Fantasy Football Week 12 Waiver Wire: Plenty of free agent difference makers to choose from

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This should be a fun week on the waiver wire with several good options at nearly every position. You might find some difference makers who could help you as we get closer to the Fantasy playoffs.

We only have two teams on a bye with Kansas City and the Rams, and there are only a handful of impactful injuries we're monitoring, including Kerryon Johnson, A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and O.J. Howard, among others. You might not be scrambling for help on your Fantasy team, but there are several players with upside that you can add to your roster.

At quarterback, we have a few options to consider, including Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield, Eli Manning and Lamar Jackson. Two running backs stand out between Gus Edwards and Josh Adams, but there are other guys who can be useful, including Theo Riddick in PPR with Johnson banged up.

Additionally, six young receivers made a strong impact in Week 11 — Tre'Quan Smith, DJ Moore, Josh Reynolds, Keke Coutee, Anthony Miller and Christian Kirk — and they should be owned in all leagues. And Cameron Brate could be a prominent tight end if Howard is out for an extended period.

Along with our usual suggestions of streaming DST and kicker options, you should be busy making waiver wire moves this week. Some of these players could help you win a Fantasy championship this season.

Editor's note: For this waiver wire column, we are only looking at players owned in less than 65 percent of CBS Sports leagues.

Quarterbacks

Priority List
25%
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Winston will return as the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers in place of Fitzpatrick, and he should be a tremendous Fantasy option against San Francisco at home in Week 12. For starters, the Buccaneers team quarterbacks, which means the combination of Winston and Fitzpatrick, has scored the most Fantasy points on average of any team quarterback this year. They have the most passing yards (3,746) by more than 400, and their 28 total touchdowns are fourth behind just Kansas City, Indianapolis and New Orleans. The 49ers have allowed 8-of-10 quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points this year. Winston is worth 5-10 percent of your remaining FAAB.
60%
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
Mayfield went into the bye in Week 11 on a nice roll as a Fantasy quarterback. He scored at least 21 Fantasy points in three of his past four games, including a season-best 28 in Week 10 against Atlanta. This week, he gets another favorable matchup against Cincinnati, which allows the most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks for the season at 27.2 per game. Only two quarterbacks this season have failed to score at least 22 Fantasy points against the Bengals. Mayfield is worth is worth 5-10 percent of your remaining FAAB.
54%
Eli Manning New York Giants QB
After a dreadful start to the season, Manning has turned the corner as a Fantasy quarterback of late. He's scored at least 21 Fantasy points in three of his past four games, including two in a row, and he's facing a decimated Eagles secondary this week due to injuries. Manning struggled against Philadelphia earlier this year with nine Fantasy points in Week 6, but he averaged 25.4 Fantasy points in five games against the Eagles prior to that. We know it's risky to trust Manning, but his recent play and the matchup should ease some of your concerns. He's worth 5 percent of your remaining FAAB.
29%
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
I have no problem if you put Jackson first on this list. He could easily outscore all these quarterbacks, including Winston, with his matchup against Oakland. Or he might not even play. Coach John Harbaugh said Monday there's a chance Flacco could return in Week 12, which would put us back in the scenario of Jackson playing limited snaps behind Flacco. If Jackson does start against the Raiders, then he's a solid streaming option in all leagues. He had 27 carries for 117 yards in Week 11 against Cincinnati — that's not a misprint — and completed 13-of-19 passes for 150 yards with an interception. He's a dynamic player, and his passing stats will improve the more reps he gets. Keep an eye on what develops with Flacco, but hopefully Jackson gets another chance to start. He's worth 5 percent of your remaining FAAB.
17%
Nick Mullens San Francisco 49ers QB
Mullens was great in Week 9 against Oakland with 28 Fantasy points and then flopped in Week 10 against the Giants with just 12 points. After a bye in Week 11, we'll see how he does on the road at Tampa Bay in Week 12. This is all about the matchup since the Buccaneers have allowed the second-most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, with only two failing to score at least 21 against this defense this season. I don't love Mullens this week, but the matchup makes him worth a look in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues. He's worth 1 percent of your remaining FAAB.

Running backs

Priority List
0%
Gus Edwards Baltimore Ravens RB
It would be nice if the Ravens would commit to Edwards as their main running back for the rest of the season, but the fear is he will be part of a rotation with Alex Collins, Javorius Allen and Ty Montgomery. All four played in Week 11 against Cincinnati, but Edwards dominated playing time and production. Hopefully that's a sign of things to come. While Collins has been great at times for Fantasy owners, it's clear the coaching staff doesn't fully trust him. He played fewer than 25 percent of the snaps against the Bengals, while Edwards played more than 60 percent. He had 17 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown, but he didn't have a target in the game. Still, he is receiving plenty of praise in the wake of that performance, and he should be primed for a significant role in Week 12 against Oakland. Following that game, Baltimore faces Atlanta, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, the Chargers and Cleveland to close the year, so he could be a Fantasy star down the stretch. Edwards is worth at least 20 percent of your remaining FAAB.
56%
Josh Adams Philadelphia Eagles RB
I wouldn't be surprised if Adams is the best running back on this list, as he continues to build momentum toward a breakout finish to the season. In Week 11 at New Orleans, despite the Eagles falling apart, Adams flashed with seven carries for 53 yards and a touchdown, along with three catches for 19 yards on six targets. No other running back had more than four touches, and Adams played more than 50 percent of the snaps. Now, the problem for Adams is his 10 touches against the Saints were a season-high, so he needs to get more work before Fantasy owners can fully buy him as a starter. But that should happen in Week 12 against the Giants, who have allowed a running back to score in every game this season. His time is coming, and he's worth at least 20 percent of your remaining FAAB.
48%
Theo Riddick Detroit Lions RB
Kerryon Johnson is expected to miss Thursday's game against Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, but hopefully he'll return in Week 13. In his absence, Riddick, LeGarrette Blount (21 percent) and Zach Zenner (0 percent) will share the workload, but Riddick is really the only one worth trusting — just in PPR. Since Golden Tate was traded to Philadelphia, Riddick has essentially played receiver for the past three games. He has 22 targets over that span for 18 catches and 126 yards. He only has one carry in the past three games, but that could change with Johnson out. Blount will likely get most of carries, but you can't trust him against the Bears. And the last time Riddick faced Chicago in Week 10 he had six catches for 60 yards on seven targets for 12 PPR points. Riddick is worth 10-15 percent of your remaining FAAB in PPR (5-10 percent in non-PPR), and Blount is worth 1 percent of your FAAB in all formats.
35%
Elijah McGuire New York Jets RB
I'm hoping the Jets will give McGuire more work coming out of their Week 11 bye, and he's worth adding in case a bigger role is ahead. In two games since coming back from a foot injury, he's averaging 4.6 yards per carry on 13 rush attempts, and he also has six catches for 64 yards on 11 targets. He's working in tandem with Isaiah Crowell and playing in the Bilal Powell (neck) role, but the Jets should see if McGuire can handle a bigger workload for the future. He's also their third-down back, and he can be used as a flex option in PPR against New England in Week 12. McGuire is worth 10-15 percent of your remaining FAAB.
61%
Frank Gore Miami Dolphins RB
Despite Fantasy owners begging for Kenyan Drake to get more work in Miami's backfield, it's been Gore getting the majority of touches this season. He leads the Dolphins in carries (117) and total touches (126), 12 more than Drake. Maybe that changes coming off Miami's bye in Week 11, but Gore had one of his best games in Week 10 at Green Bay with 13 carries for 90 yards, as well as two catches for 12 yards on three targets. And now he gets a revenge game in Week 12 at the Colts. He's nothing more than a flex option, but Gore could be useful in a pinch against his former team. He's worth up to 10 percent of your remaining FAAB.
54%
Rashaad Penny Seattle Seahawks RB
You shouldn't plan to start Penny any time soon, but he is worth stashing in case Chris Carson suffers another injury. We saw in Week 10 at the Rams with Carson out with a hip injury that Penny could be a star. He had 12 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown in tandem with Mike Davis, but clearly, he's the future in Seattle's backfield. In Week 11 against the Packers, with Carson back, Penny was limited to eight carries, but he still had 46 rushing yards. Penny could be a lottery ticket at some point this year and is worth 10 percent of your remaining FAAB.
14%
Rex Burkhead New England Patriots RB
Burkhead can return to action in Week 13 after starting to practice Nov. 8, and he could end up as a factor for Fantasy owners down the stretch. He'll play behind Sony Michel and James White, but Michel has already missed time this season with knee problems. While we hope Burkhead remains the third option on the depth chart, you know the Patriots, which means we could see Burkhead in a prominent role at some point this year. He's worth stashing in deeper leagues with up to 5 percent of your remaining FAAB.
17%
D'Onta Foreman Houston Texans RB
Foreman returned to practice prior to Week 11, and we'll see if the Texans will use him any time soon as part of their running back rotation with Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue. Coach Bill O'Brien didn't seem to indicate he was counting on Foreman, but he's worth stashing in deeper leagues. Prior to suffering an Achilles injury in Week 11 last year, Foreman was making strides as a contributor for the Texans, and he could be a factor for Fantasy owners down the stretch this year if he's at full strength. He's worth up to 5 percent of your remaining FAAB.

Wide receivers

Priority List
62%
Tre'Quan Smith New Orleans Saints WR
I thought Smith would play well in Week 11 against the Eagles, but he far exceeded my expectations. He had season highs in targets (13), catches (10) and yards (157), and he scored his fourth touchdown of the season. The biggest reason I liked Smith was because he was playing at home, as he had scored three touchdowns in his two previous home outings against Washington (twice) in Week 5 and against the Rams in Week 9. And one of the reasons he's listed first here is he's playing at home in prime time against Atlanta on Thanksgiving. He won't be consistent — he had no targets in Week 10 at Cincinnati — but hopefully the Saints realize he can be a significant contributor down the stretch. He's worth at least 20 percent of your remaining FAAB.
50%
DJ Moore Carolina Panthers WR
Like Smith, Moore put on a show in Week 11 at Detroit with season highs in targets (eight), catches (seven), yards (157), and he scored for just the second time this year. He now has at least 17 PPR points in two of his past four games, and he should be considered the best receiver for Carolina for the rest of the season. We did see Moore struggle to produce in two games prior to Week 11 with just five catches for 36 yards on seven targets against Tampa Bay and at Pittsburgh, so keep that in mind. But the Panthers will hopefully continue to lean on him with at least six targets a game. He also has a favorable schedule upcoming against Seattle, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, New Orleans, Atlanta and New Orleans again to close the season. Moore is worth at least 20 percent of your remaining FAAB.
33%
Keke Coutee Houston Texans WR
Coutee returned after a two-game absence from a hamstring injury in Week 11 at Washington and led the Texans in targets (nine) and receiving yards (77), while also matching DeAndre Hopkins for the lead in receptions (five). He dominated Demaryius Thomas, who was held to one target and no catches. Coutee might be the best option on this list in PPR, as he now has three games with at least 12 PPR points in the five games he's been able to play. If he can stay healthy, Coutee has plenty of upside to close the year, and he's worth at least 15 percent of your remaining FAAB.
55%
Josh Reynolds Los Angeles Rams WR
Reynolds looks like he can be a standout Fantasy option now that Cooper Kupp (ACL) is out for the season, and you can make a case he should be No. 1 on this list. In Week 11 against the Chiefs , he had six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown on eight targets, and he should be a significant contributor for the Rams to close the season. We also saw Reynolds play well the previous time Kupp was out with his first knee injury when he had three catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns on five targets in Week 8 against Green Bay. The Rams are on a bye in Week 12, but Reynolds needs to be added in all leagues and is worth 15 percent of your remaining FAAB.
53%
Anthony Miller Chicago Bears WR
Miller is having a strong month, and he comes into this matchup at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day with a two-game scoring streak. One of those games was against the Lions in Week 10 when he had the best game of his rookie campaign with five catches for 122 yards and a touchdown on six targets. He's averaging 13.5 PPR points in his past four games, and the Lions have allowed 10 touchdowns to receivers in their last five games. Miller continues to share targets with Allen Robinson , Taylor Gabriel , Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen , but based on his recent level of play, as well as the matchup, he's worth adding in all leagues. Spend at least 15 percent of your remaining FAAB on Miller.
61%
Christian Kirk Arizona Cardinals WR
Kirk bounced back from a bad game in Week 10 at Kansas City with a solid effort in Week 11 against Oakland. He had three catches for 77 yards and a touchdown on four targets, with his scoring play going for 59 yards. The four targets were his lowest total since Week 5, and he's yet to top eight targets in any game this season. But he does have at least 13 PPR points in four of his last six games and can be a useful No. 3 receiver to close the season since he's the third best player on offense in Arizona behind David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald . Kirk is worth at least 10 percent of your remaining FAAB.
32%
Danny Amendola Miami Dolphins WR
Amendola should stay hot coming off Miami's bye in Week 11, and he's a great option in PPR leagues. He's scored at least 13 PPR points in four of his last five games, and he has at least five catches in every game over that span. Parker could be out again for the Dolphins, who have also lost Grant and Albert Wilson (hip) for the season. With Miami likely chasing points at Indianapolis, look for Amendola to see 10-plus targets, which has happened twice in his past five outings. Amendola is worth 5-10 percent of your remaining FAAB.
18%
Adam Humphries Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
In deeper leagues, it's hard to ignore what Humphries has done of late, especially if you need help in PPR. He's scored at least 14 PPR points in three of his last four games, with three touchdowns over that span. You know the Buccaneers are going to be throwing the ball all game, and Humphries could benefit with some additional targets if O.J. Howard is out. The schedule is great over the next three weeks with home games against San Francisco, Carolina and New Orleans, and Humphries can emerge as a viable option in deeper PPR formats. He's worth 1 percent of your remaining FAAB.
63%
Marquise Goodwin San Francisco 49ers WR
Goodwin has scored at least 10 PPR points in three of his past five games, and hopefully he takes advantage of this matchup with the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay allows the third-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and Goodwin can be a low-end No. 3 receiver in the majority of leagues this week. He's worth up to 5 percent of your remaining FAAB.
19%
John Ross Cincinnati Bengals WR
A.J. Green is expected to return for the Bengals this week, but if he remains out then Ross is worth a look in deeper leagues. He's scored in both games that Green has been out against New Orleans in Week 10 and at Baltimore in Week 11 with four catches for 66 yards on 13 targets. Green's return would make it hard to trust Ross, but maybe his production over the past two games will help his rapport with Andy Dalton moving forward. Keep an eye on Green's status, and Ross is worth up to 5 percent of your FAAB.
0%
Bruce Ellington Detroit Lions WR
With Golden Tate traded to Philadelphia and Marvin Jones hurt, the Lions need help in the passing game behind Kenny Golladay and Theo Riddick. Ellington played well in Week 11 against Carolina with six catches for 52 yards on nine targets, and he could be needed again with Jones still banged up. You'll only want to use Ellington in deep PPR leagues in Week 12 against Chicago, but he could be needed with Detroit likely chasing points, even at home. He's worth 1 percent of your remaining FAAB.
1%
Trey Quinn Washington Redskins WR
Quinn played in Week 11 against Houston for the first time since Week 1 when he suffered an ankle injury, and he was the primary slot receiver for Washington with Crowder still out. He had four catches for 49 yards on four targets, and he could be useful in deeper PPR leagues. Quinn won't have any value once Crowder is healthy, but Washington needs plenty of help in the passing game given the current state of the receiving corps. Even with Colt McCoy starting, you can lean on Quinn in deeper formats. He's worth 1 percent of your remaining FAAB.
1%
Dontrelle Inman Indianapolis Colts WR
Inman signed with the Colts in October, and in his past three games, he has two outings with at least 11 PPR points. He's only an option in deep PPR leagues, but he's been the second-best receiver for Indianapolis behind T.Y. Hilton. Inman has a favorable matchup in Week 12 against Miami, and he's worth 1 percent of your remaining FAAB.

Tight ends

Priority List
19%
Cameron Brate Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE
Brate could see a significant boost in value if Howard is out for any extended period. Howard previously hurt his knee in Week 4 at Chicago, and Brate finished that game with three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown on four targets. That was part of a three-game scoring streak for Brate, who has established a solid rapport with Winston in the past. If Howard is out in Week 12 then consider Brate a starting Fantasy option in all leagues, and he would also have a great matchup in Week 13 against Carolina. Brate is worth at least 10 percent of your remaining FAAB.
52%
Benjamin Watson New Orleans Saints TE
Watson's had a rough couple of weeks with a combined 1 Fantasy point against Cincinnati and Philadelphia in the past two games, although he just missed scoring twice against the Bengals in Week 10. Still, I'm going back to Watson this week based on his upcoming schedule, starting in Week 12 against Atlanta. He then gets Dallas, Tampa Bay, Carolina twice and Pittsburgh to close the season, and those are favorable matchups for opposing tight ends. Watson is worth 5-10 percent of your remaining FAAB.
34%
Jeff Heuerman Denver Broncos TE
Heuerman didn't have a great game at the Chargers in Week 11 with just four catches for 20 yards on five targets, but I'm not bailing on him yet. He scored in the previous two games, and he should continue to be a top target in this Denver offense. He has a favorable stretch of games coming up against Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Cleveland and Oakland, and he should be considered a streaming option in those matchups. Heuerman is worth up to 5 percent of your remaining FAAB.
40%
Chris Herndon New York Jets TE
Herndon should benefit with Sam Darnold (foot) expected to return in Week 12 against New England, and Herndon has played well with Darnold in recent weeks. In four games prior to Week 10 when Darnold was out against Buffalo, Herndon had at least 10 PPR points in three of those outings. He scored three touchdowns over that span, and Herndon might be the most reliable option in this passing game. It's a good matchup against the Patriots, and Herndon is a solid streaming option this week.
2%
Gerald Everett Los Angeles Rams TE
Like Reynolds, the Rams' tight ends played well in the first game without Kupp in Week 11 against the Chiefs. Higbee had seven targets and finished with six catches for 63 yards, while Everett had four targets and ended up with three catches for 49 yards and two touchdowns. Everett has the higher ceiling, but both have the chance to be contributors with Kupp out. If you want to carry either tight end through the bye week then go with Everett over Higbee, but both are worth picking up. Both are worth 5 percent of your remaining FAAB.
7%
Jonnu Smith Tennessee Titans TE
Smith has picked things up in his past three games, and the only concern now would be Mariota's health heading into Week 12 at Houston. Hopefully, we don't see Smith lose any of his recent momentum with Blaine Gabbert possibly starting. In Smith's past three games against Dallas, New England and Indianapolis, he's scored at least 10 PPR points in each outing. He scored against the Cowboys and Patriots, but his most impressive performance might have been against the Colts with season highs in targets (eight) and catches (six), which resulted in 44 yards. It's not a dominating performance, but hopefully we continue to see more involvement for Smith moving forward — with a healthy Mariota. Smith is worth 5 percent of your remaining FAAB.
5%
Antonio Gates Los Angeles Chargers TE
Gates had a throwback game in Week 11 against Denver with season highs in catches (five), yards (80) and targets (seven) targets, and he scored his second touchdown of the season. We'll see if this is something he can build on, though he doesn't have an easy matchup in Week 12 against Arizona. Still, in deeper leagues, it might not be a bad idea to stash Gates in case he's able to play like this more often. And after facing the Cardinals , the schedule gets much easier with matchups against Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Kansas City in the next three games. Gates is worth 1 percent of your FAAB.
0%
Lance Kendricks Green Bay Packers TE
Graham may try to play through the thumb injury he sustained in Week 11 at Seattle, but the original report was he would be out 4-6 weeks. If Graham is out as expected then look for Kendricks to play a bigger role for Green Bay, which would help his Fantasy value in deeper leagues. He doesn't have a ton of upside but catching passes from Aaron Rodgers makes him viable in large formats. Kendricks is worth 1 percent of your FAAB.

DST streamers

  • Patriots (62 percent) at NYJ
  • Cowboys (35 percent) vs. WAS
  • Bills (31 percent) vs. JAC
  • Colts (31 percent) vs. MIA

K streamers

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 12? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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