Bye week: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle
Bobby Rainey, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit, owned in 28% of Yahoo! leagues): One of our top waiver wire recommendations from last week, Rainey cemented himself as the starting running back in Tampa with a 30-carry breakout effort that resulted in 163 rushing yards and two scores against the Atlanta Falcons. Expect this guy to be the most coveted free agent in all leagues this week.
Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers (at Washington, owned in 28% of Yahoo! leagues): Is scheduled to return to action in the very near future, but won’t be at 100 percent once he takes the field. No matter, grab Crabtree now and stash him for the fantasy playoffs. One look at the San Francisco passing game in recent weeks and you know damn well this team can’t wait to get their star receiver back into the starting lineup.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts (at Arizona, owned in 27% of Yahoo! leagues): With former first round selection Trent Richardson looking like a total bust at the moment, Brown has seized an opportunity in Indianapolis to handle the bulk of the backfield responsibilities. Carried the rock a season-high 14 times at Tennessee last week, which resulted in 80 yards (5.7 YPC) and two scores. Also plays a respectable role in the passing game, where he’s caught six passes for 78 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks.
Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cleveland, owned in 22% of Yahoo! leagues): Has found the end zone five times over Pittsburgh’s last three games on just 15 total targets. Cotchery isn’t a great own in PPR formats, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger loves looking his way in the red zone. Worthy of a roster spot as a WR3/4 in leagues with ten or more teams.
It may not happen this week, but Crabtree will return to action soon and could make a big impact in the fantasy playoffs.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans (at Oakland, owned in 22% of Yahoo! leagues): Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick loves this guy, as evidenced by Walker’s 18 targets, 14 receptions, 153 receiving yards and two scores over the last two weeks. Walker has now found the end zone in three of Tennessee’s last four games and will continue to see plenty of looks from Fitzpatrick moving forward. Speaking of which…
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tennessee Titans (at Oakland, owned in 6% of Yahoo! leagues): Has played semi-reliable football over the last two weeks, completing 44 of 61 passes (72.1 percent) for 486 yards and three scores, with zero interceptions. Makes for a decent QB2 in leagues with 12 or more teams.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, Buffalo Bills (Bye, owned in 2% of Yahoo! leagues): Only a recommendation for owners in leagues with 12 or more teams. Given an opportunity to start in Week 11, the rookie from Texas posted a career day consisting of six receptions on nine targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. Note that despite catching only 16 passes this season, Goodwin has found the end zone three times. Buffalo needs to figure out how to get this guy on the field with more frequency.
Shane Vereen, RB, New England Patriots (vs. Denver, owned in 59% of Yahoo! leagues): Likely unavailable in most fantasy formats, Vereen (wrist) returned to action Monday night for the first time since going down during a Week 1 tilt at Buffalo. Touched the ball nine times for 72 yards (8-65-0 receiving) against a stingy Carolina defense while playing an integral role in New England’s passing game. Expect more touches moving forward.
Case Keenum, QB, Houston Texans (vs. Jacksonville, owned in 49% of Yahoo! leagues): Don’t bail on this guy after one questionable performance, especially when you consider that Keenum has thrown just one interception in 126 passing attempts this season. Despite the tank job against the Raiders in Week 11, Keenum is still averaging 248.0 passing yards per game in 2013, with eight touchdowns in four starts.
Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos (at New England, owned in 37% of Yahoo! leagues): That fumble Sunday night against the Chiefs is just one of several reasons why Ball won’t become a workhorse back in Denver anytime soon. But the Broncos love to use this guy on the goal line, as evidenced by the rookie’s eight carries for 25 yards and two scores in Week 11. Considered an RB4 for owners in leagues with 12 or more teams.
Garrett Graham, TE, Houston Texans (vs. Jacksonville, owned in 26% of Yahoo! leagues): Busted loose with a career-high seven receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown (on 13 targets) in Week 11 against the Oakland Raiders. Consistency is an issue here, but Graham could function as a serviceable TE2 in leagues with 12 or more teams.
Jairus Wright, WR, Minnesota Vikings (at Green Bay, owned in 1% of Yahoo! leagues): Minnesota’s dreadful quarterback situation has limited the production of every wide receiver on the roster, but Wright posted a solid 3-69-2 stat line Sunday at Seattle in the biggest game of his career. Considered a WR4 for owners in leagues with more than 12 teams.
Green Bay Packers, D/ST (vs. Minnesota, owned in 53% of Yahoo! leagues): Not the best of options for Week 12, but the Packers return home for a divisional matchup with a Minnesota Vikings offense that is surrendering an average of 10.8 fantasy points per game to opposing D/STs this season (ninth-most in NFL).
Tennessee Titans, D/ST (at Oakland, owned in 51% of Yahoo! leagues): Another shaky option for Week 12, but the Titans are coming off extra rest for a Sunday showdown with an Oakland offense that is permitting an average of 12.0 fantasy points per game to opposing D/STs this season (seventh-most in NFL).
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