Another week and another starting Quarterback goes down. This time, in week 12, we saw Daniel Jones injure his hamstring, and while he tried to re-enter the game, he was unable to stay in. Hamstring injuries usually result in multiple-week absences, so if you were relying on him for any reason, you are possibly going to have to stream QBs starting this week. Outside of Jones, there wasn’t much injury news in week 12, just some major fallout from COVID-19 wreaking havoc across the league. Due to that, this is a very thin week on the waiver wire. On a brighter note, we did see the return of Austin Ekeler, who immediately slotted into a bell-cow role for the Chargers. He looks poised to help make a playoff push for owners who waited on him.
PPR waiver wire targets
- Cam Akers (LAR RB) – This is the third or fourth time Akers has made his way into the top waiver-wire additions this year. Akers is finally getting a chance to lead the Rams’ backfield and he has looked like the best of the three running backs when doing so. He has now scored a touchdown in two straight weeks, the first two of his career, showing that head coach Sean McVay can trust him with high-value touches. Over the last two weeks, Akers has turned 14 carries into 99 yards and a TD to go along with 1 reception for 4 yards and a TD. The Rams also close out with one of the easier schedules remaining for offensive outlook as they face the Cardinals, Patriots, Jets, Seahawks, and Cardinals again to end the year.
- Allen Lazard (GB WR) – Lazard has now played in 2 games since his return from injury and he has not missed a beat with Aaron Rodgers. In the three games prior to injury, he had seen 4, 5 and 8 targets and was earning a larger role in the offense. In the two games since his return, he has seen 4 and 6 targets. In an offense as high powered as Green Bay’s, Lazard will have plenty of scoring opportunities operating as the team’s second wide receiver target. He has scored double digit fantasy points in 3 of his 5 games, catching a TD in each of those 3 games, and he has garnered 21% of the air yards and 16% of the targets on the Packers’ offense. That is good enough volume when Aaron Rodgers is the one throwing you passes.
- Gabriel Davis (BUF WR) – Perhaps there was one piece of injury news that does affect waivers for this week, albeit news that came out before the games were played with John Brown being placed on IR. Given that news, we could assume that Gabriel Davis would jump right into Brown’s role on offense, and he did just that. Davis caught 3 of 4 targets for 79 yards and a TD. He would have seen even more targets if Josh Allen had thrown more than a measly 24 attempts. Davis is going to check in in the 15-20% target range on a weekly basis with John Brown out, and with his explosiveness, that is too much volume to ignore on waivers.
- Keke Coutee (HOU WR) – While writing this, Will Fuller got hit with a 6 game suspension for performance enhancing drugs. The Texans just placed Randall Cobb on IR last week as well, now leaving only Brandin Cooks and Keke Coutee as viable options at wide receiver. Considering how bad the Houston defense is, and the fact that the Texans constantly play from behind, there is value to be had with Coutee now that he should be the second option in the pass game.
Non-PPR waiver wire targets
As previously mentioned, touchdowns are much more valuable in non-PPR leagues, and the high volume pass catchers are much less valuable. This fact will change around some of the rankings for our waiver wire targets. This week’s non-PPR adds are going to be the same as the PPR adds due to injuries around the league. However, some guys get a slight boost or downgrade due to reliance on pass catching or TDs.
- Cam Akers (LAR RB) – Despite missing a couple games with an injury, and not playing but 1 or 2 snaps in other games due to coach’s decision, Akers has begun to close the gap on red zone rushing attempts for the Rams. He sits at 11, which is third on the team behind Darrell Henderson (33) and Malcolm Brown (16). As mentioned, though, those two ahead of him have seen the field way more than Akers has until recently. The Rams rushed the ball only twice inside the red zone in week 12, and Akers handled both attempts.
- Allen Lazard (GB WR) – Lazard has 3 TDs in his 5 games played, with 5 red zone targets across those 5 games. He also gets to catch passes from Aaron Rodgers and should regularly present a mismatch when lined up in the slot. Lazard is the top option if you are in search of wide receiver help, regardless of format.
- Gabriel Davis (BUF WR) – Gabriel Davis has been a deep threat this year, but has also shockingly seen high usage when the Bills are in the red zone. He is tied with Cole Beasley for second on the team in red zone targets with 9, behind only Stefon Diggs’ 12. I side with Lazard slightly over Davis because Davis’ role will diminish if/when John Brown returns.
- Keke Coutee (HOU WR) – Coutee has only been thrust into a bigger role over the last two weeks. However, he has made his time on the field count as he has racked up 4 red-zone targets in those 2 games. Now that Will Fuller is also gone for the remainder of the year, Coutee will become the 2nd option in the offense, especially when the Texans are in the red zone.
Top streaming QB options
- Mitch Trubisky (CHI) – Suggesting Mitch Trubisky for anything is just gross. Almost like wrapping yourself up in a wet blanket. I’d prefer no blanket at all, and that is basically where I’m at with Trubisky. One thing is for sure though, the Lions have a bad defense and Mitch Trubisky has owned Detroit over the last couple years. In his 6 career games against the Lions, he has thrown for 267 yards per game, 14 TDs in those 6 games, and a whopping 67% completion percentage. Sure, each season is different, but in week 1, he continued his dominance over the Lions by throwing for 242 yards and 3 TDs on 36 attempts.
- Kirk Cousins (MIN) – Cousins is definitely not a top option on a weekly basis, due to his low pass attempt volume, but the Jaguars have one of the worst pass defenses in the league and Cousins has done well in easy matchups this year. The Jags have allowed the 5th most passing yards, 2nd most passing TDs and 3rd most fantasy points to the quarterback position. So despite the low pass volume from Cousins, he should be efficient.
Top streaming defense options
- Las Vegas Raiders defense – When there are no good options to add on waivers, the approach is to add the available team that is playing against the New York Jets. This week, the Raiders get the lucky draw. I don’t need to drop a ton of stats to show you why the Jets are the worst offense in the NFL, but here’s one: They rank dead last in points per game at 13.8 while the second worst is the Broncos at 19.0 points per game, a full 5 points higher.
- Los Angeles Chargers defense – The LA defense hasn’t really been good this year, so this is more of a lack-of-options pickup for the week. All the halfway decent defenses that are less than 40% owned in leagues are playing against top offenses. The Chargers, meanwhile, face the lowly Patriots’ offense. This is more of a safe play than one with high upside because the Patriots run more than they throw, so the upside for interceptions and sacks will come if New England plays with a deficit and Newton has to play catch up.