Week 11 was the epitome of devastating early and mid-game injuries especially to running backs. It was also a lesson in the importance of owning handcuffs towards the end of the season for your star running backs. Marshawn Lynch owners were overjoyed if they plugged Thomas Rawls in to their lineups or kicking themselves if they left him on the bench.
If he is still available in your leagues you have to consider spending a boatload on him this week. Other key injuries were season-ending ailments to Justin Forsett and Joe Flacco in Baltimore, Devonta Freeman left with a concussion, and Charcandrick West left the game early with a nagging hamstring injury.
Hopefully West’s injury is relatively minor, and he can return in Week 12 or 13. His rest of season schedule is scrumptious.
Good luck this week everyone. If you are having issues with who to drop, or hold from your fantasy teams stay tuned for my upcoming column (Panic or Patience) where I will look at players who are under-performing and whether you need to cut bait, or hold.
Top Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 12
I will be here to guide you each and every week with some players who are owned less than 40% and could have an impact on your squad for the particular week or rest of season.
Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks (Owned in 37.1% of ESPN Leagues)
Rawls showed once again he is more than capable of carrying a full workload in the absence of Marshawn Lynch. He exploded for 209 yards rushing and 46 yards receiving with two touchdowns. A fantastic week to say the least and with the grumblings of sports hernia surgery for Lynch, if Rawls has not been added by the Lynch owner yet, make them pay and get him immediately.
Javorious Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens (Owned in 5.3% of ESPN Leagues)
Allen will by default be the most sought after, (or runner up if Thomas Rawls for some odd reason is not owned) player on waivers this week with the season-ending injury to Justin Forsett. This ownership percentage will sky-rocket, so if you are in need of a running back be ready to fend off the Forsett owner and pay up. He should not be cheap.
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers (Owned in 10.9% of ESPN Leagues)
I mentioned getting him last week as a cheap option and hopefully you did. With a few more injuries happening to the receivers in Carolina, Funchess became the head honcho in Week 11. His targets should remain high in Week 12. If he is still out there and you need a flex play or bench, stashing Funchess is a fantastic choice.
Chiefs DST (Owned in 41.4% of ESPN Leagues)
The Chiefs defense has been rock solid over their past three games with double-digit points and their remaining schedule, especially in the fantasy playoffs where they face Baltimore with Matt Schaub, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. If they are out there, I would go for them this week.
DST Streamer(s) of the Week
I am a part of the streaming DST movement. I don’t typically waste a draft pick, unless I need to, in my drafts and instead cut someone and add a DST. Clearly the top defenses will be owned and not available, but streaming is always an option when it comes to DST’s. So each week I will be providing a DST that is owned in less than 50% of leagues and can be useful.
Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens (Owned in 3.3% of ESPN Leagues)
We shall see if this logic works or not because the Browns' defense has not been great, but I may be going with the bullying up on Baltimore for the rest of the way when I can for streaming. Matt Schaub has always been streaky, but he was consistent on turning the ball over and making some poor decisions. As the quarterback in Baltimore now for the injured Joe Flacco, I love the Browns odds to get a few turnovers.