2021 NFL Fantasy Football Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups

 NFL Week 12 Fantasy Football waiver wire, injury and bye week help is here! 

Teams ON BYE this week, week 12:
Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs

RUNNING BACKS (RB): Jeff Wilson Jr, Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray, Dontrell Hilliard, Deejay Dallas

WIDE RECEIVERS (WR): Elijah Moore, Rashod Bateman, Van Jefferson, Laviska Shenault, Deandre Carter, Russell Gage

TIGHT ENDS (TE): Austin Hooper, Logan Thomas

QUARTERBACKS (QB): Cam Newton, Jimmy Garoppolo, Taylor Heinicke

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS (D/ST): Chicago Bears (at Lions) Green Bay Packers (vs Rams)


Jeff Wilson Jr, RB, San Francisco 49ers (currently owned in 55.1% of all ESPN leagues):
Wilson struggled last week logging just 50 yards on 19 carries against a subpar Jaguars defense.  It’s not entirely his fault though.  The 49ers backfield is a timeshare split with Wilson, Trey Sermon, and Deebo Samuel all taking handoffs.  Nevertheless, Wilson did receive more carries than Sermon and Samuel combined so he has volume on his side.  He’ll try to bounce back against a below average Vikings rush defense next week, and he could carry the load again if Mitchell needs another week to recover from his broken finger.

Devonta Freeman / Latavius Murray, RB, Baltimore Ravens 
The Ravens backfield looks like it will continue to be a timeshare with carries split between Freeman, Murray, and Lamar.  Latavius Murray returned against the Bears last week in Chicago, but his touches might have been limited if the Ravens didn’t want to risk a more serious injury.  Freeman logged 16 carries as a result vs Murray’s 10.  Freeman also logged 49 yards and a touchdown on the ground and brought in all 6 of his targets for another 31 yards.  They’ll face the division rival Cleveland Browns next week who are stout against the run.  Roster and start accordingly.

Dontrell Hilliard, RB, Tennessee Titans (currently owned in 0.1% of all ESPN leagues):
The story here isn’t Hilliard’s 7 rushes for 35 yards and a 5 yard per carry average.  The story is his 8 catches for 47 yards on 10 targets.  The Titans are starved for pass catchers outside of AJ Brown.  Jeremy McNichols was was ultimately ruled out with a concussion and Julio Jones remains on injured reserve.  Hilliard got his shot as a result of all of the injuries and certainly took advantage of it in a shocking loss to the Texans.  He could revive his pass catching role this week against the Patriots, but it could be another blood bath for the Titans who are virtually void of playmakers.  Hilliard is a deep league boom or bust dart throw.  He’ll obviously be more valuable in PPR formats.  

Deejay Dallas RB, Seattle Seahawks (currently owned in 0.5% of all ESPN leagues):
Collins was mostly ineffective against the Cardinals last week, producing just 36 yards on 10 carries.  He’s also been nursing a groin injury so his usage has been limited.  Rashaad Penny left last week’s matchup with a hamstring injury as well.  It truly is a case of the walking wounded with Seattle’s backfield, which means Dallas could take most of the handoffs this week as the Seahawks travel east to face the Washington Football Team.  Dallas logged 4 touches for 25 yards and a score in the desert.  Buyer beware: Washington has defended the run well, so start this desperation play with caution.  The schedule doesn’t get any easier after that with the 49ers, Rams and Bears all on the schedule. 


Elijah Moore, WR, New York Jets (currently owned in 40.7% of all ESPN leagues): 
Not only is Elijah more a must add in all leagues and formats, he might be a must start as well.  He brought in 8 of his 11 targets for 141 yards and a touchdown against a porous Dolphins secondary.  He now has 18 catches for 269 yards and four touchdowns on 25 targets in his last 3 games and he posted those numbers catching passes from 4 different quarterbacks.  It’s basically Kyle Shanahan’s offense which is short, quick passes to help a young signal caller which benefits Moore as a route runner and a slot guy who catches short passes.  He’ll try to continue building on his success against a soft Texans coverage unit. 

Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens (currently owned in 50.2% of all ESPN leagues): 
Bateman’s box score suffered last week as a result of Lamar being a last minute scratch.  He’s still averaging nearly 7 targets a game which makes him an attractive add from a volume perspective.  He brought in just 3 of his 6 targets for 29 yards against the Bears, but his play should be elevated if Lamar can get on the field next week against the Browns.  Bateman could be one on one and have room to operate if Mark Andrew’s draws most of the coverage.  Bateman is a low floor high ceiling volume play that could pay dividends for those willing to roll the dice on him.  

Van Jefferson, WR, Los Angeles Rams (currently owned in 43.9% of all ESPN leagues): 
The Rams are back from a bye and so is Van Jefferson.  He struggled his last two games, bringing in just 6 of his 14 targets for 95 yards.  Stafford has been pressured and has made some pretty poor decisions at times.  Nevertheless, Jefferson can be the big, downfield threat that can take advantage of Stafford’a big arm, but he can also be the number WR2 opposite Cooper Kupp with Robert Woods out for the rest of the season.  OBJ might need more time to get on the same page as his new signal caller which means Jefferson could see additional snaps until OBJ gets up to speed.  Van and the Rams have the Packers, Jaguars, Cardinals, Seahawks and Vikings to finish off the fantasy season.  

Laviska Shenault, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (currently owned in 45.7% of all ESPN leagues):
While Jacksonville’s offense has struggled most of the season, Shenault has been targeted 7 times or more in half of his outings this season.  That number could increase due to the lack of receiving options with DJ Chark and Jamal Agnew both out for the year now.  He brought in all 5 of his targets for 50 yards against a tough 49ers defense last week.  He’ll have a chance to build on that momentum against a soft Falcons coverage unit.  

Deandre Carter, WR, Washington Football Team (currently owned in 1.4% of all ESPN leagues): 
Carter makes the list this week as a boom or bust dart throw.  The young speedster has found the endzone 3 weeks in a row now and he’s brought in 8 of his 15 targets for 128 yards and 3 touchdowns during that stretch.  He doesn’t have volume on his side so he’ll have to wait for Heinicke to hit him on a crossing route so he can pick his way through traffic and turn and burn.  The 5’8” 188lb wideout fits Washington’s offensive scheme perfectly and he’ll try to keep things rolling if Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas, and Ricky Seals-Jones all remain sidelined. 


Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons (currently owned in 20.3% of all ESPN leagues):
Gage has struggled for most of the season.  An injury forced him to miss multiple games and he often draws tough coverage with Calvin Ridley stepping away from football temporarily.  However, Gage has been targeted 8 times in 2 of his last 3 games.  He brought in 12 of his 19 targets for 113 yards in his last 3 games.  He’ll be a decent streaming option this week against an average Jaguars defense that will focus on stopping Kyle Pitts first.  


Dan Arnold, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars (currently owned in 40.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Disappointing doesn’t begin to describe Dan Arnold’s outing as he was blanked against the 49ers last week.  A surging San Francisco defense shut down the tight end and limited the Jaguars to just 10 points.  However, he’s still Trevor Lawrence’s favorite target and will try to bounce back against a much softer Falcons secondary this week.  

Pat Freiermuth, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (currently owned in 58.5% of all ESPN leagues):
Muth found the endzone last week to salvage an otherwise awful fantasy outing which consisted of him pulling in 4 of his 7 targets for just 11 yards.  He brought in 5 of 9 for 31 the week before with Mason Rudolph tossing the ball.  Nevertheless, he’s scored in 4 touchdowns in his last 4 outings and he’ll try to keep things rolling in Cincinnati this week as he and his Steelers take on a somewhat underrated Bengals defense.  

Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team (currently owned in 47% of all ESPN leagues):
Thomas has been on injured reserve since week 5, but he’s expected to return this week.  He might need some time to get up to game speed, but the injury-prone pass catcher would be a welcome addition to a Washington team that needs pass catchers.  Heinicke has found ways to use his legs and extend plays against some tough coverage units.  This week’s contest against the Seahawks should be no different. The fantasy tight end position is thin so he’s worth rostering and taking a wait and see approach

Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns (currently owned in 21.1% of all ESPN leagues):
Hooper stepped up this week with OBJ now in LA, Donovan People’s-Jones nursing a groin injury and the Browns thin at pass catcher.  Baker has been banged up and he struggled against even a soft Lions secondary.  Hooper brought in 4 of his 7 targets for 53 yards as a result.  The coverage unit and pass rush get tougher this week as the Browns travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.


Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (currently owned in 40.9% of all ESPN leagues):
Newton does most of his damage and gets most of his fantasy points using his legs and last week against the Washington Football Team is no different.  He threw for two touchdowns and ran for another one.  The thing is he can dump it off to CMC for some short, quick gains or he can air it out to one of his speedy wideouts.  He’ll hit the road and sling it against a soft Dolphins secondary that’s been one of the worst in the league.  

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers (currently owned in % of all ESPN leagues):
Although Garoppolo is known as more of a game manager, Coach Shanahan has found ways to scheme guys open in a dynamic offense.  Garoppolo had a decent week last week, completing 16 of 22 attempts for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns against a soft Jaguars defense.  The high floor low ceiling signal caller has another fantasy-friendly matchup against a Vikings coverage unit that’s been average.  He’ll have the Seahawks, Bengals, Falcons and Titans to round out the fantasy season.

Taylor Heinicke, QB, Washington Football Team (currently owned in 12.8% of all ESPN leagues):
Heinicke Will need to continue to sling it this season to help his team keep up in shootouts.  Washington has been disappointing on defense to say the least.  The coming weeks offer Washington’s signal caller to help out fantasy owners with some decent performances against the Seahawks, Raiders, and division rival Eagles.  Heinicke is more of a mid tier QB2 but maybe that’s all some fantasy teams need.  He can extend plays with his legs and create some late game theatrics.  He’s averaged roughly 250 passing yards and a touchdown in his last 4 games and he hasn’t turned the ball over in his last 2 outings.  Next up is a potential shootout against the Seahawks.  



Chicago Bears (currently owned in 13.1% of all ESPN leagues): 
The Bears defense has been spotty at times, but they know their divisional opponent Detroit Lions.  It could be a long day at Ford Field for Lions fans if Jared Goff stays sidelined with an oblique injury.  They’ll have a quick turnaround this week since they play on Thanksgiving Day.  Start with caution, but this Bears defensive unit is a decent option this week.

Green Bay Packers (currently owned in 32% of all ESPN leagues): 
The Rams may not be in the Packers division, but Rams quarterback Matt Stafford played against the Packers for years. The former Lyons signal collar has averaged 250 yards and a touchdown per game and his last two games, but more importantly he has thrown four pics during that time span. Opposing pass rushers has been able to get to him and pressure him into some pretty bad decisions. Moreover, he is without one of his key pass cutters in Robert Woods.  Hopefully the Packers pass rush and coverage unit can take advantage of Stafford’s recent struggles. 

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