had the worst game of the season against them, yet he still scored 16.42 fantasy points. Why was he able to still turn in a “decent” fantasy performance? You guessed it — rushing upside. Newton can have a disastrous passing game and still help your team with 40 yards on the ground and a touchdown. If he has some success through the air, he could be in for a monster performance. Miami has allowed the eighth-most FPPG to QBs.

Justin Fields, Bears (28) @ DET

Fields has produced just two decent fantasy outings, but the last time we saw him, he showed signs of turning the corner. Detroit’s defense is average against fantasy QBs, but like Newton, Fields’ rushing prowess makes him attractive against a bottom-dweller overall defense.

WEEK 11 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel | Yahoo

Week 12 Waiver Wire Watchlist: RB

Teams on a Week 12 bye: Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs

Adrian Peterson (47); D’Onte Foreman (43); Jeremy McNichols (41), Titans

First, the fantasy community was excited about McNichols, then turned to Peterson. However, the latest “hot commodity” in this backfield is Foreman. Put simply, there still isn’t a ton of clarity in this backfield, so we should continue to monitor usage and efficiency before we ultimately decide who the most valuable piece of this offense is.

Alex Collins, Seahawks (46)

Collins has been mostly ineffective, but Chris Carson (neck) could still be a bit away from returning, so Collins remains the RB1 in Seattle to this point.

Jordan Howard, Eagles (43)

Miles Sanders (ankle) has been designated to return from IR, but can the Eagles’ coaching staff really deny the success Howard has had on the ground? No. In fact, Nick Sirianni has already said Howard is going to continue to be a factor in this offense. We’ll see how much of a factor he is, but there’s surely a scenario he’s at least a goal-line TD vulture. 

Latavius Murray (39), Ravens

Le’Veon Bell has been released by the Ravens, so it looks like Murray (ankle) is well on his way back to returning from injury. Devonta Freeman has been solid during his absence, but Murray will probably at least split 50 percent of the work and be in line for more goal-line touches.

David Johnson (23); Phillip Lindsay (10), Texans

These guys continue to do next to nothing, but it’s hard to completely ignore guys who have the potential to be the primary backs in their offense, especially with several favorable matchups on tap over the next six weeks.

Ty Johnson, Jets (18)

Johnson’s upside is capped by his snap share, but he’s drawn 24 targets over his past four games and scored two touchdowns. There are plenty of backs rostered that haven’t come close to matching that production. In deep PPR leagues, he brings some value to the table.

Premier Handcuffs — Chuba Hubbard, Panthers (48); Jamaal Williams, Lions (39); Sony Michel, Rams (33); Jeff Wilson Jr. (28), 49ers; Eno Benjamin, Cardinals (12); Samaje Perine, Bengals, (6)

These are the set of guys that would likely be thrust into workhorse roles should the starter on their team go down. The recently activated Wilson Jr. is especially notable since Elijah Mitchell is dealing with a finger injury after being sidelined with a rib issue earlier in the season. 

WEEK 11 DFS: Best stacks | Best values | Lineup Builder

Week 12 Waiver Wire Watchlist: WR

Teams on a Week 12 bye: Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs

Elijah Moore (55); Jamison Crowder (20), Jets

Crowder continues to outsnap Moore, but Moore has outproduced him over the past three weeks. Both should be monitored and can be considered streaming options against a lackluster Houston defense in Week 12.

Michael Gallup, Cowboys (52)

Gallup finally returned from his ailing hamstring in Week 10 and immediately drew five targets. As he works his way back into this offense, we should see an uptick in production.

Darnell Mooney, Bears (49)

We mentioned Justin Fields showed signs of turning the corner, and if he does, Mooney should benefit mightily. He’s been the No. 1 WR in this offense thus far, so naturally, he’ll take off if Fields does.

Kadarius Toney (48); Sterling Shepard, (34), Giants

When these guys have been healthy, they’ve produced. Of course, they haven’t been healthy often, and we haven’t seen them play much together, but of all the guys on this list, they have the highest ceilings.

Robby Anderson, Panthers (43)

Anderson showed signs of life against the Cardinals in his first game without Sam Darnold, so he’s at least worth watching moving forward. We know he was awful up until that point, but we have to re-evaluate this offense with a new QB under center. Anderson plays Miami in Week 12 after a favorable matchup against Washington in Week 11, so he’ll be worth watching.

Laviska Shenault (43); Jamal Agnew (12), Jaguars

Shenault has been a huge bust even though his preseason ADP wasn’t high to begin with, but a matchup with Atlanta makes him attractive as a one-week option. On the opposite side of things, Agnew has emerged as a decent fantasy asset. He’s drawn 35 targets over his past five games and put up 282 yards of total offense. It seems fantasy owners are skeptical of his production based on his ownership figure, but his usage and effectiveness make him one of the best streaming options against the Falcons.

T.Y Hilton, Colts (39)

Hilton was disappointing in his return from injury, as he caught just one pass for five yards. However, the five targets were nice to see, and it was only his third game of the season. He’ll play Tampa Bay in Week 12, and since Indianapolis will likely have to pass to keep pace, five targets are probably the floor in that favorable matchup.

Tim Patrick, Broncos (30)

Patrick produced a dud in Week 10, but he did draw five targets. Teddy Bridgewater looks his way more than Courtland Sutton’s, so he remains at least on our watchlist. He’ll match up with a tough Chargers’ defense against wideouts in Week 12, though, so you probably don’t need to rush out and get him.

Will Fuller, Dolphins (26)

Again, we’re just waiting on Fuller (finger) to return from IR. When he does, he’ll likely be a boom-or-bust guy as we’ve seen throughout his career.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Browns (25)

Peoples-Jones is in a low-volume passing offense with a struggling Baker Mayfield, but since Odell Beckham Jr. is gone, he’s at worst the No. 2 WR in Cleveland. We’ve seen him produce boom weeks in the past.

Kendrick Bourne (14)

Bourne is quietly having a WR3 season, and Tennessee is the worst defense against fantasy WRs heading into Week 11. Based on those numbers, Bourne’s a streaming option in Week 12 as the Pats host the Titans.

Russell Gage, Falcons (21)

Gage put up another zero in Week 10 and will likely struggle in Week 11 against New England, but he’s still the No. 2 or 3 option in this passing game while Calvin Ridley (personal) is out. Jacksonville is a bottom-10 unit against fantasy WRs, he can be a one-week “plug-and-play” guy.

Marcus Johnson, Titans (12)

With Julio Jones (hamstring) on IR, someone has to fill the No. 2 WR role in Tennessee next to A.J. Brown. Johnson made his case to do just that against New Orleans. He wracked up 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, so we should at least see what he does moving forward.

Curtis Samuel, Washington (10)

We’re getting tired of waiting on Samuel (groin), but Washington’s offense needs WR help. He can help that team and your fantasy team if/when he finally returns.

Week 12 Waiver Wire Watchlist: TE

Teams on a Week 12 bye: Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs

Note: Matchup listed denotes Week 12 streamer

Logan Thomas, Washington (54) vs. SEA

Seattle is just fine against tight ends, but when Thomas (hamstring) returns, he has TE1 upside. If he returns this week against Carolina and even has a decent game, his ownership will likely climb into the 60s, so this could be your last chance to get him for free. He has a good chance to rejoin the “must-start” tight end group.

Tyler Conklin, Vikings (34)

Conklin faces a tough matchup against San Francisco in Week 12, so while he’s not the best streaming option, his body of work this season makes him worth watching. He’s currently a top-14 tight end in all formats, and in favorable matchups, he’s paid off more often than not. If you have room to carry a backup tight end, he’s as good as they come in that role.

Evan Engram, Giants (32) vs. PHI

The Eagles are the very worst defense against fantasy tight ends, so we have to consider Engram in this spot. In Weeks 8 and 9 combined, he was a top-five tight end in all formats, so when you put all the context together, he has a chance to be a TE1 once again vs. Philly.

Austin Hooper (24); David Njoku (7), Browns @ BAL

Hooper and Njoku are far from reliable, but decent tight ends have been solid against the Ravens’ defense. Baltimore allows the third-most FPPG heading into Week 11, so the Browns’ TEs are just more purely matchup-based streamers. Hooper has a higher PPR floor while Njoku is more of a boom-or-bust standard-league play.

Cole Kmet, Bears (14)

For all the bad the Lions have put on the field this season, they’ve been fine against tight ends, so we aren’t ready to tout Kmet as a Week 12-specific streamer. However, the last time we saw him, he caught six-of-eight targets for 87 yards. He was a highly talented TE heading into the league, so if this offense picks up, he has sneaky value down the stretch.

Mo Alie-Cox (7); Jack Doyle (1), Colts vs. TB

We could just copy and paste what we said about Njoku and Hooper here for these guys. It’s tough to trust them. but consider the Colts’ TEs as deep-league options against generous Bucs’ defense.

Week 12 defense streamers and sleepers

Teams on a Week 12 bye: Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins DST (50) vs. CAR

The Cam Newton reunion in Carolina was cool to see, but are we really expecting him to be an adequate passer based on what we saw last year in New England? We’d bet against it. Even so, Miami showed signs of life on defense against the Ravens, so maybe that talented unit will finally start playing with some fire. Yes, we touted Newton as a solid streamer for this game, but he can produce a solid fantasy outing on the ground while Miami also force a couple turnovers, gets some sacks, and keeps the score low.

Carolina Panthers DST (45) @ MIA

We question if Tua Tagovailoa will be 100-percent healthy this season, but even if he is, this Carolina defense outmatches the Dolphins offense at all levels. Carolina still ranks inside the top 12 of all DSTs in fantasy this season, and in a strong matchup, they’ll likely be ranked inside the top five in Week 12.

Chicago Bears DST (16) @ DET

The Lions give up the seventh-most FPPG to DSTs, and Chicago has enough talent here to shut them down. In the first matchup between these two squads, Detroit scored just 14 points and Jared Goff was sacked four times. Goff didn’t throw an interception in that game, so surely he will here, right? Either way, Chicago has a high floor given Detroit’s lack of offensive punch.

Cincinnati Bengals DST (10) vs. PIT

The Bengals’ defense once looked like one of the top units in the league, but after getting exposed by the Jets and Browns, we no longer view them that way. However, their pass-rush presents problems for the Steelers offensive line protecting an immobile Ben Roethlisberger, and Pittsburgh is a bottom-10 offense in total yards per game. When these two last met in September, Big Ben threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.

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