Heading into Thanksgiving Week (aka Week 12), fantasy managers need to be sure that they are keeping an eye on the waiver wire. With only two weeks before the fantasy playoffs (how did that happen so quickly?), fantasy managers need to be sure they are putting forth their best lineup. Often, there are players on the waiver wire that would help your team more than the guys that have been sitting on your bench since September. Don’t drop your handcuffs for any of these players, but if there is a wide receiver you’ve been waiting to break out, now may be the time to cut ties.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Kansas City
Andy Dalton, Chicago Bears (1 percent rostered)
Justin Fields suffered a ribs injury in Week 11, which means that he will likely be resting while Dalton starts on Thanksgiving. The Bears face the Lions (also likely without their starting quarterback) and it’s not going to be the prettiest of games, but fantasy managers don’t care about beauty. They care about points and Dalton is connecting with Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. He threw for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns in Week 11. For those looking for a quarterback, grab Dalton for Week 12.
Mac Jones, New England Patriots, (40 percent rostered)
Jones has five touchdowns in the past three games. He is managing the game well and is doing well as a real-life quarterback. His numbers for fantasy aren’t quite as good (in those past three games, he only threw for more than 200 yards once – and that was for 207 yards). He faces the Titans in Week 12, who allow the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. For those missing Patrick Mahomes, Jones is a decent streaming option.
Tevin Coleman (3 percent rostered) and Ty Johnson (21 percent rostered), New York Jets
With Michael Carter out for a few weeks with a high ankle sprain, someone else will have to carry the ball for the Jets. Coleman is returning from injury himself (hamstring) but is the back most likely to take over for Carter. In Week 11, Coleman had five carries for 16 yards. He can be involved in the passing game, but that is likely more Johnson’s wheelhouse. Both backs are nothing more than an RB3 based on how poorly this offense has performed.
DeeJay Dallas, Seattle Seahawks (1 percent rostered)
The Seahawks' running game is a bit messy. Chris Carson is out, and Rashaad Penny is currently the lead back. However, not only is he injury-prone, but he’s not a bell-cow back. Dallas and Alex Collins are both in the picture. In Week 11, Dallas had four carries for 25 yards and a touchdown. Collins had 10 carries for 36 yards and Penny had two carries for 19 yards. Penny injured his hamstring on one of those carries so if he were to miss time, look for Dallas to step up as the running back to start.
Jaret Patterson, Washington Football Team (1 percent rostered)
Patterson is primarily Antonio Gibson’s backup, but he has been getting some playing time. Gibson has been a bit banged up, so fantasy managers that have rostered Gibson should consider grabbing Patterson. In Week 12, Patterson had seven carries for 23 yards. He’s not someone that will be a starter in most leagues, but is someone to consider adding to your bench.
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams (46 percent rostered)
Because the Rams played on Monday night in Week 10 and were off in Week 11, many fantasy managers may have forgotten about Jefferson. He is the next man up after Robert Woods tore his ACL. Sure, the team signed Odell Beckham Jr., but Matthew Stafford has connected with Jefferson this season. He’s been targeted seven times in each of the past two games. Jefferson is someone that could be a WR3 and may be available in your league.
Laviska Shenault, Jaguars (39 percent rostered)
Jamal Agnew was just put on season-ending injured reserve which means that his targets will need to go somewhere. Granted, the Jaguars' offense is struggling, but a date with Atlanta in Week 12 may be what they need to get something going. Shenault had five receptions for 50 yards in Week 11 (10 points isn’t bad for a WR4 in PPR formats). He had eight targets in Week 10. With not a lot of other options in the passing game, Shenault isn’t a great option, but for teams dealing with bye weeks and injuries, he’s a WR4 in PPR formats.
DeAndre Carter, Washington Football Team (3 percent rostered)
For those chasing touchdowns, look at Carter. He has three touchdowns in the past three weeks, although it’s tough to trust him each week. He does seem to be a red-zone target for Taylor Heinicke, but it is a gamble. Carter could easily put up a 1/24/0 week as he could put up a 3/30/1 stat line. Carter is someone that fantasy managers may take a risk on in a daily format, and only if you are desperate in standard leagues.
Cedrick Wilson, Dallas Cowboys (2 percent rostered)
Dallas' wide receiver corps is a bit of a mess right now. Amari Cooper is out after testing positive for COVID-19. CeeDee Lamb suffered a concussion on Sunday and he may not have enough time to be cleared for the Cowboys' Thanksgiving game. That leaves Michael Gallup as the new No. 1, which would make Wilson the No. 2. Lamb could clear concussion protocol (in which case Wilson would not be worth playing). However, if fantasy managers are looking for a one-week WR3/4, Wilson is your guy.
Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars (41 percent rostered)
It’s hard to trust anyone on the Jaguars, especially a pass catcher when Trevor Lawrence hasn’t thrown a touchdown, completed more than 16 passes, or thrown for more than 165 yards in the past THREE games. In Week 11, Arnold gave fantasy managers a goose egg. Zero targets made for a bad fantasy (and real-life) day. However, if you can get over the zero, Arnold should have a better day in Week 12 (to be fair, it is hard to be worse). He’s had at least seven targets in the previous three games and all signs point to a bounce-back game against Atlanta.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Philadelphia Eagles (18 percent rostered)
In the next two weeks, the Eagles face the New York Giants and the New York Jets. They are widely available and are a great option for those streaming DSTs. The Eagles have scored a defensive touchdown in three of their last four games. While the Giants don’t always turn the ball over, they also don’t put up a lot of points. Grab the Eagles now and enjoy them for two weeks (then they have a bye).
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.