Week 12 of the Fantasy Football season has arrived. Let's address the best waiver wire additions available in our leagues ahead of this upcoming slate of games.
1. Denver Broncos RB Latavius Murray - 23% rostered
Melvin Gordon was waived by the Broncos and Chase Edmonds was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and will miss a "few weeks". As of now, Murray sits atop the depth chart by himself, though veteran Marlon Mack will definitely find some work in the rotation.
Murray played a season-high 32 snaps in Week 11 but should see an uptick in opportunities with Gordon gone. Both players overlapped similarly and that is good news for Murray moving forward. He's been the preferred early-down and rushing option, and that should continue moving forward. With Gordon out of the picture, Murray is likely to assume all goal-line work and could see a slight uptick in passing game work, too. He's likely going to land in low-end RB2 territory the rest of the way.
2. Cincinnati Bengals RB Samaje Perine - 8% rostered
We shouldn't overreact to Perine's stat line in Week 11 and we won't — but he is still one of the best waiver wire additions of the week. The veteran runner took over the No. 1 job once Joe Mixon was ruled out with a concussion and was able to secure an RB2 week with 30.2 fantasy points pre-Monday Night Football. Perine was able to do most of his damage through the air, securing four receptions for 52 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to adding another 30 yards on the ground.
There isn't much discussion as to whether or not Perine has a stranglehold on the backup running back job in Cincinnati because he's proven to be one of the best handcuffs league-wide. The veteran played 46-of-66 snaps in this game and handled 11 of 13 non-Mixon rushing attempts. Chris Evans was unavailable to play in this game and is considered week-to-week with a knee injury.
Perine is a great addition as a handcuff stash for the rest of the season, particularly if you roster Mixon. Otherwise, he may get one shot at a starting role in Week 12 if Mixon cannot go, but that may not be the case.
3. Los Angeles Rams RB Cam Akers - 27% rostered
There is no denying the Rams' backfield is a disaster, but Akers may be the lead back moving forward. In this game, the Rams split the backfield work as such:
Snaps: Kyren Williams (35), Akers (25), Darrell Henderson (4)
Routes run: Williams (24), Akers (8), Darrell Henderson (1)
Targets: Williams (1), Akers (0), Darrell Henderson (0)
Rushing attempts: Williams (7), Akers (14), Darrell Henderson (2)
Some may look at that number distribution and decide on adding Willams, and that's an excellent route to take, too. But, the reason Akers is here is that he appears to be the preferred early-down option that the Rams want to utilize as a runner. Williams played a ton of snaps in this game, though the Rams were trailing for nearly all of the second half and a lot of it by two scores, and that situation led to a lot more work for the rookie.
There is no doubt that this backfield will cause some headaches moving forward. Williams is the preferred passing game back, while Akers appears to be the preferred running option. With that being said, the Rams will need to hand the ball off to somebody and Akers appears to be the first in line to receive the bulk of the rushing work, as well as potentially the short-yardage and goal-line work. On the flip, Williams is a solid play, too, because the Rams are likely going to be trailing a lot throughout the rest of the season. Take your pick.
4. Buffalo Bills RB James Cook - 17% rostered
The addition of Nyheim Hines hasn't yet impacted Cook and that is a positive. It remains to be seen how the Bills plan on deploying Hines moving forward but as of now, Cook appears to have a hold on the No. 2 running back job and is still being utilized slightly more often as a receiver:
Of course, it isn't likely that either player makes a big impact in the rest of the season. Cook and Hines appear to be nothing more than backups at this point. The only separation so far between the two is that the Bills have found more opportunities to give Cook ball-carrying opportunities. His production hasn't led to startable outputs and neither guy is a starting option unless something changes in their respective roles, though Cook does appear to have the fast track to the backup job currently.
5. Arizona Cardinals RB Keaontay Ingram - 3% rostered
Strangely, the Cardinals released backup running back Eno Benjamin earlier in the week, leaving the team with just James Conner and the incumbent backup Ingram. The Cardinals could lean on veteran Corey Clement, too, though Ingram flashed some legit ability earlier in the season. In Week 7, Ingram totaled just 19 snaps but rattled off 18 yards and a touchdown on eight rushing attempts and scooped up another 23 receiving yards on two receptions.
Ingram doesn't have any standalone value, but he is likely going to be the new backup to a player in James Conner who's missed a lot of time in his career because of injuries. It almost seems likely that Ingram will at some point see a starting workload this season.
6. Cleveland Browns WR Donovan Peoples-Jones - 44% rostered
I suggested adding Peoples-Jones last week and he was able to repay the favor with a season-high 14.9-point performance on the back of five receptions for 99 receiving yards and a touchdown. Last week, I wrote this about DPJ:
He hasn't played in fewer than 83% of the offense's snaps since Week 2 and has just one game with a target share lower than 17% in the past six games. Not to mention, starting quarterback Deshaun Watson is just two weeks away from debuting for the Browns, and he's likely to have a positive impact on their passing attack.
All of that remains true — DPJ is a strong add when we take into account the addition of Watson in a few weeks. But, even without Watson, DPJ was able to rattle off some impressive numbers once again in Week 11:
45 routes run on 46 dropbacks
12.2% target share
Right now, DPJ is as locked in as any No. 2 wide receiver in the league. No, he doesn't have the gaudy numbers or talent that some do, but his role remains unchanged and will likely continue to provide some startable weeks.
7. Baltimore Ravens WR Demarcus Robinson - 4% rostered
The Ravens are starved for playmakers at receiver and Robinson stepped up in a major way in Week 11. The veteran logged a 78.2% snap share, ran 30 routes on 37 dropbacks, and demanded a 27.3% target share. Robinson has been used sparingly this season but has topped double-digit fantasy points twice in his past three weeks with this most recent game totaling 21.8 points.
The veteran doesn't play a ton of snaps and can't be trusted as a startable fantasy option for that reason, but he might've bought himself more playing time with this type of performance. It remains to be seen whether the uptick in snaps and opportunities is because of DeSean Jackson's absence.
8. Indianapolis Colts WR Parris Campbell - 40% rostered
Regardless of the quarterback, Campbell's role has remained relatively unchanged — he's always played a lot of snaps and ran a fair amount of routes. But, the difference between Matt Ryan and Sam Ehlinger has made all the difference in Campbell's fantasy relevance. With Ryan back in the fold, Campbell has rattled off consecutive performances totaling 20.6 and 11.7 fantasy points. With Ehlinger in the fold, Campbell was essentially droppable.
While the slot receiver doesn't have a grand ceiling, he does have a solidified role in an offense that has been willing to include him. He's coming off another game with nice marks across the board:
28 routes run on 36 dropbacks
18.75% target share
Here are his point totals in recent weeks:
Week 6: 18.7 (with Ryan)
Week 7: 23 (with Ryan)
Week 8: 9.1 (with Ehlinger)
Week 9: 3.6 (with Ehlinger)
Week 10: 20.6 (with Ryan)
Week 11: 11.7 (with Ryan)
Campbell is a surefire bench stash with starting potential in plus matchups.
9. Los Angeles Rams WR Van Jefferson - 29% rostered
Someone must step up for the Rams with Cooper Kupp sidelined for the next six-to-eight weeks. Allen Robinson is the easy first choice but he's rostered in a ton of leagues. If he's available, Robinson is the easy add. With that being said, Jefferson isn't a terrible addition either. The third-year receiver scooped a 73.4% snap share and a 14.3% target share in Week 11.
Jefferson looked to have a legitimate connection with starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, though Stafford was unable to return in the second half of the game as he might've suffered a second concussion in as many weeks. If Stafford is ultimately healthy, Jefferson could have some value, though there won't be much there in the event that John Wolford or Bryce Perkins have to start. Monitor Stafford's status over the next few days as Jefferson could be a cheap addition with some utility.
10. Tennessee Titans WR Treylon Burks - 20% rostered
Has Burks hit the post-bye rookie bump? It doesn't look like it ... yet. He played in just 33-of-66 snaps, though he did run 21 routes on 32 dropbacks. As of now, Burks is still not playing in two-receiver sets, though he could buy himself some extra playing time with a strong performance in Week 11. The rookie led the team with a dominant 27.6% target share, as well as 111 receiving yards and seven receptions.
Burks won't have the desired ceiling or stability until he plays in two-receiver sets but he is still worth a bench stash at worst. He could be a nice source of offense for a team that hasn't created much in their passing attack this season. If the Titans look to utilize him more often downfield, he could produce some startable finishes, even with a lack of snaps.
Honorable mention: New Orleans Saints TE Taysom Hill - 47% rostered
The tight end position is as leaky as ever but Hill could be developing into a decent option. Sure, he played just 24 of 57 of the Saints' snaps in Week 11, though he mixed in at quarterback and played an ultra-unique role. That should mean something for a guy who already has an insane role. Hill ran five routes, had one target, nine rushing attempts, and attempted three passes in this game.
As we know, he doesn't play a full-time role and doesn't really have much value when he isn't touching the ball inside the opposing 10-yard line. But, the Saints knew they needed a spark on offense and allowed Hill's play package to expand in hopes of an offensive spark. It's not often we get a cheat code option to start a tight end yet get a three-in-one positionless player in fantasy football. Hill's role could pay dividends if it continues along this path.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee - 90% rostered
Someone is going to have to catch passes for the Rams with Kupp gone. Higbee was targeted a team-high eight times in the first game without Kupp, though he brought in just four receptions for 45 yards. He has TE1 upside at a weak position.
Los Angeles Chargers WR Josh Palmer - 58% rostered
Palmer has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of his past four games and put up a season-high 30.6 points in Week 11 alongside Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. Now, Allen has yet to return to 100% and Williams re-aggravated his ankle injury this past week. Even with those guys back, Palmer should be rostered and will be included in the offense (see: post touchdown in Week 11). Without those guys on the field, Palmer could be nearing must-start territory as a FLEX/WR3 play. Either way, he's a great addition and someone who appears to be trending in the right direction.