With waiver candidates snatched up this morning, I’m back in my weekly spot checking in with my top fantasy football streamers for Week 12. This week, my free agency deep dive will include favorites (my locks) and honorable mentions (more risk, or reliant on an injury update). For certain positions I’ll even recommend streamer options to avoid.
Disclaimer: As always, I will try and look past the most obvious waiver candidates, targeting Week 12 Streamers that are available in less than 40 percent of all ESPN leagues.
My selections will be based on their matchups, recent play, and upside potential in deeper PPR formats. I recommend checking weather and injury/Covid updates for each streamer in the days leading up to each game, being that this article is written on Tuesday or Wednesday of each week.
Your Week 12 Byes:
Week 12 Fantasy Streamers: QB
Well, my headline streamer did not go as planned in Week 11. We had the Jameis Winston picture all ready to go for the article. The former fantasy stud slated up for a big game against a pathetic Falcons secondary. I was screaming his name from the rooftops defiantly… life was good.
Then Sean Payton decided to throw us all for a loop announcing Taysom Hill as the starting QB. If you checked back in on Twitter, I did try and recommend some last-minute adjustments like Hill or Adrian Peterson at running back (the second one didn’t work out), but for most of you it was probably too late already, and I apologize for that.
Kirk Cousins did hit if you went that route, but most of the long-shots didn’t. With Taysom as our number one waiver wire candidate this week, let’s take a look at some streamer options not necessarily on the waiver market.
Philip Rivers (IND) – 13.8% (v TEN)
It actually kills me to headline Rivers because I am not a fan of trusting in the veteran gunslinger. But he does have the matchup that I have the most faith in here in Week 12.
Rivers is settling into a groove in this Indy unit finally, with Michael Pittman Jr. and Nyheim Hines, and Trey Burton as all these different role players slotting in alongside the T.Y. Hilton’s and Jonathan Taylor’s of the offense.
Rivers has thrown for 250-plus yards in four of his last five, and 300-plus twice over that period. The first time he faced the Titans in Tennessee, he hit on 74.4 percent of passes with 308 yards and a touchdown. The Titans D added Desmond King, but also lost Jadeveon Clowney. It’s ranked 22nd against QB’s. This defense does not scare me whatsoever and if you watched the first meeting, it didn’t scare Rivers either. Now he’s playing at home in a weather-friendly dome.
Daniel Jones (NYG) – 17.8% (@CIN)
Another quarterback that I’m not usually crazy about, but trust this week, is Daniel Jones. The Giants second-year pro has finally begun to limit turnovers in recent weeks. With Saquon Barkley as a distant memory, this offense is now tailored around Jones.
He runs the ball well, he’s passing at a better accuracy rate than usual. More importantly, this very young and inexperienced offensive line is finally beginning to gel a little bit.
In a matchup against a lousy Bengals secondary that just lost Joe Burrow on the other side of the ball, I expect the G-Men to dominate time of possession and tire out this Cincy D in what turns out to be another victory for NYG.
Teddy Bridgewater/P.J. Walker – 38.5/1.8% (@MIN)
Always got to give my boy Teddy some love. He didn’t end up playing last week, but whenever he’s out there I really recommend taking a shot with the Carolina QB.
Part of this is what I’ve seen from Joe Brady’s offense all year long. This dude can coach, and I have no doubt Brady will be a head coach sooner rather than later. Bridgewater is obviously the safer fantasy play, but I actually didn’t hate what I saw from XFL star P.J. Walker last week in this system.
This unit moves the ball, and so long as turnovers are limited (Teddy B is much better at this aspect), the Panthers are a solid source of fantasy production.
This Vikings defense isn’t very intimidating either. Andy Dalton put up decent numbers against it last week so that’s all you need to know. Minnesota even plays in a dome. Start Bridgewater if he plays, consider Walker if he doesn’t and you’re desperate.
(TRIPLE DOWN) Alex Smith (WSH) – 17.4% (@DAL)
Wow, three straight weeks I list Alex Smith as a long-shot play. So far he’s one for two when I’ve picked him, not a great showing last week. This Dallas defense is just one I like to bet against though.
They simply cannot cover, and besides Demarcus Lawrence they rarely muster up any pass rush either. Even in a spirited victory effort last week Cousins put up 20-plus against them, I think I’ll take my chances with Smith and a diverse compliment of weapons forming in Washington.
QB Streamers to Avoid
Baker Mayfield (CLE) – 22.1% (@JAX)
Baker has another great matchup, but you just cannot trust Kevin Stefanski to call passing plays right now. The running game with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt is just torching defenses.
The Jags can’t guard the pass, but they also can’t guard the run. Maybe Mayfield has one of his rare three-touchdown games. But it’s not a risk I’m willing to take with the RB’s dominating all the spoils in Cleveland.
Kirk Cousins (MIN) – 29.3% (v CAR)
Different quarterback, similar reasoning. Carolina has struggled against the run this season but they’ve actually managed to perform pretty well against the pass. They shut down Stafford and a limited Lions offense last week, and I don’t necessarily expect that. But I do think Dalvin Cook will dominate the game plan with Adam Thielen possibly OUT due to COVID.
Week 12 Fantasy Streamers: RB
Running backs went well last week. Gave you Salvon Ahmed as a must-play over Matt Breida, that was correct. Gave you La’Mical Perine as my secondary streamer and he vultured a TD from Frank Gore. My HM didn’t do anything special and my late Adrian Peterson Twitter suggestion totally blanked. But if the main plays hit I can’t be too upset with that. The big waiver wire RB’s in my opinion are Gus Edwards (Dobbins/Ingram out), Frank Gore (Perine hit IR after the game), Ahmed if he’s still out there, and possibly Sony Michel healthy in New England. But for all the latest waiver wire news check out Rich King’s weekly spot. Here are my top streaming options for RB Week 12.
James White (NE) – 34.8% (v ARI)
White may be another waiver candidate, as he slipped to under 40 percent rostered just before Rex Burkhead’s injury. Now with Rex out, White has already begun to capitalize as Newton’s primary pass-catcher out of the backfield. He had his most involvement since Week 6 on Sunday against the Texans, catching six passes for 64 yards. New England may be forced to keep up with the Cardinals’ high-octane offense this week, which would mean more White and less Harris or Michel.
Boston Scott (PHI) – 34.5% (v SEA)
If you can’t get your hands on any of the waiver targets or our top streamer James White, you might find a similar angle in Boston Scott this week. Philly may be playing from behind against the Seahawks, which doesn’t necessarily mean Scott will be out there 100 percent of snaps (Sanders is more of an all-purpose back than most). But Boston will be out there a decent amount of passing sets. He got eight total touches last week, but three or four receptions out of Scott in a PPR league and you’re looking pretty good for a stream.
Kerryon Johnson (DET) – 29.0% (v HOU)
Last week I gave AP as a last minute recommendation, even rolled with him as a value play in DFS, but boy did he look terrible. Peterson looked old, and it didn’t help that Matt Patricia gave up on this run game after like two possessions. If Swift returns, you don’t want either of these guys. But if he’s out Kerryon is probably the better bet because he’s slightly more versatile.
Honestly, I’m not even convinced that either is a great play in this offense. But Houston is such a juicy matchup against the run that it’d really be a shame if Detroit passed the ball 30-plus times again, barely moving the ball on the ground.
(DEEP DIVE) Ty Johnson (NYJ) – 0.1% (v MIA)
Frank Gore cannot dominate carries at this stage of his career, and the next man up after Perine is Ty Johnson. From a fantasy perspective, Johnson also holds some value as a pass-catcher, and he might be a sneaky play this week against the Dolphins if he slots into Perine’s role.
Week 12 Fantasy Streamers: WR
Wide receiver has been going smoothly for us in recent weeks. Michael Pittman Jr. was the big jackpot for my Week 11 article, while Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims both performed adequately as well. Unfortunately David Moore finally missed on a week where I suggested him, rounding out the top picks. The Honorable Mentions weren’t as successful, but Steven Sims Jr. did nab a TD. Top waiver candidates include the aforementioned Pittman, Allen Lazard, Tim Patrick, Jalen Reagor and Breshad Perriman. Out of those names, I like Pittman and Reagor the best in Week 12. Here are my deeper streamer options.
Russell Gage (ATL) – 11.3% (v LVR)
For my top wide receiver stream this week I’m going back to an old favorite that I have not trusted since the early days of 2020. Gage picked up the injury bug during the middle of the fantasy season and quickly became irrevelant with younger WR’s sprouting up around him in Atlanta, but he finally looked fresh and healthy again in Week 11. Gage went seven for 58, but more importantly, he was targeted 12 times! His most targets since Week 1. If Matt Ryan is looking his way again, that’s phenomenal news for Gage heading into a matchup with a shallow Raiders secondary.
(TRIPLE DOWN?) Denzel Mims (NYJ) – 6.7% (v MIA)
Can’t remember if I’ve gone Mims twice in a row, or three times, but at this availability I really think you can’t go wrong with the rookie. This Jets offense has gotten better and better of late, and with Sam Darnold hopefully returning this week against Miami, Mims is set up for another heavy role in an offense that has to throw the ball a lot.
K.J. Hamler (DEN) – 10.0% (v NO)
Not loving this matchup for Drew Lock, but I do like it for Hamler. The rookie slot has racked up 26 targets over the last three games, and he’s quickly becoming a trustworthy PPR performer. Saints top corners Lattimore and Jenkins should guard Patrick and Jeudy.
Keelan Cole Sr. (JAX) – 22.9% (v CLE)
Two weeks removed from a massive game, and a popular roster earlier in the season, Keelan Cole has had his most fantasy-relevant season in years after Jay Gruden took over the offense. Jake Luton had a rough go against Pittsburgh last week, leading to zero performances all around, but Cole might rebound here against a much worse Browns secondary.
Zach Pascal (IND) – 2.9% (v TEN)
Pascal has really fallen in roster percentage, outshined by the rookie Pittman Jr. in Indy, but he still gets his 7-10 points in PPR leagues for five straight games now. It’s nothing spectacular, but if you need something low-risk in a deep league, Pascal might be your guy with the Titans focused on Pittman and Hilton.
(DEEP DIVE) Damiere Byrd (NE) – 1.2% (v ARI)
The Pats receivers have been hit or miss most weeks, Byrd chief among them, but after a six for 132 (one TD) explosion in Week 11, it’s hard not to recommend taking a shot on Damiere this week. He is currently available in 98.8 percent of ESPN leagues (before waivers) after a dud the week before. It’s a boom or bust play, but Arizona’s secondary and shootout nature makes this a risk worth taking.
(DEEP DIVE/DOUBLE DOWN) Steven Sims Jr. (WSH) – 1.9% (@DAL)
Have to double down on my guy Steven Sims Jr. after he linked up with Alex Smith for a touchdown last week. This PPR type WR was someone that I listed as a deep sleeper in my fantasy football preview to start the season, but an early injury blew that projection. Now he finally seems fit again, and he’s developed a rapport with Smith since he’s taken over. Great matchup vs the Cowboys secondary too.
Week 12 Fantasy Streamers: TE
Still been a struggle at tight end this year from week to week. Gerald Everett was average as my top streamer last week, and Drew Sample was pretty poor as my honorable mention. Approaching Week 12, let’s give it another shot. P.S. I finally stopped suggesting Jordan Akins last week and wouldn’t you know it he goes for 80-plus yards in Week 11.
Dalton Schultz and Jordan Reed are the top waiver adds this week, so I won’t target them in my streamer selections.
(DEEP DIVE) Will Dissly/Jacob Hollister – 0.9/0.3% (@PHI)
I have one main place I’m going at TE this week and it’s Seattle. Greg Olsen (who was basically blocking these two better fantasy performers all year) is now out for an extended period. That opens the door for one or both of these guys to step up against a 28th ranked Eagles secondary against the position. Personally, I would go Hollister, D