Ah, yes…Week 12 is upon us. If you are like me, you are hanging on for dear life in a league or two. This week is a MUST win. The good news…only two teams are on a bye this week. The bad news…everyone is banged up and half your team is probably on IR. So in keeping with my theme of giving you new guys each week to consider for the fantasy regular season, we are now down to some deeper plays that are sure to be on your waiver wire. This week (or next week) is probably your last week of the regular season and you need some help weeding through the waiver wire fodder for a plug and play to survive in your IDP leagues. This week we are talking “All Waiver-Wire” targets. If you are in a super deep league or dynasty league (especially 32 team leagues), you may find some of these guys are taken. However, if you are in MLFF leagues or other league with 14 or fewer teams, these guys will probably be there to snag and get you through another week where secondaries across the NFL have been depleted from injury.
Of course, the danger of focusing on deeper picks is that the percentage of hitting on them decreases because these guys probably have less talent, less opportunity or just past their prime. This was definitely the case last week as it was truly a week to forget for “Alluhring Strategy.” The annoying thing is that the analysis was sound, but IDP secondary continues to be a crapshoot in fantasy this year. I guess the high stakes are half the fun and when I hit on these deep picks, it is more rewarding than saying predicting the top players. Briefly, let us review…
HIT — Johnthan Banks (Pick 6, 2 Tackles and PD)
ACCEPTABLE — Buster Skrine (4 Tackles and PD), DJ Hayden (6 Tackles)
SUCKED — Everyone else
Week 12 IDP Defensive Back Waiver Wire Targets
Since I’m a glutton for punishment, here we go with your deep/desperation plays this week…
Leon Hall, CB (CIN) @ HOU
Remember this guy? He was selected #18 overall in the 2007 NFL rookie draft. He burst on the scene right away by averaging 4 1/2 picks, almost 18 PDs and 65 tackles a season over his first four years in the league. Now 29 years old and an eight year vet, Hall is still the starting RCB for the Bengals. Other than missing Week 10 due to a concussion, Hall has played nearly all the defensive snaps this season. So why is he still on the waiver wire? Well…he just hasn’t been that good. He’s kept up pretty well with 44 tackles this season, but only 1 INT and 4 PDs just isn’t enough to be starting each week on most IDP rosters. What he does have this week is opportunity. He will be covering either Andre Johnson or DeAndre Hopkins so he should see a fair amount of targets, but I would temper expectations of a high performance. Houston is dead last in passing play percentage as the pass on only 47.58% of offensive snaps. That being said, they make the most of them as they average 7.4 yards per pass attempt. I expect to see Cincinnati scheme to bottle up Alfred Blue and the running attack leaving Hall one on one with his man. I like him for 4 to 5 tackles and 1 to 2 PDs this week as a result. This result will get you double-digit fantasy points in most IDP scoring formats and therefore a nice waiver wire play.
SAFE VETERAN PLAYERS WITH UPSIDE
Nate Allen, S (PHI) vs. TEN
Surprising to see a starting Safety available on the waiver wire in so many leagues. I imagine its due to his relatively modest tackle total as a strong safety, but he has recently showed flashes of making impact plays. With a hamstring injury sandwiched between, Allen had two nice games where he was on the field for every defensive snaps and produced a pick, Forced Fumble with Recovery and 2 PDs. Philly’s Week 12 opponent, Tennessee, doesn’t have much to play for and a rookie prone to make a few bad decisions each game. I expect to see Allen drop more into coverage this week as the Titans rushing attack is not terribly effective between the 20s. As a result, he should have more opportunity to improve on this tackle total as well as position himself to make impact plays. Use him as a spot start to cover an injury this week as his floor should be respectable.
Chris Culliver, CB (SF) vs. WAS
Culliver is another starter that probably should be on a roster. The starting RCB has had a quietly productive season, but has broken out over the last few weeks. He has racked up 8 tackles, 2 picks and 5 PDs in those two contests against Eli Manning and Drew Brees. Regardless of who Washington throws out there (no reason to expect anyone but RG3), they seem to be throwing the ball around. San Fran ranks 3rd in the league allowing only 6.1 yards per pass attempt and 4th with only 220.2 passing yards per game. Culliver has been a big reason for this success (especially lately) and is actually averaging over 11 fantasy points per game in MLFF scoring format for the season. I also like his chances of a third straight game with a takeaway as the Niners are averaging 2.1 per game which is good for 4th in the NFL this season. On the flip side, Washington has been giving the ball away 2.0 times per game which puts them at 27th in the NFL. Ride the hot hand this week and grab him off the wire as a decent and potentially big play this week.
Da’Norris Searcy, S (BUF) vs. NYJ
By and large, Searcy has been an IDP disappointment this season. This explains why a player of his talent is currently residing on the waiver wire in so many leagues. So why should I consider targeting him in Week 12?
- Buffalo’s overall defense ranks 3rd with 2.1 takeaways per game.
- Buffalo’s pass defense has been pretty strong this year giving up only 6.2 yards per pass attempt and 222.6 yards per game.
- NYJ pass offensive is abysmal. They are dead last in passing yards per game (178.5) and yards per attempt (5.2)
- Vick is their QB
Should I go on? What about the risks? It is true that he has been losing snaps as of late, but so had the other starting safety, Aaron Williams, because the have been rotating other guys in. That might not be the case going forwards since Leodis McKelvin jacked up his ankle in Week 11 and has already been put on IR. This will give more snaps available to a versatile Buffalo backfield. Could he defecate the bed? Sure he could, but he has more opportunity, the right matchup and he is on a hot streak.
DESPERATION VETERAN PLAYS
Sergio Brown, S (IND) vs. JAX
Brown has managed to keep his starting FS job despite veteran, LaRon Landry, being reinstated from his suspension. Not bad for a player with a total of 15 snaps in the first four weeks. He worked his way from Dime Package to starting FS and may keep it for the rest of the season. He hasn’t shown a lot of impact plays yet, but I personally watched quite a bit of his last two games (NYG and NE) and Brown seemed to be involved in nearly every play. The coaches seem to like what they see and I feel confident that the stats will follow. This is a great week for it to get going against rookie QB, Blake Bortles. He leads the NFL with 14 interceptions and Jacksonville is 31st overall in total giveaways with 2.2 per game. The Jags do pass 63% of their offensive snaps so I expect Brown to get plenty of opportunity to make impact plays. He represents a nice, cheap waiver wire plug and play for Week 12.
Glover Quin, S (DET) @ NE
The six-year veteran has quietly had a nice season this year. His modest 43 tackles as a safety are supplemented with 3 picks and 5 PDs. He is the starting FS and playing nearly every defensive snap for the Lions. Detroit and their #1 ranked team defense (15.6 points per game, 290.3 total yards per game) go into Fox Borough to take on Tom Brady and the red-hot Patriots. This should be a classic grudge match against the 2nd ranked scoring offense in the league as New England scores 32.3 points per contest. Regardless of which team earns the victory in this match, Quin should see plenty of targets as Brady spreads the ball around and Glover spys Gronk throughout the game. Quin should be one of the safest plays this week, especially off the wire. He has the opportunity to have a big game as he should corral a healthy tackle total as well as potential for impact plays. Start him with confidence in most IDP leagues.
Zack Bowman, CB (NYG) vs. DAL
Bowman has become the primary benefactor of the Amukamara injury. He is now the unquestioned, starting RCB and out of necessity gets extra snaps on special teams. He is not a spring chicken as he has accrued seven years of experience at the age of 30. What he does have is a heavy snap count and Tony Romo and company invading the Meadowlands this Sunday night. Don’t expect many tackles, but he has impact play potential with a Fumble recovery, 2 picks and 5 PDs in the limited time he has seen up to this point. Treat Bowman as a desperation play that could hit big or hit at least one impact play so as not to waste the starting IDP slot.
YOUNG TALENT THAT COULD BOOM OR BUST
Marcus Williams, CB (NYJ) @ BUF
Wait, who? Well, it appears that Antonio Allen has fallen out of favor. Kyle Wilson is…well…not good. Darrin Walls is banged up. This leaves the rookie, Williams, a chance for some major snaps this week against Buffalo. This is a guy who was on the Jets practice squad through Week 8 and now has seen major snaps in the last two games, 56 and 61 respectively. He has performed well with 11 tackles and 3 PDs in these two games. Buffalo has no running game to speak of with all the injuries so the Jets secondary should see a lot of Kyle Orton. Williams is a sneaky upside pick that no one will see coming. I wouldn’t recommend him as more than a “what the hell” IDP flex start, but sometimes that is exactly what we need to get the win.
Corey White, CB (NO) vs. BAL
The Saints are another team that has been crippled by injuries. Not sure they envisioned him as their starting RCB this year, but he has performed admirably in that role. He has already matched last year’s total of 6 PDs and has recorded at least one impact play in each of the last four weeks. That is a good sign if you are in IDP scoring systems that are driven by impact plays. In addition to the 6 PDs, he has 44 tackles, a sack, forced fumble with recovery and two picks. I’m surprised that he is still on the waiver wire on so many leagues. It is clearly a case of no name recognition. Get him in your lineup if you can. He plays nearly every snap and I expect to see Joe Flacco and the Ravens try and light it up Monday night against a suspect Saints defense (7.6 yards per attempt/255.2 passing yards per game). I like him this week to be 15+ points in most IDP scoring formats.
Demetrius McCray, CH (JAX) @ IND
The last gem for the week is another household name. Demetrius McCray is a 7th round pick in 2013 that has taken over as the starting LCB since Alan Ball was put on IR. He is coming off a nice 6 tackle, 2 PD game against Dallas in London. He is playing nearly every defensive snap and gets Andrew Luck and the high-octane Colts passing attack this week. I don’t think I need to tell you that he will have his hands full and plenty of targets to make potential impact plays. I don’t necessarily expect Luck to be making mistakes against the Jacksonville defense, but McCray will have the opportunity to make some plays and perhaps secure his starting role for the remainder of the season and into next season. McCray is another desperation play that could pay off with a big day if he takes advantage.
Bryan Luhrs Real Deal Dynasty Sports, Creator & Executive Commissioner MajorLeagueFantasySports.com, Fantasy Baseball and Football Writer http://www.realdealdynasty.com @realdealdynasty ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Click Link below to listen live)
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This week’s guests include Bryan Robinson and Jeff Nelson. Bryan is a writer for MLFS and his articles publish every Thursday. Bryan discusses the WR/RB position and advises you on your Flex position plays.