Last week was full of RB breakouts, and there was more of the same this week even if it wasn’t quite as exciting. Samaje Perine, Latavius Murray, and Cam Akers all took over their teams’ respective backfields, and, like it or not, all will be among the top Week 12 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. We also have some intriguing late-season WR breakouts in Donovan Peoples-Jones and Demarcus Robinson who are worth grabbing ahead of the fantasy playoffs.
As we get deeper into the season, we’re going to have waiver weeks like this when there aren’t many big injuries. Most fantasy owners are fine with that trade-off, but it doesn’t help those in need of depth or streamers. Our full free agent list features a few more long-term contributors (Juwan Johnson, Wan’Dale Robinson, Treylon Burks, James Cook, Deshaun Watson, Odell Beckham Jr.), but we’re mostly looking at potential one-week wonders with favorable matchups. Even with no teams on bye in Week 12, we have a ton of streamer recommendations for quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, and D/ST. They’re organized by position and can be found at the end of the list.
WEEK 12 STANDARD RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers
With Joe Mixon in concussion protocol, we won’t know if Perine is slated to start in Week 12 until later in the week. It’s risky to go all-in with a high waiver claim on him, but someone is bound to do it in your league. Murray is close to meriting a high claim if you trust him to continue leading Denver’s backfield (which we think he will), and Akers has a string of favorable upcoming matchups, so he might be worth a high bid if you’re hurting at RB. The rest of this week’s top pickups are fairly interchangeable pass-catchers, and you likely aren’t desperate enough to use a high claim on them. You can make a case for using a low claim on one if you’re battling for your postseason life, but don’t go overboard.
WEEK 12 PPR RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers
With every team in action next week, it’s also unlikely that you need to use a waiver claim on a streamer, but if you’re planning for the next few weeks and want to make sure you get someone like Demarcus Robinson or Burks, then, by all means, use a low claim. You should still hold onto top-five priority in case there’s a big injury or surprise breakout in the weeks to come.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 12
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues are considered.
Samaje Perine, RB, Bengals
Perine posted three TDs against Pittsburgh in Week 11, but that’s not why he’s on this list. He’s here because Joe Mixon exited in the second half due to a concussion. Perine has usually been effective when given touches (as we saw in Week 11), and if Mixon misses next week’s game against Tennessee, Perine will have flex value. He’s obviously not a long-term play, but if you’re hurting at RB, he’s worth adding based on his 15-touch potential.
Latavius Murray, RB, Broncos
Murray scored on a one-yard TD plunge and led the Broncos in carries (17) and rushing yards (49) in Week 11, but perhaps the most important development from the game was that Melvin Gordon lost a fumble on the goal line. Gordon has now fumbled five times this year, losing three, and Denver’s coaches might be at the end of their rope with him. With Chase Edmonds tweaking his ankle, Murray could continue to dominate RB snaps as he did in the second half last week, making him a borderline RB2 going forward. At the very least, he’s a flex in a favorable matchup next week against Carolina.
We don’t like this any more than you do, but after a team-high 14 carries and 61 yards in Week 11, it looks like Akers is once again L.A.’s lead back. That has value going forward, especially in favorable matchups against the Chiefs, Seahawks, and Raiders over the next three weeks. You never know how many carries Akers is going to get on a weekly basis, but he looks like a good bet for double-digit touches for at least one more week.
Demarcus Robinson, WR, Ravens
After his nine-catch, 128-yard showing in Week 11, Robinson has now seen at least eight targets in two of his past three games. He’ll likely continue to operate as Baltimore’s top wide receiver going forward, and that should mean more solid performances. His Week 9 dud (one catch, 12 yards) should remind you that he doesn’t always have a particularly high floor, but he’s still a solid receiver to have on your bench for the stretch run. He’s definitely in play next week in a favorable matchup against Jacksonville, and he’ll be in a lot of starting lineups in Weeks 14 (Steelers), 16 (Falcons), and 17 (Steelers).
Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Giants
Robinson regressed in Weeks 8 and 10, totaling just 35 yards on four catches (five targets), but he came alive again in Week 11, hauling in nine-of-13 targets for a career-high 100 yards before exiting with a knee injury. It’s likely Robinson will miss time due to the injury, but we’re leaving him on this list for now because he would be in a lot of lineups in Weeks 13 (Commanders), 15 (Commanders), and 16 (Vikings) if healthy.
Treylon Burks, WR, Titans
Burks finally had that big game fantasy owners have been waiting for, catching seven-of-eight targets for 116 yards on Thursday against Green Bay. It’s too soon to say this is a sign of things to come for the rest of the season, but it’s clear Burks has the tools to be a productive NFL receiver. He likely won’t see eight targets every week in Tennessee’s run-heavy approach, but he’s at least worth stashing just in case this is the start of a breakout. Keep him on your bench next week against Cincinnati, but monitor his target share.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Browns
Peoples-Jones finally found the end zone in Week 11, and even though it was in garbage time, it counts just the same for fantasy owners. More important is that he had another five catches, six targets, and 61 yards, giving him at least four catches and 61 yards in five straight games. That’s the definition of a “high floor,” at least in PPR leagues, so consider DPJ a flex in most matchups. His ceiling should only go up when Deshaun Watson returns in Week 13.
Cook has only received more than five carries in a game twice this year, but one of those was last week against Cleveland when he rushed for a career-high 86 yards on 11 rushes. It’s possible the rookie continues to see his role expand going forward, as Devin Singletary has been mostly mediocre as Buffalo’s lead back. Even if Cook remains nothing more than a valuable handcuff, he actually has some streamer value next week in a highly favorable matchup against the Lions. Cook can work as a flex in standard leagues.
Juwan Johnson, TE, Saints
Johnson has been a touchdown machine lately, catching his fifth in the past five games in Week 11. The targets are a bit up and down, but it’s clear he’s a big part of the Saints’ offense and could continue to post TE1-caliber numbers going forward. He’s a risky play next week against San Francisco’s elite TE defense, but he’ll be a great option in Week 13 against Tampa and Week 15 against Atlanta. Stash him now if you’re weak at tight end.
Skyy Moore, WR, Chiefs
Is Moore finally ready to break out? He had his best game of the season in Week 11, catching five-of-six targets for 63 yards thanks to injuries to Mecole Hardman (abdomen), Kadarius Toney (hamstring), and JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion). Hardman will miss Week 12 for sure, and Toney also seems unlikely to play. Even if Smith-Schuster is back, Moore could wind up as the Chiefs. No. 2 receiver in a favorable matchup against the Rams. He’s worth stashing in case he really does start to take off.
Julio Jones, WR, Buccaneers
Since returning from an early-season hamstring injury, Jones has scored in two-of-three games, including a 31-yard TD in Week 10. Jones hasn’t produced many catches or yards, but it’s clear he has a potentially lucrative role in the Bucs’ offense. He has some streamer value during the byes, and if anything happens to either Chris Godwin or Mike Evans, Jones would be a borderline must-start. He’s a potential flex next week against Cleveland.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Browns
With Watson getting closer to his return, he will start picking up steam on the waiver wire with the fantasy football playoffs on the horizon. The veteran quarterback is not eligible to play in Week 12, but he will be worth starting the following week when makes his debut for the Browns against the Texans. A favorable fantasy playoff schedule (Ravens, Saints, Commanders) also awaits.
Odell Beckham, WR, Free Agent
The veteran wide receiver will be an instant contributor to whichever team he signs with after Thanksgiving. We shouldn’t expect Beckham Jr. to be a WR1 or WR2 in fantasy, but he’ll be one of the better flex options based on his talent alone.
Everyone below this point is a streamer recommendation for Week 12:
Ryan has received a second chance to start with interim head coach Jeff Saturday. The veteran quarterback played mistake-free football in Week 10 against the Raiders and becomes one of the better streaming options in favorable matchups thanks to his underrated supporting cast. In Week 12, Ryan will be going up against a Steelers’ pass defense that has had its fair share of issues this season. Entering Week 11, the Steelers were allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to QBs.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Falcons
Mariota has shown a high floor this year, and he has a favorable Week 12 matchup against the Commanders, who allow the 12th-most fantasy points per game to QBs this season. Washington’s defense has played better as of late, but the veteran quarterback can use his mobility to pick up points and can get the ball to Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Taylor Heinicke, QB, Commanders
Even though Carson Wentz (finger) is beginning to throw again, Washington’s starting QB job belongs to Heinicke, who has been a sparkplug for the Commanders’ offense. Heinicke has a favorable Week 12 matchup against the Falcons, who allow the ninth-most FPPG to QBs this season. With a solid wide receiver unit led by Terry McLaurin, Heinicke could make some noise against this less-than-stellar secondary.
Davis Mills, QB, Texans
Mills is not the top streaming option at QB for Week 12, but if you are in pinch, he might be worth a flier against the Dolphins. Entering Week 12, Miami was allowing the third-most FPPG to QBs this season and had a 16:4 TD-to-INT ratio. Mills should also get a lot of attempts while trying to keep up with Miami’s high-powered offense…assuming he still has the starter’s job, that is.
Parris Campbell, WR, Colts
After a slow start to the season, Campbell has emerged as the Colts’ No. 2 wide receiver. The Colts have done a great job of getting him the ball in space and letting him make plays, which has provided fantasy owners with some production. In Week 12, Campbell and the Colts will be going up against a Steelers’ defense that has given up a lot of TDs and FPPG to WRs this season. If you need a WR3/flex, Campbell is worth a shot.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Chiefs
The veteran wide receiver has been hit or miss this season, but he’s starting to be that big-play threat in the Chiefs’ offense, which is a good sign heading into Week 12. Valdes-Scantling will be going up against Rams’ defense that has not looked like itself this season. Entering Week 11, the Rams were allowing the 11th-most FPPG to WRs. Valdes-Scantling does not need a ton of volume to make an impact and should have a couple of opportunities for a big play.
Van Jefferson, WR, Rams
Jefferson will continue to have a much bigger role in the Rams’ offense for the foreseeable future with Cooper Kupp (ankle) on injured reserve. He does not need a lot of volume to be a factor in fantasy (though it was nice to see him get five targets last week), making him a perfect flex option for Week 12. He will be going up against the Chiefs’ defense, which was allowing the fifth-most FPPG to WRs heading into Week 11, so even if Matthew Stafford (concussion) is out, Jefferson has some upside.
Zay Jones, WR, Jaguars
Jones gets steady targets and should have a good Week 12 against the Ravens. Baltimore’s defense looks better with the addition of Roquan Smith, but the secondary still has its struggles. Entering Week 11, the Ravens were allowing the sixth-most FPPG to WRs this season.
Nico Collins, WR, Texans
Collins has missed some time with a groin injury, but after double-digit targets and a TD in Week 10 and a garbage-time-aided seven targets in Week 11, it’s clear he’s ready to go in a favorable matchup against the Dolphins’ 22nd-ranked pass defense in Week 12. Miami will be looking to take Brandin Cooks out of the game plan, leaving Collins and Chris Moore to potentially make some plays in the passing game.
Jahan Dotson WR, Commanders
The rookie wide receiver is back from his injury stint and looking to make plays in Week 12 against a Falcons’ defense that entered Week 11 allowing the most FPPG to WRs. Dotson is better suited for standard leagues than PPR leagues, but he has big upside in both.
Isaiah McKenzie, WR, Bills
McKenzie has seemingly been phased out of the Bills’ offense, but he could be in store for a breakout performance against the Lions in Week 12. Detroit’s defense has been good at some points of the season, but it has also given up a ton of big plays in the passing game. Entering Week 12, the Lions were allowing the seventh-most FPPG to WRs this season. With Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis getting a ton of attention, McKenzie could see favorable matchups in the slot and also rip off a big gain or two on some gadget plays.
Alec Pierce, WR, Colts
For the early portion of the season, it seemed like Pierce was going to be the Colts’ No. 2 wide receiver. However, that title has gone to Parris Campbell, who has been playing well over the past few weeks. That being said, fantasy owners shouldn’t completely disregard the rookie receiver, who got eight targets last week and has a favorable Week 12 matchup against the Steelers. Entering Week 11, the Steelers were allowing a league-high 13 touchdowns to wide receivers and the second-most FPPG to the position this season. Piercer has a chance to make some noise as a streamer in 12-team leagues.
Marvin Jones, WR, Jaguars
The veteran wide receiver has played a consistent number of snaps this season, but there hasn’t been a ton of consistent production. However, Jones could change his fortunes and jump onto the fantasy radar in Week 12 against the Ravens. Entering Week 11, the Ravens allowed the fourth-most receiving yards per game to wide receivers.
Chris Moore, WR, Texans
If you are looking for a sleeper at the flex spot, look no further than Moore. He usually does not get a ton of volume in the Texans’ passing game (unless there’s a lot of garbage time, like last week), but he somehow finds ways to get a decent number of points. The Dolphins’ defense is improving but entered Week 11 ranked 22nd in pass defense, so Moore could pay off in deep leagues.
Tyquan Thornton, WR, Patriots
The rookie wide receiver hasn’t done much this season, but he has the speed to create a big play and score a touchdown against the Vikings’ defense in Week 12. Entering Week 11, Minnesota had allowed the fourth-most FPPG per game to WRs.
Damiere Byrd, WR, Falcons
The veteran wide receiver has created a niche for himself in the Falcons’ run-centric offense. Byrd will look to hit a couple of big passing plays against the Commanders’ defense, which is improving but still has allowed a lot of passing touchdowns this season. Entering Week 11, Washington’s defense had allowed the ninth-most FPPG to WRs, so fire up Byrd in deep standard leagues.
Olamide Zaccheaus, WR, Falcons
If you are picking up Zaccheaus off waivers, you are not expecting a ton of volume. You are merely hoping he can turn one of his three or four targets into a big play or two against a Washington defense that entered Week 11 with the second-most passing TDs allowed (18). He can work as a boom-or-bust flex if you’re in a bind in deep leagues.
Foster Moreau, TE, Raiders
Despite last week’s dud in Denver, Moreau should be a factor in the Raiders’ offense as long as Darren Waller (hamstring) is out. He has an excellent matchup in Week 12 against the Seahawks, who have allowed the most FPPG to TEs this season. Moreau should be a top-10 TE this week.
Evan Engram, TE, Jaguars
Engram has thrived in his first season with the Jaguars, which should not be a surprise as head coach Doug Pederson loves getting the tight end involved in the offense. Entering Week 11, Baltimore has allowed the 14th-most fantasy points per game to TEs, so Engram has a slightly above-average matchup in Week 12. Given his regular targets, that’s enough to make him a solid streamer.
Hunter Henry, TE, Patriots
Henry has not looked like the same tight end we saw last season, who was a monster inside the red zone. However, he has a great Week 12 matchup against the Vikings’ defense, who were allowed the eighth-most FPPG to TEs entering Week 11. He can pay off as a streamer in standard leagues if you need him.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Patriots
Smith has actually been seeing more targets than Hunter Henry lately, averaging between three and four per game. Against Minnesota’s bottom-eight TE defense in Week 12, that could be enough to pay off as an emergency stream.
Noah Fant, TE, Seahawks
Fant has played well over the past few weeks and is beginning to look like the pass-catcher we saw last season in Denver. In Week 12, he could be in store for a big game against the Raiders, who were allowing the fifth-most FPPG to TEs entering Week 11.
Will Dissly, TE, Seahawks
Dissly has slowed down after a hot start, but he has some upside against the Raiders in Week 12. Entering Week 11, the Vegas was allowing the fifth-most FPPG to TEs.
Indianapolis Colts D/ST
The Colts have allowed 20 or fewer points and posted multiple sacks in four straight games, and they have takeaways in three of their past four. Steelers QB Kenny Pickett has thrown eight interceptions (tied for fourth-most in the NFL) and has been sacked 12 times over Pittsburgh’s past two games, so the Colts make for a solid Week 12 stream.
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST
The Chiefs’ secondary has been pretty rough this season, but that shouldn’t matter much without Cooper Kupp (ankle) lining up across them next week. The Rams allow the most fantasy points to D/STs this season, mostly because they can’t protect Matthew Stafford in any way, shape, or form.
Minnesota Vikings D/ST
The Vikings don’t have the greatest overall defensive statistics, but they usually force a bunch of turnovers. Entering Week 11, they ranked fifth in interceptions and third in fumble recoveries, and they were also in the top 10 in third-down defense. The Patriots’ focus on taking care of the ball could be put to the test next week, as Kirk Cousins and his high-flying arsenal of offensive weapons will force Mac Jones to throw to keep up. Nothing will help Minnesota shake off Week 11’s debacle against Dallas like a Thursday night home game against a mediocre QB.
The Jets just keep getting the job done, yet nobody ever seems to pick them up off the wire. Sauce Gardner has been a revelation in the secondary, and the pass-rush has improved mightily, as well. A Week 12 matchup against the Bears might scare you a little given Justin Fields’ recent breakout games, but he’s also prone to bad mistakes. New York has also beaten Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers this year, so it can put up points against Chicago.
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST
The Steelers are an underwhelming stream, but they put up double-digit fantasy points against the Saints in Week 10 and they should be able to apply enough pressure to force Matty Ice into some hurried throws in Week 12. With T.J. Watt back, more sacks should also be coming Pittsburgh’s way, especially against an immobile QB.
Miami has been a disappointment overall this season, but they still have playmakers at all three levels. A Week 12 matchup against a low-powered Texans’ team that entered Week 11 allowing the 10th-most FPPG to D/STs should help the Dolphins get back on track.
Carolina Panthers D/ST
The Panthers are for deep leagues only, but if you’re in desperate need, Carolina has been a decent play in plus-matchups. Week 11’s tilt with Denver certainly qualifies as a plus matchup, as the Broncos have a terrible offensive line and Russell Wilson is a shell of his former self.
The Falcons? Talk about going deep! But their Week 12 opponent, the Commanders, have been messy, even in their wins, while Atlanta looks like it has hope. The ATL D/ST put up eight points against Carolina a couple of weeks ago and has two double-digit performances against Cali squads (Rams and 49ers). You could do worse than the Falcons against Taylor Heinicke.