Week 11 waiver-wire pickups and fantasy targets
The fantasy playoffs are now just three weeks away in a lot of leagues. That means it’s time to load up on high-upside players. Don’t waste those bench spots on the Pierre Garcons of the world. If you’re carrying a backup team defense or kicker, do yourself a favor and drop them. They’re taking up prime real estate that you can use to stash high-ceiling running backs and wide receivers. That’s going to be the focus of this week’s waiver wire recommendations.
Remember, we cast a wide net every week in our waiver wire advice. Below you’ll see recommendations for shallow, regular and deep leagues. Players are listed in order of priority and the suggested auction budget percentage is in parentheses.
Keep in mind that some leagues may be more aggressive or conservative in terms of bidding, so know your league tendencies. Regardless of the size of your league, it’s suggested that you work your way down the list and prioritize the top players in your waiver claims for this week.
Shallow leagues (8-10 teams)
1. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (15%) – He’s been anything but consistent this season, but Winston is a must-stash with the fantasy playoffs looming less than a month away. Tampa faces New Orleans not once, but twice down the stretch, in Weeks 14 and 16. Winston is a good bet to be on a number of fantasy championship teams.
1. C.J. Prosise, Seattle (50-100%) – That’s right. Spend whatever you have left on Prosise. The rookie runner looked dynamic and crisp on Sunday night, racking up 153 scrimmage yards on 24 touches. He played well ahead of a banged up Christine Michael, but has looked like the superior player in each of Seattle’s last three games. Thomas Rawls could return as soon as this week, but we shouldn’t rule out Prosise retaining feature duties going forward.
2. Rob Kelley, Washington (50-100%) – Matt Jones? Who? Kelley has leapfrogged the inconsistent Jones and is now locked in as Washington’s lead back. He didn’t put up gaudy numbers in Week 10, but Kelley did manage a solid 97 yards on 22 carries against a tough Minnesota defense. Kelley will be a high-floor RB2 option for the fantasy stretch run.
3. James Starks, Green Bay (35%) – After a one-month absence, Starks returned to action in Week 10. While he saw just 10 touches, Starks did find the end zone. Perhaps most importantly, he had twice as many touches as Ty Montgomery and played 70.5 percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps. Starks doesn’t have massive upside, but as the Packers’ feature back he should be considered an RB2 for the rest of the season.
1. Rishard Matthews, Tennessee (25%) – With six touchdowns over the last six weeks, Matthews is emerging as a viable every-week starter. Over that span, he’s tied for sixth among wide receivers in fantasy scoring, With Marcus Mariota ascending, Matthews needs to be considered a WR3 going forward.
2. Cameron Meredith, Chicago (25%) – The NFL dropped a bomb Monday when news broke that Alshon Jeffery will be suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy. With Jeffery out until Week 15, Meredith now becomes the de facto No. 1 receiver in Chicago. While he should see target volume, keep in mind that Jay Cutler has been far from good this season. Cutler’s play limits Meredith’s ceiling.
1. Martellus Bennett, New England (25%) – The other big news on Monday came out of New England, as Rob Gronkowski either does or doesn’t have a punctured lung. Regardless of the severity of the injury, Gronkowski is iffy for Week 11. Bennett would see an expanded role if he doesn’t suit up.
Regular leagues (12 teams)
1. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (10%) – As surprising as it is, Kaepernick has been a solid fantasy asset since regaining the starting role. This past week, he posted an unlikely top-five fantasy performance against the Cardinals thanks in part to 55 yards and a score on the ground. He’s still very risky, but those looking for upside will want to stash Kaepernick.