Fantasy Football Pickups Week 12 Waiver Wire

Week 11 saw a few key inactives and starters go down.  There are this week's picks to get you through the second-to-last week of the regular fantasy season.

Quarterback (QB)
TJ Yates, Houston Texans (currently owned in 1.4% of all ESPN leagues): If De'Andre Hopkins managed to get off of Revis Island, he and Yates may find themselves in a shootout with New Orleans in week 12.  Yates completed 16 of 34 for 229, 2 scores, and no interceptions his premier against the Jets' fifth-ranked pass defense.  Look for Yates to have another big week against a New Orleans secondary that ranks second-to-last.  Just one wrinkle: Dennis Allen is the Saints' new defensive coordinator, and the bye-week gave the Saints time to change things.  Rumors and reports have the Saints possibly blitzing more, and playing single-high, press man, possibly putting Hopkins in bracket coverage.  Texans receivers will need to get off the line quickly and get open before the blitz hits home.  So pick up Yates, but buyer beware.
Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (currently owned in 20.6% of all ESPN leagues): This streaming option is merely a matchup play.  He went 25 of 37 for 296 and a score against a Packers defense that finally showed some life.  The Falcons will likely stack the box to stop Adrian Peterson first, but have a mediocre pass defense at best.  Although some have already slapped the "game manager, get out there and don't screw it up" label on the Vikings QB, it was good to see him get out there and connect with receiving options other than Stefon Diggs.
Runningback (RB) / Wide Receiver (WR) / FLEX
Javorius "Buck" Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens (currently owned in 5.3% of all ESPN leagues): It's time to get Bucked up!  The Ravens' next 2 matchups should be enough to get you into the playoffs, although it remains to be seen how opposing defenses respond to the loss of Joe Flacco as well.  Still, Buck will presumably take over as the starting back in Baltimore.  Forsett broke his arm and is lost for the year.  The 6'0" 221lb rookie has great agility for his size, but isn't known to lower his shoulder and run defenders over.  Instead, he makes people miss using jump cuts and the occasional stutter step.  He can also receive out of the backfield, making him a player that fits the system.  Mark Trestman may build in more checkdowns and outlets for the veteran Schaub.  Lest we forget, Schaub was known to dump the ball off to some guy named Arian Foster during their time in Houston.  Could Buck be a bigger, better Foster in this system?  By the way, if you're worried about the Seahawks matchup in week 14, Arizona and San Francisco have shown that the Legion of Boom can be thrown on.  Buck up in all PPR leagues, and consider him in all standard leagues.
Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks (currently owned in 37.1% of all ESPN leagues): Save your Skittles.  Beast Mode has not been beast his season.  Instead, it's been Seattle's 5'9" 215lb (yes, that's correct) bowling ball that's been a beast.  He ran for 209 yards and a score on 30 carries (6.97 yards per carry) and caught 3 for 46 and another score (15.33 yards per catch).  Granted, this was against a 49ers defense that has struggled all season, but these are monster (or should I say "beastly) numbers nonetheless.  The rookie's power running style fits this old-school, pound-the-rock offensive system perfectly, making Marshawn's status worth monitoring.  If Beast Mode is banged up the rest of the season (currently seeing a hernia specialist; may require surgery), the 'Hawks have a capable replacement.
Shaun Draughn, RB, San Francisco 49ers (currently owned in 18.5% of all ESPN leagues): The journeyman has really stepped up in place of Carlos Hyde.  He's proven to be a capable backfield receiver making him a ppr asset.  With the playoffs out of reach, there's a chance the 49ers may choose to sit Hyde for the rest of the season to preserve Hyde's health, making Draughn the starter.  He did well in ppr leagues this week against a stout Seahawks defense.  He has a tough Cardinals matchup this week, but things don't look too bad after that, with matchups against the Bears, Browns, and Lions. 
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Indianapolis Colts (currently owned in 3.9% of all ESPN leagues): Checkdowns are a QB's best friend, and that trend continues in Indy.  Hasselbeck connected with Bradshaw for the team's only 2 offensive scores this week.  If Gore (knee) can't go this week, Bradshaw will start at home against the Bucs.
Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (currently owned in 0.1% of all ESPN leagues):   Ware filled in admirably with West (hamstring) and Thomas (concussion) both out.  Ware ran 11 times for 96 yards and 2 scores, and had 1 catch for 5.  He's a decent speculative play if West or Thomas miss time.  The Chiefs face teams that can barely stop the run in weeks 13-16 (Raiders, Chargers, Ravens, Browns).
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys (currently owned in 33.4% of all ESPN leagues): Pick him up if he's healthy.  Romo's return does, indeed, raise the fantasy stock of every player on the Dallas Cowboys.  Dez Bryant will continue to draw a lot of coverage, and teams will need to continue to stop the Cowboys rushing attack.  However, buyer beware, the 'Boys do have some tough matchups coming up, including the Panthers' defense that ranks 4th overall. 
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers (currently owned in 10.8% of all ESPN leagues): I wrote about this guy last week, and  I'll write about him again this week.  He scored 12.4 points in standard scoring, and his usage could continue to rise.  After he cleaned the butter off of his fingers, he hauled in 4 for 64 and a score.  At 6'4" 232lbs, this imposing physical specimen has the talent to become a real threat the rest of the season, facing the 10th-ranked Dallas secondary this week, and will face the Falcons twice.  The Panthers also see the Giants' and Saints' secondaries, who rank last and second-to-last, respectively.
Cecil Shorts III, WR, Houston Texans (currently owned in 6.7% of all ESPN leagues): Speaking of the Texans targets, the dynamic playmaker managed to make an appearance this week.  Purely a matchup play, he hopes to see an increase in usage against a sad Saints secondary.  Buyer beware, Shorts has not been known to get off the line quickly, nor has he shown much burst to create separation in press coverage.  However, he is a crafty route runner and, if the Texans can motion him or get him open some other way, he could have a big day.
Tight End (TE)
Crockett Gillmore, Baltimore Ravens (currently owned in 17% of all ESPN leagues): Gillmore saw a spike in usage this week against a stout St. Louis pass rush.  Flacco needed to throw the ball quickly, resulting in 5 receptions for 101 yards for Gilmore.  Trestman has been known to throw to his tight ends, and Baltimore's backup, Matt Schaub, did so on multiple occasions to Owen Daniels.  Look for the Ravens to keep using this versatile weapon.

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (currently owned in 19% of all ESPN leagues): Speaking of targets other Stefon Diggs, the capable Vikings tight end reminded us that he could do more than block defenders and open running lanes for Adrian Peterson.  He caught 6 passes for 106 yards and a score in Sunday's loss to the Packers.  Hopefully this isn't an anomaly, and the Vikings coaches continue to utilize Rudolph's receiving ability and versatility. 
Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (currently owned in 6.8% of all ESPN leagues): So, it's turned into a bit of a shell game as far as which of the Bears receiving options should be covered.  Cutler has done a decent job of throwing to the open man and that open man has turned in respectable games in recent weeks (i.e. Marquess Wilson, Zach Miller, Mark Mariani).  This week though, Miller could start and/or see additional targets if Martellus Bennett sits.  In addition, keep an eye on the status of Jeffery and Royal.  This will also affect Miller's production. In the meantime, Miller is turning into a decent receiving option, and therefore a fairly reliable fantasy option as well.

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