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Fantasy Football: Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 12

Fantasy football playoffs are coming up quite soon, so making sure your roster is chocked full of the right players that can jump into your starting lineup at a moment’s notice is the difference between securing that first-round bye and missing out on the playoffs due to not scoring enough points. The choice is yours ultimately, but you should always be looking to make upgrades and improvements to your roster on a weekly basis.

The likes of a Taysom Hill being available on your waiver wire are most likely very slim, especially with how many different league platforms were letting users circumvent the rules by giving Hill tight end usability, essentially allowing users to turn their teams into two-QB rosters for a week. Thankfully, ESPN has gotten rid of that ability moving forward, starting for Week 12, so that one-week phenomenon should force the hand of whoever rostered Hill in your league.

Our weekly projections, which include some familiar names and some new ones, are based on a full-point, point-per-reception league format, so base your perceptions off of that style of rankings and tailor it to your league style and setup for this week and beyond.

10. Marquez Valdes-Scantling – WR

Fantasy Football, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, Packers

Green Bay Packers
16.1 percent rostered

Not focusing on the game-changing fumble that Marquez Valdes-Scantling committed in overtime against the Indianapolis Colts, he has finally seemed to come into his own this year for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers as a viable secondary option next to Davante Adams. And while the WR2 role goes to Allen Lazard for GB, MVS’s field-splitting abilities open up everything on this offense, something they were in desperate need of.

Consistency issues aside, MVS’s burning speed is precisely the type of weapon that helps open up Adams on his expansive route tree, as well as the running game for Aaron Jones and company, plus it provides Rodgers with a solid deep threat option to chuck it up to.

The Bears, Eagles, and Lions are next up for Green Bay, all options for MVS to take the top off of the defense again and help the Packers get back on the winning track. The same applies for your fantasy football team.

9. Kalen Ballage / La’Mical Perine – RBs

Los Angeles Chargers / New York Jets
29.9 / 18.8 percent rostered

This grouping is split for one main reason – the health of Austin Ekeler. Rumors have begun to circulate about his potential return for the Chargers in Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills, which would effectively yank any sort of fantasy relevance from the hands of Kalen Ballage.

But, if Ekeler is either held out another week or given a strict pitch count to be held to, then Ballage’s fantasy relevance lives on for another week, although the beginning of the end is already happening.

If Ekeler is a full-go or not given a pitch count, then La’Mical Perine of the hapless New York Jets slides into the conversation, as he has been earning a larger slice of the Jets’ backfield pie as the weeks have progressed, or at least it has felt that way.

Old man Frank Gore still continues to be the starter there and earn the starter reps, but Gore is no spring chicken, and Adam Gase has helped usher Perine into more work in that offense, and he did put up his second score of the year on his second-most carries. His lack of consistent relevancy in the passing attack very much takes away from his PPR value, but Perine could serve as an RB3 and/or bench role to provide depth to your fantasy football roster.

8. Tim Patrick – WR

Denver Broncos
13.9 percent rostered

A common list entry, Tim Patrick is quickly becoming a solid WR2 for the Denver Broncos, helping develop a core with rookie Jerry Jeudy while Courtland Sutton continues his return from a season-ending injury.

In all but two games that Patrick has played in this year, he has recorded at least four receptions, with three of those contests going for over 100 receiving yards. Patrick has also hauled in three scores this season, and he has become a target hog next to both Jeudy and Noah Fant in a very interesting offense for fantasy purposes.

The Saints, Chiefs, Panthers, and Bills are the Broncos’ next four opponents, teams that boast varying passing defenses, but all that help provide Patrick with a decently-solid floor, dependant on the health of starter Drew Lock, who did return this past weekend after some uncertainty earlier in the week.

7. Russell Gage, WR

Russell Gage, Falcons, Fantasy Football

Atlanta Falcons
10.1 percent rostered

Julio Jones is nursing an injury – rinse, wash, and repeat. The story of 2020 and Jones not being healthy has added another notch to its belt, something that surely benefits any rosters that have Calvin Ridley on them.

But it also helps out the option that is Russell Gage, a viable option off of the waiver wire that produced a team-high 12 targets against the Saints last week, hauling in seven of those for 58 yards. While not a heavy yardage total, Gage’s target share should be enough to excite anyone looking for a solid wire option, especially since he has earned six-plus targets in three of his last four games.

The Raiders, Saints, and Chargers are next up for the Falcons, and dependant on the health of Jones, Gage’s role could certainly fluctuate, so keep an eye on the wire for Gage as a potential high-upside pickup if you have an extra roster spot.

6. Dalton Schultz, TE

New Orleans Saints
24.8 percent rostered

Regardless of if Dak Prescott, Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci, or Garrett Gilbert is behind center, the tight end role for the Dallas Cowboys holds enough fantasy value to be relevant most weeks. And for Dalton Schultz, the unfortunate, season-ending injury suffered by incumbent starter and breakout candidate Blake Jarwin helped pave the way for the backup TE to break into the starting lineup and give the Cowboys a viable starter moving forward.

Currently sitting as the TE10 on the year, Schultz has only recorded 3 scores on the season, but has recorded at least four receptions in all but three games this year, including a 9/88/1 line against the Atlanta Falcons back in Week 2. With Schultz having Washington, Baltimore, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and the Giants on the docket to end the year, Schultz certainly is a gettable option that provides a safe floor for a likely FA fantasy football option.

5. James White, RB

New England Patriots
36.0 percent rostered

The consistent key in the uneven cog for the New England Patriots’ offense has been James White over the years, but 2020 certainly has not been a typical year in terms of fantasy production, for many reasons.

But White looked to be himself against the Texans last week, as he put up five carries for 19 yards and hauled in six passes for 64 yards, only his third double-digit fantasy performance of the year to date.

While the likes of both Damien Harris and Sony Michel (when finally healthy) look to take the lion’s share of work on the ground, White is the clear pass-catching option that has the Cardinals, Chargers, and Rams next up.

4. Jalen Reagor – WR

Philadelphia Eagles
22.3 percent rostered

The Philadelphia Eagles have a hopeless offense, which bodes very poorly for the likes of Miles Sanders, Travis Fulgham, Alson Jeffrey, and Jalen Reagor. But with Carson Wentz moving away from getting Fulgham his work, it seems like Reagor is becoming the hot commodity moving forward for the PHI offense.

Reagor has missed five games this year due to injury, but in four of his five appeared-in games, he has produced three-plus catches, hitting a high of 55 yards on the year in Week 1, which also happened to be a one-catch contest – go figure.

A 4/52 showing is nothing remarkable for the TCU rookie, but his consistent target share bodes well for PHI’s next games against the Seahawks, Packers, and Saints.

3. Nelson Agholor, WR

Las Vegas Raiders
10.4 percent rostered

Apparently, all that Nelson Agholor needed to do was change uniforms and he could become a touchdown machine, and that is exactly what he has been for the Las Vegas Raiders this year. Six scores, including one in three of the past five games, has helped not only boost Derek Carr’s season so far, it has also helped boost the rapport between the two, even if Agholor does not garner a ton of targets during the game.

Sunday’s contest against the Chiefs was the biggest outburst in terms of receptions and yardage for Agholor, as his 6/88/1 line was quite impressive against a decently-strong KC secondary, which he put up a 2/67/1 line against earlier this year in Week 5.

The Falcons, Jets, and Colts are the next three games for the Raiders, with the first two matchups looking really solid for the LV offense across the board, so Agholor should be picked up by your fantasy football squad.

2. Michael Pittman Jr. – WR

Fantasy Football, Michael Pittman Jr. Colts

Indianapolis Colts
25.7 percent rostered

Sometimes, rookie wideouts have fluke games that get them onto the radar and then they crater soon after, just acting as a flash in the pan that unfortunately drives up their fantasy price on a short-term basis. Michael Pittman Jr. does not look to be that guy.

The USC rookie seems to be comfortably planted as the WR2 for the Indianapolis Colts, or as WR1B when comparing him to T.Y. Hilton, who is quickly losing his legs at a rapid pace. Pittman produced a 7/101 line against the Titans in Week 10, and he followed that up with a 3/66/1 against the Green Bay Packers, the fourth game in a row that he has played in after having missed the previous three contests due to injury.

Only rostered by just over a quarter of rosters, according to ESPN, Pittman Jr. gets the Titans right away again in Week 12, with the Texans, Raiders, and Texans again soon after, a tasty slate of games that could help push your team over the top with a late-season waiver addition.

1. Gus Edwards – RB

Baltimore Ravens
7.3 percent rostered

Pencil in Gus Edwards as the RB1 for the Ravens when they take on the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving night, as both Mark Ingram and rookie J.K. Dobbins have tested positive for COVID-19 after their Week 11 contest. And with how little work Edwards has commanded lately, he should easily be a gettable option on your league’s waiver wire.

For the Ravens, they desperately need to get back to winning games, having just dropped their Week 11 contest in overtime against the tough Tennessee Titans, and while facing the steam-rolling Steelers is certainly no easy task, Edwards will be key to helping keep the struggling offense for Baltimore functioning enough to stick to their gameplan.

After the Steelers contest, when both Dobbins and Ingram could be back, they face the Cowboys, Browns, and Jaguars. Edwards projects simply as a high-upside, one-week, fill-in option, so treat your swapped-out player for Edwards with that same regard.