Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor
Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer
Let's be real: this week is pretty abysmal out on the waiver wire. There's no need to beat around it and jerk you around with a long introduction. Might as well just get going. You down? We're down.
Diving Into Week 12 Waivers
The Pool: Kirk Cousins (MIN), Derek Carr (LV), Andy Dalton (DAL)
Charles' Pick: Derek Carr is my pick of this litter. I'm sure his 7.2 point performance vs Denver from a couple weeks ago weighs him down a touch, but to date Carr is fantasy QB19 on the year and the next two matchups (@ ATL, @ NYJ) present tremendous opportunity for not just Carr but the Raiders offense as a whole. I don't know that I need to say much more than that to be honest. I'm always in favor of playing the matchups and Carr gets you not just one but two weeks worth of value headed into the fantasy football playoffs.
Malcolm's Pick: Cousins will be the lone member of the QB portion of tomorrow's heat check, as he has been a QB7 over the past three weeks. Ultimately though, these are streamers more than ROS guys, and I do not like Cousins going up against Carolina this week. Especially since Derek Carr gets to face Atlanta, who made Taysom Hill look like the QB1 Sean Payton always knew he would be. Carr is the most likely of the three to get you a win in Week 12, so he is my pick here. He also is significantly less likely to lose you a game with a 19:3 TD to INT ratio. As electric as people perceive Cousins to be, he only has one more TD than Carr but almost four times the interceptions.
Regarding Andy Dalton, he looked much better against Minnesota, and that is more what experts hoped for when he stepped in for Dak Prescott, but the upcoming matchups against Washington and Baltimore give me pause to roll with him if your season is on the line. Especially since the sample size on Dalton in Dallas is not large.
The Obvious Add: Taysom Hill (NO)
The Pool: Gus Edwards (BAL), James White (NE), Cam Akers (LAR)
Charles' Pick: The Gus Bus is worth a trip if you're only looking for a quick fix, but gimme James White. The injury to RB Rex Burkhead is awful, best of luck to him in his recovery, however it's the best thing that could've happened to James White. When he's been given the primary pass-catching responsibilities in New England, he's thrived in the past. I'm sure many of you long-time players are aware, but for those who need a refresher, White was the PPR RB18 in the 2019 NFL season and PPR RB7 in the 2018 NFL season. Granted, these were seasons with a different QB under center who is now in Tampa Bay, but we know how good he can be with the opportunity. And honestly, I would love nothing more than to see James White succeed given the year he's had in his personal life. While Gus Edwards is the best short-term play, White is the long play that's easy to root for.
Malcolm's Pick: It is time to start up the Gus Bus! I covered Gus Edwards in last week's Heat Check, which is why the Ravens decided Sunday was the perfect time to finally hand the reigns over to J.K. Dobbins. If you can afford to stash a potential league winner, Dobbins is the move for sure this week with people potentially avoiding him due to the COVID-19 diagnosis, but Edwards getting most of the touches this week provides an excellent boom/bust play for those needing it. Normally he would be the easy choice here, but the matchup against Pittsburgh makes the disclaimer necessary. That being said, the Steelers are allowing more fantasy points than you think, which is why I still give Edwards the nod over James White.
If you need a safe floor guy, Burkhead's ACL tear should allow White to return to being a safer floor J.D. McKissic. If he loses your game this week I will truly be shocked. If you truly want to take a walk on the wild side, Cam Akers is trending up regarding usage and got the lone TD for the Rams RB group. Still, that was only enough for 8.9 PPR points, i.e. not enough. For those with deep benches, stash away, otherwise, just avoid the Rams backfield entirely.
The Obvious Adds: Wayne Gallman (NYG), J.K. Dobbins (BAL)
The Injury Fill-Ins: Salvon Ahmed (MIA), Carlos Hyde (SEA), Frank Gore (NYJ)
The Pool: Denzel Mims (NYJ), Nelson Agholor (LV), Jalen Reagor (PHI)
Charles' Pick: I really dig Denzel Mims and made the case for him a while ago. I'd direct you back to that for more. I know the situation isn't great for him but I believe in the talent more than anything. All that said, Nelson Agholor is the safest move here for the same reasons his quarterback is the unanimous pick in this very article. No need to beat a dead horse. As much as I want to believe in my previous stance on Reagor, I can't trust the Eagles offense right now no matter what the schedule says. QB Carson Wentz has been a train wreck behind that patchwork offensive line. Nope, that font size was not an editorial error. Keep those words in the back of your mind next time you choose to throw shade in the direction of Wentz. I get that it's been frustrating, but even the ghost of Johnny Unitas would have a hard time behind that group of lineman. Some blame can be rightly assigned to Wentz, but the full context of the problem in Philadelphia is key.
Malcolm's Pick: For those of you who know my logic, you could already sense this coming. Derek Carr and Nelson Agholor feel like a QB/WR combo destined to be my boom picks on Friday. He is clearly the lead receiver for Las Vegas, who gets the Falcons this week and the New York Jets in Week 13. He may not be playable when you hit the playoffs in Week 14 against Indianapolis, but there is a good chance he will get you to the big dance. Jalen Reagor is also an excellent play this week against Seattle, but if Zach Ertz returns Reagor becomes the fourth receiver behind WR Travis Fulgham and the two TEs Ertz and Dallas Goedert. There is even the (unlikely) possibility that Alshon Jeffery could take key targets from the rookie WR.
Denzel Mims is a great pickup in dynasty, but that is about it. He needs Joe Flacco at QB to be relevant given Flacco likes to throw the ball downfield and not to Jamison Crowder. If you thought having to rely on Carson Wentz to get the ball to your WR was scary, just imagine having to rely on Joe Flacco. Hard pass, despite the clear talent for the rookie WR.
The Obvious Adds: Michael Pittman Jr. (IND), Corey Davis (TEN)
The Pool: Robert Tonyan (GB), Jordan Akins (HOU), Chris Herndon IV (NYJ)
Charles' Pick: Good lord, can I pick none? I guess if I had to go with anyone it would be Robert Tonyan. His TE6 spot on the fantasy leaderboard is incredibly inflated by his Week 4 performance, but as you can see it's not like he's been terrible outside of that single game. I don't feel great about this but hey, it's the tight end position in fantasy football.
Malcolm's Pick: If you finish as a TE1, you merit discussion. That is why Chris Herndon is in the pool this week. You should not pick him up. He will cost you a win. Ask anyone who has ever rostered him. Do not believe me? In Week 11, Herndon scored 11.2 PPR points, only 0.4 points less than what he scored in Week 3 to Week 9 combined.
Moving on, of the two TEs left in the pool Robert Tonyan is the clear winner, if for no other reason than he is the only one that could be a game-winner. Tonyan has produced single-digit points in five games, and double-digit points in five games, so you have a 50/50 shot at a TE1 performance. By comparison, Jordan Akins has produced single-digit points in four games, double-digit points in three games, and has been injured in three games. You are as likely for him to be a TE1 as you are to have him miss the game. Not great. Plus Chicago's defense shuts down WRs, making them vulnerable to TEs. So the matchup tilts in Tonyan's favor as well.
The Obvious Add: Dalton Schultz (DAL), Jordan Reed (SF)
The Injury Fill-In: Richard Rodgers (PHI)
The Pool: New York Giants (NYG), Washington Football Team (WFT), Carolina Panthers (CAR)
Charles' Pick: Can't argue against the 2020 DST11 going up against the Joe Burrow-less Bengals. The Giants are an easy pick here.
Malcolm's Pick: Read this week's Sunday Storylines to get my take on the Bengals with Ryan Finley under center, but the TL;DR is they will not be any good. This makes the New York Giants a borderline must add, and this may be a better matchup than even getting to play the Jets. Washington against a mediocre Dallas team seems like a good bet on paper, but I have seen too many Washington games growing up in the DC area to trust them against the Cowboys. Luckily for me, the numbers back that up; the Cowboys are 8-1 against the Football Team on Thanksgiving.
The Panthers looked really good against Detroit, pitching a shutout and finishing as DST2. They have a good pass defense, and Kirk Cousins usually loves to throw an interception. However, Cousins has been much less sloppy coming out of the Week 7 bye, and Minnesota has Dalvin Cook to run down the throat of Carolina's poor run defense. Too risky with the Giants readily available.
The Obvious Add: None
The Pool: Michael Badgley (LAC), Tyler Bass (BUF), Chris Boswell (PIT)
Charles' Pick: Boswell on Thanksgiving against Baltimore (maybe)? Yep, I'll take it. The potential game script here is a huge plus in Boswell's favor over the others.
Malcolm's Pick: Two of these kickers are going up against each other, and a look at their stats show them being pretty similar. Of the two, Tyler Bass scores more often which gives him the edge over Michael Badgley. Badgley had a good week last week, but neither he nor Bass is the most accurate. That is why Chris Boswell is the kicker to pick up if Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is not available. He had a bad showing in Week 8 against Baltimore, but only missed his first field goal of the season this past Sunday. That accuracy gives him the edge between these three.
The Obvious Add: Rodrigo Blankenship (IND)
The Obvious Add: Rodrigo Blankenship (IND)
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