We bid goodbye to byes in Week 12, as all teams will have games every week of the regular season from this point forward. With regards to fantasy football, this means more available players to choose from as waiver wire pickups. Let’s look through some of the best below.
10. Russell Shepard – Carolina Panthers WR (1.3% owned in ESPN leagues)
There’s a new Shepard in fantasy waiver wire town. That’s Panthers wide receiver Russell Shepard, who could be in line to become the team’s No. 2 receiver for the rest of the season.
That’s supposed to be Curtis Samuel’s job, but an ankle injury in Week 10 has effectively ended his year. Tight end Greg Olsen is expected to return soon, but Shepard still has a sizable opportunity to shine.
Shepard had three catches for 40 yards on seven targets in Week 10’s game against the Miami Dolphins in which Samuel left early due to the injury.
9. Dontrelle Inman – Chicago Bears WR (6.9% owned in ESPN leagues)
There isn’t much to look at in the Bears’ offense, but Dontrelle Inman is making a case as a decent fantasy football asset for your team. While he hasn’t been blowing anyone’s mind with his numbers, he’s looking like the best Bears receiver right now.
He had 88 yards on six catches in his Chicago debut in Week 10 and followed that up with 43 receiving yards on three targets in Week 11. In both games, Inman has gotten at least five targets and there are no signs that Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky won’t pay him as much attention in the coming weeks. If anything, Inman is a desirable play at least for one week in the fantasy playoffs as the Bears will take on the Cleveland Browns in Week 16.
8. Devontae Booker – Denver Broncos RB (9.3% owned in ESPN leagues)
It’s still unknown whether Devontae Booker is going to replace C.J. Anderson as the Denver Broncos’ lead back, but Booker has been breathing down Anderson’s neck over the past few weeks as he’s gradually gotten an increased workload over that time. Booker’s performance last Sunday didn’t help Anderson strengthen his grip of his job, as the second-year tailback led all Broncos running backs in snaps, rushing attempts, rushing yards, receptions, and receiving yards.
Denver will play the Oakland Raiders and the Miami Dolphins in the next two weeks, both tasty matchups in which Booker should be in line for productive outings.
7. Elijah McGuire – New York Jets RB (10.5% owned in ESPN leagues)
Matt Forte’s knee continues to be troublesome, which makes the New York Jets backup running backs in Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire worthy handcuffs regardless of if Forte is healthy or not.
Powell is the No. 2 back on the team, but the Jets are still giving McGuire plenty of snaps. In fact, McGuire has had more snaps over the past two weeks than Powell, 56-48. The Jets remain in love with McGuire largely because he has the ability to catch passes out of the backfield. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10, McGuire turned four targets into 36 receiving yards.
6. Corey Coleman – Cleveland Browns WR (20.4% owned in ESPN leagues)
Coleman shrugged off the rust from a long layoff due to a broken hand and immediately turned heads with an impressive outing last Sunday. In his first game since Week 2, Coleman registered team-high numbers of six receptions and 80 receiving yards on 11 catches. Even more remarkable was that Coleman managed to do all that against the tough pass defense of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Coleman will look to build on that momentum when the Browns pay the Cincinnati Bengals a visit this coming Sunday.
5. Kenny Stills – Miami Dolphins WR (27.3% owned in ESPN leagues)
If there were any concerns about Kenny Stills’ health due to a back injury, he effectively erased all of that with a magnificent outing last Sunday, racking up season highs of seven receptions and 180 receiving yards to go with a touchdown in a 30-20 loss to the Buccaneers. Miami’s air attack is unpredictable, but Stills should be owned since he’s been steadily getting ample amount of looks. He’s been thrown at 7.5 times over his last five games.
4. Chris Ivory – Jacksonville Jaguars RB (27.4% owned in ESPN leagues)
Leonard Fournette’s ankle issues just won’t go away, and even though the rookie got 28 carries for 111 rushing yards against the Browns’ leaky run defense last Sunday, the heavy workload could also be explained by an illness to Chris Ivory, who still managed six carries, albeit for only six yards. You won’t really get much from Ivory so long as Fournette is active, but with the former LSU Tiger still not out of the woods with his ankle problem, it might be a good idea to put Ivory on your bench, especially this late in the fantasy season.
3. Samaje Perine – Washington Redskins RB (28.4% owned in ESPN leagues)
Samaje Perine moved up the Redskins’ running back pecking order with Chris Thompson out with a broken fibula. With Thompson joining Rob Kelley on the sidelines, Washington’s backfield duties rest entirely on the shoulders of Perine, who rushed for 117 yards and a rushing score on 23 carries in last Sunday’s 34-31 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
2. Josh Doctson – Washington RedskinsWR (29.4% owned in ESPN leagues)
Josh Doctson has become a starter for the Redskins, providing him plenty of targets in a pass-heavy offense. Doctson had a solid outing last Sunday, catching four out of seven targets for 81 yards.
He hasn’t scored a touchdown over the last three weeks, but that could come anytime soon. The Redskins will be up against the New York Giants’ defense next week. The Giants have given up the 12th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
1. Damien Williams – Miami Dolphins RB (29.7% owned in ESPN leagues)
Williams doesn’t command an RB1 or an RB2 spot on your lineup, but he has enough value to be considered as a flex play. He’s still unowned in just over 70% of ESPN leagues, which could be a reflection of people’s distrust of the Dolphins’ offense.
Williams operates within a running back-by-committee approach, but he remains a relevant add also because of his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. He has 91 receiving yards on nine catches in his last three games.