Week 12 waiver thread: early pickup suggestions

In Week 12, the Chiefs and Cardinals are goodbye, but since the fantasy managers have been without DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray for several weeks, they probably already have replacements. However, replacing Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will be a difficult task, but there are a few emerging players on this week’s waiver thread.

Cam Newton, Strategist-Carolina Panthers

I mentioned Cam Newton last week in the first waiver report. He played well in his first start (235 yards combined with three scores) and with Carolina facing the Dolphins in Week 12, Newton is a suitable replacement for either Murray or Mahomes. The Panthers defense has struggled to get Washington out of the field in the last two and a half quarters, which has cost Newton more chances to produce some fantastic points. Additionally, Carolina failed to convert on two fourth downs in the fourth quarter. The Panthers will play at home against Miami and the Falcons for the next two weeks.

November 7, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, United States; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws a pass in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones, quarterback – New England Patriots

In the blink of an eye of five weeks, the Patriots rose to the top of the AFC East with a 7-4 record. Their offense has been sensational in their previous two home games (99 points, 13 touchdowns and five field goals on 20 possessions and 1,033 yards combined). Jones has averaged just 190.25 passing yards and 1.25 touchdowns over his last four starts, but he’s had more starting fantasy value in his last two home games (326 / 2 and 198/3).

The Titans enter this game after a poor home loss to the Texans. Tennessee ranks near the bottom of the league in quarterback defense (23.97 FPPG – 29th) and wide receivers defense (46.35 FPPG – 32nd), giving Jones and the Patriots plenty of advantages next Sunday as possible cover of the week off.

Jeff Wilson, running back – San Francisco 49ers

With Elijah Mitchell suffering from a broken finger that required surgery, Wilson started against the Jaguars. He finished with 20 touches for 58 combined yards and a catch. Wilson missed a touchdown opportunity when Jimmy Garoppolo missed him in the first half. Mitchell’s injury shouldn’t keep him from playing for too long, but it hasn’t stopped high-stakes players from adding Wilson to their squads. He goes into the buy-hold category because the 49ers have a great, fantastic playoff schedule from Week 15 to Week 17 (ATL, @TEN and HOU).

Matt Breida, running back – Buffalo Bills

The running back at Buffalo has been worn out in the last two games. Breida had his biggest action of the season in Week 10, where he gained 50 yards with two touchdowns and three catches. In a mop role against the Colts, Breida gained 67 yards combined with a six-touch catch. If Zack Moss or Devin Singletary are on your squad, it would be wise to take Breida this week for handcuff insurance.


Cedric Wilson, wide receiver – Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys lost Amari Cooper over the weekend after the veteran tested positive for Covid-19. Cooper will also be out for the team’s Thanksgiving game. To make matters worse, CeeDee Lamb left this week’s game against the Chiefs with a concussion. Suddenly, Wilson saw his chances increase Sunday (four catches for 36 yards on seven targets). I expect him to have some starting snaps against the Raiders while still offering possible insurance to someone with Lamb or Cooper on their roster.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Wide Receiver-Green Bay Packers

After missing five games with a hip problem, the Packers gave Valdes-Scantling WR3 snaps in Weeks 9 and 10. Aaron Rodgers only looked his way four times on that streak, leading to three catches for 60 yards. With Allen Lazard out in Week 11, Valdes-Scantling recorded his best game (4/123/1) of the year, thanks to a late 75-yard touchdown. Valdes-Scantling has a boom or bust feel while playing for one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

Adam Trautman, Tight End-Saints of New Orleans

In the past three weeks, Trautman has caught 14 passes for 137 yards and one touchdown on 21 targets. His improved opportunity equates to a fantastic 11.23 points per week in the PPR leagues. That’s a drastic difference from the first seven games where he saw just 19 targets, which led to 11 catches for 104 yards. For now, it has match value as well as being a close save option in most of the Great Leagues.

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