Now that we’re finally done with those pesky bye weeks, we don’t have to worry about our best players not being available. Instead, we can focus more on match ups and handcuffs and making a strong playoff run. And while every week is important, these last 2 or 3 weeks before the playoffs may be the most important in regards to waiver signings.
RB Benny Snell Jr. – Pittsburgh Steelers
We all got fooled on this situation. Jaylen Samuels was expected to see the bulk of carries again. Instead, Snell dominated the Steelers’ running game with 21 rushes for 98 yards while Samuels only had 2 rushes for 6 yards. If James Conner continues to miss games, there’s little doubt that Snell will lead the rushing attack for the foreseeable future. With the opportunity and upcoming schedule of Cleveland and Arizona, Snell could be the guy to carry your team into the playoffs.
Snell is more than 90% unowned, for now. He will surely be the top priority pick up for Week 13 in most leagues.
RB Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks
Over his last 4 games, Penny is averaging 7.07 yards on his 28 carries – topped off with 129 yards on 14 carries against the Eagles. He also out-carried Chris Carson in Week 11 by a mark of 14 to 8 as the Seahawks did some late game clock killing. While Penny hasn’t been the most efficient over his short career, he’s helped by the fact that Carson has had 7 fumbles this year – which is obviously giving Coach Carroll less trust in his more veteran back. With a looming Monday night showdown against the Vikings’ daunting run-stopping defense, he’s more of a handcuff for now – but the Panthers and Cardinals in Weeks 15 and 16 provide juicy opportunities should the Seahawks look to the youngster for more carries.
Penny is around 70-80% available, which should make him an easier find. Definitely worth a stash in standard formats – slightly less in points per reception formats – for anyone who already knows they are playoff bound.
WR Darius Slayton – New York Giants
Even with Golden Tate and a healthy Sterling Shepard, Slayton had 4 catches on 7 targets and led the team in receiving yards for the second week in-a-row. He has turned out to be a reliable receiver over the last two games, catching 66.7% of balls thrown to him. The Giants’ schedule for the remainder of the season is nice as they face the Packers, Eagles, Dolphins, Redskins and Eagles, again.
The rookie receiver looks to be a fine play for the rest of the season. You can still find him on the waiver wire in about 75% of leagues.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – Miami Dolphins
I tweeted it earlier this year and I’m still firm in my belief that Fitzpatrick will win fantasy football championships this year. In 5 of his last 6 games, he has thrown for over 280 yards and/or multiple touchdowns – and that’s the consistency you want from a fantasy quarterback. He looked good throwing another 2 scores – not to mention his 45 rushing yards and ground score. His next two games are against the Eagles and Jets. Putting together his performances from the last time he faced each team, Fitzmagic threw for a total of 790 yards and 7 touchdowns. His following match ups against the Giants and Bengals are also very positive.
You can still find the Dolphins signal caller on 90-95% of waiver wires. He might have the easiest remaining schedule for quarterbacks.
RB Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals
Coming off of the bye should have given Edmonds enough time to get back to full health. With David Johnson only having a total of 6 carries in his last two games, it’s hard to say what’s going on with him. Edmonds excelled in his last three games before his injury with totals of 86, 67 and 150 yards. Although the emergence of Kenyan Drake will mean less touches for Edmonds, he has the ability to do big things with any opportunities he gets. The match up in Week 13 against the Rams isn’t bad, but the Week 15 match up against the Browns looks even better.
Edmonds shouldn’t be hard to find as he is around 85-90% available. He also makes a great handcuff for the Johnson and/or Drake owner.
QB Devlin Hodges – Pittsburgh Steelers
In the 3rd quarter of their Week 11 match up with the Bengals, the Steelers pulled Mason Rudolph as he was sporting a gross-looking quarterback rating of 39.8. Hodges then came in and threw for 118 yards with a score and a rating of 115 in less than two quarters of play. We might not know until later in the week who the starter will be, but my money is on Hodges who has looked poised enough to lead a team trying to nab a wild card spot. The Browns and Cardinals make for good opponents for a signal caller to succeed against.
Since he began the season as the 3rd-string quarterback, he’s not on anyone’s roster right now. He could turn out to be a sneaky addition should he earn and keep the starting role in Pittsburgh.
WR Randall Cobb – Dallas Cowboys
It’s time to stop sleeping on the former Packer. Cobb has seen 30 targets over the last four contests, catching 20 of them for 342 yards and 2 touchdowns. Even with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on the field, Cobb is still seeing a big target share that can no longer be ignored. The immediate schedule is a little scary-looking with the Bills and Bears coming up – but that’s actually good for Cobb. While teams are focusing their best pass defenders on Cooper and Gallup, Cobb is proving to be a very reliable option.
Cobb is between 60-70% available, so he’s not a guarantee to be on your waiver wire. If he is, grab him and his solid floor.
TE David Njoku – Cleveland Browns
The young tight end is finally coming back – and the timing couldn’t be better. Cleveland is still in the hunt and their upcoming schedule makes it feel like a playoff birth is not out of the question. To get there, they’ll need to continue to rely on the talented pass catchers. The next three teams they face – the Steelers, Bengals and Cardinals – all rank in the bottom half of the league versus tight ends. While Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry and Kareem Hunt have been great targets for Baker Mayfield, another skilled pass catcher in the form of Njoku will open up opportunities for all of them. Dating back to last season, he has tallied at least 62 yards and/or a score.
Njoku could be the cure to those who have been streaming all season long. He is available in 70-80% of leagues.
With no more bye weeks, there are a few more players you may want to look for on your waiver wire.
QB Kyle Allen – Carolina Panthers
QB Nick Foles – Jacksonville Jaguars
QB Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans
RB Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears
RB Wayne Gallman – New York Giants
RB Alexander Mattison – Minnesota Vikings
RB Bo Scarbrough – Detroit Lions
RB Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys
WR Cole Beasley – Buffalo Bills
WR Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans
WR A.J. Brown Tennessee Titans
WR Josh Gordon – Seattle Seahawks
TE Dallas Goedert – Philadelphia Eagles
TE Ryan Griffin – New York Jets
TE Mike Gesicki – Miami Dolphins