Week 12 waiver wire targets for standard scoring fantasy football leagues:
Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey (owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Bobby Rainey is a second-year player on his third NFL team. As a member of the Baltimore Ravens last year, the rookie was only used on special teams, returning seven kicks for 162 yards (23.1 yards per return). This year, Rainey began as a Browns backup, and rushed 13 times for 34 yards (2.6 yards per attempt), while catching four passes for another 19 yards. He joined Tampa Bay in the last couple weeks, and has since revived his short career. In the last two games, Rainey has averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Against Atlanta in week 11, Rainey led the league in rushes (30), yards (163), and rushing touchdowns (2). He may be in line for NFC Offensive Player of the Week. But either way, there is an opening at starting running back for Tampa Bay, and it would be hard to imagine Greg Schiano going to Brian Leonard after this performance.
Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya (owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Chris Ogbonnaya has been working as the number two back in Cleveland all year. First he was behind Trent Richardson before the trade with Indianapolis. And since, he has been spelling veteran Willis McGahee. For the season, the former Texas Longhorn has rushed 34 times for 237 yards (7.0 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. Maybe head coach Rob Chudzinski has finally noticed. In eight games with Cleveland this year, McGahee has run 106 times for 275 yards (2.6 yards per attempt) and a score, with five receptions for another 6 yards. In their loss to Cincinnati on Sunday, Ogbonnaya led the team in rushes and receptions, combining for 14 total touches. The backup carried the ball eight times for 69 yards (8.6 yards per rush), and caught six passes for another 30 yards. It would be wise for the Browns to let Ogbonnaya continue to earn the starting role.
Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Head coach Dennis Allen said Monday that quarterback Matt McGloin has “certainly earned the right to be in the discussion” to remain the starter. On Sunday, the rookie from Penn State made his first NFL start, completing 56.3 percent of his passes for 197 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Coming off the bench the week prior, McGloin connected on seven of 15 passes for 87 yards. Starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor began the season incredibly strong. Over the first four games, he completed 68.3 percent of his passes, while averaging 211.3 yards, a touchdown and 0.5 interceptions per game. But in the next four games, the former Buckeye slid to a 50.8 completion percentage, and a mean of 178.5 yards, 0.25 scores, and two interceptions per contest. Look for the coach’s decision as the week progresses.
Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues)
In his career, Jerricho Cotchery has only one 1,000 yard season (2007), and has not surpassed 800 yards since 2009. he is currently on pace for 54.4 receptions and 804.8 yards. But the real story has been the receiver’s ability to find the end zone this year. Cotchery currently has seven touchdowns, and is on pace for 11.2 on the season. With 13 red zone targets, he is tied for the team lead with starting wideout Antonio Brown. But Brown has yet to score a red zone touchdown this year, whereas Cotchery has seven red zone scores. If Ben Roethlisberger can continue to improve this young offense, the ten year veteran should get more opportunities to score.
Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Marquise Goodwin was the 78th player taken in April’s NFL Draft. The former Texas Longhorn entered week 11 with only 10 receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns. But Sunday, the Bills and E.J. Manuel were without their top two receiving weapons. Stevie Johnson (groin) and Robert Woods (ankle) may return soon from their respective injuries. But should they miss any more time, Goodwin should continue to dominate Manuel’s attention on the field. In Sunday’s win over the Jets, Goodwin caught six passes for 81 yards and a score. He was targeted nine times.
Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater (owned in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues)
The Oakland depth chart lists Denarius Moore as the top receiving option, and second-year veteran Rod Streater as the number two. Moore hurt his shoulder in Sunday’s game and his week 12 status is unknown. Should Moore be limited or miss any time, expect Streater to garner the bulk of passing targets. The starting quarterback and running back also remain unclear at this time. In the Raider’s win over Houston, Streater caught six passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien (owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Third year quarterback Scott Tolzien has now thrown passes in two NFL games. In his first NFL start Sunday, the former Wisconsin Badger completed 70.6 percent of his passes for 339 yards, no scores and three interceptions. Certainly the turnovers are a concern, but there are positives to take away from the short sample size. Tolzien managed 9.97 yards per attempt on his 34 passes. His accuracy and total yardage are also things to get excited about, if only for the next week or two. At least the backup passer will be able to move the ball down the field, which helps fantasy owners of Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson and James Jones. Tolzien is worth a look in deeper leagues, as the head of the number four offense in the league.
Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders (owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Ace Sanders is a rookie from South Carolina who was selected in the fourth round this year. He never did a whole lot in college, totaling 1,302 yards of offense in three years of collegiate action. His best year was his final season, when he caught 45 passes for 531 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012. Coming into Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, Sanders had only made 16 receptions for 181 yards. But with Justin Blackmon suspended indefinitely, the rookie stood up to make eight catches for 61 yards this week. The Jaguars are dead last in scoring this year with 129 points, but Sanders could be a boom-or-bust prospect for your playoff bench. His next three games come against the 16th, 28th, and 27th ranked scoring defenses.
Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (owned in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Arizona used their first round pick in 2012 to take Michael Floyd, a wide receiver who experienced great success at Notre Dame. In four seasons of NCAA football, the golden-domer racked up 3,686 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns. His 2012 senior season was spectacular, when he made 100 receptions for 1,147 yards and nine touchdowns. As a rookie last year, Floyd was second on the team in catches (45) and receiving yards (562). So far this year, Floyd leads all Cardinals with 657 receiving yards. He is second to Larry Fitzgerald in receptions (42) and receiving scores (3). That puts the second-year veteran on pace for 67.2 catches, 1,051.2 yards, and 4.8 touchdowns. In Sunday’s win over Jacksonville, Floyd reeled in six passes for 193 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Floyd is worth starting as your second or third fantasy receiver.
Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Minnesota’s starting receivers, Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson were out of the starting lineup for week 11’s game in Seattle. Jennings missed the game with an achilles injury, but may return after missing just one game. Simpson played the game as a backup, and his future is uncertain as he faces legal charges for a recent DWI. Against the Seahawks, the Vikings started Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright for the first time this year. It marked Patterson’s first NFL start after being selected 29th overall last April. The rookie led the team in targets (9), but caught only three passes for 28 yards. Patterson returned four kicks for 117 yards (29.3 yards per return), which helps in leagues that reward return yardage. Patterson carries high-upside as a boom-or-bust flex player moving forward.
Players still relevant from previous weeks include Shane Vereen, Percy Harvin, Montee Ball, Andre Brown, Keenan Allen, Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Andre Ellington, and Jordan Reed. Catch some waives from past weeks (week 11, week 10, week 9, week 8, week 7, week 6, and week 5).
Stats and data courtesy of pro-football-reference.com, footballguys.com, espn.com, and wikipedia.org.