It’s Week 12, and there are just a handful of weeks remaining in the fantasy regular season. If you’re still in the hunt for a postseason spot, there are a bunch of strong waiver wire pick-ups this week to either help you now, or potentially help you down the road. Plus, it’s always a good idea to grab depth at this point, while also keeping your competition from improving their roster.
Good luck in Week 12, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville: Blackmon finally looked like a first-round draft pick in Week 11 at Houston. And then some. Blackmon entered last Sunday’s game with 26 catches for 250 yards and one score, and then he exploded for seven grabs, 236 yards and a touchdown against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Go figure. Temper your expectations this weekend, as he won’t come close to producing that kind of a monster stat line, perhaps ever again in his career. But he is worth a waiver wire pick as a WR4 or ‘flex’ play in most deeper fantasy leagues.
Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas: Dunbar has been splitting early-week reps with Phillip Tanner in practice, as Felix Jones (knee) and DeMarco Murray (foot) each look unlikely to play Thursday against Washington. Dunbar was a stud at North Texas in college, but he is a bit of an unknown at the pro level, although he has been an exceptional special teamer. If Dunbar gets a chance, he is simply a one-time, short-term fantasy option. And even then, he is best used as a ‘flex’ play in leagues of 12 or more teams.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England: Edelman had a hand in everything last weekend, posting five grabs for 58 yards and a touchdown, while running once for 47 yards and adding a punt return for score. In leagues which reward individual return yardage, he is an even better pick-up. In standard leagues, he might be a decent WR4 or ‘flex’ play since his targets could increase with TE Rob Gronkowski (elbow) out of the mix.
Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville: Henne came on for the injured QB Blaine Gabbert (shoulder) last Sunday in Houston, posting 354 yards and four touchdowns in a relief role. Now, he’ll get a chance to start in Week 12. Henne looked like he had tremendous rapport with his receivers, and he had great command of the offense as a whole. And that was against a strong pass defense. He should find more success against a very giving Titans pass defense which offers very little resistance.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver: Hillman looks to get first crack at the carries this weekend with Willis McGahee (knee) sidelined. Hillman needs to hold off charges from Lance Ball and the forgotten Knowshon Moreno in what appears to be a bit of a fluid situation. Look for head coach John Fox to roll with the hot hand. As such, that is expected to be Hillman, who far and away has the most upside of the healthy triumvirate of backs in the Mile High City.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco: Kaepernick absolutely dazzled and dominated the Chicago Bears Monday night in his first NFL start. With a defense featuring Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher and Charles Tillman, that is not only impressive, it is improbable. Kaepernick is the backup, but it is hard to imagine QB Alex Smith (concussion) having had that kind of success. Kaepernick looks like a raw, but ultra-talented NFL quarterback capable of big things. Head coach Jim Harbaugh said he plans to ride the hot hand when Smith is healthy. While he said all the right things, saying both are hot hands, it is hard to believe the team going back to Smith in Week 12 without seeing if Kaepernick can duplicate his Monday success.
Brandon Myers, TE, Oakland: Myers has appeared in this column before, but he sort of came and then went. He is back, however, scoring three touchdowns over the past three games. His role in the offense continues to grow, and he has racked up 29 catches over his past five games. He is a nice pick-up off the waiver wire, especially if you’re that unfortunate fantasy owners who suddenly finds a huge hole on their roster following the loss of Gronkowski in New England.
Jalen Parmele, RB, Jacksonville: The former University of Toledo surprisingly got the start against Houston last weekend, and even more surprising was the fact he was effective. He racked up 80 rushing yards on 24 carries, and added three receptions for three yards. Sure, the yards on the catches wasn’t very good, but the fact he had three catches makes him somewhat attractive in PPR leagues, in addition to standard formats. Right now, he is worth adding for depth at the running back spot.
Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona: Wells (toe) is ready to come off the Injured Reserve/Designated to Return list, and he has been keeping himself in shape. Wells declared himself ready, and said he can handle as many carries as head coach Ken Whisenhunt wants him for. Beanie is an oft-injured, brittle back with a ton of talent. When he is in there, he is worth using, but you never know when the next injury will hit. If he is available, he is worth stashing away for roster depth, but monitor his performance in Week 12 before plugging him into your active fantasy lineup.