Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 12
Every Tuesday I will be bringing you the NFL players who have somehow flown under the fantasy radar and are owned in far too few leagues given their production and/or ceiling. Injuries and byes are inevitable, too.
With the first game of the week a mere 48 hours away, here are some players that are on quite a few waiver wires out there that simply shouldn’t be.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (Yahoo 34% owned; ESPN 8.9%) – 5% FAAB
We knew Palmer would have some upside in the Desert, we just didn’t think it’d take this long for him to start realizing it. He made good reads all afternoon long and distributed the ball in an elite fashion, something that has me believing in his value moving forward. Three Cardinals had at least nine targets and seven hauled in multiple passes, an encouraging distribution of statistics that suggest sustainable success.
Palmer has quietly completed 66.5% of his passes over his last six games, and given Arizona’s struggles on the ground (111 yards on 53 carries over his last two games), that completion percentage, along with the health of Larry Fitzgerald, should result in an increasingly pass heavy offense. You’re not getting a mistake proof quarterback (this was his first game without an interception), but you’ve got to endure some risk if you want the reward. You can start Alex Smith if you want to avoid negative points, but I’ll take my chances on Palmer (upcoming games include Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and St. Louis) for the rest of the season.
EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills (Yahoo 8% owned; ESPN 10.6%) – 8% FAAB
Manuel was back in action and looked very healthy after missing more than a month with a knee injury. Any rookie quarterback is going to have his ups and downs, but a 20/28 for 245 and two scores against a solid Jets pass defense in less than ideal weather conditions (30 mph winds most of the day) without his top two receivers (Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods) is about as impressive as it gets for a first year signal caller. The Bills aren’t exactly loaded with depth, so the fact that nine players caught a pass speaks volumes about Manuel’s performance. He’s on bye this week, which should allow him to be 100% healthy and on the QB1 radar for the final month of the season (faces Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Miami to end the fantasy season).