Fantasy: Waiver Wire - Week 11
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Every Monday during the season, theScore's Justin Boone runs down the recommended waiver wire pickups.
Rostered percentages are based on Yahoo leagues. Free Agent Budget (FAB) amounts are set off a $100 salary cap. Only players rostered in less than 60% of leagues are considered.
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
Tagovailoa hasn't created the same kind of fireworks that rookie classmates Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow did in their first few starts, but things are trending up for the Miami Dolphins' new franchise quarterback.
After finishing as a top-17 fantasy QB the last two weeks, Tua will take on a floundering Broncos defense that's given up at least 30 points in each of Denver's last three contests.
Herbert and Matt Ryan threw for three touchdowns apiece versus the Broncos in Week 8 and Week 9, respectively. Derek Carr likely could have hit that mark, too, but the Las Vegas Raiders leaned on their rushing attack to pummel Denver.
Tua is set up to be a solid fantasy streamer over the next three weeks with a stretch that features the Broncos, New York Jets, and Cincinnati Bengals.
Jameis Winston, Saints
Drew Brees is dealing with multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung, and he's expected to be sidelined for at least two-to-three weeks and possibly longer.
Enter Jameis Winston.
Sean Payton hasn't yet named the starter for this week's game against the Atlanta Falcons, but it was Winston and not Taysom Hill who immediately stepped in when Brees went out on Sunday.
And now Winston could get an opportunity to take advantage of one of the softest schedules over the next three weeks with a pair of games versus the Falcons sandwiching a meeting with the Broncos.
Both clubs are among the top 10 most favorable matchups for fantasy quarterbacks, with the Falcons being the easiest. Atlanta has given up over 300 passing yards in eight of its nine outings this year, and at least three total touchdowns to six different passers.
Remember, Teddy Bridgewater was a top-12 fantasy quarterback during the five-game stretch when Brees was sidelined last year. We could see something very similar play out with Winston over the next few weeks.
Cam Newton (62% rostered) is the top add if he's still available in your league.
Streamer options: Kirk Cousins vs. DAL (29% rostered), Baker Mayfield vs. PHI (34% rostered), Daniel Jones on Bye (30% rostered), Alex Smith vs. CIN (5% rostered), Philip Rivers vs. GB (22% rostered)
Kalen Ballage, Chargers
With Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson likely a few weeks away from returning, the Los Angeles Chargers turned to Ballage as their lead back on Sunday.
Ballage followed up his 18-touch, 84-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 9 with 102 yards from scrimmage against a depleted Dolphins run defense. Either way, it was an impressive stat line from a player many viewed as a pedestrian runner.
Until Ekeler returns to the lineup, Ballage is the favorite to handle lead back duties ahead of Joshua Kelley and Troymaine Pope.
He'll get another positive game script in Week 11 with the Bolts hosting the winless Jets, making him a borderline RB2 in fantasy.
Salvon Ahmed, Dolphins
With Jordan Howard a healthy scratch, Ahmed dominated the Dolphins' backfield snaps and turned in 90 yards and a score on 22 touches.
It was reminiscent of when Myles Gaskin emerged as a difference-maker earlier this year, but, this time, Miami's front office went ahead and released Howard after the game.
Perhaps that means Matt Breida (23% rostered) is close to returning from his hamstring injury, which could complicate the touch distribution. However, it seems likely the Dolphins will give Ahmed a chance to lead the way again.
If he does get another start, he'll face that Broncos defense that just got steamrolled by Josh Jacobs and Devontae Booker. Consider Ahmed an upside RB3/flex in a great matchup.
Damien Harris, Latavius Murray, and Wayne Gallman are around the 60% rostered mark and should be rostered in almost all leagues.
High-upside backups Alexander Mattison (35% rostered), Boston Scott (31% rostered), Tony Pollard (19% rostered), and Brian Hill (8% rostered) should be rostered in most leagues.
Flex options: Carlos Hyde vs. ARI (10% rostered), Nyheim Hines vs. GB (41% rostered), Rex Burkhead at HOU (24% rostered), Alex Collins vs. ARI (0% rostered), Jordan Wilkins vs. GB (18% rostered)
Risky flex options: La'Mical Perine at LAC (25% rostered), Malcolm Brown vs. TB (25% rostered), DeeJay Dallas vs. ARI (37% rostered), Devontae Booker vs. KC (3% rostered), Gus Edwards vs. TEN (36% rostered), Josh Kelley vs. NYG (36% rostered)
Other backups to roster: Cam Akers vs. TB (26% rostered), D'Onta Foreman at BAL (0% rostered), Benny Snell at JAX (5% rostered)
Injury stashes: Sony Michel at HOU (24% rostered), Rashaad Penny vs. ARI (4% rostered)
Deeper stashes: Anthony McFarland Jr. at JAX (1% rostered), Corey Clement at CLE (0% rostered), Royce Freeman vs. MIA (1% rostered), Jeremy McNichols at BAL (1% rostered), DeAndre Washington at DEN (2% rostered)
Jakobi Meyers, Patriots
Meyers has been the Patriots' only reliable receiver over the last month, and it's helped him become a WR3 in fantasy - albeit one with a slightly lower ceiling due to the lack of touchdown passes being thrown by New England this year.
Even without any trips to the end zone, Meyers has scored the 10th-most PPR fantasy points among wideouts during the last four weeks thanks to stat lines of 4-60, 6-58, 12-169, and 5-59.
His target volume may take a hit if Julian Edelman is able to return in the coming weeks, but Meyers is New England's No. 1 option and a worthy starter in fantasy leagues until then.
Allen Lazard/Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers
Lazard experienced soreness in practice last week, causing the Green Bay Packers' conservative medical staff to hold him out in Week 10. As long as he didn't have a setback, Lazard appears close to returning to one of the league's best passing attacks.
In his absence, Valdes-Scantling has come on with back-to-back quality performances, resulting in 202 yards and three touchdowns.
With everyone healthy, Lazard would be a WR3 and MVS a high-upside WR4, though consistency will always be an issue with Davante Adams soaking up such a massive target share.
Tim Patrick, Broncos
Do we really have to talk about Patrick again? Apparently so, since he's still available in more than three-quarters of fantasy leagues.
Perhaps this will help emphasize how well Patrick's played since Courtland Sutton went down. Here are his stat lines over the last six games:
Patrick is the WR34 during that span, which should put him on everyone's radar as a weekly WR3/flex candidate.
Michael Pittman Jr., Colts
Pittman is coming off a breakout game on Thursday, during which he planted his flag in front of a national audience with seven catches and 101 receiving yards in addition to a 21-yard run.
It's hard to put too much faith in a single Indianapolis Colts pass-catcher due to Philip Rivers' affinity for spreading the ball around, but this was the second straight week Pittman led the team in targets and receiving yards.
At worst, you should be stashing Pittman to see if this trend continues and he can become the latest rookie wideout to become a fantasy factor in 2020.
Deebo Samuel, Sterling Shepard, Corey Davis, and Emmanuel Sanders are around the 60% rostered mark and should be rostered in almost all leagues.
Flex options: Sammy Watkins at LV (38% rostered), Jalen Reagor at CLE (26% rostered), Breshad Perriman at LAC (8% rostered), Curtis Samuel vs. DET (55% rostered), Cole Beasley on Bye (50% rostered), Darnell Mooney on Bye (17% rostered)
Risky flex options: Keelan Cole vs. PIT (23% rostered), Laviska Shenault vs. PIT (20% rostered), Michael Gallup at MIN (47% rostered), Henry Ruggs vs. KC (34% rostered), Nelson Agholor vs. KC (26% rostered), Rashard Higgins vs. PHI (17% rostered), Jakeem Grant at DEN (5% rostered), Josh Reynolds at TB (5% rostered), Denzel Mims at LAC (5% rostered), David Moore vs. ARI (5% rostered), Marvin Hall at CAR (1% rostered), KJ Hamler vs. MIA (4% rostered),
Dart-throw flex options: Willie Snead vs. TEN (1% rostered), Demarcus Robinson at LV (1% rostered), Isaiah Wright vs. CIN (0% rostered), Chris Conley vs. PIT (1% rostered), Randall Cobb vs. NE (18% rostered)
Injury stashes: Mecole Hardman at LV (31% rostered), Julian Edelman at HOU (29% rostered)
Deep bench stashes: Gabriel Davis on Bye (1% rostered), Auden Tate at WAS (1% rostered), Cam Sims vs. CIN (0% rostered), Jalen Guyton vs. NYJ (2% rostered)
Logan Thomas, Washington
With Alex Smith finding his rhythm again, Thomas finished with a very respectable 66 yards on four receptions in a close loss to the Detroit Lions.
Thomas now has over 60 yards and/or a touchdown in three of his last four outings, which is enough to put him in the TE1 conversation.
Next up is a date with a Bengals defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends.
Irv Smith Jr., Vikings
Smith was ruled out of the Minnesota Vikings' Monday night matchup with the Chicago Bears due to a groin injury. So, on a short week, it's possible he won't be available again in Week 11.
If he can return, though, the sophomore tight end should continue his ascension to fantasy relevance. Smith finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in three of his last four appearances, including a two-touchdown performance his last game.
Though we should still be cautious about trusting him as a weekly starter in the Vikings' low-volume passing attack, a healthy Smith is a quality streamer with a TE1 ceiling.
Streamer options: Robert Tonyan at IND (51% rostered), Trey Burton vs. GB (18% rostered), Tyler Higbee at TB (53% rostered), Dalton Schultz at MIN (16% rostered), Jordan Reed on Bye (19% rostered)
Week 11 streamers
Favorable fantasy playoff schedules: Rams DEF (43% rostered), Seahawks DEF (28% rostered), Browns DEF (18% rostered), 49ers DEF (45% rostered)