Are you still searching for a Ben Roethlisberger replacement? What about a Rob Gronkowski fill-in? Or did you place a fork in Willis McGahee before placing a fork in yourself? Boy, do we ever have
reaching desperate flex plays solutions on the waiver wire for you.
1. Colin Kaepernick: There’s not much to add here to the, oh, 600 some odd words I wrote earlier today advocating for a Kaepernick pickup this very instant young man. But there is this: Kaepernick barely ran Monday night after rushing for 66 yards last week, and the Saints — his opponent in Week 12 when he’s maybe, likely starting over Alex Smith — allowed a combined 113 rushing yards to Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III over the first two weeks of the season.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 1.6%, Yahoo – 6%
2. Chad Henne: Should we expect more +350 passing yard performances from a quarterback who was exiled from Miami? No, definitely not. But if you’re a Roethlisberger owner who’s still grasping for something, then turning to a quarterback who has two young burners at his disposal in Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, and matchups against the Dolphins and Patriots during the fantasy playoffs is a pretty damn nice life line.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 0.6%, Yahoo – 3%
3. Jake Locker: Making another appearance on this list, with a game against Jacksonville this week Locker has the most favorable matchup among the remaining likely waiver options for the aforementioned Roethlisberger owner who’s rolling the cruel waiver dice every week.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 6.6%, Yahoo – 16%
1. Ronnie Hillman: The most appealing add this week not named Kaepernick, claiming Hillman requires exactly zero seconds of thought for the Willis McGahee owner, or more accurately, former owner after his fantasy season ended this week. You’ll need a high waiver priority to get Hillman, though, and when you spend that priority, don’t think you’re getting a running back who will receive 25-ish carries a game or something. Hillman will definitively be the Broncos’ starting running back, but he’ll also be the RB on the high end of a time share, with John Fox understandably hesitant to hand the entire workload to a rookie. Lance Ball will also get some touches, so expect likely a 70-30 split in favor of Hillman.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 1%, Yahoo – 14%
2. Jalen Parmele: Parmele steps into the starting role in the Jags’ backfield for likely at least one week before Maurice Jones-Drew returns, replacing the ineffective Rashad Jennings. His chances of staying relevant are pretty good since he’ll run against the Titans defense this week, a unit giving up 132.2 rushing yards per game. If McGahee owners don’t have a high priority, forget even trying with Hillman, and shift your focus to Parmele. You could be screwed again next week, but the scouring will then begin anew.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 0.1%, Yahoo 9%
3. Bilal Powell: There’s some optimism with Powell, even as a desperate flex option. He scored two touchdowns this past Sunday while receiving a season high 11 carries, and today Jets head coach Rex Ryan confirmed that he’ll be using a backfield rotation going forward. That probably means 10-12 carries per game for Powell, and likely some scoring opportunities. All it takes is one score to deem a Sunday a success for someone of Powell’s ilk.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 1.2%, Yahoo – 2%
1. Pierre Garcon: You should care so very little about Garcon’s minimal output during his first game back after missing a total of seven games this year due to a foot injury. All that matters is that while the sample size we have of the Garcon-Griffin connection is clearly small, there’s potential for an explosion here, even in an unfavorable matchup this week with Dallas’ cornerback tandem of Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr lined up. In Week 1 Garcon had 109 receiving yards on just four receptions, most of which came on an 88-yard touchdown catch.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 61.7%, Yahoo – 50%
2. Ryan Broyles: Cheers to idiocy. Titus Young’s unbreakable ability to be a complete moron has given Broyles an opportunity Thursday against the Texans. Mike Thomas will start for the Lions and officially replace Young, but that could quickly seem like just a game sheet formality. Broyles will get the slot work, and he’s likely in line for more targets and production as a flex play or low-end WR3 due to the time he’s put in with Matthew Stafford.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 1.1%, Yahoo – 15%
3. Mohamed Sanu: Andrew Hawkins remains day-to-day, according to Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, which means Sanu will most likely continue to start after appearing in the same number of snaps last week as A.J. Green (69). That makes him an every-down player, and although his targets were lacking last week which led to just two receptions for 22 yards while he was the third option behind Green and Jermaine Gresham, those looks could quickly increase against the 23rd-ranked Raiders secondary in Week 12. Oakland has allowed 20 passing touchdowns — the second worst total in the league — while Sanu has scored in two straight games.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 0.9%, Yahoo – 1%
1. Martellus Bennett: I know you’re scared, Gronkowski owners, and you think your season is over. They pay me to write stuff on the Internet and I have no therapy experience whatsoever, so I’m not going tell you everything is gonna be alright, rockabye (sorry). Realistically, losing a player for possibly the rest of the season — or at least the fantasy season — after he was the best producer at his position throughout the first 11 weeks could be rather destructive, especially since Gronk cost you a second-round pick at best. But if you’re in the nearly 50 percent of leagues where Bennett is available, he’s a pretty good place to start in your effort to avoid intermittent sobbing. His production has slowed recently, but that’s more of a reflection of the staggering Giants offense that should get back on track following their Week 11 bye. Remember when Bennett had three touchdowns and 185 receiving yards over the first three weeks? Good times.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 54.5%, Yahoo – 51%
2. Brandon Myers: Yeah, Myers has appeared in this space like 18 times, which is especially impressive since the season is only 11 weeks old. But that’s your fault, not mine. This is a tight end on an offense that runs the ball once every lunar eclipse, and he hasn’t been below 50 receiving yards over his last three games, a stretch in which he has 19 receptions and three touchdowns. As far as a Gronk replacements are concerned, Myers likely should be ahead of Bennett. He’s slotted here only because of my perhaps stubborn belief that Eli Manning’s magic will be rekindled, and quickly.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 14.5%, Yahoo – 43%
3. Logan Paulsen: Rounding out a surprisingly deep tight end waiver wire for those potential Gronk replacements (see, we’ll get through this…now hold me tighter), Paulsen has consistently clicked with Griffin following the season-ending injury to Fred Davis. Yes, his receiving yards dipped during Week 11 because despite griffin’s brilliance and his perfect passer rating, he still only attempted 15 passes. But Paulsen made up for it with his first touchdown of the season, and over his other three games since Davis’ injury he had 178 receiving yards.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 0.4%, Yahoo – 3%