Week 12 Fantasy Football Deep League Waiver Wire: Gray Areas

Jonas Gray

Multiple injuries on some of the league’s top offenses have created opportunities to snatch up newly-inserted starters, even in the deepest of leagues. From Denver to Indy to New Orleans, plenty of teams are looking at new faces to fill the workload vacated by their biggest stars so let’s take a look at who is about to get new opportunities and who has done with most with ones they’ve already had.

Quarterback Targets:

Josh McCown (Owned in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues): We urged you to pick up McCown for two weeks last week but he’s still available if you missed out on his strong effort against the Redskins.

In two games since returning to the starting job, McCown has completed 64 percent of his passes for 589 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions while adding 47 yards on the ground.

Of course, he’s done that against two woeful defenses in the Falcons and Redskins. Luckily, he now gets to face the Bears, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

The Bears have allowed at least one touchdown to every passer they’ve faced (including the likes of Geno Smith, Teddy Bridgewater, and EJ Manuel) and have surrendered a ridiculous 14 passing touchdowns over the last four weeks, compared to just one interception.

Kyle Orton (13 percent): Orton put up his first goose egg of the season on Thursday against Miami, failing to record at least one touchdown for the first time all year. Luckily, Orton now gets a game against the hapless Jets to recover.

In Week 8, it took Orton just 10 completions to pass for four touchdowns against Gang Green’s complete lack of a secondary. The Jets have now allowed at least two passing touchdowns in nine of their ten games, allowing an average of 2.5 passing TDs per game all season.

Running Back Targets:

Jonas Gray (20 percent): Gray is the top target in all leagues this week after putting up a monster 38-carry, 199-yard, four-touchdown game against the Colts.

Don’t expect that kind of usage from Gray in every game but Gray is clearly a nice matchup-dependent lead back to grab going forward. With the Patriots posting an average of 40.5 points per game over their six-game win streak, expect the Pats to be ahead and running the clock down often.

Bryce Brown (23 percent): Brown hasn’t done a lot on the ground, combining for just 13 carries and 49 yards over the last two games, but he’s been a huge get in PPR leagues. Brown has caught 13 of his 17 targets over the last two weeks for 122 yards. If Fred Jackson continues to struggle to get healthy, look for him to be heavily involved in the passing game going forward with Buffalo struggling to find reliable targets behind Sammy Watkins.

Dan Herron (1 percent): With Ahmad Bradshaw out with a broken ankle, Herron figures to have a shot at a decent amount of carries alongside Trent Richardson. Richardson may be the starter at the moment but his 0 yards on seven carries against the Pats and his 3.1 yards per carry average over the last two seasons tell you all you need to know about his prospects as a feature back. If Herron can just be decent he could very well find himself above TRich on the depth chart just as Bradshaw did.

Wide Receiver Targets:

Kenny Stills (14 percent): Stills is having a solid season as a secondary receiver, catching 31 of 42 targets for 431 yards and two scores. With rookie wideout Brandin Cooks going down, however, Stills figures to get a lot more opportunities as his Saints struggle to climb the standings in a miserable NFC South.

Cooks, who is expected to be out 4-6 weeks with a thumb injury, has been one of the Drew Brees’ go-to guys, seeing seven or more targets in six games this season. Look for Stills to be the main beneficiary of the vacated workload.

Jarvis Landry (15 percent): The rookie out of LSU continues to impress and is earning additional workload over the last three weeks.

Since Week 9, Landry has caught 17 of his 21 targets for 145 yards and two scores. He’s not a deep threat but he’s a strong target in PPR leagues where his 5-6 receptions per game mean an extra touchdown worth of points.

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Igor Derysh
Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and Manwall.com.