This week was one that showed the importance of the waiver wire this year. We had Taysom Hill and Kirk Cousins finish as top-4 quarterbacks. Carlos Hyde and Frank Gore finished as top-12 options at running back. Nelson Agholor and Curtis Samuel rebounded to put up top-8 production. Tim Patrick and Michael Pittman Jr. continue to be surprise players that can actually be started in a pinch. Patrick just had his 3rd 100-yard game and Pittman has had 14 or more fantasy points per game since fully returning from injury. Dallas Goedert, Robert Tonyan, and Dalton Schultz reemerged to be top-10 tight ends with optimism going forward. For defense, it seems that anyone playing the Eagles or Broncos is worth a start. Each of the rankings are in 1/2 PPR points. If we are looking at PPR, Michael Thomas, D.J. Moore, DeVante Parker, and Tyler Boyd receive massive boosts.
The Reemergence of High ADP Players
Deshaun Watson , QB, Houston
Besides the terrible weather game against the Browns, Watson has had no less than 24 fantasy points since Week 4. He has had ceiling games of 32 and 31.4 fantasy points. Although it is a weaker scoring week for quarterbacks, 24 points would be 4th this week in ranking for reference (6th for last week).
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City
20.2 fantasy points should have been about expected against arguably the best rushing matchup besides the Dolphins; 14 carries and 1 catch for a total of 77 yards is still not encouraging. His numbers are inflated by 2 touchdowns. He only has a total of 3 touchdowns otherwise all year. He has one against the Panthers (Week 9), Broncos (Week 7), and Texans (Week 1). Besides the Broncos, these teams all are bottom-10 against the run. With the Buccaneers, Broncos, Saints, and Falcons left on the schedule, it would not be surprising to see him go back to below 10 carries like he has been the last three weeks. Alternatives should be looked into for Edwards-Helaire until the Week 14 game against the Dolphins.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona
Drake is working his way into starting territory again. Week 11 against Seattle was the first time he had more than 2 catches or even double-digit receiving yards this year. His usage and production are looking up. Two out of the last four weeks he had more than 4.4 yards per carry (typically league average per year) for the first time all year. The schedule is light coming up with the Patriots, Giants, and the corpse of the 49ers approaching.
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans & D.J. Moore , WR, Carolina
It may take backup quarterbacks to help these players with fantasy production. Moore had 7 catches on 11 targets for 127 yards. Thomas had 9 catches on 12 targets for 104 yards. They did also have excellent matchups but there is now more optimism to start each and not have to double think it.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia & Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore
Goedert had 5 catches on 6 targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. Andrews had 5 catches on 7 targets for 96 yards and a touchdown also. This has actually been about average usage for each in terms of targets. Goedert has little reason for optimism as the schedule is hard and Zach Ertz should be back soon. Andrews has benefited from Nick Boyle being knocked out as he is getting a record amount of snaps. Last year it was common for him to play under 50% of the snaps; two out of the last three weeks Andrews has been on the field for 50 total snaps or more. Typically, offenses run 60-75 plays/snaps per game.