November 13, 2023, 5:27 pm
Best Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 11
Last week a lot of the guys mentioned here proved they were worth the pickup. Joshua Dobbs, Kyler Murray, Keaton Mitchell, D’Onta Foreman, Devin Singletary, Ty Chandler, Tank Dell, Jayden Reed, Demario Douglas, and Quentin Johnston are all still below our threshold for this article. As Jerry Maguire once said to Rod Tidwell: “Help me help you! Help me help you!”
If you have any questions about prioritizing a certain player over another, don’t be afraid to hit me up on Twitter (X), at @SMcCormick_FF.
So, let’s take a look at some of the waiver wire options for Week 11:
(Note: We are looking at players in 60% or less in Yahoo and ESPN. Roster percentages are reflected in parentheses as of Monday 11/13)
Joshua Dobbs (53% Yahoo, 39% ESPN) Minnesota Vikings
Here is what I said last week: Joshua Dobbs came in after four days with the team and put up a QB5 performance this week (MNF pending). Even before this week, Dobbs has had three top-10 QB finishes. This week, much like earlier in the year, he was aided by his rushing production. He had 66 yards rushing and a touchdown this week against the Falcons. He is going to have a tough matchup in week 10 against the Saints but then he gets two plus matchups against the Broncos and the Bears. He has a nice set of offensive weapons currently and that is only going to get better when Justin Jefferson comes off the IR.
Off of last week’s game, Dobbs followed up with a QB3 finish (MNF pending). Dobbs has been over 24 fantasy points per game over the last three weeks. He is a 1QB league start each week going forward and the next two weeks he gets two bottom-10 defenses in fantasy points allowed to QBs (Denver and Chicago).
Kyler Murray (54% ESPN) Arizona Cardinals
Here is what I said last week: Kyler Murray only meets our threshold in ESPN leagues, so if you are in one of those leagues, and need a QB, this is probably your last chance to grab Murray. I would expect him to be named the starter this week facing the Falcons at home. Murray has finished fifth among QBs in fantasy points per game each of the last three seasons. While his rushing totals may be limited coming off this injury, he should still have enough value with throwing in this offense and trailing in games, to put up some good fantasy games. Normally I would be leery of a first game back for a QB after a long absence but we just saw this Falcons defense allow two passing touchdowns to a guy who had just got to his team four days prior.
Murray put up a QB12 finish (MNF pending) even without throwing for a touchdown. But he got a bit unlucky, as he had a Michael Wilson TD pass overturned that then turned into a Clayton Tune Tush Push touchdown. But I was more impressed that Murray ran the ball six times for 33 yards in his first game back from his injury. He did not look limited running or scrambling against the Falcons. You can feel comfortable having Murray as your starter even in a 1QB league coming off this performance.
Russell Wilson (46% Yahoo, 57% ESPN) Denver Broncos
Wilson saw his ownership percentage drop with a bye week in week 9. Prior to his game at Buffalo, Wilson had four passing touchdowns in his previous two games and had not thrown an INT. He hasn’t thrown for many yards since week 3, but at least he has shown the ability to throw for multiple touchdowns in five games this week, which is more than we can say for our next quarterback. Then in week 11, he gets a Vikings defense at home that is giving up 257 yards passing and two passing touchdowns per game this year.
Matthew Stafford (41% Yahoo, 31% ESPN) Los Angeles Rams
With his injury and a bye week, Stafford was probably dropped in a lot of leagues. Head coach Sean McVay said Monday that Matthew Stafford should be ready to play Sunday against the Seahawks, who give up the second-most fantasy points to QBs this year. Stafford has only thrown for multiple touchdowns once this year, so he is the last of my options to grab at QB given his fantasy finishes this year.
Ty Chandler (8% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) Minnesota Vikings
I listed Ty Chandler as a top stash last week stating: Cam Akers tore his Achilles, which means Ty Chandler is the next man up behind Alexander Mattison. Chandler looked good in the preseason and should get similar touches that Akers was getting.
Sunday Alexander Mattison left the game with a concussion, so you are probably thinking he got most of his work after that. But before Mattison left the game Chandler already had eight of his 15 carries. Mattison had 10 at the time. So the team was already tilting to a more even split in touches than many might have thought. Most players miss the following week after being placed in the concussion protocol. In the next two weeks, Chandler will face the Broncos and the Bears who give up the most and second-most fantasy points to RBs this year.
Keaton Mitchell (47% Yahoo, 23% ESPN) Baltimore Ravens
Here is what I said last week: Let’s just take Jim Nantz’s word who said Sunday “Gonna be a fantasy waiver wire sensation this week, trust me.” Mitchell was mentioned here multiple times in the past as a waiver wire stash due to his skill set that none of the other Raven’s running backs have. He put that explosiveness on display against the Seahawks with nine carries for 138 yards, including explosive runs of 60 and 40 yards. Yes, this game was a blowout, but I think it’s going to be hard for the coaching staff to not get Mitchell more work after this game. I would think it comes more at the expense of Justice Hill and not Gus Edwards, who’s been over four yards a carry in three straight games with six touchdowns.
Mitchell had a jump in ownership from last week but is still available in a good amount of leagues.
Here was the RB breakdown in week 10 for Baltimore:
Gus Edwards: 52% snaps, 12 touches
Keaton Mitchell: 24% snaps, 4 touches
Justice Hill: 26% snaps, 2 carries
While Mitchell only got three rushes, he showed the explosiveness I mentioned, rushing for over 11 yards an attempt and a 39-yard touchdown while also adding in a catch for 32 yards. Despite getting just four touches, he turned that into an RB17 finish (MNF pending). He also almost had another 40+ yard touchdown reception in this game. I think you are going to continue to see Hill’s snaps and touches decrease while Mitchell becomes the RB2 on this team.
Zach Charbonnet (45% Yahoo, 30% ESPN) Seattle Seahawks
Here is what I said last week: A couple of things are happening in the Seahawks backfield. One, we are starting to see Charbonnet’s snaps increase and second, we are seeing Kenneth Walker’s rush opportunities decrease. In the last two weeks, the rookie led Walker in snaps and Walker’s rush opportunities have gone down from about 80% to about 65%. He also ran more routes than Walker this week against Baltimore. He could have flex value if he can get to 10 rushes a game, but he also has RB1 potential if anything happens to Walker.
Walker is still the RB1 here, as he dominated carries this week (19-6). But Charbonnet is still heavily involved in the passing game. In week 10, he had a 60% route participation, the eighth highest of all RBs this week, and had four receptions. And he still had the edge in snaps over Walker (53% to 47%). Walker has his established role, but Charbonnet has enough of a role as well to be rostered on most teams and would be an RB1 if Walker got hurt.
D’Onta Foreman (52% ESPN) Chicago Bears
From last week: D’Onta Foreman saw a small dip in his ownership percentage last week to put him back under our threshold. I thought we would see a more even split with Roschon Johnson, but instead, Foreman saw 20 carries while Johnson got just two carries and one target in the passing game. Khalil Herbert is eligible to return from IR this week, but that isn’t a guarantee, and even if he does, I expect Foreman to remain atop the depth chart while Herbert is eased back into action.
Foreman responded with 23 touches for 92 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers to finish as the RB13 (MNF pending). Khalil Herbert probably will get activated this week, but after Foreman has put up four TDs in his last four games, I think this has become at worst a 50/50 split for Foreman. And you might even see Foreman get more touches against in Week 11 as they ease Herbert back into game action. I do not think this becomes a three-man committee. Before Herbert’s injury, one of these guys was made inactive and this time I think you will see it is Johnson not Foreman.
Devin Singletary (50% Yahoo, 50% ESPN) Houston Texans
What I said last week: Devin Singletary was given the start against the Buccaneers after Dameon Pierce was ruled out with an ankle injury. It was a tough matchup for Singletary against a defense that gives up the eighth-fewest rushing yards per game. While the yardage was not great, he did get 15 touches in the game. If he stays around 15-18 touches while Pierce is out, he will at least be a flex play in lineups.
Singletary only saw his ownership go up 2% which was shocking to me. He responded to this lack of respect this week with 30 rushes for 150 yards and a touchdown. You read that right, 30 rush attempts. I don’t care if Pierce comes back this week, he isn’t going to get that near-even split of touches like he had before the injury after this performance from Singletary. In two out of the next three weeks, he faces bottom-10 defenses in fantasy points allowed to RBs.
Rico Dowdle (4% Yahoo, 4% ESPN) Dallas Cowboys
I am elevating Rico Dowdle from a stash to a pickup. You might look at the 12 rush attempts for 79 yards and a score and think that only came in mop-up time. But Dowdle was getting some rushes on the first drive of the game and ran well each time he was given the chance. The broadcast team kept eluding to the fact that the Cowboys really haven’t replaced the rushes Ezekiel Elliott was getting last year with Pollard (Elliott: 231, Pollard: 193) and that maybe this is taking its toll on Pollard. For the first time in his career, Pollard is averaging under four yards a carry. Last season with Elliott taking some of the workload off him, he averaged over five yards a carry. That is quite a drop-off. Sunday was the sixth straight game Pollard has been held under 55 yards rushing. Dowdle averaged 6.5 yards per carry against the Giants and I think you might see the Cowboys start to get him around 8-10 carries a game going forward to keep Pollard more fresh. In addition, if something were to happen to Pollard, Dowdle would be an automatic start for fantasy teams each week.
Ezekiel Elliott (41% Yahoo, 36% ESPN) New England Patriots
Listen, I am going to be honest with you, nothing about this pickup would excite me. This is more of a “break glass in case of emergency” pickup, wherein a given week you just need a safe floor of 8-10 fantasy points. If you are looking at just pure upside, Ezekiel Elliott is the last choice of RBs of this group I would consider (yes, even below Dowdle). With a bye this week, you might even be able to wait one more week to grab him. This offense is extremely limited and I’m not sure it will get any better with Bailey Zappe at QB. But after the bye, they will face the struggling Giants team and a defense that is bottom-10 in fantasy points allowed to RBs.
Given the injury history of D’Andre Swift, you might see the Eagles take a similar approach with Kenneth Gainwell as the Cowboys do with Dowdle. Gainwell has had two touchdowns in his last three games as well as six catches in his last two. Swift hasn’t played a full season in his last three years. Gainwell would have starter value if something happened to Swift. Tyjae Spears got 60 scrimmage yards Sunday against the Buccaneers and is still one of the top handcuff RBs to have. Elijah Mitchell, unlike the other stashes, does not see the field to supplement his starter in front of him, but if you have a bottom roster spot he is a great lottery ticket to have. You have to think that Leonard Fournette will finally be activated in week 11. James Cook has been struggling and Latavius Murray is already losing snaps and touches. Fournette should replace Murray and if he is productive with limited touches in his first game, he could start to eat into James Cook’s role.
Noah Brown (24% Yahoo, 25% ESPN) Houston Texans
I wasn’t sure Noah Brown was worth a pickup last week but that all changed once Nico Collins was ruled out. I ran to multiple leagues and scooped up Brown to start in a flex spot in those leagues. In the last three weeks, only CeeDee Lamb has more receiving yards than Brown in the league! We don’t know the status of Collins for week 11. But against the Bengals, Brown ran a route on over 80% of the snaps while Robert Woods was just at 62%. If Collins comes back, I would think Brown would stay as the WR3 in those 11-personnell sets. And if Collins is out, Brown will be heavily targeted again against a Cardinals team that is giving up over 160 yards per game to WRs this year.
Jayden Reed (21% Yahoo, 15% ESPN) Green Bay Packers
Here is what I said last week: Stop me if you have heard this, but Christian Watson got injured in another game and it’s not 100% sure if he will miss this week or be ready to play. Two weeks ago, Jayden Reed led the team in yardage and he was getting five to eight targets earlier in the season when Watson was out. The next two weeks, he faces two bottom-five defenses in fantasy points allowed to WRs this year.
Reed’s ownership only went up 3% after last week. Watson ended up playing but it didn’t matter because Reed led the team in receiving and finished as the WR11 for the week (MNF pending). There just seems to be a connection with Jordan Love and Reed, and it is missing with Watson. Reed now leads the team in receiving yards per game and yards per target. Over the last three weeks, Reed has had almost 200 yards receiving and one touchdown. Reed is looking like the top Packers WR to have if you are going to roster one of them.
Demario Douglas (36% Yahoo, 27% ESPN) New England Patriots
Here is what I said last week: This is more of a “break glass in case of emergency” guy to have on your roster. It’s hard to get excited about anyone on the New England offense. But Demario Douglas has now had six or more targets in his last three games and been over 50 yards receiving in two of them. He also led the team in snaps and routes against the Commanders. He also had a 20+ yard catch overturned in that game. His next three games are terrific for a WR, facing the Colts, Giants, and Chargers.
Douglas responded with six catches (35% target share) for 84 yards and a top-24 WR finish (MNF pending). He has now had a 20%+ target share in three of his last four games and looks to be the No. 1 WR going forward on this team. Douglas has had 75% of the team’s receptions of 20+ air yards this season. He is probably worth picking up and holding through the bye given his favorable schedule after it.
Brandin Cooks (38% Yahoo, 50% ESPN) Dallas Cowboys
Brandin Cooks exploded Sunday against the Giants with nine catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. He now has averaged 15 PPR points in his last three games. Teams are going to start paying heavy attention to CeeDee Lamb given his production over the last month. Jake Ferguson will continue to be a favorite target of Dak Prescott, but we could see Cooks start to produce some high-floor fantasy numbers at least over the next three weeks with favorable matchups against the Panthers, Commanders, and Seahawks.
Quentin Johnston (29% Yahoo, 33% ESPN) Los Angeles Chargers
Here is what I said last week: In his last game, Quentin Johnston got a season-high 70% of the snaps and a season-high in targets, receptions, and yards. And now Joshua Palmer has been placed on the IR by the team. He might not have a great game against the Jets secondary Monday night, but I would still add him with matchups against the Lions and Packers the next two weeks. With defenses keying on Keenan Allen, Justin Herbert is going to have to lean on the talented first-round draft pick at some point over the next four weeks.
Johnston saw his ownership percentage go down in Yahoo leagues and only up 2% in ESPN leagues. Hopefully, the light bulb is starting to go off for the first-round draft pick. He has now scored double-digit PPR points in two out of his last three games. Keenan Allen left the game Sunday with a shoulder injury and was able to return but he seemed a little limited by it. It’s just a reminder that if something happens to Allen, Johnston’s target share would have to jump dramatically.
Keep your eye on:
A.T. Perry/Rashid Shaheed (New Orleans Saints)
Head coach Dennis Allen said Monday that Michael Thomas had a “fairly significant” injury in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings. Rashid Shaheed got nine targets against the Vikings, catching five of them for just 24 yards. But Shaheed has had three top-12 WR finishes this year. A.T. Perry caught two of four targets for 28 yards and a touchdown. Perry is a rookie WR out of Wake Forest who has terrific size at 6’5 205 lbs, which he utilized on a jump ball touchdown from Jameis Winston. The Saints have a bye in week 11 but will face the Falcons, Lions, Panthers, and Giants following it. It’s a favorable schedule and one of these guys could put up some good numbers if Thomas is still out.
Trey McBride (58% Yahoo, 50% ESPN) Arizona Cardinals
Trey McBride now has been TE1 and TE2 in two out of his last three weeks (MNF pending). In the last three weeks, he has seen 28 targets, catching 21 of them. There are only five other TEs (Kelce, Hockenson, Andrews, Kincaid, LaPorta) I would take over McBride for the rest of the season. He is going to present both a high floor and high ceiling each week going forward with Murray at QB.
Luke Musgrave (23% Yahoo, 17% ESPN) Green Bay Packers
Luke Musgrave has now been over 50 yards receiving in his last two games to finish as the TE9 and TE13 (MNF pending), so this alone puts him back on the streaming radar to start in leagues. In his next two games, he will face the Chargers who give up the 13th most fantasy points to TEs, and the Lions who give up the most fantasy points to TEs.
When streaming defenses, I always love a home team that is going to be up big in a game. It lends itself to multiple sacks and INT opportunities usually. This should be the case for the Dolphins who will be at home facing the Raiders. And they will get a rookie QB in Aidan O’Connell, who has taken 10 sacks in four games this year.