Top Waiver Wire Pickups
Welcome to Waiver Wire Week 11. The narrative surrounding this last week rest upon the shoulders a mediocrity. My leagues saw the second lower combined totals this season. However, I suppose it is possible to have compiled the perfect line up and scored big. I hope all your leagues ended with wins. Well…unless you played against me. Then I hope you feel the pressure of me crushing you.
NFL WEEK 11 TEAMS ON BYES
- San Francisco 49ers
- New York Giants
- Chicago Bears
- Buffalo Bills
Up to Date NFL Injuries
All is mostly quiet on the COVID and injury front. Many of these injuries don’t affect waiver wire week 11, but let’s take a look. First, Drew Brees sat out the second half due to a rib injury. Tre’Quan Smith suffered a concussion. Teddy Bridgewater left the fourth quarter with an injury to his knee, though initial reports seem positive. Matthew Stafford is scheduled for X-rays on his thumb. Also, those looking for the emergence of JaMycal Hasty will have to wait until next year, as the rookie suffered a broken collarbone and is out the remainder of the year. And lastly, Nick Boyle left the game on a cart and reports say he is done for the year.
*All players in this article are available in over 50% of ESPN leagues.
QUARTERBACK WAIVER WIRE PICKUPS
Derek Carr | Las Vegas Raiders | Rostered 45%
The odds of you needing to start Derek Carr is slim, but even though he’s coming off a poor performance, he has typically put up solid numbers. In addition, the schedule opens up in weeks 12 and 13 where he faces Atlanta and the Jets. Now what if we could can Josh Jacobs to stop taking all the goal line opportunities, we’d be in business. Look to pick Derek Carr off the waiver wire if you’re streaming the position.
Tua Tagovailoa | Miami Dolphins | Rostered 32%
Another opportunity to talk about Tua Tagovailoa. I really have to learn how to say his name. This weekend’s performance showed us exactly what we want to see from a rookie, again making him a solid waiver wire choice for week 11. He put up a few touchdowns and added some solid yards. However, the absence of turnovers is really the headline. Coming up in the schedule is the Broncos (9th most points allowed) and then the Jets (10th most points).
RUNNING BACK WAIVER WIRE PICKUPS
Nyheim Hines | Indianapolis Colts | Rostered 41%
Nyheim Hines’ stock is creeping up. This last Thursday, the Colt’s tailback gained 70 yards on the ground while adding 45 yards through the are on five receptions. In addition, he posted a pair of touchdowns to go with his yardage. You may have noticed some low weeks to go along with these high games. However, if you take a closer look you’ll notice a correlation between low scores and good run defenses. The same is true for high scores and poor run defenses. The good news is Hines faces poor run defenses the majority of the remaining season including Green Bay, another Tennessee matchup, two games against the Texans, and the Las Vegas Raiders. Hines is a league winner for whoever makes him their week 11 waiver wire pickup. Hines should be at the top of your waiver claims this week.
Kalen Ballage | LA Chargers | Rostered 26%
Joshua who? Kalen Ballage steps up with over 100 all-purpose yards. Of course, it is Kalen Ballage we’re talking about so don’t get your hopes up too much. However, playing 72% of the backfield snaps isn’t anything to turn away from. With Austin Eckler and Justin Jackson out with injury, it looks like Kalen Ballage will take over as an RB2/Flex option, making him a worthwhile pickup.
Damien Harris | New England Patriots | Rostered 45%
Damien Harris will never be a top RB1 will Cam Newton stealing all the goaline touches, but he is a running back with consistent work. His upside in PPR is absolutely capped but the floor is there. This last weekend marked the third week of over 100 rushing yards. Now he faces the Houston Texans that just allowed 230 combine rushing yards to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. I don’t expect Harris to have those types of numbers, but he should do just fine. He is a desperation flex option off the waiver wire.
Salvon Ahmed | LA Chargers | Rostered 7%
Cut by the San Francisco, Salvon Ahmed signed with the Miami Dolphins as a free agent. Little did he know, every running back ahead of him on the depth chart would sit, permitting him to start. Ahmed ran with ferociousness and intensity. On 21 carries, Ahmed ended the day with 85 yards and a touchdown. The opportunity is there while his running back piers recover from injury, thus making him a solid waiver add.
WIDE RECEIVERS WAIVER WIRE PICKUPS
Jalen Reagor | Philidelphia Eagles | Rostered 23%
Trusting Jalen Reagor and the Eagles passing attack is not an easy thing to do. This weekend’s numbers don’t prove anything otherwise. Ending with 4 receptions for 47 yards isn’t exactly meeting expectations. However, there is hope in their next two weeks. They play the Cleveland Browns, who allow the sixth-most points to wide receivers, and the Seattle Seahawks, who allow the most points to wide receivers. Reagor is a wait and see waiver pickup.
Michael Pittman | Indianapolis Colts | Rostered 5%
Michael Pittman made a statement this weekend that he should not be overlooked, thus the waiver wire pickup recommendation. Phillip Rivers tends to spread the ball around but Pittman’s performance demonstrates a mixture of talent paired with opportunity. In addition, 101 yards on 7 or 8 targets at the NFL level is a feat. Be on the lookout for a pattern to take hold. Michael Pittman just may have arrived.
Tre’Quan Smith | New Orleans Saints | Rostered 9%
It appears the return of Michael Thomas diminished Tre’Quan Smith’s rise to power. This last weekend you wouldn’t even know he played against the 49ers based on his statistics. Though, this is due to a concussion…mostly. So why is he on week 11’s waiver wire? In the next three weeks, the Saints face off against the Atlanta Falcons twice, who allow the fourth-most points to wide receivers. It’s as simple as that.
TIGHT END WAIVER WIRE PICKUPS
Logan Thomas | Washington Football Team | Rostered 19%
A strong focal point of the Washington Football Team is the tight end position. Wait, did I just use the word strong in conjunction with Washington Football Team? That leaves a bitter taste. Nevertheless, historically, Rivera and Smith target the tight end position, and the stats back this up. Since the bye week, Thomas averages six targets and 47 yards. Not too bad for a tight end off the waiver wire.
Tight End Benchwarmers | Robert Tonyan 44% | Tyler Higbee 47%
Recommending Robert Tonyan and Tyler Higbee as a pickup is no easy task. Both have the upside you look for off the waiver wire, but both have also been absent as of late. If you are desperate for a tight end stream this week…good luck.
As exhaustion begins to set in for many of you, remember that fantasy football is a game of endurance. Sleep on one waiver wire pickup and your opponents’ will equip themselves to take you out. Find little ways to recharge your mind in order to better prepare for the fantasy week.
NEXT STEPS: Visit us on our YouTube channel to comment on your waiver wire pickups this week. Please like and subscribe to the channel also. Come back next Monday for Week 12 waiver wire suggestions.
Follow Jeff Roberts on Twitter @FantasyRoberts for more.